News & Events

Passport imageWin a gift card for visiting libraries!
Based on the Wine Trail Passport Program in Connecticut

Connecticut Library Association is instituting a Library Passport program during Library Card Sign Up Month for the month of September. Every participating library, including Russell Library, will offer a passport to their patrons (one for adults and one for children under 18) as well as a small gift. The patron will then visit as many participating libraries during the month of September as possible, having the passport stamped once at each library. Passports will be turned in to any participating library by October 4th.

Each library will select a winner of the most libraries visited for submission to a second drawing, as well a random drawing, which will be applied to a final drawing for four gift card prizes (2 adult of $150 each and 2 children of $100 each). Please visit the facebook page ( to see all of the wonderful programs, special collections, etc., that CT libraries offer!



Sixth Middletown International Film Festival

Tuesday, September 30
Russell Library Hubbard Room

Wadjda (2012) 98 min. Saudi Arabia - directed by Haifaa Al Mansour

An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remainng funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.

Writing Workshop Series with Author Steve LiskowAuthor Steve Liskow

Author Steve Liskow will present a series of three writing workshops beginning Saturday, October 4 at 2pm in the Hubbard Room.  The first session is “Keep It Simple, Sam” which will focus on short story basics.  We may be in a new golden age for the short story, a flexible form that writers can use to strengthen all the skills they need to create a novel, but stands as a rich form all by itself.  Using writing prompts and recent examples, Steve will teach you the few absolute basics necessary to create a plot, characters, and setting that work together to create a satisfying short story.  The future classes include “Talk That Talk” (dialogue) on November 1 and “I’ve Got a First Draft:  Now What?” (revision) on December 6.  Please bring writing materials (or a laptop) and be ready to participate in exercises and discussion.

A former actor, theatrical director and English teacher, Steve now serves as a mentor and panelist for both Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. His short stories have earned an Edgar nomination from Mystery Writers of America and the Black Orchid Novella Award from the Wolfe Pack.

Hedda Kopf Discusses Masterpieces by Henry James and Edith Wharton

Portrait of A Lady by Henry JamesHedda Kopf will lead a discussion series featuring Portrait of a Lady and The House of Mirth beginning Wednesday, October 8 at 7pm in the Hubbard Room.  In both novels, we will explore the “moral reference” of the author as he or she creates characters that are bound by their roles in society. Both James and Wharton are particularly interested in how women’s dreams, ambitions, and possibilities are constrained and thwarted by the time and place in which they live. We will also look at the way the authors create indelible psychological and sociological studies of the privileged and the “others.” 

We will discuss Portrait in two sessions:  Chapters 1- 26 for the first session and Chapter 27- conclusion for the second meeting on Wednesday, November 12.  Our third discussion will be focused on The House of Mirth on Wednesday, December 10.

Hedda Kopf is an adjunct Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.  She teaches Literature and Women's Studies. Ms. Kopf has created and facilitated book discussions for the Connecticut Humanities Council and the Southern Connecticut Library Council and has led book discussions at Russell Library since 1985.  This series is sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.  The novels will be available at the checkout desk in the lobby.Chinese Dance by Phoenix Performing Arts

Chinese Dance and Music Performed
by Phoenix Performing Arts

Otakus of Russell Library Unite! will present the Phoenix Performing Arts Program of Chinese Dance and Music on Saturday, October 11 at 2pm in the Hubbard Room.   The library’s Anime/Manga club is excited to sponsor this dynamic presentation of Chinese dance, performed in colorful costumes and accompanied by music played on traditional instruments.

Freud's Last SessionReaders' Theater: Freud's Last Session

A group of local actors under the direction of Myron Gubitz will present Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain on Monday, October 20 at 7pm in the Hubbard Room.  The play centers on legendary psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who invites the up-and-coming Oxford don C.S. Lewis to his London home.  On the day that England enters World War Two, Freud and Lewis clash about love, sex, the existence of God and the meaning of life -- just weeks before Freud takes his own life. This is a deeply touching play filled with humor and exploring the minds and souls of two brilliant men addressing the greatest questions of all time.  Reader’s Theater productions are funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.


Fall Film Series

When Cary Grant’s suave wit and impeccable timing met Howard Hawk’s razor sharp yet elegant direction, the results were sheer perfection.  Join us for four films from their stunning collaboration, and learn why they worked so well together.

His Gal Friday starring Cary Grant and Rosalind RussellHis Girl Friday (1940) – Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In their adaptation of The Front Page, Grant plays a hard-as-nails news editor and Rosiland Russell is the reporter who wants to leave the rat race. Hawks moves things at a blistering speed, as the bickering divorcee’s race through a breaking story leaving her fiancé Ralph Bellamy in the dust.


Carte Blanche Performs Vintage Jazz ConcertCarte Blanche

Carte Blanche, a highly unique revivalist jazz group from New York, will perform on Thursday, October 23 at 7pm in the Hubbard Room at Russell Library. The band members deliver a mix of classic American 20’s and 30’s jazz standards, French, and Latin American music, as well as their own original songs. Dressed in authentic 1920’s style outfits, Carte Blanche has the ability to transport the listener to a vintage American speakeasy or a Parisian café one minute, and the streets of Havana the next.  Sultry female vocals in five different languages which recall the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf and Lila Downs combine with the band’s versatile style to perform musical selections which are far from ordinary. 

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