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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.

Transportation Career Info Session

Tuesday, April 24, 5:30-6:30pm

Free community event!

Have you considered a career driving a truck, bus, or operating heavy equipment? Hear from our panel of employers, CDL training providers, and commercial drivers and see if you have what it takes.

The median pay for long-haul commercial drivers is around $48,000 a year. Other transportation careers—including light truck and delivery driving, city bus driving, and school bus driving—also start with good wages. More than 30,000 drivers are needed in Connecticut by 2024. Will you be part of the driver shortage solution?

This event will feature a panel of employers, education and training providers, and commercial drivers. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about a career that pays a living wage.

For more information, contact Deb Presbie at 860.244.1932 or

The Ruby McCollum Story & The #MeToo Movement
Screening & Panel Discussion

Saturday, April 28, 1:30pm

In this season of the #MeToo movement, what effect has sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual conduct had on Black women and women of color?
On August 3, 1952 in Live Oak Florida, Ruby McCollum, a wealthy Black woman shot and killed Senator-elect, Clifford LeRoy Adams. The story was so explosive, newspapers refused to print it and Zora Neale Hurston was not allowed to interview Ruby McCollum.
Join us to view the documentary, You Belong To Me: Sex, Race, and Murder in the South, The Ruby McCollum Story, and hear from a spirited panel on the topic: Rev. Dr. Barbara E. Headley, lecturer, trainer, and Senior Pastor of Zion Community Church (Springfield, MA); Kim Newland, LCSW, Psychotherapist and Principal Owner/CEO of KNC Associates, LLC; Joelle A. Murchison, Executive, Diversity and Inclusion Champion and Founder of ExecMommy; Marcia Bonito, Former Affirmative Action Administrator for the State of CT and owner of Bonito Consulting Services, LLS, specializing in sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion training; and moderator, Wanda N. Seldon, HR Administrator for the State of CT, Windsor Art Center 
board member and mixed media artist. 




The Big Read

Dance Workshops

Arien Wilkerson, Tnmot Aztro
11 am-1 pm, March 24, April 7, 14, 21
Tainted Studios, 56 Arbor Street

Arien Wilkerson, who leads  Tnmot Aztro Performance Art and Dance Installation, is holding four Saturday dance workshops inspired by the themes of “Citizen: An American Lyric.” Those completing the four sessions will be invited to perform on April 26 at the  keynote ceremonies. Tnmot Aztro will create the visual landscape of the performance set, sounds, props, sculptures, audience seating, technical runs, and lighting with help of David Borawski and Rickey Silverspoon. Original films and artwork will be on display.

Register here

The Big Read
Poetry Workshops

YOUmedia, Downtown
Albany, 1250 Albany Avenue

Poets Britanna "Versatile Poetia" Tatum, Zulynettet Morales, and Khaiim "Self Suffice" Kelly (pictured), are running writing workshops for teens, inspired by the themes in "Citizen: An American Lyric."  Young poets, ages 13-19, are invited to participate and enter their poems, lyrics, essays or prose based on their experiences with microagression.  Some will be chosen to present in front of author Claudia Rankine at the keynote ceremony in April 26. 

Workshop schedule: YOUmedia on March 6, 6-7:30 pm,  March 14, 5-6:30 pm, and March 22, 6:30 to 8 pm. Albany, March 27, April 3, April 10, 4-5:30 pm.

The Big Read: Walk About

Albany Branch, 1250 Albany Ave.
Thursday, April 19, 5:30 pm

Can you tell how someone thinks by looking at the way they walk? Does body language reveal what you think about yourself? Can it tell you something about others? Improvisational movement can give you a glimpse into what it’s like to be someone else’s shoes. Everyone is invited to an action packed, rhythmic, improvisational experience, guaranteed to get you thinking about how movement can bring us to a deeper understanding of our place as Citizens. 

Workshop run by Victoria Christgau, pictured, Executive Director of the CT Center for Nonviolence, and Warren Hardy, founder of HYPE.

The Big Read

Claudine Rankine
Keynote Address
Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown
Thursday, April 26, 5:30-7 pm

Join Hartford Public Library as it celebrates Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen” in book groups, workshops exploring everyday macroaggressions, and poetry discussions, in its 2018 “The Big Read” program.

Rankine’s subject is race, particularly the racism felt by black people in America. Her 2014 book has the subtitle, “An American Lyric.”

Rankine will give a keynote address Thursday, April 26, at 5:30 pm in the Center for Contemporary Culture.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Look here for more “Big Read” programming.

El Día del Niño

Saturday, April 28, 1-3 pm
Children’s, 3rd Floor, Downtown

Join us for El Día del Niño, Children’s Day, with books, crafts, entertainment and lunch. Author Pat Mora is the founder of the day which celebrates family literacy, celebrating children of all cultures. 

UConn Writing Center

Room 23, Ground Floor
Noon to 4 pm
Every Saturday

The Hartford UConn Writing Center is available to writers of any skill level working on any kind of project.  Visitors will receive an hour of one-on-one discussion about their project, their goals, and how their current material fits those plans. We are consultants who want to offer our experience as writers and readers to any who would like guidance, support, technical assistance, or anything else to do with growing as a writer. 

