Our Banned Books Week Recommendations

Looking For Alaska

John Green

NPR’s Top Ten Best-Ever Teen Novels

Bestselling author John Green's debut novel, capture the voice of teens perfectly, this inspiring novel will challenge teens and adults to ask important and seek the answers.

"A gem of modern literature."—Guardian 

“Stunning conclusion . . . one worthy of a book this good.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

Out of Darkness

Ashley Hope Pérez

Booklist 50 Best YA Books of All Time 

A dangerous forbidden romance rocks a Texan oil town in 1937, when segregation was a matter of life and death.

"Gives voice to many long-omitted facets of U.S. history."―School Library Journal

"A powerful tale of forbidden love in times of unrelenting racism."―Kirkus Reviews

Celebramos Nuestra Herencia

Then & Now

Celebrating our heritage this month and all year long!

Then: “Isabel Osorio Vazquez holds an appreciation award for her volunteer work at Hartford’s Ann Street School, ‘La Escuelita.’ With her is Edna F. Soler, director of the city’s bilingual school for 340 students. Mrs. Vazquez joins many other mothers in performing volunteer jobs at the school.” (Photo caption) Story by Ronnie Dundin, Hartford Times, May 11, 1975

Now: A recent photo of Isabel shared with us on Facebook after we posted the 1975 photo with the response "Isabel Osorio Vasquez, super merecida mención. Esta es una foto reciente de Isabel, mujer admirable. Que buenos recuerdos de aquellos tiempos en la Escuelita Edna Negron" / "Isabel Osorio Vasquez, highly deserved mention. This is a recent photo of Isabel, admirable woman. What good memories of those times at the Edna Negron School." Thank you, Victoria Barrera for sharing!

Thank you, Isabel and Edna for being an important part of our history and our community!

Saukiog Harvest Festival of Native American, Indigenous, and Cross Cultures

Celebrate and honor Indigenous identity and culture at the Saukiog Harvest Festival! Saukiog, sometimes spelled, Sickaug or Suckiaug is the Indigenous name for Hartford.

Join us at Ebony Horsewomen, Inc. Equestrian and Therapeutic Center for a full day of live performances, panel discussions, storytelling, music and dances, food, vendors, and community organizations.

Free event! All ages welcome.

Learn more about our Saukiog Harvest Festival 2023 panelists,

performers , and presenters HERE

The NEA Big Read Celebrates 

Homegoing & Nana Akua Goes to School

Our 2023--24 NEA Big Read grant will support a community reading program focusing on Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

Upcoming Big Read programming:

Saturday, October 7, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Albany Branch

African Dance Workshop - Adults

Masem Enyong leads a fun and energetic class where students get to explore a fusion of traditional West African moves and sounds and contemporary Afro beats. Register HERE


Saturday, October 7, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Ancient Burying Ground - 60 Gold Street

Uncovering Their History at Ancient Burying Ground – Walking Tour

Learn about the efforts of the Ancient Burying Ground Association (ABGA) to research and remember the African and African-American people of colonial Hartford. Register HERE

Check out all of our programming for both books HERE

As an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience.

Catch a Show

Pride and Prejudice

The classic love story - with a contemporary twist. 

By Kate Hamill

Adapted from the novel by Jane Austen

It’s about time for the Bennet sisters 

to get married, only the independent and outspoken Elizabeth isn’t keen on the idea.

FREE tickets are available for HPL cardholders while they last at branch libraries or online.

October 12 - November 5

Hartford Stage

Reserve your tickets HERE

A Pocketful of Miracles: A Tale of Two Siblings

Film screening, Q & A w/director & reception

In A Pocketful of Miracles: A Tale of Two Siblings, Filmmaker Aviva Kempner chronicles her mother Hanka and uncle Dudek Ciesla’s lives before and during World War II.

Screening followed by a live REEL Talk Q&A with Cheryl Chase, Arnold Chase, and Aviva Kempner. 12 tickets are available for HPL cardholders.

Sunday, October 15, 1 p.m.

Mandell Jewish Community Center

335 Bloomfield Avenue West Hartford

Reserve your tickets HERE

A Place Like No Other

HPL offers engaging, educational, and fun programming for all ages. Check out our calendar of programming HERE and head to your favorite branch!

Upcoming programming highlights:

Barbour's Craft & Create: Mini Canvas Art

Wednesday, October 4, 4- 5 p.m.

Barbour Branch - all ages welcomed!

Scented Candle Jars.

Thursday, October 5, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Dwight Branch - for our teen friends!

VR Exploration

Monday, October 9, 3 -5 p.m.

Albany Branch- ages 10-19

“Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there.' I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”― John Green, Looking for Alaska

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