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News & Events

All Programs Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library 

Cancelled due to impending snow storm!
Introduction to Shadow Puppetry

Wednesday, March 21, 6:30pm
Hubbard Room

As part of a celebration of World Puppetry Day, we will focus on the art of shadow puppetry. Shadow puppetry is an ancient form of theater. In this short introduction, participants will gain hands-on experience manipulating traditional figures from China, Turkey and Indonesia.
All ages are welcome. 
Drop-in; no registration. 

Along the Valley Line: Middlesex County Historical Society

Thursday, March 22, 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

The Middlesex County Historical Society will sponsor an illustrated talk about the railroad by Max R. Miller, the author of Along the Valley Line. What is more American than riding the rails? The Connecticut Valley Railroad once carried both passengers and freight along the west bank of the Connecticut River between Hartford and Old Saybrook. Completed in 1871, today the railroad is known throughout New England for the nostalgic steam-powered excursion trains that run on a portion of the line between Essex and Chester. 

We Were There: Writing Your Military Experiences

Thursdays, March 22, 29; April 5, 12, 19, 26, @6:00pm
Meeting Room 2,

Author Elisabeth Petry will continue to lead The Veterans' Writing Group which invites Veterans to share their stories and photos in their own voices. All Veterans, either active or retired, are encouraged to come and share their experiences for their own benefit or to share with family and friends. New members are encouraged to visit to see what the group is all about! Currently, service people from combat and non-combat situations from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraqi Freedom attend regularly. We hope to hear from other Iraq War Vets, and those who have served in Afghanistan.  Elisabeth Petry is a writer and former journalist and lawyer. She lives in Middletown with her husband, Lawrence Riley, who is Commander of the American Legion Milardo-Wilcox Post 75, Middletown CT.
The workshop facilitator is Christy Billings. She can be reached at (860) 347-2528 or cbillings@russelllibrary.org

Adult Coloring for Stress Reduction

Friday, March 23, 11:00am
Hubbard Room

Come and enjoy a stress-free environment while you color beautiful pictures!

The library provides materials, or you may bring your own. 

Yoga in the Hubbard Room

Saturday, March 24, @11:00am
Hubbard Room
Saturday April 28 @11:00am

No prior experience necessary, and no mats will be used. Our instructor will be Jeff Hush, founder of Food and Movement Therapy and a local instructor of Family Yoga, Tai Chi and Chair Yoga. Come experience how practicing yoga can help you feel calmer and more energetic, and learn how it can also help support a stronger immune system and better sleep patterns. If the weather is nice, yoga will be held in the courtyard.
Drop in; no registration.

Adult Coloring. Fun for all ages!

Monday March 26, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
First Church, 190 Court Street, Middletown

Please join us for a night of creative fun at First Church, sponsored by the Russell Library and First Church. Color a picture of your choice and make new friends. If you have a coloring book, bring it along. If not, some supplies will be provided. Free. No experience required. 

Sponsored by Russell Library and First Church.

Eat Your Way to Optimal Health with Catherine O’Rourke

Tuesday, March 27, 6:30pm
Hubbard Room

With so much information out there on eating and living healthy, it may seem confusing. This presentation will bring you the latest science on food, nutrition and how to apply it in your life. From raising healthy families to losing weight to managing chronic disease, we will discuss the role of food as it pertains to all aspects of health.
Sponsored by The Plant Partners.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion: Still Life by Louise Penny

Tuesday, March 27, 7:00pm
Meeting Room 2

The problem with many mysteries is that the characters have no depth and you figure out “who dunnit” in no time, then spend the rest of the book watching the unveiling of the most obvious clues. This mystery is the exception to the rule. Welcome to the picturesque little town of Three Pines, Quebec, not far from the city of Montreal. A colony of mostly artists, quaint shops, a misplaced black woman who owns a charming used book store, a cranky and aging poet laureate, a couple of gay men who own the B&B and a restaurant where everything is for sale, including the chair you’re sitting in. The complete cast of characters is a fascinating study of small town inhabitants, and the author draws a compelling storyline that demonstrates a deep understanding of human motives and relationships.
Copies are available at the circulation desk. 
Drop in; no registration.