(No sessions on Saturday, February 17.)

Our Advisors:

Brianna McNish is a third-year Honors student at the University of Connecticut studying English with concentrations in Creative Writing and Teaching English. She is currently the fiction editor at Long River Review.
Jacob Horn is an Assistant Professor of English in Residence at the University of Connecticut. He has taught classes on academic writing and worked as a coordinator for creative writing groups and writers.



Monthly 2nd, 3rd, 4th Tuesdays
6-7:45 pm, Classroom 140
Main Floor, Downtown

Do you need help speaking in public?

Toastmasters International can teach you give a speech that is organized, has vocal variety and is inspiration.
By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program. Every Toastmasters journey begins with a single speech. During their journey, they learn to tell their stories. They listen and answer. They plan and lead. They give feedback—and accept it. Through our community of learners, they find their path to leadership.

No registration necessary.Toastmasters

Poets on Poetry Series

The Connecticut Poetry Society's monthly poetry book discussion is free and open to the public.
For further information, visit
o nominate a poet for discussion or volunteer to moderate, contact:
Christine Beck


Claudia Rankine

Classroom 139, Downtown
Saturday, March 31, 10:15 am

Moderated by Poet Kate Rushin

Claudia Rankine's "Citizen: An American Lyric" is Hartford Public Library's "Big Read" choice for 2018. Poet Kate Rushin will lead the discussion of the Yale professor's book which is written in prose, poems and essays. Her subject is race and the daily microagressions experienced by black people in America.

Upcoming dates for 2018:

April 28, 2018: Frank O'Hara. Poet David Cappella will moderate.
May 26, 2018: Gerard Manley Hopkins.  Poet Rennie McQuilken will moderate.
June 30, 2018: Billy Collins. Poet Maria Sassi will moderate.


The Author's Table

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.


The Author's Table: Kim McSpadden

Saturday, April 21, 12-3 pm
Downtown Library

Kim McSpadden, who writes as Francee Bouvenir, is also a visual artist. In her work she confronts the consequences of injustice and poverty. She prefaces her collection The Journey and the Memoirs, with the question: What will happen if humanity isn’t changed? Kim’s latest book is The Time and the Transition.


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.


The Dress / Memory and Metaphor
Marilyn Parkinson Thrall

March 16–April 29, 2018

Opening Reception: March 16, 5:30pm

ArtWalk Book Club: "The Hours"
Thursday, March 22, 5:30-7 pm

Women's Gathering & Artist Talk
Thursday, April 12, 5:30

Marilyn Parkinson Thrall’s sculptures have moved from figures to clothing. She creates dresses void of figure to represent the space between our public and private lives.  How we look and what we wear determines who we are in the public eye. She works in monochromatic tones to give the sculptures a ghostlike quality.

Special thanks to the Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation for its support of our 2017-2018 ArtWalk season.


Breaking Barriers

February 27 - through April 2018

Enjoy a selection of images and quotes of African American leaders and changemakers who've made a difference across America. Content was curated by the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library from Aetna's recent publication Breaking Barriers: Celebrating 35 years of the Aetna African American History Calendar. Books are also on display at each Hartford Public Library branch.

Black Panther Art Display

Through March 2018
Dwight Branch

Fans of Marvel Comics’ “Black Panther” are asked to draw art inspired by the superhero starting February 1 in the Dwight Branch, 7 New Park Ave.

A new film “Black Panther,” will be released February 16.
Chadwick Boseman, shown here in a publicity still from the film, stars as T’Challa, the king of the Wakanda, a mythical  and high tech African country. He becomes the Black Panther at night to battle his enemy Dr. Doom.

In 2015 author Ta-Nehisi Coates, (“Between the World and Me”) began writing an 11-issue series of “The Black Panther” for Marvel. Read more and see images.

The character was introduced in 1966 in an issue of “Fantastic Four.” Artists should contact Christina Hill, or 860-695- 7461.

Read the Courant’s coverage here.


Historical Hartford Views

on display through March 2018

“Historical Hartford Views” are acrylic landscapes painted by Hartford artist TR Colletta in 1980. Paintings were purchased by Howard Fromson and hung in his Rockville, CT company Anocoil. Presstek LLC purchased Anocoil in 2016 and donated the paintings to Hartford Public Library in the fall of 2017 under the guidance of Howard and Sandy Fromson.

Painting: State Street, Hartford 1920. 

The Poster As Art

on display through March 2018

Posters and broadsides, held in the Hartford History Center’s permanent collection, date from mid-18th century to present day and are a vibrant expression of Hartford’s community life.  The diverse range of selected events on exhibit took place in Hartford, 1969 – 2017.

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.

To view a video version of the presentations, watch them On Demand at Click "Playlists" and then find "Chief Teale's The Tools of Learning."

Citizenship Test Prep

Programs Times Pending.

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