In every community, the library is where people go for a good book, movie or perhaps just some quiet time. In Westport, it's also the place to check out a bocce, badminton or croquet set and engage in a friendly competition a few steps from the exit door.

The games, which became available at the Westport Public Library late last week, are for use on the town-owned Jesup Green, which Joan Hume, community relations director, refers to as the library's "front lawn."

She added this latest offering for the community basically extends the library out to Jesup Green.

"I think it's a way to remind people that Jesup Green is there," Hume said.

While the area does see some use, story times for children, the annual book sale, an occasional outdoor library staff meeting, and those individuals that like to read a book on a blanket amid the grass, the lawn games, donated by the Downtown Merchants Association, would provide for the most blood-pumping and eye-catching use of the space.

Sandra Lundgren, the library's communications specialist, said, "It shows there's all kinds of ways to be engaged at the library. If you want to run around the lawn, we've got the games for you to play, and if you want to be calm, cool and quiet inside, we have things to meet your needs as well."

Those that are interested in playing bocce, badminton or croquet at Jesup Green will have to be patient until mid-next week, as the lawn is currently covered by the tents for the library's book sale, which kicks off this Saturday and wraps up on Tuesday. The lawn games are just one of a number of ways to encourage interaction and community among residents. Those who prefer a more sedentary activity can play chess on a built-in chessboard along the Riverwalk just outside the library. Inside the building, users are encouraged to contribute to the 1,200 and 1,500 piece jigsaw puzzles located in The Great Hall on the main floor.

As for the bocce, badminton and croquet sets, Lundgren believes they will soon be out the door at a steady clip.

"I think that everybody that comes to the library really appreciates when there's a new opportunity and I think this can catch on," she said.

Queried as to which game might prove most popular with Westporters, Lundgren was noncommital.

"I'm not even going to venture a guess," she said.

For more information on all the library has to offer, log onto or call 291- 4800.