Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South Street, PO Box 187
Litchfield, CT 06759
phone: 860-567-8030
fax: 860-567-4784

Regular Hours:
Monday ~ 12-5pm
Tues., Wed., Thurs. ~ 10am-9pm
Friday ~ 10am-5pm
Saturday ~ 10am-2pm
Sunday ~ 11am-3pm
Library Director ~ Ann Marie White: awhite@owlibrary.org
Librarian ~ Caitlin Costa: ccosta@owlibrary.org
Adult Services Librarian ~ Audra MacLaren: amaclaren@owlibrary.org
Publicity ~ Jordan McCorison: jmccorison@owlibrary.org

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Autumn Saturday Special
(For Children ages 3-8)
Saturday, October 20 ~ 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join us as we celebrate everything apples in September and
everything pumpkin in October! We’ll share our favorite picture books,
create apple/pumpkin crafts, and even sing some harvest-related songs!

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Monday Scholars:
Plagues, Witches & War:
The Worlds of Historical Fiction
Mondays, September 10  - November 5
12:30 - 2:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
*no meeting Oct. 8
Monday Scholars is a weekly series that combines the best of
online learning with classroom discussion. Each week a new lecture
topic is watched and discussed. All you need to do is come ready
to engage your mind and participate in the discussion.
Join Patricia Moore as she facilitates this course.

In this course, we will explore the genre and craft of historical fiction.
We'll learn about the history of the historical fiction novel through
the 18th and 19th centuries. This will include a review of major works
and authors from that period including The Leatherstocking Tales,
William Wells Brown, Charles Dickens, and Anne Katharine Green.
Author Geraldine Brooks, Mary Beth Keane, Yangsze Choo will be
featured interacting on video with the seminar class students
to discuss their books, Year of Wonders (Brooks) Fever (Keane)
and The Ghost Bride (Choo). We will also watch a series of interviews
with contemporary historical fiction authors including
Michael McKeon, David Robbins and Andrew Taylor.

On video, Bruce Holsinger will be the professor who leads the
online lectures. He teaches in the Department of English at the
University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He is the author of A Burnable Book,
a historical novel set in London in 1835. His work has been recognized
 with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he is the recipient of research
 fellowships from the National Endowment for the
 Arts and the American Council of Learned Societies.
After watching a lecture together, we will then discuss what
we have learned! This series is perfect for aspiring writers, lovers of
historical fiction, and anyone who enjoys reading about the past.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
or call 860-567-8030.

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The Last Thunk
with Author Gerard Farrell
Tuesday, October 23 ~ 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Oliver Wolcott Library
THUNK! It’s the sweet sound an ad-packed magazine makes when it’s
dropped on a table. At glitzy Carlyle Nash Media, it’s the sound of success.
And star publisher Mitch Blake has been happily hearing it for a decade.

But when the heavily hyped debut issue of World Magazine gets
panned in the press and advertisers start to flee, Mitch must control
 the damage. Can he right the ship and protect his reputation? Or will
both be sunk by Paul Cavanaugh, a hard-drinking, paranoid,
stress-prone staffer who has stolen an item Mitch needs
 back to avert disaster: a miniature beach ball.

One part pre-recession satire, one part diary of a marketing
man coming undone, The Last Thunk is a story of betrayal and friendship,
 love and survival in the crazy, gritty, glamorous world of magazine
 advertising...as told by the beach-ball thief himself.

Gerard Farrell has worked in the magazine industry since the late 90s
for brands including The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Allure, and the
 ill-fated business magazine Condé Nast Portfolio. His short humor has
appeared in the literary anthology The Man Who Ate His Book,
 and he is a frequent contributor to the literary webzine Ducts.
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
or call 860-567-8030.

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The Cookbook Club
Halloween Appetizer & Dessert Potluck
Wednesday, October 24 ~ 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Oliver Wolcott Library
Do you have any recipes that look spooky but taste delicious?
“Devilish Eggs?” “Jalapeno Mummies?” How about a “Blue Cheese Brain Bowl?”
We are overflowing with fun ideas if you need some recommendations
 and we will also have a display of Halloween-themed
cookbooks beginning a month before the program.

