Our Events

David Santos Donaldson converses with Bill Goldstein in the Members' Room, June 2022.
David Santos Donaldson converses with Bill Goldstein in the Members' Room, June 2022.

Our Events Winter-Spring 2023

Our calendar combines in-person and livestreamed events. Click on any event title for more details and to register where required.


Events are added throughout the season. Join our mailing list to get the word first.

Registration is required for all events unless individual listings state otherwise, and space is limited. Please see individual listings for details on time, format, and location. Many events are open to the public, with some for members only; check individual listings for details. For Members' Room events, check-in begins thirty minutes prior to the stated start time. Registrants are asked not to arrive for check-in prior to that time. A seat cannot be guaranteed after an event has begun.

All start times are U.S. Eastern.


Exhibitions | Special Events | Performances | Lectures, Conversations & Panels | Poetry | Seminars & Reading Groups | The Writing Life | Children's & Young Adult Events | Informal & Informational Gatherings


Exhibitions

Fabulous Fashion

Open to the public in The Assunta, Ignazio, Ada and Romano Peluso Exhibition Gallery
through January 15, 2023

In the Peluso Family Exhibition Gallery you will discover a world of transcending beauty created by designers, photographers, illustrators and editors during periods of war and peace. Here are ravishing images and books culled from the Library’s collection.

Grace Notes: Writers Acknowledge the Library

Open to the public in The Assunta, Ignazio, Ada and Romano Peluso Exhibition Gallery
January 19 - February 22, 2023

Writing may seem like a lonely job. But our new short-term exhibition proves that writers are surrounded by encouragement and community - and that the old-fashioned thank-you note lives on even in this electronic age. Grace Notes shows words of thanks written to the Library by member authors past and present, from Barbara W. Tuchman and Francis Steegmuller to Phyllis Rose, Maggie Jackson, Laurence Bergreen, and many others.

Opening Reception: Grace Notes: Writers Acknowledge the Library

Thursday, January 19, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM | Members' Room | for members and guests | free of charge | drop in

Members and guests are cordially invited to join us for an informal opening reception for Grace Notes. Drop in for light refreshments and a first glance at our new short-term exhibition.

Quack! Quack! The Wonderful World of Robert Quackenbush

opening March 1

Special Events

Happy Hour with Special Guests The Bibliographical Society of America

Thursday, January 26, 5:30 to 7:00 PM
Members' Room | for members and guests | free of charge | registration required

Bibliography Week brings together book people from all over the country January 22-28. Library members and friends are cordially invited to this Bibliography Week event - an informal mixer with members of the Bibliographical Society of America. The Library's Special Collections Librarian (and BSA Events Committee Vice Chair) Barbara Bieck will be here with select materials from our Special Collections. Drinks and nibbles will be served.

Lectures, Conversations & Panels

David N. Gellman, Liberty’s Chain: Slavery, Abolition, and the Jay Family of New York

Tuesday, January 17, 6:00 PM
open to the public | registration required
Members' Room - $15 per person

Livestream - $10 per person

The Jays of New York were a preeminent founding family, and users of our Library. In Liberty's Chain, David N. Gellman shows how the family, abolitionists and slaveholders alike, embodied the contradictions of the revolutionary age.

Stacy Schiff, The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams

Monday, January 23, 6:00 PM
open to the public | registration required
Members' Room - $15 per person
Livestream - $10 per person

A revelatory biography from a Pulitzer Prize-winner about the most essential Founding Father—the one who stood behind the change in thinking that produced the American Revolution.

Devoney Looser, Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës

Tuesday, January 31, 6:00 PM
Livestream | open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

A groundbreaking and enthralling biography of two pioneering geniuses in historical fiction - the most famous sister novelists before the Brontës, Jane and Anna Maria Porter.

Priscilla Gilman, The Critic's Daughter: A Memoir

Thursday, February 16, 6:00 PM
open to the public | registration required

Members' Room - $15 per person
Livestream - $10 per person

An exquisitely rendered portrait of a unique father-daughter relationship and a moving memoir of family and identity.

Buzz Bissinger, The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II

Thursday, February 23,  6:00 PM
open to the public | registration required
Members' Room - $15 per person
Livestream - $10 per person

An extraordinary, untold story of the Second World War in the vein of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat, from the author of Friday Night Lights and Three Nights in August.

Nabil Ayers with Jami Floyd, My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family

Wednesday, March 22, 6:00 PM
Members' Room | open to the public | $15 per person | registration required

A memoir about one man's journey to connect with his musician father, ultimately re-drawing the lines that define family and race.

