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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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.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Art Opening
Litchfield Montessori School
“Following the Seasons:
The Brilliance of Light & Form”
~ Mixed Media
Reception: Thursday, January 3 ~ 5:00-7:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
On exhibit through January 25
This year's exhibit features student work that offers
a look into how each student observes and develops
 a reverence for the natural world, whether through
exploration of the outdoor environment or from
an in depth botany lesson. Equally, as the students
created their works of art, they connected with nature,
and became stewards of the land.

Featured in the art show will be creations inspired
 by the American modernist painter, Georgia O'Keefe,
with a focus on her ability to capture the magnified
elegance and form of a simple flower. Like O'Keefe,
each student captured the light of summer through
studying and painting a flower. From there we moved
to the warm and cool tones of autumn through
our exploration of analogous colors and form.

Also featured, by way of the ancient art of pottery,
are luminous clay lanterns created to hold the light
as the days grow darker. Inspired by the extraordinary
Norman Rockwell, author, painter and illustrator,
and his reflections of American Culture, heartwarming
compositions of hearth and home are displayed
 through the medium of paint and paper-cut collage.
They display cherished moments in children's lives.

Established in 1972, the school is located on a
four-acre campus in Northfield. The curriculum and
approach to learning reflects the commitment and
vision of Dr. Maria Montessori, who believed that the
educational process should cultivate self-motivation,
encourage a child's natural desire to learn,
and promote critical and creative thinking.
To learn more,

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Monday Scholars:
How Winston Churchill Changed the World
Mondays, January 7, 14, 21, 28
12:30-2:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Monday Scholars is a weekly series that combines
 the best of online learning with classroom discussion.
Each week a new lecture topic is watched together
and then discussed by the group. All you need to do
 is come ready to engage your mind and participate.
Join Adult Services Librarian Patricia Moore
as she facilitates this discussion.

About the course:
The video lecture series of How Winston Churchill Changed
the World will be taught by Professor Michael Sheldon.
 In it, you will enjoy a thorough, multifaceted
exploration of Churchill's life, accomplishments,
complexities, and legacies.

Few individuals personify the tumultuous story
of the 20th century more than Winston Churchill.
Great Britain's most celebrated statesman, Churchill
didn't just live history-he made it. His was a
 fascinating journey that would take him from the
dawn of the Edwardian Age to the dawn of Beatlemania;
from the days when the British Empire ruled the
seas to its twilight as the preeminent global power;
and from the chaos of two world wars to the
equally fraught tensions of the Cold War era.

About the Professor:
On video, Michael Shelden is the professor lecturing
this series. He is Professor of English at Indiana State
University, where he has won the top award for
 excellence in scholarship, the Theodore Dreiser
Distinguished Research/Creativity Award, three times.
 Professor Shelden is the author of six biographies,
 including Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill.
He has also given lectures on Winston Churchill for
The National WWII Museum and the
 International Churchill Society.

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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Spelling Bee Club
For children in Grades 4-6
Mondays, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
January 7 through February 11
Oliver Wolcott Library
The Spelling Club will provide children an opportunity
to gather at OWL to learn the word bank for the
Litchfield Bee in a fun and collaborative setting.
Play word games such as Boggle, Jumble, Roll & Spell,
and Vocab Toss. Listen to excerpts from novels
 that are filled with juicy words to prepare for
the Spelling Bee. Run through practice Bees so
you're ready to compete. Study materials created
by the Scripps National Bee. Participation in
 the Litchfield Spelling Bee is not mandatory!

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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Bouncing Babies
For babies birth- 24 months
Tuesdays ~ 11:00 am
January 8 through February 26
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join Dr. Caroline for Bouncing Babies!
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.
Drop-in. No registration necessary.

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Ice Giants: Uranus & Neptune
with Denis Williamson
Tuesday, January 8 ~ 7:00-8:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Through slides and lecture, we'll discuss and learn
about the Ice Giants. Plodding along their orbits,
Uranus and Neptune aren't as spectacular and
colorful as Jupiter or Saturn, but they are just as interesting.
The axis of rotation of Uranus and its moons are tipped at an
angle of more than 90 degrees (Earth is tipped 23 and one-half
degrees).  Neptune controls the orbits of hundreds
of other objects, including Pluto.

