Oliver Wolcott Library - Programs

Oliver Wolcott Library
Enter your search term below: 
About OWL

  ~Adult Events ~ 




One Summer, One Book
A Community Read

 Let’s Get Engaged!





In this time of pandemic, quarantining, social distancing, social unrest, and all the rest we at OWL believe that our community might well benefit from a group activity to bring us closer together. And being a library, of course, we thought that activity should be reading.

To that end we have combed through hundreds of titles and selected a book that we hope will appeal to a broad audience of men, women, adults and teens.

Join OWL and your friends and neighbors in the Litchfield Community in reading this extraordinary novel that speaks eloquently and provocatively to these very times we are struggling so hard to understand.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times raves: “Wildly ambitious….It’s impossible not to admire Homegoing, and thanks to Ms. Gyasi’s instinctive storytelling gifts, the book leaves the reader with a visceral understanding of both the savage realities of slavery and the emotional damage that is handed down, over the centuries, from mothers to daughters, fathers to sons….”

Starting right now, you may check out Homegoing from OWL as a paper book or ebook. Or you may purchase a paperback or ebook from your favorite retailer. Homegoing is also available as an audio CD.

And join us on Thursday, July 30th at 7 PM for a live video panel discussion about Homegoing. Get reading now!


 One Summer, One Book

A Community Read

LIVE Zoom Event: Exploring Homegoing

A Panel Discussion with Drs. Newman-Phillips & Pozorski

Thursday, July 30: 7:00 - 8:30 pm


At The Time of the Event

Click Here to Join on ZOOM


Join panelists Dr. Newman-Phillips and Dr. Pozorski as they explore Homegoing.

Each will look at the book, exploring from three different disciplinary viewpoints: anthropology (Dr. Newman-Phillips) and literary (Dr. Pozorski).  

Evelyn Newman-Phillips, Ph.D., is a Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University. Her teaching is founded upon principles of critical pedagogy, where students are taught tools of inquiry so that they are empowered to investigate diverse situations, institutions, and society-at-large. Prior to her academic work, Dr. Newman Phillips served as a Peace Corps volunteer for 2 years in the African country of the Gambia.    


Aimee Pozorski is Professor of English and Director of English Graduate Studies at Central Connecticut State University. She has authored three monographs on representations of trauma in contemporary American literature and often teaches Homegoing in such classes as “Writing Home” and “Trauma and the Contemporary American Novel.” She is co- director of the American Studies Minor at CCSU and, with Maren Scheurer, and co-executive editor of Philip Roth Studies.   

  • To join the event by phone:
  • Meeting ID: 881 2057 8738
  • Password: 884156
  • +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)








LIVE Zoom Event:

Financial Exploitation: Protect Yourself or Your Loved Ones
with Kathleen Titsworth

Wednesday, July 8 at 1:00 pm

 At the Time of the Event

Click Here to Join on ZOOM




Nearly one in five seniors over the age of 65 have been affected by financial exploitation in some form or another - to the tune of $36.5 billion annually. Learn how to protect yourself or your loved ones by understanding why seniors are targets and the difference between financial fraud and exploitation, and how to avoid both types of financial abuse.

To Join by Phone

+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 865 8325 8063

Password: 579774



LIVE Zoom Event:

Cybersecurity: Protecting YourPersonal Information
with Kathleen Titsworth

Wednesday, August 5 at 1:00 pm

 At The Time of the Event

Click Here to Join on ZOOM


What is identity theft and how does it occur? We will discuss credit card skimming, email phishing, spoofing, and text scams, as well as how to be safe while online or mobile banking. We will share information about digital wallets and person-to-person payment apps. Bottom line, it is up to you to do protect your personal information from being hacked or outright stolen.

Kathleen Titsworth is the Outreach Coordinator for the Connecticut Department of Banking. She manages the agency’s educational outreach program by planning financial and investor education programs, organizing agency conferences and events and developing marketing strategies. She handles agency communications, produces annual agency reports and quarterly employee newsletters, responds to media requests and oversees the agency website.

