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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:

October 2019 Adult Calendar

October 2019 Teen Calendar

October 2019 Youth Calendar


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



Basics of Knitting Series

Fridays, October 18; November 8 & 15

10:00-11:00 am

Dwight Library, 7 New Park Avenue 

Knitting never goes out of style! Learn the basics of this ancient but still very enjoyable craft in a 4-part series at Dwight Library designed just for beginners. Please register as materials are limited. Call 860-695-7460 or register in person.



Bridging Cultures Book Club: Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and AfroNicaraguan Activism by Jennifer Goett

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 from 12:30pm – 1:30pm in Room 141 pp. 1-84

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 from 12:30pm – 1:30pm in Room 141 pp. 85-185

Room 141, First Floor, Downtown Library

Join our Bridging Cultures Book Club as we discuss “Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and AfroNicaraguan Activism” by Jennifer Goett. Published by Stanford in 2017, the book focuses on the struggle for autonomy in the Afro-Nicaraguan community on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua from the 1990s into the first part of the 21st century. The author’s conversations with individuals in this area help readers understand better the dynamics of the community. All are welcome. Please consider a brown bag lunch. Light refreshments will be available. This book talk is being held in collaboration with Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project, Inc. Books will be available at the program. They may also be borrowed from local academic libraries and purchased from online booksellers. Contact



Hartford’s Hispanic Community Stars

Thursday, October 17, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Camp Field Library, 30 Campfield Avenue

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Camp Field Library will host a tribute to local Hispanic men and women who have made a difference in the community. The event will begin with a light supper at 5:30 pm, followed by story sharing and a panel discussion. Among those to be honored will be Leticia Cotto, Customer Experience Officer, Hartford Public Library; Alba Perez, Chaplin; Jairo C. Lemos, Financial Advisor; Joseph Jimenez, Hartford Youth Advisory Council; Janette Hernandez, Family Peer Support Specialist; and Mario Oquendo, Captain, Special Services Unit, Hartford Fire Department.



WORKSHOP: How to get a grant and what to do next

Friday, October 18, 9 am - 4:30 pm

Classroom 140, Downtown Library

Presenter: Judith Margolin, This full-day workshop (refreshments & lunch provided) teaches the basics of foundation and corporate funding, including what to do when your organization actually receives a grant. The workshop includes interactive group exercises to reinforce what is learned. Topics covered:

• “Prospecting” --finding the right funder for you

• Proposal writing tips and techniques

• Mobilizing your board to help raise funds with energy and enthusiasm

• Effective communication with board, prospects and funders, aimed at getting results

• What to do when you receive a grant

• Stewardship of grant funds

Registration is required: Please email your name and email address to



Regional School Choice Informational Luncheon

Saturday, October 19, 11 am - 1 pm

Park Library, 744 Park Street

The Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) lottery opens in November. Make sure you have all the information necessary to make the right choice for your child. An RSCO representative will be on hand to explain the process and the choices available. There will also be a fun activity for children.



Indigenous Peoples' Celebration

Saturday, October 19, 10 am - 4 pm

Atrium, Downtown Library

Join us for a day-long celebration of indigenous community in Connecticut and the North East. Featuring vendors, film screening, author talks, panel discussions, and a celebration with music, dancing and food to finish the day.

10:00am- Welcome and land recognition

10:00am- Film Screening: “As we tell our Stories”
Post-film discussion with Ed Sanabria, Trudie Lamb Richmond, Erin Lamb Richmond, Mikki Aganstata, moderated by Mark Allen

12:00pm- Author discussion with Mixashawn Rozie

12:45pm- Author discussion with Ron Welburn

1:30pm- Panel Discussion: “Being Native in Hartford”
Featuring panelists Kaleb Garret, Patricia Kelly, Mixashawn Rozie, June Ware, and moderated by Mark Allen

2:15pm- Panel Discussion: Indigenous Histories
Featuring panelists Ron Welburn, Ed Sanabria, Chris Newell, June Ware

3:00pm- Celebration Drumming and Food
Music from Youngblood and food from Sly Den Catering