Women Center Stage with the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame

Thursday, March 29, 6:30pm
Hubbard Room

Once barred from the stage because it was seen to be 'dangerous” and 'immoral,” women have struggled to find their place in the spotlight for centuries. Chronic under-representation, sexual harassment, and the loss of roles after a certain age are still issues women in the performing arts face today. CWHF Inductee Sophie Tucker faced discrimination due to her weight and Katherine Hepburn struggled to take roles that defied stereotypes. Marian Anderson became a reluctant icon of the Civil Rights movement simply for doing what she was trained and loved to do … sing before an audience. Help us put the spotlight on the Connecticut women in who found a voice for change in the performing arts.
All ages.
Drop-in; no registration.
Sponsored by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame (www.cwhf.org)

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America

Saturday, March 31, @ 10:00am to 2:00pm
Hubbard Room

NACA is a non-profit HUD Certified homeownership and advocacy organization that has been in the forefront in the fight for economic justice. NACA has made the dream of homeownership a reality for hundreds of thousands of working people, enabling those with credit issues, limited assets or subject to discrimination to purchase a home or modify their predatory loan on the most affordable terms. NACA continues to set the national standard in its advocacy for affordable homeownership and access to credit.

No registration required.

Racial Justice Book Discussion: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

Tuesday, April 3, @ 6:00pm. (First Tuesday of each month)
Meeting Room 2

This is the true story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman whose cervical cancer cells have been used without her initial consent by scientists for developing advances in everything from cloning, gene mapping, cancer treatment and polio vaccines.Copies of the book are available for check-out. Contact Christy Billings at cbillings@russelllibrary.org or 860 347-2528 x 160.
This book club is open to anyone, no registration necessary.
The Racial Justice Book Club is offered in partnership with the Middletown Racial Justice Community.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Friday, April 6, @ 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the premier of this important film, we will be screening it for the enjoyment of the public. Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece was originally entitled A Journey Beyond the Stars. Jumping seamlessly from Africa in the Pleistocene Era to a space-shuttle cabin some 4 million years later, the film clocked in at around three hours and contained less than 40 minutes of dialogue. 2h 29min.
Drop-in, no registration. 

National Library Week: Libraries Lead

April 8 – 14

Come in to the library anytime and learn just how valuable a Russell Library card is. It offers access to so much more than just books--from a plethora of programs for patrons of all persuasions, to on-site and remote access to databases, magazines, downloadable books and other resources; from museum passes to book sales, concerts and theater events, author visits, and an award-winning job and career program which offers a range of free, professional services to job seekers at all stages of their careers. Visit the library’s website at www.russelllibrary.org for information on upcoming programs, or pick up a Russell Reminder to hang on your fridge.

Readers Theater presents Doubt: A Parable

Monday, April 9, @ 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

This play by John Patrick Shanley is set in a fictional Catholic school in the Bronx. Sister Aloysius, a deeply conservative nun, learns that the school’s priest met one-on-one with the first African-American student, and accuses him of molesting the student. Ben Brantley’s review states, “The play's balance of conflicting viewpoints, its austere institutional setting and its sensational front-page subject at first bring to mind those tidy topical melodramas of truth and falsehood that were once so popular.” The play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Tony Award for Best Play. The play was turned into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Father Flynn and Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius.
Drop in; no registration. 

Film Screening: The Killings at Badger’s Drift  

Tuesday, April 10, @ 12:30pm
Hubbard Room

This is a two-hour long episode of the BBC Mystery program Midsommer Murders. An elderly woman is found dead in her own cottage and DCI Tom Barnaby is convinced the death is not a simple accident.
Drop-in, no registration.

