Category Archives: Events

Successfully Navigating College Admissions This Fall

 A program for high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors & their parents/caregivers

Ron Feuchs and Jackie Tepper, partners at Stand Out For College, LLC are offering this Zoom presentation to help families of juniors, sophomores and freshmen understand the college admissions process and how to successfully navigate the recent changes. This program is recommended for parents and their high school teens and is a detailed and strategic overview of what students should focus on for a successful college admissions process.

Ron and Jackie will discuss current college admissions trends, admissions strategies, the changing test-optional environment, the importance of researching and visiting colleges to find schools that can be a good fit for your child, a timeline and other action steps that can be taken to make this fall productive and help reduce the stress around the college admissions process.

They will examine the holistic admissions review process, what admissions officers consider important when they review applicants, and how students can position themselves to develop a compelling narrative to increase their chances for admission.

They will also discuss the importance of community service, how it can provide an opportunity for personal growth and a way to showcase a student’s character. Admissions officers place great emphasis on a student’s character and how the student has been able to give back and help others.

Register here!

Presentation will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

Successfully Navigating College Admissions This Fall

 A program for high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors & their parents/caregivers

Ron Feuchs and Jackie Tepper, partners at Stand Out For College, LLC are offering this Zoom presentation to help families of juniors, sophomores and freshmen understand the college admissions process and how to successfully navigate the recent changes. This program is recommended for parents and their high school teens and is a detailed and strategic overview of what students should focus on for a successful college admissions process.

Ron and Jackie will discuss current college admissions trends, admissions strategies, the changing test-optional environment, the importance of researching and visiting colleges to find schools that can be a good fit for your child, a timeline and other action steps that can be taken to make this fall productive and help reduce the stress around the college admissions process.

They will examine the holistic admissions review process, what admissions officers consider important when they review applicants, and how students can position themselves to develop a compelling narrative to increase their chances for admission.

They will also discuss the importance of community service, how it can provide an opportunity for personal growth and a way to showcase a student’s character. Admissions officers place great emphasis on a student’s character and how the student has been able to give back and help others.

Register here!

Presentation will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

Successfully Navigating College Admissions This Fall

 A program for high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors & their parents/caregivers

Ron Feuchs and Jackie Tepper, partners at Stand Out For College, LLC are offering this Zoom presentation to help families of juniors, sophomores and freshmen understand the college admissions process and how to successfully navigate the recent changes. This program is recommended for parents and their high school teens and is a detailed and strategic overview of what students should focus on for a successful college admissions process.

Ron and Jackie will discuss current college admissions trends, admissions strategies, the changing test-optional environment, the importance of researching and visiting colleges to find schools that can be a good fit for your child, a timeline and other action steps that can be taken to make this fall productive and help reduce the stress around the college admissions process.

They will examine the holistic admissions review process, what admissions officers consider important when they review applicants, and how students can position themselves to develop a compelling narrative to increase their chances for admission.

They will also discuss the importance of community service, how it can provide an opportunity for personal growth and a way to showcase a student’s character. Admissions officers place great emphasis on a student’s character and how the student has been able to give back and help others.

Register here!

Presentation will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

Passport Day

Take advantage of this complete passport office experience brought to us by the Ferguson Library’s passport team! You will be able to:  

  1. Apply for a U.S. passport for the first time.
  2. Apply for a passport renewal for children.
  3. Get your passport photo taken (we can provide passport photos for all countries).
  4. Have your adult application reviewed, receive assistance with packaging, and be provided the address to send it to.
  5. Get answers to any questions that you have about U.S. passports.

For information on required documents, click here. If you have any other questions, you can call 203-351-8210.

Appointment availability for this service operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

A fee of $35 is required for each passport application and can be paid for with cash or by credit card. Payment by check or money order is required for passport products, payable to the U.S. Department of State. An additional fee of $15 is required for photos.

Passport Day

Take advantage of this complete passport office experience brought to us by the Ferguson Library’s passport team! You will be able to:  

  1. Apply for a U.S. passport for the first time.
  2. Apply for a passport renewal for children.
  3. Get your passport photo taken (we can provide passport photos for all countries).
  4. Have your adult application reviewed, receive assistance with packaging, and be provided the address to send it to.
  5. Get answers to any questions that you have about U.S. passports.

For information on required documents, click here. If you have any other questions, you can call 203-351-8210.

Appointment availability for this service operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

A fee of $35 is required for each passport application and can be paid for with cash or by credit card. Payment by check or money order is required for passport products, payable to the U.S. Department of State. An additional fee of $15 is required for photos.

Women and Money Series: How to Make Sense of Today’s Financial Markets

When it comes to the financial and real estate markets, people aren’t always as rational as you would think. Behavioral finance experts have been studying the not-so-smart decisions people make. We will reveal the fears, misperceptions and emotional needs people have that sabotage their investment and home sale returns.

Join us for this monthly roundtable for women on money led by financial professionals Julia Strayer and Liz Maccarone. This series’ discussion will focus on how to make sense of today’s financial markets, is open to women with any level of financial knowledge, and is an ongoing informational gathering to learn and share.

We’ll show you how to avoid the mistakes and make decisions like the pros. We’ll cover the latest market news and how that might affect your decision making. We’ll also give you background and context for understanding why market movement occurs and we’ll share strategies for keeping ahead of what might come. Register here!

Our Roundtable Leaders:

Julia Strayer, CPWA®, CIMA®, CRPC®
Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2000, Julia was a vice president and private banker for BankBoston’s Private Bank for 7 years, responsible for asset management and trust services. Previously, Julia worked in marketing for 9 years with Merrill. Julia has a BA from Ohio State University and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Julia has appeared on the CNBC show “Power Lunch,” CBS “This Morning,” WGCH’s “Women in Business,” in addition to featured articles in USA Today.

Liz Maccarone, CRPC®
Senior Financial Advisor

Liz joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2012. Liz works closely with high-net-worth individuals and their families to create personalized and comprehensive strategies that support their goals, including investment management, retirement planning, liability management, and multigenerational planning. Liz values the importance of establishing and cultivating relationships with families including the next generation. Liz graduated from Fairfield University with a dual bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing. She began her career working at a boutique investment firm as a Business Development Associate, specializing in commodities and futures trading.

The roundtable meetings will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

This session of the series is hosted by Darien Library.

Women and Money Series: How to Make Sense of Today’s Financial Markets

When it comes to the financial and real estate markets, people aren’t always as rational as you would think. Behavioral finance experts have been studying the not-so-smart decisions people make. We will reveal the fears, misperceptions and emotional needs people have that sabotage their investment and home sale returns.

Join us for this monthly roundtable for women on money led by financial professionals Julia Strayer and Liz Maccarone. This series’ discussion will focus on how to make sense of today’s financial markets, is open to women with any level of financial knowledge, and is an ongoing informational gathering to learn and share.

We’ll show you how to avoid the mistakes and make decisions like the pros. We’ll cover the latest market news and how that might affect your decision making. We’ll also give you background and context for understanding why market movement occurs and we’ll share strategies for keeping ahead of what might come. Register here!

Our Roundtable Leaders:

Julia Strayer, CPWA®, CIMA®, CRPC®
Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2000, Julia was a vice president and private banker for BankBoston’s Private Bank for 7 years, responsible for asset management and trust services. Previously, Julia worked in marketing for 9 years with Merrill. Julia has a BA from Ohio State University and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Julia has appeared on the CNBC show “Power Lunch,” CBS “This Morning,” WGCH’s “Women in Business,” in addition to featured articles in USA Today.

Liz Maccarone, CRPC®
Senior Financial Advisor

Liz joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2012. Liz works closely with high-net-worth individuals and their families to create personalized and comprehensive strategies that support their goals, including investment management, retirement planning, liability management, and multigenerational planning. Liz values the importance of establishing and cultivating relationships with families including the next generation. Liz graduated from Fairfield University with a dual bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing. She began her career working at a boutique investment firm as a Business Development Associate, specializing in commodities and futures trading.

The roundtable meetings will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

This session of the series is hosted by Darien Library.

Women and Money Series: How to Make Sense of Today’s Financial Markets

When it comes to the financial and real estate markets, people aren’t always as rational as you would think. Behavioral finance experts have been studying the not-so-smart decisions people make. We will reveal the fears, misperceptions and emotional needs people have that sabotage their investment and home sale returns.