We'll also discuss the asteroids that occupy space
between Mars and Jupiter. Instead of an orderly
progression of large objects, there are hundreds
of thousands of tiny ones in the main asteroid belt.
The question is why?

Denis Williamson, a member of the Litchfield
Hills Amateur Astronomy Club, organizes the Star Parties
hosted by the club at White Memorial and talks at
other locations. He gives talks on various astronomy
 topics and enjoys stargazing with new and advanced
amateur enthusiasts. Now retired, Denis spends
clear summer days sailing on Bantam Lake
 and clear evenings stargazing.

The Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club,
founded in 1956, promotes amateur astronomy
with regular Star Parties at White Memorial in Litchfield
and operates an observatory there with the Mattatuck
Astronomical Society. Visit their website at lhastro.org.

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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Letters are Characters©
For Children Ages 4-7
A Playful Pre-Reading Program
Wednesdays at 11:00 am
January 9 through February 27
Oliver Wolcott Library
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.
or call 860-567-8030.

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½ Day Science Club with Science tellers
For Grades K-6
Wednesday, January 9 ~ 1:30-2:30 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join us on January 9 for a Storytelling Performance with
Science tellers! Journey to the Wild West, where a
bank-robber is back in town, about to strike again
and two kids must saddle up to foil the great heist.
Throughout this absolutely wild adventure story,
 the audience will help us explore the science behind
chemical reactions, combustion, air pressure,
inertia and more. Don't miss this classic
action-packed western with “notes” of science.

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 American Reading Crisis:
What Everyone, Especially
Parents, Need to Know
with Dr. Caroline Ugurlu
Wednesday, January 9 ~ 7:00-8:15 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
More than 60% of American 4th graders are not reaching
 literacy benchmarks. We need to start community
conversations about reading to understand why…beginning
with a discussion about why reading is so important.

Reading informs us, inspires us, and literally transports
us when we read deeply. Reading deepens our connection
and strengthens our empathy and we, and our children,
need it to navigate the trials and tribulations of life.
But how does this uniquely human activity happen?
 How do we become readers?

During this talk, we'll learn and discuss:
- How reading happens in the brain
- How to examine the path to literacy so that we can
ensure that all children read to their highest potential
- What parents and caregivers can do to proactively
ensure reading success for their little ones
- Why we need to read deeply… and how you can ensure
 that the children in your life will become deep readers
How digital reading differs from reading books and
how this is changing how we process what we read

Caroline Wilcox Ugurlu, Ph.D., is a researcher, teacher,
and OWL's library assistant with a focus on early literacy.
 She has spent the last four years studying reading
 including the neurological processes involved in
reading and the sociological, psychological and cultural
aspects of reading acquisition and its opposite -
failure to acquire reading fluency.  She has developed
a method to help children ages 4 - 7 break the phonemic
code in a fun and playful way and has authored
a book on the subject (in publication).

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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Preschool Storytime - For Ages 2-5
Thursdays at 11:00 am
January 10 through February 28
Oliver Wolcott Library
Join Miss Kathy for Preschool Storytime!
Enjoy new and classic picture books, learn movement
activities, and build pre-literacy skills such as
phonological awareness and comprehension.
Stories will be read that encourage participation and comment.
Drop-in. No registration necessary

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OWL's Non-Fiction Book Group
Thursday, January 10 ~ 2:00-3:15 pm
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
Oliver Wolcott Library
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.

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OWL's Fiction Book Group
Thursday, January 10 ~ 3:30-5:00 pm
Transatlantic by Colum McCann
Oliver Wolcott Library
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.

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Teddy Bear Picnic
For 3-5 year olds
Friday, January 11 ~ 11:00 am
Oliver Wolcott Library
It's time for a Teddy Bear Picnic at Oliver Wolcott Library!
Bring your favorite teddy bear and a picnic blanket
 to this very special Storytime. We will listen
to books, sing songs, and create a special
teddy bear themed craft to take home.

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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Storytime STEM  
Grades K-3
Friday, January 11 ~ 3:30-4:15 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
This exciting and hands-on program will include
a read aloud of a popular children's picture book
along with correlating STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics) crafts, activities,
and/ or whole group science demonstrations.

