Newsletter                                   September 2017
Executive Director's Letter

Dear Library Patrons,
As fall approaches, we look back on our recent accomplishments with pride.  Our immersion in several high-profile activities - the awarding of the National Medal, the hosting of the Smithsonian's Exploring Human Origins exhibit - is impressive and defines us as innovative and energetic. As we acknowledge these successes, we also know that Otis Library faces specific demands for services that present opportunities but also strain our resources. To sustain our institutional development and innovate in an orderly fashion, we need to dedicate time to considering what comes next. What are the community needs that remain outstanding?  Where do those needs and the library's mission intersect, and what new programs and services are required? What is the proper balance between traditional library roles and innovation?  After contemplating all this and more, what are our priorities?   Beginning this fall, we will analyze these and other questions that present both practical and existential challenges. This will involve onsite and online surveys and discussions with engaged community members and those who may not view Otis Library as a destination. We will consider national trends but give equal salience to specific community needs. Library staff members are now participating in the Working Cities Challenge, which is coordinated through United Way. While this focuses specifically on increasing the financial stability of lower income residents, it is also a useful vehicle for assessing community needs in the context of the larger challenges facing Norwich. Community assessment has the added benefit of raising the library's profile and creating awareness of the services Otis Library offers. I look forward to keeping you apprised of what we learn and how we will continue to meet the needs of our community.

Robert Farwell
Executive Director
Otis Library will be closed on Saturday, September 2, and Monday, September 4, in observance of Labor Day.  We resume our Saturday hours, 10am - 3pm, on September 9.
The Friends of Otis Library
The Friends are accepting donations of gently used books, CDs, and DVDs. Please, no cassette tapes, VHS tapes, textbooks, encyclopedias, or magazines.
Please drop off your items, two bags at a time, to the Front Desk.  Thank you for your support! 

SAVE THE DATE:  The next Friends of Otis Library Book Sale is scheduled for October 20, 21 and 22!
Early Bird Preview:  Friday, October 20, 9am - 10am, $10
Friday, 10am - 3pm
Saturday, 10am - 3pm
Sunday, 12pm - 3pm

Voter Registration
September 26 is National Voter Registration Day!   The League of Women Voters will be available in the Library's atrium on Tuesday, September 26, beginning at 10am to answer questions and assist you with voter registration. 

If you are unable to make it to the Library on September 26, mail-in forms are available in the entryway of the library.  Just fill in the brief form and return it to the Registrar of Voters in your town of residence. 
If you have a valid (not expired) driver's license, driver's permit, or non-driver photo ID issued by the Connecticut DMV, you have the additional option of online voter registration.  Look for details here:  This site includes information in Spanish, as well as English.  If you need additional assistance, just ask at the Business Center or call (860) 889-2365, ext. 108.

Artful Avocations

Otis Library seeks the participation of Norwich municipal employees (and retirees) for the forthcoming show:

Artful Avocations:   Municipal Employees Share Their Talents in Visual Art
November 3, 2017 - November 30, 2017
Deadline for submissions: October 1, 2017
Reception: First Friday, November 3, 2017 in the Community Room

This show does not distinguish between art and craft. All visual media - film; painting, sculpture, wood working, prints, needlework; collage, even cake decorating! - are eligible for consideration.
For more information, please contact exhibit coordinator Elanah Sherman at or 860-614-7200.

O'tis a Festival!
SAVE THE DATE!  The 9th Annual O'tis a Festival: a marketplace of all things creative will be held at Otis Library on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Plan on joining us for this fun-filled day of shopping and entertainment! More information and the application for vendors are posted on our website.  If you have questions, please contact 
Celebrate Cultural Diversity
The Rotary Club of Norwich will partner with Otis Library on several diversity-themed events in September. This partnership is in recognition of the 2017 Celebrate Cultural Diversity event on Tuesday, September 19, at Howard T. Brown Park.  This annual event celebrates the many cultures that make up the community of Norwich.

On Thursday, September 21, Otis Library will host speaker Dennis Wong of the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club.  Dennis is the co-founder of the Rotarian Action Group for Peace and holds a United Nations ground pass as the Official Representative for the International Cities of Peace, an association of citizens, governments and organizations who have by proclamation, resolution, or by citizen advocacy established their communities as official Cities of Peace.  He will be speaking in the Community Room at 6pm.  This program is free and open to the public.

Local artist Faith Satterfield will be on hand in the Meeting Room from 12pm through 2pm on Saturday, September 23, to help patrons of all ages create an original work of art relating to the theme of "Celebrating Diversity and Peace."  Faith is a mural artist, an internationally trained illustrator and teaching artist.  Drop-in; no registration required. 

Delicious Discussions Author Series
Please join us for our next Delicious Discussions Author Series luncheon with Susan Keitzman, author of  Every Other Wednesday.  The luncheon will be held on Thursday, October 19, 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

ABOUT  EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY:  For years, Joan, Ellie, and Alice enjoyed a casual friendship while volunteering at their children's Connecticut high school. Now, with those children grown and gone to college, a local tragedy brings the three into contact again; but what begins as a catch-up lunch soon moves beyond small talk to the struggles of this next stage of life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Susan Kietzman grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut. She is a graduate of Connecticut College and attended journalism school at Boston University.    Every Other Wednesday is her fourth novel with Kensington Publishing.  Her previous three novels are  The Good LifeA Changing Marriage, and  The Summer Cottage. She lives with her family in Mystic, Connecticut.

Library Card Sign-Up Month

In  celebration of Library Card Sign-Up Month this September, we're asking you to share your best #OtisLibraryCard selfie with us! Whether you've got a brand new card or have had one for years, we want to see you and your card! We'll repost a few of our favorites to our Instagram  and blog , so get creative.

