Newsletter                                           July 2017
Executive Director's Letter

Dear Library Patrons,
The end of the 2016-2017 fiscal year is upon us and is an opportune time to reflect on some of the achievements that have once again confirmed Otis Library as a center of community activity and an innovative community asset. The impact of the Smithsonian exhibit EXPLORING HUMAN ORIGINS: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN? remains and reflects Otis Library's continued commitment to exemplary programming that stimulates community conversations and knowledge creation. During the month of January, the library recorded approximately 17,000 visits, including schools, local residents and out-of-state visitors. The ability to compete successfully for singular opportunities exemplified by Human Origins is one measure of Otis Library's success. Equally noteworthy are those ongoing programs that address the changing nature of community needs and require services not confined to the library's physical plant. Otis Library staff visit 8 preschools, bringing early learning and reading to programs serving approximately 300 children. The children's and young adult staff members have transformed the summer reading program, designing new elements as part of an innovative summer learning program. This includes providing offsite library services at area schools. The demand for offsite services is equally strong at the other end of the age spectrum. Homebound deliveries reach 30 individuals and 3 convalescent homes and assisted living facilities.
No one entity can provide all the requested services without the assistance of dedicated community partners. Otis Library has cultivated collaborations with numerous community groups.  These include Norwich Adult Education, Norwich Arts Council, SERAC, Reliance House, ARC of New London County, Southeastern Mental Health Authority (SMHA), Norwich Community Cinema, United Community & Family Services, and the Norwich Vet Center/Department of Veterans Affairs. Other collaborators include the Department of Labor, the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Alliance, Artreach, and Expressiones Cultural Center of New London.
These improvements are the result of working directly with the community and listening and acting on changing needs. Otis Library is not apart from Norwich. It is deeply embedded in the learning, the work and the leisure of the people it serves.

Robert Farwell
Executive Director


Otis Library will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.  

Our summer hours are as follows:
Monday and Wednesday, 10am - 8pm
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am - 5pm
We will be closed on Saturdays, July 1 - September 2.

Important Notice
Due to the Connecticut State Library's overhaul of the delivery system, we will be unable to place Interlibrary Loan holds from July 3 - July 17. You will only be able to place holds on items owned by the library where you pick your holds.  For more information or assistance, please call (860) 889-2355, ext. 100.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Otis Library Welcomes New Board Members

Otis Library is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its board of trustees, Jan Dennis and Christopher Chastang. Jan is a Licensed Realtor since early 1980s, working with Coldwell Banker since 2003.  Previously, she was Assistant to President of Mitchell College, Mary Ellen Jukoski.  Jan also served as Assistant to the Finance Manager for General Dynamics Data Center in Norwich, and Assistant to Director of Joshua Center in Uncasville.

Officer Chris Chastang has been part of the Norwich Police Department's Community Policing Unit since its creation in 2011. He has been Otis Library's liaison with the Norwich Police Department for several years and meets regularly with Director Bob Farwell. During that time, a productive collaboration has developed which helps ensure the safety of library patrons and fostered communications on issues affecting the city.

The Friends of Otis Library also elected new board members at their annual meeting.  The new members are Karyn Barrows, Roberta Clapper, Hai Kolker, Anne Masterson, and Barbara O'Connell. More biographical information will appear in our next newsletter.
Rose Arts Festival

Otis Library will be at the Rose Arts Festival on Chelsea Parade on Saturday, July 1.  Stop by and say hello!  For more information on the Rose Arts Festival, visit
Latino Authors Book Discussion Series

Otis Library will be hosting a Latino Authors Book Discussion Series in July and August. Books to be discussed are Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez on Thursday, July 13; How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez on Thursday, July 27; Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life by
Luis Alberto Urrea on Thursday, August 10; and My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday, August 24.   All discussions will take place at 12:00 p.m. in the  Meeting Room. Lunch will be provided.  Attendees will receive a free copy of  the book being discussed. There are a limited number of audio books available. Please call Julie at (860) 889-2365, ext. 128 to register for this free program.

The Latino Authors Book Discussion Series will be facilitated by Aida Heredia, Professor of Hispanic Studies at Connecticut College. Professor Heredia has published two books, De la recta a las cajas chinas: la poesía de José Kozer and La  representación del haitiano en las letras dominicanas She has also p ublished articles on national identity, memory and religion as counter-
colonial practice 
in scholarly journals. Her research interests include cultural representation and the African diaspora in the Americas. Professor Heredia has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright-Hays Program.

