Oliver Wolcott Library - Programs

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 ~Adult Events ~


Monday Scholars:
How Winston Churchill Changed the World

January 7  through April 1
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

 Click Here to Register 


Monday Scholars is a weekly series that combines the best of online learning with classroom discussion. Each week a new lecture topic is watched together and then discussed by the group. All you need to do is come ready to engage your mind and participate. Join Adult Services Librarian Patricia Moore as she facilitates this discussion.

About the course:
The video lecture series of How Winston Churchill Changed the World will be taught by Professor Michael Sheldon. In it, you will enjoy a thorough, multifaceted exploration of Churchill’s life, accomplishments, complexities, and legacies.

Few individuals personify the tumultuous story of the 20th century more than Winston Churchill. Great Britain’s most celebrated statesman, Churchill didn’t just live history—he made it. His was a fascinating journey that would take him from the dawn of the Edwardian Age to the dawn of Beatlemania; from the days when the British Empire ruled the seas to its twilight as the preeminent global power; and from the chaos of two world wars to the equally fraught tensions of the Cold War era.

About the Professor:
On video, Michael Shelden is the professor lecturing this series. He is Professor of English at Indiana State University, where he has won the top award for excellence in scholarship, the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/Creativity Award, three times. Professor Shelden is the author of six biographies, including Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill. He has also given lectures on Winston Churchill for The National WWII Museum and the International Churchill Society.

Registration is Required




Love on the Rocks:
Winter Reading (& Fun) Program

January 14 Through March 6




Warm up during the cold, dark days of winter with OWL’s Love on the Rocks: Winter Reading (and Fun) Program. To participate, register with us and then we’ll give you a Challenge Card filled with Love on the Rocks reading challenge categories.

You are welcome to browse our stacks or select one of the books we suggest to fill your challenge card. Read books that fit into four romance-with-an-edge categories:

  • Star Crossed Lovers

  • Parents Just Don't Understand

  • Young Love

  • Til Death Do Us Part

In addition to reading, what winter night is complete without some movie watching? We’ll also encourage you to check out movies/TV series that come with a healthy pour of heartache as well as the challenges and triumphs of finding that special love of your life.

For each challenge you complete cross off a square on your bingo card. If you get three in a row or four corners, then you will be invited to our exclusive Chocolate Truffles Finale After Hours Event on Monday, March 11 from 7 to 8:30 PM. (See page 16 for details.)

For your journey, we’ll kick things off with our favorite Love on the Rocks Picks , set you up on a Speed Date with a Book  and encourage you to go on a Blind Date with a Book and perhaps with a movie/TV series too.



Two Pulitzer Prize Winners:
A Book Discussion with 
Candace Barrington

January 13  and  February 10
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

 Click Here to Register 

Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad - each winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction - present the underground railroad as a litmus test for our ethical and moral obligations to one another. Robinson imagines the long-term ramifications of the underground railroad for descendants of an abolitionist “conductor” on the railroad, while Whitehead allows readers to experience the harrowing passage north by transforming the metaphorical railroad into a train moving escaped slaves along secret tunnels.

Join Dr. Candace Barrington as she leads a discussion on each book.

January 13: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

February 10: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Candace Barrington is a Professor of English at Central Connecticut State University. Her primary teaching and research areas are late-medieval literature (such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales) and their reception in American and global cultures. A descendent of Southerners who migrated to Texas and Oklahoma after the Civil War, she is fascinated by the stories we tell ourselves and one another in order to explain ethical and moral failings of the past and the present.

 Registration is Required




Thursday, January 24
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

 Before You Know It:
The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do
with Author John Bargh

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John Bargh, PhD, is an award-winning social psychologist and the world’s leading expert on the unconscious mind. For more than three decades, he has conducted revolutionary research into the unconscious mind, research featured in bestsellers like Blink and Thinking Fast and Slow. Now, he takes us on an entertaining and enlightening tour of the forces that affect everyday behavior while transforming our understanding of ourselves in profound ways.

Dr. Bargh takes us into his labs at New York University and Yale where he and his colleagues have discovered how the unconscious guides our behavior, goals, and motivations in areas like race relations, parenting, business, consumer behavior, and addiction. With infectious enthusiasm he reveals what science now knows about the pervasive influence of the unconscious mind in who we choose to date or vote for, what we buy, where we live, how we perform on tests and in job interviews, and much more. Before You Know It is full of surprising and entertaining revelations as well as useful tricks to help you remember items on your to do list, to shop smarter, and to sleep better.

John Bargh, PhD is currently the James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology at Yale University and director of the ACME (Automaticity in Cognition, Motivation, and Evaluation) laboratory. The ACME lab researches the unconscious or implicit influences on social judgment, motivation, and behavior. 

Registration is Required
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing.





Love on the Rocks:
Speed Dating with a Book*

Thursday, January 31
3:00 - 4:00 PM

 Click Here to Register 


Get Ready to Speed Date with a Book!

Speed Date with a Book is a fun way for us to share our favorite reads and to hear about new ones. Bring in your favorite book--one you may have reread multiple times, or a title that will forever have a place in your heart. We will pair participants to chat about the books they chose for one-minute each and then…SWITCH!

You will book-talk with the next person down the line, until every reader has shared their book with every participant. You will leave the program inspired and with your mind overflowing with new books to read.

Just in case…Bring your second favorite book along in case there is additional time to share at the end.

Librarians Jordan McCorison and Patricia Moore will facilitate the event, and will also be participating. They will share their favorite books, book lists ideas, and bring multiple copies of popular titles.

Light refreshments will be served.

