News & Events - Programs for Older Adults

Film Screening: The Thin Man (1934)The Thin Man

Tuesday, May 9, 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Hubbard Room

 Join us for a viewing of Dashiell Hammett's romantic comedy of manners, The Thin Man (1934), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. When a wealthy inventor goes missing, his daughter calls in wisecracking detective-turned-socialite Nick Charles to find him. Aided by his clever and charming wife Nora, Nick searches for answers amidst martinis and night club romps. Run time 1 hour 31 minutes. Not Rated.

Drop-in, no registration.

One Book on the Riverbend logoMulti-Generational Book Discussion The Boys in the Boat

Tuesday, May 9, 6:30pm
Meeting Room 3

Young and old are invited to take part in this discussion focusing on The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. A young readers adaptation is also available. This event is part of One Book on the Riverbend series of events. One Book on the Riverbend is composed of various organizations, schools, and public libraries of Cromwell, Portland and Middletown, Connecticut. It's mission is to promote literacy and community by the joy of sharing a good book. The book for 2017 is The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. Copies of the books have been purchased with the generosity of the Rotary Club of Middletown. Books may also be borrowed at the libraries, online or at the circulation desk. A wide range of programs are being planned to dovetail with the themes which are integral to the story.

For more information about how your book group or organization may get involved, contact Christy Billings, or call (860) 347-2520.

Russell Readers

Tuesday, May 9, 6:30pm - 7:50pm
Meeting Room 2

We will discuss “The School” by Donald Barthelme 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 from 6:30 – 7:50 pm in Meeting Room 2 at Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown.  For more information about participating in the group or acquiring the text, contact Chantal Foster at (860) 573-2946 or email

The discussions are sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Film Screening: The Good Lie

Wednesday, May 10, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Hubbard Room

A group of Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America arrive in Kansas City, Missouri, where their encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives.
Run time: 1 hour, 52 minutes. 

Drop-in, no registration.

Readers Theater - Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar

Thursday, May 11, 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

Reader’s Theater is live drama enacted by local actors. Tonight's play is Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar Akhtar puts contemporary attitudes toward religion under a microscope, revealing how tenuous self-image can be for people born into one way of being who have embraced another.  A bold exploration of race, culture, and what it means to be Muslim in post-9/11 America. Directed by Anne Cassady and Richard Kamins.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library and The Middletown Commission on the Arts.

Peggy Stern TrioConcert: The Peggy Stern Trio

Thursday, May 18, 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

In this concert, The Peggy Stern Trio explores the Great American Songbook - a timeless soundtrack written almost entirely by Jews, which gave voice to a saga of love, determination, and assimilation. A few examples include: Cheek to Cheek, My Romance, White Christmas, Embraceable You, Easter Parade, Stormy Weather, and dozens of other songs we all know and love.
Peggy Stern is well known as a composer, with four of her tunes featured in Sher Music’s Real Book series. Most recently she was featured at the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center. She is joined in this concert by bassist Rich Syracuse and saxophonist George De Leon.
George De Leon is the tenor saxophonist in the house band of the Art Directors Club, NYC. During the 1970s, he shared the stage with guest artists including Roy Eldridge, Teddy Wilson, Zoot Sims and Joanne Brackeen. As producer of the ' Jazz vs. Junk” series at Phoenix House drug rehabilitation center he led the house band that included Billy Hart, Lyn Christie and Hal Galper with guest headliners such as Clark Terry, Al Cohn, Lee Konitz and Phil Woods.
Rich Syracuse has been a mainstay in the New York area scene for more than three decades. He has performed with numerous jazz groups which included pianists John Mehegan, Joey Calderazzo, and Ted Rosenthal. He is the bassist in the 'Nick Brignola Quartet' playing at numerous clubs, festivals, and participating in many recording sessions.

This concert is sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library and the Arthur & Edythe Director Family Fund of Congregation Adath Israel

The Book of Noticing byt Katherine HauswirthThe Book of Noticing with Katherine Hauswirth: Nature Writing

Saturday, May 27, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Hubbard Room

Join Katherine Hauswirth, author of The Book of Noticing: Collections and Connections on the Trail and blogger at First Person Naturalist, for a reading, book signing, and nature writing workshop. The session will start with a brief reading from the book and some thoughts/resources on nature writing, and then the group will part ways so that attendees can spend some reflective time outdoors. We will meet back to write and share what we’ve written (sharing optional).

Classic Mystery Book Discussion: The Thin Man

Tuesday, May 30, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

Join us for a discussion of Dashiell Hammett's romantic comedy of manners, The Thin Man (1934). When a wealthy inventor goes missing, his daughter calls in wisecracking detective-turned-socialite Nick Charles to find him. Aided by his clever and charming wife Nora, Nick searches for answers amidst martinis and night club romps.
Copies of each month's book will be available at the library’s Circulation Desk 30 days prior. Please contact the Information Access & Adult Learning Department at Russell Library:, or call 860-347-2520 for more details or to suggest a book.
Drop-in, no registration.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion

Tuesday, May 30, 6:30pm – 7:45pm.
Meeting Room 2
The above program repeats at this alternative time

Get Adobe Reader

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

Get Adobe Reader
Adobe Reader is required to view, print and download pdf documents.
Download this free software.