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News & Events

All Programs Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library 

Money Smart Week 2018

Money, Money, Money: a special story time for Money Smart Week

Tuesday, April 24, @ 6:00pm
The Activity Room

Become a Master of Your Money: a workshop on organizing your personal finances

Tuesday, April 24, @ 6:00pm
Meeting Room 3

Money Smart Week: Budgeting with Excel

Wednesday, April 25, @ 1:30 pm
Meeting Room 3

Job Group - Jason Smith - Assist Vice President Liberty Bank
Careers in Finance

Thursday, April 26, @ 10:30
Hubbard Room

From Millennials to Boomers - Financial Advice Built for the Generations presented by Peter Leponnes-Apella Capital

Thursday, April 26, @ 6:30pm
Hubbard Room

How to Secure Grant Funding from Foundations led by Judi Margolin

Friday, April 27, @ 10:00am
Hubbard Room

 

Architecture and the American Diner - A Middlesex County Historical Society Event

Tuesday April 24, 2018
7:00 PM to 8:15 PM
Hubbard Room

With its stainless steel siding, streamlined exterior, and colorful neon signage, the classic roadside diner is as quintessentially American as the apple pie on its menu. Whether you sit on a stool at the counter or lounge in one of the vinyl-upholstered booths, you can’t help but feel nostalgic for a simpler time, a sense of optimism, or the joy of the open road.  But how did these iconic restaurants come to look like they do?

In a one-hour talk, the Connecticut River Museum’s executive director Christopher Dobbs will tell the story of the American diner’s form and function. His presentation, 'The Architecture of the American Diner: From Wagon-Wheels to Stainless Steel” 

Sponsored by the Middlesex County Historical Society as the 2018 Arthur M. Schultz Memorial Lecture, the talk is free and everyone is welcome to drop in and take a seat.

We Were There: Writing Your Military Experiences

Thursdays, April 26, @6:00pm
Meeting Room 2,

Author Elisabeth Petry will continue to lead The Veterans' Writing Group which 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. New members are encouraged to visit to see what the group is all about! Currently, service people from combat and non-combat situations from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraqi Freedom attend regularly. We hope to hear from other Iraq War Vets, and those who have served in Afghanistan.  Elisabeth Petry is a writer and former journalist and lawyer. She lives in Middletown with her husband, Lawrence Riley, who is 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

 

Adult Coloring for Stress Reduction

Friday, April 27, 11:00am
Meeting Room 2

Come and enjoy a stress-free environment while you color beautiful pictures! The library provides materials, or you may bring your own. 
Drop in; no registration.

Yoga in the Courtyard

Saturday April 28 @11:00am
Courtyard

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. If the weather is nice, yoga will be held in the courtyard.
Drop in; no registration.

Hair the musical: a Community Sing-along

Sunday, April 29, @ 6:30pm
The Buttonwood Tree
605 Main Street, Middletown

Get out your love beads! Warm up your voices! Prepare to enjoy an evening of 'mystic crystal revelation and the mind's true liberation'! Enjoy a community sing-along beginning at 6:30pm at The Buttonwood Tree, produced as a collaboration with ARTFARM, The Buttonwood Tree, Oddfellows Playhouse and the Russell Library in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Broadway opening of the musical. Hair opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre on April 29, 1968. The original Broadway production was subtitled, The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Not only did it reflect the counterculture movement of the late 1960’s, but its songs became anthems of a generation.
Drop-in, no registration.
As with all library programs, this event is free.

Racial Justice Book Discussion: Behold the Dreamers by Ibolo Mbue

Tuesday, May 1, @ 6:00pm
Meeting Room 2

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwards’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future. However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades. When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice. Copies of the book are available for check-out.

Contact Christy Billings at: cbillings@russelllibrary.org or at 860 347-2528 ext 160.
No registration necessary; everyone is welcome.
The Racial Justice Book Club is offered in partnership with the Middletown Racial Justice Community.


Film Showing of Wonder, presented by One Book on the Riverbend

Wednesday, May 2, @ 6:00pm
Hubbard Room

Wonder is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio. The film follows a child with Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by deformities of the ears, eyes, cheekbones, and chin, as he tries to fit in. It was nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the 90th Academy Awards.
Copies of the book Wonder are available for check-out. 
Rated PG. Running time 113 min.

This 2018 One Book on the Riverbend event is sponsored through a Middletown Rotary Grant and by the Friends of the Russell Library.

We Were There: Writing Your Military Experiences

Thursdays, May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, @ 6:30pm
Meeting Room 2

Author Elisabeth Petry will continue to lead The Veterans' Writing Group which 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. New members are encouraged to visit to see what the group is all about! Currently, service people from combat and non-combat situations from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraqi Freedom attend regularly. We hope to hear from other Iraq War Vets, and those who have served in Afghanistan.  Elisabeth Petry is a writer and former journalist and lawyer. She lives in Middletown with her husband, Lawrence Riley, who is 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

Write Your Memoir

Thursday, May 3, @ 6:00pm
Hubbard Room

Learn the differences between writing a memoir, an autobiography, a biography, and creative/narrative nonfiction. Decide which factual and specific life experience you would like to explore. Participate in short writing and drawing exercises. Identify your target audience. Begin to outline ideas for writing your first short-short memoir essay. Susan R. Waide is a teacher at the Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education (MILE). She also teaches writing, English, and public relations courses at the University of Hartford and Connecticut Community Colleges. She is a memoir writing coach, editor, writer and ghostwriter.
Drop-in, no registration. 

