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News & Events

Adult Coloring for Stress Reduction

Friday October 22, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Meeting Room 2

Come and enjoy coloring beautiful patterns and pictures without the stress of the woes of the outside world.
The library will provide coloring pencils and pages, or you may bring your own.
Drop-in, no registration  

Middletown International Film Festival

Various locations in Middletown beginning and ending at the Hubbard Room, Russell Library

The Saver

October 3: Russell Library, Hubbard Room, 123 Broad Street
(First People Canada, 2015, directed by Wiebke von Carolsfeld)
The story of a teenaged girl who finds herself orphaned is determined to avoid her mother's tragic fate and sets out to build a new life for herself.  At one of her mother's cleaning jobs, she finds the book 50 Ways to become a Millionaire, deciding to do just that she replaces her grief with that quest.

Remote Control

October 10: Wesleyan University, Center for Film Studies, 301 Washington Terrace
(Mongolia, 2013, directed by Byamba Sakhya)

A runaway living on a rooftop in Ulaanbaatar survives by selling milk and retreating into his vivid imaginary world. When he notices a lonely woman living in the building next door, he imagines he has found a kindred spirit and embarks on a mission to intertwine their fates.

The Salesman

October 17: Wesleyan University, Center for Film Studies, 301 Washington Terrace
(Iran, 2016, directed by Asghar Farhadi)

While both participating in a production of "Death of a Salesman," a teacher's wife is assaulted in her new home, which leaves him determined to find the perpetrator over his wife's traumatized objections.

Rams

October 24: Middlesex Community College, Chapman Hall, Training Hill Road
(Iceland, 2015, directed by Grimur Hakonarson)

In a remote Icelandic farming valley, two brothers who haven't spoken in 40 years have to come together in order to save what's dearest to them - their sheep.

Difret

October 31: Middlesex Community College, Chapman Hall, Training Hill Road
(Ethiopia, 2014, directed by Zeresenay Mehari)

A young lawyer travels to an Ethiopian village to represent Hirut, a 14-year-old girl who shot her would-be husband as he and others were practicing one of the nation's oldest traditions: abduction into marriage.

The Kind Words

November 7: Russell Library, Hubbard Room, 123 Broad Street
(Israel, 2015, directed by Shemi Zarhin)

This quirky and wry comedy follows three Jewish Israeli siblings who, in the wake of their mother's death, learn the man who raised them is not their biological father. The revelation sends them on a road trip from Israel across France to discover the truth about their real father.

 

World War I Discussion Series

Wednesdays, October 11, 18, and 25, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Conference Room, Senior and Community Center, 61 Durant Terrace, Middletown, CT

Join a discussion series to explore the American experience of war and its role in shaping the contemporary world.   Selected readings from World War One and

America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It, a compilation of first person accounts written by Americans who experienced it firsthand, will be discussed.  Participants are encouraged to read the selected readings prior to the event. Free copies of the readings are available at the Russell Library or online at the links listed below.  The discussion series will be facilitated by Army veteran, historian, and librarian, Arthur Meyers.  For additional information, please call the Russell Library at 860-347-2520.

Topics/Readings from World War I and America:

 

World War I and America: A Centennial Discussion Series/ Evening Program

Wednesdays, October 4, 11, 18, and 25, 7:00 p.m.
Meeting Room 2, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown, CT

The Russell Library invites veterans and their families, together with the public, to explore the American experience of war and its role in shaping the contemporary world.  Selected readings from World War One and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It, a compilation of first person accounts written by Americans who experienced it firsthand, will be discussed.  Participants are encouraged to read the selected readings prior to the event.  Free copies of the readings are available at the library or online at the links listed below. The discussion series will be facilitated by Army veteran, historian, and librarian, Arthur Meyers.  For more information, please email drusso@russelllibrary.org or call 860-347-2520.

Topics/Readings from World War I and America:

 

Russell Library Veteran’s Writing Group Explores World War One

Thursdays, October 12, 19, and 26, 7:00 p.m.
Meeting Room 2, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown, CT
The Russell Library invites veterans and their families, together with the public, to join the Russell Library Veteran’s Writing Group for a three part series to explore the American experience of war and its role in shaping the contemporary world. The library will present selected readings from World War One and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It, a compilation of first person accounts written by Americans on the battlefield and at home. Participants will be encouraged to write about their personal military experiences or to respond to the readings. If they choose, they may share their essays with others in the group, or with family and friends. 