Connecticut Book Awards

Sunday, October 20, Awards Ceremony: 3-4 pm; Reception: 4-5:30 pm

Downtown Library

Hartford Public Library and Connecticut Humanities will host the 2019 Connecticut Book Awards, which recognize this year’s best books by authors and illustrators from Connecticut or books about Connecticut. Categories include Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Books for Young Readers. In memory of longtime Connecticut Humanities director Bruce Fraser, starting this year the Connecticut Book Awards will include the Spirit of Connecticut Award, which will recognize a book that celebrates the state’s sense of place. Philip Caputo, award-winning journalist, co-winner of a Pulitzer Prize, and author of many works of fiction and nonfiction will be the keynote speaker at the event. After the awards ceremony, there will be a book signing with finalists, winners and Caputo. Books will be available for purchase on site. To register, go to:



Dan Froot & Company present PANG!
East Coast Premiere

Wednesday, October 23

5:00 pm: Reception; 5:30 pm: Performance

Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown Library

Pang! is an evening of three highly original theater pieces about real families facing challenges of contemporary working class life in America — from hunger and gun violence to foreclosure and anti-immigration bias — with love, humor, and intelligence. This “unplugged” presentation of Pang! is staged as a live radio show or podcast: intimate, authentic, and interactive. If you’re a fan of The Moth or Snap Judgement!, you’ll love Pang! This free performance is a partnership between Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, UConn Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, UConn School of Social Work, UConn Hartford, University of Saint Joseph.



Family Spooky Night ~ Noche Spooky Familiar!

Thursday, October 24, starting at 4:30 pm

Park Library, 744 Park Street

Join us for this exciting event, a Boceto Media initiative in partnership with Hartford Public Library. Put on your best Halloween costume and join us for an evening of tricks, treats, laughter and spooky fun. Live music from Ricardo "El Solista" Paredes.



From Civil Rights to Human Rights: African American, West Indian, and Puerto Rican Housing Struggles, 1940-2019

Tuesday, October 29

5:30pm - Opening Exhibit Reception

(Hartford History Center, 3rd Floor, Downtown Library)
6:30pm - Panel Discussion
(Center for Contemporary Culture, 1st Floor)

Join us for the opening of the exhibition followed by a panel discussion with folks on the front lines of current housing struggles in Hartford: Joshua Serrano, tenant activist; Pastor AJ Johnson, community organizer and senior pastor at Urban Hope Refuge Church; Annette Sanderson, Executive Director, Hartford Housing Authority; Fernando Betancourt, Executive Director, San Juan Center, Inc.

The exhibit draws on oral histories, newspapers, and archival images to explore eight decades of migration, settlement, mobility, and housing access in the Greater Hartford region. It uncovers the relationship between racial discrimination, residential segregation and public housing while also exploring the lives, loves and families of those who made Hartford home.

Hartford Public Library’s Hartford History Center, CT Humanities and the University of Connecticut present this exhibit and program curated by historian Dr. Fiona Vernal (University of Connecticut).



Albany Library Halloween Party

Tuesday, October 29, 5 - 7 pm

Albany Library, 1250 Albany Avenue

Celebrate Halloween with spooky storytelling, Halloween slime and more - plus a Trunk or Treat starting at 5 pm. Come in your Halloween costume, if you'd like.



2nd Annual Women's Empowerment Event

Wednesday, October 30, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown Library

Join us in celebrating Women's Journey to Self-Love at this special event, held in partnership with the Hispanic Health Council. In addition to discussion and networking, there will be a Zumba class, nail-care and make-up classes, a raffle, food, beverages and much more! Childcare will be provided in the library's children department on the 3rd floor, where the Hispanic Health Council's PANA program will present an educational puppet show.  



Haunted Happenings at Barbour Library

Thursday, October 31, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Barbour Library, 261 Barbour Street

Celebrate Halloween at Barbour Library! There will be Pumpkin Decorating and Mask Making, a rap concert by Blessings Divine, and a Halloween Party with popcorn available. There will also be information on the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census, Voter Registration and the support services available through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). Refreshments will be served! Free and open to the public.