Join Librarians Jordan McCorison and Patricia Moore for an entertaining
potluck dinner of delicious food and delightful conversation.
We encourage you to bring a dish to share, but if you run out of time
 to cook, never fear, just bring yourself - there is always more than
enough food to go around. We cannot wait to share a fun, food-filled
evening with you. After all, we are just amateur cooks who love books.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Art Opening & Reception
Jo-Ann Miller “Perspectives” - Paintings
Reception: Thursday, November 1 ~ 5:00-7:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library Gallery
On Exhibit: November 1 through December 28
While Jo-Ann’s interest in art came more recently, throughout her life
she has pursued artistic expression. A Torrington native, she moved
 to San Francisco to attend La Cordon Rouge School for Professional Chefs.
Upon completion, and moving back to the area, she was the pastry
chef andgeneral manager for the Egremont Inn; eventually acquiring the Inn
 with her husband whom she met there. Upon selling the Inn three years
 later and moving to Washington, DC, she started taking
 art classes at the Alexandria (VA) Art League.

Four years later they moved to Essex on the Connecticut shoreline
and attended the Lyme Academy. Her works were shown at the Essex
Art Association. Five years ago they moved to Bantam and Jo-Ann
joined the Washington Art League, participating in the
 exhibitions and studying with Ira Barkoff and Souby Boski.
Painting exclusively in oil, Jo-Ann initially did still lifes and representational
 works, but her true passion and current interest is in the Abstract.
Not only can she put her emotional thoughts on canvas, but Abstraction
 allows her to paint the way she feels rather than describing the way
 things look in a literal sense. In this manner, the viewer can evoke
 a personal interpretation that is heightened by
her mix of multiple palates and layered textures.

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Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus
Performed by Greg Oliver Bodine
Sunday, November 4 ~ 1:00-2:30 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
A 200th anniversary must-see for Frankenstein enthusiasts
and fans of mystery and horror! One actor. One hour!
Suitable for adults and for children (ages 12 and over). 
Written and performed by Greg Oliver Bodine;
directed by DeLisa M. White. 

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
or call 860-567-8030.

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OWL Writes: The Craft of Setting & Description
Facilitated by Librarian Patricia Moore
Tuesdays: November 6 through 27 ~ 1:00-2:30 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
OWL Writes combines online learning, writing prompts, and the
sharing and discussion of those writing samples. In this course
aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters
 of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. Each week,
we will watch a 30 minute lecture by Amity Gaige, then we will write
for 30 minutes using the tools we learned in that day’s lecture,
and the final 30 minutes of each session will be spent sharing our work.  
Join Adult Services Librarian Patricia Moore as she facilitates this course.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
or call 860-567-8030.

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The Saboteur: the Aristocrat who became
France’s Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando
With Author Paul Kix
Thursday, November 8 ~ 7:00-8:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
In the tradition of Agent Zigzag comes this breathtaking biography,
as fast-paced and emotionally intuitive as the very best spy thrillers,
which illuminates an unsung hero of the French Resistance during
World War II - Robert de La Rochefoucald, an aristocrat turned
anti-Nazi saboteur - and his daring exploits as a résistant
trained by Britain’s Special Operations Executive.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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German Occupation of Paris:
Personal Recollections
from the Daughter of a French Resistant
With Denise Woehrlé
Tuesday, November 13 ~ 7:00-8:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join us as Denise Woehrlé recounts her experiences and reflections
of her formative years in Paris during World War II, including her father’s
central involvement in the French Resistance, her and her mother’s
subsequent arrest by the Gestapo, her time in prison
 and her fortunate survival in unlikely circumstances.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Leonard Bernstein: the Rise to Fame
Presented by Jeffrey Engel
Wednesday, November 14 ~ 7:00-8:30 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join Jeffery Engel in this lively lecture presentation on Leonard Bernstein’s
rise to fame, and celebrate the centenary of Bernstein’s birth.
Many believe Bernstein was the most gifted, famous, popular and
successful musician America produced. He was a virtuoso pianist
and conductor, a composer of music ranging from Broadway musicals to the
classical repertory, an educator, a lecturer, an author and a TV personality.
There was very little he couldn’t do extremely well.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.
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Monday Scholars:
An Introduction to Italian Opera
Mondays: 12:30 - 2:00 pm
December 3 through 17
Oliver Wolcott Library
Do you have an interest in opera but aren’t quite sure where to start?
During the month of December the OWL Monday Scholars will learn
about the Bel Canto era of Italian Opera with a specific focus on the
operas of Guiseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. It is the
 perfect introduction for the nascent opera fan. 

