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News & Events

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 of Western 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.

Cultural Connections Women’s Group

Wednesday, March 22, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Meeting Room 3

Women of all nationalities are invited to come and meet other immigrant women in order to help one another adapt to American culture. Get help with local resources and network. Share stories and tips and make new friends.
Children are welcome. Fluency in English is not necessary. Drop-in, no registration.

Celebrating World Water Day: A Physicist’s Perspective

Wednesday, March 22, 6:30pm
Hubbard Room

Professor Bill Graham of Queens University of Belfast is an expert in the physics and chemistry of atmospheric pressure plasmas and plasmas created in liquids and their applications to fields such as medicine and the environment. His talk will begin with a walk through the science of why water behaves as it does, why it’s important to life and why it is on earth. This will be followed by a gentle wade through some of the current research now being pursued worldwide, including at both Queen’s University in Belfast and Wesleyan University, which seeks to explore and exploit the water-based phenomena induced when the 2nd State of Matter (liquid) interacts with the 4th State of Matter (plasma).  There will be some deviations into other water-related phenomena along the way.

Yoga In The Hubbard Room!Yoga

Saturday, March 25th, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Hubbard Room

No prior experience necessary, and no mats will be used. Our instructor for the class will be Jeff Hush, founder of Food and Movement Therapy and a local instructor of Family Yoga, Tai Chi and Chair Yoga. Come experience what Yoga flow can do to assist you in feeling calmer and also more energetic. Learn how it helps in having a stronger immune system and better sleep patterns.
Drop-in, no registration.
The series is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

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.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion

Tuesday, March 28, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

Join us for a discussion of one of the founding mystery-detective novels, The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. When the wealthy heiress Lady Cavendish dies mysteriously at her estate in Styles, retired Belgian detective Hercule Poirot comes in to find out who killed her and why. This is the first of the Hercule Poirot mysteries. We will also be screening related films earlier in the month. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunches. Discussions will be casual and fun, and those who have not read the books or seen the movies are encouraged to attend.
Copies of each month's book will be available at the Russell Circulation Desk 30 days prior. Please contact the Information Access & Adult Learning Department at Russell Library; infodept@russelllibrary.org; 860-347-2520 for more details or to suggest a book.
Drop-in, no registration.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion

Tuesday, March 28, 6:30pm – 7:45pm
Meeting Room 3

The above program repeats at this alternative time.

Joy Unleashed -- The story of a therapy dog

Tuesday March 28
6:30pm – 7:45pm
Hubbard Room

Author Jean Baur will bring Bella, the therapy dog, and several of her books for a book talk, and signing, and a hands-on therapy petting of Joy! Joy Unleashed tells the true story of Bella: her rescue from Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico, how she was flown to New Jersey with forty other dogs, her month in a shelter there getting the care she so desperately needed, and her adoption by Jean and her husband, Bob, when she was four months old. Part lab, terrier and whippet, Bella was a tough dog to train. She has that terrier drive and independence, and would rather do things her way. But she learned basic obedience, then did two years of agility training, before starting the arduous process of being certified as a therapy dog.

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; infodept@russelllibrary.org; 860-347-2520 for more details.
Drop-in, no registration.

Rigid Heddle Loom Weaving Demonstration

Friday, March 31, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Hubbard Room

As part of our Women's History Month events, Linda Rusczek will be giving a hands-on demonstration of rigid heddle loom weaving. Rigid-heddle looms are easy to store, quick to set up, and, most importantly, fun to weave on. They’re great looms for beginning weavers and seasoned veterans alike.  
All ages.
Drop-in, no registration.

Drawing Mandalas For Insight Into Life Issues

Friday, March 31, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Hubbard Room

A mandala is a type of circular design that is used as a spiritual and ritual symbol. Participants will create a mandala, being guided by their own spirit, intuition and feelings of the moment, in a supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere. No artistic ability or experience is required. All materials will be provided. Rose Amodeo Petronella is a spiritual director, retreat leader and retired minister in the United Church of Christ.  She recently published Honoring the Soul: Mandalas for Inspiration and Insight. She grew up in Rocky Hill, CT, and now lives in Middletown.
Registration suggested, please call (860) 347-2520; drop-ins accepted if there's room.

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.