Sam Drazin: Changing Perspectives—a One Book on the Riverbend special event at RJ Julia Bookstore

Friday, May 4, @ 6:00pm
RJ Julia Bookstore, 413 Main Street, Middletown

One Book on the Riverbend partners invite you to the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore to hear a special presentation! Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live with a facial difference and hearing loss? Sam Drazin was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a craniofacial anomaly which is similar to that of Auggie, the main character of RJ Palacio’s Wonder. Like Auggie, Sam has undergone multiple surgeries and faced the challenges of adolescence while looking a bit different. Sam will take you on his journey growing up with a facial difference and hearing loss, coupled with his experience as a teacher, and share with you the challenges as well as the humor in everyday situations. Sam believes awareness is essential to support children and adults in becoming more aware and accepting of all differences. Sam’s program is on inclusion and empathy. He founded a non-profit called Changing Perspectives to provide disability awareness programming. He moves the conversation away from specific disabilities and inspires broader discussions and reflections about differences.
Copies of Wonder are available for purchase at RJ Julia, and for check-out at participating libraries.
This One Book on the Riverbend 2018 event is sponsored through a Middletown Rotary Grant and by the City of Middletown, Cromwell Belden Library, Portland Library and the Friends of Portland Library, Russell Library and the Friends of the Russell Library.

Classic Mystery Film Screening: Murder She Said

Tuesday, May 8, @ 12:30pm.
Hubbard Room

Murder She Said is based on the novel 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie. This film stars Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple. It was directed by George Pollock.
Drop-in, no registration.

Russell Readers: Pigeon Feathers by John Updike

Tuesday, May 8, 6:30pm
Meeting Room 2

Join us to discuss Pigeon Feathers by John Updike 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. 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.
Copies of the book are available at the library.
Drop in; no registration.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library
.

Family Book Discussion: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Wednesday, May 9, @ 6:00pm
Meeting Room 2

Join us to discuss the 2018 One Book on the Riverbend title: Wonder by R.J. Palacio. The book begins with, 'My name is August. I won't describe to you what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.' Auggie is ten years old and wants to be just like everyone else. He is, however, far from ordinary. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, he has been home-schooled by his parents his entire life in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, Auggie's parents are sending him to public school. Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches, Wonder is a frank, funny, moving debut to be read in one sitting, passed along to others, and remembered long after the final page. Read the book along with a parent, grandparent, child or friend, and join us! Discussion will be led by Christy Billings, Chair of the One Book on the Riverbend committee.
Contact: cbillings@russelllibrary.org or 860- 347-2528 x 160. Copies of Wonder are available for checkout.
This program is open to everyone from 6th graders to adults.
Sponsored through a Middletown Rotary Grant and by the Friends of the Russell Library. 

Joseph M. Reynolds reads from his novel Make Dust Our Paper

Wednesday, May 9, @ 6:30pm
Hubbard Room, Russell Library

Make Dust our Paper was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. Reynolds teaches college in New England and at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland during the summer term, where he is the founding director of The Sancho Panza Literary Society. As an undergraduate, he was a speechwriter and intern in the U.S. Senate office of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Praise for Make Dust our Paper includes: 'An instant classic. A major new talent has arrived’- Da Chen, recipient of The Washington Post best book award. ‘Not a breezy or a fun book, but I think a brilliant one. The prose is stunning, and the ideas are ambitious, nuanced, and uncompromising. Also some beautiful landscape and atmosphere descriptions of Ireland and New England.' Featured Librarything early review.

Crafts for Adults: Painting Rocks

Friday, May 11, 11:00am
Hubbard Room

Bring your own rock or choose one from our selection to paint. Painted rocks can be great additions to any type of decor! They can also be colorful sparks in an outside garden or patio. 
Adults ages 18 and up are invited to bring their own ideas, imaginations and willingness to learn.

Authors 06457! Connecticut Authors: Chanda E. Gonzalez and Lisa Irish

Saturday, May 12, 11:00am
The Lobby

Come and meet two of our Connecticut authors: Nenapoo Goes to School by Chanda E. Gonzalez is about a little girl with special needs entering school for the first time. Ms. Gonzalez is a child advocate, health educator and writer. Grieving – The Sacred Art: Hope in the Land of Loss by Lisa Irish is primarily intended for those experiencing grief from the death of a loved one. Lisa Irish is the bereavement coordinator for Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, CT.

Chamber Music in the Courtyard

Saturday, May 12, @10:30am.
Courtyard

A student-run chamber group at Wesleyan University with a passion for string instruments and classical music will be playing a selection from their repertoire. The students are: Kate Luo: 1st violin, Henry Lin-David: 2nd violin, Julia Adler: viola, Camille De Beus: viola, Dani Smotrich-Barr: cello, Kimberly Tsiang: cello and Anna Zags: cello. In the event of rain, they will be playing in the lobby.

