Cinco de Mayo
Mexican Pride
Park, Friday, May 5, 4-5 pm 
Cinco de Mayo  honors the culture, achievements and experiences of people with a Mexican background, who live in the United States. Celebrate Mexico’s rich history with music and stories. Learn new Spanish words and make your own maracas.  
Documentary Viewing, Discussion
Wednesday, May 10
Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown
Film at 6 pm; Discussion at 8 pm
The hit documentary from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival goes inside the life of Steve Gleason, a former New Orleans Saints defensive back who, at the age of 34, was diagnosed with ALS and given a life expectancy of two-to-five years. A few weeks later he and his wife found out they were having a child. A video journal that began as a gift for his unborn son expands to chronicle Steve's determination to get his relationships in order, build a foundation to provide other ALS patients with purpose, and adapt to his declining physical condition-utilizing medical technologies that offer the means to live as fully as possible.

May is ALS Awareness Month. This program is presented in partnership with The Susie Foundation and The ALS Association-Connecticut Chapter.

Meet the Authors
Author's Table at Albany
New Wednesday Series Continues
Join us at Hartford Public Library’s Albany Branch and meet local authors as they showcase their work at The Author’s Table. The series runs on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-6 pm, and authors will have copies of their work available for purchase.
May 10: Melanie Vaverchak;  There is Something to Learn from Everyone!
May 24: Patrina Dixon;  It's My Money
May 31: Kathy Miranda;  Max and Molly
Author's Table Downtown
Deborah Ravenwood
Monday, May 15, 11 am-1 pm
Downtown, Main Floor
Silence is Deborah Ravenwood’s first book. She is a personal life coach. For two decades she has helped people through non-judgmental listening. She describes her book: “the process of reclaiming my voice has opened the floodgates of my memory.” The author will have books for sale and signing.
World War I and America
Hartford In World War I 
Author David Drury
Thursday, May 11, 5:30 pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd Floor, Downtown
Local historian and journalist David Drury is the author of  Hartford in World War I. He will deliver a presentation on the activities of the Hartford community during the period, accompanied by a slideshow of images provided by the Connecticut State Library.
This program was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the Library of America.

Poets On Poetry

The Poetry of Walt Whitman
Presented by Victor Altshul and Christine Beck
Connecticut Poetry Society
Saturday, May 20, 10:15 am - 12:15 pm
Hartford History Center
3rd Floor, Downtown

Walt Whitman was a teacher, journalist, and hospital worker. He is the author of Leaves of Grass, 12 volumes of poems, which includes I Sing the Body Electric, The Sleepers, and Song of Myself
Victor Altshul, a psychiatrist, is the author of two poetry collections, Stumblings and Singing With Starlings.
Christine Beck is the poet laureate of West Hartford and teaches creative writing at Southern Connecticut State University and the University of Hartford. She is poetry editor of The Perch at Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health

Poetry As Memoir
Bessy Reyna
Wednesday, May 24, 10 am- Noon
Goodwin, 260 New Britain Ave.
Join poet Bessy Reyna for a workshop on capturing the moments of everyday life. No previous writing experience necessary.
Bessy is the author of two poetry books, a chapbook of poems, and a collection of short stories.
Pre-registration required: 860-695-7480
Hartford Microgrid
Dwight Branch Powered Up
A new microgrid fuel cell will provide power and water to important services in the Parkville neighborhood in the event of an outage.
The Dwight Branch is included.
The 800 kilowatt grid will send electricity to Dwight, Parkville Elementary School, Charter Oak Health Center, a Shell gas station and C-Town grocery store.
Nonprofit Workship
Logic Models
Program Development, Evaluation
Kirsten Tierney
Wednesday, May 10, 10 am to Noon
Downtown, Youth Program Room, 3rd Floor
This workshop provides a holistic approach to planning and evaluating programs. It helps program practitioners use and apply logic models as a framework and way of thinking to help improve your work and be accountable for results.

STEM Programs 

Wiggle Bots
Downtown,  May 8-12, 3:30-4:30 pm
Blue Hills, Thursday, May 11, 4:30-5:30 pm
Albany, May 15-19, All Day
Design and build your own unique wiggle-bot. This is a real engineering project.
Can you make it dance in circles, or maybe make it draw?

Invent Like Benjamin Franklin
Goodwin, Monday, May 8, 4-5:45 pm
Did you know Ben Franklin was responsible for countless inventions we still use today? Some of them are: bifocal glasses, the Franklin wood stove; the lightning rod, and swim fins.
Find out more about him and try your hand at some experiments to see if you can invent something new.

Scratch Day
Goodwin, Wednesday, May 17, 2-4 pm
Scratch is a creative learning community developed at MIT. Learn how to create and remix animations and learn about computer coding using colorful blocks and your imagination.With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

World Book Explorers
Ropkins, May 10, 4-5 pm, May 17, 24, 1-2 pm
After finishing your homework, check out this cool on-line resource. Watch videos, play games, or try out a science experiment.