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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The Man who Forever Changed a Town:
a True WWII Story
With Author Peter Lion
Thursday, December 6 ~ 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
In the small, farming town of Eschweiler, Luxembourg sits the only
church in the world dedicated to the memory of a single, American soldier.
That solider was George Mergenthaler. This is his story.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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American Voices: The Poems of Mary Oliver
with Jim Kelleher
Sunday, December 9 ~ 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join Jim Kelleher as he explores the works of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
Mary Oliver. The New York Times recently acknowledged Oliver
as “far and away, this country’s best-selling poet.”

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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The Cookbook Club:
Holiday Cookie Swap Party
Wednesday, December 12 ~ 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
The OWL Cookbook Club wants to simplify your holiday baking
with a Holiday Cookie Swap Party. Bring a batch of your holiday
favorite cookies or brownies. We will sample our delicious
 treats, then swap and package some to take home.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Have a Jazzy Holiday
with The Pierce Campbell Duo
Thursday, December 13 ~ 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
The Pierce Campbell Jazz Duo will perform classic holiday songs
for the Christmas season from artists like Duke Ellington,
Frank Sinatra, Jose Feliciano, Tony Bennett and the Peanuts Gang.
Guaranteed to have you smiling and singing along!

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Children’s Programs

Early Bird Café
Tuesdays, Wednesdays
& Thursdays ~ 10:30 am
September 4 through December 20
Oliver Wolcott Library
*no Early Bird Cafe November 20 through 29
Drop in and meet us before storytime to socialize
with new friends and neighbors and have a chance to
 talk with library staff. Light Refreshments will be served.

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Bouncing Babies
For babies birth- 24 months
Tuesdays ~ 11:00 am
September 4 through December 16
Oliver Wolcott Library
*no Bouncing Babies or Preschool Storytime
on November 20 & 27
Enjoy concept and rhyming books, learn finger plays,
 and meet other families in this interactive program.
Your child will form a bond with you, develop
 listening skills and begin vocabulary development.
 Playtime will follow to foster your children’s
imagination, development and social skills.

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Preschool Storytime
For Ages 2-5
Thursdays ~ 11:00 am
September 6 through December 20*
Oliver Wolcott Library
*no Preschool Storytime on November 22 & 29
Experience new and classic picture books, learn movement activities,
and build pre-literacy skills such as phonological awareness and
comprehension. We will read stories that encourage participation
and comment. Playtime at one of our new play centers will follow
 to stimulate your child’s imagination and creativity!

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Letters are Characters
For Children Ages 4-7
A Playful Pre-Reading Program
Wednesdays ~ 11:00 am
November 7 through December 19*
Oliver Wolcott Library
*No Letters are Characters on November 21 & 28
During this fun and interactive program, parents/caregivers
will learn about how children learn to read as well as how to provide
effective, evidence-based support and instruction and create enriching,
 lifelong reading habits. Simultaneously, children will acquire pre-reading
skills through story and hands on, multi-sensory play that will enable
them to begin to break the phonemic code, an essential stepping stone
 in learning to read. Caroline Ugurlu will lead this program
based on the book she is writing on the subject.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Autumn Saturday Specials!
(For Children ages 3-8)
Saturday,  October 20
10:30 - 11:30 am
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join us as we celebrate everything apples in September
and everything pumpkin in October! We’ll share our favorite picture
 books, create apple/pumpkin crafts, and even sing some harvest-related songs!

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Apples! Saturday, September 22
Pumpkins! Saturday, October 20
or call 860-567-8030.

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Off the Hook
For Grades 4-6
Mondays ~ 3:30 – 4:15 pm
November 5 & December 3
Oliver Wolcott Library
If your child loves DIY crafts, then they’re invited to OWL
to follow easy step-by-step instructions to create a unique yarn
craft without using any knitting needles or crochet hooks.
All materials will be provided.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Little Book Buddies
For Grades K-3
Fridays ~ 3:30 – 4:15 pm
November 9 & December 14
Oliver Wolcott Library
Children in grades K-3 are invited to join us for a special story time
and craft program. Children will listen to a popular storybook, and then
make their very own stuffed animal inspired by the book to take
home. Join us for this fun and educational program!

