HPL Happenings December 2015

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Media Sale

Media Sale

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m
Downtown Library (500 Main Street)

Join us for our HPL Media Sale. Gently used DVDs, VHS and CDs will be available for purchase. Buy 10 movies, CDs, or any combination for $5.00 and get a free bag. Individual items are $0.50 each. Music selections include opera, choral, piano, string instruments, symphonies, show tunes, soundtracks, brass, orchestral, international, television, popular, and more. Movie selections include comedies, dramas, documentaries, musicals, foreign, biographies, and more.

Beyond Words




Beyond Words

Beyond Words, The Shop at Hartford Public Library offers a unique shopping experience. Our products are reflective of the treasured icons of our past and the vibrant art of the present found in our libraries.

Now open at all Hartford Public Library locations!

Holiday gift-giving ideas can be found on the Hartford Public Library website at: http://www.hplct.org/library-store

Every purchase supports the work of Hartford Public Library.

Discount for employees Discounts!

Bear's BBQ, 89 Arch Street, Hartford
Use your HPL card on Mondays and enjoy a 10% discount off your order.

The Kitchen, HPL, Downtown Location Enjoy a 10% discount when you use your HPL library card anytime at The Kitchen!



Bean stack

Introducing Beanstack at Hartford Public Library

Make your child's early reading experience a success

Beanstack is a free service provided by your local library to help families discover books and apps based on your child's age and interests. Our goal is help prepare your child for school and ensure that he or she is reading at or above grade level by third grade. All books recommended are available for free at your library. Get Started for Free at: hplct.beanstack.org

Jazz Ensemble

The Hartford Symphony Classical Jazz Ensemble

Wednesday, December 16 from noon – 1:00 p.m.
Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street

The Hartford Symphony Classical Jazz Ensemble will perform a program of holiday favorites at Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, on Wednesday, December 16 from noon – 1:00 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the library's atrium, and is part of Hartford Symphony Orchestra's Musical Dialogues series.

Salsa Socials

Salsa Socials

Tuesday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m.
Downtown Library Atrium

Salsa socials are back at HPL! Join us for an open session welcoming dancers of all levels, free of charge! No partner or experience needed. Dancing and teaching for over twenty years, Rey Bermudez will share his passion for salsa at these open dance sessions.

Beale Street

If Beale Street Could Talk Tertulia

Thursday, December 17, 6:00 p.m.
Downtown Hartford History Center

Join us in the Hartford History Center for a One Book One Hartford tertulia.

Our tertulia, or informal literary discussion, will be facilitated by poet Kate Rushin. Join us for conversation and light refreshments.

Piano Dan Kennedy

“First Night” Piano Performance with Dan Kennedy

December 31, 2015—3:30 PM & 4:15 PM
Downtown Library, Atrium

Hartford Public Library and First Night Hartford present a New Year’s Eve performance by pianist, composer and recording artist Dan Kennedy, with contemporary solo piano music in the soaring downtown Atrium.

Mr. Kennedy will usher in 2016 with two performances on the library’s baby grand piano at 3:30 PM and 4:15 PM


Pierre Sylvain

Voodoo Marasa (Roots and Spirits)
Pierre Sylvain

October 30 — December 18, 2015
ArtWalk, Downtown Library

Voodoo Marasa (Roots and Spirits) by Haitian artist Pierre Sylvain celebrates the joy of voodoo, including Creole words, color combinations and international symbols infused throughout most major world religions. In this series, each painting depicts a different "Loa", or "little god" of the Haitian people and their voodoo culture. Each Loa is omnipotent and functions differently to support its believers.

As an artist, Pierre Sylvain is inspired to enlighten others about voodoo culture beyond the general association to voodoo dolls and zombies. Voodoo is more than a religious practice, it is about creating community, unity, healing, and finding peace and belonging. Voodoo is among the world's most misunderstood religions, due in part to popular portrayal by Hollywood. Voodoo practitioners have deeply committed beliefs that higher powers enhance their lives, offer protection, show love to the earth and enrich the history of the Haitian people.