To Join By Phone Dial 

+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 810 0302 2509
Password: 732855





LIVE Zoom Event:


The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher’s Guide to
Becoming Tougher, Calmer & More Resilient
with Author William B. Irvine


Tuesday, July 14 at 7:00 pm

At The Time of the Event

Click Here to Join on ZOOM



A practical, refreshingly optimistic guide that uses centuries-old wisdom to help us better cope with the stresses of modern living.

Some people bounce back in response to setbacks; others break. We often think that these responses are hardwired, but fortunately this is not the case. Stoicism offers us an alternative approach. Plumbing the wisdom of one of the most popular and successful schools of thought from ancient Rome, philosopher William B. Irvine teaches us to turn any challenge on its head. The Stoic Challenge, then, is the ultimate guide to improving your quality of life through tactics developed by ancient Stoics, from Marcus Aurelius and Seneca to Epictetus.  

This book uniquely combines ancient Stoic insights with techniques discovered by contemporary psychological research, such as anchoring and framing. The result is a surprisingly simple strategy for dealing with life’s unpleasant and unexpected challenges - from minor setbacks like being caught in a traffic jam or having a flight cancelled to major setbacks like those experienced by physicist Stephen Hawking, who slowly lost the ability to move.  

William B Irvine is professor of philosophy at Wright State University. The author of seven books, including A Guide to the Good Life, he has also written for the Huffington Post, Salon, Time, and the BBC. He lives in Dayton, Ohio. To learn more about the author, visit his website at williambirvine.com.

 To Join by Phone Dial 
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 884 5070 0222
Password: 130636





LIVE Zoom Event:

Battleship Connecticut & the
Round-the-World Cruise of the Great
White Fleet
with Historian & Writer Mark Albertson


Wednesday, July 15 at 1:00 pm

At The Time of the Event

Click Here to Join on ZOOM



Hampton Roads, Virginia, 0800 hours, Monday, December 16, 1907. Sixteen coal-burning battleships got up steam and weighed anchor. Over the next fourteen months and six days, 14,500 sailors and marines traversed a dozen oceans and seas, crisscrossed the equator six times, called on more than 30 ports and logged over 46,000 miles. 

Battleship Connecticut, the epitome of American pre-dreadnought battleship design, led this superlative effort in American seamanship from whistle to gun. This was President Theodore Roosevelt’s announcement to the world that America had arrived as a global power. 

Join historian Mark Albertson as he explores the history of the Great White Fleet.

Mark Albertson is an historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine; and is the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America. He is a long time member of the United States Naval Institute and teaches history at Norwalk Community College. He has authored several books and is currently working on Sky Soldiers:  The Saga of Army Aviation.

To Join by Phone Dial
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 836 4046 0906
Password: 958681



LIVE Zoom Event:

An Evening of Classical Guitar
with Lorena Garay

Thursday, August 6 at 7:00 pm

At The Time of the Event

Click Here to Join on ZOOM 


Lorena Garay is an award-winning guitarist from Puerto Rico who performs classical, Spanish and Latin guitar. She also loves playing rhythm guitar and percussive guitar. Her captivating arrangements and passionate playing style beautifully blend the classical influence with her Latin sound.

Lorena earned her Master of Music degree Summa Cum Laude from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, where she received the Guitar Department Award. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree Summa Cum Laude from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, from which she received the String Department Gold Medal Award.

She has received many awards, including the Identidad Latina’s Latino de Oro Music Award. She performs regularly as a soloist and bandleader of her award-winning ensemble, Surcari which received the Arts For Learning Connecticut’s 2018 Performing Artist of the Year Award.

To learn more, visit Lorena’s website at lorenagaray.com.

To Join By Phone  Dial 
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 815 4367 8284
Password: 179121




LIVE Zoom Event:


Joan Jackson: An Unchained Love Story
with Tammy Denease


Thursday, August 11 at 7:00 pm


At The Time of the Event

Click Here to Join on ZOOM




Storyteller and actor Tammy Denease returns to portray another character, Joan, in her “Hidden Women” series.

Joan was born into slavery to a deaf and mute mother named Maria. Maria, owned by the Fox family, would meet and marry John Jackson. They would wed and have two children, Adam and Miriam. John became free and then purchased Joan’s freedom, but because she was a slave when their children were born, they would have to leave them behind. Because of a dispute between the Fox and Beebe families, Joan would be kidnapped and put back into slavery.

