Newsletter                                         March 2019
Executive Director's Letter

March heralds many noteworthy activities, not the least of which is intensive planning for the library's signature fundraising event, April's 16th Annual Millie and Martin Shapiro Evening with an Author. In past years, Evening with an Author featured such noteworthy speakers as Sebastian Junger, Nathaniel Philbrick, B. A.Shapiro, Elizabeth Brundage, John R. Bohrer and Kaitlyn Greenidge. On April 12, Otis welcomes New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff, who will discuss her latest book The Lost Girls of Paris. Ms. Jenoff is a former U.S. Foreign Service officer who teaches law at Rutgers. The Lost Girls of Paris is a fictionalized account drawn from the incredible tale of the British women who, during World War II served in Special Operations Executive, deployed behind enemy lines to engage in sabotage and subversion. This book is inspired by the real-life heroism of these women. We hope you join us for this wonderful event.  More details are available below.
Reflecting the theme of real-life heroism of women, in March and continuing through April, Otis Library celebrates the noteworthy achievements of Connecticut women. For example, Ella Grasso and Prudence Crandall, both featured in the March exhibit We Fight for Roses Too, were residents of Connecticut whose impact, like that of the Harris Sisters whom who celebrate in the month of April, transcended state boundaries. I hope you will join us for these events and support Otis Library.

Robert Farwell
Executive Director


Otis Library will be marching in the  Norwich St. Patrick's Day Parade  on Sunday, March 3.  The parade kicks off on Main Street in at 1pm.  Join us!  Call Julie at (860) 889-2365, ext. 128, if you are interested in marching with us.

"We Fight For Roses, Too" Exhibit at Otis Library
March 4 - 30, 2019

Otis Library will host the exhibit "We Fight For Roses, Too" in the Millie and Martin Shapiro Community Room.  This exhibit, on loan from the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, is dedicated to the stories, struggles, and achievements of women who have shaped the culture and society of Connecticut and the nation.

The title of the exhibit is from the well-known women's labor song "Bread and Roses."  Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.  Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses, too.

An opening reception will be held on Monday, March 4, at 6pm with a performance of "Aunt Hattie's House," a one-woman historical play with accomplished actor, producer and playwright Emma Palzere-Rae.  She will portray Harriet Beecher Stowe, the 19th century Connecticut author of the acclaimed novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.  This is a free program; refreshments will be provided.  Sponsored by The Elsie Brown Fund.  

For more information on the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, visit

Ann Nyberg at Otis Library
Saturday, March 16, 1pm, Story Room
Ann Nyberg, author and WTNH-TV's anchor and reporter, will discuss and sign copies of her book, Remembering Katharine Hepburn: Stories of Wit and Wisdom about America's Leading Lady. Nyberg, founding member and current board vice-president of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) in Old Saybrook, will discuss the extraordinary life of Katharine Hepburn through personal remembrances from people whose lives she influenced.    This program is free and open to the public; registration is required.

Women's History Month Tea
Saturday, March 30, 12pm, Story Room
Otis Library, in partnership with the Norwich Free Academy History Department, is hosting a Women's History Month Tea. This year's theme is "Women in Connecticut History." Join students as they portray ground-breaking Connecticut women. Attendees will be encouraged to visit with the women and ask questions while enjoying tea and desserts. Guest speaker is Tina Carlson, Program Coordinator at the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame. Free program; registration is required. To register, call (860) 889-2365, ext. 128, or register on the online calendar. This program is for teens and adults. Sponsored by The Elsie Brown Fund.  
The Millie and Martin Shapiro Author Series
Featuring an Evening with Pam Jenoff
Friday, April 12, 6pm
The Spa at Norwich Inn

Please join us for our 16th Annual Evening with an Author, Otis Library's signature fundraiser.  The evening begins at 6pm with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner, keynote address and book signing by New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff.  

Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels of historical fiction, including the international bestsellers The Orphan's Tale and The Kommandant's Girl.  She holds a bachelor's degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a master's degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.  Jenoff's novels are inspired by her experiences working at the Pentagon and also as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland.  Her newly released novel of espionage, The Lost Girls of Paris, is set during and post-World War II and explores themes of courage and resilience - both physical and emotional - in the face of adversity. 

