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News & Events

All Programs Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library 

Scrabble Wednesday

Wednesdays, January 23, 30; February 6, 13, 20 and 27, 5:00pm
Meeting Room 3,

Carol Whitfield will lead players in scrabble games for ages 12 - 112.
We will have dictionaries, score sheets and scrabble boards. Bring your brains! 
For ages 12 to 112.

Just drop-in or sign-up online and get an email reminder!

Family Game Night

Wednesday January 23 February 6 @ 5:00 PM
Activity Room

Join us for a fun night of board games with the entire family!  Try your hand at some new favorites, get reacquainted with some classics.  Family + games = Family Game Night!  Come and join the fun.

All ages. Drop-In, No Registration.

Nekita Waller Concert

Thursday January 24, 7:00 PM
Hubbard Room

This concert is presented by our new state troubadour, Nekita Waller and celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. A Middletown native, Nekita Waller won an award for singing at the Buttonwood Tree when she was ten years old. She sings soul music, and is the first non-folk musician to be appointed as the Connecticut State Troubadour. 

Make Time for Making

Friday, January 25; February 22, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

Adults are welcome to bring any type of project to work on during this time, including but not limited to: adult coloring, beading, paper crafts, collage or decoupage, knitting, crocheting, sewing, and painting or drawing. The library offers a quiet space in which to work, and a resident librarian. Some materials may also be available upon request.
Drop in; no registration required.

Preschool Information Fair

Saturday January 26, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Activity Room

Don't delay - begin your search for preschool enrollment today!Parents and their children are invited to meet local preschool program providers. While adults ask questions we will have a simple craft available for children.

Snow date is Saturday, 2/2/2019.
Inclusion in this fair is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of individual programs by the Russell Library.

French Film Group

Sunday January 27, 2:00 PM
Meeting Room 3

A French film will be presented, with a short introduction by presenter James Taylor, in French. The choice of film will be announced by December 30th.

'Vous pouvez apporter une boisson et quelque chose à manger aussi.' 

Participants may bring a drink and a snack to enjoy during the film.

Life on Parole: Film and Discussion

Sunday January 27, 2:00 PM
Hubbard Room

The Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) at Central Connecticut State University will hold a screenings/community conversations of Life on Parole in the Hubbard Room. The panel will be led by Richard Frieder of IMRP and other special guests.

Life on Parole, produced in Connecticut with the cooperation of the Department of Corrections and in collaboration with the New York Timesand PBS Frontline, follows several former prisoners released on parole, showing in stark detail the punitive rules under which they live. For more than a year, Frontline and the NYT followed newly released prisoners as they tried to find homes and jobs, reconnect with loved ones and avoid temptation, sometimes discovering that the system created to help them can also hold them back.

Preview the trailer: https://www.pbs.org/video/life-on-parole-gvpejl/

NR Running time of 55 minutes.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion

Tuesday January 29, 7:00 PM
Meeting Room 2

The book this month will be Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters. We will also compare Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. Copies of both books will be available at the Borrowing Desk. This event is hosted by Amy Slowik.

Drop-in, no registration necessary. 

First Friday Book Discussion: Super better: a revolutionary approach to getting stronger, happier, braver, and more resilient by Jane McGonigal

Friday, February 1, 7:00 PM
Offsite at RaMa LuNa Center for Yoga and Well Being, 282 Main St. Ext. Middletown, in the Palmer Eye Care building next to CVS.

A renowned game designer describes how she recovered from a debilitating concussion by turning her therapeutic process into a digital game that became the subject of a major NIH research study. Copies of the book are available at Russell Library. For more information, contact Christy Billings at 860-347-2528 x 160 or cbillings@russelllibrary.org or Rachel Payne at 860-800-5862 or www.ramaluna.com
Offered as a partnership with the RaMa LuNa Center for Yoga and Well Being.
Sign-ups are preferred.

Mindfulness Meditation

Saturday, February 2, 9:30 AM
Hubbard Room

Increase your clarity and emotional freedom. To minimize disruptions, doors will close by 9:40am. Participants may bring a towel or yoga mat if they wish. Presented by Marcia Witter, Certified Meditation and Life Coach.
Drop-ins welcome, but registration is recommended.

Whose Streets? A Film Screening for Black History Month

Tuesday, February 5, 6:00 PM
Hubbard Room

Whose Streets? (2017) is an unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown inspired a community to fight back, and sparked a global movement. The film has been nominated for Critics' Choice and Gotham Independent Film awards. Run time: 1 hour 43 minutes. MPAA rating is R.
This program is open to all ages.  Drop in; no registration required.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library and the Teen Leadership Institute of the North End Action Team.

