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The Library offers free public classes, programs, and exhibitions at its 7 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.




Mama Stitches Book Presentation & Scavenger Hunt

Thursday, February 21, 4:30 pm

Albany Library, 1250 Albany Avenue, Hartford

Join us as local author Akintunde Sogunro of New Britain presents his children's book, Mama Stitches to Cover with Love, and then enjoy a scavenger hunt based on the book afterwards. Designed for children ages 6-12; all are welcome! If you require special accommodations to participate, please call 860-695-7380 two weeks prior to the event.




Breaking Barriers: Celebrating 35 Years of the  Aetna African American History Calendar

Thursday, February 21, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Albany Library, 1250 Albany Avenue, Hartford

Join us for a conversation on African American leaders featured in Breaking Barriers, Aetna’s 2017 publication celebrating 35 years of African American leadership in our country. Breaking Barriers features local community change makers Charmaine Craig, a.k.a. Hartford’s Tree Lady, and Patricia Kelly, founder and CEO of the Ebony Horsewomen. Both Hartford women will be joining the Albany Branch Library in conversation about the challenges they faced in making change. The discussion will be moderated by Floyd W. Green, Vice President and head of Community Activation and Local Marketing, Aetna. Select images from Breaking Barriers, Celebrating 35 Years of The Aetna African American History Calendar will be on display through the month of February. Free and open to the public. If you require special accommodations to participate, please call 860-695-6367 two weeks prior to the event.




Dinner and a Story

Monday, February 25, 6:00 – 7:00 PM

Downtown Library, CCC Room, 1st Floor,

500 Main Street, Hartford

Please have your family join us at Hartford Public Library in Downtown for a multicultural dinner and a story.  We will have as our guest the story teller Juanita Crispin. Juanita enjoys using Spanish words and songs from her childhood in Puerto Rico while telling her stories. Come join the fun activities, songs, story and a delicious dinner. Sign up required at the front desk, Children’s Department (3rd Floor). If you require special accommodations to participate, please call 860-695-6320 two weeks prior to the event.




Caribbean Carnival, presented by the Carnival Trio

Tuesday, February 26, 4:00 PM: Albany Library, 1250 Albany Avenue, Hartford

Wednesday, February 27, 4:00 PM: Ropkins Library, 1750 Main Street, Hartford

Thursday, February 28, 4:00 PM: Dwight Library, 7 New Park Avenue, Hartford.

Carnival Trio presents Caribbean Carnival. Join the Carnival Trio in this highly interactive program. Swing and sway to the music of the islands. Learn about the culture of the Caribbean, the origins of steel drum music, and how the steel drums are constructed from recycled materials.



Hands on Hartford Speakers' Bureau presents:


Tuesday, February 26, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Downtown Library, CCC Room, 1st Floor,

500 Main Street, Hartford

Hands on Hartford will present "Faces of Homelessness" in partnership with Hartford Public Library, Hammond Realty and Pepsi. Through first-hand stories, learn about what it means to be homeless in Hartford, what the shelters are like, what services are most effective and how you can get involved in helping those in need. For more information, please contact Anne Goshdigian at 860-706-1510 or agoshdigian@handsonhartford.ord. If you require special accommodations to participate, please call 860-695-6320 two weeks prior to the event.





Baby Grand Jazz 2019

The 16th Annual Baby Grand Jazz Series, sponsored by the Kaman Foundation, opens January 6 and runs through April 28. The free, hour-long concerts are held at the Downtown Library at 500 Main St from 3-4 pm. They are presented in partnership with the Hartford Jazz Society and WWUH 91.3 FM. 

The first and last performances (January 6 and April 28) will take place in the Atrium. All other performances will take place in the Center for Contemporary Culture on the main floor. The CCC has a seating capacity of 240. When the auditorium is full the doors will close. The CCC will open at 2 pm.  Overflow crowds can watch the livestream of the concerts in Classrooms 140-141, down the hall from the CCC.

Click here to view the full schedule. View the concert live on Sundays from 3-4 pm on the Library's Facebook page.



FOIA Information Session

Thursday, February 28, 5:30 pm

Albany Library, 1250 Albany Avenue, Hartford

What is FOIA and why is it so important? FOIA stands for the Freedom of Information Act. It is a law that gives you the right to access information from the Federal Government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Join us on February 28 to learn more about FOIA, what your rights are and how to use it to request government documents. If you require special accommodations to participate, please call 860-695-7380 two weeks prior to the event.


Book Talk with Jay Gitlin:

Country Acres and Cul-De-Sacs 

Saturday, March 9, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Hartford History Center, 3rd Flr., Downtown Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT

Yale History Professor Jay Gitlin, editor of Country Acres and Cul-De-Sacs: Connecticut Circle Reimagines The Nutmeg State, 1938-1952, will discuss the new book in a special talk on Saturday, March 9, at Hartford Public Library’s Hartford History Center, 500 Main Street, Hartford, from 2-4 pm. The talk is being held in partnership with the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Country Acres and Cul-De-Sacs was published by the Nutmeg Club, an organization devoted to promoting Connecticut history. Several club members contributed essays to the book. Country Acres and Cul-De-Sacs is largely composed of reprinted articles from Connecticut Circle, a magazine which was published from 1938-1970 (and later developed into Connecticut Magazine). However, Gitlin said he decided to concentrate on the magazine’s first 14 years, “not only because it featured many significant events, but also because, in this editor’s opinion, the magazine was at its best in its first decade and a half.”

