From: Otis Library <>
Subject: Otis Library December 2014 Newsletter
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Newsletter                             December 2014

Director's Letter

Dear Library Patrons,
This year's installment of O'tis a Festival was a spectacularly successful event with 2,274 visits recorded.  This is a considerable increase over 2013 and its 1,974 visits. Since its inception in 2009, O'tis has grown into a community-wide event, a substantive and celebratory reason to think of the city center as a destination.  


O'tis is important both for the way in which it draws people together in a stimulating environment and for its salience in accomplishing another essential goal articulated in a recent Aspen Institute report entitled RISING TO THE CHALLENGE: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries: "Public libraries that align their services to support local community goals will find the greatest opportunities for success in the years ahead." A renascent city center is a goal long envisioned by the city of Norwich and it is one of the key reasons that Otis Library remained downtown when its new building was envisioned in the 2000's. To cite a second resonant statement from the Aspen report, "(e)very community needs a vision and a strategic plan for how to work with the public library to directly align the library and its work with the community's educational, economic and other key goals." Otis is and will continue to be integral to the development of the city's plans and a focal point for a resilient business district.


As we review a very successful O'tis A Festival, we have to contemplate the departure of one of its principal architects, Andrea Kaiser. Andrea has received a wonderful offer from Norwich Free Academy, representing a great opportunity for career advancement. It is a sad day for Otis Library, but we know that NFA is getting an excellent candidate for a lead role in fundraising and development. Please join me in wishing her well in her new job! 


Robert Farwell

Executive Director        



Technology Classes  silver-keyboard2.jpg

Feeling a little lost with all the new technology?  Maybe even some of the old  technology?  Our staff are ready to assist you with a wide range of computer-related questions.  Topics include basic computer skills, navigating the internet, e-mail, e-readers, and Microsoft Office.  Assistance will be provided by appointment only on Wednesdays, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.  Please call  860-889-2365, ext. 100, for additional information or to make an appointment.

YouTube Channel
Have you visited Otis Library's new YouTube Channel?  Each month, new videos are added - book selections, instructional videos, library tours, and more!  Don't miss it.

Otis Library has several new Pinterest boards added to their page especially for the holidays.
If you're looking for a sweet Christmas book:
If you're looking for book gift ideas, look for great suggestions here:
If you're a knitter, we have a board of free patterns, perfect for gifts this year:
And finally, if you're a basketball fan, you might enjoy some of these fiction and/or non-fiction books:

In This Issue
From Hula Hoops to High Fashion: G. Fox in the 1950s
Friends of Otis Library News
Invisible Writing: A Year of Notable but Neglected Fiction
Drop-In Knitting Group
Programs for Adults
Teen Happenings
Programs for Children and Families
School Uniforms
Mon, Wed:  
10AM - 8PM
Tue, Thur & Fri:
10AM - 5PM
10AM - 3PM

We will close Wednesday, December 24, and Thursday, December 25 for the Christmas holidays. 

We will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31, and be closed Thursday, January 1, for New Years Day.

Stay Connected:
 Library Catalog

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Find us on Pinterest  View our videos on YouTube

Free Downloadable E-Books, Audiobooks, and Magazines!
Visit the Otis Library website to access hundreds of popular e-books and audiobooks.  All you need is a current Otis Library card to check out titles from your computer or mobile device.

We now offer online magazines from Zinio, available via our Library Catalog.  View full digital copies of your favorite magazines!  Read online or download issues to your computer or mobile device.  This collection is available with a current Otis Library card.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.
From Hula Hoops to High Fashion: 
G. Fox in the 1950s

Otis Library and the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) are teaming up to bring you From Hula Hoops to High Fashion:  

G. Fox in the 1950s on Monday, December 8, at 1:00 p.m. in the Millie and Martin Shapiro Community Room. 


For most Connecticut residents, the word "Fox's" holds powerful associations. The name evokes images of a beautifully decorated, tall department store on Main Street in Hartford filled with every imaginable garment, home furnishing or domestic necessity dreamed of, and warm memories of sharing time with family and friends. From the marquee decorated for Christmas to shopping trips for back-to-school clothes, the days at G. Fox were filled with wonder. For a treat, nothing was better than cream cheese on date nut bread with mother in the Connecticut Room.


Elizabeth Abbe, director of public outreach at the Connecticut Historical Society, will be your guide down memory lane, with a look at Connecticut's favorite department store. She will take you back, floor by floor, to the days when Fox's was the largest privately-owned department store in the U.S. Elizabeth, who grew up in Wethersfield, says she remembers how special it was to take the bus "uptown" to spend the day shopping with her mother at Fox's.


