At last year's Staples High School Homecoming, many students showed up drunk, and some were taken by ambulance to the hospital for emergency treatment. Staples High School Principal John Dodig, other community leaders and concerned parents met at the Westport Library last October to address this community concern. This year, several days before Homecoming, Westport Library and Staples High School PTA will co-sponsor a Conversation in the Community on Underage Drinking on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m., in the Bedford Middle School Cafeteria. The venue was changed from the library in order to accommodate more people. Middle and high school parents and especially students are all invited to participate.

Each year in the United States, about 5,000 people under the age of 21 die as a result of drinking. Many more suffer alcohol-related car accidents, and recent medical evidence also points to the particularly harmful effects of underage drinking on the developing adolescent brain. It is not surprising, then, that underage drinking has become one of this country's leading health problems, and our community is not immune.

Principal Dodig will open the program by reporting on steps taken to reduce the likelihood of drinking at Homecoming and review student and parental responsibilities. TEAM Westport member Nicholas Rudd will then moderate an open forum for everyone to discuss this important, persistent community problem.

Eric Burns chronicles TV's influence on the baby boomer generation

When television was first demonstrated in 1927, The New York Times heralded the momentous event with the headline "Like a Photo Come to Life." But it wasn't until the 1950s that the new medium was as "its most preoccupying, its most life-altering," said historian and Emmy Award-winning media critic Eric Burns in his new book, Invasion of the Mind Snatchers.

A chronicle of television's influence on the baby boomer generation, the first raised on TV, the book looks at both the promise of television as envisioned by its inventors and how that promise was both redefined and lost by the corporations who helped spread the technology. On Monday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m., at Westport Library, Burns will talk about his new book and the TV's effect on politics, religion, race and sex for a generation of young, impressionable viewers. Free and open to the public, the talk will take place in the library's McManus Room, and books will be available for purchase and signing afterwards.

Burns is author of five other critically acclaimed books, including The Spirits of America: A Social History of Alcohol and The Smoke of the Gods: A Social History of Tobacco, both of which were named "Best of the Best" academic press books by the American Library Association. He is the former host of Fox News Channel's Fox News Watch and a former correspondent for NBC. He was also named one of the best writers in the history of broadcast journalism by the Washington Journalism Review.

Learn more about Lyme disease

Do your joints ache? Hands or feet tingle? Are you completely out of energy? If so, Lyme disease may be the cause. Last year, 4,156 cases of Lyme disease were reported in Connecticut. To get more information about this growing tick-borne disease, Westport Library will present a Lyme Disease Symposium on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m., with Monica Wheeler, MSN, RNA, director of Community Health at the Westport-Weston Health District, introducing the panel discussion.

Panel participants include Dr. Adam Breiner, ND, who will give an overview of Lyme disease and its treatment; pathologist Dr. Sin Hang Lee, MD, who researches the molecular diagnosis of early Lyme disease infections; and Abigail Dumes, Ph.D candidate in anthropology at Yale, whose dissertation research addresses the controversy about the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease in the U.S. Co-sponsored with the Westport-Weston Health District and Turn the Corner Foundation, the program is free and open to the public, and will take place in the library's McManus Room. Note that Part II of this symposium will be held on March 29.

Over 40 and looking for work

In the next 10 years, 76 million Americans are set to retire, but there will be only 46 million people in line to replace them. Clearly, the labor force will change dramatically in this country in the next decade, and older workers may have less trouble than they do now finding a job. Meanwhile, since jobless mature workers still face a real challenge searching for a job, Westport Library will host a Jobseeker Special entitled "Your Next Job" on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m.

Steven Greenberg, founder of jobs4point0.com, designed especially for jobseekers over 40, and host of CBS Radio's "Your Next Job," will discuss what it takes for a mature jobseeker to get hired. Topics will include how to identify and apply for unadvertised jobs, how to create a résumé that generates interviews, how to follow up in ways that produce offers, and how to turn a job search into productive process that can lead to a better career. Free and open to the public, the program will be held in the library's McManus Room.

Greenberg has been a recruiter and human resources professional for more than 16 years. He is also an attorney and has served as general counsel for a leading toy manufacturer. Before that, he practiced law at several major firms. He was born in 1960, and, at 48, "knows that his best years of working are ahead of him."

For more information, check the library's website, www.westportlibrary.org, or call 203-291-4800.