Join us for this monthly roundtable for women on money led by financial professionals Julia Strayer and Liz Maccarone. This series’ discussion will focus on how to make sense of today’s financial markets, is open to women with any level of financial knowledge, and is an ongoing informational gathering to learn and share.

We’ll show you how to avoid the mistakes and make decisions like the pros. We’ll cover the latest market news and how that might affect your decision making. We’ll also give you background and context for understanding why market movement occurs and we’ll share strategies for keeping ahead of what might come. Register here!

Our Roundtable Leaders:

Julia Strayer, CPWA®, CIMA®, CRPC®
Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2000, Julia was a vice president and private banker for BankBoston’s Private Bank for 7 years, responsible for asset management and trust services. Previously, Julia worked in marketing for 9 years with Merrill. Julia has a BA from Ohio State University and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Julia has appeared on the CNBC show “Power Lunch,” CBS “This Morning,” WGCH’s “Women in Business,” in addition to featured articles in USA Today.

Liz Maccarone, CRPC®
Senior Financial Advisor

Liz joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2012. Liz works closely with high-net-worth individuals and their families to create personalized and comprehensive strategies that support their goals, including investment management, retirement planning, liability management, and multigenerational planning. Liz values the importance of establishing and cultivating relationships with families including the next generation. Liz graduated from Fairfield University with a dual bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing. She began her career working at a boutique investment firm as a Business Development Associate, specializing in commodities and futures trading.

The roundtable meetings will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

This session of the series is hosted by Darien Library.

Women and Money Series: How to Make Sense of Today’s Financial Markets

When it comes to the financial and real estate markets, people aren’t always as rational as you would think. Behavioral finance experts have been studying the not-so-smart decisions people make. We will reveal the fears, misperceptions and emotional needs people have that sabotage their investment and home sale returns.

Join us for this monthly roundtable for women on money led by financial professionals Julia Strayer and Liz Maccarone. This series’ discussion will focus on how to make sense of today’s financial markets, is open to women with any level of financial knowledge, and is an ongoing informational gathering to learn and share.

We’ll show you how to avoid the mistakes and make decisions like the pros. We’ll cover the latest market news and how that might affect your decision making. We’ll also give you background and context for understanding why market movement occurs and we’ll share strategies for keeping ahead of what might come. Register here!

Our Roundtable Leaders:

Julia Strayer, CPWA®, CIMA®, CRPC®
Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2000, Julia was a vice president and private banker for BankBoston’s Private Bank for 7 years, responsible for asset management and trust services. Previously, Julia worked in marketing for 9 years with Merrill. Julia has a BA from Ohio State University and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Julia has appeared on the CNBC show “Power Lunch,” CBS “This Morning,” WGCH’s “Women in Business,” in addition to featured articles in USA Today.

Liz Maccarone, CRPC®
Senior Financial Advisor

Liz joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2012. Liz works closely with high-net-worth individuals and their families to create personalized and comprehensive strategies that support their goals, including investment management, retirement planning, liability management, and multigenerational planning. Liz values the importance of establishing and cultivating relationships with families including the next generation. Liz graduated from Fairfield University with a dual bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing. She began her career working at a boutique investment firm as a Business Development Associate, specializing in commodities and futures trading.

The roundtable meetings will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

This session of the series is hosted by Darien Library.

Women and Money Series: How to Make Sense of Today’s Financial Markets

When it comes to the financial and real estate markets, people aren’t always as rational as you would think. Behavioral finance experts have been studying the not-so-smart decisions people make. We will reveal the fears, misperceptions and emotional needs people have that sabotage their investment and home sale returns.

Join us for this monthly roundtable for women on money led by financial professionals Julia Strayer and Liz Maccarone. This series’ discussion will focus on how to make sense of today’s financial markets, is open to women with any level of financial knowledge, and is an ongoing informational gathering to learn and share.

We’ll show you how to avoid the mistakes and make decisions like the pros. We’ll cover the latest market news and how that might affect your decision making. We’ll also give you background and context for understanding why market movement occurs and we’ll share strategies for keeping ahead of what might come. Register here!

Our Roundtable Leaders:

Julia Strayer, CPWA®, CIMA®, CRPC®
Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2000, Julia was a vice president and private banker for BankBoston’s Private Bank for 7 years, responsible for asset management and trust services. Previously, Julia worked in marketing for 9 years with Merrill. Julia has a BA from Ohio State University and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Julia has appeared on the CNBC show “Power Lunch,” CBS “This Morning,” WGCH’s “Women in Business,” in addition to featured articles in USA Today.

Liz Maccarone, CRPC®
Senior Financial Advisor

Liz joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2012. Liz works closely with high-net-worth individuals and their families to create personalized and comprehensive strategies that support their goals, including investment management, retirement planning, liability management, and multigenerational planning. Liz values the importance of establishing and cultivating relationships with families including the next generation. Liz graduated from Fairfield University with a dual bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing. She began her career working at a boutique investment firm as a Business Development Associate, specializing in commodities and futures trading.

The roundtable meetings will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

This session of the series is hosted by Darien Library.

Women and Money Series: How to Make Sense of Today’s Financial Markets

When it comes to the financial and real estate markets, people aren’t always as rational as you would think. Behavioral finance experts have been studying the not-so-smart decisions people make. We will reveal the fears, misperceptions and emotional needs people have that sabotage their investment and home sale returns.

Join us for this monthly roundtable for women on money led by financial professionals Julia Strayer and Liz Maccarone. This series’ discussion will focus on how to make sense of today’s financial markets, is open to women with any level of financial knowledge, and is an ongoing informational gathering to learn and share.

We’ll show you how to avoid the mistakes and make decisions like the pros. We’ll cover the latest market news and how that might affect your decision making. We’ll also give you background and context for understanding why market movement occurs and we’ll share strategies for keeping ahead of what might come. Register here!

Our Roundtable Leaders:

Julia Strayer, CPWA®, CIMA®, CRPC®
Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2000, Julia was a vice president and private banker for BankBoston’s Private Bank for 7 years, responsible for asset management and trust services. Previously, Julia worked in marketing for 9 years with Merrill. Julia has a BA from Ohio State University and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Julia has appeared on the CNBC show “Power Lunch,” CBS “This Morning,” WGCH’s “Women in Business,” in addition to featured articles in USA Today.

Liz Maccarone, CRPC®
Senior Financial Advisor

Liz joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2012. Liz works closely with high-net-worth individuals and their families to create personalized and comprehensive strategies that support their goals, including investment management, retirement planning, liability management, and multigenerational planning. Liz values the importance of establishing and cultivating relationships with families including the next generation. Liz graduated from Fairfield University with a dual bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing. She began her career working at a boutique investment firm as a Business Development Associate, specializing in commodities and futures trading.

The roundtable meetings will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

This session of the series is hosted by Darien Library.

Stem Meets STEM: Minecraft Mania

Kids entering grades 2 and up are invited to visit the library to try out new mods and engage in some serious Minecraft.

Space is limited so please register here.

As this program is in in high demand and fills up very quickly every month, Rowayton Library would like to share the opportunity to join our sessions from home! Hop on to our Minecraft Java Server at 192.99.35.12:2059. This will save your activity in the game with us and our participants, whether we’re in a session at the library or not, and save you the hassle of having to make a server yourself!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Stem Meets STEM: Minecraft Mania

Kids entering grades 2 and up are invited to visit the library to try out new mods and engage in some serious Minecraft.

Space is limited so please register here.

As this program is in in high demand and fills up very quickly every month, Rowayton Library would like to share the opportunity to join our sessions from home! Hop on to our Minecraft Java Server at 192.99.35.12:2059. This will save your activity in the game with us and our participants, whether we’re in a session at the library or not, and save you the hassle of having to make a server yourself!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Stem Meets STEM: Minecraft Mania

Kids entering grades 2 and up are invited to visit the library to try out new mods and engage in some serious Minecraft.

Space is limited so please register here.

As this program is in in high demand and fills up very quickly every month, Rowayton Library would like to share the opportunity to join our sessions from home! Hop on to our Minecraft Java Server at 192.99.35.12:2059. This will save your activity in the game with us and our participants, whether we’re in a session at the library or not, and save you the hassle of having to make a server yourself!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Toddler Time: The Big Cheese

Kids ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers are invited to join us as we read a Jory John story from The Food Group collection (our inspiration for this year’s summer reading theme!) then do a related craft.

The Big Cheese knows that winning isn’t everything, but trophies are still nice to get! For this week’s booktivity, we’ll read The Big Cheese and then we’ll make our own trophies with paper cups and paint to give to someone who’s winning in our lives!