Leap Into Learning
Backpacks of Fun
We have Sprout Early Learning Backpacks available for checkout at four branches. Visit the Downtown Children’s Room, Albany, Goodwin, or Ropkins to pick one up today. You can also place a hold on one and have it delivered to the branch of your choice. 

Browse our choice of backpacks

In Our Branches
Mad Libs for Kids
Dwight, Thursday, May 11, 4-5 pm
Ropkins, Thursday, May 18, 3:30-5 pm
Enjoy a raucous game of Mad Libs at your local library. Since 1958, Mad Libs, a classic party game, has been instigating laughter and groaning delight. When words are substituted, crazy silly stories will be created and then shared aloud with the group. Join us for a laugh.
Thank A Community Helper
Dwight, Thursday, May 18, 4-5 pm
Take a moment to thank a few of the local heroes in your community. Whether it is your friendly neighborhood police officer, fire-fighter, or crossing guard make sure they know you appreciate all of their hard work.
F abulous Fingerprint Art
Dwight, Friday, May 19, 3:30-4:30 pm
Who knew you had a work of art right at your fingertips? Create funny animals with just your fingers, ink, and some doodles and dots. Inspired by  Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint Drawing Book.
Abstract Art Exploration
Goodwin, Monday May 15, 4-5:45 pm
Learn about abstract artist Frank Stella, whose artwork is in display at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Create your own masterpiece to take home.
Pack-a-Punch of Nutrition
Park, Wednesday, May 10&17, 2-3 pm
Ropkins, Thursday, May 11, 3:30-5 pm
Hands on, healthy snack prep practice for you at the library brings no-cook, nutritious and tasty veggie and bean snacks to make and eat.
Planting a Rainbow
Ropkins, May 10,17,24, 10-10:30, 10:30-11 am
Learn about the Spring colors of the rainbow and also about the world of flowers.
Programs for Birth to 5
First Friends Play Group
Downtown, Mondays, 11 am - Noon
Our play and picture book areas are reserved for you. Share toys, books, and music while your child meets other children.

Sensational Sensory Wednesdays
Downtown Children’s Room, 11-Noon
Interactive play time for children. Each week children will enjoy a new and exciting sensory, hands-on learning activity. 

Born To Read Storytime, Play Group
Albany, Wednesday, May 17, 31,11:30-12:30 pm
Blue Hills, May 18, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
An interactive program based on the five practices of the Every Child Ready to Read Initiative: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. Listen to stories, learn finger plays, and sing songs.

Whoever You Are
Albany, Monday, May 8, 4:30-5:30 pm
Blue Hills, Thursday, May 25, 4:30-5:30 pm
Join us for an interactive reading of Mem Fox's Whoever You Are. We celebrate all the different kinds of children in our community and all over the world, whoever and wherever they are. Illustrated by Leslie Staub.

Leo Lionni’s Animal Friends
Camp Field, Wednesday May 10, 10-11 am
Celebrate the art and stories of author/illustrator Leo Lionni with stories and activities.

Thank You For Your Support
We Love Your Help
The Hartford Public Library needs your support throughout the year. Please consider making a pledge or donation to help us continue to offer a place that cultivates opportunities, empowers and inspires individuals, and fuels a more prosperous future.
We thank the leaders of Aetna, Travelers, and The Hartford, for their generous support.

Try Biblioboard 
Biblioboard At HPL
Hartford Public Library is introducing an online service that allows users to 
create a book, self- publish an ebook, and browse multimedia content, digital exhibits and books from local authors.
Create an account here.
When you log in at the Library, Biblioboard  knows where you are. You can become familiar with the site by browsing it. To create a book go here.
T o publish an ebook go here.  
To explore go here. .

Carla Ten Eyck: 
see real women:
really see women

Administrative Wall, Third Floor
Downtown Library

Originally commissioned in 2008, Carla Ten Eyck's exhibition, see real women: really see women, is part of the Hartford History Center's permanent collection. In honor of Women's History Month, the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library celebrates a Hartford-born photographer and her work that asks and answers the question, "When do you feel you are your most beautiful?"

Left,  Marsha #1

The Library Is A Place For All

Read About Your Legal Protections
Hartford Public Library Serves Everyone

All community members of  every religion and ethnicity, whether citizens or immigrants, are welcome at the Library.
Stay informed and connected.

Programs for Teens
Free Comic Books
Saturday, May 6
Celebrate Free Comic Book Day at YOUmedia, where you can get your own free comic while supplies last.
This year's Silver Sponsor comics include  Fresh off the BoatBuffy: The High School YearsTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesSpongeBob, Barbie, and more.
Open Mic
YOUmedia, Downtown
Wednesdays, 6 pm
Join us for and Open Mic session every Wednesday. 