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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DINOember Storytime
For 3 – 8 year olds
Saturday, November 17 ~ 10:30 – 11:30 am
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join Children’s Librarian Miss Kathy for a special dinosaur themed
story time where we will sing and dance to songs, listen to stories,
and even create some dinosaur crafts to bring home. There may even
be a dinosaur puppet stomping its way into our story time.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Family Fun Day
For all ages
Saturday, December 8 ~ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
This special Family Fun day will feature Winter Wonder-Lab
Holiday Show at 11:00 am. Plus gingerbread cookie decorating
will be ongoing in the Jamie Gagarin Community Room
and a special snowflake craft in the Children’s Library.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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½ Day Science Club:
Upcycled Egg Drop with How Cool is That?  
For Grades K-6
Wednesday, December 12 ~ 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
 Join Velya Jancz-Urban, a certified Connecticut teacher,
for a hands-on science workshop. Children will “purchase”
recyclable materials from Mrs. J.U.’s recycling bin, and build
a contraption that will protect a raw egg from breaking when
dropped from several heights. They will use problem solving skills
and creative thinking in order to execute this activity.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
Click here to register.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Oliver Wolcott Library Book Groups:
Book discussions are free and open to the public.
Join us for stimulating conversation and new friendships.
Copies of the books selected are available the month prior
to discussions at the Oliver Wolcott Library circulation desk.

OWL’s Non-Fiction Book Group
Thursday, November 8 ~ 2:00-3:15 pm
Capote: A Biography by Gerald Clarke
Oliver Wolcott Library
How Capote went from an enchanter, the startlingly fresh voice
 of his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, to someone you wanted
 to hold away from you with a pair of tongs is an amazing story,
as disturbing as anything Capote ever wrote. It is fascinating to delve
 into the lives of so many public figures and noted writers and artists.
Moderated by Curry

New members welcome!
Come to one or all meetings.
Books are available at the front desk.
Second Thursday of each month from 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Where: The Jamie Gagarin Community Room & Gallery
Facilitated by: Caitlin Costa ccosta@owlibrary.org

OWL’s Fiction Book Group
Thursday, November 8 ~ 3:30-5:00 pm
Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
Oliver Wolcott Library
Written in Southern Gothic style, this is Capote´s first published
novel and semi-autobiographical. After his mother dies, a 13-year-old
boy from New Orleans is sent to live in Skully Landing, a small community
 expecting to meet his long lost father. There a strange adventure
 commences. It’s a real mystery to the very last page.
Moderated by Curry

New members welcome!
Come to one or all meetings.
Books are available at the front desk.
Second Thursday of each month from 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Where: The Jamie Gagarin Community Room & Gallery
Facilitated by: Caitlin Costa ccosta@owlibrary.org

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Brain Games with BrainHQ
Introducing BrainHQ: a new online service available to all OWL library
card holders. This new online resource builds your attention, memory,
brain speed, people skills, navigation, and intelligence in dozens of
exercises with hundreds of brain training levels. Each one automatically
 adapts to your unique brain, so that you're always training at your
 "threshold" - the right level for your brain to make real improvements.
BrainHQ can be accessed online at the library, at home,
or on your smartphone with your OWL library card number.
Click here or on the front page of our website owlibrary.org
 or ask us to help you get started using BrainHQ.
We feel smarter already!

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Oliver Wolcott Library Welcomes New Officers and Trustees
The Oliver Wolcott Library welcomes one new trustee and a new slate of officers elected at its annual meeting in September and subsequent board meeting. Trustees share many responsibilities and play a vital role in ensuring the Oliver Wolcott Library remains a vibrant cultural and educational center that enlightens, entertains and informs. The Board provides strategic vision, oversees its financial needs and responsibilities including fundraising, and advocates for the library. The 2018- 2019 Board includes officers Maura Malo elected for her first term as President, Susan Pasquariello re-elected for her second term as Vice President, Phillip Miller re-elected for his third term as Treasurer and Cara Blazier elected for her first term as Secretary. The newest trustee elected for his first term is Tim Breslin. Other trustees on the board include: Colette Boyd, Egils Bogdanovics M.D., Kyra Hartnett, Todd Johnson and John Morosani.

OWL Board President Maura Malo is the Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for Connecticut Mutual Holding Company (CMHC). CMHC is a mutual holding company that owns Litchfield Bancorp, Northwest Community Bank, and Collinsville Savings Society. Maura earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Western New England College and MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  She currently serves as a Girl Scout leader and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Five Points Gallery in Torrington, past President and Board member of the Junior Women’s Club of Litchfield Hills, and a recipient of the 2013 New Leaders in Banking award. For the last two years, she also served as the Library’s Secretary. Maura lives in Litchfield with her husband and two daughters. 

