increase font size
Get Involved
Events Calendar
Get a Library Card
Place a Hold or Renew
eBooks & Downloadable Media
Donate Now
HPL E-News Signup
Visit the Library Blog
Programs & Exhibitions

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 / Exhibits / The Big Read / Baby Grand Jazz


The Big Read 2016: The Grapes of Wrath

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. Hartford Public Library is one of 75 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2015 and June 2016. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Click here to view all The Big Read programs


Creative Aging: Simply Crazy Quilting Class

Tuesdays 10 AM-12 PM, April 12-May 31
Dwight Branch

Join local teaching artist Irma Nelson for a free 8-week quilting workshop. Designed for both absolute beginners and quilters with some experience, this creative aging program for adults 55+ will provide instruction in the basic aspects of traditional quilting. Participants will complete a 27.5x27.5" square quilt to display at a reception after the last class. Materials will be provided.

Call 860.695.7460 to register.


SambaFest Sneak Peek Performance

Thursday, May 5, 12 PM

Hartford Public Library and Trinity College present a sneak peek performance of Brazilian music in advance of the 10th Anniversary of SambaFest in Hartford. Join us for a free concert, featuring solo guitarist Gilvan de Oliveira, and Banda Brother Camarada, a rhythmic fusion of soul, rock, reggae,  culture & poetry in a collage of Brazilian sounds.






The Inventor’s Dilemma: The Remarkable Life of H. Joseph Gerber-- Author Talk with David Gerber

Tuesday, May 10, 5:30 PM
Hartford History Center

Hartford Public Library and Connecticut Explored magazine present a lecture with David Gerber, discussing his father’s legacy as an inventor, engineer and industrialist. 

H. Joseph Gerber, founder of the Gerber Scientific Instrument Company, invented a graphical numerical computer called the Gerber Variable Scale, which has been called the most revolutionary engineering tool since the slide rule.

Gerber, who held nearly 650 patents, was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1994 and several of his inventions are on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

Books will be available for purchase.








Lunch at the Library with Hartford Opera Theater

Wednesday, May 11, 12 PM

Hartford Opera Theater and Hartford Public Library present selections from Robert Ward’s opera The Crucible.  This opera, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1962, is based on the Arthur Miller play by the same name. 

In the tradition of early theater, guests are invited enjoy lunch while watching the performance. Patrons may bring their own food or enjoy the delicious lunch specials offered by The Kitchen at Hartford Public Library. Please join us for this exciting musical event!



Making Ends Meet: A Community Discussion

Wednesday, May 11, 6 PM
3rd floor

While we hear in the news that the US economy is recovering, many of us see a different picture:  unemployment, inequality, and a shrinking safety net.  Many Americans still believe in the basic idea that anyone who works hard should be able to support a family and get ahead. Join us for this community conversation and explore options for achieving economic security in the United States.  

Seating is limited. Advance registration is required:; 860-695-6365.












El Lanzamiento Ganador (The Winning Pitch)

Saturday, May 14, 1 PM
Center for Contemporary Culture

Quieres ayuda para publicar tu libro? La puedes encontrar en el programa El Lanzamiento Ganador. Regístrese en para la oportunidad para lanzar la idea de tu libro a expertos en los campos literarios y empresarios y para ganar 1 hora gratis de consulta con Leticia Gomez, agente literario de Savvy Literary Services. Recibirás consejos concretos sobre cómo mejorar su idea, así como una mayor comprensión de como publicar en los Estados Unidos. 

REGISTRESE: Envíe su nombre, correo electrónico, y número de teléfono a


Do you want help getting your book published? You can find it at The Winning Pitch. Register at for the opportunity to pitch your book idea to experts in the literary and publishing fields and to win a 1 hour free consult with literary agent Leticia Gomez of Savvy Literary Services. You will receive tips on how to improve your pitch, work on the story idea, and how to improve your chances to get published.

SIGN UP: Send your name, email address, and telephone number to


Poetry Writing Workshop Series

Presented by Hill-Stead Museum and Hartford Public Library in the Hartford History Center

Admission is free and limited to the first 15 registrants.  

Visit to register

Sharing Our Heritage or Other Multicultural Experiences through Poetry
with Luisa Caycedo-Kimura
Saturday, May 14, 10:15 AM

With today’s continued growth in multiculturalism, we can play an important role to advance social change by writing about our ancestry or multicultural exposure in a way that promotes shared experience and equality. In this workshop, we will discuss how our heritage, travels, or other ethnically diverse experiences can enter and inform our poetry, be it through the incorporation of other languages or the settings and themes we choose to explore in our work. We will perform exercises that will help you share your heritage or multicultural experiences through your poetry.

Art on a Mission: Creating Poems for Social Change
with Dr. Joyce Ashuntantang
Saturday, June 4, 10:15 AM

Are you worried about climate change, domestic violence, 
environmental issues, racism, children’s rights, homelessness or even a problem in your life?  Let your poems speak for you!  In this workshop you will learn hands-on how to create beautiful poems that would not only help you to engage with your topic, but would also challenge readers to think critically about it and even encourage them to take action.














This Month at The Author's Table

Cruisin by Dianne Gill
Saturday, May 14, 2-5 PM

Random Thoughts by Francisca L. Smith
Saturday, May 21, 12-2 PM


Chapter and Verse:
Film Screening & Community Conversation

Saturday, June 11, 1 PM
Center for Contemporary Culture

Join film director Jamal Joseph for a screening and discussion of his new film. A reformed gang leader returns from a ten-year prison sentence and struggles to adapt to his changed community. Directed by Jamal Joseph, author of Panther Baby.


Salsa Socials

Tuesday, June 21, 6 PM
Downtown Library Atrium

Join us for an open session welcoming dancers of all levels, free of charge! No partner or experience needed. Dancing and teaching for over twenty years, Rey Bermudez will share his passion for salsa at these open dance sessions.


One Book One Hartford

If Beale Street Could Talk

One Book One Hartford brings our richly diverse city together around a good book. In If Beale Street Could Talk, literary giant James Baldwin presents a moving story of love in the face of injustice. 

Learn more

Baby Grand Jazz

Sundays, January 3-April 24, 3 PM
Downtown Library Artium

View this year's slate of artists here.


If you require special accommodations for participation, please call 860-695-6320 two weeks prior to the event.




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.


Sarah Paolucci

On view through May 13

Sarah Paolucci lives at Artspace in Hartford with her husband (also an artist) and her dog (not an artist, but a work of art himself). She received a BFA in Illustration from the Hartford Art School and has been working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer ever since. Sarah started drawing at an early age and was always intrigued by hands. Realizing that hands were a common theme in her work, she did the natural thing and decided to make them the focus of this series.


Jack McConnell: CT Farm Project

3rd floor

Jack McConnell has photographed more than 75 Connecticut farms, documenting them caring for their animals, maintaining  machine tools, and planting and harvesting crops.

Photo: Paul Trube of Beltane Farms in Lebanon carrying a baby goat on his shoulders.


Hartford Embraced: Paintings by Ken Kahn

Opening reception: Thursday, June 9, 6 PM
On display June 9-August 31
Hartford History Center

Ken Kahn, a Hartford resident, painter and cartoonist explores Hartford’s “lovely, welcoming places” but explains that Connecticut’s capital city is also “replete with just enough shadowy corners to make it intriguing and mysterious”.


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 Public Library's Digital Art Tour

On view here

Join us on a tour of Hartford Public Library’s collection of visual art. The collection includes 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works in both indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces. You’ll learn the history behind the works of art among which you live and work every day.


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.