‘Unchained Love’ is filled with twists and turns, heartache, deception and an undying love.

Tammy Denease spent countless hours with her great-grandmother, a former enslaved person who lived to be 125, and her grandmother who lived to be 100. Both were known storytellers and passed this gift along. Tammy loves history and being able to tell others about the past. In her position as a Museum Educator, she instructs children through stories of Colonial History, Health, Medicine, Slavery and Native American History. Visit her website at hiddenwomen.org.

To Join by Phone Dial 
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 847 9834 6387
Password: 515882





LIVE Zoom Event:


Helen Keller:  Connecticut Socialist
with Historian Mark Albertson


Wednesday, August 19 at 1:00 pm

 At The Time of the Event

Click Here to Join on ZOOM


Helen Keller (1880 - 1968) was an American educator who overcame the adversity of being blind and deaf to become one of the 20th century’s leading humanitarians, as well as co-founder of the ACLU. She wrote over 12 books, and lectured in over 25 countries, but her political beliefs are generally avoided. Why? Because she was a member of the American Socialist Party.

Keller campaigned for women’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, anti-militarism and other similar causes. She was not a fan of Woodrow Wilson, she supported Eugene Debs every time he ran for President, and supported Lenin’s revolution in Russia in 1917. These facts are generally left out of her narrative. In fact, last year, the State of Texas, in an effort to redo the state curriculum for education, sought to remove her, as well as Hillary Clinton, from the curriculum.  

In light of the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage, join Mark Albertson as he explores this iconic figure.

Mark Albertson is an historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine; and, is the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America. He is a long time member of the United States Naval Institute and teaches history at Norwalk Community College. He has authored several books and is currently working on Sky Soldiers:  The Saga of Army Aviation.

 To Join by Phone Dial
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 839 5640 0448
Password: 056330





LIVE Zoom Event:


The Second Founding: How the Civil War
& Reconstruction Remade the Constitution

A Conversation with Author Eric Foner
Moderated by Martha Jones


Thursday, August 20 at 7:00 pm

 At The Time of the Event

Click Here to Join on ZOOM



Why does the brief period known as Reconstruction, a century and a half ago, still influence the state of the Union so heavily?

As the eminent historian Eric Foner explains in The Second Founding, the failure of the United States “to build an egalitarian society on the ashes of slavery” between 1865 and 1877 - the years conventionally associated with Reconstruction - left defining national issues unresolved: who should have the right to vote; who should get citizenship and the imprimatur of belonging in the United States; and how to provide equal opportunity for people who lack wealth and power.

Eric Foner’s compact, insightful history traces the arc of the pivotal 13th, 14th and 15th amendments from their dramatic origins in pre–Civil War mass meetings of African-American “colored citizens” and in Republican party politics to their virtual nullification in the late nineteenth century. A series of momentous decisions by the Supreme Court narrowed the rights guaranteed in the amendments, while the states actively undermined them. The Jim Crow system was the result. Again today there are serious political challenges to birthright citizenship, voting rights, due process, and equal protection of the law. Like all great works of history, this one informs our understanding of the present as well as the past.

About the Author:

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University, is one of this country’s most prominent historians. He received his doctoral degree at Columbia under the supervision of Richard Hofstadter and is one of only two persons to serve as president of the three major professional organizations: the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians, and one of a handful to have won the Bancroft and Pulitzer Prizes in the same year.

Professor Foner’s publications have concentrated on the intersections of intellectual, political and social history, and the history of American race relations.


About the Moderator:


Professor Martha S. Jones holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law. She is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. As a legal and cultural historian her work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy. She is the author of award-winning books on civil rights history and is a public historian, frequently writing for broader audiences at the Washington Post, the Atlantic, USA Today, and many other publications


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 [email protected] to set-up a virtual Book-a-Librarian and we will go over it with you.


To Join by Phone Dial 
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 814 3167 9740
Password: 393245


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 





160 South Street, P.O. Box 187 Litchfield, Connecticut 06759 | Ph: 860-567-8030 | Fx: 860-567-4784

Contact Us | Directions | Hours