Calling artists to create portraits that celebrate black visionaries in our city
Black History Month:
Draw a Hartford History-Maker

Last year, our project So Much More Than a Month highlighted the lives of African-Americans who made a difference in our community. This year, we’re asking volunteers to create portraits of black visionaries and changemakers in our city.  

Those interested in volunteering can email to be assigned a name. The Hartford History Center will provide an image and information as a reference.You may work in any medium or size you'd like.

Prints will be exhibited in the Hartford History Center and posted on Facebook in February.
Help HPL Win up to $5,000
from #YFGivesLocal
Help support HPL and the transformational services we provide to the Hartford community by voting for us in the Yelp Foundation Gives Local contest. Vote once per day now through December 9 and help us win the $5,000 grant.

Click Here to Vote for HPL
Thank You For Supporting HPL
at Beyond Words
Thursday was a night of firsts at our new Beyond Words event, where we celebrated Louise Blalock as the recipient of the Caroline M. Hewins Medal and launched Wally Lamb's new book, I'll Take You There.

Thanks to all who joined us, and those who support us every day.

Hot Reads at HPL
Warm up with some hot titles from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times' Book Review lists this holiday season. All are available at Hartford Public Library.

Titles include: I'll Take You There by Wally Lamb, The Whistler by John Grisham, How the Post Office Created America: A History by Winifred Gallagher, Vanishing Man by Laura Cumming, and much more. 
On Sale Now
Hartford Through Time Book

A gift for the Hartford history fan in your life  helps preserve that history.

Proceeds from the sale of Hartford Through Time support the ongoing preservation of the image archive from the Hartford Times. The Hartford History Center is the repository for images from 1950-1976, the final years of operation for the newspaper.

The book, available at all 10 HPL locations and online, features more than 90 never-before-published images of early 20th-century Hartford, juxtaposed with matching color photographs of the city in present day.

Click here to purchase your copy.

UConn Writing Center at HPL
First Saturday of Each Month
Upcoming: December 3
Wallace Stevens Room

Meet with students, graduate students and professors from UConn Hartford, to discuss your writing and receive feedback. Writing of all kinds and at all stages - planning, drafting or revising - is welcome. 

Visitors are met on a first-come, first-served basis for approximately one hour.

Read more
Honoring Art & Humanity: Ghanaian Artisans Showcase
December 5-January 27
Cultural Corridor, 3rd Floor
Downtown Library

The artisans of Ghana create hand-carved furnishings and unusual  products for the international market  using traditional tools and employing centuries-old craftsmanship,    

Julius Aboagye, founder of the African Heritage Collection, has forged a partnership with the highly-skilled indigenous Ghanaian artisans, which provides financial support for the artisans’ families and helps to sustain their trade and the environment.
James Herbert Smith at
The Author's Table
Thursday, December 8, 4 pm-7 pm

James Herbert Smith will be at the Author's Table on the main floor of the Downtown Library showing off his new novel A Boys' Life in the Baby Boom: True Tales from Small Town America. Smith, who was born in 1946, the first year of the baby boom, worked for over five decades as a journalist. He will have books for sale.
Hollywood History & Hartford
December 10, 2 pm
Downtown Library, Hartford History Center

Hartford native and historic theater enthusiast Hollis Schneider presents a look back at the history of Hartford’s movie palaces, from the nickelodeons to the 1960s, Hollywood’s stars and “movie moguls”, and the social & historical issues that had an influence the films that were being produced.  

Come and share your memories of a bygone era. Hartford’s classic movie houses will be recalled in a photographic presentation. 
Little Women: A Tertulia

Tuesday, December 20, 6 pm
Hartford History Center

This holiday season, we’ll gather in the Hartford History Center for a discussion of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. The book was popular in 1868, the time of its publication, and maintains that popularity to this day. There have been six film adaptations as well as multiple television, stage, and musical interpretations. We invite you to bring your own well-loved copies of Little Women and your stories, memories, and interpretations of the text and join us for coffee and conversation.

