increase font size

Events Calendar
Get a Library Card
Place a Hold or Renew
Reserve a Room
Donate Now
HPL E-News Signup
eBooks & Downloadable Media
Passport Services

The Library offers free public classes, programs, and exhibitions at its 10 locations throughout the city of Hartford. Below is a selection of upcoming events.

Jump to: Programs / Adult LearningExhibits

To submit a public program or exhibition proposal, click here.

Carla Ten Eyck - Artist Talk
see real women: really see women

Thursday, March 23, 6pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd fl (Downtown)

Exhibit runs from March 9 - April 7, 2017
on 3rd floor administrative wall
& Hartford History Center, Tuesday - Friday 1-5pm

Originally curated in 2007, Carla Ten Eyck's exhibition, see real women: really see women, is part of the Hartford History Center's permanent collection. In honor of Women's History Month, the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library celebrates a Hartford-born photographer and her work that asks and answers the question, "when do you feel you are your most beautiful?"

Join us in hearing Carla Ten Eyck share her thoughts on how her images find new meaning 10 years since the project was first exhibited. 

Photograph: Marsha #1 by Carla Ten Eyck

Kuchipudi Demonstration

Friday, March 24, 11 am
Center for Contemporary Culture

Sarada Nori Akella demonstrates Kuchipudi, a traditional Indian dance recognized as a classical art form.

Women's Voices in Online Comments

Wednesday, March 29, 6pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd fl (Downtown)

Comments sections are our modern day venues for collaboration, for public discourse, for democratic deliberation. Ideally, digital discussion spaces are supposed to even the playing field for participation. But for many women, wading into the incivility of online comments is like walking alone down a scary back alley, or into an angry mob with torches and pitchforks. Why put yourself at risk?

The harassment that happens in online comments sections is a form of the “heckler’s veto.” It keeps many women from publicly expressing their views. This threatens to chill digital public discourse by discouraging half the citizenry from participating at all. Women should chime in. How can we do this safely, bravely, and regularly? 

Join our discussion on the topic with UConn journalism professor Marie Shanahan, Hartford Courant columnist Susan Campbell, and UConn student columnist & organizer Haddiyyah Ali. 


Fighting on Two Fronts:
The Puerto Rican Experience in WWI  

Thursday, April 6, 5:30pm
Center for Contemporary Culture

Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera of Bloomfield College, New Jersey will deliver a lecture focusing on the experience of Puerto Ricans in the United States military in the 20th century, addressing issues of nation building, national identities, citizenship, military institutions and imperial-colonial relations. 

Local veterans from the Hartford area and surrounding communities are invited to attend, share their experiences and contribute to program topics. Program will be bilingual (English & Spanish)

Luchando en dos frentes: la experiencia puertorriqueña en la Primera Guerra Mundial

jueves, el 6 de abril, 5:30
Centro de Cultura Contempor

El Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera de Bloomfield College, Nueva Jersey, impartirá una conferencia sobre la experiencia de los puertorriqueños en el ejército de los Estados Unidos en el siglo XX, abordando temas de construcción de naciones, identidades nacionales, ciudadanía, instituciones militares y relaciones imperiales y coloniales.

Los veteranos locales del área de Hartford y las comunidades vecinas están invitados a asistir, compartir sus experiencias y contribuir a los temas del programa. El programa será bilingüe.

For more information on all of our WWI & America programs:

-First Lieutenant Pedro Del Valle, the first Latino to reach the rank of Lieutenant General in the Marine Corps, commanded the Marine detachment on board the USS Texas (BB-35) in the North Atlantic during World War I.
-Rafael (left) with brother Jesús Hernández, during WWI, c.1917. By Unknown - from Ayala, César J. Puerto Rico in the American Century: A History since 1898, The University of North Carolina Press, p. 196 (public domain)
-Don Pedro Albizu Campos, infamous Puerto Rican nationalist, was honorably discharged from the Army in 1919, with the rank of First Lieutenant.

This program was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the Library of America.

Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra

Friday, April 7, 2 pm
The Kitchen

A roster of premier musicians from the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra will broaden your musical perspectives with a series of lunch time performances in the soaring Kitchen Café restaurant at the Downtown Library.

