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Due to COVID19 concerns, HPL will be offering virtual programming. Below is a selection of upcoming programs.


November 2020 Youth and Family Programming

November 2020 Teen Programming

November 2020 Adult Programming



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


Journaling Journey Series: Coping Through the Fear of the Unknown

Journaling through the Heaviness 

Today we walk through a journaling activity to help ground us in the valley of heaviness. It ebbs and flows and yet, your own words and images are here to guide you back, get centered and remember. 


Date: Every Friday through December 2020
Start date: Friday, November 6th  

Time: 10:00 AM

Virtual: Faceboook

Image for the pre-summit book club signup.  Picturing the two books that will be read and discussed.


Revisiting Thanksgiving,
and the Green Corn Festival Celebration

Many Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as a peaceful breaking of bread between Native people and European settlers, but what really happened? And what are the Indigenous origins of Thanksgiving pre-colonization? Hear Indigenous perspectives on Thanksgiving, and learn about historically practiced and current day Indigenous harvest celebrations, including the Green Corn Festival.


Featuring panelists Natasha Gambrell of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, Yvonne Matthews of the Cree Tribe, Melissa Wesaw of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, Sage Philips of the Penobscot Nation, Rachel Massaro of Nansemond tribe, and moderator Patricia Kelly. Also featuring a presentation on Indigenous food traditions by UCONN’s “Planting Our Roots Initiative,” and performances from Carl Hardrick and Cynthia Paniagua.


Date: Monday, November 23rd

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Virtual: Via Faceboook LIVE

Image for the pre-summit book club signup.  Picturing the two books that will be read and discussed.


Freedom From Smoking 2020 

Join us for a FREE program for those ready to quit smoking. Group meets Thursday evenings for 7 weeks, including Monday, November 2nd.


Requirements to participate:

• Ready to quit

• Must be available for 8 sessions

• Must be able to access documents electronically

• Must be able to connect virtually for weekly meetings


DATES: October 8 — November 19

TIME: 5:30 — 7 p.m.

LOCATION: Webex link to follow after registration 
TO SIGN UP: Call 860.679.4007. Space is limited.

Image for the pre-summit book club signup.  Picturing the two books that will be read and discussed.


Book Clubs 

"Reading material for the homies."

Hartford Public Library is a chapter of Noname's Book Club, an online/irl community dedicated to uplifting POC voices. They do this by highlighting two books each month written by authors of color. From cult classics to the words of emergent authors, Noname’s Book Club highlights books that speak on human conditions in critical and original ways. In addition to social media presence have free virtual meet ups to discuss the monthly picks in a safe and supportive environment. Click here for more information on Noname's Book Club.


*If you have incarcerated friends/family who would be interested in reading along with us email their information to and they will send them the books.


Join Noname's Digital Nationwide Monthly Meet Up

Next Zoom session will be at the end of November 2020, date TBD— check back in for more event registration details


Noname's November Pick:

November Session Meet: 

Date TBD: Via Zoom

For a list of all of Noname's book picks, click here.


Hartord Reads in Color 

Hartford Reads in Color is a book club committed to delving into the narratives and rich diverse voices of communities of color. From the intellectually astute, to the uncouth and wretched, we are reading with no limits. Focused on shedding light on literature across the diaspora while also educating the community of the various authors and stories that sound and look like them.
This group meets every last Sunday of the month. Registration is required. Seating is limited. To register, click here
November Pick:

Cover ArtLovecraft Country By Matt Ruff

November Session Meets: 

November 29th, 2020

4:30-5:45 pm via zoom

Zoom instruction sent following registration


The Awakening Book Club 

We understand the need for a safe and open space for young adults, ages 13-25, to connect around a good book. Join us for a much needed conversation about past and present racial injustices through a discussion of Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow. Not an avid reader? Come and hear what others have to say about this important dialogue. This series consists of biweekly discussions of a book of the month, which addresses and actively fights systemic racism on topics such as medical negligence towards Black people and mass incarceration. 
Please register for the book club so we can save you a seat!
November Pick:

Cover ArtThe New Jim Crow By Michelle Alexander
November Session Meets: 

Session 1: November 12th
Session 2: November 27th
6pm via zoom
Zoom instruction sent following registration 
For a list of all book picks, click here.

