News & Events - Programs for Older Adults

Books to Blockbusters: A Film Series

Thursdays at 2:00pm and 6:00pm
March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and April 6

Hubbard Room

Did you miss these films at the theater? Enjoy them for free at the library!

March 2: The Light Between Oceans, A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast ofWestern Australia raise a baby they rescue from a drifting row boat.  This movie based on the bestselling book by M. L. Stedman stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Weisz.   Rated PG-13, 130 minutes.

March 9: The Girl on the Train, one of the most checked out books at public libraries in 2016, has come to the big screen.  A gripping psychological thriller, based on Paula Hawkins’ 2015 novel of the same name, tells the story of an alcoholic divorcee who becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation. Rated R, 112 minutes.

March 16: Indignation, based on the book of the same name by Philip Roth. Logan Lerman plays a Jewish student adjusting to college in 1951 Ohio.  Rated R, 111 minutes.

March 23: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, based on the book of the samename by Ransom Riggs.  When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers. Rated PG-13, 127 minutes.A Man called Ove

March 30: A Man Called Ove is based on the book by Fredrick Bachman. Ove, an ill-tempered, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife's grave, has finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbors.

April 6: Queen of Katwe, based on the book by Tim Crothers, is the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. Rated PG, 124 minutes.

Learn to Manipulate a Marionette

Tuesday, March 21, 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Hubbard Room

In celebration of World Puppetry Day and National Day of Puppetry, adults and children are invited to come and learn the basics of manipulating a “string puppet”, also known as a marionette.
All ages are welcome.
Drop-in, no registration. 

Concert: The Atwater-Donnelly Trio

Sunday, March 26, 2:00pmAtwater Donnelly
Hubbard Room

The highly praised husband-wife team of Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly are joined with Cathy Clasper-Torch in this very unique blend of instruments, vocals and clogging. An astounding array of instruments including the mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, tin whistle, guitar, mandolin, and violin help to provide the background for the songs and stories concerning Images of Women in Folk Music. The final member of this trio is Cathy Clasper-Torch, who has played and performed on piano, violin, viola, and er-hu (Chinese violin) since childhood. Cathy is in great demand in the Southern New England folk circuit for her easy stage presence, virtuosity, and improvisational skills. Since 2003, Cathy has absorbed much of the Atwater~Donnelly repertoire and is now a staple in Atwater~Donnelly regional concerts, contributing a deeply rich third dimension and mastery, knowing just where to add an exquisite cello line, an exuberant burst of old-time fiddle, and a third and utterly unique voice.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Book Discussion

Wednesday, March 29, 6:30pm – 7:45pm
Hubbard Room

This book discussion will be based on My Own Words, a new autobiography by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  
'The first book from Ruth Bader Ginsburg since becoming a Supreme Court Justice in 1993—a witty, engaging, serious, and playful collection of writings and speeches from the woman who has had a powerful and enduring influence on law, women’s rights, and popular culture.'
Copies of the book will be available at the Russell Library’s Circulation Desk by February 28. It is also available as an electronic resource on Overdrive. Please contact the Information Access & Adult Learning Department at Russell Library;; 860-347-2520 for more details.
Drop-in, no registration.

Volunteerism Forum

Saturday, April 1, 11:00am – 2:00pm
Hubbard Room

Are you searching for a way to give back to our community, but don’t know how? Would you like to volunteer for a community organization, but aren’t sure which one to choose? Come and find out more about the various groups that need volunteers in Middlesex County. Some of the groups that will be represented include St. Vincent de Paul Middletown, United Way of Middlesex County, and New Horizons.
Drop-in, no registration.

Tours of Russell Library

Monday, April 10, Tuesday, April 11, and Thursday, April 13, 11:00am
Starting in the Lobby

Russell Library has a unique architectural history, beginning as a church in 1833, going through a major renovation in 1875/6, and adding and expanding throughout the twentieth century. These tours will help the visitor enjoy the complex and vibrant spaces that are within the library!
Drop-in, no registration.

Library Lessons: Learn About Our Online Resources!

Monday, April 10, Tuesday April 11, Wednesday, April 12 and Thursday, April 13, 2:00pm Meeting Room 3

Each day, learn how to access and use a new database from the library’s collection!

  • On Monday, we will devote our time to our online sources for grants.

  • On Tuesday we will show, an educational database that offers thousands of video courses in software, creative, and business skills. 

  • Wednesday, we will be introducing our databases that can help you with your Consumer Report questions.

  • Thursday, for those interested in genealogy, we will give you a lesson in 
    Drop-in, no registration.

Over There: The World War I Diaries of Dr. Jessie Weston Fisher

Wednesday, April 12, 7:00pm 
Hubbard Room

In April, 1918, Dr. Jessie Fisher left her home, her husband and her son in Middletown, to do her part for our nation’s effort in the First World War. She traveled to France, where she worked for the American Red Cross at a hospital at Beauvais, in Picardy.  During her time abroad Jessie kept two diaries, documenting her part in one of the most historically significant events of the 20th century.

Sarah Fisher Spencer, Jessie Fisher’s great-granddaughter, Beverly York and Rick Spencer will present readings from Jessie Fisher’s diaries, narration on her life and time in France, historic images, and songs of the period.

Sponsored in part by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Readers Theater

Thursday, April 13, 7:00pm.
Hubbard Room

Reader’s Theater is live drama enacted by local actors. The play that begins this series is Mrs. Mannerly by Jeffrey Hatcher. Inspired by memories of childhood, Hatcher recounts his experiences studying manners and etiquette as taught by a very demanding and controlling teacher. This unique comic tale reveals truths about the face we present and the real selves that lie inside. Directed by Carolyn Kirsch and featuring Richard Kamins and Anne Cassady.

Drop-in, no registration.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library and The Middletown Commission on the Arts

Connecticut’s Role in WWI

Wednesday, April 19, 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

Christine Pittsley, Project Director for the Remembering World War One community archiving project at the Connecticut State Library, will explore the role Connecticut played leading up to the war, what was happening on the home front while our soldiers fought in the trenches, stories of local contributions to the war effort, and how Connecticut commemorated the war.  From Liberty Loan campaigns and victory gardens to local soldiers and nurses on the front lines, you will also learn about the ways Middletown contributed to winning the war.
Sponsored in part by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Middletown World War I Digitization Day

Thursday, April 27, 3:00 pm-7:30pm
Hubbard Room

The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War One. In an effort to help preserve this significant piece of our history, the Russell Library will be partnering with the Connecticut State Library’s Remembering World War One: Sharing History/Preserving Memories project to hold a Digitization Day event. Help us learn more about the men and women who served during World War One by bringing your photographs, letters, documents, mementos, and other materials to be scanned or photographed. The digital images and stories will be added to a WWI collection in the Connecticut Digital Archive where they will be preserved for future generations.

For more information about this event, please contact the Russell Library at (860) 347-2520 or Christine Pittsley at (860) 757-6517 or go to
Sponsored in part by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Survivors Swing Band!

Survivor's Swing BandRescheduled to Saturday, April 22, 1:30
Original Date: Sunday, February 12, 2:00pm
Hubbard Room

The Survivors Swing Band generates energy and excitement everywhere they perform. In honor of Valentine’s Day, they will be playing classic melodies from the Swing Era for concert goers listening -- and dancing - pleasure! Bring a dance partner, or come with friends and family to enjoy some of America’s most beloved songs.
The band features musicians from all over Connecticut, each with many years of experience. Lauren Humpage is on bass and vocals; Jeremy Alston on drums; Jules Bashkin on alto sax; Greg Butko on reeds; Bill Steinhauser on banjo and guitar; and Sandra Wittman on piano. Based in Connecticut, the group plays the classic melodies from an era gone by--hot tunes and soothing ballads of the Swing Era--plus many of the wonderful melodies from the two decades that followed.
This concert is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.



Get Adobe Reader

If you are looking for things to do with your children and grandchildren:

  • Check out a Museum Pass (including KidCity)
  • Visit our Children's Department
  • Borrow children's books, DVD's and audiobooks
  • Play on the AWE Early Literacy Stations
  • Use computers with Internet Filters for age appropriate computer content

Lunch and Learn Series

These noontime programs are presented by experts in a variety of fields. Topics include health issues, travel tips, fashion advice, organization techniques, resources for caregivers and more. Bring your lunch; we provide beverages and dessert.

Computers and Technology

Hands-on computer classes are offered each month. Topics include introduction to computers, internet, and basic to intermediate Word and Excel. In addition, thirty computers are available for public use. For patrons who are sight impaired the library has an adaptive computer that magnifies the image and can read aloud information on the screen.

For the Visually Impaired

Russell Library offers a varied selection of large print books. You will also find a diverse collection of books on tape and CDs. A catalog of large print titles is available upon request. An Optolec reading machine, which enlarges print, is located in the Information Department.

If you need accommodations for a disability, please call 347-2528, ext. 135, in advance.

In the Community

Book Discussion Groups

Titles are chosen by the participants, and lively discussion groups are facilitated by the Older Adult Specialist from the library. Whether the book is a current best seller or a familiar classic, the interaction is always interesting and enjoyable.

Homebound Library Cards

This service is for patrons residing in Middletown apartments or health care facilities who are unable to travel to the library. A library volunteer will deliver library materials to you. This includes books, magazines, DVDs, and books on tape.

Life Long Learning

Russell Library offers discussion-based educational programs to patrons residing in facilities in our community. The Older Adult Specialist leads spirited discussions on art, travel, history, the
topics are endless. Patrons are encouraged to express ideas, opinions and memories. Special requests are encouraged

Get Adobe Reader
Adobe Reader is required to view, print and download pdf documents.
Download this free software.