HICO presents these midday musical breaks with a variety of modern and classical music works, composed by 20th and 21st-century artists. 

HICO Reed Trio:
Charles Huang, Oboe
Alex Kollias, Clarinet
Kristen Powell, Bassoon

Program including works by Gordon Jacob, JindÅ™ich Feld, Henri Tomasi, Francis Poulenc, and Jean Françaix.

Printmaking Class
with Master Artist Robert Charles Hudson

ALBANY BRANCH, 1250 Albany Avenue
Tuesdays, 10 am - 12 noon, April 4 - May 9

Lifelong learning classes in the arts for older adults.

Class is progressive; please plan on attending all six workshops. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. Priority given to Hartford residents.
Call 860-695-7381 or email to register.
Support made possible by Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.
Image: LINOCUT, 13x19 cm, 1947, Elizabeth Catlett

Would You? (Poetry Group Reading) 

Tuesday, April 11
Refreshments at 5:30
Program at 6 pm

Read. Listen. Share. Write!

Join us for a group poetry reading and open mic event. B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Poem)-- either your own work or from a poet that you love!

Featuring Zulynette Morales, with drumming by Cassie Songstress.

Round Table Discussion: Expressions of War
(World I & America Program)

Thursday, April 27, 5:30pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Join military veterans, students, and active duty personnel in reading and discussing selections from the World War I and America reader edited by A. Scott Berg. Discussion will be led by veterans: Marcus Lawson of Capitol Community College; Dr. Carlita Cotton of Goodwin College, and Dave Ionno, City of Hartford Veterans Committee. It is encouraged, but not required to read through readings that are located here:

To register, please email or call 860-695-6367 with your name and contact information. 

This program was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the Library of America.

MY FELLOW SOLDIERS: Gen. John Pershing
and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War

Tuesday, May 2, 5:30pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Military historian and author, Andrew Carroll, who founded The Center for American War Letters, will give a talk on his new book, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. The book is a comprehensive telling of the American experience in the war based on eyewitness accounts by General Pershing and other senior officers, as well as the troops, aviators, and nurses who risked—and often gave—their lives during this conflict. Many of their letters and diaries will be published for the first time.

For more information on all of our WWI & America programs:

This program was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the CT State Library.


Hartford in WWI (Author Talk) 

Thursday, May 11, 5:30pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Local historian and journalist David Drury is the author of Hartford in World War I. He will deliver a presentation on the activities of the Hartford community during the period, accompanied by a slideshow of images provided by the Connecticut State Library, in advance of CSLIB’s forthcoming programming and exhibits on World War I in Connecticut.

For more information on all of our WWI & America programs:

This program was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the Library of America.

Why Preserve? Digitizing Stories:
CT Latinos in the Military

Thursday, June 1, 5:30pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd Fl (Downtown)

Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera of Bloomfield College, New Jersey, will discuss opportunities for CT-based Latino veterans and their families to bring memorabilia, photographs, and their oral stories to be collected, digitized, and interviews recorded at the Hartford History Center for incorporation into the Connecticut State Library’s digital collection. He will discuss why it is important to preserve this information and offer suggestions of what to bring to the digitization day that will take place at the Hartford History Center of Saturday, June 10. This program will be bilingual (English & Spanish).

¿Por qué preservar? La Digitalización de Historias
que Representan Latinos y Latinas de CT en el Ejército

jueves, el 1 de junio, 5:30
Hartford History Center, tercer piso (Downtown)

El Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera de Bloomfield College, Nueva Jersey, discutirá las oportunidades para que los veteranos latinos/as de CT y sus familias traigan objetos de recuerdo, fotografías y sus historias orales para ser recolectadas, digitalizadas con entrevistas grabadas en el Hartford History Center con el propósito de ser incorporadas en la colección digital de la Biblioteca Estatal de Connecticut. Él Dr. Franqui-Rivera discutirá por qué es importante preservar esta información y ofrecerá sugerencias de lo que traer al día de digitalización que tendrá lugar en el Centro de Historia de Hartford el sábado 10 de junio. Este programa será bilingüe.

For more information on all of our WWI & America programs:

This program was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the CT State Library.