Youth & Family Services
Family Holiday Concert

Downtown Library Atrium
Wednesday, December 14, 10 am and 12 pm

Join Sam Pasco and his band for a musical celebration of the holiday season. Pasco, a saxophone player, was a member of the Al Jarvis Orchestra. Pasco and his musician have made it a tradition to play at holiday time in nursing homes, hospitals and schools.

Please call 860 695-6330 for more information. Groups interested in attending must call and register before the event.
Kwanzaa Festival 2016

Downtown Library Children's Room
Thursday, December 29, 12-5 pm.

Join special guests including RaPoet Khaiim Kelly, artist Jackie Bright, and master drummer Inara Ramin, as we celebrate Kwanzaa. There will be a open mic, traditional drumming and dance, African jewelry, a soul food dinner for families to enjoy, and more.

Please call 860-695-6330 for more information.
Teen Services

Duct Tape Whatever

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4 pm
Downtown Library, 2nd floor

Come to YOUmedia for the twice-weekly Makerspace challenge. Duct tape whatever you want in December. Make phone cases, pencil pouches, and decorations.

Paint Your #DigitalSelfie

Thursdays 6-8 pm
Downtown Library, 2nd floor

Know what's better than posting a photo your took of yourself? Posting a digital painting that you created yourself. Come to YOUmedia on Thursdays and work on your own digital selfie with Danielle.

Woke Teens Forum

War on Drugs: Weed & Race
December 7, 1-3 pm
Downtown Library, 2nd floor

Police routinely arrest millions of people every year for possessing marijuana. A black person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested than a white person. Why? What reform can address that discrepancy? Use your half day to talk about the issues that matter.
Adult Learning

U.S. Citizenship Classes

Cycles are between 12 to 14 weeks and repeat. Legal assistance with application completion and submission included.

Lawyer at Your Library
First Tuesday of Each Month, 11 am-1 pm
Upcoming: December 6
Downtown Library, The American Place

Meet privately with an attorney from Greater Hartford Legal Aid concerning questions about rights in the workplace, such as:
  • Unlawful discrimination, including race, sex, physical or mental disability.
  • Violations of laws concerning wages and overtime, family and medical leave, domestic violence leave..
  • Rights of certified or licensed workers (such as Certified Nurse Aides, bus drivers,).
  • Rights of former offenders such as rejection/firing from a job due to one’s criminal record.   
No appointment necessary. Visitors are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
United Way Budget Coaching
Nilda Rivera, community advocate for Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, holds a weekly free forum for legal questions and referrals at Hartford Public Library, Tuesdays at 3:30 pm.

CWEALF  is working with the United Way of Central and Eastern CT and the Women’s Business Development Council to provide a free, four month, one-on-one budget coaching program. Application deadline is  Monday, November 28. Questions:  Denise Rhone at CWEALF: or 860.610.6049

Read more
Passport Services
You can apply for a passport at Hartford Public Library. Evening and Saturday hours. 

No appointment is needed and photos can be taken on-site.

Online Learning

Accessible through the library website in the Online Education & Research Section. All free with your library card! Simply log in with your card number and create a user name and password.

  • Learn a New Language: Learn or practice more than 100+ languages using the online learning program Transparent Language.
  • LearningExpress Library™: Build your academic skills in reading, writing, math, and science; prepare for standardized tests, college admissions tests, and professional licensing and certification.
  • Universal Class: Select from over 500 courses in a wide variety of subjects through a program called Universal Class. Learn a new hobby, improve your computer skills, or expand your job or career options. 
  • Career Online High School (COHS)Earn your high school diploma online, must be 24 or older.

American Job Center

Monday-Thursday, 10 am-8 pm
Fridays 10 am-5 pm  

Looking for a job? Feeling a bit rusty on your interview skills or bewildered by all the new technology a successful job search demands? We can help! CTWorks Capital Workforce Partners and HPL Library have partnered to bring a CTWorks "American Job Center" to the Downtown Library.

Have you checked out our
mobile-friendly catalog?
Hartford Public Library | 860.695.6300 |