Oliver Wolcott Library - Programs

Oliver Wolcott Library
Enter your search term below: 
About OWL

 ~Adult Events ~




Tea with TED:
A Discussion Series

Sundays, January 12 through February 16
1:00 - 2:00 PM

 Click Here to Register


TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of a short, powerful talk (18 minutes or less). Join librarian Patricia Moore as we watch together some of the most popular TED Talks and then discuss as a group the insights and ideas raised in the talk. Each week, we’ll watch and discuss two talks.

Attend every Sunday or drop-in on the ones you would most like to discuss.

  • January 12: We’ll explore how your body language may shape who you are and the concept of happiness.

  • January 19: We’ll explore whether schools kill creativity and your elusive creative genius.

  • January 26: We’ll explore the role of women in our culture as seen through the hopes we have for our daughters and the need for diversity in writing.

  • February 2: We’ll explore the power of vulnerability and the need to talk about injustice.

  • February 9: We’ll explore some of the myths of the developing world as seen through statistics and how to be a better person rather than a good person

  • February 16: We’ll explore whether lakes and rivers should have rights and how animals think and feel.

      REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED ~ Tea and Cookies Will Be Served



Monday Scholars:

Moral Leadership for a Divided Age:
Fourteen People Who Dared
to Change Our World

A Book Discussion Series
by Reverend Paul D. Sinnott

Mondays 1:00 - 2:00 PM
January 20 through March 9*
*No Meeting  February 17

Click Here to Register 




Moral Leadership for a Divided Age explores the lives of fourteen great moral leaders and the wisdom they offer us today. Through skillful storytelling and honest appraisals of their legacies, we encounter exemplary human beings who are flawed in some ways, gifted in others.

In this book discussion series, the group will discuss two leaders each week, using the questions the authors provide at the end of each chapter. The first session will explore the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and, as our series begins on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, the life of that extraordinary leader as well. The Reverend Paul D. Sinnott will lead us as moderator. 
There will be copies of the book available at OWL in the weeks leading up to the discussion series. Check out your copy and come to the first meeting ready to discuss the chapters on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Reverend Paul D. Sinnott is an interim pastor at St. James Lutheran Church in Southbury. He had served the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as Associate to the Bishop. In addition to providing ecclesial oversight for 71 congregations, Paul was the voice for public policy for the Synod in six State Houses. He is a guest lecturer at Yale Divinity School in the Lutheran Studies program and has worked guiding pilgrims on tours of Israel and Palestine. 

Registration is Required. *No Meeting February 17




Formation: A Woman's Memoir of Stepping Out of Line
with Author Ryan Leigh Dostie

Thursday, January 23
7:00 - 8:00 PM

 Click Here to Register



Raised by powerful women in a restrictive, sheltered Christian community in New England, Ryan Dostie never imagined herself on the front lines of a war halfway around the world. But then a conversation with an Army recruiter in her high-school cafeteria changed the course of her life. Hired as a linguist, she quickly finds a space for herself in the testosterone-filled world of the Army barracks, and holds her own until the unthinkable happens: she is raped by a fellow soldier.

Struggling with PTSD and commanders who don’t trust her story, Dostie finds herself fighting through the isolation of trauma amid the challenges of an unexpected war. What follows is a riveting story of one woman’s extraordinary journey to prove her worth, physically and mentally, in a world where the odds are stacked against her.

Ryan Leigh Dostie is a novelist turned soldier turned novelist. As an Army Persian-Farsi/Dari Linguist in Military Intelligence, she was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II (2003-2004). She holds an MFA in fiction writing and a bachelors degree in History from Southern Connecticut State University. Formation is her first book. Visit her website at ryanleighdostie.com

Registration is Required 
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing.



The Lawyer, the Lion & the Laundry
Three Hours to Finding Your Calm in the Chaos

A Conversation with Author Jamie Jackson Spannhake

Tuesday, January 28
7:00 - 8:00 PM


 Click Here to Register



In her new book, The Lawyer, the Lion, & the Laundry, Jamie Jackson Spannhake shares a profound and practical mind-management strategy that significantly improves life, from the inside-out. This book is intended to be read in three hours. It is designed to help anyone trying to manage various responsibilities in life without feeling overwhelmed and exhausted as Spannhake was when she was trying to successfully manage her legal career, family, and personal life. She wasn’t able to enjoy her life because it seemed so chaotic.

Over ten years of researching, writing, speaking with others, and experimenting in her own life, she has developed a “mind management” strategy - a way to approach things differently to better handle her competing responsibilities.

Jamie Jackson Spannhake is a lawyer, writer, mediator, speaker, and certified health coach. Her work has appeared in print and online, including in Law Practice magazine, AttorneyatWork.com, eHow.com, and in webzines Law Practice Today, The Complete Lawyer, and Electronically In Touch. She has also published in The Brooklyn Journal of International Law and The Cumberland Law Review, both academic journals. She regularly writes and speaks on issues important to women and lawyers, including time and stress management, health and wellness, and work-life integration.