Deep Appreciation Book Club 

Hartford Public Library and Hartford Stage invite the community to a new book club, called “Deep Appreciation,” a heart-led gathering featuring live readings, interactive dialogue and reflections on fiction and poetry by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) authors, past and present. The book club will meet quarterly to discuss the selection with teens and adults, as well as provide a family friendly book pairing for those who wish to continue the conversation at home. Everyone is welcome. To regiser, visit:

November Pick:

Cover ArtRed To The Bone: by Jaqueline Woodson

Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child. As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony— a celebration that ultimately never took place. Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood.

Cover ArtI Am Enough: by 
Grace Byers

Byers shares a story of loving who you are, respecting others and being kind to one another. I Am Enough by Grace Byers offers constructive affirmations for those who lack self-esteem and self-acceptance. It celebrates children for who they are and promotes positive female role models. I am Enough promotes the message that we are unique and that will always be enough. A young girl makes positive declarations – “Like the sun I am here to shine… like the bird I am here to fly and soar high over everything.” She is surrounded by friends of different colours and cultures and declares “I’m not meant to be like you; you’re not meant to be like me. Sometimes we will get along, and sometimes we will disagree.” A book to promote a positive self-image and self-acceptance that we are worthy no matter our skin color, race, religion, disability and interests.

November Session Meet: 

November 19th, 7:00-8:30pm Via Zoom

African American Literature Book Club 

The AAL Book Club is for anyone interested in reading and discussing African American literature, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as sharing information and learning about the African American experience. It is an opportunity for us to get to know each other while we engage in lively and stimulating discussion of topics of interest to us all.

October Pick: 

Cover ArtCitizen: by Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship.



October Session Meet: 

October 27th, 7:00PM Via Zoom

Please RSVP to Carolyn Korber at


Virtual Program Library

Browse our past online programs and click the links to watch videos!

To browse our past virtual Art Inside programs, click here

To browse our past virtual Reads From the Hart programs, click here

To browse our past virtual Wellness Wednesdays programs, click here

To browse our past virtual Home Hacks programs, click here

To browse our past virtual Friday Jams programs, click here

To browse our past virtual local business spotlight programs, click here

Small Business Spotlight (2)




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.


Lost in Color
Erik Williams, Black Frame Vision

UPDATE: Exhibit runs through July 6, 2020
ArtWalk, Downtown Library

Watch Virtual Exhibit HERE
Virtual Artist Talk on @HPLCT Instagram Live:
Watch Recorded Interview HERE

Erik Williams is a street photographer and also the owner of Black Frame Vision, a street photography brand based in Connecticut. He fell in love with this style of photography because of its rawness and the opportunity it creates to capture honest moments. It allows him to connect with people from all walks and to share their stories candidly through the lens of his camera.

"I use my photography to catch a glimpse of what I see, in order to share it with others. I look for the beauty in any and everything that most overlook.

My choice of subject is anything organically appealing to my eye, whether it's a kid sleeping on the city bus or a reflection of a building from a puddle. I enjoy using natural light, shadows, contrast and clarity as a way to communicate the essence of what I see. I'm drawn to people that radiate energy and great character, because that's all that truly matters. I am inspired by their stories."

Hartford Women: Leading the Way

Online exhibit available HERE!

Actresses, award-winners, broadcasters, business women, politicians, soldiers, students, and truck drivers; all Hartford women who broke barriers and paved the way for other women.

In celebration of Women’s History Month this March, enjoy a selection of photographs of extraordinary Hartford women from the Hartford Times collection housed in the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library.

Ella Brown, Hartford Times photograph by Morton J. Boardman
January 23, 1962


New Banner at Downtown Library

A banner was recently installed on the northwest corner of Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street. The banner depicts various library activities.


When Ramiro Louisa returned to Hartford from the Netherlands, one of the first place he brought his daughter, Delyani, was the Hartford Public Library’s Children’s Department.


On Wednesday, May 15, Connecticut Ballet came to Hartford Public Library to present a free preview of “Old, New, Borrowed and Blue, an incredibly beautiful show it performed later in the week at The Bushnell. Shown here are Connecticut Ballet dancers are Stephen Diaz and Claire Mazza, performing ‘In The Shadow of Women’ by Marden Ramos.


Each library in the HPL system tailors its programming to reflect the population it serves. The Downtown Library’s Children’s Department is very popular with Indian-Americans who live in the surrounding area. Each year, the department celebrates both Diwali in the fall and Holi in the spring. Yogitha Sarjay is shown making a decoration for Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights.