Oliver Wolcott Library - Programs

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Events are updated regularly. Please check back!

Tuesday, October 24th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Thin Lines: A Vineyard Journey
with Author John Pryor Fulkerson
Click Here to Register 

After an inspiring vacation in France’s Rhone Valley, a surgeon decides to grow grapes in the harsh northwest Connecticut hills and create fine wines from them. In Thin Lines: A Vineyard Journey, John Pryor Fulkerson details his experience of gathering friends and family to help with the harvest, the crush, the fermentation, and the final preparation of fine wine.

Throughout this journey, he acquires much more than wine - he also engages more closely with friends and family while cultivating a profound bond with nature. Fulkerson’s love of viticulture and wine making is evident as he chronicles his challenges and victories in eloquent detail. Sprinkled throughout the narrative are original poems that enrich the story and bring the reader deeper into the experience.

Whether you’re a casual wine drinker or are cultivating an interest in viticulture, you’ll find much to love in this story of one man’s journey through the grape-growing and winemaking process.

John Pryor Fulkerson’s love of words began when he was a young boy in New York. He grew up listening to his grandmother recite the works of Kipling and Wordsworth. In college, he exchanged long, entertaining letters with his father, a physician, and also began writing and studying poetry while pursuing pre-medical courses.

Inspired by his father and other physicians in his family, John went to Yale Medical School and became an orthopedic surgeon. Today he continues to write poetry and counts Rumi, Billy Collins, Rudyard Kipling, Rainer Rilke, Lao Tzu, and William Wordsworth among others as writers that influenced him. Lynn Fulkerson, shown here with John, provided the cover art for the book. A wine & cheese reception will follow. The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing.  REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED


Wednesday, October 25th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Light: Its Mysteries & Hidden Secrets
with Joe Dougherty
Click Here to Register 

When you hear or read about astronomy, descriptions of stars or galaxies, or the discovery of planets in a distant solar system, do you ever wonder how scientists discovered all that information?

It is amazing to be reminded that man has never traveled further than the moon and our farthest and most sophisticated spacecrafts have only recently ventured into interstellar space. Yet, we know a tremendous amount about galaxies millions of light years away.

This presentation will explore light….what it is and how scientists have harnessed it to reveal much of what we know about our universe. Specifically, we will learn about the chemical composition of stars, how to determine the distance and temperatures of astronomical objects and how scientists are discovering new “exoplanets” daily.

Joe Dougherty is the President of the Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club. He has specialized in the field of astro-imaging for nearly 10 years. He has given numerous presentations on imaging to the public and other amateur astronomers over the years. Recently, he has been exploring the use of new tools, software and imaging cameras used in the field of Spectroscopy of stars. He resides in Waterbury, CT and holds an M.B.A. and B.S. in Mathematics. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED 


Wednesday, November 1st
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Litchfield Drone Video Presentation

with Peter Tavino
Click Here to Register 

While ground level motion pictures have been around since the 1890s, airplane images since 1909 and satellite pictures since 1959, stable drone video between 20 feet and 400 feet in altitude is brand new, and only about 4 years old. Join Certified FAA remote pilot Peter Tavino as he shows cinematography taken in Litchfield and nearby towns. With each of the video clips presented, he will tell the short story about recording it, and then answer questions about this technology.

Peter Tavino is a professional civil engineer and Litchfield resident. He holds a Master of Science in Engineering Degree from Columbia University. His career included land development and geothermal heating and cooling. His latest enterprise is capturing aerial images with his quadcopter drone as a Federal Aviation Administration part 107 certified small Unmanned Aircraft System Remote Pilot. 

Peter has published a continuing education course Drones for Civil Engineers, and works for Realtors to help sell properties. His video collection of Litchfield and neighboring sites and activities will be shown and explained. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED


Sunday, November 5th
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Poetry & Growing Old
with Jim Kelleher
Click Here to Register 

We all grow old (if we’re lucky) and that’s probably a good attitude to keep –that we are lucky because we have grown old: lucky because we have enjoyed a long life. And our fortune is not in our bank accounts but in our memories and loved ones. 

Jim believes poetry is alive. Poetry is in our music. Most of the songs we love have poetic elements, “lyrics,” and they entertain us as much as teach us. The lines stick in our heads: “By the light of the moon” or “Will you still need me/will you still please me?/when I’m 64.” As we grow older, 64 seems young to us now.

If poetry entertains us in songs, and preserves memories in the stories it tells, it still has one final purpose: it records the wisdom of people who became old before us, and the lessons they learned the hard way. For Poetry and Growing Old, we will read about ten poems and see what bells they ring in our own experience. A few of the poets are famous but most are anonymous. Just like us.

