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
Children’s Librarian ~ Lisa Shaia: lshaia@owlibrary.org
Publicity ~ Jordan McCorison: jmccorison@owlibrary.org

The Oliver Wolcott Library will be closed
from April 20 until May 22, 2018.
Thanks to a grant from the Seherr-Thoss Foundation, new carpeting
will be installed at the Oliver Wolcott Library on South Street in Litchfield.
Core services will be offered at a temporary home in the Bantam Annex
 (Bantam School/Breuer Building) at 80 Doyle Road, Bantam.

New Carpets @ OWL
After serving us for more than 25 years, our carpets are going
 to be replaced! We are delighted to announce that the
Oliver Wolcott Library was awarded a grant from the Seherr-Thoss
Charitable Foundation to replace the carpeting in the main library.
Installation will begin in late April and will require us to temporarily
move to Bantam while the carpet is installed. We have great news
 to share about the project: why we selected the type of carpet,
honoring the vision of our library leaders of the past,
what the temporary move means to you, and much more!

For our new carpeting, we selected Flor. Economical, beautiful,
sustainable, replaceable, washable: there is so much to love!
Plus, a story dear to a librarian's heart is that the Founder and
Chairman Ray Anderson of Flor/Interface Carpeting was forever changed
after he read the book, The Ecology of Commerce and took the company
 in a bold direction of sustainability, beauty and economy.

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Hour Glass: Time, Memory, Marriage
A Conversation with Author Dani Shapiro
Thursday, May 24 ~ 7:00-8:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Dani Shapiro has written several courageous and searing memoirs:
Slow Motion, about the deaths of her parents when she was in her
early 20s, and Devotion, about a crisis of faith she suffered in her mid-40s.
 In Hourglass she presents a sharp look at the realities of marriage.


Subtitled Time, Memory, Marriage, Hourglass is a slim yet
 penetrating meditation on her 18-year marriage to former Africa
correspondent Michael Maren. Told in brief, discrete segments,
the book jumps around in time, from present to past and back again.
Meditations and vignettes are interwoven with excerpts from the journal
 she kept on their honeymoon, lists, and quotations from authors
 including Wendell Berry, Adrienne Rich, and Nietzsche.
Join Joseph Montebello as he facilitates
this conversation with Dani Shapiro.


In addition to her memoirs, Dani Shapiro is the author of five
novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has
appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle,
The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of The New York Times,
The Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on “This American Life.”
Dani was recently Oprah Winfrey’s guest on “Super Soul Sunday.”
She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School
and Wesleyan University; she is also the co-founder of the Sirenland
Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. A contributing editor at
Condé Nast Traveler, Dani lives with her family in Litchfield County.

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

****************
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!

****************
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.

Non-Fiction Book Discussion Group
Thursday, April 12 ~ 2:00-3:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Strangers in Their Own Land
by Arlie Russell Hochschild
Subtitled “Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” the book
describes why white Tea Party people in Louisiana have allied
themselves with anti-government forces, though they need government
 regulation to save them from pollution. There is a lack of empathy
for people of color, seen as getting ahead of them in the competition
for resources. Moderated by Frances

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

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.

****************
Fiction Book Discussion Group
Thursday, April 12  ~ 3:30-5:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
The Moviegoer
by Walker Percy
A New Orleans stockbroker surveys the world with a detached gaze
 'even as he yearns for a spiritual redemption he cannot bring himself
to believe in. Almost 30, he occupies himself dallying with his 'secretaries
and going to movies, which provide him with the "treasurable moments"
absent from his real life. But one fateful Mardi Gras, 'he embarks on a
hare-brained quest that outrages his family, endangers his fragile cousin,
and sends him reeling through the chaos of the French Quarter.
Moderated by Jean

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

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.

****************
Children & Teen Programs

Early Bird Café
Tuesdays, Wednesdays
& Thursdays ~ 10:30 am
March 1 - April 12, 2018
before Bouncing Babies & Storytimes
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join us for the Early Bird Cafe which will be open before
every Bouncing Baby and Preschool Storytime session!
Drop in and meet us before the session to socialize
with new friends and neighbors and have a chance
to talk to Mrs. Shaia. Light refreshments will be served.
Don't forget to check out some books either before
or after storytime. Mrs. Shaia is always happy to
help with suggestions of her latest favorites.

****************
Bouncing Babies
(Birth-24 months and their caregivers)
Tuesdays  ~ 11:00 am
March 6 - April 12, 2018
Oliver Wolcott Library
Enjoy concept and rhyming books, learn finger plays, and
meet other families in this interactive program with Mrs. Shaia.
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.
Drop in storytimes,
no registration required!

****************
Preschool Storytimes
(2-5 year olds)
Wednesdays & Thursdays
~ 11:00 am
March 1 - April 12, 2018
Oliver Wolcott Library
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.
NEW! After storytime, enjoy one of our fun play centers
 to further stimulate your child’s imagination and creativity!
The play centers are generously
funded by Civic Family Services.
Drop in storytimes,
no registration required!

****************
How to Train Your Dragon Club
(Grades K-6)
Fridays, March 2 through April 13
3:30 - 4:30 pm
*No meeting March 30 ~ Good Friday
Oliver Wolcott Library
Listen to excerpts from the first six books in the How to Train Your Dragon
series over the course of the program. Activities will tie-in to each book.
 We’ll color a dragon mask, design your own armor, have a Viking boat race,
 assemble and battle with catapults, go on a dragon egg hunt,
and begin a journal just like dragon-whisperer Hiccup.

Please register online and notify Litchfield Center
or Intermediate School in writing by February 16 if your
child needs bus transportation from school to the library.

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

****************
Books for Bedtime
Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m.
on Cable 5 TV
Watch Mrs. Shaia & Mrs. Moore, (Center School Librarian) read stories to
get you snuggled in for the night! Airs Wednesday nights at 7:00 on Cable 5 TV.
Come to the Library to check out books featured on the show!

****************
Outreach Storytimes for Preschoolers
 Each month, Mrs. Shaia, Children’s Librarian, will be bringing her suitcase of
storytime themes to Litchfield Headstart, Room to Grow, School on the Green,
and the 3-year and 4-year old classes at Litchfield Center School.

Each program is unique, supports the preschool curriculum, and includes
new and classic picture books, flannel board stories, fingerplays,
 musical instruments, puppets and a themed craft. PLUS, Mrs. Shaia brings
books from OWL’s extensive collection for the schools to borrow each month!

****************
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.

 

 

 

 

****************
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.