Adults’ Featured Events

Social Security 101 Workshop with SSA Public Affairs Specialist Benjamin Rhodes

Tuesday, May 17th at 1 p.m. on Zoom. Registration required.

Want to find out how to get the most from your social security benefits? Do you qualify for disability, survivors and spouse benefits? How does early retirement affect your benefits? Answers to these questions and more will be provided by Benjamin Rhodes III, Metropolitan Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration.

Come learn about taking your benefits at age 62 vs. your full retirement age as well as when and how to enroll in Medicare, working in retirement and more. You will also learn about all the services that can be completed at Social Security’s website,

Rhodes will show attendees how to use My Social Security online account and other online services. Before attending the workshop, please go to and print out your Social Security Statement.

Zoom registration link:

ALA Libraries Transforming Communities Event: Book Discussion: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

Tuesday, May 24 at 5:30 p.m. in the Program Room

Our American Library Association’s Libraries Transforming Communities grant-funded series on climate change and income inequality continues with the second of 2 book discussions.

In Prodigal Summer, Kingsolver depicts three relationships within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia. Over the course of one humid summer, the novel’s intriguing protagonists face disparate predicaments but find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place.

Copies of the book are available to borrow at the Library.

Our Constitution: A Conversation In Three Parts

Thursdays, May 26, June 2, June 9 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library.  Seating is limited. Registration is required.  

The Essex Library will host a three-part series that looks at our Constitution present, past, and future. Sam Tanenhaus leads the first conversation on May 26 and then will be joined on June 2 and 9 by Yale Law professor Akhil Reed Amar. Bring your questions and ideas. Contact Essex Library at 860-767-1560 or to register.

The Constitution Today – May 26

Ballot-counting at election time, Supreme Court nominations, stalemates between the President and Congress – they all begin in the workings of our Constitution. Join historian and journalist Sam Tanenhaus for a wide-ranging conversation about our founding document and how it helps make sense of what’s going on today.

The Constitution’s Beginnings – June 2

Distinguished Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar, one of the country’s foremost Constitutional scholars, will talk with Sam Tanenhaus about the world of the Founders. What ideas and principles did they grappled with? How did they draw on the past to create a republic that would endure into the future even as the nation itself grew and evolved?

The Future of the Constitution – June 9

Professor Amar returns for another conversation with Sam Tanenhaus, this time for a look ahead. Does the Constitution still work today? Should parts or all of it be updated? What are some of the most intriguing proposals for doing so and could they work?

Sam Tanenhaus, the author of bestsellers “The Death of Conservatism” and “Whittaker Chambers,” is working on a biography of William F. Buckley Jr. He was editor of the New York Times Book Review from 2004 to 2013.

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society, and he has been cited by Supreme Court justices across the spectrum in more than 40 cases. He is the author of more than a hundred law review articles and several books, most notably The Bill of Rights (1998 — winner of the Yale University Press Governors’ Award), America’s Constitution (2005 — winner of the ABA’s Silver Gavel Award), America’s Unwritten Constitution (2012 — named one of the year’s 100 best nonfiction books by The Washington Post), and The Constitution Today (2016 — named one of the year’s top ten nonfiction books by Time magazine). His latest and most ambitious book, The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840, came out in May 2021. He has recently launched a weekly podcast, Amarica’s Constitution. A wide assortment of his articles and op-eds and video links to many of his public lectures and free online courses may be found at

On-Going Programs

bereavement groupBereavement Support Group

1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 4:00 p.m. in the Library
Grieving is tough – but you don’t have to go it alone. This group is free and open to all. If you’re struggling with loss – of a spouse, a parent or other family member, or a close friend – please consider coming to a meeting; sometimes just having a place to share our feelings makes them easier to bear. No advance registration is necessary. Rev. Joy Perkett, Pastor at First Baptist Church in Essex will facilitate the group. Rev. Perkett received a Master of Social Work and a Master of Divinity from Boston University.

If you are interested in attending this group but can’t get to a meeting at 4 p.m., please email Ann Thompson at

Alzheimer Caregiver’s Support Group

Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group
2nd Tuesday every month at 5:00 p.m. in the Library, masks optional.
Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging. To help people who care for those with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter facilitates about 90 support groups around the state. The Essex Library is honored to collaborate with AACC in hosting a monthly caregivers support group which offers caregivers a place to share, learn and feel welcomed. People talk about their experiences and offer suggestions to deal with topics including medical, legal, behavioral and financial problems. The trained group facilitator is there to listen, help guide the conversation and to provide information about resources in the community. This support group is FREE and open to the public.
24/7 Helpline: (800) 272-3900 or

Score LogoSCORE At The Library

Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the library. Masks required.
The Southeastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE provides free and confidential advice on starting and growing small businesses. Appointments must be scheduled in advance, either by calling 860-388-9508 or downloading a request form. SCORE is also offering information and assistance with the Paycheck Protection Program and SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

Instructions for Using Zoom

You do not need to have a Zoom account to join the Library’s Zoom meetings. To connect with video, you will need to be connected to the Internet, either from a computer, iPad or cell phone. A link for each meeting will be provided in the monthly newsletters and on the Library’s website. All library programs and meetings offered on Zoom are moderated by library staff and are recorded; the library does not offer Zoom recordings to the public.The Library records all programs and reports all Zoombombing, attempted Zoombombing, and/or misuse of our public programming platform to federal and local law enforcement.

For more detailed instructions see: Instructions on Using Zoom, a free video-conferencing software.

To Connect with a Computer:

To Join a Zoom Meeting from your computer, click the links provided for each meeting, OR

  1. Go to
  2. Click on ‘Join A Meeting’ located in the upper right area of the screen
  3. Type the meeting number in the window then click ‘JOIN’
  4. A ‘Launch Application’ window will appear
  5. Click ‘Open link’

If you have trouble getting the Zoom meeting to open, please be sure to use the Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer browser. To download Google Chrome to your device, see instructions here:

To Connect with an iPad or iPhone:

  1. Download the Zoom app from the App Store, located here:
  2. Click the link provided for the meeting

To Connect with an Android device:

  1. Download the Zoom app for Android, located here:
  2. Click the link provided for the meeting

To Connect with a land line phone:

If you’re joining the meeting by phone, call this number: 1 (646) 558-8656. Once you’re connected, then dial the meeting ID number to join the meeting.