 

Russell Readers

Tuesday, October 10, 6:30pm. Meeting Room 2
We will discuss “Refresh, Refresh” by Benjamin Percy from the collection 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. The story concerns the effects of the war in Iraq on two boys in a small town in Oregon where a Marine reserve battalion is based. Many of the men in the town, including the fathers, are fighting in Iraq during the story.
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. Russell Readers meet the second Tuesday of each month.  
For more information about participating in the group or acquiring the text, contact Chantal Foster at (860)573-2946 or email Chantal.foster@comcast.net.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library.

 

The Friends of the Russell Library Book Sale

Friday, October 13, 10:00am to 6:00pm; Saturday, October 14, 10:00am to 2:00pm; Sunday, October 15, 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
The Activity Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. The Friends’ book sales help fund a wide variety of programs. From the largest art books to the littlest children’s books, there is something for everyone! CDs and DVDs are also available. Donating books for the Friends’ book sales is easy: place your books in the Book Drop box inside the entrance of the Library. If you have large quantities, call about possible pick-up: 860-347-2528 x 124. Support the Friends by becoming a member, volunteering your time or talents, donating books, or making an endowment as part of your estate plan.

Authors 06457

Saturday, October 14, 10:30am – 12:30pm. The Lobby, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Two local authors, Sandy Berenbaum and Matthew James Alexander Simmons, will be speaking about their work, their books and their art in the lobby of Russell Library; patrons are invited to come and speak with them about their work.
Sandy Berenbaum, LCSW, has a psychotherapy practice in Middletown that focuses exclusively on Lyme disease patients and their families. In private practice for 30 years, she serves as an adviser to Lyme Connection and other organizations. Sandy and her co-author, Dorothy Kupcha Leland, wrote When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide to help families facing the multi-faceted challenges accompanying a child with Lyme disease. Along with other relevant issues, their book discusses the need to set boundaries, to build a supportive team, and to establish trustworthy advocates within the medical community and the school system. Her website is www.lymefamilies.com

Besides being on a self-described ‘special type of journey,’ Michael James Alexander Simmons is a published author and a renowned artist whose vibrant designs have been fashioned into extraordinary hand-crafted treasures including shirts, tote bags, purses and pillows. He also works on commission. His first book, From the Ashes: An Artist Reborn, is an anthology of written and visual art; his second book, Animus, contains 50 remarkable colored pencil and ink drawings. Forever a Tomboy is an LGBTQ four-act play, and his most recent book, Dragons: An Adult Coloring Book, is a truly unique coloring book containing stories for each dragon. His work can be seen at https://shopvida.com/collections/matthew-james-alexander-simmons

National Friends of the Library Week

Sunday, October 15 through Saturday, October 21. Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. In order to celebrate our wonderful Friends of the Russell Library, we will be offering our Friends special surprises everyday near the Friends’ book sale area in our lobby. Sign up as a Friends volunteer and learn what it is like to work with one of the best volunteer organizations in the city.

Readers Theater: Third by Wendy Wasserstein

Monday, October 16, 6:30pm refreshments, 7:00pm curtain. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library. This evening, Readers Theater presents Third by Wendy Wasserstein. The play takes place at a small New England college during one academic year. It focuses on the life of a female college professor, and how her life and fundamental assumptions are challenged by an encounter with a student. The professor and student have strongly divergent personal and political characteristics. The play grapples with the issues of stereotyping, identity politics and family issues. 
Reader’s Theater is live drama enacted by local actors. Directed by Anne Cassady and Richard Kamins. 
Sponsored by the Middletown Commission on the Arts and the Friends of the Russell Library.  