Gitlin, an authority on the suburbanization of America, is also fascinated by Connecticut Circle’s efforts to promote Connecticut as the perfect escape for world-weary city folk, especially those from New York City. This rebranding of the state as a bucolic wonderland steeped in its colonial past was often at odds with the reality of a Connecticut which had become a highly commercialized and increasingly diverse industrial powerhouse by the time Connecticut Circle began in 1938. Gitlin’s talk on March 9 is free and open to the public. Copies of Country Acres and Cul-De-Sacs will be available for sale.



Special Women's History Film Screening


Wednesday, March 13, 6:00 - 7:30 pm

Center for Contemporary Culture, 1st Flr., Downtown Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT

Celebrate Women's History Month with the film screening of Persepolis. Based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, the film Persepolis is a story of a young girl coming-of-age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution of the 1970s. Free and open to the public. Rated PG-13.
Persepolis is frequently somber, but it is also whimsical and daring, a perfect expression of the imagination’s resistance to the literal-minded and the power-mad, who insist that the world can be seen only in black and white.” (New York Times)

Persepolis is an emotionally powerful, dramatically enthralling autobiographical gem, and the film's simple black-and-white images are effective and bold. (Critics Consensus, Rotten Tomatoes)

If you require special accommodations to participate, please call 860.695.6320 two weeks prior to the event. 



Jazz 101 Workshop Series

Monday, March 18: Introduction And Back Story 
Monday, March 25: New Orleans 
Monday, April 1: The Jazz Age 
Monday, April 8: The Swing Era 
Monday, April 15: Bebop 
Monday, April 22: Cool Jazz/Hard Bop/Modal Jazz/Free Jazz 
Monday, April 29: Fusions: Latin Jazz/Third Stream/Jazz-rock  
Monday, May 6: Jazz Today: How The Music Reached The 21st Century 

Downtown Library, Classroom 140, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT

The Hartford Jazz Society and Hartford Public Library are partnering to present Jazz 101, an 8-week course designed as a beginner-level introduction to the sounds of Jazz music, and the history and culture surrounding it. 
The course is taught as a lecture, for a two-hour period once a week, starting with the very dawn of Jazz history, 
and discussing the music’s development right up to now. 
No test, no papers, no homework, no pressure, no judgments and no question is too basic!
The course is perfect for curious folks who have “always wanted to get into Jazz”, feel “excluded by the insider nature of the Jazz clique,” grew up in musical households but never fitted all the dots together, and skeptics who want to like jazz but haven’t yet heard the music that would convince them, even advanced listeners who want to hear the story unfold again. 

Because we follow the through-lines and themes of the whole music’s development, it is recommended that students engage for the whole of Jazz 101, but each week focuses on a specific chapter of the music’s history. 


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


Health & Wellness Workshop

Wednesday, March 20, 6:00-7:30 pm

Barbour Library, 261 Barbour Street, Hartford, CT

Be proactive about your health. Come learn about free health screenings and services you can receive: mammogram, pap test, cholesterol & glucose measures, blood pressure, and behavior support options. Healthy freebies and food provided. Co-sponsored by Trinity Health of New England, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.



Hartford City Hall 101: City Structure, Processes, and the Budget

Saturdays: March 23, April 20 & May 25, 2-4 pm

A pragmatic approach to instill a base knowledge to participants of the structure and processes of Hartford City Hall. Particular focus on City Council structure, committees, and the creation of ordinances and resolutions. We will also review the City's annual budget as submitted by the Mayor to the public. Speaker: Luis Edgardo Cotto, former Hartford City Councilor and Minority Leader.


March - We will recap our February workshops tying up any loose ends or questions from the prior workshop. We will go on the City web site and learn how to navigate within it. We will introduce the concept of the budget. (What it is and How it's crafted) This will serve as either a recap or "heads up" to participants of the City's Annual Peoples Budget event held in March. (no date has been announced as of yet)

April and May - The Mayor of the City of Hartford releases his/her proposed budget to the City Council in April. The April meeting will focus on that budget. Explaining how the budget goes from proposed to adopted. Throughout the April/May workshops we will go attempt to go through the entire budget and explain each Department's expenditures. We will also look back to past budgets to see how budgets change. The City of Hartford has available online budgets going back to FY09-10.


Hartford City Hall 101

Sabados: Feb. 16, Marzo 23, Abril 20 & Mayor 25, 2-4 pm

Un enfoque pragmático para inculcar un conocimiento básico a los participantes de la estructura y los procesos del Hartford City Hall. Enfoque particular en la estructura del consejal, los comités y la creación de ordenanzas y resoluciones. También revisaremos el presupuesto anual de la Ciudad según lo presentado por el Alcalde al público. Ponente: Luis Edgardo Cotto, ex concejal de la ciudad de Hartford y líder de minorías.


