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Stairwell Gallery |  Conversational Spanish Class |  Author Frances Moulder |  Library Luminaries |  Classic Book Discussions |  Book Basement |  e-Readers at the Gunn |  Museum Passes |  Search the Museum's Catalog |  Connecticut Room |  Junior Library Programs

View Our Event Calendar!


Botanical Watercolors by Betsy Rogers-Knox

A special show of botanical watercolors by international award-winning artist Betsy Rogers-Knox, titled "The Beauty of Botany," includes her exhibit shown last February in London titled "Milkweed Through the Seasons" at the Royal Horticultural Botanical Art Show where it won the Silver Gift Award. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, May 28 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.. The exhibit will be on display from May 28 to July 9 and may be viewed during normal library hours.

Art meets ecology in a series of paintings that dramatizes the intertwining lives of the milkweed and the monarch butterfly whose larvae consume only milkweed leaves. As milkweeds are eliminated by herbicides, land development and climate change, monarch population in the eastern US has diminished by 90% over the past 20 years. "I hope that calling attention to the plight of the milkweed plant — and the colorful butterflies dependent on it — will help promote the long-term survival for both," says Betsy.

Besides her recent exhibition in London, her work has appeared throughout the U.S. She attended the School of Visual Arts in New York as well as Garland College in Boston and holds a certificate in botanical illustration from the New York Botanical Garden. She has taught botanical illustration at conferences and workshops throughout the country and teaches drawing and watercolor in Bethlehem, CT where she lives.

For more information, visit the artist's website at www.rogersknoxart.com or call 860-868-7586 or email the library circulation desk, gunncirc@biblio.org.

Ruth Jaffe's Conversational Spanish Class

By popular demand Ruth Jaffe returns to lead a conversational Spanish group for all. The 4-part series will take place on Mondays at 2:00 p.m. on May 9, May 23, June 13 and June 27. Participants are welcome to join all or some of the sessions.

This is the ideal opportunity for those who wish to learn basic conversational Spanish, as well as for those who wish to strengthen their verbal skills in the language. All ages, stages and levels of proficiency in Spanish are welcome. The gatherings will take place in the casual, relaxed setting of the Reading Room of the library, inviting spontaneity of interaction. Structured guidance and individual, as well as group, feedback will be focal elements of each meeting. Be prepared to conquer your linguistic reticence and take a leap into ESPAÑOL!

Ruth Jaffe is a psychoanalyst/psychotherapist in private practice in Washington, CT, and since last year retired from her practice & teaching in NYC. Her academic background, particularly in her native Argentina, includes the teaching of languages from elementary through college levels. As a teenager, she attended the renowned Instituto Nacional del Profesorado en Lenguas Vivas, from which she graduated with a teaching degree prior to her acceptance at the School of Medicine of Buenos Aires University. She later came to the U.S. on a scholarship to study Psychology — and the rest 'es historia.'

Ruth is an avid reader and can often be seen in the library. She is also an accomplished artist.


Author Frances Moulder

Dedicated activist, professor and writer, Frances Moulder will deliver a presentation on her recently released book Exiting the Extraordinary: Returning to the Ordinary World After War, Prison and Other Extraordinary Experiences. This program will be on Thursday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Ms. Moulder's book explores the experiences of people who return to an ordinary world after extreme experiences such as disasters, war, prison, great social movements, and reporting on or giving aid to people in such situations. There is a public misconception that experiences like this are uncommon or unusual, yet people who have gone through such experiences touch the lives of most of us — they are family members, friends, co-workers, even we ourselves. The author will discuss this and other misconceptions about returnees, such as the idea that they can and should just forget about their experiences and go on with their lives. She will share compelling examples from her research of the challenges returnees face, and the strategies they use to deal with these challenges.

Frances V. Moulder earned a B.A. in Sociology-Anthropology from Wagner College and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University. While at Columbia, she also studied Chinese language and the cultures of East Asia. She is the author of two previous books, Japan, China and the Modern World Economy (Cambridge University Press), and Social Problems of the Modern World: A Reader (Wadsworth Publishing Company). She was Associate Professor of Sociology at Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut before her retirement, and then Special Lecturer in the Urban and Community Studies Program at the University of Connecticut, Torrington Campus. She is the recipient of several State of Connecticut Higher Education awards for academic and community service initiatives.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. For more informaiton, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.

Library Luminaries

The 22nd annual Library Luminaries event to raise funds for the Gunn Memorial Library is scheduled for Saturday, June 11th. This year, twelve simultaneous dinner parties will take place - all hosted by generous and interesting area residents in their homes, and each highlighting a notable "luminary." A pre-dinner cocktail party is held at the library from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., open for a contribution of $75 to those who may not be attending dinners, and included in the cost of a dinner. While dinners are filling up quickly, there is still plenty of space for those wishing to attend the cocktail party. You can register online!

Gunn Memorial Library raises the greater part of its operating budget through individual philanthropy and annual events like Library Luminaries. Recent Connecticut statistics reveal that Gunn Memorial Library boasts double the number of visits per capita of towns of its size and performs at the top of library measures statewide.

Guests choose from among the twelve dinners when submitting their RSVPs. With donations ranging from $150 per person and up, in the case of a sell-out, placements are determined by a supporter's contribution level, as well as their date of reply. Event Co-Chair and President of the Board of Trustees Barbara Kohn says, "The diverse programming provided by the library throughout the year is always free of charge, thanks to our generous donors. We are grateful to the steadfast supporters of Gunn Memorial who come together on this night every year to make all of that free programming possible."