Book Talk with a Walk: a Book Discussion in Motion featuring Wonder the One Book on the Riverbend selection

Wednesday, May 16, @ 1:00pm
Lobby

Meet in the lobby to go off-site for a short walk and discussion of the 2018 One Book on the Riverbend title: Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Grab your water bottle, lace up your sneakers and join us! Gentle pace and great discussion! In case of inclement weather, the discussion will take place indoors, in Meeting Room 3. The book begins with, 'My name is August. I won't describe to you what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.' Auggie is ten years old and wants to be just like everyone else. He is, however, far from ordinary. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, he has been home-schooled by his parents his entire life in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, Auggie's parents are sending him to public school. Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches, Wonder is a frank, funny, moving debut to be read in one sitting, passed along to others, and remembered long after the final page.
No registration required.
Sponsored through a Middletown Rotary Grant and by the Friends of the Russell Library.


Wonder by R.J. Palacio; a One Book on the Riverbend Book Discussion

Wednesday, May 23, 6:00pm
Hubbard Room

The book begins with, 'My name is August. I won't describe to you what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.” Auggie is ten years old and wants to be just like everyone else. He is, however, far from ordinary. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, he has been home-schooled by his parents his entire life in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, Auggie's parents are sending him to public school. Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches, Wonder is a frank, funny, moving debut to be read in one sitting, passed along to others, and remembered long after the final page.
Read the book along with a parent, grandparent, or a friend and join us! Discussion will be led by Christy Billings, Chair of the One Book on the Riverbend committee.
Contact: cbillings@russelllibrary.org or (860) 347-2528 ext 160. Copies of Wonder are available for checkout.
This program is open to everyone from children age 6th grade to adults.
Sponsored through a Middletown Rotary Grant and by the Friends of the Russell Library. 

Adult Coloring for Stress Reduction

Friday, May 25, 11:00am
Hubbard Room

Come and enjoy a stress-free environment while you color beautiful pictures!
The library provides materials, or you may bring your own. 

Yoga in the Courtyard

Saturday, May 26, 11:00am
The Courtyard

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. In case of bad weather, yoga will be held in the Hubbard Room.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion: The Crow Trap by Ann Cleves

Tuesday, May 29, @ 7:00pm
Meeting Room 2

This month, we are reading The Crow Trap by Ann Cleves (Vera Stanhope #1). At the isolated Baikie's Cottage on the North Pennines, three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal...Only when there are two deaths at the cottage does a fourth woman enter the picture - the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women's tangled lives. Author Ann Cleeves is an English crime-writer. In 2006 she won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, the richest crime-writing prize in the world, for her novel Raven Black.
Copies are available at the circulation desk. 

Mother-Daughter Book Discussion: Wonder: a One Book on the Riverbend Event

Wednesday May 30, @ 6:00pm
Hubbard Room

We invite mothers and daughters to read the 2018 One Book on the Riverbend title: Wonder by R.J. Palacio and join us for this discussion. Auggie is ten years old and wants to be just like everyone else. He is, however, far from ordinary. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, he has been home-schooled by his parents his entire life in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, Auggie's parents are sending him to public school. Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches, Wonder is a frank, funny, moving debut to be read in one sitting, passed along to others, and remembered long after the final page.
Copies of Wonder are available for checkout.
Discussion will be facilitated by Teen Librarian Heather Scussel and by Christy Billings, Library Assistant in Programming and Community Engagement. Contact cbillings@russelllibrary.org or 860- 347-2528 x 160
This is a One Book on the Riverbend 2018 event. It is sponsored through a Middletown Rotary Grant and by the Friends of the Russell Library.

Jazz Up Close with Noah Baerman presents: Amanda Monaco

Thursday, May 31, 7:00pm
The Hubbard Room

Resonant Motion, Inc. presents the first event in its 2018 'Sound Belief’ series through the popular Jazz Up Close program. This year’s guests will share diverse original compositions springing forth from similarly diverse spiritual practices. For this event, guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco brings her Pirkei Avot Project, also featuring Tammy Scheffer on vocals and Daphna Mor on recorders, accompanied by bassist Henry Lugo and pianist and series curator Noah Baerman.
Amanda Monaco has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene for over twenty years, playing with a variety artists including Steve Wilson, Rufus Reid, and the Mingus Orchestra. She has led and co-led a variety of ensembles that feature her eclectic compositions, including the Amanda Monaco 4, the quartet Deathblow, the rambunctious organ-based group Girly Day, and the collective ensemble Playdate, all of which have issued recordings. Her New Music ensemble The Pirkei Avot Project performs her original music with lyrics culled from a collection of rabbinical teachings compiled in the third century C.E.
Amanda is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music, teaching labs, ensembles, and lessons through their Guitar Department, and is the author of Jazz Guitar for the Absolute Beginner. She is also the founder of the New York based nonprofit Convergence Arts.
This event is presented with the support of the Middletown Commission on the Arts and the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, along with the Shoreline Arts Alliance. 

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