Skip to content

Adult Events

The Oliver Wolcott Library offers a wide range of programming for adults, from continuing series like Monday Scholars and Tea with TED,
to lectures, book discussions, and author talks. All events are free and open to all.

Continue your journey of lifelong learning with us!


Monday Scholars: The Scientific Wonder of Birds


LIVE Zoom Event - At The Time of Event...Click Here To Join On ZOOM

Mondays: 1:00 - 2:30 PM 
July 12 - August 16

About Monday Scholars:

Monday Scholars combines the best of online learning with live virtual discussion! All you need to do in advance is be eager to learn and discuss. Each week, you will log in and together, via Zoom, all of us will watch two video lectures presented by Dr. Bruce Fleury. Then, via Zoom, OWL's Karen Pasternak will lead everyone in a discussion of what we just watched.


About the course:

Birds are endlessly compelling and fascinating creatures. Millions of people around the world engage in the organized activity of birding, and countless more enjoy casually watching our avian neighbors in their daily activities. But beyond what we can observe on the surface, birds are phenomenally interesting—and often extremely surprising—in their biology, physiology, aerodynamics, and their multifaceted behavioral adaptations.

Birds are among the most ingenious and resourceful of living creatures, and astonishingly more intelligent than we often imagine. A few amazing aspects of birds and their behaviors include:

~ Avian research reveals sophistication of birds’ tool use and vocal communication that were thought to be exclusive to primates and humans

~ Birds’ diverse sexual and mating habits show uncanny similarities to human behavior

~ Among nature’s most amazing vocalists, North America’s brown thrasher can learn and retain over 1,000 songs

~ Evidence suggests that birds are able to appreciate aesthetic beauty

In The Scientific Wonder of Birds, biologist and bird expert Professor Bruce E. Fleury of Tulane University guides you in a spirited discovery of the amazing beneath-the-surface world of birds—their evolution, fascinating lives in the wild, and the science that underlies their adaptations and behaviors. We will delve into bird life and behavior around the world, as well as revealing the marvels of birds’ physiology, psychology, brainpower, and the complexities of their remarkable lifestyles and habits.


About the course Instructor:

Dr. Bruce E. Fleury (1950–2020) was a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. He earned a BA from the University of Rochester in Psychology and General Science and an MA in Library, Media, and Information Studies from the University of South Florida. His career as a college reference librarian led him to Tulane University, where he became head of the university library's Science and Engineering Division. He went on to earn an MS and a PhD in Biology, both from Tulane. Professor Fleury was the author of numerous articles and newspaper columns, both popular and professional, and a reference book on dinosaurs. He taught between 600 and 700 students a year, and his courses included ornithology, introductory general biology and environmental biology, the history of life, and evolution in human health and disease. His teaching awards included two awards for outstanding teaching from the Tulane chapter of the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society and a Mortar Board "Last Lecture" Award, in which favorite professors are invited to give a lecture as if it were their last. Professor Fleury served as an advisor for Warner Brothers' space epic Green Lantern, working on several classroom and laboratory scenes and serving as a "consulting xenobiologist" on alien life.

  • To Join by Phone dial 1 646 876 9923 (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 810 1986 6469
  • Password: 008414

The Constant Man With Author Peter Steiner


Thursday, August 5 From 7:00 - 8:00 PM

This event will be held in the Library's Jamie Gagarin Community Room. 

Masks must be worn by anyone who is unvaccinated.

Seating is limited & Registration is Required - Register Here


Set again in Nazi Germany, The Constant Man is author Peter Steiner’s sequel to The Good Cop. On the surface both books are cat-and-mouse thrillers. The protagonist, Willi Geismeier, is trying to stop a psychopathic killer in a setting where psychopathology is the norm and he, and not the killer, is the outlaw. 

An underlying but critical theme is how and why that psychopathology allows and helps an authoritarian regime to come into being and flourish. What are the underlying weaknesses and costs to the human psyche? How does the authoritarian exploit them? Both novels were written in the last four years, during this time of great political turmoil in our country.

As a German scholar, Peter will discuss what he sees as the dangerous political and psychological parallels between the rise of fascism in the late 1930s and 1940s and what is happening in the U.S. today.

Peter Steiner was born and raised in Cincinnati. After the University of Miami and the Free University of Berlin, and serving in the U.S. Army in Germany, he got a PhD in German literature. He taught at Dickinson College for eight years, but left teaching to become an artist and cartoonist. For the next twenty-five years he made his living as a cartoonist for The New Yorker and other publications. He created the cartoon "On the internet nobody knows you're a dog," the most reproduced cartoon The New Yorker has ever published. In the late 1990's he began writing novels, at first for his own amusement. The Constant Man is his seventh novel. He lives in Connecticut and spends a good part of each year in rural France, dividing his time between writing, painting and cartooning. His paintings can be seen on his website, His cartoons are published on his blog Hopeless but not Serious at


Non-Fiction Discussion Group


Thursday, August 12

Non-Fiction Group: 2:00 pm 

Meeting will be held outside the Library on the South Side, near the Parking Lot, in a circle of chairs provided by the Library
In case of inclement weather, the Group will meet inside the library.