Each piece in Voodoo Marasa (Roots and Spirits) includes texture, found objects, and mixed media combinations

Venture Exhibit

Making Freedom–The Life of Venture Smith: In His Own Voice

October 24, 2015 — February 29, 2016
Hartford History Center, Downtown Library, 3rd floor, 500 Main Street

Hartford History Center, in partnership with the Documenting Venture Smith Project, is proud to present Making Freedom—The Life of Venture Smith: In His Own Voice, an exhibit that tells the story of a unique American, originally an African prince who was enslaved in the 18th century by New England traders, labored in bondage for 25 years, purchased his own freedom, wrote a narrative of his life and became a respected businessman in Connecticut.

Chandler Saint, co-director of the Documenting Venture Smith Project and co-author of Venture Smith—Making Freedom will deliver remarks, as well as Dr. Robert P. Forbes of Yale University, author of The Missouri Compromise and Its Aftermath: Slavery and the Meaning of America.


Free Online Classes Access More Than 500 Online Classes – Free!

Your HPL library card can unlock a world of learning, wherever you are, for free! Universal Class offers more than 500 online classes in a variety of subjects, from accounting to photography, financial management to psychology, algebra to computer programming, and more. Learn at your own pace, on your schedule. Click here and enter your library card barcode to begin! 



ESL Classes ESL Classes

Downtown Library: Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Dwight Branch: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Park Branch: Mondays, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Free English language classes for speakers of other languages are offered twice a year for beginning levels only. Open to students ages 17 and older. Click here for more information.

Presented in partnership with the Hartford Adult Education Center. 


Music Production Music Production

Tuesdays through Thursdays, 4-6 PM;
Saturdays,12-3 PM PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Use YOUmedia’s music studio to produce your own songs.

Hour of Code The Hour of Code

December 8 through 11, 4-6 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Stop by and geek out on one-hour coding tutorials. From basic HTML to advanced Javascript—there’s something for everyone. All experience levels welcome!

"The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics." For more information, visit: https://hourofcode.com/us

Crafts Maker Arts & Crafts Maker Mayhem!

Tuesdays, 3-5 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Crafters, makers, creators, tinkerers! Explore YOUmedia’s fully stocked makerspace to craft projects of your own!

3D Sculpting 3D Sculpting

Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3-6 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Gamers and illustrators: Create your own 3D characters that can be used in video games and more.

Lets Draw Manga Let's Draw a Manga

Tuesdays, 3-6 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Otaku of Hartford: Use the computer to create your own manga during our weekly workshop.

TalentShow Talent Showcase

Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Show off your talent to your peers and friends!
For a complete schedule of our weekly classes, workshops and open labs, visit www.youmedia.hplct.org!


Apply for Passport Apply for your Passport at HPL!

Monday – Thursday, 3:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
American Place, Downtown Library, 1st Floor

Did you know? You can apply for your passport right here at the Library! A staff member is available to assist with the application, requirements, photo, and submission.
Click here for more information.

   Our Blogs 

The Love Object

The Love Object

(Author: Edna O’Brien)

Each week, Hartford Courant columnist Carole Goldberg reviews books in our collection. The Love Object comprises 31 stories published from 1968 to 2011 and serves as a portrait of Ireland by one of its finest contemporary authors. Love, of family and in romantic attachments, coming of age, the effects of class differences on relationships, the need to escape the familiar and the homesickness that may result are among her favored themes, as this collection that spans more than 40 years clearly shows. The stories explore the ties that connect mothers and children, teachers and students, lovers and friends, and delineate the many forms of love: spiritual, nurturing, carnal, innocent. Thirty-one stories that explore the nature of love and of happiness are not too many indeed, they may not be enough.  Read More!


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