The Writing Life

Writing Life Daytime Talk: Plot Wrangling, with SJ Rozan

Thursday, January 19, 3:30 PM
Whitridge Room | for members only | free of charge | registration required

Writers in narrative forms - novelists, short story writers, playwrights, screenwriters, epic poets - find their art requires an element other arts don’t: a plot. We choose to work in these forms, yet many of us find plot a difficult element to wrangle. This talk will explore why that is and what a writer can do about it.

Prompt!

Join your fellow writers for a fun and stimulating hour and a half of prompts, writing, and sharing. Sessions are separate - attend any or all.

Online with Charlie Allenson

Fridays February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2, 11:00 AM
on the Zoom Meetings platform | for members only | free of charge | registration required

Online with Diane Richards

Thursdays January 26, February 23, March 23, April 27, May 25, June 22, 11:00 AM
On the Zoom Meetings platform | for members only | free of charge | registration required

Whitridge Room with Carol Weston

Thursdays January 5, February 2, March 2, April 13, May 4, June 8, 11:00 AM
Whitridge Room | for members only | free of charge | registration required

Seminars & Reading Groups

The Iliad with Donald McDonough

Thursdays November 10, December 8, January 12, February 9, 11:00 AM
Whitridge Room | for members only | $75 for the four sessions | registration required

Homer's Iliad is being read and reread. This seminar reads Homer's Iliad to discover why today's writers and artists are fascinated with an epic composed about 2800 years ago.

NEW! Half a Year with Henry James, taught by Jane Mallison

Wednesdays, January 18, February 15, March 15, April 12, May 10, June 7, 11:00 AM
Whitridge Room | for members only | $100 for the six sessions | registration required

“Never say you know the last word about any human heart.” That’s one of the great sentences of this great writer, Henry James (1843-1916). In this seminar – which welcomes both experienced readers of James and novices – we’ll discover many more.

Love, Activism, and the Incredible Life of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, with Tara T. Green

Mondays, February 13, March 6, March 27, April 10, 12:00 noon
Zoom | open to the public | $75 for the four sessions or $20 per session | registration required

Born in New Orleans in 1875, Alice Dunbar-Nelson was a pioneering activist, writer, suffragist, and educator. This seminar will focus on three phases of her personal and activist life.

The Scenes Where We Were Born: George Eliot’s The Mill On The Floss, with Nicholas Birns

Wednesdays February 22, March 22, 11:00 AM
Whitridge Room | for members only | $50 for the two sessions | registration required

Though overshadowed by the fame of Middlemarch, George Eliot’s novel The Mill On the Floss is one of her finest works. Join us to read what is still one of the 19th century’s most underrated major novels.

Children's and Young Adult Events

Folk Tales and Fun Tunes with Bob “Bobaloo” Basey

Saturday, January 21, 3:00 PM | Members’ Room | open to the public | for all ages | registration required

Come sing along while making music and discovering fun folk tales with musician and storyteller Bobaloo.

Young Writers' Workshop: Poetry Café with Ellen Hagan

Wednesday, February 1, 5:00 PM | Whitridge Room | for members and guests | Grades 3 and up | $10 per child | registration required

Share poetry and snacks with author, poet, and performer Ellen Hagan.

SEE THE FULL CHILDREN'S CALENDAR HERE.

View our playlist of recorded children's events here.

Informal and Informational Gatherings

Teatime

most weekdays, 3:00 to 3:30 PM
Reference Room | open to the public | free of charge; donations welcome | drop in

Take a break for tea, coffee, and cookies in our first-floor public Reference Room.

Digital Teatime

monthly Fridays, 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
online | for members only | free of charge | drop in
Grab your favorite cup and your current read and spend a little time in social sipping and book-friendly chat. See the link for exact dates.

Happy Hour

Wednesdays February 15, March 15, April 5, May 17, June 21
Members' Room | for members and guests | free of charge | drop in

End your day with wine and light refreshments in the beautiful Members' Room. Library members and guests are welcome. February's Happy Hour will be quiet and cozy with winter-appropriate refreshments.

Member Orientations

Monday, January 30, 11:00 AM
Thursday, March 16, 6:00 PM
Little Whitridge Room | For members only | free of charge | drop in

It’s your Library. Learn about all the ways to make use of our collections, building, and services in an informal presentation/Q&A with a staff member. Sessions last approximately 45 minutes.


The Library is closed Monday, January 16 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Writing Life events in 2023 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.

Fabulous Fashion and its related events are generously supported by The Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation, Bloomingdale’s, and The Felicia Fund. Grace Notes is generously supported by The Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation. Quack! Quack! is generously supported by a gift in memory of Susan Goodstein Lerner.

The January 17 event with David N. Gellman is a Henry S.F. Cooper Jr. Lecture on Early American History and Literature.

The Tara T. Green seminar is part of the Library's Black Literature Matters programming, generously supported by the Florence Gould Foundation.