• The library will be closed Saturday, May 28th through Monday, May 30th in observance of Memorial Day

The War in Ukraine

Wednesday, June 1st, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Community Room and on Zoom
Registration required

map of UkraineJoin historian Arthur Gottlieb to learn more about what is happening with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, from the historical context to what’s currently happening on the ground.

Arthur N. Gottlieb, LCSW, CSA, served in the United States Coast Guard for 17 years and is a local historian whose special expertise is political and military history. For the past sixteen years Mr. Gottlieb has refocused his professional efforts towards reaching out and addressing the growing needs of aging veterans and their families. Mr. Gottlieb maintains a private practice as a Counselor and Certified Senior Advisor in Norwalk, CT and offers Pro-Bono counseling services to soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.


Enslaved Wallingford: The Missing Chapter of our American Narrative

Thursday, May 26th, 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the Community Room and on Zoom
Registration required

This popular presentation is back as the first of WPL’s programs celebrating Wallingford’s 350th (+2).

NehemiahThe pandemic gave The Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust the “creative pause,” if you will, for a reinterpretation our historic properties, all of which have ties to New England slavery. The Trust oversees the Nehemiah Royce House (1672), the Franklin Johnson Mansion (1866), and the Yale Homestead (1790), which traces its origins to Yale University founder, Elihu Yale, and his family’s ties to the East Indian slave trade. According to historian Anne Farrow, “In Connecticut and elsewhere in New England, ‘All the best families owned ‘captives.’” And the histories of the Royce, Johnson, and Yale homes all bear out this statement. Rebuilding the historic record of enslaved Blacks, as a group and as individuals, can provide insight into this “buried truth.” With Wallingford’s 350th celebration postponed to 2022, the Trust has embarked on the “Black Stories Matter history project” to provide the colonial history of a significant population of free and enslaved black Americans in Meriden and Wallingford who were responsible for building the prosperity of our towns, a chapter that has heretofore remained unexplored in our written history.

Chris Menapace is an educator and independent researcher of northern enslavement. He received his Master’s degree in Public History from Central Connecticut State University and has done extensive research into Connecticut’s enslaved population. Chris works with the history of enslavement and Connecticut at both the Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust as Vice President and Discovering Amistad as their Senior Educator.

ATTEND VIRTUALLY: The program will be streamed live from the library straight to your home through Zoom. Once registered, you will be contacted prior to the program with participation instructions.

ATTEND IN-PERSON: Face masks are recommended.

WATCH THE RECORDING: Can’t make it? The program will be recorded and uploaded to the library’s YouTube soon after.


A Tree Grows in Wallingford Community Art Project

A Tree Grows in Wallingford logoIn May and June, the library will celebrate the town’s 350th + 2 anniversary with a special community art project called A Tree Grows in Wallingford. Local artist Rashmi Talpade will lead the creation of a mural across from the Check Out Desk as a semi-permanent exhibition. Rashmi has taught numerous art programs at the library and is best known for the Wallingford Townscape Collage on display in our front hallway. For this anniversary mural, she will paint a giant tree and help residents create decorative “leaves” with images of themselves and their families. Most images will be photographs, but self-portraits in other mediums also will be accepted. As the leaf-shaped images are designed, participants will be able to see them affixed to the tree and watch the development of the mural, akin to a tree sprouting leaves.

How To Participate

Write a Letter to the Library: Be a Part of Our COVID-19 Archival Project

Letters to the Library logoIt can be easy to think of history as the past. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that history happens every day. This is why we have launched an archival project called Letters to the Library, where we are gathering and sharing community members’ responses about this historic time. We need your help with this project! You could even win a gift card to the Wallingford business of your choice. Learn more…