Middlesex County Historical Society: A talk about Israel Putnam by Robert Ernest Hubbard
Wednesday, October 18, 7:00pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Robert Ernest Hubbard presents a talk about Israel Putnam, a colorful figure of 18th-century America who played a key role in both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. In 1758 he barely escaped being burned alive by Mohawk warriors, and later commanded a force of 500 men who were shipwrecked off the coast of Cuba. It was he who reportedly gave the command 'Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes' at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Detailing Putnam's close relationships with Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, and John and Abigail Adams, this first full-length biography of Putnam in more than a century re-examines the life of a revolutionary whose seniority in the Continental Army was second only to that of George Washington.
Hubbard is retired from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, and, along with his wife Kathleen, authored Images of America: Middletown and Legendary Locals: Middletown. Books will available for purchase and inscription.

Concert: Karkowska Sisters Duo - THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21ST EVENT IS CANCELLED

Saturday, October 21, 11:00am. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Karkowska Sisters Duo is an award winning, internationally acclaimed ensemble that, in addition to their recital and chamber music repertoire, performs extraordinary programs of virtuosity and laughter, full of beautiful music, unforgettable stories and comedy. Anna, a virtuoso violinist, and Kasha, a concert pianist, both graduated from the Julliard School of Music in NYC and the Chopin Academy in Warsaw, Poland. They have recorded internationally, and triumphed at the most prestigious venues: Carnegie Hall (NYC), Gusman Center for Performing Arts (Miami, Florida), National Grand Theater (Warsaw, Poland) and the National Center for the Arts (Mexico City, Mexico). The sisters’ North American and European tours have met with standing ovations and rave reviews: ‘amazing,’ ‘stunning…better played than Itzhak Perlman’s own recording,’ ‘part shtick, part virtuosity… the audience went wild,’ ‘breathtaking.’
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library.

The Witches Speak: Poems of Salem Village and 17th Century Scotland Tuesday, October 24, 6:30pm. Two poets, Ginny Lowe Connors and Sherri Bedingfield, will be doing a tandem reading from their books on witches. 
Ginny Lowe is the author Toward the Hanging Tree, a collection of poems written from the perspective of those who were hung as witches in Salem, Massachusetts. “This is a never-before attempted, delightful collection of poems relating to the entire story of the Massachusetts witchcraft outbreak of 1692. Through Ginny Lowe Connors’ poetic artistry merged with solid research of historic facts, we glimpse the human heart’s response to terrifying events.” --Richard Trask, historian, expert on the Salem Witch Trials.
Sherri Bedingfield’s book, The Clattering, centers on a single, true story of a woman accused of witchcraft in 17th century Scotland. 'With vivid and beautiful imagery, The Clattering provokes the conscience of the present with voices from the deep past. Bedingfield creates an enchanting world of rich emotion and concrete sensory experience where the lines between what's real and imagined are as intriguingly blurred as they are in life.” —David K. Leff

Smart Searching: Internet Research, Fact Checking, and Staying Safe
Thursday, October 26, 3:00pm. Meeting Room 3, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. With so much information available on the web, how do you know what's worth reading? Learn how to locate fact-based information on the Internet using strong search terms and good sources. Participants will learn how to locate information, determine its source and weigh its credibility, and also learn how to search beyond Google for articles, images and other resources. For more information and to register, please call 860-347-2520.
Registration is suggested. For ages 18+ only; maximum of 8 students

Yoga in the Courtyard
Saturday, October 28, 11:00am. The Courtyard, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. No prior experience necessary, and no mats will be used. Our instructor will be Jeff Hush, founder of Food and Movement Therapy and a local instructor of Family Yoga, Tai Chi and Chair Yoga. Come experience how practicing yoga can help you feel calmer and more energetic, and learn how it can also help support a stronger immune system and better sleep patterns.
Depending on the weather, the class may meet in the Hubbard Room.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library.

Stories of Helping Ghosts Move On

Saturday, October 28, 1:00pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Ghost hunter and psychic Paul Rice will be sharing his experiences of helping ghosts to move on through his ‘felt sense’ technique. He will field questions from the audience about how we may be affected by ghosts in our own lives. Mr. Rice emigrated to the U.S. from Britain in 1980, and has worked as Medical Masseuse and First Aid Instructor.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion
Wednesday, November 1, 6:30pm. Meeting Room 2, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Join our discussion of the mystery novel The Bishop Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine. When the body of a man nicknamed "Cock Robin" is found with an arrow in the heart on an archery range along with a chess bishop as a clue, Philo Vance investigates. The detective soon finds himself investigating a series of murders based on nursery rhymes.