Elizabeth will also give you some insight into the woman who made every shopping experience a joy - Beatrice Fox Auerbach. In addition to a substantial collection of business papers, clothing, furniture, and photographs tied to the story of G. Fox Co., the Connecticut Historical Society houses some of Mrs. Auerbach's personal records including correspondence with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

It's time to revisit G. Fox Co., where the customer was always right! Bring your memories along with your favorite purchases. We'll have some tables for display of G. Fox Co. treasures and time for you to share a favorite G. Fox Co. story. You'll also have the opportunity to go home with a booklet that gives a brief history of the store for a small donation.


This program is a part of the CHS adult outreach program. To learn more about CHS and its programs, visit CHS is located at 1 Elizabeth Street in Hartford, CT.


No registration necessary.  This free event is sponsored by The Elsie Brown Fund.



The Friends of Otis Library News

The Friends of Otis Library's new cookbook, A Literary Feast: Served up by Friends of Otis Library, makes a wonderful holiday gift!  The cookbook includes recipes from members of the Friends, along with staff, friends, and families.  It also includes recipes from authors such as Debbie Macomber and Barbara Delinsky, as well as beloved recipes from local restaurants.  The cost is $15, with proceeds benefiting Otis Library.  To purchase your copy, stop at the front desk, or contact Debbie Froio at   


Nominations Sought

Invisible Writing: A Year of Notable but Neglected Fiction
This one-year book club series, sponsored by Otis Library and beginning
in January, 2015, will explore four extraordinary American authors whose
work, because of marketplace decisions or changes in taste, is now little
read or remembered. Discussions will be led by individuals familiar with
both the authors and the context in which they wrote. The series will begin on Saturday, January 24, at 1:00 p.m. with "Tongues of Flame," a 1985 collection of short stories by Alabama writer Mary Ward Brown.

Otis Library invites members of the public to nominate the other three books in
the series. Books may be from any era. Cultural representation will be a
factor in the selection. Nominations are due January 1, 2015 and
should include a statement of why the book was submitted for consideration.
Nominations may be sent, called in, or emailed to Elanah Sherman at 65
Cedar Street, Norwich 06360; 860-614-7200; or; or Julie Menders at Otis Library, 261 Main Street, Norwich 06360; (860) 889-2365, ext. 128; or

This project is funded by The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation.

Drop-In Knitting Group

The Rows City Knitters, our drop-in knitting group, meets every Friday at 10:00 a.m. in the Meeting Room.  The group is open to knitters of all levels, and anyone who enjoys needlework!  For more information, contact Julie at (860) 889-2365, ext. 128.

The newest project for the Rows City Knitters is  Warmth for Warriors.  We are seeking donations of wool/alpaca yarn to knit/crochet skull caps for active and retired personnel.  Donations can be left at the front desk.


Programs for Adults

Writing Group 
Otis Library will host a Writers Group the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the Meeting Room.  The bi-weekly meetings in a small, personal environment will motivate and support the writer.  Both new and experienced writers are welcome.  Free program.  Call (860) 889-2365, ext. 128, for more information.

Changing Minds Book Club
The Changing Minds Book Club will meet in the Meeting Room on Wednesday, January 14, at 5:00 p.m.  The group will be discussing Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi.  Copies of the book are available to borrow at the front desk.  Free and open to the public.  Refreshments provided.  For more information, call Julie at (860) 889-2365, ext. 128.  Please note that the Club does not meet in December.

Otis Library and Norwich Community Cinema
Ida                                                                                                                                  Saturday, December 13, 7:30 p.m., Rated PG-13 
Donald Oat Theater
Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.

Life of Pi
Friday, December 26, 6:00 p.m., Rated PG
Otis Library
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.  Free event, refreshments provided.
Sponsored by The Elsie Brown Fund.



Teen Happenings
Become a FAN of Otis Library on Facebook   Like us on Facebook 
Follow Otis Library on Pinterest   Find us on Pinterest

Events:  Must be in Grade 6 or above to attend.

Gifts in a Jar:  Wednesday, December 10, 6:30 p.m.

Create a fun, delicious gift of hot chocolate in a jar along with chocolate covered spoons!  Don't worry, we'll have chocolate for eating, too!  Join us in the Young Adult room.

Middle School Book Club:  Monday, December 15, 6:30 p.m.
Read Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George.  Every Tuesday Castle Glower takes on a life of its own - magically inventing, moving and completely getting rid of some of its rooms.  When the castle is ambushed and Celie's parents and oldest brother go missing, it's up to Celie to protect their home and save their kingdom.  Books are available at the front desk.  Talk about the book over dessert in the Meeting Room.