Tickets are $125 per person and include a copy of The Lost Girls of Paris.  Sponsorship opportunities are also available. 

For information on sponsorship or to purchase tickets to this event, please contact Cathy Special at (860) 889-2365, ext. 125, or e-mail
Friends of Otis Library
The Friends are accepting donations of gently used books for their next book sale.  Please drop off your books, two bags at a time, to the Front Desk.  For larger donations, please call ahead to (860) 889-2365.  Please, no encyclopedias, textbooks, magazines or VHS tapes. Thank you for your support!

Mark your calendars!  The dates for the Friends of Otis Library Book Sale are as follows:
Early Bird Preview $10:  Friday, April 26, 9 - 10am
Free General Admission:  
Friday, April 26, 10am - 3pm
Saturday, April 27, 10am - 3pm
Sunday, April 28, 12 - 3pm

Something New!
Manners Matter!  A Friends of Otis Library Fundraiser (for ages 8-11)
Saturday, April 6, 1 - 2:30pm, Community Room
Fee:  $20 per child ($15 for Friends of Otis Library members)
Join us for a fun afternoon learning tips on basic table manners.  The Norwich Free Academy Culinary Department will teach us how to set a table, use each utensil, the rules of electronics at the meal time table, and much more.  Assorted sandwiches, desserts, and beverages will be served.  A game and take-home craft are included in the program.  Registration is required; space is limited.  Registration begins on March 4.  Call 860-889-2365, ext. 114.

Interested in becoming a Friend?  Learn more about the Friends of Otis Library here.
Conversion Station at Otis Library!
The Library now offers a Conversion Station for capturing videos from old VHS tapes and transferring them to DVD or saving them to a USB drive. Users must bring their own burnable DVDs or purchase them from the Library for $1. For more information or to reserve the station, please call (860) 889-2365 ext.110.

Programs for Adults

Technology Classes at Otis Library
Wednesdays, 5pm - 8pm & Fridays, 10am - 1pm
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. Please call 860-889-2365, ext. 100, for additional information or to make an appointment.

Technology Classes are offered in Spanish by appointment only.  Please call Bassem at (860) 889-2365, ext. 109 or 110 to register.

Para reservar una cita, apersonese a la biblioteca o llame a Bassem
860-889-2365, ext. 109 o 110.

Technology Classes at Rose City Senior Center
Tuesdays, 10am - 12pm
Otis Library provides computer/technology instruction to seniors at the Rose City Senior Center.  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
Fridays, 10am - 11:15am, Meeting Room
The Rows City Knitters meet every Friday.  All skill levels welcome!  For more  information, call (860) 889-2365, ext. 128.  Members of the Rows City Knitters would like to thank  Driftwood Yarns  of Groton for their continued support!

Immigration and Naturalization Consultation
Tuesday, March 5, 11am - 5pm, Meeting Room
Free immigration and naturalization consultation with Attorney Joseph Marino, Immigration Advocacy and Support Center Executive Director.  To reserve a 30-minute appointment, please contact Bassem Gayed at, or call 860-889-2365, ext. 110.

Delicious Discussions Author Series

Wednesday, March 6, 12 - 1:30pm,  Michael Jordan's Steak House
This series is generously sponsored by Guinan & Houle, LLP 
Attorneys at Law
Otis Library and Bank Square Books present a Delicious Discussions  author luncheon with author Megan Collins in celebration of her new book  The Winter Sisters . Tickets for this event are $45 and include an author talk and signing, a copy of the book and a buffet lunch at Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun.

This event requires pre-registration.  To register, call Julie at 860-889-2365 x128, or  register online.  Delicious Discussions Author Series is a partnership between Otis Library, Bank Square Books and Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun.

Ask The Expert!
Wednesday, March 13, 10:30am - 12:30pm, Business Center
Are you looking to start your own business but don't know where to begin?  Do you need help writing a business plan?  What if you own a business but need advice on marketing?  Jill Fritzsche, Community Manager at Norwich Community Development Corporation, will be in the Business Center at Otis Library the second Wednesday of every month from 10:30am - 12:30pm to answer your questions. Drop in; no appointment necessary.  This is a free program.  For more information, call Julie at 860-889-2365, ext. 128.