OWL Vice President Susan Pasquariello is currently serving her third year as the library’s Annual Fund Drive Chair. She has been involved in the library for decades. She last served on the Board in 2001- 2006 as Secretary and also served in the 1980’s as Board president. At that time she was on the leadership and planning committee which undertook the addition of the community room and computer area to the library. When not on the Board, she remained active, volunteering for Festival of Trees, and serving three years on the Finance committee.  Susan served two terms on the Seherr-Thoss Foundations as a Director and as secretary and was past Program chair and president of the Women’s Forum. Susan attended college and graduate school in Virginia and Maryland.  She resides in Litchfield with her husband.

OWL Treasurer Philip Miller recently retired from the investment business.  During his career he oversaw institutional portfolios and mutual funds as a Managing Director at Smith Barney in New York.  Most recently he was affiliated with Scholtz and Company where he managed high net-worth clients.  He earned his BA at Wesleyan and served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela. He is a member of Trinity Milton Episcopal Church and has served on the boards of the Litchfield Historical Society, the Litchfield Country Club and the University Club.  Phil lives in Goshen with his wife.

OWL Board Secretary Cara Blazier is a retired Clinical Social Worker. Prior to this, she was the Assistant Director of the Music Library at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Cara holds a BS from Emerson College, a Master of Social Work from New York University and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University. For the last two years, she has served as Co-Chair of the Library’s Festival Sponsorship Committee. Cara also serves on the board of the Litchfield Historial Society, where she co-chairs the Membership Committee. For the Litchfield Aid of the CJR, Cara serves as the membership recruitment co-chair, and at Friends in Service to Humanity (FISH) Cara assists with fundraising efforts. She resides in Litchfield with her husband.

The Library’s newest trustee, Tim Breslin is a consultant to Connecticut public schools. He has served as Principal of Farmington High School and Principal of Litchfield High School. He was selected as High School Principal of the year in 2009. Tim earned his Ph.D. from Duke University and earned his Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins. He is also a member of the Litchfield Housing Trust.

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Preschool Storytimes
2-5 year olds
 
Experience new and classic picture books and flannelboard stories,
learn movement activities, and build pre-literacy skills such as
phonological awareness and comprehension in this educational program.

 
Stories will be read that encourage participation and comment,
and recall your child’s focus through talking about the books.

 

 

 

 

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Exotic Animals
With Animal Show on the Go
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Animal Show on the Go is an exotic pet rescue
 that houses snakes, lizards, turtles, birds, frogs, chinchillas, rabbits,
ducks, hedgehog and arthropods. It is run by Cindy King who has
worked with over 100 species of animals including
venomous snakes, raptors, and lesser cats. ~ BZ photos

 


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Stuffed Animal Clinic
Saturday, January 13, 2018
@ Oliver Wolcott Library
Children ages 3-8 visited the Oliver Wolcott Library on Saturday
with their stuffed animals. OWL Children's Librarian Lisa Shaia read
the book A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead. ~ BZ photos

OWL Llibrarian Caitlin Costa helped the children
to check out the stuffed animals for flu symptoms.



Then the children created a first aid kit with a stethoscope, a band aid
and a  prescription notebook to take home and use all winter long.







****************
New Beech Comes Home
to Oliver Wolcott Library
Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, the Oliver Wolcott Library planted a new
copper beech tree to replace the majestic 125-year old copper beech that died of natural
causes last year. The previous large tree, which was a major architectural structure on
the OWL property, was 127 years old, and would have been planted during the time when
the Great Blizzard of 1888 hit Litchfield. Due to the significance of the tree, the Library
appointed a special committee to explore the best way to honor the special tree, and
decide on its future replacement. The Beech Tree Committee was comprised of both library
trustees and community members and included: Susan Spencer (Chair), Stuart Chapman,
Jim Huffstetler, Drew Harlow, Jane Hinkel, John LaGattuta, Marla Patterson, and Ann Marie White
 (Library Director).  In deciding its replacement, the Beech Tree Committee explored
many options but ultimately decided that another copper beech would be the best choice.
Appropriately for OWL, beech trees have a past that is associated with books and writing.  
Historical garden sources, including oxforddictionaries.com and gardenguide.com claim
that writing on beech wood originated with Iron Age Germanic tribes, who reportedly would
often inscribe magical runes upon beech wood tablets. This practice transitioned into broader
writing upon beech wood tablets and from this, the first books can be traced.  A long-standing
and still widely accepted etymology assumes that the Germanic base of book is related
ultimately to the name of the beech tree.