Racial Justice Book Club

Tuesday, April 4, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Meeting Room 2

Join us for a discussion of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. This novel opens in 18th-century Ghana, as two half-sisters meet wildly divergent fates: one kidnapped and sold into slavery, the other wed to a British slave trader. In subsequent chapters, Gyasi tells the stories of the women's descendants on both sides of the Atlantic. As reviewed in EW as one of the best books of the year, by Leah Greenblatt: “Homegoing’s arc is undeniably one of constant and often crushing injustice. Men, women, and children are ruthlessly deprived of the right to possess their own bodies, control their fates, or even speak their names—human collateral constantly aware that theirs was the kind of life that did not guarantee living. Destruction comes in uglier, less obvious forms, too: a 10-year sentence for crossing a white woman’s path in Jim Crow-era Alabama; the slow poison of heroin addiction in 1960s Harlem. As each character cedes their allotted chapter to the next, some emotional impact is necessarily lost, but it’s done in service to the larger sweep of the story—and the luminous beauty of Gyasi’s unforgettable telling.”
Copies of the book will be available at the check-out desk. For more information, contact Christy Billings by emailing cbillings@russelllibrary.org or by calling 860 347-2528 Ext. 122.

This book club is open to anyone and will meet regularly with a new book each month. No registration is necessary.

Compassion Counts: A Community Conversation on Opioid Addiction

Friday, April 7, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Hubbard Room

Dr. Jeffrey Shelton will be the key note speaker in an event that includes a panel discussion. Panelists will include individuals with lived experience. They will address opioid addiction in their own lives and how they found hope, healing and recovery. Lunch will be served.
Dr. Jeffrey Shelton received his medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University. He completed his psychiatric residency training at Yale University School of Medicine, and was appointed Chief Resident in his last year of training. Dr. Shelton is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the specialty of Psychiatry. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the Connecticut Psychiatric Society.
Registration is required. Please register by visiting: https://compassioncounts2017opioidaddiction.eventbrite.com

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 Lynda.com, 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 Ancestry.com. 
    Drop-in, no registration.

Film Screening: Haunted Honeymoon

Tuesday, April 11, 12:00pm
Hubbard Room

Haunted Honeymoon (1940) is based on the Dorothy L. Sayers' novel Busman's Honeymoon, a Lord Peter Wimsey novel. If you are interested in mysteries, join us on April 25th for a discussion of Dorothy L. Sayers' first Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Whose Body?
Run time: 1 hour 23 minutes. Unrated.
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

Cultural Connections Women’s Group

Wednesday, March 19, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Meeting Room 3

Women of all nationalities are invited to come and meet other immigrant women in order to help one another adapt to American culture. Get help with local resources and network. Share stories and tips and make new friends.
Children are welcome. Fluency in English is not necessary.
Drop-in, no registration.

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.

Jazz Up Close

Thursday, April 20, 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

For this event, drummer, percussionist, and composer Sunny Jain leads a quartet also featuring bassist Henry Lugo and pianist/series curator Noah Baerman along with a special guest to be announced. Mr. Jain will be presenting and discussing music that demonstrates the intersecting influences of jazz and Indian music.  
The son of Indian immigrants, Sunny Jain was raised in Rochester, NY, before attending music school at Rutgers University and moving to New York City in the late ‘90s to attend graduate school at NYU. In NY, Jain established himself as a sought-after jazz drummer, performing with a variety of artists including Kenny Barron, Norah Jones, Vijay Iyer, Kyle Eastwood, and the Asphalt Orchestra as well as releasing three acclaimed jazz albums under his own name and touring abroad as a State Department Jazz Ambassador. Along the way, he became a serious student of the dhol (an Indian percussion instrument) and formed the popular band Red Baraat, which has performed at venues as diverse as the White House, London Paralympics Closing Ceremony, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Austin City Limits, Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD festival, and an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. He is also the author of two instructional books, The Total Jazz Drummer and Drum Atlas: India.
This event is supported in part by Shoreline Arts Alliance, Inc. in partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Poet’s Corner: with Susan Allison Celebrating National Poetry Month

Friday, April 21, 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

Middletown's Poet Laureate Susan Allison will be sharing poetry of women poets. Participants are invited to bring their favorite poems.
All ages welcome.
Drop-in, no registration.

Survivors Swing Band!

Survivor's Swing BandRescheduled to Saturday, April 22, 1:30
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.

