Former HPL Chief Librarian Featured in Spanish-Language Publication
Louise Blalock Featured in Identidad Latina  

Poet/writer Bessy Reyna has a lovely story about Louise Blalock in the December issue of Identidad Latina. Louise was Chief Librarian of Hartford Public Library for 14 years, and was honored with the first Caroline M. Hewins Medal on December 1 at the Library’s new Beyond Words event. Author Wally Lamb made the presentation. Bessy ran the Hartford Loves Poetry festival for the Library in 2014. The story is in Spanish. HPL-CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey and Louise Blalock show the medal after the presentation.

Click here to read the full article

HPL Branches Serving
as Warming Centers

The temperatures are dipping, but it’s warm inside all branches of Hartford Public Library. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has included the Library system as part of the city’s warming center resources for the next few frigid days.

Click here for more details

Holiday Cards for Veterans
Children ages 6 to 12 created handmade cards for veterans on December 6 at the Albany Branch of Hartford Public Library.

One 9-year-old girl wrote this on her flag-inspired card that included 50 stars: “Happy Holidays.  Thank you for wanting to save our country. I appreciate what you have done for me and everyone else…”

Staff from Albany will share the cards with veterans at the Veterans Healthcare campus in Newington.
HPL Goes Beyond Words: Isabel Acosta

Isabel Acosta, a native of Peru and artist whose work was featured on the Downtown Library's ArtWalk in 2015, discussed what Hartford Public Library means to her and the community in a video first shown at our Beyond Words event on December 1.

Holiday Closings
Hartford Public Library will be closed on the following days in December and January:

Saturday, December 24
Sunday, December 25
Monday, December 26
Sunday, January 1
Monday, January 2
Baby Grand Jazz 2017
The James Weidman Apertuistic Trio opens the 14th Annual Baby Grand Jazz Series, sponsored by The Charles H. Kaman Charitable Foundation. The 16-concert series opens Jan. 8 and runs through April 30. The free, hour-long concerts are held Sundays, 3 pm, in the Center for Contemporary Culture on the main floor of the Downtown Library at 500 Main St. The concerts are presented in partnership with the Hartford Jazz Society and WWUH 91.3 FM.

Click here to learn more
Black History Month:
Draw a Hartford History Maker
Portraits due by December 31, 2016
On display February 1-February 28, 2017

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.

Support HPL
With Amazon Smile
Shopping online for your holiday gifts? Support Hartford Public Library by using Amazon Smile and selecting us as your charity beneficiary.

Go to and search for Hartford Public Library in the available charities to support. Then, just purchase items through Amazon as you normally would and HPL will receive a portion of the sales (at no cost to you).
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.

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 has been popular since its publication in 1868. 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.

Winter Solstice Celebration
Albany - Wednesday, Dec 21, 3-4 pm
Barbour - Wednesday, Dec 21, 4-5 pm
Downtown - Wednesday, Dec 21, 4-5 pm
Camp Field - Thursday, Dec 22, 4-5 pm
Dwight - Thursday, Dec 22, 4-5 pm
Goodwin - Thursday, Dec 22, 4-5 pm
Park - Thursday, Dec 22, 4:30-5:30 pm

This year December 21, 5:44 am begins the winter solstice. Join us to learn about the shortest day of the year and celebrate the arrival of longer days by making your very own bit of sunshine to take home with you.
Musical Dialogues: Holiday Jazz
Wednesday, December 21, Noon
Downtown Library Atrium

Join us for a selection of holiday favorites performed by the Hartford Symphony's Classical Jazz Ensemble.

The program includes  Winter Wonderland, Feliz Navidad, excerpts from the Ellington Nutcracker Suite, and other seasonal selections
Kwanzaa Festival 2016

Downtown Library
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. Sankofa Kuumba Cultural Arts Consortium will talk about the seven principles of African Heritage. There will be an 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.
Honoring Art & Humanity: Ghanaian Artisans Showcase
Open through 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.
Youth & Family Services
Celebrate First Night With Caravan Puppets
Saturday, December 31, 12-1 pm
Downtown Library Children's Department

Join us in celebration of First Night in Hartford. Caravan Puppets will put on The Season of Lights, a performance celebrating the winter holidays with tales of wonder and light. All kids who attend will receive a free book and a pair of gloves, funded through a generous donation from Trinity Health New England.

E-Resource of the Week: Learning Express
Learning Express features tests for Elementary through High School in Math, Reading and Writing. It also includes tutorials in computer skills and writing.

Gingerbread House Building
Do you have what it takes to create a Gingerbread Masterpiece? Team up to see what amazing structure you can make during this fun program.

Park—Wednesday, December 21, 2-3 pm
Blue Hills—Thursday, December 29, 4:30-5:30 pm
Albany—Wednesday, January 4, 4:30-5:30 pm
Book of the Week:
VIP: I'm With the Band
Twelve-year-old Mackenzie "Mac" Lowell's dreams have come true. Thanks to her mom scoring the coolest job EVER, Mac is going from boy band fanatic to official tour member of her favorite group, Perfect Storm. Good thing she's brought along her journal so she can record every moment, every breath, and every one of lead singer Zander Welling's killer smiles in written detail and daydreamy doodles. If you are a fan of Dork Diaries, you’re sure to enjoy this book.

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.


Thursdays 6-8 pm
Downtown Library, 2nd floor

Animefy yourself and your friends at YOUmedia.

Graphic Novel Studio

Blue Hills Branch: December 27, 4:30-5:30 PM 

Learn techniques to create and illustrate your own graphic novel!
Adult Learning

U.S. Citizenship Classes

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. 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. 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.
Lawyer at Your Library
First Tuesday of Each Month, 11 am-1 pm
Upcoming: January 3
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.

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 |