To preserve the legacy of the more than century old tree, three local artists were contacted
to prepare special items for the library made from the tree: John LaGattuta, Richard Heys and Jim Nash.  
Artist Richard Heys created unique and specially-crafted bowls that were auctioned at this
past year's Festival of Trees, the Oliver Wolcott Library's annual fund-raising event held every November.
The new copper beech was planted this week by Arbor Services of Washington who had
worked closely with the library and the donor in selecting the individual specimen.
"Bill and Joslyn Pollock who own Arbor Services were extraordinarily picky about finding
just the right tree for us. They recognized our need for a signature tree to honor our old beech
and to celebrate the future." said Ann Marie White, Library Director.

Copper beech trees often reach heights of 70 to 80 feet, and live for 150 to 250 years.  
Small quantities of seeds may be produced around 10 years of age, but a heavy,
steady crop won't be produced until the tree reaches about 30 years of age.

"We are truly delighted to have another copper beech blessing the lawn of the Library
to welcome visitors and celebrate the beauty and inspiration of nature. We encourage
everyone to stop by the Library and say hello to our new tree!" said White.

****************
Landmark copper beech outside library is taken down
Litchfield.bz (05-29-14)
 
BZ photos

****************
The Oliver Wolcott Library
Plans a Farewell to its Majestic Friend
"Our beautiful copper beech tree has been a symbol of the library for decades.
We are sad to see it go" said Library Director Ann Marie White.
The Beech Tree is slated to be removed in late May or early June.
Since the Oliver Wolcott Library moved to its current location in July of 1967, the beautiful
Copper Beech Tree by the main entrance has welcomed visitors. With its wide branches,
stunning copper leaves, and enormous trunk, it has delighted and enchanted library patrons
for decades. Because of its probable age, the tree has likely been witness to many of
Litchfield's important historical moments. The Library will be holding a contest for children
to guess the age of the tree, so for this story, we don't want to reveal the possible age.
What we do know is that it is very old and very large.

"Dead trees have many uses and can be stunning in their own right. However, being a public
building with about 250 visitors a day, we cannot accept the threat that a dead tree could
pose to our patrons. As a result, after much careful deliberation and thought, the Library's
Beech Tree Committee concluded that the tree should be removed" said White.

The tree had been declining for more than ten years. The Library did everything it could to keep
 it strong including using a skilled arborist to assist with best practice for the care and nurturing
of big trees. But, ultimately, like all things in life, the tree finally reached the end of its life.
"Once it really started to go, it went quickly" observed Library Board President John Boyd.  
By the summer of 2013, the tree did not have one leaf and was proclaimed totally dead.

The Library formed a Beech Tree Committee appointed by the Board President. "I wanted to
make the committee inclusive so that we had a number of voices as well as expertise.
We know how much the tree means to us and to the whole community. " said Boyd.

The Committee includes local artisan and owner of Northwest Corner Woodworks John LaGattuta;
Litchfield Garden Club past President and Litchfield Land Trust board member Drew Harlow;
Litchfield Garden Club member Jane Hinkel; Litchfield Garden Club member Marla Patterson;
Vice President of Chapman Lumber and library trustee Stuart Chapman; Founder of Zero Odor
and library trustee Jim Huffstetler; White Memorial trustee and library trustee
Susan Spencer; and Library Director Ann Marie White.

After careful review and deliberation, the Committee decided that they would work with three local
artisans who will craft specially-made items from the beech tree that the library can own and
proudly display as a way to honor and memorialize the tree. Local artisans Richard Heys and
John LaGattuta plan to craft a bowl or other small treasure, and local miller John Nash of Hartland
is planning to craft a table. This is all dependent on the tree being sound upon removal
and after about a year or so of the wood curing.

Additional plans include saving a couple of slabs of the tree, if sound,
to use as an educational tool that will highlight significant historical
events matched to the tree rings of that same year.

The Committee also plans to replant. "We want to see the renewal of life and we plan on
planting another tree near where our magnificent beech tree stood" said White.
The Committee is still reviewing options and ideas for what type of tree but intends to
make it a native one.  Planting of the new tree is set for either the fall of 2014 or spring of 2015,
depending on the tree selected and availability.

As Henry David Thoreau remarked, "I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest
snow to keep an appointment with a beech tree, or yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among
the pines". While the Oliver Wolcott Library is saddened to see its friend, the magnificent
Copper Beech go, we look forward to memorializing it with local artisans, using the opportunity
to educate young on how to know trees, and planting a new tree that will
encourage people to come to the library to welcome the new tree.