Bullet Journaling

Tuesday, April 10, @ 6:00pm
Hubbard Room

Join us as Russell Library Staff member, Christy Billings demonstrates a new trend called Bullet Journaling on Tuesday, April 10th at 6:00PM in the Hubbard Room.

When traditional note-taking didn’t work for Brooklyn-based designer Ryder Carroll, he developed a more efficient system to capture his ideas. Over the years, he’s refined his method into what’s now known as the Bullet Journal. Carroll describes his form of journaling as “a framework for tracking the past, organizing the present and preparing for the future.” While it sounds ambitious, all you really need is a blank notebook and a pen. Think of it as your personalized shorthand for what you need to do each day and for getting thoughts from your head to the paper. Curious about this latest organizational trend? Join us to learn more. Questions can be directed to Christy Billings at cbillings@russelllibrary.org or 860- 347-2528 x 160.
Registration encouraged

Russell Readers: The Enormous Radio by John Cheever

Tuesday, April 10, @ 6:30pm
Meeting Room 2

Join us to discuss The Enormous Radio by John Cheever from the collection 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. Discussions are based on the Great Books Foundation method in which readers talk in open gatherings, under a leader, about the great issues that have shaped civilization as reflected in the readings. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month. For more information about participating in the group or acquiring the text, contact Chantal Foster at (860)573-2946 or email Chantal.foster@comcast.net.
Drop in; no registration.

National Library Week Event: T J Pridell-
Start, Grow and Manage your Business with Reference USA

Wednesday, April 11, @ 6:00pm
Hubbard Room

Guest speaker T J Pridell will be hosting an interactive lead generation marketing seminar catering to the Middletown business community.  The electronic resource, Reference USA, available to individuals with  Russell Library cards,  helps user to create effective marketing plans, conduct essential competitive analysis, raise funds and locate people in order to expand & grow their book of business. The online database provides real-time access to more that 44 million businesses and 270 million consumers. Russell Library card holders may access this resource from within the library or at home or work with Internet access.

Come and learn how to access businesses, locate direct business contact names, find articles for research on businesses and find data summaries to profile neighborhoods, cities and states, as sell as researching demographics by business type, sizes, and median income. Additional components of this resource, 'US Healthcare',' US Standard White Pages',' Canadian Business', and 'US Jobs and Internships' will be outlined. Come with your questions and learn about this very rich resource.

Paper Crafts for Adults: Papier Mache II

Friday, April 13, @ 11:00am
Hubbard Room

Paper is a versatile material used around the world for various crafts. From three dimensional sculptures to a wide array of two-dimensional creations, we will explore paper! We continue our investigation into paper sculpture by continuing to learn about papier mache. 
Adults ages 18 and up are invited to bring their own ideas, imaginations and willingness to learn.
Drop-in; no registration.

Authors 06457! Sara Ann Hofferd and Steve Liskow

Saturday, April 14, 11:00am – 1:00pm
The Lobby

Come meet two of our Connecticut authors and have them sign their books! Sara Ann Hofferd is currently working on a series of alphabet books that enhance the basic ABC book. Her featured book, Alphabet Sketch, is a motivational tool to encourage little one to search for the alphabet throughout their home. Steve Liskow is an award-winning author who teaches writing and serves as a mentor and panelist for Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. His novels, many set in Connecticut, deal with issues such as a shooting in a public school, and teen drug abuse.
Drop-in; no registration.

Hidden Secrets of Russell Library – A National Library Week Event

Saturday, April 14, 12:00pm
Starting in the Lobby

Russell Library has a unique architectural history, beginning as a church in 1833, then undergoing a major renovation in 1875/6 and multiple expansions throughout the twentieth century. This tour will guide visitors through places seldom accessible to patrons, and help visitors enjoy the complex history, vibrant spaces, and unique features that are within the library--including both those they can see but might overlook, and those they don't see and never knew existed! The tour will start in the lobby at noon. 
Families and visitors of all ages are welcome.
Drop-in, no registration.

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