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Toddler Time: The Smart Cookie

Kids ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers are invited to join us as we read a Jory John story from The Food Group collection (our inspiration for this year’s summer reading theme!) then do a related craft.

The Smart Cookie likes poetry and it’s a great way to explore creativity. So is coloring! For this week’s booktivity, we’ll read The Smart Cookie and then we’ll color to our hearts content. Both on paper and actual cookies!

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Toddler Time: The Couch Potato

Kids ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers are invited to join us as we read a Jory John story from The Food Group collection (our inspiration for this year’s summer reading theme!) then do a related craft.

Being a couch potato is fun but so is making art! For this week’s booktivity, we’ll read The Couch Potato and then we’ll use spud cut outs and paint to create potato stamp pictures!

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Toddler Time: The Cool Bean

Kids ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers are invited to join us as we read a Jory John story from The Food Group collection (our inspiration for this year’s summer reading theme!) then do a related craft.

What else is cool? BEANie babies! For this week’s booktivity, we’ll read The Cool Bean and then we’ll stuff a fuzzy sock with beans to make a fun, sensory companion.

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Toddler Time: The Good Egg

Kids ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers are invited to join us as we read a Jory John story from The Food Group collection (our inspiration for this year’s summer reading theme!) then do a related craft.

The Good Egg wears glasses but binoculars help to see things, too! For this week’s booktivity, we’ll make and decorate our own out of recycled egg cartons.

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Toddler Time: The Bad Seed

Kids ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers are invited to join us as we read a Jory John story from The Food Group collection (our inspiration for this year’s summer reading theme!) then do a related craft.

For this week’s booktivity, we’ll read The Bad Seed then decorate a bird feeder to adorn our gardens and use seeds of all varieties (including sunflower like The Bad Seed is!) to fill it!

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

An Exploration of Friendship, Reckoning, and Hope with novelist Shelby Van Pelt

We invite you to join us as we chat with the amazing New York Times bestselling author Shelby Van Pelt about her beloved novel Remarkably Bright Creatures. You don’t want to miss this deep-dive exploration of friendship, reckoning, hope, and so much more!

Remarkably Bright Creatures is a luminous debut novel about a widow’s unlikely friendship with a giant Pacific octopus reluctantly residing at the local aquarium—and the truths she finally uncovers about her son’s disappearance 30 years ago.

After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in the Puget Sound over 30 years ago.

As she works, Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine, but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight tentacles for his human captors—until he forms an unlikely friendship with Tova.

Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. As his affection for Tova grows, Marcellus must use every trick his old, invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late.

Charming, compulsively readable, and full of wit, Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel is a beautiful exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope–a reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible. Register now for a conversation you just don’t want to miss!

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel, REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES, was published by Ecco/HarperCollins (US) and Bloomsbury (UK) in Spring 2022 and was an Instant New York Times bestseller and has sold a million and a half copies. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she’s now missing the mountains in the Chicago area with her husband and two children.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.

The Golden Ticket to College Admissions Is Not What You Think: Redefining Success for Parents of Teens with Irena Smith, PhD

Another college application season is around the corner, and stress is already beginning to ratchet up for teens and their parents. You’re invited to join us for this must-watch talk by Irena Smith, PhD. You will hear about constructive and healthy ways to approach the college application process, preserve your relationship with your teen, and help them define success on their terms instead of chasing the elusive “golden ticket.”

Irena is a former Stanford Admissions Officer who has spent 18 years advising accomplished, tightly-wound students in Palo Alto and around the world. She saw firsthand the extreme measures parents took to help their children gain admission to highly selective colleges and the toll it took on the children as well as on their parents.

At the same time, Irena’s own children struggled with developmental delays, learning differences, severe depression, and anxiety. She kept her double life—successful college counselor at work, anxious mom at home—tightly under wraps for years until a stunning realization: she was exactly like the anxious parents of the students she worked with, all of whom were equally terrified about their children’s future. Irena’s memoir, The Golden Ticket: A Life in College Admissions Essays, which candidly explores her personal as well as professional life, was published in 2023, and she has since devoted her time to speaking out about hard things: the heavy burden of generational expectations, teen and young adult mental health, and the importance of embracing a broader, more generous vision of what it means to succeed. To learn more about Irena’s personal experience as a parent, professional experience as a college admissions officer, and leave with tips on how to help your child approach the application process in practical, healthy ways–register now!

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Irena Smith is an author, former Stanford admissions officer, independent college counselor, and mother of three extraordinary children. She emigrated from the former Soviet Union with her parents when she was nine years old. In spite of her fierce insistence that she would never, not ever, learn English, she went on to earn a BA in English and then a PhD in Comparative Literature (both from UCLA, where she received a Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award and Dissertation Year Fellowship). Irena taught literature and composition at UCLA and Stanford before transitioning to college admissions, college advising, and writing. Her recently published memoir, The Golden Ticket: A Life in College Admissions Essays is the winner of the Story Circle Network’s Gilda Award, named in honor of comedian Gilda Radner to recognize honest, authentic writing that “makes us laugh even when we want to cry.” It’s been described by Forbes as “captivating and smart… a potential antidote to the fevered belief that being admitted to an elite college will spell the difference between a successful life vs. a doomed future.”

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium. 

Your All Access Pass Behind the Scenes at the Space Station with Smithsonian Curator Dr. Jennifer Levasseur

You’re invited to virtually step inside one of the greatest international achievements with a behind-the-scenes guide to space exploration with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum curator Dr. Jennifer Levasseur.

Revealing a new perspective into the world of space exploration and the daring astronauts who make it possible, Dr. Levasseur will guide you through the Smithsonian’s Behind the Scenes at the Space Station and take you on a once-in-a-lifetime virtual tour of the International Space Station.

You will learn what the astronauts do once they make it to the space station, from experiments to repairs and so much more! Have you ever wondered if plants could grow in outer space? Or how the space station doesn’t break down in outer space? Or how astronauts go to the toilet in microgravity?

Behind the Scenes at the Space Station is a treasure trove of information. Did you know that during a 24-hour period, the space station completes 16 orbits of Earth and the astronauts on board see 16 sunrises and sunsets every day? Or that the International Space Station is so enormous that it was launched in pieces and constructed in orbit?

Brimming with astonishing visuals, step-by-step explanations of everyday space work in action, and job profiles of the adventurous people who make it happen, Dr. Levasseur’s tour Behind the Scenes at the Space Station is the perfect way to spend an hour and experience life in space.

Register here for your all-access pass to a spectacular home in space! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Dr. Jennifer Levasseur is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan (BA, 1999). She received an MA from George Washington University (2002) and a PhD from George Mason University (2014). Her first book, published in 2020, examined the cultural significance of astronaut photography. She is the responsible curator for the Museum’s astronaut cameras, chronographs, the Space Shuttle, and International Space Station programs. In 22 years at NASM, Jennifer has worked on artifact loans, a biennial museums conference, and numerous digital projects. She curated the 2015 exhibit Outside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extra-Vehicular Activity, co-curated One World Connected, and is lead curator for the forthcoming At Home in Space gallery. Jennifer started her Smithsonian career with an internship in the National Portrait Gallery, where she cataloged photographs and developed strategies for recording portrait information in the museum’s artifact database.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.

Tech Help

Have an issue with one of your devices? Technology proving to be more of a challenge than you thought? We can help! Register for a 30-minute help session just for you.

To register for the 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. session, click here.
To register for the 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. session, click here.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Tech Help

Have an issue with one of your devices? Technology proving to be more of a challenge than you thought? We can help! Register for a 30-minute help session just for you.

To register for the 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. session, click here.
To register for the 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. session, click here.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Tech Help

Have an issue with one of your devices? Technology proving to be more of a challenge than you thought? We can help! Register for a 30-minute help session just for you.

To register for the 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. session, click here.
To register for the 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. session, click here.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Tech Help

Have an issue with one of your devices? Technology proving to be more of a challenge than you thought? We can help! Register for a 30-minute help session just for you.

To register for the 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. session, click here.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Tech Help

Have an issue with one of your devices? Technology proving to be more of a challenge than you thought? We can help! Register for a 30-minute help session just for you.

To register for the 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. session, click here.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Tech Help

Have an issue with one of your devices? Technology proving to be more of a challenge than you thought? We can help! Register for a 30-minute help session just for you.

