increase font size

Self Publishing
Events Calendar
Get a Library Card
Place a Hold or Renew
Reserve a Room
Donate Now
HPL E-News Signup
eBooks & Downloadable Media
Passport Services

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.

Press Conference & Demonstration
on the new Connecticut Ballot Marking System

Wednesday, July 19, 11:30 am

During National Diability Voter Registration Week (July 17–21), let’s work together to eliminate barriers to voting for people with disabilities, promote accessible voting technology and polling places, educate voters about issues and candidates, promote turnout of voters with disabilities, and engage candidates and elected officials to recognize the disability community.

Hopes and Expectations:
The Origins of the Black Middle Class in Hartford

(Downtown, 3rd Floor)
Saturday, July 22, 2 pm

Join author and Hartford researcher Barbara J. Beeching in exploring the origins of the Black middle class in Hartford. A short presentation will be followed by a discussion on the topic based on her recently published book, Hopes and Expectations. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale.

Based on a treasure trove of more than two hundred personal letters written in the 1860s, Hopes and Expectations tells the story of three young African Americans in the North. Through extensive archival research, Beeching shows how the Primus family intersects with changes over time in Hartford's black community and the country. It is a story of individuals, family, and community, of expectation and disappointment, loss and endurance, change and continuity.


Connecticut Civilian Conservation Corps:
History, Memories & Legacy 

(Downtown, 3rd Floor)
Tuesday, July 25, 5:30 pm

Join author and researcher Martin Podskoch for a discussion of his book, Connecticut Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: Their History, Memories and Legacy. The book records the CCC experience for the men who passed through its cleansing days of hard work, Army discipline, and camaraderie to help support their families during the Great Depression.

The CCC was a public works program that operated from 1933 to 1942, as part of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. It targeted young men and veterans in relief families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression, providing unskilled manual labor related to environmental conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands. Podskoch’s book describes the history and projects of the 21 camps located throughout the state of Connecticut, including voices from the participation of Hartford residents.

World of Sounds: Survivors Swing Band 

Tuesday, July 25, Noon-1 pm

The Survivors Swing Band plays the classic melodies from an era gone by--hot tunes and soothing ballads of the Swing Era--plus many of the wonderful melodies from the two decades that followed.  The "Big Bands" played this music with a high degree of rigid orchestration. The Survivors render it with a greater tilt towards improvisation, thus giving each pass at a tune somewhat of a new flavor while still keeping true to the original melodies.  


Wednesday, July 26, 3-6:30 pm

Exchange your processed, prepackaged foods for fresh foods! In celebration of Summer Learning's theme of Build a Better World, take the opportunity to choose healthy. All processed, prepackaged foods will be donated to an addic tion clinic as a proven aid for treatment retention. 

Art Appreciation 101

DOWNTOWN LIBRARY, with field trips
Saturdays, June 24-July 29, 2-4 pm

Lifelong learning classes in the arts for older adults.

Let’s talk about art! In this introductory course, practice your close looking skills and visual vocabulary while exploring the role of art in our world today. Identify the elements of art and the principles of design, discuss the role of collectors and museums, write a poem or story inspired by a work of art, and more! Each session will include a hands-on art-making lesson, with all supplies provided.

The class will include walking field trips to some of Hartford’s artistic treasures; some walking is required.

Class is full and in-session.

Support made possible by Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

Funky Dawgz Brass Band Camp Concert

Friday, July 28, Noon-1 pm

Music students in the Funky Dawgz Brass Band Camp at Charter Oak Cultural Center present an hour-long concert on the final day of camp.  The band started at the University of Connecticut and is led by Marvin McNeill. Members teach students the basics of saxophone, trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, tuba and percussion.  


Hartford Public Library is pleased to offer the opportunity for local writers to showcase their latest publication and connect with library visitors. HPL will publicize your appearance and will make available your book in the circulating collection. Hartford authors will be given first consideration. Please contact 860.695.6320 for more information, or click here to submit.


RC Goodwin, The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club: Six Stories and a Novella

Friday, July 7, 2-5 pm

How do people wind up in prison? Once there, can they change? What's the aftermath of a violent assault on victims and their families? What kind of a toll do jails and prisons take on those who work there?

These are a few of the questions confronted by the characters in R.C. Goodwin's collection of stories, The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club. The questions don't make for easy answers, and the characters don't fall into clear-cut categories.

Taken together, the stories illuminate some of society's darkest corners. Goodwin's experience practicing psychiatry in correctional settings for over twenty years adds depth and authenticity to them. His stories offer unexpected turns and endings, as well as surprising doses of gallows humor.

Poets on Poetry Series

The Connecticut Poetry Society holds its monthly poetry book group discussions on the fourth Saturday of the month in the Hartford History Center on the third floor of the downtown library from 10:15 am-12:15 pm.  Poets on Poetry is free and open to the public.

The series takes a break in July and August and resumes in September.

Upcoming dates for 2017-18:
September 30, 2017
October 28, 2017
November 25, 2017
January 27, 2018
February 24, 2018
March 31, 2018
April 28, 2018
May 26, 2018
June 30, 2018



For further information, visit


To nominate a poet for discussion or volunteer to moderate, contact:

Christine Beck



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.

Citizenship Test Prep

Tuesday and Thursday, 6-7:30 pm,

Each class will focus on many of the 100 citizenship test civics questions. We encourage the community to join us for these lively interactive activities and discussions. The classes are open for U.S. citizens who want to improve their own knowledge of U.S. Civics or enhance their skills to tutor new arrivals on their paths to citizenship.

Information: 860-695-6316 and

Read to Succeed (R2S) Hartford

Tuesday, Wednesday, 2-7:45 pm, Thursday, 2-5  pm

The classes are a combination of one-on-one instruction with a teacher and computer-based reinforcement activities for adults new to reading.

Information: 860-695-6316 and


Time To Try Tied Weaves

Hartford Artisans Weaving Center Exhibition
July 10 - September 30, 2017

Glass Cases, Hartford History Center
Downtown, 3rd Floor 

Every year the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center challenges its members to learn a new structure or technique.  Tied weaves produce intricate patterns and textured looks.  The artisans often used two or more shuttles carrying different wefts. All the weft threads are “tied” to the warp at regular intervals to produce a stable and durable fabric.
The Center encourages people with low or no vision and those 55 and older to develop their skills and interest in weaving original and beautiful handwoven items.
Fran Curran, director of the Center, says this is a group that is often overlooked. Weavers learn the craft of handweaving on small looms, find comraderie with other artians and produce scarves, throws, and wall hangings for sale.

Support comes from the Fisher Foundation of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.





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.

Hartford Times: The Newspaper & The City

July 15-September 30, 2017

For 160 years, Hartford had two daily newspapers.  The Hartford Courant, a morning paper, was founded in 1764, and the Hartford Times, an evening paper founded in 1817.  Many people read both papers for their often contrasting news coverage.  Like the Courant, the Times was much more than just a newspaper; it was a vital presence in downtown Hartford.  Its building was used as a podium by politicians and a stage for community events.  The Times ceased publication in 1976 and today its story lives on in the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library.  The current exhibition draws on photographs and artifacts from the Hartford Times Collection. It celebrates the re-opening of the Hartford Times Building as the centerpiece of the University of Connecticut’s new downtown campus and welcomes UConn faculty, staff, and students to their newly renovated space in the Hartford Public Library.


Call Me Ishmael

3rd floor

Visit the old-fashioned pay phone on the Library's third floor to listen to book reviews by community members. Just pick up the receiver and dial a number!

Read more about the Call Me Ishmael phone here 

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.