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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.

Hartford NAACP, Celebrating 100 Years:
Voices from the Living Presidents 

Saturday, June 24, 2-4pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

The Greater Hartford Branch of the NAACP is celebrating 100 years with a panel of its living presidents. Stories will be shared about its founding and how the NAACP has impacted the Greater Hartford region with its social justice work through the years.

Public Forum

Wednesday, June 28, 5:30 pm
Dwight Branch, 7 New Park Avenue

Please join Hartford Public Library’s CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey, Board President Greg Davis, and Andrea Comer, Board Member and Chair of Strategic Planning Committee, for a presentation and discussion about the library’s preliminary strategic planning report.  The presentation will introduce four different potential operating scenarios designed to ensure that HPL remains a vibrant and sustainable organization for the future.

Art Appreciation 101

Saturdays, June 24-July 29
Downtown Library & field trips

Lifelong learning classes in the arts for older adults.

Let’s talk about art! In this introductory course, practice your close looking skills and visual vocabulary while exploring the role of art in our world today. Identify the elements of art and the principles of design, discuss the role of collectors and museums, write a poem or story inspired by a work of art, and more! Each session will include a hands-on art-making lesson, with all supplies provided.

The class will include walking field trips to some of Hartford’s artistic treasures; some walking is required.

Space is limited; pre-registration required. Call 860.695.6377 or email to register. Priority given to Hartford residents.

Support made possible by Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

Collage Remix: Art Workshop
with master artist Andres Chaparro

DWIGHT BRANCH, 7 New Park Avenue
Wednesdays, 10 am-12 noon, May 24-June 28

We will be creating collages. All materials will be provided. Class is progressive; please plan on attending all six workshops.

Space is limited; pre-registration is required.
Call 860-695-7460 to register.

Priority given to Hartford residents.

Lifelong Learning: Classes in the Arts at HPL are designed for older adults ages 55+

Support made possible by Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

Hunting in Wartime Film Screening

Thursday, June 29, 6pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Hunting in Wartime will be screened followed by a Q&A session with the director, Samantha Farinella. 

Hunting in Wartime profiles Tlingit veterans from Hoonah, Alaska, who saw combat during the Vietnam War. The veterans talk about surviving trauma, relating to Vietnamese civilians, readjusting to civilian life, and serving a government that systematically oppresses native people. Their stories give an important human face to the combat soldier and show the lasting effects of war on individuals, families and communities.

It won the 2016 Big Sky Award at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and the James Aronson Award in Social Justice. 

World of Sounds: Haneef Nelson

Friday, June 30, Noon-1 pm
Downtown Terrace

Trumpet player Haneef Nelson leads his Hartford-based jazz ensemble featuring original music and arrangements of Latin jazz and jazz standards. 

Haneef was introduced to jazz by his father and through the local Jazzmobile program.  He studied with Dave Burns,  a well-respected player and teacher.  Haneef graduated from the Hartt School, working with Jackie McLean, Nat Reeves and Roger Murtha.

World of Sounds is sponsored by the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund.


World of Sounds: Smokin' Mirrors

Thursday, July 13, Noon-1 pm
Downtown Terrace

Clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Maxine Martin, a Connecticut native, performs with Abu Alvin Carter Sr., Cori Lovejoy, and Jim Mercik in a combo of jazz, blues, r&b, and pop styles.

World of Sounds is sponsored by the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund.

National Disability Voter Registration Week

Tuesday, July 18, 6-7:45 pm
Hartford History Center

Program on new equipment now available presented in partnership with the Secretary of State's Office.

Voter Education

Tuesday, September 26, 6-7:45 pm
Hartford History Center

Program on the popular vote and its impact presented in partnership with the Secretary of State's Office.


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.


RC Goodwin, The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club: Six Stories and a Novella

Friday, July 7, 2:00-5:00 pm

How do people wind up in prison? Once there, can they change? What's the aftermath of a violent assault on victims and their families? What kind of a toll do jails and prisons take on those who work there?

These are a few of the questions confronted by the characters in R.C. Goodwin's collection of stories, The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club. The questions don't make for easy answers, and the characters don't fall into clear-cut categories.

Taken together, the stories illuminate some of society's darkest corners. Goodwin's experience practicing psychiatry in correctional settings for over twenty years adds depth and authenticity to them. His stories offer unexpected turns and endings, as well as surprising doses of gallows humor.

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. The series takes a break in July and August and resumes in September. For further information, visit


The Poetry of William Carlos Williams

Presented by Mark Sheridan
Saturday, June 24 10:15 am

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

-The Red Wheelbarrow, 1923

To nominate a poet for discussion or volunteer to moderate, contact:

Christine Beck



Chief Teale's The Tools of Learning

Tutorials across library branches 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,
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, Runs through June 21
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, 2-7:45, Thursday, 2-5 pm
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.


Hartford Views
Photographs by Pablo Delano

May 19-July 1, 2017
Opening Reception: May 19, 6-9pm

Pablo Delano, a painter-turned-photographer, documents the city of Hartford in flux. His exhibition Hartford Views consists of large format photographs that focus on the built environment of this small metropolis. The photographs, spanning eight years, highlight the nuances and contradictions inherent in a city with a layered history, and record what has been lost over time. They are not sociological statements, despite their subject matter; Delano’s love of visual form, design, composition, and color elevate the images to works of art. 

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 Sandra 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.