Registration is Required
 * Participation in the Love on the Rock Winter Reading (& Fun) Programs not required to attend this program.




Wednesday, February 13
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

 Songs of Protest, Resistance & Love
with Western Lands Trio

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 This program evolved as the members of the trio recalled protest and resistance songs of the past that still seem to resonate with relevance in 2018. Some are subtle, some are brash, some humorous & joyful, and some serious and somber. The songs prick our consciences and may even provoke action today. As for the love songs, they are as varied as are the expressions and types of love. Join Mike Delay, Jerry Geci and John Fulkerson of the Western Lands Trio in singing these folk songs of protest and of love.

Influenced by Pete Seeger, Mike Delay became interested in the 5 string banjo in the ‘60s. He frequented coffee houses around central Florida in ‘70s and ‘80s and joined in with musician friends playing folk, Irish and mountain songs. After moving to Connecticut in 1996 his music went somewhat dormant until John Fulkerson introduced him to Jerry Geci and they formed a musical bond.

Although singing and harmonizing started early with aunts and uncles for Jerry Geci, it wasn’t until he became a part of a folk singing trio in college that he began playing the guitar. He has kept adding to his repertoire with songs that fit his evolving family life. Jerry says, “As with life, the trio is all about harmony.”

John Fulkerson started playing the acoustic guitar and singing folk music with friends in the 1960s, later playing in a small folk group with Tim Cromwell, Roger Parker and Buzzy Mann. He was fortunate to know Frank Warner, a noted folk music collector and play with his sons Jeff and Garrett Warner as well as New England folk musician Jeff Davis.

Registration is Required - Space is Limited



Wednesday, February 20
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

 The Cookbook Club:
Love on the Rocks Edition
Foods to Fix a Broken Heart

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This month’s meeting of the OWL Cookbook Club is all about comfort food. Your assignment is to bring a dish you would take to a friend mending a broken a heart. Think of it as a warm hug and listening ear in the form of food. We will have cookbooks that focus on comfort food available for checkout a month before the event, but we also encourage you to reach into your own collection of beloved recipes for that perfect dish you give the people in your life to show them how much you care.

Join Librarians Jordan McCorison and Patricia Moore for an entertaining potluck dinner of delicious food and delightful conversation. We encourage you to bring a dish to share, but if you run out of time to cook, never fear, just bring yourself - there is always more than enough food to go around. We cannot wait to share a fun, food-filled evening with you. After all, we are just amateur cooks who love books.

Registration is Required



Thursday, February 21
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

 The ALCAN 5000
with Jeff Wacker & Julia Metcalf

Click Here to Register 




Named after the famous Alaska-Canadian Highway that was built as a gravel road during WWII to supply US troops protecting the Alaska frontier, the ALCAN 5000 is a time-speed-distance rally held every four years with over fifty competitors from all over the US and the world.

Two local residents competed in the 2018 event as a husband-wife team of driver and navigator. Covering 4,963 miles in eleven days and driving a 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente rally car, the trip included nearly 1,000 miles of seldom traveled gravel roads. 

Starting in Seattle, WA and crossing through British Columbia, the Yukon into Alaska with stops in Valdez, Denali, Fairbanks and onto the Arctic Circle. Truly the definition of both Vast Wilderness and Small Worlds - our travelers encountered 90 degree heatwaves, wildfires, river crossings, glaciers, wildlife and mechanical challenges!

Hear the story of a trip through Alaska that definitely wasn’t your typical cruise ship tour.

Registration is Required




Wednesday, March 6
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Botanic Garden:
A Live Theatrical Event with M & M Performing Arts Company


Click Here to Register 



Botanic Garden is a funny, poignant drama about a widow, Kate Goodman, who is desperate to get out of a first date. She turns to the one person who can help: her deceased husband, Jake. Botanic Garden is an inventively constructed portrait of an imperfect marriage between people who always loved each other, even when they didn’t get along.

Scenes shift between the present and scenes from their marriage - scenes that will ring familiar to anyone married a long time. It is a fresh, engaging portrait of the intricacies of a long-term relationship. Unique and heartwarming, this play will charm the audience as it touches them, identifying with the story about the trials and joys of long-term relationships, loss and renewal.

Karen Quinn-Panzer and Frank Panzer, featured actors in this performance, have been performing for many years with the M&M Performing Arts Company. The Company has been producing extraordinary theatre in the Hudson Valley since 2000. With over 75 productions traveling to more than 50 venues in Westchester County and throughout the Hudson Valley and Connecticut, M&M continues to tickle, shock, and inspire audiences, producing classic and contemporary plays and developing new works. Visit their website at: www.mmpaci.com

Registration is Required



Love on the Rocks:
After-Hours Chocolate Party Finale

Monday, March 11
7:00 - 8:30 PM



Exclusively for participants in our Love on the Rocks: Adult Winter Reading (and Fun) Program only.

If you participated and completed at least three squares, you are invited!

We’ll be celebrating our success at our Love on the Rocks, After Hours Party!
And what could be better on a cold winter’s night than indulging in some rich satisfying chocolate? Learning to make your own chocolate truffles could definitely top that! Maria Brandriff is a chocolatier and teacher of all things chocolate.

Maria has always had a strong interest in dessert and pastry making, which eventually evolved into a passion for chocolate making. In 2001, she completed a certificate of Gastronomy from the University of New Haven and in the winter of 2004, she took a private course in chocolate making with a professional chocolatier in the city of Arles in Provence, France.

Maria’s presentations include a discussion of the varieties of chocolate available, how to work with chocolate, and teaching the basics of chocolate truffle making through demonstrations with generous samples!











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