Luminaries and hosts this year include: Galt Niederhoffer, novelist and filmmaker, along with director/producer/filmmaker Ben Selkow, will be hosted by Bob and Julie Bailey; acclaimed author Roxana Robinson, hosted by Woody & Maria Campbell; Derek Walker, Associate VP in the Global Climate program at the Environmental Defense Fund, hosted by Lisa Coleman; Jeff Levick, Spotify's Chief Revenue Officer, hosted by Brian Lancaster and Steven Fuchs; poet Rose Styron, hosted by former Ambassador William Luers and his arts advocate wife, Wendy; Dr. April Benasich, infant neuroscientist and professor, hosted by Audrey and Greg Meredith; conceptual artist and sculptress Lauren Booth, hosted by Alessandra and Alan Mnuchin; former general counsel of the New York Times, and author, James Goodale, hosted by psychotherapist Randy Lehrer and husband Harry Moses, documentary producer; Peggy Anderson, published photographer and co-owner of Community Table, hosted by Holly Parker and Marc Roman; owners of the hart gallery, Carmen & Evan Abramson, hosted by Karyn Detje and GML trustee Sal Sorce; economist and author Zachary Karabel, and his painter wife Nicole Alger, will host Danny Moses, a real life character in the recent movie The Big Short; and media maven, writer, publisher and television personality, Nancy Evans, along with husband Seymour Wishman, author, former criminal lawyer and owner/President of First Run Features, will act as both hosts and luminaires.

Thanks go out to the Connecticut Community Foundation which awarded a sponsorship grant in support of this event.

Classic Book Discussions: Strong Women, Bad Choices

Kathy Kehoe, Washington CT literary enthusiast, is leading spring book discussions entitled Strong Women, Bad Choices. The discussions scheduled are Persuasion by Jane Austen on Tuesday, April 19 at 4:30 p.m. and Edith Wharton's The Mother's Recompense on Tuesday June 14 at 4:30 p.m.

The discussions celebrate novels by two of classic literature's most revered female authors and explores how two heroines deal with the consequences of their questionable choices.

Jane Austen's heroine Anne Elliot has succumbed to family and social pressures and breaks off her engagement to her beloved naval Captain Wentworth, producing in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. Persuasion begins eight years later and examines the consequences of Anne's actions.

Edith Wharton's heroine Kate Clephane of The Mother's Recompense has left her husband and baby daughter in New York while she follows her younger lover to Europe, only to be recalled to America by her daughter, now an adult. What Kate learns upon her return to the United States is surprising and heartbreaking. How she deals with this revelation is heroic.

Participants will explore how significant life choices are made and how individuals deal with these choices. This is not a lecture series and participation will be encouraged.

Kathy Kehoe is an avid reader who is an active member of several book groups in the Litchfield area. A former educator and advertising executive, Kathy is thrilled to share her enthusiasm for Austen and Wharton with members of the community. When asked how she is able to belong to multiple book groups, Kathy explains that "insomnia is a reader's best friend!" Kathy led a former Gunn Library book discussion on To Kill a Mockingbird during its 50th anniversary year celebration.

Copies of the books will be available at the circulation desk. For more informaiton, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.

Book Basement

Open weekdays 10:00 to 4:00, Saturdays 10:00 to 2:00
Consider Bringing Your Own Bag. Thanks!

Come in and browse the newly added fiction, non-fiction, biography, history and children’s books. The history has been organized into major wars as well as American and European categories and more. There is an entire wall of new fiction. The new stock includes "specials" — frequently collectible and highly sought after titles priced far less than what can be found on internet book sites. A large collection of books about antiques will be featured, among which the series, American Furniture by Luke Beckerdite, is covering 1993 to 2010. A selection of Irish literature includes many signed books of poetry. There is a section of local authors and many are autographed.There are thousands of books on varied topics and for every age. Since the Book Basement is constantly restocking, if you don't find something one day, come in another to find additional titles that have been added. It is a bibliophile’s cornucopia!

Call the library for further information at 860-868-7586.

e-Readers at the Gunn

Six Nook e-book reading devices have been added to our junior library collection, featuring titles for children and independent readers. Three are black and white models, with illuminated screens yet no glare in sunlight, and three are full-color tablets, perfect for younger picture book readers as well as movie-watchers with a Netflix account.

Four Amazon Kindle e-book reading devices continue to circulate from our adult circulation desk. Residents 18 years or older with a current library card may borrow an e-reader, and a Borrower's Term of Agreement must be signed. The e-reader program is made possible by a generous donation from the Shea family.

Museum Passes

Looking for a fun day trip? Museum passes are free to check out for for a three-day loan to Gunn patrons.

New Britain Museum of American Art — Free admssion for four people. (One adult must accompany children under 16). Pass is valid for general admission only. Additional fees may apply to special exhibitions, events and programs. Library pass cannot be used for Docent-led tours.

Wadsworth Atheneum — the ARTpass offers free general admission for up to two adults and two children (ages 6-17).

The Junior Library has more passes.

Explore the Connecticut Room

Looking for your ancestors? Want to learn more about your house? Is there something here in Washington that you've always wondered about? To explore the resources available in both the Connecticut Room and the Museum, please call 868-7756 for an appointment.

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