Marzo: Repasaremos los talleres de febrero atando los cabos sueltos o las preguntas del taller anterior. Iremos al sitio web de la Ciudad y aprenderemos a navegar dentro de él. Presentaremos el concepto del presupuesto. (Qué es y cómo se elabora) Esto servirá como un resumen o como un "aviso" a los participantes del evento del Presupuesto Anual de los Pueblos de la Ciudad celebrado en marzo. (Aún no se ha anunciado fecha)

Abril y mayo: el alcalde/desa de la ciudad de Hartford presenta su presupuesto propuesto al Concejo Municipal en abril. La reunión de abril se centrará en ese presupuesto. Explicando cómo el presupuesto va de lo propuesto a lo adoptado. A lo largo de los talleres de abril / mayo, intentaremos revisar todo el presupuesto y explicar los gastos de cada Departamento. También revisaremos los presupuestos anteriores para ver cómo cambian los presupuestos. La ciudad de Hartford tiene presupuestos disponibles en línea yendo atraz al año fiscal 2009-10.


Salsa Dancing Class
Pasos & Connections Salsa Dancing to Relational Wellness with Rey & Glendaly Bermudez of the New Narrative, LLC

Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
First Thursdays: February 7, March 7, April 4
Downtown Library, Atrium, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT

More than just a dance class, Pasos & Connections uses Latin partner dances like Salsa, Merengue, and Cha Cha as a means of developing healthy relational connections. All are welcome... come by yourself, as a couple, as a family...all ages welcome. No experience necessary, no registration required. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.


African American Literature Book Club

Monthly 1st Tuesdays
6-7:30 pm, Classroom 141, Downtown

March 5. The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
April 2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

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.

Please RSVP to Carolyn Korber at

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UConn Writing Center

Room 23, Ground Floor
Noon to 4 pm
Saturdays February 23, March 2, 9, 16, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4

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. 

You can sign up for a session at the UConn Hartford Library desk on the main floor of Downtown HPL. Walk-ins are also accepted.

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 to give a speech that is organized, has vocal variety and is inspirational.  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

Poets on Poetry Series

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






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.


Urban Legends of Modern Archaeology
Rashmi Talpade

January 11 – February 24, 2019

Opening Reception:
Friday, January 11, 5:30 p.m.

Artist Talk:
Saturday, February 9, 2-3 p.m.

“Urban Legends of Modern Archaeology” follows the urban legends of industrial relics and abandoned factories as they merge with nature’s relentless march across manmade waste and environmental abuse. It reflects our world in normal day-to-day photographs of seemingly ordinary objects, where our not so recent past collides and merges with our constantly changing environment today.  Modern Archaeology is a narrative of our previous and current successes that, while coexisting together, differ in many different ways.  One time icons of success, large manufacturing facilities, which have fallen into disrepair are just a few miles away from modern office buildings in suburban business parks.  While the environmentally friendly highly automated office complexes seek to preserve our planet, the factories of the past ignored the environment but provided jobs and livelihoods to ordinary people.  These different ideas indicate changing times, shifting dynamics and complex issues which we as a country have to deal with in the future.

Special thanks to Bank of America and the Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation for their support of the 2018-2019 ArtWalk season.


Hartford Icons

Love Hartford? The Hartford History Center has original prints of some of Hartford’s best-loved monuments on view for Valentine’s Day.

Hartford has a handful of buildings, monuments, and views that have proved consistently popular with graphic artists through the years.  Some of these iconic views have historic or symbolic meaning: the Old State House is the historic focus of Connecticut’s government where many significant events occurred. Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch is a Civil War memorial.  The Colt dome speaks to Hartford’s importance as a center of innovation and manufacturing in the nineteenth century.

Most of these icons from the past still survive and continue to speak to us today.  Visit the Hartford History Center Tuesday through Friday between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. from now through February 28 to see how they were depicted by artists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries..



Black Heritage Stamp Collection 

The Black Heritage Stamp Series is the longest running United States commemorative stamp series. This series began in 1978 honoring the achievements, contributions, and influences of African Americans who helped shaped American culture. This exhibition has been curated by collector Alicia Labrador of Bridgeport, CT. Visit the Hartford History Center Tuesday through Friday between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. from now through February 28 to view all 42 stamps.



In Honor of African American Veterans:
The Costen Cultural Collection 

3rd Floor Glass Cases
On display through February 28, 2019

Collector Bill Costen’s new exhibit includes hundreds of photos, articles and other memorabilia drawn from the Costen Cultural Collection. Step back in time and saddle up with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers of the Old West, fly over the skies of World War II Europe with the famous Tuskegee Airmen and ride the rails with the iconic Pullman Porters. “In Honor of African-American Veterans” will be on display through December 14.



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."