To register for the 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. session, click here.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Graphic Novels are Life! Telling Your Own Story in a Graphic Novel with Dan Santat (5th-8th Grade)

Join this year’s winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Dan Santat, as he inspires tweens and teens to tell their own stories through graphic novels. His winning book, A First Time for Everything, is a graphic memoir based on his own awkward middle school years and the trip to Europe that changed his life.

Dan Santat began drawing as a young boy and although he first studied microbiology, he pursued his passion in illustration. He spent many hours as a child and teenager teaching himself to draw by copying illustrations from comic books until he developed the unique, recognizable style that we see today. His talk will inspire listeners to draw their own story as well as give them practical tips on the creation of graphic novels.

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Dan Santat is a Caldecott Medal winner, a National Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator. His artwork is also featured in numerous picture books, chapter books, and middle-grade novels. Santat created the animated television show, “The Replacements,” as well. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two children.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.

Learning the Power of Poetry with Bestselling Author Elizabeth Acevedo (9th-12th)

You’re invited to learn about the power of poetry with Elizabeth Acevedo! In this exciting author conversation and Q&A, Acevedo will provide a short reading from her National Book Award winning and New York Times bestselling novel-in-verse, The Poet X serving as the backdrop to this amazing chat!

The Poet X is about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth. Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.

With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

A virtual author talk you don’t want to miss–come create out loud with Elizabeth Acevedo! Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author

Elizabeth Acevedo is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Poet X, which won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the Carnegie medal, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and the Walter Award. She is also the author of numerous other titles including Family LoreWith the Fire on High, which was named a best book of the year by the New York Public Library, NPR, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal; and Clap When You Land, a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor book and a Kirkus finalist. Acevedo has been a fellow of Cave Canem, Cantomundo, and a participant in the Callaloo Writer’s Workshops. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and resides in Washington, DC with her husband.

Surviving the Summer with The Last Kids on Earth and Max Brallier (3rd-6th Grade)

Would you survive a zombie apocalypse? Join us to talk with New York Times bestselling author Max Brallier about The Last Kids on Earth, both the book series and the animated series on Netflix. In this virtual event, Max will share how he came up with the different monsters and villains as well as the unique ways that Jack and his friends figure out to defeat them.

Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it?

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Max Brallier is the New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty books, including the middle-grade series, The Last Kids on Earth. Under the pen name Jack Chabert, Max is the creator and author of the Eerie Elementary series and author of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Poptropica: Mystery of the Map. He has also written books for properties including LEGO, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Steven Universe, and Uncle Grandpa. Max has written for adults as well, including the pick-your-own-path series Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? and an entry in the zombie anthology Nights of the Living Dead. Max lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.

A Visit to Deckawoo Drive with Mercy Watson and Kate DiCamillo (PreK-2nd Grade)

Join us for a visit to Deckawoo Drive with everyone’s favorite adventure loving pig, Mercy Watson! Newbery Medal winning author Kate DiCamillo will be sharing the stories behind the creation of her early chapter book series, the original Mercy Watson, and the follow up series, Tales from Deckawoo Drive. We will also be celebrating the publication of the final book in the Mercy Watson series!

Mercy is selfish and impulsive, but no matter how much trouble she gets in, Mr. and Mrs. Watson continue to love her and see her in the best possible light. Young readers love to join along in her hilarious adventures, taking comfort in the fact that their parents and guardians will love them no matter what as well. BYOBT – Bring Your Own Buttered Toast!

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Kate DiCamillo is the award-winning author of over 30 books for children. She served as the 2014-2015 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, appointed by the Library of Congress. Several of her books have been turned into movies, and one was even adapted as an opera. She grew up in Florida and currently lives in Minnesota.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.

Unpacking a History of Systemic Racism in the American Education System with Tiffany Jewell

Join us as #1 New York Times bestselling author Tiffany Jewell highlights the inequities Black and Brown students face from preschool through college as she presents lessons and knowledge from her new book Everything I Learned About Racism I Learned in School.

From preschool to higher education and everything in between, Everything I Learned About Racism I Learned in School focuses on the experiences Black and Brown students face as a direct result of the racism built into schools across the United States.

The overarching nonfiction narrative follows author Tiffany Jewell from early elementary school through her time at college, unpacking the history of systemic racism in the American educational system along the way. Throughout the book, other writers of the global majority share a wide variety of personal narratives and stories based on their own school experiences.

Everything I Learned About Racism I Learned in School provides young folks with the context to think critically about and chart their own course through their current schooling—and any future schooling they may pursue. A true “don’t want to miss” event–so register now!

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Tiffany Jewell is a Black biracial writer, twin sister, first-generation American, cisgender mama, anti-bias antiracist (ABAR) educator, and consultant. She is the author of the #1 New York Times and #1 Indie Bestseller, This Book Is Anti-Racist, a book for young folks and everyone to wake up, take action, and do the work of becoming antiracist as well as The Antiracist Kid: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism the recently released Everything I Learned About Racism I Learned in School (2024).

Tiffany has been working with children and families for nearly two decades and has worked as a Montessori educator for fifteen years. She enjoys exploring social justice with young folks, especially the history of racism and resistance, economic justice, and socially and personally constructed identities. Tiffany enjoys working with educators and supporting them building strong, authentic communities in which every child can be seen and valued. She is the co-founder, alongside Britt Hawthorne, of ABARatSchool, an organization that strives to support educators and caregivers in their anti-bias anti-racist journeys. She also served as the president of the founding board of the national organization Montessori for Social Justice- seeing it through to completing nonprofit status and creating a strong mission to support and amplify Montessorian of the Global Majority across the country. Tiffany lives on the homeland of the Pocumtuc and the Nipmuck with her two young storytellers, husband, and a turtle she’s had since she was nine years old.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.

Psychological Thrillers and the Queen of Twists–An Author Talk with Freida McFadden

Get your popcorn and take a seat as we pick the brain of the queen of twists herself, Freida McFadden! McFadden will join us to chat about writing psychological thrillers, her mega-bestselling hit The Housemaid series, in particular her forthcoming (June 11, 2024) third installment, The Housemaid Is Watching.

The next installment is full of unbelievable twists and tension as it continues to follow Millie Calloway. She used to clean other people’s houses—now, she can’t believe this new home is actually hers. The charming kitchen, the quiet cul-de-sac, the huge yard where her kids can play. She and her husband saved for years to give their children the life they deserve.

Even though she’s wary of their new neighbor, Mrs. Lowell when she invites them over for dinner, it’s their chance to make friends, so they accept the invitation. Mrs. Lowell’s maid opens the door wearing a white apron, her hair in a tight bun. Millie knows exactly what it’s like to be in her shoes. But the maid’s cold stare gives her chills…

The Lowells’ maid isn’t the only strange thing on their street. Millie’s sure she sees a shadowy figure watching them. Her husband leaves the house late at night. And when she meets a woman who lives across the way, her words chill to the bone: Be careful of your neighbors.

Millie wonders: Did they make a terrible mistake moving their family here?

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: #1 New York TimesAmazon ChartsUSA TodayWall Street JournalSunday Times, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author Freida McFadden is a practicing physician specializing in brain injury who has penned multiple bestselling psychological thrillers and medical humor novels. Freida’s work has been selected as one of Amazon Editors’ best books of the year, she is the winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for best paperback, and she is a Goodreads Choice Award winner. Her novels have been translated into over 30 languages.

Freida lives with her family and black cat in a centuries-old three-story home overlooking the ocean, with staircases that creak and moan with each step, and nobody could hear you if you scream. Unless you scream really loudly, maybe.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.

For the Love of Mars: A Human History of the Red Planet with Smithsonian Curator Matt Shindell

Mars and its secrets have fascinated and mystified humans since ancient times. Due to its vivid color and visibility, geologic kinship with Earth, and potential as our best hope for settlement, Mars embodies everything that inspires us about space and exploration. For the Love of Mars surveys the red planet’s place in the human imagination, beginning with ancient astrologers and skywatchers and ending in our present moment of exploration and virtual engagement.

You’re invited to come learn alongside Matt Shindell, National Air and Space Museum curator, as he introduces viewers to historical figures across eras and around the world who have made sense of this mysterious planet. Shindell will highlight historical figures such as:

  • Mayan astrologer priests who incorporated Mars into seasonal calendars and religious ceremonies;
  • Babylonian astrologers who discerned bad omens;
  • figures of the Scientific Revolution who struggled to comprehend it as a world;
  • Victorian astronomers who sought signs of intelligent life; and
  • 20th- and 21st-century scientists who have established a technological presence on its surface.