The Latino Authors Book Discussion Series is sponsored by The Friends of Otis Library.

Programs for Adults

Technology Classes
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 on Wednesdays, 5pm - 8pm.  In addition, we are now offering classes on Fridays, 10am - 1pm.  Please call 860-889-2365, ext. 100, for additional information or to make an appointment.

Technology Classes are offered in Spanish on Mondays between 5pm - 8pm by appointment only.  Please call (860) 889-2365, ext. 100, to register for August appointments.

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
The Rows City Knitters meet every Friday at 10am in the Meeting Room.  All skill levels welcome!  For more information, call (860) 889-2365, ext. 128. 

Lunch & Learn:  Governor Samuel Huntington, Connecticut's Forgotten Founding Father
Thursday, July 6, 12pm
Join historian Damien Cregeau for a Lunch & Learn on "Governor Samuel
Damien Cregeau
Huntington, Connecticut's Forgotten Founding Father." Mr. Cregeau will discuss the accomplishments of Samuel Huntington, including his signing of the Declaration of Independence, and will show photographs of his boyhood home in Scotland, CT as well as his home in Norwich.  Lunch is provided.  Free program; registration is required.  Call (860) 889-2365, ext. 128, or register on the online calendar at .

Damien Cregeau is an independent historian who earned his Master's Degree in history from Colorado State University.  He is a scholar of 18th century American History, specializing in military and political history.  

Modular Origami Class (ages 16 and up)
Monday, July 10, 6pm
Otis Library will be offering an origami class in the Meeting Room. Instructor Fran Block will show you how to use recycled paper from a variety of sources to create modular origami models. Modular origami is paper folding that uses two or more pieces of paper to create more complex units.  If you have favorite paper from old magazines, books, wrapping paper, etc., bring it along. Origami paper and other paper will be available at the program.  This class is for teens, ages 16 and up, and adults.  Free program; registration is required.  To register, call (860) 889-2365, ext. 128, or register on the online calendar at 

Cooking Demonstration (ages 16 and up)
Monday, July 17, 6pm
Sioux Wimler of Crunchybits will offer a cooking demonstration of One-Pot Wonders in the Community Room.  She will discuss various grains, starches, beans, vegetables, and spice combinations to make easy, versatile, healthy food.  The program will be followed by a food tasting and question and answer session.  Free program; registration is required.  To register, call (860) 889-2365, ext. 128, or register on the online calendar at  

Connecticut Lore with Zachary Lamothe
Monday, July 31, 6:30pm
Zachary Lamothe returns to Otis Library to discuss his latest book  More Connecticut Lore. Journey through Connecticut using this unconventional guidebook containing 82 odd locations to visit on your next outing. Connecticut has plenty of strange and unusual history and folklore that will have you wandering slightly off the beaten path.  Free event; no registration required. Copies of his book will be available for sale and signing.

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.

Food, Cultures, and Reading (ages 9 - 14)
Wednesdays, June 21 - July 26, 6pm - 7:30pm
Learn about a different country each week and enjoy related activities, stories, and recipes.  This program is run by the 4-H of New London County.  Space is limited; please register for one or all classes.

Head Wrapping Art (grades 5 - 12)
Tuesday, July 11, 12pm - 3pm
Learn about this beautiful art from Africa and wear your style home.  Presented by artist LaShawn Cunningham. Please register online or at the Front Desk. Program will take place in the Young Adult Department.

Tween Book Club (grades 6- 8)
Monday, July 24, 4pm-5pm
Read The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis. There will be pizza and technology-tinkering activities.  Pick up a copy of the book at the Front Desk. Program will take place in the Meeting Room. Registration required.

Tween Advisory Board Party! (grades 6 - 12)
Wednesday, July 26, 6pm - 7pm
If you're a fan of  High School Musical ,  join us for music, food, and trivia at this
fun party hosted by our Tween Advisory Club.  Register online or by contacting the Front Desk.  The event will take place in the Story Room.   

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.

Food, Cultures, and Reading (ages 6 - 10)
Wednesdays, June 21 - July 26, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Learn about a different country each week and enjoy related activities, stories, and recipes.  This program is run by the 4-H of New London County.  Space is limited; please  register for one or all classes.