Changing Minds Book Club
Wednesday, March 13, 5pm,  Meeting Room
The group will be discussing Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig. Refreshments will be served.  No registration required. Copies of the book are available to borrow at the Front Desk.

Otis Library Genealogy Club
Tuesday, March 19, 1-2:30pm,  Meeting Room
The club meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month to learn and to brain storm  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, please call Kathleen Wieland, Genealogy Librarian, at 860-889-2365, ext. 108. 

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, Business Center
Players of all ages and skill levels are invited to play chess.  Use one of our chess sets or bring your own.

Tween Book Club (grades 6-8)
Monday, March 25, 6 - 7pm
Ungifted by Gordon Korman will be the featured book this month.  Join in activities related to the book!  Pizza will be served.  Registration required.  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 Child ren's Desk; by calling (860) 889-2365, ext. 114; or you may register for our programs via our online calendar .

Monthly Mother Goose & More: Rhyme Time and Playgroup (ages newborn to 23 months )
Saturday, March 2, 10:30am (program);  11 - 11:30am (playgroup)
Enjoy 30 minutes of traditional rhymes, songs, fingerplays, and other activities for the very young; then stay (or not) for a half-hour open playgroup. This is a great opportunity for working parents to enjoy this weekend program!  Older siblings are welcome to attend. Drop-in.

Drop-In Peacock Craft (all ages)
Saturday, March 2, 11am - 1pm
Help your child make a colorful peacock craft!  No registration required.  Program will take place in the Children's Department.

Mother Goose & More: Rhyme Time and Playgroup (ages zero to 23 months)
Mondays, March 4, 11, 18, & 25, 10:30am (program); 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. Drop-in.

Time for Twos (ages 2 )
Tuesdays, March 5 - May 7 (no class April 16), 10:30 - 11am
Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, and a simple craft with your child!  This program is age appropriate for your active two-year-old!  Space is limited; r egistration required.

Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5)
Thursdays, March 7 - May 9 (no class April 18), 10:30 - 11:15am 
Children enjoy stories, songs and rhymes while their grownups wait in the Children's Department.  Caregivers are encouraged to join the fun during craft time at the end of the class!  Space is limited; registration required.

Art with Ms. Faith (pre-K - grade 5)
Saturdays, March 9 & 23, 12 - 2pm
Sponsored by The Friends of Otis Library
Please Note:  The class on March 9 is filled.
In honor of April's Harris Sisters Month, students are invited to register for one or both workshops taught by local artist Faith Satterfield on the theme "How Can I Make the World a Better Place?"  Art created in these workshops will be on display during the month of April in the Children's Department as Otis Library celebrates the lives of celebrated Norwich residents the Harris sisters, pioneers in the educational field of African Americans.  Registration required.  

Shamrock Celebration presenting Gray School of Irish Dance! (all ages)
Saturday, March 16, 11am - 11:45am
Celebrate the spirit of St. Patrick's Day with a special performance of Irish dance demonstrated by the Gray School of Irish Dance.  No registration required.  Program will take place in the Story Room.

Drop-In Shamrock Craft (all ages )
Saturday, March 16, 12 - 2pm
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by helping your child create a take-home craft.  No registration required.  Program will take place in the Children's Department.

Bella!  Therapy Dog Extraordinaire (all ages)
Saturday, March 16, 12 - 1pm
Courtesy of Ms. Pepin - thank you!
Visit and read to our very favorite therapy pug, Bella!  No registration required.

Kids Imagine Book Club (grades 3-5)
Monday, March 18, 6 - 7pm
Come discuss Bolivar by Sean Rubin. Join in activities related to the book!  Pizza will be served.  Registration required.  Pick up a copy of the book at the Front Desk.  Program will take place in the Story Room.

Creative Movement (ages 3-5)
Friday, March 22, 10:30 - 11:15am
Spring is finally here!  Join us for this joyful movement class with instructor Christine Finch of Eastern Connecticut Ballet.  This month's theme is "Flowers & Insects."  Hear a story around this theme and do 35 minutes of movement.  For girls and boys ages 3-5.  Please register beginning March 4.

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 Sundays
Closed on Saturdays in July & August

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