Digitization Day: CT Latinos in the Military

Saturday, June 10, 11am-4pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Trained digitization and recording specialists will digitize photographs, memorabilia, and record interviews of Connecticut-based Latino veterans for the digital collection of the Connecticut State Library. Spanish and English speakers will be available.

Día de la Digitalización: 
Latinos y Latinas de CT en el Ejército

sabado, el 10 de junio, 11h-16h
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Especialistas entrenados en digitalización y grabación digitalizarán objetos y fotografías y grabarán entrevistas de veteranos latinos/as residentes de Connecticut para la colección digital de la Biblioteca Estatal de Connecticut. Habrán asistentes que hablan español e ingles.

For more information on all of our WWI & America programs:

This program was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the CT State Library.

UConn Writing Center at HPL

Wallace Stevens Writing Room, 3rd floor
Noon to 4 pm

First-Come, First-Served: please sign up upon arrival for about an hour of attention

Students, Graduate Students, and Professors from UConn Hartford. We are people interested in writing in all its forms. We believe the best writing comes as part of a dialogue.

You bring your writing to us and we discuss it with you. Any Stage of Writing: Planning, Drafting, or Revising—it’s all Welcome. Any Kind of Writing: Academic: Essays/Writing for Classes. Professional: Resumes, Cover Letters, Applications. Creative: Stories Long & Short, Poetry, Non-Fiction. Personal: Letters, Memoirs. Multiple Levels of Attention. Conceptual: Content, Theme, & Organization. Mechanical: Sentence Structure, Clarity, & Grammar.

Hartford Public Library is pleased to offer the opportunity for local writers to showcase their latest publication and connect with library visitors. HPL will publicize your appearance and will make available your book in the circulating collection. Hartford authors will be given first consideration. Please contact 860.695.6320 for more information, or click here to submit.












Deborah Ravenwood:

Main Floor, Downtown Library

I opened my very own Pandora's Box, simultaneously experiencing its contents through the eyes of a very frightened child and the strong woman I've become. The process of reclaiming my voice has opened the floodgates of my memory. I am convinced that my own sanity was left intact because of my soul's ability to cloak events with a lack of recall. It is from this paradox that I open myself to not only remembering and acknowledging my childhood but sharing it openly with others in the hopes that they, too, will one day be able to connect-the-dots of their childhood and embrace the strengths born from their circumstances. I sit here writing this story - my story - in awe of the soul's ability to shine no matter how tarnished one may believe they've become.

Sherry Horton:
Witness Chair: A Memoir of Art, Marriage, and Loss

Thursday, March 30, 12-3 pm
Main Floor, Downtown Library

Witness Chair: A Memoir of Art, Marriage, and Loss testifies to the power of art and long-term relationship to sustain a husband and wife under siege by illness. The story begins as the author watches her artist-husband hunch over a sketchbook hardwired to his latest project, designs and historical texts for a series of enormous steel chairs representing practices of interrogation and coercion used in the 1692 Salem witch trials. The narrator sits by his side, focused only on him and the leukemia now ravaging his body, and takes notes obsessively, listing blood counts, drugs, and IVs. Certain that something, a stem-cell transplant, an obscure Chinese herbal, will extend his life, she denies mortality, and feels isolated in fear, anger, guilt, as always. He only wants to make art. Gradually, as scenes from their long marriage flood her mind, she puts words to intimate, previously unspoken experience during the tumultuous mid-1960s and early 1970s, witnessing all the ways husband and wife were together in loyalty and betrayal, "for better or for worse."

Poets on Poetry Series

The Connecticut Poetry Society holds  its monthly poetry book group discussions on the fourth Saturday of the month in the Hartford History Center on the third floor of the downtown library from 10:15 am-12:15 pm.  Poets on Poetry is free and open to the public. For further information, visit

The Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop

Presented by John Stanizzi
Saturday, March 25th, 10:15 am

Elizabeth Bishop was an American poet and short story writer who won the Pulitzer Price for Poetry in 1956, the National Book Award in 1970, and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976.
John Stanizzi, poet, teaches at Manchester Community College and has published several collections of poetry.


Chief Teale's The Tools of Learning

Mark Twain Branch
West Middle Community School
927 Asylum Ave.

