Adults’ Featured Events

The Preparedness Project

If you recall, Essex Library received an ALA Libraries Transforming Communities grant in 2021 that allowed us to look into climate change and income inequality and offer programs with UConn Professor Eleanor Ouimet. We have continued our efforts with Dr. Ouimet to pursue research into how prepared Connecticut’s towns are to address extreme weather events. A survey has been created by the UConn Disaster Research Team. We’re asking everyone to take the online survey. The results will help towns determine how to better prepare their communities for storms and extreme weather events. Click the following link to take the survey:

“Chinese Homestyle” Cookbook Discussion And Cooking Demo With Maggie Zhu

Thursday, February 2, 7:00 p.m. on Zoom
Registration required. 

Zoom registration link:

February is a great time to learn about the bold flavors of Chinese food with a discussion and cooking demo! Darien Library, Essex Library and The Hotchkiss Library, welcome Maggie Zhu, who will talk about her new cookbook, Chinese Homestyle, and will demonstrate the art of plant based Asian cooking with the classic dish, Mapo Tofu.

Chinese Homestyle features 90 foolproof plant-based recipes for the Western cook and kitchen. No wok required!  These recipes pack all of the flavor but none of the meat.  Did you explore Veganuary last month?  Continue the plant based trend in February. Building on a foundation of plant-based and vegetable-forward dishes found in Chinese cuisine, these umami-rich recipes are inspired by the comforting, everyday dishes Maggie grew up eating in northern China and discovered in her travels throughout the country, along with takeout favorites she became familiar with after moving to the United States. Made with fresh ingredients and minimal oil and sugar, the salads, soups, stir-fries, braises, dumplings, and more are not only delicious, but also demonstrate the impact of aromatics, the benefits of using homemade sauces and condiments, and other versatile cooking techniques. Complete with step-by-step instructions, stunning photos, and information for stocking your Chinese pantry, Chinese Homestyle will soon have you enjoying this exciting cuisine right in your own home.

Maggie Zhu started her website, Omnivore’s Cookbook, in 2013. Born and raised in Beijing, she moved to Austin, Texas, in 2015. Currently, she is a full-time New York–based blogger, writer, recipe developer, and photographer. Having grown up with a mother who always did the cooking, Maggie’s culinary adventure started in 2007, when she moved to Japan and needed to cook to survive. Learning and sharing Chinese food has become a way for her to connect with her roots and the rest of the world. Her mission is to help more people get to know real Chinese food and expose less-known regional cuisines to a broader audience. More importantly, she wants to show you how easy it is to cook with wholesome ingredients to create delicious dishes that are like the ones served in Chinese restaurants.

Building a Sustainable Future: Passive House S.E.E.D.

Saturday, February 11, 1:00 p.m. in the Program Room

A Sustainable Essex Environmental Discussion.
Join us as Essex architect George Penniman introduces the transformative potential of the Passive House building standard. Explore the myths and realities of building practices that can result in up to 90% energy savings, while enhancing occupant health and comfort.

Alzheimer Caregivers Support Group

Thursday, February 16, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the Program Room
With Maria Tomasetti, South Central Regional Director for the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter

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. 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 email at

Easiest Houseplants Ever, With Style
With Tovah Martin, Co-hosted with the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon

Thursday, February 16, 7:00 p.m. on Zoom
Registration required.

Registration link (click the orange “Going” button at the bottom to register):

Looking for the perfect green match for your home? Tovah Martin will present a free illustrated talk on Zoom full of easily hosted ideas. No matter what your home environment offers, we’ve got you covered with recommendations for plants that will become copacetic roommates. If your home features sunny windows or shady sills; if your home is Sahara dry or comfortably spa-like—this lecture will leave you filled with hope, and an adoption list. Plus, the suggested plants do so much more than just sit around being green. The goal is to find botanical companions that will make your life ultra-beautiful. Dense with design ideas for wannabee indoor gardeners of all tastes, crammed with firsthand wisdom for care and cultivation of all the suggested companions, this lecture covers all the bases. Want to adopt a houseplant? Here’s how to fit your lifestyle with flair. This event is the first in a two-part Winter Gardening Series. Part Two, a lecture on orchids by Tyson Triplett, landscape architect and accredited judge with the American Orchid Society, is scheduled for March 11 at 4 p.m.

In her constant, undying pursuit of all things garden-related, Tovah Martin gets her hands dirty both outside and indoors. She is a perennial, heirloom, vegetable and cottage gardener of fanatical proportions, and has earned her accreditation from NOFA as an Organic Land Care professional. Following 25 years of experience curating houseplant collections at nationally-known Logee’s Greenhouses, she then spent two years on staff at White Flower Farm before going freelance. She has continued hands-on gardening at Furthermore, her own 7-acre property and is the author of 16 books on gardening.

Basic Principles of Photography, Part One

Saturday, February 25, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. in the Program Room
Registration required.

Wondering how to use the many settings on your camera? Aspiring photographers who want to learn how to take better pictures with a point-and-shoot or high-end adjustable camera are invited to join instructor Richard Spearrin in his two-part workshop series.

Part one covers the elements that make a great photo, including exposure, lighting, focus, and composition.

Participants must bring their own cameras.

Registration required. Sign up at (860) 767-1560 or e-mail

Score LogoSCORE At The Library

Thursdays (ongoing), 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 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.

 French Conversation Group

Tuesdays (ongoing), 4:00 p.m. at the library

Meet up with other beginner to intermediate French speakers to practice conversation in a friendly environment.

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.