Build It! Clinic (grades K - 8)
Mondays & Wednesdays, June 26, - August 2, 10:30am - 12:30pm.
Build structures using a variety of materials in the Meeting Room.  No registration required.

Open Art Clinic (ages 5 - 12)
Thursdays, June 29 - August 3, 2pm - 4pm
Sponsored by Attorney Bart Sayet and Ms. Lori Lindfors
Create a piece of process-oriented art each week in the Story Room.  No registration required.  

Mother Goose & More: Rhyme Time and Playgroup (ages newborn to 23 months) 
Mondays, July 3 - July 31, 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.

Hola Espanol!  Hello English!  (ages 3 - 5)
Wednesday, July 5 - August 2
Learn words for different concepts in Spanish and English each week, with simple stories, games, and a craft.  Space is limited; please register for this weekly storytime.

Mad About Math!  (all ages)
Monday, July 10, 6pm - 7pm
Sponsored by Attorney Bart Sayet and Ms. Lori Lindfors

Join Keith Michael Johnson in this exciting show that is not just about numbers!  Shapes, patterns, measurement, and money will be explored with a sense of wonder and humor!  No registration required.  

Puppetry Workshop (ages 7 - 12)
Tuesdays, July 11 - August 1, 1pm - 2pm
Learn about the basics of puppetry in this 4-part workshop presented by Andrea Brown of Mystic, CT.  Topics covered include construction, use, and performance.  Please register.

Kids Imagine! Book Club (grades 3 - 5)
Monday, July 17, 4pm - 5pm
Read Lunch Lady And The Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.  There will be s'mores and camp-related activities!    Please register. Pick up a copy of the book at the Front Desk. Program will take place in the Storytime Room.

Music Concert with Les Julian (all ages)
Monday, July 17, 6pm - 7pm
Les Julian will wow us with his award-winning and entertaining original songs celebrating the diversity of the world!  No registration required.

Casey Carle: Bubblemania!  (all ages)
Monday, July 24, 6pm - 7pm
Sponsored by Attorney Bart Sayet and Ms. Lori Lindfors
Prepare yourself to be amazed by this humorous and interactive show! Dazzling bubbles of all shapes and sizes will be created.  No registration required.  

Delicious Discussions Author Series

Please join us for our next Delicious Discussions Author luncheon with Allegra Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of The Chalk Artist. The luncheon will be held on Tuesday, July 25, 12-1:30pm at Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun. This luncheon is part of an ongoing partnership with Bank Square Books and Michael Jordan's Restaurants and generously sponsored by GUINAN & HOULE, Attorneys at Law. 

The cost for the luncheon is $40 and includes lunch, a copy of the book , dessert and author signing. To register, please contact Julie Menders at (860) 889-2365 x.128 or

The Chalk Artist:  A tender affair and the redemptive power of art are a t the core of this compelling novel from National Book Award finalist Allegra Goodman, "a romantic realist who dazzles with wit [and] compassion" (The Wall Street Journal).

Calling All Family Historians!
A message from Kathy Wieland, Genealogy Librarian:
Beginning in September, Otis Library will be organizing a Genealogy Club to meet on a weekday afternoon each month.  This will provide an opportunity for everyone to tell about the families they are researching and to discuss any problems or discoveries.  I will plan programs highlighting resources and methods that will be of interest to the members of the group.  This will be an opportunity for me to do a little coaching and for all of us to learn from one another.  If you have questions or would like to sign up, you may contact me at or at 860-889-2365 x108 - or just stop by the Business Center for a little chat.  

Seed Lending Library 
Sponsored by Wheeler Library and Diana Hunt 
Otis Library has partnered with Wheeler Library to share a Seed Lending Library open to all!  How does it work? Choose one or two seed packets from the box at the Front Desk. They are free - really!  If you would like more, you may browse the collection at Wheeler Library, 101 Main Street, in North Stonington.  No residency required. To learn about Wheeler Library's Seed Lending Library, visit their website.

Change your mind, or have more than you need?  Bring them back to Otis Library or Wheeler Library and we will make them available to other gardeners. At the end of the season, if your plants have made seeds for you, please bring some to Wheeler Library, so that they may continue to sponsor the Seed Lending Library.

We would love to see photographs of your plants from the Seed Lending Library!  Please share them with us, and we may post them to the Otis Library Facebook page!
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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