Otis Library Genealogy Club
May
21
1:00 PM13:00

Otis Library Genealogy Club

The club meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month to learn and to brainstorm about family history projects. Please bring with you any basic information you have about the family members for whom you are looking.  This club will be useful for beginners as well as experienced researchers. For more information, please call Kathleen Wieland, Genealogy Librarian, at (860) 889-2365, ext. 108. 

Meeting Room

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Technology Classes
May
22
5:00 PM17:00

Technology Classes

Feeling a little lost with all the new technology?  Maybe even some of the old technology?  Our staff is ready to assist you with one-on-one instruction tailored to your specific need. Topics include basic computer skills, navigating the internet, e-mail, e-readers, and Microsoft Office.  Assistance will be provided by appointment only on Wednesdays, 5pm - 8pm.  Please call 860-889-2365, ext. 100, for additional information or to make an appointment.  

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Technology Classes
May
24
10:00 AM10:00

Technology Classes

Feeling a little lost with all the new technology?  Maybe even some of the old technology?  Our staff is ready to assist you with one-on-one instruction tailored to your specific need. Topics include basic computer skills, navigating the internet, e-mail, e-readers, and Microsoft Office.  Assistance will be provided by appointment only on Fridays, 10am - 1pm.  Please call 860-889-2365, ext. 100, for additional information or to make an appointment. 

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Professor Nicholas F. Bellantoni:  History of the Foreign Mission School
Jun
1
1:00 PM13:00

Professor Nicholas F. Bellantoni: History of the Foreign Mission School

Professor Nicholas F. Bellantoni will discuss the history of the Foreign Mission School, which was an educational institution which existed between 1817 and 1826 in Cornwall, Connecticut. It was established by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to bring Christianity and Western Culture to non-white people by educating missionaries of their own culture.

This talk is an extra event tied to the library’s Harris Sisters Month in April. It will explore similarities between the racist episodes that occurred at Prudence Crandall’s school for young black women in Canterbury and that, just a few years earlier, closed mission school in Cornwall.

The founding pupil of the Foreign Mission School was  Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia (ca. 1792—1818), an 18-year-old Hawaiian refugee from a blood feud, left by a ship's captain in New Haven in 1810. His circumstances inspired efforts to shelter and educate him and others, some from Native American tribes, many displaced from great distances - Asia, Europe, Polynesia, and Africa - as missionaries.  Henry’s story was featured in Dr. Bellantoni’s recent book The Long Journeys Home: The Repatriations of Henry ‘Ōpūkaha’ia and Albert Afraid of Hawk

Nicholas F. Bellantoni is an associate adjunct professor in the anthropology department at the University of Connecticut and Emeritus Connecticut State Archaeologist at the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History.

Copies of The Long Journeys Home will be available for sale and signing.  Otis Library is located at 261 Main Street in Norwich and is accessible to people with disabilities.

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Gardening for Beginners
Jun
3
6:00 PM18:00

Gardening for Beginners

This month: Garden Management. Now that your garden is prepped and planted, what steps need to be taken to ensure that it thrives?

In partnership with the Eastern Connecticut Community Gardens Association (ECCGA), Otis Library will host a series of classes on gardening for beginners.   Experienced gardeners from the ECCGA will teach basic gardening skills for everyone, from home owners to apartment dwellers. This series will lead beginner gardeners through the steps and practices involved in maintaining a flourishing home garden.  Dates are as follows:  Monday, April 8; Monday, June 3; Monday, August 5; and Monday, September 9. All programs will begin at 6pm in the Story Room and are free and open to the public.  No registration is required.  Appropriate for teens and adults.  

For more information on the ECCGA, visit www.getgrowingct.org.

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Mystery Authors Panel Discussion
Jun
8
1:00 PM13:00

Mystery Authors Panel Discussion

Authors Lucy Burdette, Liz Mugavero and Shari Randall will discuss the writing process, creating characters, and what inspires them to write mysteries. This event will be moderated by writer/reviewer John Valeri.  This event is free and open to the public.  Copies of their latest books will be available for sale and signing following the discussion.

Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 17 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, A Deadly Feast.  Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She's a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at JungleRedWriters.com and shares her love for food with the culinary writers at MysteryLoversKitchen.com. She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. 