Copies are available at the circulation desk. 

NaNoWriMo Writers!
Wednesday, November 1, 6:00pm to 7:00pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Writers who wish to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) are welcome to drop in and learn about the challenge to write a novel this month. Check out the website at: https://nanowrimo.org.
Drop in; no registration.

We Were There: Writing Your Military Experiences
Thursdays, November 2, 9, 16 and 30, 6:30pm. Meeting Room 2, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Author Elisabeth Petry will continue to lead the Veterans' Writing Group. This series, in its third year, invites all active or retired Veterans to share their stories and photos and to record their experiences in their own voices for their own benefit or to share with family and friends. Currently, service members from combat and non-combat situations from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraqi Freedom attend. We hope to hear from other Iraq War Vets, and those who have served in Afghanistan. Newcomers are always welcome!
Old Saybrook native Elisabeth Petry is a writer and former journalist and lawyer. She lives in Middletown with her husband Lawrence Riley, Commander of the American Legion Milardo-Wilcox Post 75, Middletown, CT.
The workshop facilitator is Christy Billings. She can be reached at (860) 347-2528 or cbillings@russelllibrary.org
Drop in; no registration.

Author Talk: To Vietnam in Vain by Edward A. Hagan
Thursday, November 2, 7:00pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Edward A. Hagan will discuss the writing of his memoir: To Vietnam in Vain: Memoir of an Irish-American Intelligence Advisor, 1969-1970.  Research for the book, published in 2016, was conducted in the National Archives, the U.S. Army Center of Military History, and the West Point Library. Hagan will discuss how he coupled forty years of rumination about his participation in the war with three years of research into the activities of Advisory Team 56 in the Mekong Delta. His research led him to find out about the military service of his Irish-born father and grandfather in two world wars. His memoir could not have been written right after the war because much of the material now in research libraries was unavailable as it was classified. Hagan will focus on the decisions he made as a researcher, as well as his personal evolution as a writer. He hopes his discussion will empower others, especially veterans, to tell their stories. Hagan is the Connecticut State University Distinguished Professor of Writing at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.  
Drop in; no registration.

 

Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library.

NaNoWriMo Writers!
Saturday, November 4, 10:00am to 2:00pm and Thursday, November 30, 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Meeting Room 3, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Writers participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) are welcome to drop in and commiserate with others of like mind. The challenge is to write a novel in a month. Check out the website at: https://nanowrimo.org.

Drop in; no registration.

Author Talk: Craig and Fred by Craig Grossi 
Sunday, November 5, 2:00pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Craig Grossi was a US Marine stationed in Afghanistan when he found a stray dog he named Fred. This is the unforgettable true story of how they met, how they saved each other, and now, how they travel America together 'spreading the message of stubborn positivity.'
Drop in; no registration.

Racial Justice Book Group: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Tuesday, November 7, 6:00pm. Meeting Room 2, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown.  The book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum is a social/cultural critique that attempts to address that very question. Beverly Daniel Tatum is an African-American professor of psychology and Dean of Mount Holyoke College as well as a psychologist in private practice. The purpose of this book is to provide a framework for thinking and talking about racial identity (particularly Black and White). Tatum wants 'to help others move beyond fear, beyond anger, beyond denial to a new understanding of what racism is, how it impacts all of us, and ultimately what we can do about it.' This book is a must-read for anyone working in a multi-cultural setting because not only does it deal with issues of racism, but it also deals with the issue of ethnic self-identity that is vital for both minority groups as well as majority groups. It is a book that draws different races to value and appreciate each other more through deeper love and understanding.
The book will be available at the check-out desk.

Middletown International Film Festival: The Kind Words
Tuesday, November 7, 6:30pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. The Kind Words, (Israel, 2015, directed by Shemi Zarhin). This quirky and wry comedy follows three Jewish Israeli siblings who, in the wake of their mother's death, learn the man who raised them is not their biological father. The revelation sends them on a road trip from Israel across France to discover the truth about their real father.
Drop-in; no registration.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library and the Middletown Commission on the Arts.  

Drop in; no registration. Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library.