The stories poems tell, and the conclusions they reach, can make us feel better. We can feel better about how we got here, and we can feel better about keeping on.

Jim Kelleher has published three books of poetry: Quarry, Mick, A Celestial Drama, and Selected Poems. Individual poems have been published in Yankee, The Christian Science Monitor, Fine Homebuilding, The Country and Abroad, and more. Jim is a full-time Tech Ed teacher at Torrington Middle School, and an adjunct at Northwestern CT Community College, where he teaches literature and composition. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED


Thursday, November 9th OR
Thursday, November 16th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The Process: Three Plays
Written & Performed by Nancy Palmento Schuler

Click Here to Register  for Nov 9
Click Here to Register  for Nov 16

The library welcomes back Nancy Palmento Schuler to perform her latest play, The Process. Two shows are available to see this extraordinary performance. 

The Process is a production of three short plays. The first is titled “Henry and Marion, 62 years of Wedded Bliss, NOT!,” which is a look at a marriage that has worn out its life. The second is “The Dating Game,” a hilarious look at dating for seniors, and finally “The Process,” a glimpse into the fading world of an octogenarian who is determined to stay in her home even though she may be losing some filters. Nancy’s husband, Ed will be playing the parts of Otto and Marcus.

Nancy was born and raised in Waterbury and has lived in Litchfield for the past 20 years with her husband, Ed. The arts are not new to her, having studied at Paier Art College in Hamden and teaching art and painting her entire life. Her trompe l’oeil talent won her a spot at the New Britain Museum of American Art - Juried art show.

Last year at age 67, she transitioned to writing and acting. Her story about Teresa, her Italian immigrant grandmother, was awarded a place at the New York Public Library Equity Theater’s 2017 new playwrights. She will be performing Teresa at the Italian American Museum in New York in November. She has also performed it at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Osher Life Long Learning at the University of Connecticut, the New Britain Museum, Shakesperience Productions, the Mattatuck Museum and many community centers and libraries. Her trilogy, Three Women, Three Roads, has also been performed at numerous theatres and libraries including the OWL last November. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED


Mondays, November 13th & 20th
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Come Write In
with Patricia Moore and NaNoWriMo
Click Here to Register 

Come Write In on November 13 and 20 and start writing with us! 

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel. NaNoWriMo is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. We want to help you reach the NaNoWriMo goal of a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30 with two sessions that will help to spark your creativity, ignite your inner voice, and make you put words to paper/screen.

At these two sessions, all NaNoWriMo participants will meet in our community room. We will provide the fuel (namely coffee, tea and something sweet), camaraderie, and exercises to get your word count up - including timed word sprints and character questionnaires.

The OWL and National Novel Writing Month believe in the transformational power of creativity. By being a Come Write In space, we will provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds - on and off the page.

We hope to see you often this November - after all, the world needs your novel!

To learn more about National Novel Writing Month and this worldwide phenomenon, visit their website at NaNoWriMo.org. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED 


Wednesday, November 15th
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Good Reads for Cold Nights
A Staff Book Talk
Click Here to Register 

As every reader knows, any time you finish a great book, you find yourself asking, “What do I read next?” With so many choices on the new shelves and in our stacks, it can be difficult to find just the right book! Let us be your personal guide by hearing about what we’ve been reading. 

Eighteen books will be shared. For each book, we’ll give a brief story line and then share our thoughts on why this book made it on our list. A list of each book selected, along with who recommended it, will be provided at the talk as well as available for download from our website at its conclusion. From recently published books to favorites you might have missed, you will hear about why we loved them and why they are on our recommended reading list.

Join Librarians Audra MacLaren and Patricia Moore and as they share their reading recommendations for great cold night reads! REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

OWL Monday Scholars

Stephen’s Story & History of Hitler’s Empire

Mondays, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
December 4, 11, 18 and
January 8, 15, 22, 29
Click Here to Register

Facilitated by Patricia Moore, Monday Scholars is a weekly series that meets in the library’s Jamie Gagarin Community Room. Each week, a new lecture topic is watched and then discussed by all who attend. All you need to do is come ready to engage your mind and participate in discussion. Registration Required. 

Stephen’s Story: Living Through the Holocaust:
Stephen Breuer’s film recalling his experience living through the Holocaust. He was born in a small city outside Budapest, Hungry. When Stephen was a young boy, the Nazis invaded Hungary and he and his family were interned in a camp. While this is the story of one young man and his family, it echoes the experiences of millions of others. It is a personal story that helps illuminate the stories of many. Stephen Breuer now lives in Lancaster, England, and is a retired Chemistry Professor from the University of Lancaster. 