Movie Night - Guardians of the Galaxy:  Wednesday, December 17, 6:00 p.m.
A group of interstellar outlaws team up to save the galaxy from a villain who seeks ultimate power in this comic book space adventure.  Watch it on the screen in the YA room with snacks.
Rated PG-13.  Sponsored by The Rotary Club of Norwich.  
Programs for Children and Families
All programs are offered at no charge to the public.  Registration is required for some programs.  Please register in person at the Children's Desk; by calling (860) 889-2365, ext 114; or you may register for our programs via our online calendar.


Gingerbread Cottage (ages 4 and up, with adult)

Make a charming gingerbread cottage!  Registration required.   

Wednesday, December 3 (early release from Norwich Public Schools), 2:00-3:00 p.m.



First Friends (ages zero and up)

Enjoy 30 minutes of rhymes, songs, and other activities for the very young, then stay (or not) for a one-hour open play group.  Older siblings are welcome!  No registration required.

Fridays, December 5 and 12, 10:30 a.m. (program); 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (playgroup)


Elegant Ornaments (ages 6 and up)

Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. to make an ornament based on children's book illustrations.  No registration required.

Saturday, December 6, 12:30-2:30 p.m.


Pop-Up Studio (Grades 3-5)

Mystic Arts Center presents:  Pop-Up Studio for children in grades 3-5.  Listen to the story Tar Beach, written and illustrated by Faith Ringgold.  Create your own story quilts inspired by the author but using your own autobiographical stores!  Register now.   

Sponsored by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.

Saturday, December 6, 1:00-2:00 p.m.


John Himmelman Skype (ages 6 and up)

Enjoy some pizza while listening to and looking at books by artist/author John  Himmelman, then Skype with the author!  Families with children of all ages are welcome; children ages 6 and up will probably be most interested in the author visit.  Registration is requested.

Monday, December 8, 6:00 (pizza), 6:30 (Skype)


Elf (best for ages 8 and up)

An oversized elf searches for his true identity.  Enjoy this comedy on an early-release date for Norwich Public Schools.  No registration required.

Sponsored by The Rotary Club of Norwich.

Thursday, December 11, 1:30-3:00 p.m.


Move and Groove (ages 5 and up)

Dance to the music under the direction of Diane Elder, director of Norwich's own 3D Dance Studio.  Wear comfortable clothing.  Registration is required.   

Saturday, December 13, 10:30-11:00 a.m.


Woodland Cinderella Puppet Show (all ages; kids under 5, please bring an adult to the show)

Master puppeteer Deborah Costine presents her award-winning version of Cinderella.  Nature!  Magic!  Refreshments!  No registration required.

Saturday, December 13, 1:30-2:15 p.m.


Romare Bearden Calendar (ages 5 and up)

Be inspired by great American artist Romare Bearden!  Create beautiful and meaningful 2015 calendars using personal images and collage techniques.  These calendars make great gifts.  No registration required.

Wednesday, December 17, 6:00-7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 27, 12:30-2:30 p.m.


Biscuits With Bella (all ages)

An animal lover's delight!  Make no-bake doggy treats and a birdseed ornament to hang outdoors.  Enjoy cookies and a visit with Bella, therapy pug extraordinaire!  She loves to hear you read!  No registration required.

Courtesy of Ms. Pepin - thank you!

Saturday, December 20, 12:30-1:30 p.m.


mini-winter-landscape.jpg Snowflake Songs (ages 3-6, with adult)

Miss Terri of Kindermusik will lead this seasonal music class for little ones.  Registration is requested.  Registration opens December 1.

Sponsored by The Norwich Recreation Department. 

Monday, December 22, 10:30-11:15 a.m.




Otis Library LEGO© Club (ages four and up)

We supply the LEGO© bricks; you supply the building skills. Registration is requested. Registration opens on the first business day of the month in which the Club meets.

Sponsored by The Norwich Recreation Department. 

Saturday, December 27, 10:15-11:45 a.m.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (best for ages 8 and up)
Vacation week special!  Join us for this hilarious animated adventure.  No registration required.
Sponsored by The Elsie Brown Fund.
Tuesday, December 30, 1:30-3:00 p.m.


School Uniforms

Otis Library and Norwich Human Services would like to give families an opportunity to recycle school uniforms and help children who need them.  If you have any gently used uniforms that no longer fit your children, please drop them off at the Otis Library school uniform collection box in the atrium of the library.  Volunteers will pick them up, fix them as needed, and organize them by size.  Uniforms will then be made available to students as appropriate.
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Otis Library | 261 Main Street | Norwich | CT | 06360