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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.

Encounters: One Year After Hurricane Maria

Saturday, September 22, 10am-12pm with lunch to follow

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. The surrounding destruction and displacement, along with Puerto Rico’s status as an unincorporated territory, has led some scholars, such as Yomaira Figueroa, to call the event a “natural colonial disaster.” Join us a year after Hurricane Maria for small group discussions on the historical and contemporary issues still plaguing Puerto Rico and federal responses to the crisis.

Please review the following readings prior to the discussion:
1. Working With Dark Light by Samuel Granados & Kevin Schaul (February 28, 2018)
2. STORM SURGE: Report on the Findings…on Impact of Post-Maria Displacement… Carlos Vargas Ramos, Hunter College & Charles R. Venator-Santiago, UConn (July 11, 2018)

Lunch will be provided after the 10am-12pm discussion. Space is limited. Please RSVP to

Encounters is a partnership program between UCONN Humanities Institute, the Wadworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Amistad Center for Art and Culture, and the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library.


The Author’s Table: Shawn Flynn

Saturday, September 22, 11 am – 2 pm

Downtown Library, 500 Main Street

Join award-winning Connecticut author, Shawn Flynn, at The Author’s Table at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT on Saturday, September 22nd from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM to learn more about his heartwarming pet rescue story, “THE KITTY Who Rescued Me After I Rescued Him.” Flynn’s book won a 2017 Readers’ Favorite Book Award, was an award-winning finalist in both the 2017 Best Book Awards and the 2017 International Book Awards competitions, and was recently nominated for a 2018 Top Shelf Indie Book Award. Bionic Basil and The 'B' Team, one of the UK's Top 10 Pet Blogs, described it as, "A total gem!"

African American Literature Book Club

Monthly 1st Tuesdays
6-7:30 pm, Ground Floor, Downtown
September 4th - Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

October 2nd - Another Country by James Baldwin
November 6th - Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

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





Encounters: Surrealism and War

Saturday, October 20, 10am-12pm with lunch to follow
Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main St., Hartford

In the midst of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and World War II (1939-45), European and American artists found themselves confronting the atrocities brought on by war. What was once thought mere fantasy became a devastating reality for those who would become part of the Surrealist Movement. Join us for small group discussions on the historic relationship between surrealism and war and how this understanding can impact how we think of art and war today.

Readings TBA. Lunch will be provided after the 10am-12pm discussion. Space is limited. Please RSVP to

Encounters is a partnership program between UCONN Humanities Institute, the Wadworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Amistad Center for Art and Culture, and the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library.



Tuesdays 5-8PM, Thursdays 11AM-2PM
Downtown, Main Floor

Weekly games! Activities include board games, puzzles, arts and crafts, jumbo games, marble mazes, cards, and more!

ServSafe Food Handler Program

Every Monday and Wednesday in September 2018
Beginning September 10th; 5:30- 7:30 pm
Barbour Branch
Learn how to handle food safely, do an internship in a food service institution, and earn a certificate.
Must Register in advance. Please call (860) 695-6292.

UConn Writing Center

Room 23, Ground Floor
Noon to 4 pm
Every Saturday, Starting in September 2018

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. 

Please note the Center is on hiatus Summer 2018 until September.

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
o nominate a poet for discussion or volunteer to moderate, contact:
Christine Beck


Upcoming dates for 2018:

June 30, 2018: Billy Collins. Poet Maria Sassi will moderate.



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.


In the Public Realm:
Hartford Public Library, 125 Years

On display through September 29, 2018

"Much of all that we see to be possible we may not be able to realize.  It needs a good deal of money to run a free public library at all.  It needs, we fear, more than we shall have, to conduct it as it ought to be conducted.  We are, however, content that a beginning is to be made, confidently expecting that means will be found to carry this beginning further, until the results obtained are approximately commensurate with the great possibilities it is so easy to perceive."

Edward D. Robbins, Hartford Public Library Board President

The 52nd Annual Report of the Executive Committee of the Hartford Library Association, June 1, 1890

125 years ago, on May 9, 1893, with a majority vote by the Connecticut General Assembly, the Hartford Library Association became Hartford Public Library. Nurtured by a progressive library board and staff, and sustained by the city it serves, the Library evolved into a dynamic, responsive public institution. This is its story, as chronicled in its annual reports. 


Hartford Artisan Weaving Center:

On display July 16 - September 29, 2018
Meet the Weavers: Mon, August 13, 10:30am

This year, the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center presents BLOCK BY DESIGN. A block is a basic unit of design in weaving. The weaver is able to create beautiful patterns by using blocks of various sizes and textures. The block design is determined as the warp goes on the loom. Each different block requires a special threading. As the cloth is woven the weaver can select arrangements, combinations, and sizes of the blocks. More interest is added by the choices of color and texture of the yarns. Block weaves offer the artisans countless possibilities for dynamic designs.


Historical Hartford Views

on display through May 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. 

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."