Newsletter                                   January 2018
Executive Director's Letter

Executive Direct Robert Farwell is on vacation, but would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

Holiday Schedule
Otis Library will be closed on Monday, January 1, for New Year's Day and Monday, January 15, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Anne Frank: A History for Today
January 3 - 31, 2018
Millie and Martin Shapiro Community Room

This exhibition presents the history of the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank and her family.  Juxtaposing photographs of the Frank family with historical images, the exhibit shows how persecuted people such as the Franks were affected by the political actions of individuals. This exhibit is made possible by a grant from Chelsea Groton Bank and a gift from The Friends of Otis Library. "Anne Frank: A History for Today" is in English and Spanish.

An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, January 3, at 6pm, with live music and refreshments. Members of Klezmenschen of Eastern Connecticut, led by Roz Etra on accordion and keyboard, will provide musical accompaniment to Anne Frank's story.

  Anne Frank: A History for Today was developed by the Anne Frank House and is sponsored in North America by the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.  This exhibit is made possible by a grant from Chelsea Groton Bank and by a gift from The Friends of Otis Library.  Please check our website  for associated programs and events.  

Thank You!
Otis Library's presentation of the Anne Frank exhibit would not have been possible without the financial contributions of Chelsea Groton Bank and the Friends of Otis Library. We received a $3,000 grant from Chelsea Groton Bank and a gift of $2,750 from the Friends of Otis Library. We are very grateful for their support!

From left to right:  B. Michael Rauh, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Chelsea Groton Bank; Diane Deedy, Youth Services Librarian at Otis Library; Deb Froio, President of the Friends of Otis Library; Pat Fitzgerald, Board member of the Friends of Otis Library.

Community Art Project

For all ages.  Otis Library will host a community art project entitled "Racimo," which means cluster in Spanish. This 3-D art project invites participants to create a design that reflects their individuality.  The finished projects will be hung together to reflect the diversity of the greater Norwich community.  Supplies will be available in the Children's and Young Adult Departments during the month of January.  No registration required. 
Friends of Otis Library 
The Friends will be sponsoring an American Girl Doll Tea on Saturday, February 3 (snow date February 10) from 1pm - 3pm in the Community Room. This event is for children ages 6 - 11. The cost is $15 for Friends of Otis Library members and $20 for non-members. For more information, call or visit the Children's Department at (860) 889-2365, ext. 114. 

Homegrown Terror:  Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London
Sunday, January 14, 1pm - 3pm

On September 6, 1781, Connecticut native Benedict Arnold and a force of 1,600 British soldiers and loyalists took Fort Griswold and burned New London to the ground. The brutality of the invasion galvanized the new nation, and "Remember New London!" would become a rallying cry for troops under General Lafayette.

In  Homegrown Terror, author Eric D. Lehman chronicles the events leading up to the attack and highlights this key transformation in Arnold-the point where he went from betraying his comrades to massacring his neighbors and destroying their homes. This defining incident forever marked him as a symbol of evil, turning an antiheroic story about weakness of character and missed opportunity into one about the nature of treachery itself. Homegrown Terror draws upon a variety of perspectives, from the traitor himself to his former comrades like Jonathan Trumbull and Silas Deane, to the murdered Colonel Ledyard. Rethinking Benedict Arnold through the lens of this terrible episode, Lehman sheds light on the ethics of the dawning nation, and the way colonial America responded to betrayal and terror.

Eric D. Lehman teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Bridgeport and his essays, reviews, poems, and stories have been published in dozens of journals and magazines. His books include  A History of Connecticut Food, Literary ConnecticutA History of Connecticut Wine: Vineyard in Your BackyardBridgeport: Tales from the Park City, Hamden: Tales from the Sleeping Giant, Insiders' Guide to ConnecticutThe Foundation of Summer, Connecticut Town Greens: History of the State's Common Centers, and  Afoot in Connecticut: Journeys in Natural History, nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His revolutionary history  Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London was a finalist in two categories of the Indie Book Awards.

This presentation is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be available and the author will be selling and signing books following the presentation. 

This event is brought to you in partnership by: The Norwich Historical Society, Leffingwell House Museum and Otis Library.

Programs for Adults

Technology Classes
Wednesdays, 5pm - 8pm & Fridays, 10am - 1pm
Feeling a little lost with all the new technology?  Maybe even some of the old technology?  We are ready to assist you with one-on-one instruction tailored to your specific needs. Topics include basic computer skills, navigating the internet, e-mail, e-readers, and Microsoft Office. Assistance will be provided by appointment only. Please call 860-889-2365, ext. 100, for additional information or to make an appointment.

Technology Classes are offered in Spanish by appointment only.  Please call Bassem at  (860) 889-2365, ext. 109 or 110 to register.