Along the way, we will encounter writers and artists from each period who take readers and viewers on imagined journeys to Mars.

By focusing on the diverse human stories behind the telescopes and behind the robots we know and love, Shindell will show how Mars exploration has evolved in ways that have also expanded knowledge about other facets of the universe. Register now for this captivating voyage through time!

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Matthew Shindell, Ph.D., is a historian of science with a background in science studies. He is Curator of Earth and Planetary Science at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. He is responsible for the Museum’s collection of spacecraft, instruments, and other artifacts related to the exploration and study of our Earth and solar system. He co-hosts the Museum’s podcast, AirSpace. He curated the Museum’s permanent exhibition, Exploring the Planets, and is leading a curatorial team developing the exhibition Futures in Space. Shindell is the author of For the Love of Mars: A Human History of the Red Planet (2023) and The Life and Science of Harold C. Urey (2019), coauthor of Spaceships (2023), Our Future in Space (2023), and Discerning Experts (2019), and co-editor of Smithsonian American Women (2019).

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.

Chair Dance with Claudia

Using many different styles of music, Claudia’s motivating, high energy dance class includes a classic dance movement warm-up using a chair, light weight strengthening exercises, and a full body stretch, using the mind-body connection to make this class both inspirational and fun.

Sing a little, dance a lot, move to your fullest potential, while getting a light aerobic workout, as well as gaining strength, flexibility, and energy. Posture awareness is the focus of this combination of standing, dance and chair stretch. Work out at your own pace while gaining benefits of the group energy.

Register here for this 45 minute workout that is guaranteed to make you feel great!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Chair Dance with Claudia

Using many different styles of music, Claudia’s motivating, high energy dance class includes a classic dance movement warm-up using a chair, light weight strengthening exercises, and a full body stretch, using the mind-body connection to make this class both inspirational and fun.

Sing a little, dance a lot, move to your fullest potential, while getting a light aerobic workout, as well as gaining strength, flexibility, and energy. Posture awareness is the focus of this combination of standing, dance and chair stretch. Work out at your own pace while gaining benefits of the group energy.

Register here for this 45 minute workout that is guaranteed to make you feel great!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Chair Dance with Claudia

Using many different styles of music, Claudia’s motivating, high energy dance class includes a classic dance movement warm-up using a chair, light weight strengthening exercises, and a full body stretch, using the mind-body connection to make this class both inspirational and fun.

Sing a little, dance a lot, move to your fullest potential, while getting a light aerobic workout, as well as gaining strength, flexibility, and energy. Posture awareness is the focus of this combination of standing, dance and chair stretch. Work out at your own pace while gaining benefits of the group energy.

Register here for this 45 minute workout that is guaranteed to make you feel great!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Mah Jongg and Canasta Free Play Mashup

Mad for Mah Jongg or crazy for Canasta? Here’s your chance to meet other players, benefit from consistent play, and build your confidence. If playing Mah Jongg, we have four cards for people to use, but if you are considering becoming a frequent player, please bring your own 2024 NMJL card (Available for purchase at nationalmahjonggleague.org). The Canasta card sets are on us and available for use. Register online for a spot in each individual session as we can only accommodate 16 people per afternoon.

Register for the August 26 session here.

New Photo Release Policy effective February 1, 2019. See here for details.

Mah Jongg and Canasta Free Play Mashup

Mad for Mah Jongg or crazy for Canasta? Here’s your chance to meet other players, benefit from consistent play, and build your confidence. If playing Mah Jongg, we have four cards for people to use, but if you are considering becoming a frequent player, please bring your own 2024 NMJL card (Available for purchase at nationalmahjonggleague.org). The Canasta card sets are on us and available for use. Register online for a spot in each individual session as we can only accommodate 16 people per afternoon.

Register for each individual August session below:

New Photo Release Policy effective February 1, 2019. See here for details.

Mah Jongg and Canasta Free Play Mashup

Mad for Mah Jongg or crazy for Canasta? Here’s your chance to meet other players, benefit from consistent play, and build your confidence. If playing Mah Jongg, we have four cards for people to use, but if you are considering becoming a frequent player, please bring your own 2024 NMJL card (Available for purchase at nationalmahjonggleague.org). The Canasta card sets are on us and available for use. Register online for a spot in each individual session as we can only accommodate 16 people per afternoon.

Register for each individual August session below:

New Photo Release Policy effective February 1, 2019. See here for details.

Mah Jongg and Canasta Free Play Mashup

Mad for Mah Jongg or crazy for Canasta? Here’s your chance to meet other players, benefit from consistent play, and build your confidence. If playing Mah Jongg, we have four cards for people to use, but if you are considering becoming a frequent player, please bring your own 2024 NMJL card (Available for purchase at nationalmahjonggleague.org). The Canasta card sets are on us and available for use. Register online for a spot in each individual session as we can only accommodate 16 people per afternoon.

Register for each individual August session below:

New Photo Release Policy effective February 1, 2019. See here for details.

Mah Jongg and Canasta Free Play Mashup

Mad for Mah Jongg or crazy for Canasta? Here’s your chance to meet other players, benefit from consistent play, and build your confidence. If playing Mah Jongg, we have four cards for people to use, but if you are considering becoming a frequent player, please bring your own 2024 NMJL card (Available for purchase at nationalmahjonggleague.org). The Canasta card sets are on us and available for use. Register online for a spot in each individual session as we can only accommodate 16 people per afternoon.

Register for the July 29 session here.

New Photo Release Policy effective February 1, 2019. See here for details.

Mah Jongg and Canasta Free Play Mashup

Mad for Mah Jongg or crazy for Canasta? Here’s your chance to meet other players, benefit from consistent play, and build your confidence. If playing Mah Jongg, we have four cards for people to use, but if you are considering becoming a frequent player, please bring your own 2024 NMJL card (Available for purchase at nationalmahjonggleague.org). The Canasta card sets are on us and available for use. Register online for a spot in each individual session as we can only accommodate 16 people per afternoon.

Register for each individual July session below:

New Photo Release Policy effective February 1, 2019. See here for details.

Tech Help

Have an issue with one of your devices? Technology proving to be more of a challenge than you thought? We can help! Register for a 30-minute help session just for you.

To register for the 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. session, click here.
To register for the 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. session, click here.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Kraft-a-Kite

We missed National Go Fly A Kite Day but we can still celebrate by making our own! Children ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers are invited to join us as we Kraft-a-Kite and watch our handiwork soar through the warm, summer air!

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

The New Yorker Discussion Group: Summer 2024 Session

May 16th through June 27th

Maybe you already have a subscription but only consistently glance at the cartoons? Or perhaps you yearn for in-depth reporting, written well without the prefab soundbites of TV news? Or you might just like to meet up with interesting individuals to talk about current events, the latest big hit on Broadway, upcoming museum exhibits worth a look all while enjoying a sip of wine and savory bites on a warm summer evening.

The magazine issue is on us. Selected articles from the June 17th issue for the June 20th meeting:

  • Page 12 – Trophy Room: A last-minute safari in Kenya by David Sedaris
  • Page 22 – His Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: What Ye did to a Tadao Ando beach house by Ian Parker
  • Page 36 – A Semblance of Peace: Life in a Palestinian-Jewish community by Masha Gessen
  • Page 46 – Fiction: “Chicago on the Seine” by Camille Bordas
  • Page 66 – Theatre: “Home”, “What Became of Us” by Vinson Cunningham

Register here!

Hybrid programs hosted by the library will be provided via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device. Registration for all programs is required. Participants who register for any program will receive an email with the link to join.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

 

The New Yorker Discussion Group: Summer 2024 Session

May 16th through June 27th

Maybe you already have a subscription but only consistently glance at the cartoons? Or perhaps you yearn for in-depth reporting, written well without the prefab soundbites of TV news? Or you might just like to meet up with interesting individuals to talk about current events, the latest big hit on Broadway, upcoming museum exhibits worth a look all while enjoying a sip of wine and savory bites on a warm summer evening.

The magazine issue is on us. Stay tuned via our website and/or eblasts for the selected articles to be discussed each week.

Register here!

Hybrid programs hosted by the library will be provided via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device. Registration for all programs is required. Participants who register for any program will receive an email with the link to join.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

 

The New Yorker Discussion Group: Summer 2024 Session

May 16th through June 27th

Maybe you already have a subscription but only consistently glance at the cartoons? Or perhaps you yearn for in-depth reporting, written well without the prefab soundbites of TV news? Or you might just like to meet up with interesting individuals to talk about current events, the latest big hit on Broadway, upcoming museum exhibits worth a look all while enjoying a sip of wine and savory bites on a warm summer evening.

