April 5, 2017
SUSAN EI, PEQUOT LIBRARY’S CHILDREN’S LIBRARIAN
Southport, CT – Pequot Library is saddened to announce their beloved Children's Librarian Susan Ei, passed away on March 30. She was 64. Known as "Miss Susan" to thousands of children and families, Ms. Ei joined Pequot Library in March 2003 and was promoted to full-time Children’s Librarian in 2005. Ms. Ei loved education and learning and held a master's degree in Linguistics and a bachelor of arts with distinction in Art History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Before joining Pequot Library, she devoted her career to teaching English as a Second Language in a variety of settings, including but not limited to La Guardia Community College, Housatonic Community College, Columbia University, and Greens Farms Academy in Westport. At Pequot Library she excelled at creating exciting and unique events that centered on celebrating community and togetherness with yearly traditions including the Easter Egg Roll, Annual Potluck Supper and Campout, the 4th of July Bike Parade & Lawn Games, and Kids’ Candy-making Workshop, with each event drawing an average of 250 patrons and many times nearly 500 visitors to Pequot Library.
Last year Ei welcomed 6,594 children to her children’s and family programs including weekly Storytimes for newborns to 5-year-olds: Babes on a Blanket, Wiggle Ones, Wee People, and Three to Five Beehive. With a strong commitment to Pequot Library’s mission to bring culture to life, Ms. Ei incorporated a variety of arts, humanities and science disciplines into all of her literary programs including nature and animals and developed signature events such as Make Dog Biscuits for Homeless Animals, Fly-Fishing on the Great Lawn, Atka the Wolf which included a wolf demonstration which taught children about animal wildlife, and Kids Knit.
Ei had a special talent to inspire children to want to explore the natural world around them through engaging programs about science experiments and even workshops about bee-keeping. Most of all she ignited a passion for reading in children of all ages with interactive Summer Reading programs and personalized book recommendations.
Ei’s most unique program started in 2006 when she invented Pequot's "Read to Our Bunny" program. Thanks to Ei’s innovativeness, children and adults can still experience what Ei referred to as “labor-free pet ownership;” the library’s bunny lives at Pequot Library, and parents can make appointments for their child/children to read to and pet the bunny. Emerging readers have always enjoyed the fact that a rabbit does not judge if they make a mistake. Scores of children each year "check out" the resident bunny for a stroll around the neighborhood and many plant the herb garden on the Library’s grounds to help feed the bunny. Ms. Ei and her reading ambassador rabbit assistants, Blossom, Belle, and Puff touched the lives of countless children and their parents with this special reading program. Ms. Ei and her three reading ambassadors helped young readers build confidence with their budding literacy skills and engaged even the littlest library visitors as they played with the bunny when they stopped in Pequot Library.
Ms. Ei was generous, intelligent, free-spirited, caring, and adventurous. She was a cowgirl at heart, and she will be dearly missed by her Pequot Library family and friends. Stephanie J. Coakley, Director adds, "The loss of Miss Susan will be felt in our hearts for a long, long time. Susan was deeply committed to everything Pequot Library, especially its young readers and we will greatly miss her incredible spirit for life, selfless and generous character, stylish flair, and unique talents and wisdom when it came to inspiring children to love reading and learning."