Here's how to participate:
  1. Get your library card at Otis Library if you haven't already.  You may have a free library card if you are a resident of Norwich. Learn More.
  2. Take your best selfie with your library card whether you've had it for years or it's shiny and new!
  3. Post your photo on your Instagram or your favorite place to share photos and make sure you tag it with #OtisLibraryCard
  4. Follow @otislibrarynorwich on Instagram to see if we repost your photo.
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.

NEW!  Otis  Library will now be providing computer/technology instruction to seniors at the Rose City Senior Center on Tuesdays from 10am - 12pm starting September 5.. 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
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. 

Changing Minds Book Club
Wednesday, September 13, 5pm
The  One Book One Region  selection this year is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.  In partnership with One Book, One Region, the Changing Minds Book Club will discuss Homegoing on Wednesday, September 13, at 5pm.  The discussion will be facilitated by Nathalie Etoke, Associate Professor of French and Africana Studies at Connecticut College.  Join us in the Meeting Room for conversation and refreshments!   No registration required. There are limited number of books available to borrow at the Front Desk.

Otis Library Genealogy Club
Tuesday, September 19, 1pm - 2:30pm
The first meeting of Otis Library's new Genealogy Club will take place on September 19 at 1pm. The club will be meeting in the Edward and Mary Lord Local History and Genealogy Room at Otis Library 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.

Scott Bates:  The United States and North Korea
Monday, September 25, 6:30pm, Community Room

Deputy Secretary of the State Scott D. Bates will give an analysis on the current situation between the United States and North Korea.  He will discuss the threat posed by North Korea, the possibility of negotiation, and what options are available.  This program is free and open to the public. 

Scott Bates has served in leadership roles at the state, national and international levels in policy development and government for over 25 years.   After September 11th, Bates became the first Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee and led a team that produced a dozen reports on homeland security issues ranging from border security to bioterrorism.  He then served as President of the Center for National Policy, a Washington DC think tank focusing on topics of national security. Bates has also taught at the National Defense University in Washington D.C, University of Indiana School of Law, the University of Tokyo, and the University of Pristina.

He holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, a MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and graduated magna cum laude in History and Political Science from the University of Dayton. The Bates family lives in Stonington, and are actively involved in their community.

InfoShred at Otis Library
Saturday, September 30, 10am - 1pm
Sponsored by Chelsea Groton Bank
Community members are invited to bring documents for shredding to the truck parked in front of Otis Library.  There is a limit of three file-size boxes each to be securely destroyed. This event is free and open to all.

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, September 13, 6pm - 7pm
Teens, stop by the Young Adult Room and create a cool piece of art for yourself!  No registration required.

Tween Advisory Board Meeting (grades 5 - 8)
Wednesday, September 20, 6pm - 7pm
Share your ideas and participate in program planning!  Meet other students your age and make new friends!  Register online or by contacting the Front Desk.  Meeting will take place in the Young Adult Department.

Smart Robots for Tomorrow's Building (ages 11 and up)
Saturday, September 23, 11am - 12:30pm
This program is sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
This hands-on workshop will teach the basic concepts of robotics.  Working in teams, kids will learn coding to instruct a simple robot to move objects!  They will also learn about programmable electronics for making motors run.  Space is limited; please register.  Program will take place in the Storytime Room.  

Tween Book Club (grades 6 - 8)
Monday, September 25, 6pm - 7pm
Read Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart.  There will be pizza and related activities!  Please register.  Pick up a copy of the book at the Front Desk.  Program will take place in the Meeting 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.

Recipe for Success (ages 8 - 11)
Saturday, September 9, 11am - 12pm
It's apple picking time!  Enjoy making and eating a delicious apple treat! Related activities complete the fun. Space is limited; please register.

Bella! Therapy Dog Extraordinaire (all ages)
Saturday, September 9, 12pm - 1pm
Courtesy of Ms. Pepin - thank you!
Visit and read to our very favorite therapy pug, Bella! No registration required.

Build It! Clinic (grades K - 8)
Saturday, September 16, 10:30am - 12:00pm.
Build structures using a variety of materials in the Storytime Room.  No registration required.

Mother Goose & More: Rhyme Time and Playgroup (ages newborn to 23 months) 
Mondays, September 18 & 25, 10:30am - 11am (Rhyme Time); 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.

Kids Imagine! Book Club (grades 3 - 5 )
Monday, September 18, 6pm - 7pm
Read Bad Kitty School Daze by Nick Bruel.  There will be pizza and related activities. Registration required. Pick up a copy of the book at the Front Desk. Program will take place in the Storytime Room.  

Toddler Storytime (ages 2-3)
Tuesdays, September 19 - November 14, 10:30am - 11am
Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, and a simple craft with your child!  Space is limited; please register.

Preschool Storytime (ages 3-6)
Thursdays, September 21 - November 16, 10:30
Children enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, and a craft while their grownups wait in the Children's Department.  Space is limited; please register.  

Smart Robots for Tomorrow's Building (ages 11 and up )
Saturday, September 23, 11am - 12:30pm
This program is sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
This hands-on workshop will teach the basic concepts of robotics.  Working in teams, kids will learn coding to instruct a simple robot to move objects!  They will also learn about programmable electronics for making motors run.  Space is limited; please register.  Program will take place in the Storytime Room.  

Owl Prowl! (all ages)
Saturday, September 30, 11am - 12pm
Learn about owls!  The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center will bring these awesome birds to Otis Library so that you can learn about owls' unique adaptations for nocturnal life.  Please register.
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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