The NEA Big Read is here! Join us for a celebration of the novel “In the Time of the Butterflies” by bestselling author Julia Alvarez.

Join us as we explore through performances, films, food, music, literature, and poetry how the book’s themes of Dominican pride, free-thinking, resilience, and women’s rights took root right here in Hartford.

Join us for one of our biggest crossover events of the year: Baby Grand Jazz meets the NEA Big Read Kickoff.
Featuring live Latin jazz from the Ray González Latin Jazz Quintet, poetry readings from local poet Diana Aldrete, dance performance from Baila Con Gusto CT, and readings from "In the Time of the Butterflies."

Sunday, February 28 at 3 pm on Facebook and YouTube.
Poet Diana Aldrete thinks of her poetry as being like a Polaroid – a moment in time.

If she’s done her job well, she draws the reader and the listener into her world.

Aldrete, a Hartford resident, will be performing an original work in Spanish and English at the opening event of the NEA Big Read on Sunday, February 28 at 3 pm. 

This Week's Highlights in the NEA Big Read
Virtual Read Aloud Adventure with Ms. Lina: Destination, Dominican Republic
Thursday March 4 @ 3:30pm: Zoom/Google Meets Ages 8-12
Celebrate Dominican culture, identity, and family with a fun weekly read-aloud of How Tia Lola Came to Visit Stay by Julia Alvarez. Register here.

“Digital Graffiti” Workshop
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in March
Create digital manifestos in 3D paint and animated digital art, and use different Hartford buildings and landmarks as your canvas! Register here.

Virtual Film Screening: “In the Time of the Butterflies”
Wednesday March 3rd: 6:00pm
Starring Salma Hayek and Marc Anthony.

La Cocina Dominicana
Fridays, March 5, 12, 19, 26: 3:00pm
Virtual series: Facebook and YouTube
Join the chefs from Caribe, Hartford’s own loved Dominican restaurant on Park Street, as they teach us how to make traditional Dominican dishes.
Butterfly Origami and Book Discussion
Tuesday, March 2nd: 2:00pm
Learn how to create paper butterflies using the Japanese art of origami. Register here.

Sisterhood Card Making
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 2:00pm
Join us as we create and design our very own card. Registration/Participation is required to get your take and make bag. Register here.

Photo by Mark Mirko/The Hartford Courant
Hartford Public Library’s staff recently joined the fight against the scourge of Covid-19.

Library staffers worked with the city’s health department to call senior citizens to schedule vaccination at an event held at the Hartford Convention Center. In just under three days, library staff members made about 300 calls and booked appointments for over 60 residents.

HPL will host a new free Chess Club for Hartford students and residents ages 13 to 19. Participants will learn from international chess masters and professional coaches. Players will also receive a personal chess set and clock.

In addition, thanks to HPL’s new partnership with Foodshare, we are able to offer free weekly groceries for the families of up to 60 participants.

The club meets virtually 7:00 – 8:00 PM Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday, starting February 23 through June 27, 2021.

Call (860) 471-1235 to learn more.
Black History Month Book and Movie Suggestions
Beyoncé: Shine Your Light
Written by Sarah Warren, Illustrated by Geneva Bowers
This dazzling picture book biography is perfect read for everyone ready to get in touch with and shine their inner light like Beyoncé.
Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay
Ava DuVernay's powerful drama Selma tells the incredible story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the epic march from Selma to Montgomery to secure equal voting rights .
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
Renowned hip-hop artist, political activist, and bestselling author Sister Souljah brings the streets of New York to life in a powerful and utterly unforgettable first novel.
Charu Suri and her ensemble offered quite a performance for our Baby Grand Jazz audience, who called it "a beautiful and moving experience."

Starting March 1, contact free pick up will be available again at all of our branches. Click here to learn how to reserve your materials today.
March Program Calendars
"Everything you need for a better future and success has already been written. And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library."
- Henri Frederic Amiel