Our Events

Our Events Winter/Spring 2021

The Library is open for most services, and events continue online. Click on any event title for more details and to register where required.

All events are open to the public unless otherwise listed.

New events are added throughout the season. Join our mailing list to hear about it first (open to all).

Exhibition | Special Events | Performances | Lectures & Panels | PoetrySeminars & Reading Groups | The Writing Life | Technology | Children's & Young Adult Events | Informal & Informational Gatherings


The Book Beautiful: Margaret Armstrong & Her Bindings
open through Saturday, April 3

Margaret Armstrong was one of the most sought-after artists in an almost forgotten chapter in the history of book publishing—the golden age of the decorated book cover. Today Armstrong’s covers are once again prized by scholars, educators and collectors. This exhibition showcases some of Armstrong’s most exquisite covers, along with historic photographs and documents. The exhibition is open to the public in limited numbers during the Library's open hours. Or enjoy these online offerings:

Special Events

NEW! Black Literature Matters: 1900-1959
Thursday, March 25, 6:00 PM
open to the public | free of charge | registration required

In this original series of live online events, hear the voices of Black writers through history re-examined to inspire understanding of race in our country today. This third event of the series features writers from 1900 through 1959 including James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Anna Julia Cooper, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston (shown here), LeRoi Jones, Paule Marshall, and Richard Wright.

NEW! Beth Kobliner and Geraldine Woods, So to Speak: 11,000 Expressions That'll Knock Your Socks Off
Tuesday, March 30, 6:00 PM
open to the public | free of charge | registration required

A fun interactive evening celebrating everyday expressions from "under the weather" to "on top of the world," perfect for any lover of language.

Lectures & Panels

Ian W. Toll, Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945
Thursday, March 4, 6:00 PM
open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

The final volume of the magisterial Pacific War Trilogy from acclaimed historian Ian W. Toll, “one of the great storytellers of War” (Evan Thomas). Drawing from a wealth of rich archival sources and new material, Twilight of the Gods casts a penetrating light on the battles, grand strategic decisions and naval logistics that enabled the Allied victory in the Pacific.

Janice P. Nimura, The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine
Wednesday, March 10, 6:00 PM
online | open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

This richly researched new biography celebrates two complicated pioneers who exploded the limits of possibility for women in medicine. "Nimura casts a thoughtful and revelatory new light onto women’s and medical history." (Publishers Weekly)

Victoria Shorr, The Plum Trees
Monday, March 15, 6:00 PM
online | open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

From the author of Midnight, a poignant tale about one woman’s quest to recover her family’s history, and a story of loss and survival during the Holocaust.


NEW! 30 Days of Poetry 2021
online | open to the public | April 1-30 (contribution deadline April 9)

Calling poets and poetry lovers of all ages! April is National Poetry Month, and we're celebrating with your favorite poems every day of the month. Record a video of yourself reading a poem - one you wrote, or one by another poet. (Five minutes or less, please.) Add it to our collection anytime until end-of-day Friday, April 9, and we'll include it in our monthlong celebration.

Seminars and Reading Groups

Seminar: Nicholas Birns, Hilary Mantel's Cromwell Trilogy
Wednesdays January 27, February 17, March 10, April 7, 11:00 AM
for members only | $60 for the set of four sessions | registration required

We read Mantel's magisterial historical-fiction trilogy on Thomas Cromwell as the author uses her characters and settings to trace the evolution of the earliest stirrings of a modernity we may still inhabit.

Seminar: Jane Mallison, Vladimir Nabokov: Four Books
Thursdays January 28, February 18, March 11, April 1, 11:00 AM
for members only | $60 for the set of four sessions | registration required

This seminar reads three of Nabokov’s novels and his autobiography, emphasizing the pleasure of enjoying his originality and the intricacies of his style.

Seminar: Claire Jimenez, An Exploration of Food and Memory
Saturdays, February 13, February 27, March 13, March 27, 1:00 PM
for members only | $60 for the set of four sessions | registration required

Award-winning writer Claire Jimenez leads discussion of four great food memoirs and inspires participants to explore their own food stories and memories.

The Writing Life

Write What Life Feels Like Now with Esther Cohen
Thursdays February 18, March 4, March 18, April 1, April 15, 3:00 PM
open to the public; free for members | registration required

It's an unusual year. There are so many words to say how we feel. Let's try together. Esther Cohen is a writer and poet in New York City. She also teaches and is a cultural activist. Most days she posts a poem at esthercohen.com.

Prompt! with Terena Elizabeth Bell
Fridays March 12, April 9, May 14, June 11, 11:00 AM (separate sessions)
for members only | online | by donation | registration required

Join your fellow member writers for a fun and stimulating hour and a half of prompts, writing, and sharing.

Technology Orientations

NEW! Meet Our Electronic Resources
online | free of charge | registration required

Get acquainted with the Library's many electronic resources, from our large and growing e-book collection, to scholarly databases like J-STOR and Project MUSE, to our brand-new e-magazine collection on OverDrive! Open to current members and anyone interested in the Library's digital offerings.

Thursday, March 11, 6:00 PM: Focusing on our new e-magazine platform

Monday, March 15, 10:00 AM: Broadly introducing our electronic resources

Children's Events

Storytime Live!
varying dates
Zoom | for all ages | no registration required

Join us on Zoom for a live face-to-face storytime.

Storytime Online
varying dates
YouTube | for all ages | no registration required


View our playlist of recorded children's events here.

Informal and Informational Gatherings

Member Orientation Videos
Videos introducing the Library's collections, services, and online resources are now available on the website.

Digital Teatime
Every Friday until further notice, 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
for members only | online | by donation | drop in
Grab your favorite cup and your current read and spend a little time in social sipping and book-friendly chat with your fellow members.

The Book Beautiful is generously supported by The H.W. Wilson Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Thomas E. Dewey Fund and The Felicia Fund.

Black Literature Matters events are presented with generous support from the Florence Gould Foundation.

The Writing Life events in 2021 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.

Children's events are generously supported by the Richard Peck Fund.

(Sidebar image: Meredith Talusan spoke on her memoir Fairest in October 2020.)