24th Annual Wallace Stevens Birthday Bash

Saturday, November 2, 2:00 pm

Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown Library

The Wallace Stevens Birthday Bash is one of the most anticipated annual events of the year! Hosted by Hartford Public Library and the Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens, the event celebrates the life and work of Hartford’s Pulitzer Prize winning poet. The party will begin with a reception with hors d’oeuvres and wine, followed by a presentation from Langdon Hammer, professor of English at Yale University, author; and poetry editor of the American Scholar. Following his talk, Hammer will be available to sign copies of his book, James Merrill: Life and Art. The birthday bash will conclude with birthday cake and champagne. $10 suggested donation: $10; but no on turned away for lack of funds. Please RSVP to Jim Finnegan at




African American Literature Book Club

Monthly 1st Tuesdays
6-7:30 pm, Classroom 141, Downtown
  • Tuesday, November 5, 2019: Kindred by Octavia Butler; discussion facilitated by Pauline White.
  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019: Beloved by Toni Morrison; discussion facilitated by Susan Brown. We were saddened by the news of Toni Morrison's passing.
  • Tuesday, January 7, 2020: Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead; discussion facilitated by Suzanne Robinson.
  • Tuesday, February 4, 2020: Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson; discussion facilitated by Steve Riege.

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






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


Weekend Writing Consultations

Saturdays 12-4pm, 9/14 through 12/7 (closed on 10/26)
Room 23

All are welcome to speak with a UConn Hartford Writing Center Consultant one-on-one about whatever work you have. Creative, academic, or personal, we are here to help you with any questions and to provide feedback on your projects and drafts.

Contact the UConn Library desk at the Hartford Public Library (phone: (959) 200-3466) to reserve a time for yourself or drop in to see if someone can speak with you.

UConn Hartford Student Writing Consultants:

Sahar Amjad is a member of the UConn Hartford student government and a long-time Writing Center consultant here at our campus. She will be in the center on September 14th, September 21st, September 28th, and October 5th. 

Kyle Archibald works with creative writing and enjoys getting the chance to work with writers of all kinds. He will be available to speak with writers on October 12th, October 19th, and November 2nd. 

Tyesha Rodriguez brings a logical mindset from her science-focused coursework to the material writers bring to her. She looks forward to working with you on November 9th, November 16th, November 23rd, and December 7th. 



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.


You're Fired! I Quit!
Sarah Schneiderman

Exhibit runs October 18 - December 1, 2019
ArtWalk Gallery, 3rd Floor, Downtown Library

Opening Reception: Friday, October 18, 5:30 pm

Open Studio & Drop-In Workshops:
Sat, Nov. 16, 11am-5pm & Sun, Nov. 17, 1-5pm

Artist Statement:
Historically, people of great importance are the subject matter of formal painted portraits. Most of the official portraits of U.S. presidents are austere and formal, representing the traditional view of the office of the president. The current white house is in chaos. It is a revolving door.  My portraits of political figures, which I started in November of 2016, reflect this in both the subject matter and the materials used.

My portraits viewed from afar look like their subject matter. They are orderly and recognizable. Look more closely. Garbage – debris found on the streets and generated through daily living – is the medium used in these artworks. 

My artmaking practice utilizes recycled materials. Protecting the environment and reducing plastic pollution are my credos.


Uncovering the Ancient Burying Ground

On Display September - October 31, 2019 
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor, Downtown Library

In the heart of modern downtown Hartford, the Ancient Burying Ground provides a tangible link to the city’s past. The photographs in this exhibition reveal how the area surrounding the Ancient Burying Ground changed over time, as businesses came and went and urban renewal transformed the center city. The letters and other documents in the exhibition reflect the concerns of Hartford’s citizens and suggest the ongoing importance of this historic site to their lives.

This exhibition was made possible with support from Connecticut Humanities. It was created in partnership with the Ancient Burying Ground Foundation.


New Banner at Downtown Library

A new 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.



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."