Join us as five-time Emmy award-winning producer and founder of Point Studio Suzanne Paxton facilitates this conversation. Her expertise is in narrative storytelling and all aspects of series & segment production for television, video, and new media. Her background ranges from sports & news features and production, high-profile interviews, long-form and short-form features, and live production. She has interviewed thousands of people to date and enjoys bringing impactful & inspiring stories to a broad audience. Suzie is also an Olympian and competed at the 1996 Olympic Games for the U.S. Fencing Team. 


Registration is Required 
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The author will provide books for sale and signing



First Ladies: An Adventure in
Glamour, Guts & Gumption
with Mariann Millard

Tuesday, February 18
2:00 - 3:00 PM

Click Here to Register


The purpose of the presentation is to educate and entertain participants about the personalities and adventures of the women who became the First Ladies of the United States.

Who were they really? What made them tick? Did they love or loathe their role? Did they sink or swim navigating the complexities of politics, protocol and publicity, whether they did so willingly or not?

This presentation by Mariann Millard, is designed to be lively, humorous and engaging by weaving historical and modern events and facts about First Ladies to understand and appreciate the important roles they played, starting with Martha Washington. A question and answer period will follow.

As a licensed Washington, DC tour guide, Mariann Millard was able to foster her interest and knowledge of the First Ladies and now shares this information in an entertaining and insightful program. She thoroughly enjoys connecting people, places and things. Her extensive travel has given her a keen appreciation for what makes us human and for the differences that makes us culturally unique.

Registration is Required 




Murder in the Stacks Kickoff Event!



Agatha Christie is Missing
A Live Theatrical Performance
With Prudence Wright Holmes

Wednesday, February 19
7:00 - 8:00 PM


 Click Here to Register



In 1926, famed mystery writer Agatha Christie staged her own disappearance after she learned her husband wanted a divorce. She was missing for eleven days sparking a nationwide search.

Join actress Prudence Wright Holmes as she plays ace detective Miss Clarissa Marbles in this rollicking interactive murder mystery that will lead the audience on a fun-filled romp.

Growing up in Bexley, Ohio, Prudence Wright Holmes always dreamed that she would live in New York City someday and be a working actor. Her dreams came true and she was fortunate enough to be in the original cast of Godspell which she helped to create, along with her classmates from Carnegie Mellon University. Her first Broadway show was Happy End with Meryl Streep.

One of the highpoints of her career was playing a nun in Sister Act I and II with Whoopi Goldberg. She also enjoyed working with Woody Harrelson in Kingpin. The thing she is proudest of is writing and performing her one-woman show, Bexley, Oh!, at New York Theatre.

Registration is Required 



Archaeological Oddities:
A Field Guide to Forty Claims of
Lost Civilizations, Ancient Visitors, & 
Other Strange Sites in North America
with Author Kenneth L. Feder

Wednesday, February 26
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Click Here to Register


Does evidence show that Native Americans residing in Utah a thousand years ago lived among dinosaurs, depicting those creatures in their rock art? Did some of those same ancient Americans also encounter visitors from other planets, painting images of space-suited aliens on canyon walls? Have archaeologists discovered evidence that members of the Lost Tribes of Israel visited ancient America, leaving their mark by engraving the Ten Commandments in Hebrew on rocks in New Mexico? Have archaeologists discovered the far western outpost of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, not in Egypt or even Africa, but in, of all places, California?

Join us as these questions and more are answered by archaeologist Ken Feder in Archaeological Oddities: A Field Guide to Forty Claims of Lost Civilizations, Ancient Visitors, and Other Strange Sites in North America.

Ken Feder is a professor of archaeology at Central Connecticut State University and the author of several books on archaeology and criticism of pseudoarchaeology, including Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in ArchaeologyEncyclopedia of Dubious Archaeology: From Atlantis to the Walam Olum and Ancient America: Fifty Archaeological Sites to See for Yourself. He is the founder and director of the Farmington River Archaeological Project.

Registration is Required 
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing.




Mark Your Calendars.... More Murder in the Stacks Fun Programs in March!



Bookmarked for Murder
a Tech-Free, Interactive Puzzle Adventure

Thursday, March 12
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Click Here to Register


To find the answers, you need to use your knowledge of literature and authors as well as any printed material in the library. But this is “old school”- no computers or smart phones may be used to find the answer.




Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile
a Book Discussion facilitated by Stuart Barnett

Thursday, March 19
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Click Here to Register

Beloved detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a journey to Egypt in one of Agatha Christie’s most famous mysteries, Death on the Nile. Join English Professor Stuart Barnett as he facilitates this discussion. Stuart is currently writing a book on the cultural impact of Christie’s first book. He has researched at Greenway, Agatha Christie’s house, which is now managed by the National Trust, and worked with the Agatha Christie Archive, which is managed by her grandson.



Murder in the Stacks Finale Event!

Cookbook Club: Food to Die For!

Tuesday, March 31
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Click Here to Register

Do you have a dish that is so good it is “to die for”? Bring your favorite “to-die-for” dish and join us as we share good food and great stories of our mystery reading triumphs!

















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

Contact Us | Directions | Hours