Para reservar una cita, apersonese a la biblioteca o llame a Bassem
860-889-2365 Ext. 109 o 110.

NEW!  Otis Library is now providing computer/technology instruction to seniors at the Rose City Senior Center on Tuesdays from 10am - 12pm. Please call 860-889-2365, ext. 100, for additional information.

Drop-In Chess
Wednesdays, 5pm - 8pm in the Business Center 
Players of all ages and skill levels are invited to play chess. Use one of our chess sets or bring your own.  

Drop-In Knitting Group
Fridays, 10am - 11:15am, Meeting Room
The Rows City Knitters meet every Friday.  All skill levels welcome!  For more information, call (860) 889-2365, ext. 128. 

Writers Workshop
Saturday, January 6, 10:30am - 12pm
Otis Library will host a Writers Workshop the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of January, February and March at 10:30am in the Meeting Room.  This program will be facilitated by Writing Instructor Mary Lu Higgins.
The bi-weekly monthly meetings in a small, personal environment will motivate and support the writer.  Each workshop will provide a short lecture, a creative exercise, discussion and positive feedback. Both new and experienced writers are welcome. Registration is required; please register by calling (860) 889-2365, ext. 128.

Film Event - The Zookeeper's Wife
Saturday, January 6, 12pm-2pm
Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain stars in the real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. This program supports the Anne Frank exhibit. Based on the book by Diane Ackerman.  Rated PG-13.

Changing Minds Book Club
Wednesday, January 10, 5pm
Meeting Room
The group will be discussing All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker. Join us in the Meeting Room for conversation and refreshments!   No registration required. Copies of the book are available to borrow at the Front Desk.

Emerson Theater Collaborative and Writers Block InK Present  -  Zora
Neale Hurston and Harlem Renaissance to Rap
Saturday, January 13, 1pm-3pm
Local artists will read the writings of Zora Neale Hurston as well as the works of other Harlem Renaissance writers, and students and alumni of the Writers Block InK will perform original poetry and songs.  Participants include:  Theresa Broach, Aziza Clayton, Kathy Green, Christine Hammond, Adriane Jefferson, Christian Marshall, Lisa Giordano, Kia Baird, Leola Wilkerson, and the youth and alumni of the Writers Block InK, featuring Rap and Hip Hop artists Isaiah General and Sean Rucker. This program supports the Anne Frank exhibit. No registration required.

Otis Library Genealogy Club
Tuesday, January 16, 1 - 2:30pm
The club meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month to learn and to brainstorm about family history projects. Please bring with you any basic information you have about the family members for whom you are looking.  This club will be useful for beginners as well as experienced researchers. For more information and to register, please call Kathleen Wieland, Genealogy Librarian, at (860) 889-2365, ext. 108. 

Anne Frank - A Life to Remember:  A Story of Perseverance, Hope and Love
Wednesday, January 17, 6pm-7:30 pm  
For ages 12 and up.  Historical Performer Sheryl Faye will bring Anne Frank to life in this program that celebrates her profound impact in history.  Ms. Faye's performance will give insight into what life was like for Anne and her family during their time in hiding.  This program supports the Anne Frank exhibit. No registration required.  

Anne Frank Remembered - The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide
the Frank Family  Book Discussion
Monday, January 22, 6pm-7pm  
Facilitated by Faye Ringel, Professor Emerita of Humanities at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.  Join us for a discussion of the book Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies and Leslie Gold, the astonishing memoir by the woman who helped to hide the Franks from the Nazis.  Registration required. Call Julie at (860) 889-2365, ext. 128 to reserve your seat and receive a copy of the book.  Sponsored by the AHEPA Norwich Foundation.  This program supports the Anne Frank exhibit.

Delicious Discussions with Benjamin Ludwig
Thursday, January 25, 12pm - 1:30pm   
Otis Library and Bank Square Books present a Delicious Discussions luncheon
with Benjamin Ludwig for his novel Ginny Moon, the story of a young person with autism and her journey to find her way home. Tickets for this event are $40 and include an author talk and signing, a copy of the book and a buffet lunch at Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun. This event will take place at noon on January 25 and requires preregistration. To register, please call Julie at (860) 889-2365 ext. 128, register online
, or e-mail  This series is generously sponsored by GUINAN & HOULE, LLP Attorneys at Law. Delicious Discussions Author Series is a partnership between Otis Library, Bank Square Books and Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun. This program supports the Anne Frank exhibit.
An Introduction to the Holocaust with Guest Speaker Jim Loughead Saturday, January 27, 1pm
For grades 9 and up.  Jim Loughead, a teacher at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, CT, will present an introductory talk on the Holocaust. He will discuss the rise of the Nazi party and the subsequent events in Germany that led to the Holocaust.  Mr. Loughead conducts classes in history, genocide, civics and geography and has been teaching since 2004.  He has a Bachelor's degree in History from Eastern Connecticut State University and a Master's degree in Special Education from Southern Connecticut State University.  He received the 2008 Joseph Korzenik Holocaust Award from the University of Hartford in 2008 for the course he designed on genocide, and was a United States Holocaust Museum Fellow in 2014.  This program supports the Anne Frank exhibit.  No registration required.