Food Justice! (a community discussion)   
Wednesday, November 8, 6:30pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. The community is invited to come and discuss food in all its political, economic and ethical aspects. Issues of food justice will be introduced. From basic survival needs to status-producing elegance, food defines our culture and our history. Our relationships with food are both personal and communal. In this country, we exist within a landscape in which food – 'something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies’ -- is a tool used to promote systemic injustice.
The discussion will be facilitated by Jeff Hush, the founder of Food & Movement Therapy (famtusa.org) working to bring clean food, water, and energy to all Americans.
Participants may wish to watch the TEDx talk by Winona Laduke entitled Seeds of Our Ancestors, Seeds of Life on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHNlel72eQc  or the TEDx talk by LaDonna Redmond entitled Food + Justice = Democracy: LaDonna Redmond at TEDxManhattan 2013 on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydZfSuz-Hu8
The videos will also be shown at the beginning of the discussion.

Drop in; no registration.

Doughboys and Yeomanettes: Tracing Your World War One Family History
Thursday, November 9, 7:00pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Was your ancestor in the military during the First World War?  Through records, photographs and other sources, discover how the Great War affected your family. Join Bryna O’Sullivan, a Middletown based professional genealogy researcher and teacher, who will explain how to effectively search military and civil records, newspaper reports, veterans’ questionnaires, and more for ancestors who fought or had connections to World War One, and how online resources can best be used to discover their experiences during the conflict.  Information on how to request copies of military service files via the National Archives will also be available. Bring your own laptop, or the library will provide one so you can access resources on your own.  
This workshop is free and open to the public. 
Registration is suggested but not required.  Please call the Information Department at (860) 347-2528 for additional information.

Classic Mystery Series Film Screening: The Lady Vanishes
Tuesday, November 14, 12:30pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock; released in 1938 and named Best Picture that year by the New York Times. On a train headed for England a group of travelers is delayed by an avalanche. Holed up in a hotel in a fictional European country, young Iris (Margaret Lockwood) befriends elderly Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty). When the train resumes, Iris suffers a bout of unconsciousness and wakes to find the old woman has disappeared. The other passengers ominously deny Miss Froy ever existed, so Iris begins to investigate with another traveler (Michael Redgrave) and, as the pair sleuth, romantic sparks fly.

Drop in; no registration.

Russell Readers
Tuesday, November 14, 6:30pm. Meeting Room 2, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown.  November’s selection will be “Diem Perdidi” by Julie Otsuka from the collection 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories.  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 at 6:30 in Meeting Room 2 at Russell Library. For more information about participating in the group or acquiring the text, contact Chantal Foster at (860)573-2946 or email Chantal.foster@comcast.net. 
Drop in; no registration.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library.

Songs of WWI Performed by Tom Callinan: Searching for Uncle Jerry; Over Here & Over There
Thursday, November 16, 7:00pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Middletown native Tom Callinan – designated Connecticut's First Official State Troubadour in 1991 – will present a program of diverse songs from and about World War I, drawn from his 40-year career as a full-time creative and performing artist. Tom will be self-accompanied with an assortment of string, wind and percussion instruments. In addition to weaving a narrative about 'The War To End All Wars,' Tom will present the answer to a life-long family mystery: why his great-uncle Jerry’s name was not included on the WWI obelisk on the Washington Terrace Green. With the assistance of the Middlesex County Historical Society and Russell Library's archives of period newspaper articles, Tom was able to learn more about Jeremiah's life, and as a result he composed 'Searching for Great-Uncle Jerry.’  He hopes it will not only help keep Private Coleman's name and memory alive, but it may inspire others to find out more about their respective family histories.
Drop-in; no registration.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library.

The Friends of the Russell Library Book Sale

Friday, November 17, 10:00am to 6:00pm; Saturday, November 18, 10:00am to 2:00pm; Sunday, November 19, 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The Activity Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. The Friends’ book sales help fund a wide variety of programs. From the largest art books to the littlest children’s books, there is something for everyone! CDs and DVDs are also available. Donating books for the Friends’ book sales is easy: place your books in the Book Drop box inside the entrance of the Library. If you have large quantities, call about possible pick-up: 860-347-2528 x 124. Support the Friends by becoming a member, volunteering your time or talents, donating books, or making an endowment as part of your estate plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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