News & Events - Programs for Older Adults

Escape the Ordinary!  Adult Summer Reading Program

June 1 – August 14
The Russell Library will kick off the Adult Summer Reading Program June 1.  Join us for our Superhero kickoff event at the Circulation desk and take a selfie with Captain America! Writing a brief review of the book you’ve read earns an entry into our weekly drawings for a Downtown Middletown Gift card.  The first drawing will be held June 15. Pick up a Reading BINGO card and explore new genres and interests. Sponsored by the Friends of Russell Library--our favorite Superheroes!

We Were There: Writing Your Military Experiences

Thursdays, 7pm:
July 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30
Meeting Room 2

Author Elisabeth Petry will continue to lead The Veterans' Writing Group on Thursdays at 7pm: July 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 in Meeting Room 2. This series, in its third year, invites Veterans to share their stories and photos in their own voices. All Veterans, either active or retired, are encouraged to come and share their experiences for their own benefit or to share with family and friends. Currently, we have servicemen from combat and non-combat situations in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraqi Freedom. We hope to hear from other Iraq War Vets, and those who have served in Afghanistan. 
We encourage new members to visit us this summer to see what we are all about.
Old Saybrook native Elisabeth Petry is a writer and former journalist and lawyer. Her first book, a collection of letters that she edited, was Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family's Letters. Her second is At Home Inside: A Daughter’s Tribute to Ann Petry. She lives in Middletown with her husband, Lawrence Riley, who is a dog trainer and Commander of the American Legion Milardo-Wilcox Post 75, Middletown, Connecticut.   The workshop facilitator and contact person from the Russell Library is Christy Billings. She can be reached at 860-347-2528 or This program is being sponsored with funds from The Friends of the Russell Library.

Russell Readers

Tuesday, July 14
Meeting Room 3

This month we will discuss “On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life” by Friedrich Nietzsche.  This year we are using the anthology Great Conversations 6.  It brings together selections representing a wide range of genres written over the ages and is intended to generate discussion about discovering the ideas and authors that have shaped our culture and ourselves.  The selections have general themes for discussion:  ways of living, living in community, forms of belief, the power of knowledge, forms of love, and the perspective of history.  Questions for discussion and for further reflection accompany each selection. Discussions are based on the Great Books Foundation method in which readers talk in open gatherings, under a leader, about the great issues that have shaped civilization as reflected in the readings.  The group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 7-8:20pm in Meeting Room 3 at Russell Library.   For more information, call (860) 573-2946 or email   The anthology can be checked out at the front desk in the lobby.  The discussions are sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

The Russell Writers Online Forum

Participate any day, any time, from the comfort of your own computer. Register and log in for this online writing group where you can post your work for critique, provide feedback for your fellow Russell Writers, exchange ideas and tips, and participate in the monthly writing prompts. Go to: Beginning and experienced writers welcomed! For more information, contact Michele Rousseau at

If you are looking for things to do with your children and grandchildren:

  • Check out a Museum Pass (including KidCity)
  • Visit our Children's Department
  • Borrow children's books, DVD's and audiobooks
  • Play on the AWE Early Literacy Stations
  • Use computers with Internet Filters for age appropriate computer content

Lunch and Learn Series

These noontime programs are presented by experts in a variety of fields. Topics include health issues, travel tips, fashion advice, organization techniques, resources for caregivers and more. Bring your lunch; we provide beverages and dessert.

Computers and Technology

Hands-on computer classes are offered each month. Topics include introduction to computers, internet, and basic to intermediate Word and Excel. In addition, thirty computers are available for public use. For patrons who are sight impaired the library has an adaptive computer that magnifies the image and can read aloud information on the screen.

For the Visually Impaired

Russell Library offers a varied selection of large print books. You will also find a diverse collection of books on tape and CDs. A catalog of large print titles is available upon request. An Optolec reading machine, which enlarges print, is located in the Information Department.

If you need accommodations for a disability, please call 347-2528, ext. 135, in advance.

In the Community

Book Discussion Groups

Titles are chosen by the participants, and lively discussion groups are facilitated by the Older Adult Specialist from the library. Whether the book is a current best seller or a familiar classic, the interaction is always interesting and enjoyable.

Homebound Library Cards

This service is for patrons residing in Middletown apartments or health care facilities who are unable to travel to the library. A library volunteer will deliver library materials to you. This includes books, magazines, DVDs, and books on tape.

Life Long Learning

Russell Library offers discussion-based educational programs to patrons residing in facilities in our community. The Older Adult Specialist leads spirited discussions on art, travel, history, the
topics are endless. Patrons are encouraged to express ideas, opinions and memories. Special requests are encouraged

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