Muhammad: A Prophet for our Time by Karen Armstrong

Muhammad portrays the founder of the world’s fastest-growing religion, which continues to change the
course of world history. His story is more relevant than ever for insight into the origins of Islam.
Countering those who dismiss Islam as fanatical and violent, Armstrong offers a clear, accessible, and
balanced portrait of Mohammad. Our discussion will include current issues related to Muslims in the
world today. Moderated by Curry


Fiction Discussion Group


Thursday, August 12

Fiction Group: 3:30 pm 

Meeting will be held outside the Library on the South Side, near the Parking Lot, in a circle of chairs provided by the Library
In case of inclement weather, the Group will meet inside the library.

The Vagrants by Yiyun Li

Post-Mao politics in China make this novel engrossing. It focuses on life after 1975, when freedom of
ideas and thought are still not part of Chinese lives. A town resident is a young married woman with a
child who speaks out for improvements in the treatment of “political.” To save themselves, her husband
and his parents denounce her publicly. Moderated by Margaret


The Yorkshire Dales: From Herriot to Home with Andrew Pighills


Thursday, August 19 From 7:00 - 8:00 PM

This event will be held in the Library's Jamie Gagarin Community Room.

Masks must be worn by anyone who is unvaccinated.

Seating Is Limited & Registration Is Required - Register Here

Join us on a tour of amazing landscapes and gardens that are home to author James Herriot and Andrew Pighills' stone craft treasures. You will be delighted!

Herriot, known as Alfred White or James Herriot, is the author of “All Creatures Great and Small,” later made into a television series featured on PBS. In 1939, Herriot, a newly qualified veterinarian, settled in the north east corner of the Yorkshire dales at a town called Leyburn, in Wensleydale. From this location we will follow a circuitous route through the dales to Airedale in the village of Airton, Andrew’s home during his formative years.


About Andrew:  

Born in Yorkshire, England, Andrew Pighills is an accomplished stone artisan, gardener, and horticulturist. Having moved to the United States more than ten years ago, he continues this venerable craft here in the US, building dry stone walls, stone structures and creating gardens throughout New England and beyond.

Andrew’s particular building technique adheres to the ancient methods of generations of dry stone wallers in his native Yorkshire Dales. His commitment to preserving the integrity and endurance of this traditional building art has earned him a devoted list of private and public clients here and abroad including the English National Trust and the English National Parks. 

Andrew is currently overseeing the reconstruction of dry stone walls at West Point Military Academy in West Point, New York. To learn more about Andrew and his craft, visit his website at



 Conversation & Studio Tour With Jennifer Abbott-Tillou


An Instagram Live Event

Thursday, April 29 at 1:00 PM

Join Jennifer Terzian as she hosts this special Instagram Live Event! 
In a Conversation and Studio Tour with Jennifer Abbott-Tillou, Jennifer will guide you through her studio while discussing her process and current body of work. Viewers will have the opportunity to visually engage with Abbott-Tillou’s diverse oeuvre including sculpture, painting and installation and ask questions along the way.

About Jennifer Abbott-Tillou
With a background in physical therapy, yoga, and fitness, Jennifer’s work is informed by anatomy, kinesiology, and the beautiful ways the human body presents. "My love of the ocean and all things springing from nature are also represented. The work reflects my unique female experience, including violence and religious conflict, while also capturing a certain sensual whimsy. Conflict and juxtaposition of opposites are often prominent." Visit her website at:

About Our Host Jennifer Terzian

Jennifer has a degree in Art History from UCLA and MA in Post-war Contemporary Art from the Sotheby’s Institute London. Jennifer was director of a commercial art gallery in Los Angeles and has been an independent curator and art advisor for over a decade. Jennifer teaches 19th and 20th century art history at Miss Porter’s School. She is opening her eponymous contemporary art gallery in Litchfield this spring. 

What is an Instagram Live Event and how do I join?
Instagram is a visual media platform, owned by the Facebook company, through which users share photos and videos with their friends and with the greater Instagram community. Users can access Instagram by downloading the Instagram app to their mobile phone or by visiting the Instagram website on an internet browser. To view the content on Instagram, users will need to create an account. Click here for information on how to create an Instagram account.

Need more help? Book-a-Tech appointment with Ted our Technology Coordinator at [email protected]
What if I missed the conversation but still wish to watch?
No worries! We've dropped the video in below. Enjoy!



MORE Information about Zoom:

All of our Virtual Zoom Events are live. They are not recorded. To participate/join the event, you need to use the exact link connected to the event. Once you click on the link at the specified date and time, you will be prompted to open Zoom, the virtual meeting program we are using. All you need is an internet connection and a device or computer with a webcam and audio. Most computers have built-in webcams. No passwords or confirmation codes, just click the link and follow the prompts.

Still having difficulty understanding how to access Zoom? Email OWL's Technology Coordinator Ted Moy at [email protected] to set-up a virtual Book-a-Tech session and he will go over it with you.

More security, more privacy: In response to concerns about privacy in a virtual meeting space, we have enabled additional security features in Zoom and updated our meeting links to be protected, private, and secure. These new, unique links can also be accessed through our e-newsletters.To receive secure information regarding these events, please subscribe to our e-newsletter! Click here to subscribe