Classes run March 7 - April 13
Tuesdays & Thursdays 5-6pm
Wednesday tutorials available upon request

Join Charles S. Teale, former Chief of the Hartford Fire Dept. to learn strategies on how to learn, understand, and remember information for academic and professional success. Program is for beginning to advanced readers 18+.. Register: jeagosto@hplct,org or 860-695-6367.

Citizenship Test Prep

Tuesday and Thursday, 6-7:30 pm,
March 22-May 31

Mark Twain Branch, West Middle School
927 Asylum St.

Each class will focus on many of the 100 citizenship test civics questions. We encourage the community to join us for these lively interactive activities and discussions. The classes are open for U.S. citizens who want to improve their own knowledge of U.S. Civics or enhance their skills to tutor new arrivals on their paths to citizenship.

Information: 860-695-6316 and

Spanish for Beginners

Wednesday, 6-7:30 pm, March 22-May 17
Mark Twain Branch, West Middle School
927 Asylum St.

Hartford Public Library card holders can sign up for a beginner Spanish course, on Wednesday, March 15.
The classes cover basic Spanish grammar in a step-by-step approach. Classroom instruction will transition to an online program called “Transparent Language,” for continued studies. Classes will be taught by a native Spanish speaker. Class size will be limited to the first 20 registrants.

Information: 860-695-6316 and

Read to Succeed (R2S) Hartford

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 3:30-7:30 pm
Begins March 22
Mark Twain Branch, West Middle School
927 Asylum Ave.

The classes are a combination of one-on-one instruction with a teacher and computer-based reinforcement activities for adults new to reading.

Information: 860-695-6316 and





ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library offers one of the largest and most stunning exhibition spaces in greater Hartford and the opportunity for Hartford residents and others to view art in a magnificent setting in our city.

Michael Sweeney and Rafael Osés

March 17-April 30, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, March 17, 6 pm

Michael Sweeney’s body of work the books of things we do not know examines the book as a symbol and prompts consideration of a centuries-old technology that remains an elegant vehicle for exploring one's curiosity.

Rafael Osés's small word paintings — everyday or esoteric words and phrases, utilizing geometric shapes and simple color symbolism — encourage viewers to consider both the meaning and visual attributes of language.

Sweeney’s carved books cannot be opened and perused, and Osés’ punchy little paintings make their statements blankly. Books and the language they contain are picked apart, examined, and reformatted; this exhibition presents paintings to be pored over and books that cannot be read.



Draw a Hartford History-Maker:
A Black History Month Community Project

February-March 2017
3rd floor

Last year, our project So Much More Than a Month highlighted the lives of African-Americans who made a difference in our community. This year, we asked for artists, of all ages and working in all media, to create portraits of these black visionaries and changemakers in our city.

The resulting prints will be exhibited in the Hartford History Center throughout February 2017. Please join us on Thursday, February 2 at 6 pm for an opening reception in honor of these black Hartford history-makers and the artists who volunteered to take part in this exhibition.

Image: Warner Lawson by Joel Agosto

Call Me Ishmael

3rd floor

Visit the old-fashioned pay phone on the Library's third floor to listen to book reviews by community members. Just pick up the receiver and dial a number! For Women's History Month, you'll hear reflections on novels by Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume, and Sandy Cisneros, among other. 

Read more about the Call Me Ishmael phone here 

The Road Not Taken:
A Do-It-Yourself Social Impact Project

On view at

The Road Not Taken was on view at the Hartford Public Library in the Fall of 2015. Exhibition co-producer Thea Montanez worked with her cousin, Eddie Delberto, who is serving 60 years at Cheshire Correctional Institution. He is a member of the Lifers Group. Childhood photos of lifers are accompanied by written descriptions or where and who they were when the photo was taken.

Hartford Times: Voices of Change

On view here

View the online exhibition documenting the Civil Rights movement in Hartford in the 1960s. Photos are from the Hartford Times, and include buses leaving Hartford in 1963 to attend Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream" speech in Washington DC, civil rights activists boarding a plane at Bradley Field to march in Selma and Montgomery, AL, and housing protests in the North End of Hartford in 1967.