History of Hitler’s Empire is a six-week course designed by Professor Thomas Childers. Adolf Hitler was surely the greatest enemy modern civilization ever faced. Over half a century later, the horror and fascination still linger. In this course, we will attempt to answer questions such as, how could a man like Adolf Hitler and a movement like Nazism come to power in 20th-century Germany, an industrially developed country with a highly educated population? How were the Nazis able to establish the foundations of a totalitarian regime in such a short time and hurl all of Europe and the world into a devastating war that would consume so many millions of lives?
And the answers lead us to other questions: Who voted for the Nazis and why? How did the Nazis campaign? What did they seem to stand for? Why was there apparently so little resistance to them? How were Nazis able to seize control of the press, radio, courts, and police with so little trouble? Can it happen again? 

About the Professor:
Dr. Thomas Childers is Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been teaching for over 25 years. He is also a popular lecturer abroad in London, Berlin and Munich. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. 

Professor Childers is the author and editor of several books on modern German history and the Second World War. He is currently completing a trilogy on the Second World War.

About the Co-Facilitator:
Bibby Veerman has lived in Litchfield for twenty years and is a graduate of Wesleyan University where she was an Etherington Scholar. She is an active member of the League of Women Voters and the Women’s Forum of Litchfield. Stephen Breuer is Bibby’s brother-in-law.


Wednesday, December 6th
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

A Christmas Stocking: Three Tales from Christmases Past
Performed by Michèle LaRue
Click Here to Register 

Professional actress Michèle LaRue returns to the library - this time with a trio of holiday surprises: Their Dear Little Ghost by Elia W. Peattie (1898), The Christmas Sing in Our Village by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1898), and The Gift of the Magi, O. Henry’s well-loved favorite (1906).

Their Dear Little Ghost, from a time when Americans found consolation in the supernatural, is a tender story about an enchanting lost child and her comforting reappearance on the Christmas after her death. The Christmas Sing in Our Village is a lighthearted, gossipy tale of small-town New England anticipation, celebration, and romantic intrigue. In The Gift of the Magi, struggling young newlyweds search doggedly for two perfect Christmas presents . . . surprising each other and themselves, and discovering the true spirit of giving.

Michèle LaRue, a graduate in Acting from the University of Kansas, is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, a theatre editor and writer for Drama Desk, an organization of New York drama critics, and has collaborated on several notable theatre books. She has toured nationally for 25 years with a repertoire of historical one-woman productions of literature from America’s Gilded Age. A Chicago native now based in New York City, she has presented her offerings at more than 400 venues, including Washington’s Smithsonian Institution, Chicago’s Newberry Library, and NYC’s Lincoln Center. Her website is michelelarue.com. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED


Thursday, December 7th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Sweetie Bake Your Day
with Author & Chef Amanda Glover
Click Here to Register 

In Sweetie Bake Your Day, Chef Amanda Glover makes baking simple and fun even for the novice baker and offers creative yet easy to bake recipes for delicious breakfasts, desserts, and gluten-free baked goodies. 

Join us as Amanda shares some of her favorite recipes, provides tips on using high quality and local ingredients, keeping equipment to a minimum, and how to make recipes accessible to any avid home baker. Amanda believes anyone can bake, and she’s ready to help you get started or stay inspired!

Amanda Glover is a classically trained chef in traditional cooking methods as well as a pastry chef. She studied for two years at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. After graduation she further honed her skills as a pastry chef at the famed European patisserie Belgique in Kent, CT resulting in a well-developed repertoire in breads, chocolate making, and pastry production.

She then went to the venerable Winvian Resort in Morris, CT where she worked under the innovative and creative mind of Chef Chris Eddy. It was there that she gained an appreciation for sustainable, locally sourced ingredients and products that would ultimately shape her world view on the interconnectedness of a community built around food. Today Amanda brings lovingly prepared baked goods to her community in the Northwest Hills from a food truck named “Sweetie.” Dessert reception to follow provided by Amanda Glover. The author will provide books for sale & signing. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED 


Wednedsay, December 13th
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

The Cookbook Club
Holiday Cookie Swap Party
Click Here to Register 

The OWL Cookbook Club wants to simplify your holiday baking! Join Audra MacLaren and Patricia Moore as they host the Cookbook Club’s Holiday Cookie Swap Party. Be inspired by one of our recommended holiday cookbooks or bring a batch of your holiday favorite cookies or brownies. Come prepared to tell us what inspired you or share why your cookie is a family favorite. 

We will sample our delicious treats, then swap and package them to take some home. Patricia and Audra will provide festive take-home boxes to package our treats. Everyone leaves with a wonderful assortment of holiday cookies -- and plenty of new recipes for the holidays!

Each baker, please bring the recipe you used and we will make copies to share. Check out our display of recommended holiday cookbooks beginning a month before the event. Join us and make your holiday season sweet! REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED 





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