Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Tuesday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m. Sam Ducharme will give a presentation on his experience hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Without any prior backpacking experience, Sam Ducharme set out on a 2,180-mile, 14-state backpacking trip from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Mount Katahdin, Maine.

During his six-month journey, he documented the rugged beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. His presentation will highlight the trail towns he visited and the mountaintops he climbed through the backcountry. He will also give his audience a peek at the gear he wore, see how he learned to cook and hear about what it was like sleeping in a hammock for six months through three seasons.

A life-long Connecticut resident, retired K9 Officer, avid outdoorsman and empty-nester, Ducharme learned how to survive on the trail after he bought a one-way ticket to Georgia and a backpack and started heading north.

Register online or by calling (860) 349-9544, ext. 1.

This program is sponsored by PALS: Friends of the Durham Public Library.

Thursday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Local author Marc Youngquist will discuss his book, The 143rd in Iraq: Boots on the Ground Training Iraqi Police in Spite of It All, a historical account of a Connecticut National Guard Military Police Company’s attempt to recruit, train, and prepare an Iraqi Police Force in 2003-2004.

Copies of the book will be available for sale. Profits from the book will be donated to FIDELCO Guide Dog Foundation.

This program is free and open to the public. Please register online or by calling (860) 349-9544, ext. 1.

Passport to Connecticut Libraries

Enter for a chance to win a Visa gift card of up to $150.

Contest Dates: April 2 – 30

Over one hundred Connecticut libraries are proud to participate in the Connecticut Library Association’s Passport to Connecticut Libraries Program. To celebrate National Library Week during April, the Passport to Connecticut Libraries Program invites you to visit all of the participating Connecticut public libraries. Each library has its own architecture, vibe and collection to explore and browse! The program is open to adults and children, and the hope is that it encourages residents to explore the amazing diversity of our public libraries.   Take your library card and passport to at least five libraries on the list to be eligible to win a $150 gift card for adults or a $100 gift card for children.

Ask for your Passport at the circulation desk today & begin participating on April 2nd!  Click Here for a List of Participating Libraries

This is a Connecticut Library Association initiative.

Black Bears in Connecticut

Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Join Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Benjunas from the Connecticut Department of Energy and the Environment (DEEP) for an educational talk highlighting Connecticut’s only native bear species and the state’s growing bear population. Ages 10 and up.

Registration requested. Register Online or by calling 860-349-9544, ext. 1

Purchase Tickets at the Library

Tickets available at the Library until 1:00 p.m. today for the 22nd Annual Taste of Durham, hosted by PALS to benefit the Durham Public Library. The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 3rd from 6:30-9 pm.

Tickets are $37 per person and all attendees must be 21 years of age or older.

Free parking and free shuttle from Strong School parking lot.

The Annual Taste of Durham event is the single biggest fundraiser for the Durham Public Library, planned and executed by faithful members of PALS: Friends of the Durham Public Library . Every year on the first Saturday evening in February, hundreds of folks in the Durham community brave the chilly weather to gather with friends and sample food & drink from more than 20 area restaurants, caterers, and other businesses. Visit for a current list of participating vendors.

Interested in helping with this event? Click here to sign up for a volunteer shift. Please note that volunteers must purchase tickets to attend the event.

Discover the World’s First Billboard

Thursday, February 8 at 6:30 pm. Egyptologists (and Durham residents) John and Colleen Darnell will discuss their recent discoveries in Egypt. In May 2017, they discovered the earliest monumental hieroglyphic inscription, which was probably carved about 3250 BCE and expresses – through an ancient billboard – royal control over the cosmos.
Register online or call (860) 349-9544, ext. 1

Generous Gift Buys iPad Tablets for Library

The Durham Public Library is pleased to announce that they have received a generous donation from the Cumello Family for the purchase of six iPad mini 4 tablet computers.

Charles Cumello of Durham, who is President and CEO of Essex Financial, has been a generous supporter of library programming for children and teens. Assistant Director Christine Michaud states, “This donation will be very helpful as we work to increase STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programming. The new iPads will allow the Library to replace our aging laptop computers for programming use. The iPads will work better with a number of our tech programs for children and teens and the iPad apps will particularly enhance LEGO robotics programs using the library’s existing LEGO WeDo and LEGO Mindstorm kits. Our LEGO Robotics programs have been very popular, and we are very pleased to be able to strengthen those programs.”  Michaud noted that there are also a number of very interesting coding apps for the iPad which the library hopes to incorporate into their teen programming, such as the Apple programming app Swift Playgrounds.

The Library will run a series of programs beginning this spring that incorporate the new iPad minis into STEM programming for children and teens. A current schedule of programs at the Durham Public Library can be found on the Library website:

Finding the History in Our Own Backyard

Feb. 17 at 1:00 p.m.

Finding the History in Our Own Backyard: Key Sources for Researching Durham and Middlefield’s Past” will be discussed by Durham author and independent historian Diana Ross McCain.

McCain will base her presentation on research she conducted for her historical novel Thy Children’s Children, based on the true story of the first five generations of the Lyman family of Middlefield’s Lyman Orchards. She mined a wide variety of resources for information on the events, conditions, and personalities that shaped the two towns, the location for much of the novel’s action, which takes place between 1741 and 1871. She will share some of her findings in census, vital, land, church, military, tax, and probate records, in newspapers and memoirs, and even in graveyards, and explain how the same research process can be used to shed light on many aspects of a community’s past.

Copies of Thy Children’s Children will be available for sale and autographing following the program.

The Durham Public Library Local History Room will be open to the public following the program.

Register Online or by calling 860-349-9544, ext. 1