The magazine issue is on us.

Selected articles from the June 10th issue for the June 13th meeting

  • Page 9 – David Remnick on the Trump trial verdict
  • Page 14 – Red Line: The U.S. and Mexico wrangle over the border by Stephania Taladrid
  • Page 22 – Are We Doomed? The field of existential risk by Rivka Galchen
  • Page 28 – The Long Ride: A surf legend’s unlikely life by William Finnegan
  • Page 52 – The reinvention of the cat by Rebecca Mead
  • Page 64 – The Current Cinema: “Hit Man” by Richard Brody

Register here!

Hybrid programs hosted by the library will be provided via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device. Registration for all programs is required. Participants who register for any program will receive an email with the link to join.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

 

The New Yorker Discussion Group: Summer 2024 Session

May 16th through June 27th

Maybe you already have a subscription but only consistently glance at the cartoons? Or perhaps you yearn for in-depth reporting, written well without the prefab soundbites of TV news? Or you might just like to meet up with interesting individuals to talk about current events, the latest big hit on Broadway, upcoming museum exhibits worth a look all while enjoying a sip of wine and savory bites on a warm summer evening.

The magazine issue is on us. Selected articles from the June 3rd issue for the June 6th meeting:

  • Page 9 – Talk of the Town: Joshua Yaffa on a critical moment in Ukraine; Columbia’s counter-commencement
  • Page 26 – Land of Make- Believe: How a Hollywood aspirant became a fraudster by Evan Osnos
  • Page 46 – Fiction: “Woman, Frog, Devil” by Olga Tokarczuk
  • Page 57 – Books: What is growth good for? by Idrees Kahloon
  • Page 64 – The Art World: A Brancusi retrospective, at the Centre Pompidou

Register here!

Hybrid programs hosted by the library will be provided via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device. Registration for all programs is required. Participants who register for any program will receive an email with the link to join.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

 

The New Yorker Discussion Group: Summer 2024 Session

May 16th through June 27th

Maybe you already have a subscription but only consistently glance at the cartoons? Or perhaps you yearn for in-depth reporting, written well without the prefab soundbites of TV news? Or you might just like to meet up with interesting individuals to talk about current events, the latest big hit on Broadway, upcoming museum exhibits worth a look all while enjoying a sip of wine and savory bites on a warm summer evening.

The magazine issue is on us. Stay tuned via our website and/or eblasts for the selected articles to be discussed each week.

Register here!

Hybrid programs hosted by the library will be provided via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device. Registration for all programs is required. Participants who register for any program will receive an email with the link to join.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

 

The New Yorker Discussion Group: Summer 2024 Session

May 16th through June 27th

Maybe you already have a subscription but only consistently glance at the cartoons? Or perhaps you yearn for in-depth reporting, written well without the prefab soundbites of TV news? Or you might just like to meet up with interesting individuals to talk about current events, the latest big hit on Broadway, upcoming museum exhibits worth a look all while enjoying a sip of wine and savory bites on a warm summer evening.

The magazine issue is on us. Register here!

Selected articles from the May 20th issue for the May 23rd meeting:

  • Page 15 – Talk of the Town: David Remnick on the press in Israel
  • Page 28 – Tabula Rasa: Wordle, wills, and working seizures by John McPhee
  • Page 68 – A Critic at Large: The delights of the Westminster Dog Show by Kathryn Schulz
  • Page 73 – Books: Class consciousness for billionaires by Benjamin Wallace-Wells
  • Page 77 – Books: Are we thinking about memory all wrong? by Jerome Groopman
  • Page 80 – Musical Events: Revisiting composers suppressed by the Nazis by Alex Ross

Hybrid programs hosted by the library will be provided via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device. Registration for all programs is required. Participants who register for any program will receive an email with the link to join.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

The New Yorker Discussion Group: Summer 2024 Session

May 16th through June 27th

Maybe you already have a subscription but only consistently glance at the cartoons? Or perhaps you yearn for in-depth reporting, written well without the prefab soundbites of TV news? Or you might just like to meet up with interesting individuals to talk about current events, the latest big hit on Broadway, upcoming museum exhibits worth a look all while enjoying a sip of wine and savory bites on a warm summer evening.

The magazine issue is on us. Register here!

Selected articles from the May 13th issue for the May 16th meeting:

  • Page 14 – New tricks: Getting a movie dog ready for his closeup by Nick Paumgarten
  • Page 26 – Portfolio – A Campus in Crisis: Chronicling the Columbia protests by Nina Berman with Jelani Cobb
  • Page 42 – Stones of Contention: Twin scandals at the British Museum by Rebecca Mead
  • Page 60 – Books: What do we think we can learn from prehistoric man? by Maya Jasanoff
  • Page 63 Books: Claire Messud’s “This Strange Eventful History” by Jennifer Wilson

Hybrid programs hosted by the library will be provided via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device. Registration for all programs is required. Participants who register for any program will receive an email with the link to join.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Shakespeare for Kids Presents: Romeo and Juliet

Join us at the Library as Shakespeare on the Sound presents its annual tour of Shakespeare for Kids! This year they are presenting a 30-minute version of Romeo and Juliet. This interactive production will have your children quoting Shakespeare without them even realizing it. Shakespeare on the Sound seamlessly combines the text of Shakespeare with everyday language in a fun and inventive way. By the way…when we say kids, we mean kids of all ages—from 5 to 95. All are welcome and encouraged!

Register here!

New Photo Release Policy effective February 1, 2019. See here for details.

Shakespeare on the Sound Presents: Romeo and Juliet

Fun Facts About Romeo And Juliet:

  • Romeo and Juliet first meet on a Sunday evening. Four days later—on Wednesday evening—Romeo drinks poison and Juliet stabs herself. “Worst week ever,” as one Shakespearean scholar has put it.
  • Juliet is 13 years old. We don’t know Romeo’s age.
  • Dante first mentions the feud between the families in the early 1300’s.
  • In 1662 Mary Saunderson made stage history as the first woman to play Juliet, 150 years after London audiences first saw Shakespeare’s play with a boy playing Juliet.

Shakespeare on the Sound Education Director and Macbeth/Christmas Carol actor Nick Urda and board member/Shakespeare teacher John Love will guide you through Romeo and Juliet and, in an interactive presentation, hope to show you why Juliet and Romeo might be a more fitting title for the play. They’ll also have you asking: were they really in love?

This program comes to the library just in time for Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare on the Sound’s 28th annual summer production, in Rowayton’s Pinkney Park (June 12th through the 30th).

Register here!

New Photo Release Policy effective February 1, 2019. See here for details.

SAT, PSAT, or ACT Practice Test Event

Facilitated by C2 Education

Most colleges consider a student’s ACT & SAT® score to be one of the most important factors when making admissions decisions–there’s no denying that a great SAT/ACT score can help you get into a top college. But did you know that the SAT® is changing in the U.S. starting in spring of 2024? It will be digital, adaptive, and there will be several content changes.

Students in the class of 2026 and younger should plan to take the new exam. Practice tests are a great way to get hands-on experience with the test format and allotted time. And practice test scores are a great indicator of both where you stand and where you can improve. Join us to learn about the new Digital SAT® and how you should plan to prepare. This is a great opportunity for students to become familiar with the material and learn where improvements are needed in order to score big on the real test.

Space is limited so register here!

Please note that laptops and calculators are REQUIRED for these practice tests. C2 Education will not be providing these supplies for students to use. The Library has a limited number of laptops for students who do not have one of their own. Contact us at library@rowayton.org to request to borrow one of our laptops.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

SAT, PSAT, or ACT Practice Test Event

Facilitated by C2 Education

Most colleges consider a student’s ACT & SAT® score to be one of the most important factors when making admissions decisions–there’s no denying that a great SAT/ACT score can help you get into a top college. But did you know that the SAT® is changing in the U.S. starting in spring of 2024? It will be digital, adaptive, and there will be several content changes.

Students in the class of 2026 and younger should plan to take the new exam. Practice tests are a great way to get hands-on experience with the test format and allotted time. And practice test scores are a great indicator of both where you stand and where you can improve. Join us to learn about the new Digital SAT® and how you should plan to prepare. This is a great opportunity for students to become familiar with the material and learn where improvements are needed in order to score big on the real test.