All Sewn Up

Tuesday, April 25, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Hubbard Room

Learn basic clothing maintenance and repair in order to reduce trips to the dry cleaner or tailor. Russell Library's workshop will provide guidance on fixing hems, sewing on buttons, and repairing split seams. Participants will also be able to learn how to iron a shirt, skirt, or pants. See how an investment in a package of needles, several spools of thread, an iron and an ironing board can mean real savings for your budget!

For ages 14+ only.
Registration suggested but not required. Please call the Information Services Desk at 860-347-2520 to register.

Getting Your Financial House in Order

Tuesday, April 25, 6:00pm - 7:45pm
Hubbard Room

This free workshop is offered during Money Smart Week. Topics will include a current look at the markets and the economy, risks and returns of investing, budget and debt management, planning ahead for retirement and strategies for wise investing.

This informational workshop will be presented by Kathryn Dennen and Chad Burroughs, Northwest CT Chapter members of the Society for Financial Awareness. Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion: Whose Body?

Tuesday, April 25, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

This month we will be reading Dorothy L. Sayers' first Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Whose Body?
Copies of each month's book will be available at the library’s Circulation Desk 30 days prior. Please contact the Information Access & Adult Learning Department at Russell Library: infodept@russelllibrary.org, or call 860-347-2520 for more details or to suggest a book.
Drop-in, no registration.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion

Tuesday, April 25, 6:30pm – 7:45pm
Meeting Room 2

The above program repeats at this alternative time.

How to Pay for College without Bankrupting Yourself and Your Children

Wednesday, April 26, 6:30pm
Hubbard Room

With education costs rising year after year, paying for college is a concern for most families. Additionally, the financial aid process can be confusing, intimidating, and often frustrating. Leave your checkbooks at home;, nothing will be sold at this seminar, just solid information for your financial aid planning.
Topics covered:
-How families of all income levels may be eligible for financial aid
-Which colleges offer the best financial aid packages
-How to avoid costly mistakes on the FAFSA and CSS Profile
-How private universities can cost less than a state school
-How students can potentially receive more free money and fewer loans

Presented by Peter Leppones, CFP, Financial Advisor at Apella Capital LLC.
Light refreshments provided.
Drop-in, no registration. 

Provided with support from The Friends of the Russell Library.

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

Healthy Me, Healthy Start

Fridays, April 28, May 26, June 23, 10:30am – 11:30am
Activity Room

This free, early childhood nutrition program is designed to support parents in establishing healthy eating habits in their young children.

Registration is required and is ongoing. To register contact the Youth and Family Learning Department, 860-344-8479.

Proposal Writing A to Z: Maximize Your Chances with Foundations

Friday, April 28, 10:00am – 5:30pm
Hubbard Room

Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. This full day workshop will feature the ins and outs of grant proposal writing. It combines a comprehensive review of the proposal writing process with practical advice to increase your chances of success with foundations. Participants will learn:
-Facts and fiction about foundation grants
-How to assess your organization's grant-seeking readiness and its funding needs
-Fundamentals of proposal customization
-Submission techniques designed to get your proposal noticed
-How to follow up and what to do if the answer is 'yes' or 'no.'

Judi Margolin, an independent consultant, workshop leader on grants and foundations will be the presenter. She served as Vice President for Planning and Evaluation at the Foundation Center in NYC and has published numerous books on the grants process.
 Lunch and refreshments provided.
Registration required, limit of 25 participants. Contact the Russell Library at 860-347-2520 to register.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library. 

How to find a grant - Learn about Grants Databases Available at the Russell Library

Saturday, April 29, 10:30am – 12:00noon
Meeting Room 3

The Russell Library has access to several online resources which provide information on foundations, grants and the grant process. This session is a hands on event, there will be an overview of the various resources available at the Russell Library, and then time for participants to work on their own grant needs. Laptops are provided or you can bring your own. 
Registration is requested, but not required.

Yoga In The Hubbard Room!

Saturday, April 29
11:00 to 12:00 PM
Yoga with Jeff Hush
Hubbard Room

No prior experience necessary, and no mats will be used. Our instructor for the class will be Jeff Hush, founder of Food and Movement Therapy and a local instructor of Family Yoga, Tai Chi and Chair Yoga. Come experience what Yoga flow can do to assist you in feeling calmer and also more energetic. Learn how it helps in having a stronger immune system and better sleep patterns.
The series is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

 

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