Racial Justice Book Group: The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty

Tuesday, February 5, 6:00 PM
Meeting Room 2

Michael Twitty relates his ancestral culinary history, revealing a truth that is more than skin deep—that food has the power to bring the kin of the formerly enslaved to a common table with the kin of their former slaveholders, where they can discover the real America together. The Racial Justice Book Group is offered in partnership with the Middletown Racial Justice Community.
Drop in; no registration required.

Film Discussion: I Know a Man. . .Ashley Bryan

Wednesday, February 6, 6:00 PM
Hubbard Room

At 94, multi-dimensional artist Ashley Bryan is still receiving prestigious accolades for his illustrations, magical puppets, sea glass windows, and other art. His work is, in part, a response to his time in the segregated army and the carnage of D-day. His recognitions include Coretta Scott King awards, and many others. Before the film, Liz Petry will speak about how art and writing benefit Veterans.
The film is not rated and runs 56 minutes. Drop in; no registration required.

Books and Brews Book Discussion: Small Hours by Jennifer Kitches

Thursday, February 7, 6:00 PM
Offsite at Stubborn Beauty Brewery, 180 Johnson St, Middletown

After the birth of their twin daughters, Tom and Helen trade in city life for a cozy home in a former mill town. But beneath the peaceful surface of their domestic bliss lie secrets that could unravel the life and family they've built together. Copies of the book are available at Russell Library. Adults. Drop-in; no registration necessary. 
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library and made possible by Stubborn Beauty Brewery. No purchase necessary.

Yoga in the Hubbard Room

Saturday, February 9, 11:00 AM
Hubbard Room

Yoga promotes well-being, a stronger immune system and better sleep patterns. Led by Jeff Hush, founder of Food and Movement Therapy.  No prior experience is necessary, and no mats will be used.
Drop in; no registration required.

Russell Readers: Those Are as Brothers by Nancy Hale

Tuesday, February 12, 6:30 PM
Meeting Room 2

We will discuss Those Are as Brothers by Nancy Hale 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 each month. For more information contact Chantal Foster at 860-573-2946 or Chantal.foster@comcast.net. 

Soldiers of a Foreign War with author Charles McNair

Wednesday, February 13, 6:30 PM
Hubbard Room

Soldiers of a Foreign War, a novel with its roots in McNair's own experiences, exposes the stark consequences, the brutality, and the long-term costs of America's presence in Vietnam, while capturing the similarities among the young men fighting on each side of this grisly conflict. Books will be available for signing and purchase after the talk.
Sponsored by the Veterans’ Writing Group: We Were There.

Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut
with Author Marty Podskotch

Thursday, February 21, 6:30 PM
Hubbard Room

This new guide book presents information on each of the 169 towns, cities and villages in Connecticut. Copies will be available for sale and for signing.
Drop-in; no registration required.

French Film: Un Village Français

Sunday, February 24, 1:00 PM
Meeting Room 3

Episodes from season 3 of the long-running French TV drama about a village and its inhabitants during the 1940 to 1945 occupation by the German army. James Taylor will lead a discussion in French. Viewers are invited to bring refreshments.
Drop in; no registration required.

Readers Theater Presents Ben Butler by Richard Strand

Saturday, February 23, 1:30 PM (Rescheduled from Sunday, February 24)
Hubbard Room

A combination of comedy, biography, and historical drama, Ben Butler takes a thought-provoking look at a key decision in the Civil War, and explores timeless questions about social conscience, individual responsibility, and the politics of race in America. First performed at Russell Library in June, 2018, the play was so well-received that directors Anne Cassady and Richard Kamins consented to bring it back. Readers Theater is live drama enacted by local actors. Drop-in, no registration required.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion: Death Comes as Epiphany by Suzanne Newman

Tuesday, February 26, 7:00 PM
Meeting Room 2

A medievalist specialist weaves mystery and romance into a fascinating tapestry of everyday life in 12th-century France. Books are available at the Borrowing Desk.
Drop-in; no registration required.  

Film Showing: Veterans of Color

Thursday, February 28, 6:30 PM
Hubbard Room

African Americans served in some of the bloodiest combat missions in American history, then faced even fiercer battles when they returned home to encounter housing and job discrimination, racial hatred, and other hardships. In the film, Veterans speak directly about their experiences. Not rated; running time 60 minutes. See a trailer and learn more at: http:// www.veteransofcolor.org/ Veterans_of_Color/Home.html
Drop in; no registration required. All members of the community are welcome. 
Sponsored and hosted by the Russell Library Veterans' Writing Group, We Were There.

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