Space is limited so register here!

Please note that laptops and calculators are REQUIRED for these practice tests. C2 Education will not be providing these supplies for students to use. The Library has a limited number of laptops for students who do not have one of their own. Contact us at library@rowayton.org to request to borrow one of our laptops.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Friday, April 5, 12, 19, and 26

Learn to play American Mah Jongg, a fun and fascinating tile game. Over these three sessions, new players will be taught the basics of understanding the tiles and the Mah Jongg card. You’ll soon be throwing out phrases like 6Bam! 2Crak! Green Dragon! and Mah Jongg! Rules and strategies of play as well as game etiquette will be covered.

**THIS IS AN INTRODUCTORY SERIES FOR BEGINNERS ONLY**

Space is very limited for this program so please only register here you can commit to all 4 weeks.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Friday, April 5, 12, 19, and 26

Learn to play American Mah Jongg, a fun and fascinating tile game. Over these three sessions, new players will be taught the basics of understanding the tiles and the Mah Jongg card. You’ll soon be throwing out phrases like 6Bam! 2Crak! Green Dragon! and Mah Jongg! Rules and strategies of play as well as game etiquette will be covered.

**THIS IS AN INTRODUCTORY SERIES FOR BEGINNERS ONLY**

Space is very limited for this program so please only register here you can commit to all 4 weeks.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Friday, April 5, 12, 19, and 26

Learn to play American Mah Jongg, a fun and fascinating tile game. Over these three sessions, new players will be taught the basics of understanding the tiles and the Mah Jongg card. You’ll soon be throwing out phrases like 6Bam! 2Crak! Green Dragon! and Mah Jongg! Rules and strategies of play as well as game etiquette will be covered.

**THIS IS AN INTRODUCTORY SERIES FOR BEGINNERS ONLY**

Space is very limited for this program so please only register here you can commit to all 4 weeks.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Friday, April 5, 12, 19, and 26

Learn to play American Mah Jongg, a fun and fascinating tile game. Over these three sessions, new players will be taught the basics of understanding the tiles and the Mah Jongg card. You’ll soon be throwing out phrases like 6Bam! 2Crak! Green Dragon! and Mah Jongg! Rules and strategies of play as well as game etiquette will be covered.

**THIS IS AN INTRODUCTORY SERIES FOR BEGINNERS ONLY**

Space is very limited for this program so please only register here you can commit to all 4 weeks.

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Denise Minnerly Author Visit

Co-sponsored and hosted by the Rowayton Parents Exchange

Children in grades Pre-K to 2 (and their caregivers) are invited to join us as we welcome Denise Minnerly, local author and longtime resident of Rowayton, to the library for a visit to share with us her new book, Ben and Scout.

Ben and Scout are the best rescue dog friends ever. They spend their day together going on great dog adventures, always side by side. When Ben passes away, Scout doesn’t understand. Where is his best friend? Where could he be? Scout soon realizes they have a special bond that can never be broken.

Register here!

New Photo Release Policy effective February 1, 2019. See here for details.

Seed Saving 101

With the installation of our new seed library, it’s important to appreciate the value of seeds—what they are, what they can do, and what would happen to our planet without them.  Advanced Master Gardener Jackie Algon will show us how, as gardeners, we can make a difference by growing plant species that have been growing in our region for millennia, and then collecting, drying, cleaning, and saving seeds from those plants after they have bloomed for future use. It’s a formula for continuing the diversity and ecology of not only those plants, but of the insects, birds, and other wildlife that depend upon the seeds for completion of their life cycles.

Jackie Algon is an Advanced Master Gardener who focuses her attention on conservation issues in our area. A founding member of the Pollinator Pathway, she serves on the Board, and enjoys providing education to the public on the importance of native plants, the impact of invasive species and related topics. Jackie served on and chaired the Wilton Conservation Commission, the Wilton Tree Committee and the Wilton Garden Club Conservation Committee, and continues learning about New Best Practices to help our environment both in public locations and at home.

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Creating a Compelling College Application

 A program for parents and their high school juniors

Ron Feuchs and Jackie Tepper, partners at Stand Out For College, LLC are offering and will lead this Zoom presentation to help high school juniors and their parents understand how to use the summer productively to create a compelling college application.

They will cover the college application process including current admissions trends, writing the personal statement essay and supplemental essays, teacher recommendations and how students can position themselves to increase their chances for admission. We’ll discuss how the Supreme Court decision has impacted the college admissions process and how a student’s ability to express their insights, experiences and personal growth through their application essays are more important than ever before.

They will discuss application strategies including the advantages and disadvantages of early decision, early action, and regular decision. They’ll review what factors students should consider in deciding whether or not to submit their standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) for test-optional colleges and universities. They’ll also discuss the different ways that students can be admitted to a particular school.

They’ll examine the holistic admissions review process, what admissions officers consider important when they review applicants, and how students can position themselves to develop a compelling narrative to increase their chances for admission.

They will also discuss the importance of community service, how it can provide an opportunity for personal growth and an opportunity to showcase a student’s character. Admissions officers place great emphasis on a student’s character and how the student has been able to give back and help others.

This program is a detailed and strategic overview of what students should focus on to make their college applications compelling.

Register here!

Presentation will be conducted via Zoom. Visit their website here to find the appropriate download instructions and download link for your device.

Elmer Booktivity

Children ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers are invited to join us for a booktivity featuring Elmer by David McKee! Inspired by this classic story of a patchwork elephant who doesn’t quite fit in with his herd, we’ll be making colorful suncatchers to represent Elmer using tissue paper and glue.

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

National Unicorn Day Booktivity

In celebration of National Unicorn Day today, children ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers are invited to join us as we read Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale and Leuyen Pham, a sweet story about friendship and honoring your true self. Then, with a couple of paper plates, a little paint, glue, and yarn, we’ll make colorful unicorn puppets of our own!

Register here!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Minecraft Mania

Kids in grades 2 and up are invited to visit the library to try out new mods and engage in some serious Minecraft.

Space is limited so please register here.

As this program is in in high demand and fills up very quickly every month, Rowayton Library would like to share the opportunity to join our sessions from home! Hop on to our Minecraft Java Server at 192.99.35.12:2059. This will save your activity in the game with us and our participants, whether we’re in a session at the library or not, and save you the hassle of having to make a server yourself!

View our Photo Release Policy, effective since February 1, 2019, here.

Asian American Representation in Literature: An Author Talk with Rebecca F. Kuang

We welcome you to register for a thrilling conversation with Rebecca F. Kuang (R.F. Kuang) as she chats with us about her New York Times bestselling novel, YellowfaceYellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media.

In Yellowface, Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena’s a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I.

So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song—complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

White lies, dark humor, and deadly consequences await within the pages of Yellowface. With its totally immersive first-person voice, Kuang’s novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Rebecca F. Kuang is the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Poppy War trilogy, Babel: An Arcane History, and Yellowface. A Marshall Scholar, she has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford; she is now pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale, where she studies diaspora, contemporary Chinese literature, and Asian American literature.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium. 

A Murder Mystery, Family Story, & Love Letter to Strong Women Everywhere: Author Talk w/ Nina Simon

Nothing brings a family together like a murder next door.

You’re invited to join Nina Simon online as she chats about her lighthearted whodunnit about a grandmother-mother-daughter trio of amateur sleuths, Mother-Daughter Murder Night.

Mother-Daughter Murder Night follows high-powered business woman Lana Rubicon. She has a lot to be proud of with her keen intelligence, impeccable taste, and the L.A. real estate empire she’s built. But when she finds herself trapped 300 miles north of the city, convalescing in a sleepy coastal town with her adult daughter Beth and teenage granddaughter Jack, Lana is stuck counting otters instead of square footage—and hoping that boredom won’t kill her before the cancer does.

In a turn of events, when Jack happens upon a dead body while kayaking she quickly becomes a suspect in the homicide investigation, and the Rubicon women are thrown into chaos. Beth thinks Lana should focus on recovery, but Lana has a better idea. She’ll pull on her wig, find the true murderer, protect her family, and prove she still has power. With Jack and Beth’s help, Lana uncovers a web of lies, family vendettas, and land disputes lurking beneath the surface of a community populated by folksy conservationists and wealthy ranchers. But as their amateur snooping advances into ever-more dangerous territory, the headstrong Rubicon women must learn to do the one thing they’ve always resisted: depend on each other.

Harness your inner detective and sign up for the investigation.

