Thursday, January 12, 2012

Science in the News: Location Scouting

An important part of the planning for Science in the News 2012 is finding a great location. Last year we had the privilege of hosting the series of talks at the Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium. We were very happy to start our series there and get the support of the students and employees of the Observatory, however the location is a bit hard to find (for good reason, of course; you want to be at the top of a hill to see stars).

This year we decided to explore other location options. We had heard that the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) Ives Memorial Library (main) branch had just renovated their Program Room, so we decided to check them out.

The NHFPL building was built between 1908-1911 and is really gorgeous. It was designed in a Colonial Revival style made of brick and marble. Large white columns greet you as you walk up the steps on the outside that lead into a lovely entrance of the spacious three story library.1,2


NHFPL really is a city landmark, situated right across the New Haven Green on Elm St. and Temple St.  Aside from being beautiful and centrally located in downtown New Haven, it is right across the street from a Yale parking lot that has free parking on weekdays after 4pm.

We were really excited about connecting with the NHFPL, since it already is a great resource for our community. However, we didn’t want to miss out on seeing the space it in person first. On a cold December evening, six of us took a field trip downtown and met up with Kathie Hurley, the library’s Public Information Officer, who gave us a tour of their facilities.  I took some quick pictures with my phone, so I apologize if they’re a little bit blurry.

The entrance to the room we would be using is very clearly marked. :)

As you can see below, the room is very large. It can definitely fit our audience comfortably. The chairs weren’t set up on the day of the tour, but you can see a stack of them on the right. (We visited on the day of their holiday party, so some festive decorations were up to greet us).

Not shown is a white screen that comes down in front of the back window. You can see a standard podium that will be perfect to hide our laptops well—although I hope our speakers won’t do the same! There is also a lot of adjustable lighting on the ceiling. They really did a beautiful job with the renovation (although I had seen this room before).

This next photo is not just a great candid shot of Madam President, Elizabeth, but shows a neatly hidden cupboard (on the right) where all the fancy projector electronics are hidden. There’s also a glass window to the kitchen.

I must admit I am quite excited that the kitchen area is so close to the action. So you can take a sneak peak at where we will be preparing all the yummy snacks and drinks for our audience.

If you can’t tell, Kathie was very excited to meet us. She’s a local and loves when Yale students interact with the community. We are obviously very excited to do this, and love the support from her!

Overall, I have to say I’m very happy with the space and more importantly, the support that we got from Kathie about having the Science in the News series at the library. I think this will be a great partnership, that will hopefully last many years!

New Haven Free Public Library
133 Elm St.
There is a convenient side entrance that leads more directly into the Program Room on Temple Street. We will try to have signs directing our audience there.

Science in the News will have six talks this semester, on the last Tuesday of every month from January through June, at 6pm.

-Griselda Zuccarino-Catania
6th year Immunobiology PhD candidate
Science in the News Co-Director

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