Put On Your Game Face

Ropkins,  Tuesdays, 4:45 to 5:45 pm
The popularity of tabletop games is trending. There are thousands of versions, such as Sushi Go, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Survive Escape from Atlantis, and Deception (a more modern murder mystery with bluffing and evasion).
Bring your friends and your favorite games and set up a match.

Stitching Wizardry
Ropkins, Thursday, May 11, 5 pm

Learn how to embroider and monogram by hand and with our embroidery machine.

Dungeons and Dragons
Albany, Thursdays, 4:30-6 pm
Blue Hills,Thursdays, 3-6 pm
Downtown, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3-6 PM
Set off for the adventure of a lifetime each week. The Hartford Courant featured our ttabletop games in Monday's paper.
Writing Workshops At Barbour
Thursdays, 3 to 6 pm
Barbour Branch
Learn the basics of expressing yourself through the written word. .
Our intern, Tinasia, runs the workshops.

Makerspace Mayhem

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

Come to YOUmedia for the twice-weekly Makerspace challenge.

Anime Character Creation

Thursdays, 6-8 pm
Downtown Library, 2nd floor

Animefy yourself and your friends at YOUmedia - or create a new unique character of your own.

3D Sculpting and Design

Thursdays, 6-8 pm
Downtown Library, 2nd Floor 

Learn how to design cool characters and objects to use in animations, video games, graphic design, and more.

Drawing With Kahairi
Mondays and Wednesday, 1 to 6 pm
Consider highlighting products or services, sales or promotions, personal bios, and more. Use images that complement your message, and link your images to supporting resources.
Breaking Barriers
Saturday, May 6, 2-3 pm
YOUmedia is hosting a new Gender & Sexuality Alliance. We'll be talking about breaking barriers while doing a crafting activity.

Writing Coaching
UConn Writing Center at HPL
Saturday, May 6, Downtown,
Wallace Stevens Room, 3rd Floor
Noon- 4 pm
First-Come, First-Served
Bring your writing to us and we will discuss it with you. UConn students and professors will assist with planning your writing project, and helping with sentence structure, clarity and grammar. Creative stories, poetry, non fiction, letters, memoirs and academic essays, applications or letters are all welcome.

Study For Your GED

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am
Barbour, 261 Barbour St.

Take classes in writing and math to prepare you for the GED test. Open enrollment.
Register: 860-695-6349 or 860-695-7400.  

Immigrant Careeer Pathways 
Runs Through June 30
the American Place, 2nd Floor, Downtown
The Immigrant Career Pathways Program, sponsored by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, serves as a pipeline to jobs in the food service industry for English-language learners in the Hartford area. Eligible students may enroll for free in either one of two classes: the ESL and Food Service Training class or the ServSafe Manager Certification class. All classes are held in the morning. Information: 860-695-6292 or email

Classes At Mark Twain Branch
Spanish for Beginners
Wednesdays, 6-7:30 pm, Until May 17
Mark Twain Branch, West Middle School
927 Asylum St.

Hartford Public Library card holders can sign up for a beginner Spanish course, on Wednesday, March 22.
The classes cover basic Spanish grammar in a step-by-step approach. Classroom instruction will transition to an online program called “Transparent Language,” for continued studies.Classes will be taught by a native Spanish speaker. Class size will be limited to 20 registrants.
Information: 860-695-6316 and
Citizenship Test Prep Class
Tuesdays and Thursday, 6-7:30 pm,
Until May 31
Mark Twain Branch, West Middle School
927 Asylum St.

Each class will focus on many of the 100 citizenship test civics questions. We encourage the community to join us for these lively interactive activities and discussions. The classes are open for U.S. citizens who want to improve their own knowledge of U.S. Civics or enhance their skills to tutor new arrivals on their paths to citizenship.
Information: 860-695-6316 and
Read to Succeed (R2S) Hartford
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
3:30-7:30 pm
Mark Twain Branch, West Middle School
927 Asylum Ave.

The classes are a combination of one-on-one instruction with a teacher and computer-based reinforcement activities for adults new to reading.
Information: 860-695-6316 and

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

Meet privately with an attorney from Greater Hartford Legal Aid concerning questions about rights in the workplace. No appointment necessary. Topics include unlawful discrimination, wages and overtime, and rights fo former offenders. Visitors are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. 

U.S. Citizenship Classes

Class cycles  range from 12-to-14 weeks and repeat. Legal assistance with application completion and submission included.

Passport Services
You can apply for a passport at Hartford Public Library. Hours are Monday though Thursday, 3:30 to 7 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm.  No appointment is needed and photos can be taken on site.

The Passport office is now located on the second floor.

Online Learning

Accessible through the library website in the Online Education & Research Section. All free with your library card. 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-6 pm
Fridays, 10 am-5 pm,
Main Floor, Downtown

 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.

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