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Nina Simon writes crime fiction about strong women. She is the New York Times-bestselling debut author of Mother-Daughter Murder Night. This big-hearted whodunnit is a Reese’s Book Club pick and a “best of 2023” selection for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CrimeReads, and LibraryJournal.

Before turning to fiction, Nina wore many hats: NASA engineer, slam poet, game designer, museum director, and nonprofit CEO. Her work on community participation in museums, libraries, parks, and theaters has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesNPR, and the TEDx stage.

Mother-Daughter Murder Night is Nina’s first novel. She wrote it as a love letter to her mother, as a way to entertain, comfort, and connect with her during a major health crisis. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nina now lives off-the-grid in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her family. More information can be found on her website, ninaksimon.com.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.

Genius, Power, and Deception on the Eve of World War I – An Author Talk with Douglas Brunt

Join us as we chat with New York Times bestselling author, Douglas Brunt, about instant bestselling debut non-fiction work The Mysterious Case of Rudolph Diesel: Genius, Power, and Deception on the Eve of World War I. This book reveals the hidden history of Rudolf Diesel, one of the world’s greatest inventors, and his mysterious disappearance on the eve of World War I.

September 29, 1913: the steamship Dresden is halfway between Belgium and England. On board is one of the most famous men in the world, Rudolf Diesel, whose new internal combustion engine is on the verge of revolutionizing global industry forever. But Diesel never arrives at his destination. He vanishes during the night and headlines around the world wonder if it was an accident, suicide, or murder.

After rising from an impoverished European childhood, Diesel had become a multi-millionaire with his powerful engine that does not require expensive petroleum-based fuel. In doing so, he became not only an international celebrity but also the enemy of two extremely powerful men -– Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and the richest man in the world. The Kaiser wanted the engine to power a fleet of submarines that would finally allow him to challenge Great Britain’s Royal Navy. But Diesel had intended for his engine to be used for the betterment of the world.

Brunt reopens the case and provides a compelling new conclusion about Diesel’s fate. Register here to see how the mystery unfolds! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Douglas Brunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel and host of the top-rated SiriusXM author podcast Dedicated with Doug Brunt. A Philadelphia native, he lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children. Visit DouglasBrunt.com for more information.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium. 

A Literary Examination of Power, Love, and Art with Xochitl Gonzalez

We cannot wait for you to join us as we chat with award-winning and bestselling author Xochitl Gonzalez about her newest novel Anita de Monte Laughs Last. 

Anita de Monte Laughs Last is a propulsive, witty examination of power, love, and art, daring to ask who gets to be remembered and who is left behind in the rarefied world of the elite. In 1985. Anita de Monte, a rising star in the art world, is found dead in New York City; her tragic death is the talk of the town. Until it isn’t. By 1998 Anita’s name had been all but forgotten―certainly by the time Raquel, a third-year art history student was preparing her final thesis. On College Hill, surrounded by privileged students whose futures are already paved out for them, Raquel feels like an outsider. Students of color, like her, are the minority there, and the pressure to work twice as hard for the same opportunities is no secret. But when Raquel becomes romantically involved with a well-connected older art student, she finds herself unexpectedly rising up the social ranks. As she attempts to straddle both worlds, she stumbles upon Anita’s story, raising questions about the dynamics of her own relationship, which eerily mirrors that of the forgotten artist.

Moving back and forth through time and told from the perspectives of both Anita and Raquel, this is sure a novel (and a conversation) that you don’t want to miss.

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Author: Xochitl Gonzalez is the New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming. Named Best of 2022 by The New York Times, TIMEKirkusWashington Post, and NPROlga Dies Dreaming was the winner of the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize in Fiction and the New York City Book Award. Gonzalez is a 2021 MFA graduate from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her nonfiction work has been published in Elle DecorAllure, VogueReal Simple, and The Cut. Her commentary writing for The Atlantic was recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A native Brooklynite and proud public school graduate, Gonzalez holds a BA from Brown University and lives in her hometown of Brooklyn with her dog, Hectah Lavoe.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium. 

From Murder to Atonement–Confronting My Son’s Killer with Diane Foley & Colum McCann

Join us for a one-of-a-kind conversation with National Book Award-winner Colum McCann as he is joined by Diane Foley, the inspiration behind the heartrending book American Mother.

American Mother is the story of a mother who, in the course of confronting her son’s killer, gets to the elemental heart of violence and forgiveness. Diane Foley is the mother of Jim, a freelance journalist captured and beheaded by ISIS in 2014, an image that became one of the most iconic of the 21st century. Seven years later, Diane gets the chance to spend three days with the murderer of her son in a Virginia courthouse, inspiring her to tell her life story. What unfolds is one of the most compelling narratives in recent literary history, channeled into searing reality by New York Times bestselling author Colum McCann, who brings us on a journey of strength, resilience, and radical empathy. You are sure to be moved by McCann’s writing and Foley’s uncompromising love.

Register here! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Authors:

Colum McCann is the author of seven novels, three collections of stories and two works of non-fiction. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honors, including the U.S National Book Award, the International Dublin Literary Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish Arts Academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. In 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts.  His work has been published in over 40 languages.  He is the President and co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organization, Narrative 4. He is the Thomas Hunter Writer in Residence in Hunter College, in New York, where he lives with his wife Allison and their family.  His most recent novel, Apeirogon, became an immediate New York Times best-seller and won several major international awards.  His first major non-fiction book, American Mother, will be published in March 2024.

Diane M. Foley is the mother of five children, including American freelance conflict journalist James W. Foley. She founded the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation in September 2014, less than a month after his public execution. Diane is currently serving as the President and Executive Director of JWFLF. Since 2014, she has led JWFLF efforts to fund the start of Hostage US and the International Alliance for a Culture of Safety, ACOS. In 2015, she actively participated in the National Counterterrorism Center hostage review which culminated in the Presidential Policy Directive-30. This directive re-organized US efforts on behalf of Americans taken hostage abroad into an interagency Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs and a Hostage Recovery Group at the White House. Previously, Diane worked first as a community health nurse and then as a family nurse practitioner for 18 years. She received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium. 

The Foods, People, and Innovations That Feed Us–A Sweeping History of Food and Culture with Smithsonian Curator Paula J. Johnson

Virtually step into the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History with Curator Paula Johnson as she discusses the book Smithsonian American Table: The Foods, People, and Innovations That Feed Us.

American Table is a sweeping history of food and culture that summons everyone to the table for a fresh look at some of the people, ingredients, events, and movements that have shaped how and what we eat.

Johnson, curator and project director of the American Food History Project, will discuss several stories featured in the volume, with an emphasis on those that intersect most directly with the Smithsonian’s research, collecting, and programming around food history.

During this event, Johnson will engage viewers in discovering the connections between food and American history:

  • How immigration and migration has shaped (and continues to shape) American tables.
  • How food companies have influenced home cooks through advertising, from Jell-O salads to Crock-pots.
  • How individuals from Brownie Wise to James Beard and Julia Child inspired generations of cooks and eaters across the United States.
  • And show viewers how uniting in the kitchen can change the shape of our collective futures, specifically highlighting growers and chefs who are reclaiming and reinventing regional and cultural traditions, including Indigenous ingredients and cooking techniques.

After this enlightening, enriching, and entertaining webinar, you can cook your way through the recipes that are featured in the volume that reflect American history and culture. Hungry for more? Register here now! Aren’t able to attend? Visit us here to view recordings of past events and the list others that are coming up!

About the Speaker: Paula Johnson is a Curator in the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and is responsible for strengthening and maintaining the food history and marine resources collections. She is also the Project Director for the Smithsonian’s multi-faceted American Food History Project and director and co-curator for the exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table, which opened in 2012; a refresh of the exhibition was completed in 2019. As one of the curators who collected Julia Child’s home kitchen in 2001, she was also on the team that developed the exhibition Bon Appetit! Julia Child’s Kitchen at the Smithsonian, on view from 2002 to 2012. Over more than three decades at the Smithsonian, Johnson has collected a wide range of artifacts and archives reflecting the work and experiences of diverse Americans and communities.

Johnson has published books and articles on the Chesapeake Bay, maritime communities, and material culture, and has lectured widely on these and topics related to American food and wine history, field research, oral history recording, and community-based documentation. She is an inaugural member of the editorial collective for Gastronomica: The Journal for Food History and received the 2020 Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar in the Humanities Award. Johnson is working on a book about Julia Child’s home kitchen for publication in Fall 2024.

Brought to you in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium.