News & Events - Programs for Older Adults

Author Steve LiskowWriting Workshop Series with Author Steve Liskow

Author Steve Liskow continues his writing workshops with “Talk That Talk” on Saturday, November 1 at 2pm in the Hubbard Room.  This session will focus on dialogue which helps move your story along, depict character, enhance mood and create tension.  Drawing on his experience as an actor and director and using examples from contemporary fiction, Steve will help you refine your dialogue to make your characters distinct, even as they strengthen your plot and establish a mood.  The class includes exercises that apply to all fiction writing:  how to speed up or slow down a scene, how to tailor the language to the character, and how to introduce more conflict into the scene.    Steve will also distribute a list of suggested reading.  Please bring writing materials (or a laptop) and be ready to participate in exercises and discussion.

Writor, actor, theatrical director and former English teacher, Steve now serves as a mentor and panelist for both Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. His short stories have earned an Edgar nomination from Mystery Writers of America and the Black Orchid Novella Award from the Wolfe Pack.

Sixth Middletown International Film Festival

Clandestine ChildhoodTuesday, November 4
Russell Library Hubbard Room

Clandestine Childhood (2011) 112 min. Argentina - directed by Benjamin Avila

The year is 1979 and an Argentinean family who have been exiled in Cuba return to Argentina as Montoneros - a guerilla group fighting against the military junta that controlled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Based on the true story of the director’s childhood.



Reckless – A True Story of War, Love and One Extraordinary Horse Reckless

Author Janet Barrett will discuss her captivating book Reckless at 7pm on Thursday, November 6 in the Hubbard Room.  Whether you’re a horse lover, a history and military buff, or simply someone who enjoys a good human interest story, you won’t want to miss this event. A small Korean pony, Reckless, was acquired by some U.S. Marines during the Korean War to haul ammo up steep hills to the front lines — and became the real-life warhorse of the Marine Fifth Regiment.  It is an incredible account of a courageous equine and her buddies who forged a bond that enabled her to give so much more than anyone ever expected.  Janet’s experiences as a horsewoman gave her a particular appreciation of the unique relationship that developed between Reckless and her fellow Marines.

The Russell Library Veteran’s Writing Group: “We Were There,” is pleased to sponsor author Janet Barrett.  Signed copies of They Called Her Reckless: A True Story of War, Love and One Extraordinary Horse will be available for signing and purchase.

Trackrat by Bob EnglehartAuthor/Cartoonist Bob Englehart Discusses His Book Trackrat

Join author Bob Englehart, editorial cartoonist for The Hartford Courant, as he reads from his exciting new book Trackrat: Memoir of a Fan at 2pm on Saturday, November 8 in the Hubbard Room.  Bob explores the fast-paced world of short track auto racing and how he became a fan at a tender young age while confined to bed for a year with a childhood illness. After witnessing a fatal accident on the track at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, Connecticut, Bob interviewed dozens of drivers about why they risk their lives every week entertaining friends and total strangers. Trackrat is a radical departure for the cartoonist who usually makes pictures with artwork rather than words. He talks about his love of writing and the challenge of painting scenes with prose. There will be a sale and signing of his book following his discussion.

Hedda Kopf Discusses Masterpieces by Henry James and Edith Wharton

Portrait of A Lady by Henry JamesHedda Kopf will lead a discussion series featuring Portrait of a Lady and The House of Mirth continuing Wednesday, November 12 at 7pm in the Hubbard Room.  In both novels, we will explore the “moral reference” of the author as he or she creates characters that are bound by their roles in society. Both James and Wharton are particularly interested in how women’s dreams, ambitions, and possibilities are constrained and thwarted by the time and place in which they live. We will also look at the way the authors create indelible psychological and sociological studies of the privileged and the “others.” 

We will discuss Portrait in two sessions:  Chapters 1- 26 for the first session and Chapter 27- conclusion for the second meeting on Wednesday, November 12.  Our third discussion will be focused on The House of Mirth on Wednesday, December 10.

Hedda Kopf is an adjunct Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.  She teaches Literature and Women's Studies. Ms. Kopf has created and facilitated book discussions for the Connecticut Humanities Council and the Southern Connecticut Library Council and has led book discussions at Russell Library since 1985.  This series is sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.  The novels will be available at the checkout desk in the lobby.

Donald Sinta Quartet, Saxophone Ensemble  

Donald Sinta QuartetThe internationally acclaimed Donald Sinta Quartet will perform Saturday, November 15 at 2pm in the Hubbard Room.  The Quartet’s repertoire is diverse, ranging from commissions by today’s emerging composers to standards from the saxophone quartet literature to transcriptions by master composers such as Dvorak, Schubert and Shostakovich.  DSQ won the top prize in the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition held in New York City. The virtuosic musicians were also featured at the world premiere performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso for Saxophone Quartet and Band, joining the University of Michigan Symphony Band for a tour through China and Los Angeles.  DSQ has earned praise from audiences and critics worldwide  for its performances, compelling recordings and distinctive repertoire.  The group is named for its mentor, legendary University of Michigan Saxophone Professor Donald Sinta.

Fall Film Series

When Cary Grant’s suave wit and impeccable timing met Howard Hawk’s razor sharp yet elegant direction, the results were sheer perfection.  Join us for four films from their stunning collaboration, and learn why they worked so well together.I Was a Male War Bride starring Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan

I Was a Male War Bride (1949) – Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Captain Henri Rochard is a French officer assigned to work with Lieut. Catherine Gates. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Capt. Rochard tries to return to America with the other female war brides. Zany gender-confusing antics follow.

Monkey Business starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe


Monkey Business (1952) – Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cary Grant plays a chemist, through his work he stumbles across a youth-inducing drug.  Ginger Rogers plays his wife, Marilyn Monroe his secretary, and they all regress info hysterics.  Hawks once again keeps Grant in delirious, constant motion. This movie also involves a chimp!!


Jazz Performance and Workshop with Noah BaermanNoah Baerman

Resonant Motion, Inc. presents the latest installment in their series of jazz workshops in collaboration with the Russell Library at 7pm on Thursday, November 20 in the Hubbard Room.  Jazz pianist and educator Noah Baerman brings an accomplished trio, featuring bassist Henry Lugo and drummer Jerome Jennings for an interactive performance and discussion with the community. Presented in conjunction with Noah’s course Survey of Jazz Styles, offered this semester through the Graduate Liberal Studies program at Wesleyan University, the workshop will offer the opportunity to not only hear a variety of jazz, but also to see and discuss the inner workings of a jazz group.  If you have ever heard something exciting and wanted to talk to the band between tunes to ask them about what just happened, this is the event for you. 



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

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