Liz Mugavero writes the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries, the first of which was an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. The seventh book in the series, Murder She Meowed, was released in January 2019. As Cate Conte, Liz also writes the Cat Cafe Mysteries. The third book in the series, Tell Tail Heart, is coming this summer. She lives in Connecticut with her rescue pals.

Shari Randall is the author of the Lobster Shack Mystery series. A native New Englander, she moved for years with her husband's Coast Guard career and now finds herself back home in Connecticut, living a short walk from a lighthouse. Shari, a graduate of Connecticut College and the Library and Information program of the University of South Carolina, worked as a children's librarian for many years. When she’s not committing murder (on the page, of course) Shari enjoys travel, classic movies, reading, and dancing.

John B. Valeri is a lifelong lover of crime fiction whose affinity for law and (dis)order has thus far been contained to the page. He currently contributes to Crimespree Magazine, CriminalElement.com, Mystery Scene Magazine, The National Book Review, the New York Journal of Books, The Strand Magazine, and Suspense Magazine. John is also a recurring guest on the Book Cougars podcast, where he offers genre commentary and reading recommendations as the show’s “Mystery Man.” He regularly moderates author events and book discussions at bookstores and libraries throughout Connecticut. Previously, John wrote the Hartford Books Examiner column (2009-2016), which author James Patterson called “a haven for finding great new books.” He made his fiction debut in the award-winning anthology Tricks and Treats: A Collection of Spooky Stories by Connecticut Authors, published by Books & Boos Press in 2016.

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Witches In Connecticut
Jun
10
6:30 PM18:30

Witches In Connecticut

Presented by: Taylor McClure of the Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library

The harrowing story of the hanging of witches in Colonial New England continues to haunt our present-day imagination.  The trials and executions of witches in Connecticut predated the more famous Salem witch panic by over 40 years.  Hear the stories of some of the women and men accused, tried and executed as witches and learn how Connecticut successfully controlled the spread of witch accusations long before Salem erupted in panic and violence.  

Taylor McClure is a Museum Educator at the Connecticut Historical Society.  She teaches educational programs for school and adult groups both at the museum and on location.  Taylor is a former high school social studies teacher, with a B.A. in history and Masters in Teaching from the University of Washington.

Free program; no registration required.  This program is for teens and adults.  Sponsored by The Elsie Brown Fund.

Image Credit: “The Kingdom of Darkness” by Nathaniel Crouch, 1688. From the collection of the Connecticut Historical Society

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Ask The Expert!
Jun
12
10:30 AM10:30

Ask The Expert!

Are you looking to start your own business but don't know where to begin?  Do you need help writing a business plan?  What if you own a business but need advice on marketing?  Jill Fritzsche, Community Manager at Norwich Community Development Corporation, will be in the Business Center at Otis Library the second Wednesday of every month from 10:30am - 12:30pm to answer your questions. Drop in; no appointment necessary.  This is a free program.  For more information, call Julie at 860-889-2365, ext. 128.

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Delicious Discussions Author Series
Jun
18
12:00 PM12:00

Delicious Discussions Author Series

This series is generously sponsored by Guinan & Houle, LLP Attorneys at Law.

Otis Library and Bank Square Books present a Delicious Discussions author luncheon with author Meghan MacLean Weir in celebration of her new book The Book of Essie.  Tickets for this event are $40 and include an author talk and signing, a copy of the book and a buffet lunch at Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun.

This event requires pre-registration.  To register, call Julie at 860-889-2365, x128, or you may register online. Delicious Discussions Author Series is a partnership between Otis Library, Bank Square Books and Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun.  

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Nineteenth Century Publishers and the Birth of the Beach Read
Jun
22
1:00 PM13:00

Nineteenth Century Publishers and the Birth of the Beach Read

Professor Donna Harrington-Lueker will speak at Otis Library on Saturday, June 22, at 1pm in the Millie and Martin Shapiro Community Room.  She will discuss her new book, Books for Idle Hours: Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading (University of Massachusetts Press 2019, $29.95).  Drawing upon letters, diaries, archival materials, and an array of 19th-century popular novels set at summer resorts, the author traces the ways in which 19th-century readers, authors, and publishing houses came to frame summer reading not as a disreputable indulgence but as a respectable pastime, especially for the woman reader.

Donna Harrington-Lueker is a professor in the Department of English and Communications at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI.  A former magazine writer and editor, her research interests include 19-century print culture, women’s magazines, and the alternative press.  For more information on the author, visit  https://dhlsummerbooks.wordpress.com/.