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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Two Pulitzer Prize Winners:
A Book Discussion
with Candace Barrington
Sundays, 1:00 - 2:00 pm
January 13 (Gilead) &
February 10 (The Underground Railroad)
Oliver Wolcott Library
Marilynne Robinson's Gilead and Colson Whitehead's
The Underground Railroad - each winners of the
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction - present the underground
railroad as a litmus test for our ethical and moral
obligations to one another. Join Dr. Candace Barrington
 as she discusses these two works.

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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Love on the Rocks:
Winter Reading (& FUN) Program
Monday, January 14 through March 6
Oliver Wolcott Library
Warm up during the cold, dark days of winter
with OWL's Winter Reading (and Fun) Program.
To participate, register with us and then we'll give
you a Challenge Card filled with Love on the
Rocks reading challenges in four romance-with-
an-edge categories: Star Crossed Lovers,
Parents Just Don't Understand, Young Love,
and Til Death Do Us Part

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
860-567-8030.

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The Afternoon Letters are Characters©
Three-Week Introductory Program
for Children Ages 4-7
A Playful Pre-Reading Program
Tuesdays, 3:30-4:30 pm
January 15 through 29
Oliver Wolcott Library
During this short course, parents/caregivers will be
 introduced to the science of reading and given tools to
provide effective, evidence-based support and instruction
at home that will facilitate the creation of enriching,
lifelong reading habits in their child/children.
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.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Teen Wednesdays:
Board Game Madness
Wednesday, January 16 ~ 2:15-3:15 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Teens are encouraged to come to the library
 to play some board games with Miss Kathy.
We will have the classics along with some newer
games, sure to suit every players taste.

Oliver Wolcott Library events are free and open to the public.
call 860-567-8030.

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Love on the Rocks:
Pizza & Picks
Wednesday, January 16 ~ 6:30-7:30 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Broken hearts. First love. Bad romances.
Star-crossed lovers. The challenges of finding true love...
Join Librarians Jordan McCorison and Patricia Moore
for book (and film) talks about their favorite titles
that fulfill the Love on the Rocks:
Winter Reading (and Fun) Program.

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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STEM Studio
Grades 4 - 6
Friday, January 18 ~ 3:30-4:15 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Make the most awesome slime ever and construct a
complex and complicated marble maze! Each session
will include a challenge correlating with one or more
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics) concepts in which children will have
to use teamwork, critical thinking, and innovation
 in order to complete their challenge.

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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Teen Wednesdays:
Makerspace Wednesdays
Wednesday, January 23 ~ 2:15-3:15 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Makerspaces are places where people gather to create,
invent, and share projects and ideas. Each session we
will feature a new DIY project for teens to work on.
In January we will be creating duct tape and washi tape
crafts and in February we will be making string art.  
All materials will be provided.

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

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Before You Know It:
The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do
with Author John Bargh
Thursday, January 24, 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Oliver Wolcott Library
John Bargh, PhD, is an award-winning social psychologist
 and the world's leading expert on the unconscious mind.  
For more than three decades, he has conducted
revolutionary research into the unconscious mind,
 research featured in bestsellers like Blink and Thinking
 Fast and Slow. Now, he takes us on an entertaining
 and enlightening tour of the forces that affect everyday
behavior while transforming our understanding
 of ourselves in profound ways.
 A wine & cheese and book signing
 reception will follow the event.

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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Little Book Buddies
For Grades K-3
Friday, January 25 ~ 3:30-4:15 pm
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.
or call 860-567-8030.

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Teen Wednesdays:
Graphic Novel Book Club
Wednesday, January 30 ~ 2:15-3:15 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Each session will feature a new graphic novel that
we will discuss and create a craft to go along with.
Stop by the library anytime during the month to
pick up your copy of the featured graphic novel.
January 30 discussion:
Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware The Kitten

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

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Love on the Rocks:
 Speed Dating with a Book
Thursday, January 31 ~ 3:00-4:00 pm
Oliver Wolcott Library
Speed Date with a Book is a fun way for us to share
our favorite reads and to hear about new ones.
 Bring in your favorite book--one you may have reread
multiple times, or a title that will forever have a
place in your heart. We will pair participants to chat
about the books they chose for one-minute
each and then…SWITCH!

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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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, January 10 ~ 2:00-3:15 pm
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
Oliver Wolcott Library

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

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OWL's Fiction Book Group
Thursday, January 10 ~ 2:00-3:15 pm
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
Oliver Wolcott Library

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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Jo-Ann Miller “Perspectives” - Paintings
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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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.







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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.

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

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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.