Programs for Tweens and Teens
All programs are offered at no charge to the public.  Registration is required for some programs. Please register in person at the Front Desk; by calling (860) 889-2365, ext. 100; or you may register for our programs via our  online calendar.

Drop-In Chess
Wednesdays, 5pm - 8pm in the Business Center
Players of all ages and skill levels are invited to play chess.  Use one of our chess sets or bring your own.

Teen Art Lounge (grades 7 and up)
Wednesday, January 10, 6pm - 7pm, Young Adult Room
Teens, stop by the Young Adult Room and create a cool piece of art for yourself!  The theme of this month's project is "Tolerance" in support of the Anne Frank exhibit, on display and open to the public January 3 - 31.  No registration required.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Book Discussion (grades 9 and  up)
Saturday, January 20, 1pm - 2pm, Meeting Room
Sponsored by the AHEPA Norwich Foundation
Youth Services Librarian Diane Deedy will facilitate a discussion of the definitive edition of this classic.  Participants will receive a copy of the book and earn community service credit for attendance.  Refreshments will be served.  This program supports the Anne Frank exhibit.  Limit: 15 students.  Registration required.

Tween Advisory Board (grades 5-8)
Wednesday, January 24, 6pm - 7pm, Story Room
Share your ideas and participate in program planning!  Meet other students your age and make new friends!  Registration required. Refreshments will be served.

Tween Book club (grades 6-8)
Monday, January 29, 6pm - 7pm, Meeting Room
Funded by the Norwich Recreation Department
Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova is the featured book this month.  Pick up a copy at the Front Desk.  Registration required.

Children's Programs
All programs are offered at no charge to the public. Registration is required for some programs.  Please register in person at the Children's Desk; by calling (860) 889-2365, ext. 114; or you may register for our programs via our online calendar. 

Be Yourself Story Hour (ages 3-6)
Saturday, January 6, 10:30am - 11:15am
Celebrate the joy of being yourself in this fun story hour for preschoolers.  Enjoy stories, songs, crafts, and refreshments as we learn to love the things that make each of us special!  This program is part of the Anne Frank exhibit.  Registration required.

Bella!  Therapy Dog Extraordinaire (all ages)
Saturday, January 6, 12pm - 1pm
Courtesy of Ms. Pepin - thank you!
Visit and read to our very favorite therapy pug, Bella.  No registration required.

Mother Goose & More (ages zero to 23 months)
Mondays, January 8, 22, & 29, 10:30am (program); 11am - 12pm (playgroup)
Enjoy 30 minutes of rhymes, songs, and other activities for the very young, then stay (or not) for a one-hour open play group.  Older siblings are welcome!  No registration required.

Time for Twos (ages 2 with adult)
Tuesdays, January 9 - February 13, 10:30am - 11am
Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, and a simple craft with your child!  This program is age appropriate for your active two-year-old!  Registration required.

Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5)
Thursdays, January 11 - February 15, 10:30am - 11:15am
Children enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, and a craft while their grownups wait outside in the Children's Department.  Caregivers are encouraged to join the fun during craft time at the end of the class!  Space is limited; please register.

Build It! Clinic (grades K-8)
Saturday, January 13, 10:30am - 12pm
Build structures using a variety of materials in the Meeting Room.  No registration required.

Recipe for Success (ages 8-11)
Saturday, January 20, 11am - 12pm
Learn how to make delicious snacks for wintertime fun!  Related activities complete the fun.  Space is limited; registration required.

Kids Imagine Book Club (grades 3-5)
Monday, January 22, 6pm - 7pm, Storytime Room
Funded by the Norwich Recreation Department
Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre is the featured title this month.  Pick up a copy of the book at the Front Desk. Registration required.

CORE:  A Shared Calendar of Regional Events
Looking for things to do this weekend? Visit the CORE calendar!  CORE is a collaborative of organizations based in eastern CT with a shared goal of providing the community one regional go-to calendar of events for all things happening in the area. Be sure to check back often as it is updated daily!
Otis Library | 261 Main Street, Norwich, CT 06360 | (860) 889-2365 |

 Monday & Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Closed on Saturdays in July & August

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