This is a free program; registration is required.A light lunch will be served.To register, call Julie at 860-889-2365, ext. 128, or register on the library’s website calendar.

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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Legacy of Ellis Island
Jun
24
6:00 PM18:00

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Legacy of Ellis Island

Otis Library will be showing the film “USCIS and the Legacy of Ellis Island” on Monday, June 24, at 6pm in the Millie and Martin Shapiro Community Room.  This short documentary tells the story of Ellis Island through the perspective of those who worked there and highlights the historical connections between the USCIS mission and this iconic historic site. Following the film, Bassem Gayed, Multicultural Services Librarian at Otis Library, will facilitate a discussion with local immigrants.  A variety of ethnic cuisines will be provided by local restaurants.  This event is sponsored by The Elsie Brown Fund.

This film is being shown in recognition of World Refugee Day, which is observed on the 20th of June each year and is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees around the world. Free event; registration is required. To register, call Bassem at 860-889-2365, x 109, or register on our online calendar.

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Author Martin Podskoch
May
18
1:00 PM13:00

Author Martin Podskoch

Author Martin Podskoch will be speaking at Otis Library on Saturday, May 18, at 1pm in the Millie and Martin Shapiro Community Room.  He will talk about his new book Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut (Podskoch Press, $24.95). 

Mr. Podskoch, a retired teacher who lives in East Hampton, is the author of six books on the history of the Adirondacks, fire towers, and Civilian Conservation Corps camps.  In Connecticut 169 Club, the author has compiled interesting information on the 169 towns, cities and villages in the State of Connecticut in the hopes of encouraging people to visit them all. He recruited writers, historians, and officials from each town to write a short description about the town’s history, interesting places to visit, and good places to eat.

Free program; no registration required.Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.

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Classics Book Club
May
11
10:00 AM10:00

Classics Book Club

Something New! We will read a variety of classic works, from ancient to modern, and meet four times a year in various locations around the City. Our May discussion is on Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Meet us at Cafe Otis, 80Broadway, Norwich. To register, call 860-889-2365, ext. 128.

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Children's Art Exhibit Opening (all ages)
Apr
5
6:00 PM18:00

Children's Art Exhibit Opening (all ages)

Otis Library is hosting a series of programs in April 2019 to celebrate the Harris sisters, Norwich natives and students at Prudence Crandall’s school for young African-American women from 1833-1834. The umbrella theme for the month is student advocacy.

On Friday, April 5, from 6pm – 8pm in the Children’s Department,  the library will host the opening of the student art exhibit “How Can I Make The World A Better Place?”  Children from pre-school through fifth grade will exhibit art – paintings, drawings, collage, and assemblage – that illustrates this theme. Refreshments will be served. Free after-hours event; no registration is required. The exhibit will be on display throughout the month of April. 

Sponsored by The Friends of Otis Library.

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CANCELED - Ann Nyberg at Otis Library
Mar
16
1:00 PM13:00

CANCELED - Ann Nyberg at Otis Library

PLEASE NOTE: Due to illness, our program with Ann Nyberg has been canceled. We hope to reschedule at a future date.

Ann Nyberg, author & WTNH-TV’s anchor and reporter, will discuss and sign copies of her book, “Remembering Katharine Hepburn: Stories of Wit and Wisdom about America’s Leading Lady” on Saturday, March 16, at 1pm at Otis Library.  This free program is presented in conjunction with the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame exhibit “We Fight For Roses, Too” on display at Otis Library through the month of March.  Nyberg, founding member and current board vice-president of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) in Old Saybrook, will discuss the extraordinary life of Katharine Hepburn through personal remembrances from people whose lives she influenced.

Ann Nyberg is the longest serving, full-time anchor/reporter in Connecticut television history, anchoring the news at WTNH-TV (ABC) in New Haven. She began her broadcast journalism career right after graduation from Purdue University with a degree in journalism. Highlights of her career include assignments to Cuba and to the Vatican. She also hosts her own on-air and online long format chat show called Nyberg, on which she interviews innovators, entrepreneurs, and everyday folk, anybody who has a story to tell. Ann’s popular website, “Network Connecticut,” spotlights people, places, innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses all over the state.

This program is free and open to the public but registration is required.To register, call 860-889-2365, ext. 128, or visit the library’s online calendar at www.otislibrarynorwich.org.

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