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News & Events

All Programs Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library 

Scrabble Wednesday

Wednesdays, February 20, 27; March 6, 13, 20, 27, 5:00pm
Meeting Room 3,

Carol Whitfield will lead players in scrabble games for ages 12 - 112.
We will have dictionaries, score sheets and scrabble boards. Bring your brains! 
For ages 12 to 112.

Just drop-in or sign-up online and get an email reminder!

Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut
with Author Marty Podskotch

Thursday, February 21, 6:30 PM
Hubbard Room

This new guide book presents information on each of the 169 towns, cities and villages in Connecticut. Copies will be available for sale and for signing.
Drop-in; no registration required.

French Film: Un Village Français

Sunday, February 24, 1:00 PM
Meeting Room 3

Episodes from season 3 of the long-running French TV drama about a village and its inhabitants during the 1940 to 1945 occupation by the German army. James Taylor will lead a discussion in French. Viewers are invited to bring refreshments.
Drop in; no registration required.

Readers Theater Presents Ben Butler by Richard Strand

Saturday, February 23, 1:30 PM (Rescheduled from Sunday, February 24)
Hubbard Room

A combination of comedy, biography, and historical drama, Ben Butler takes a thought-provoking look at a key decision in the Civil War, and explores timeless questions about social conscience, individual responsibility, and the politics of race in America. First performed at Russell Library in June, 2018, the play was so well-received that directors Anne Cassady and Richard Kamins consented to bring it back. Readers Theater is live drama enacted by local actors. Drop-in, no registration required.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion: Death Comes as Epiphany by Suzanne Newman

Tuesday, February 26, 7:00 PM
Meeting Room 2

A medievalist specialist weaves mystery and romance into a fascinating tapestry of everyday life in 12th-century France. Books are available at the Borrowing Desk.
Drop-in; no registration required.  

Film Showing: Veterans of Color

Thursday, February 28, 6:30 PM
Hubbard Room

African Americans served in some of the bloodiest combat missions in American history, then faced even fiercer battles when they returned home to encounter housing and job discrimination, racial hatred, and other hardships. In the film, Veterans speak directly about their experiences. Not rated; running time 60 minutes. See a trailer and learn more at: http:// www.veteransofcolor.org/ Veterans_of_Color/Home.html
Drop in; no registration required. All members of the community are welcome. 
Sponsored and hosted by the Russell Library Veterans' Writing Group, We Were There.

First Friday Book Discussion; offsite: The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

Friday, March 1, 7:00pm
RaMa LuNa Center for Yoga and Well Being, 282 Main St. Ext. Middletown, in the Palmer Eye Care building next to CVS

In exquisite prose, Hoffman offers a glimpse of small-town Americans, their lives intertwined over three hundred years. Copies of the book are available at Russell Library. Sign-ups are preferred. For more information, contact Christy at 860-347-2528 x 160 or cbillings@russelllibrary.org or Rachel at 860-800-5862 or www.ramaluna.com.  Offered in partnership with the RaMa LuNa Center for Yoga and Well Being.

International Women’s Day Celebration with the AAUW

Sunday, March 3, 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

International Women's Day celebration will include open discussions, cultural exhibits, entertainment, special guests, and refreshments.

Sponsored by the AAUW (American Association of University Women).    

Racial Justice Book Group: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

Tuesday, March 5, 6:00pm.
Meeting Room 2

Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research, Rothstein shows how government policies begun in the 1920s have led to racially segregated neighborhoods and discriminatory housing patterns that continue to this day. Each month’s selection is available for check-out.  Whether you’ve read the selection or not, everyone is invited to join the conversations.

No registration required. The Racial Justice Book Group is offered in partnership with the Middletown Racial Justice Community and meets on the first Tuesday of each month. Contact Christy Billings: cbillings@russelllibrary.org or 860-347-2528 x 160.

We Were There: Writing Your Military Experiences . . . note the new start time!

Thursdays, March 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2:00 – 4:45pm
Meeting Room 3

Led by author Elizabeth Petry, the Veterans' Writing Group invites all active or retired Veterans to share and document their stories. Visitors and new members are always welcome and recent Vets are especially encouraged to attend. The group recently published a book of their collected writings. The workshop facilitator, Christy Billings, can be reached at 860-347-2528 x 160 or cbillings@russelllibrary.org

Drop in; no registration required.

Russell Readers: Communist by Richard Ford

Tuesday, March 12, 6:30pm
Meeting Room 2

 We will discuss Communist by Richard Ford 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 each month. For more information, contact Chantal Foster at 860-573-2946 or Chantal.foster@comcast.net

Soldiers of a Foreign War with author Charles McNair

Cancelled: Wednesday, February 13, 6:30 PM
Rescheduled to: Wednesday, March 13th at 6:30PM
Hubbard Room

Soldiers of a Foreign War, a novel with its roots in McNair's own experiences, exposes the stark consequences, the brutality, and the long-term costs of America's presence in Vietnam, while capturing the similarities among the young men fighting on each side of this grisly conflict. Books will be available for signing and purchase after the talk.
Sponsored by the Veterans’ Writing Group: We Were There.

Books and Brews Book Discussion: Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots
by Jessica Soffer

Thursday, March 14, 6:00pm
Offsite at Stubborn Beauty Brewery, 180 Johnson St, Middletown

Even in moments of grief and darkness, there are joys waiting nearby. In one last effort to prove herself indispensable, Lorca resolves to track down the recipe for her mother's ideal meal, which she hopes to prepare before she’s sent off to boarding school. Copies of the book are available at Russell Library. Contact Christy Billings: cbillings@russelllibrary.org or 860-347-2528 x 160.
Adults. Drop-in; no registration necessary. No purchase necessary.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library and made possible by Stubborn Beauty Brewery.

