News & Events - Programs for Older Adults

Great Reasds Book Discussion with Hedda Kopf

Binocular Vision by Edith PearlmanWednesday October 26, 6:30 PM
Hubbard Room

Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories by Edith Pearlman

Four stories from the collection, Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories by Edith Pearlman will be discussed. “Pearlman writes about the predicaments — odd, wry, funny and painful — of being human. Her characters are sophisticated, highly literate, relatively affluent and often musical. They travel, they read, they go to museums and concerts: they take pleasure in what the world offers. They’re also principled, and moral responsibility plays an important part in their lives. Pearlman’s prose is smooth and poetic, and her world seems safe and engaging. So it’s arresting when, suddenly, almost imperceptibly, she slips emotion into the narrative, coloring it unexpectedly with deep or delicate hues.” (Roxana Robinson, NY Times Book Review, Jan 14, 2011).
Hedda Kopf lectured on Women’s Studies and Literature at Quinnipiac University for many years. She now teaches at the Institute for Learning in Retirement and is the author of Understanding Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl. Ms. Kopf has created and facilitated book discussions for the Connecticut Humanities Council and the Southern CT Library Council and has led book discussions at Russell Library since 1985. Drop-in, no registration required.
The discussions are sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

It Can't Happen Here -- A Nationwide Reading

It Can't Happen HereSaturday, October 29
1:00 PM
Hubbard Room

This event is a reading of a 1936 play adapted from the political novel, It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis.

The novel describes the rise of Berzelius 'Buzz' Windrip, a U.S. Senator who is elected to the presidency after promising drastic economic and social reforms.

On the 80th anniversary of the first theatrical adaptation of Lewis’s novel, and in cooperation with the Sinclair Lewis Estate, Berkeley Rep is organizing a nationwide reading of a new adaptation on Monday, October 24. Theatres, universities, and libraries across the United States have been invited to organize free public readings of the new adaptation by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen.

This nationwide reading is made possible thanks to the generous support of Barbara and Rodgin Cohen and Orin Kramer, with the cooperation of the Sinclair Lewis Estate.

Connecticut Heritage Productions and Russell Library are pleased to participate in this timely event.

On October 27, 1936, 'It Can't Happen Here' opened in 22 theaters in 18 cities across the nation. The play, which was adapted by Sinclair Lewis from his best-selling novel of the same name, eventually ran for a total of 260 weeks and was seen by more than 316,000 people.

Hallie Flanagan, director of the Federal Theatre Project - a program of the WPA, and the only National Theatre the U.S. has ever had - said this about the play:
'We want to do 'It Can't Happen Here' because it is about American life today, based on a passionate belief in American democracy. The play says that when dictatorship comes to threaten such a democracy, it comes in an apparently harmless guise, with parades and promises; but that when such dictatorship arrives, the promises are not kept and the parade grounds become encampments.'


Free Concert: Exotic Romanticism with the FaReLa DuoFaReLa Duo

Saturday, November 5, 1:30pm
The Hubbard Room

Cellist Tanya Anisimova and pianist Pi-Hsun Shih have been drawing rave reviews ever since their debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in 2012. This concert will include pieces by Manuel de Falla and Cesar Franck, as well as original compositions by Anisimova.  
The two met while studying in Boston many years ago. After pursuing separate careers, they were able to reconnect in 2011. Both are versatile chamber musicians and teachers with a wealth of expertise.
Described as a pianist of 'searing precision' by the Hartford Courant, Taiwanese-American Pi-Hsun Shih has been a featured soloist with the Sao Paulo State Symphony, The Hartt Symphony, and the Mexico State Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with ensembles such as Empire Brass and the Emerson String Quartet.
Tanya Anisimova is an internationally renowned Russian cellist and composer. In addition to composing, performing and touring, she has taught master-classes at Moscow Conservatory, Hartt School of Music, Loyola University, and Virginia Commonwealth University among others. Celebrated cellist Janos Starker has hailed Anisimova as, 'an Everest climber,” and a 'high class cellist with a strong and inventive musical mind.” 
This concert has been funded by The Friends' of the Russell Library.


Tellabration! With Storyteller and Master Puppeteer Marilyn O’Connor MillerMarilyn O'Connor Miller

Sunday, November 13

Hubbard Room

Storyteller and Master Puppeteer Marilyn O'Connor Miller will be the featured performer for this Tellabration! event. Marilyn O’Connor Miller is a seasoned performer, with television and stage credits to her name. For the last twenty years, she has performed in Connecticut’s theaters, schools and libraries with her expansive selection of stories and puppets. One of her signature puppets, ‘Piccolo’, is an Italian baby boy deeply seated in Marilyn’s ethnicity. Since her maternal Italian grandmother came to America at the turn of the century and refused to speak any English the entire time she lived in Hartford, so ‘Piccolo’ does the same. Now a grandmother herself, Marilyn has the stage presence of a true Italian matriarch. In this program, Marilyn will blend folk tales such as the Italian 'Il Lupo” and the Japanese 'The Tongue Cut Sparrow” with puppets and masks in a performance that will delight and thrill young and old alike. Tellabration! is produced by The Connecticut Storytelling Center each November by partnering with other individuals and organizations to bring storytelling to sites all over the State of Connecticut for adult, as well as family audiences.  School-aged children are welcome to come with their families.
This program has been funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Fall Noontime Movie Series
Race to the Rescue: Classic Hollywood Adventures

Tuesday, November 15, at noonSaturday Matinee Serials - Batman
Hubbard Room

Join us for a look at the roots of cinematic action and adventure with this series about swashbuckling heroes and tales of derring-do. Stories of danger, courage, and physical action have been a staple of Hollywood from the very start. By rendering drama in purely visual terms, the genre helped filmmakers master the medium and brought popular audiences to the theater.  Featuring the films of Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, and the Saturday matinee heroes of the great movie serials, we will discuss the enduring appeals of adventure movies and how they’ve changed over the years.

Saturday Matinee Serials - We present a selection of weekly chapters from the action and adventure serials of the 1930s and 40s. Each episode offers fifteen to twenty minutes of non-stop daring and ends in an inescapable cliffhanger. Come and see Dick Tracy, Batman, Perils of Nyoka, Daredevils of the Red Circle, and other movies that thrilled a generation of young filmgoers.
Scott Higgins is professor of Film Studies and chair of the College of Film and the Moving Image at Wesleyan University. His latest book MATINEE MELODRAMA is about action serials of the 1930s and 1940s.
The series is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

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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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