Memoir Essays Writing Group

Thursday, March 14, 6:00pm
Meeting Room 3

Stephan Allison facilitates this writing group for people who wish to write their memories in a short essay form. Drop-in; no registration necessary. 

Yoga in the Hubbard Room

Saturdays, March 16, 30, 11:00am
Hubbard Room

Yoga promotes well-being, a stronger immune system and better sleep patterns. Led by Jeff Hush, founder of Food and Movement Therapy. No prior experience is necessary, and no mats will be used.

Drop in; no registration required.

Concert: Atwater / Donnelly present: Irish Music in America

Sunday, March 17, 2:00pm
Hubbard Room

Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly have shared festival billing or performed with folk legends including Jean Ritchie, Pete Seeger, and Doc Watson. For this concert they will be joined by fiddler, cellist, and vocalist Cathy Clasper-Torch. 

No registration required, but seating is limited.

Russell Library Board of Trustees Meeting      

Tuesday, March 19, 6:30pm
Hubbard Room

Everyone is welcome to attend Board meetings, and to speak (only) during the Public Session which follows the Call to Order. No registration required.

Swap Your Stuff: Crafter Style     

Friday, March 22, 1:00pm - 5:00pm for drop-off only
Saturday, March 23, 9:00am - 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

Swap quality craft supplies you no longer use for other items you will use!  Drop off items on Friday and receive a ticket for admission to Early Bird Browsing at 9:00am Saturday. At 10:00am, everyone is welcome to come and take whatever they can use, whether they donated anything or not. No open paint, please, and only clean, usable items that you would be happy to take home yourself, such as paper, yarn, fabric, beads, markers, etc. Call 860-347-2528 x 160 or email cbillings@russelllibrary.org

Making Conversations

Mondays, March 25, April 1, 8, 15*, 6:00pm
Activity Room

Making Conversations is an opportunity to gather with folks of all ages to create a collaborative performance project. *The public is invited to enjoy the performance at the last session on April 15 in the Hubbard Room. For all ages; everyone is welcome!

Drop in; no registration required. Program partner: Julie Mulvihill: jmulvihill@wesleyan.edu

Classic Mystery Book Discussion: A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters

Tuesday, March 26, 7:00pm
Meeting Room 2

In a 12th century Benedictine monastery, Brother Cadfael has settled down to a quiet life in the herbarium, after a far from monastic youth. But when his piror determines to acquire the bones of a saint from a remote Welsh village, Cadfael's worldly experience and prowess as a detective become vitally important. Books are available at the Borrowing Desk.
Drop-in; no registration required.  

Family Game Night     

Wednesday, March 27, 5:00pm
The Activity Room

Join us for a fun night of board games with the entire family!  Family + Games = Family Game Night!  Come and join the fun.

All ages. Drop-in; no registration required.

Connecticut Poetry Society Meeting

Wednesday, March 27, 6:30pm
Meeting Room 2

Adults. All are welcome.

LinkedIn Photo Shoot: Free Professional Portraits for Your LinkedIn Profile

Thursday, March 28, 10:00am - 12:30pm
Hubbard Room

Get a FREE professional photo for your LinkedIn account. Dress professionally, as you would for an interview. For more information, call 860-347-2528 x 121. Drop-in; no registration required. Sponsored by the Russell Library Career Program, the family of Thomas J. Regan, CDBG funds, and the Liberty Bank Foundation.

A Play Reading: “Maiden Matron Crone Masterpiece”

Thursday, March 28, 6:00pm
Hubbard Room

This will be the first public reading of this play composed by Angela Karounos Bullaro. The play concentrates on the myth of the triple goddess archetype: maiden, matron, and crone. Audience feedback will follow the reading, and refreshments will be served.

Make Time for Making

Friday, March 29, 10:00am
Hubbard Room

Adults can enjoy the company of other crafters while working on their own projects such as coloring, beading, paper crafts, knitting, painting, or drawing. Some materials may be available upon request.

Drop in; no registration required.

Container Gardening Workshop for Families

Saturday, March 30, 10:00am
Activity Room

Learn about planting and container gardening.  All ages welcome but best for children 3 years old and up.  Drop in; no registration required but supplies are limited.  Sponsored by the Urban Agriculture Partners, the Opportunity Knocks Collaborative, and the Friends of the Russell Library. 

French Film Group: L’Odyssée

Sunday, March 31, 1:00pm
Meeting Room 3

Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a highly influential and fearlessly ambitious innovator, filmmaker, researcher, and conservationist. His aquatic adventures spanned roughly thirty years of an inarguably rich life. James Taylor will lead a discussion in French after the film which will be shown in French with English subtitles. Viewers are invited to bring refreshments.
Drop in; no registration required.

Money Smart Week: Finding Low Cost Rentals in the Middletown Area

Sunday, March 31, 2:00pm
Hubbard Room

Ann Faust, Executive Director of the Middlesex Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, provides an overview of the Middletown area rental market, focusing on lower cost rentals for individuals and families. 

Drop in; no registration required.

Questions and/or experiences are welcome. This program kicks off Money Smart Week at the Russell Library, which provides financial education programs for all ages.  

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