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Featured Programs

Welcome to our center for additional programming. Please see below the upcoming special events!

Book Cover of Before Brooklyn: The Unsung Heroes Who Helped Break Baseball’s Color Barrier
Book Talk with Ted Reinstein. Before Brooklyn: The Unsung Heroes Who Helped Break Baseball’s Color Barrier
Monday, February 6, 2023 6:30-8:00 pm

When Jack Roosevelt Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, he made history by breaking Major League Baseball’s longtime ban on Black players. His uniform number (42) is the only one permanently retired by all of Major League Baseball’s thirty teams.

What’s less well-known — and largely lost to history — is that a small army of men, women and institutions of many types fought for many long and bitter years prior to Robinson’s triumphant debut in Brooklyn. From Negro League stars to courageous journalists, Pullman Porters to fabled all-Black World War II units, unsung heroes and pioneers battled the color barrier for sixty years before Brooklyn. It was a battle of dignity and defiance in a hard-won war for justice.

Ted Reinstein has been a reporter for “Chronicle,” WCVB-TV/Boston’s award-winning nightly news magazine. In addition, he has been a contributor for the station’s political roundtable show and sits on WCVB’s editorial board. He is the author of “New England Notebook” (2013) and “Wicked Pissed” (2016). The book “Before Brooklyn” will be available to purchase after the talk.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Rogers Free Library.

Please register here:

Location: Herreshoff Community Room

Image of pile of books
Book Chat
Wednesday, February 8, 2023 6:30-8:00 pm

Join us for an informal meeting to chat about a book (or two) that you have recently read that you would like to recommend to others. There’s no assigned reading for this group! Simply come prepared to summarize your book selection and explain why you would recommend it. It can be fiction or nonfiction. Optional: If you have time to locate an excerpt to read aloud to the group – that would be welcome.

RSVP Required. 

Please register here:

Location: Herreshoff Community Room

Image of 2 genealogical records.
Creditline: Bristol, Rhode Island, United States Records, images, FamilySearch( : November 1, 2022), image 6 of 213; United States. National Archives and Records Administration.
Introduction to Genealogy
Wednesday, February 08, 2023 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Have you always wanted to research your family tree, but don’t know where to start? Get one-on-one help from local genealogists. Learn basic research techniques and the best online sites to aid you in tracking down your ancestors. This class is for beginners only!

Required Prerequisite: You will need to fill out two charts with the information you know prior to attending the class. Charts will be provided upon registration.

RSVP Required. Limited to 6 participants. Please register here:

Location: Upstairs Conference Room

Picture of David Blight holding his book: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom."
Keynote Address
Sunday, February 26, 2023 3:00 pm

*This is a Linden Place, fee-based event

A keynote address will be presented by David W. Blight, Ph.D., author of “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.” Dr. Blight was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2019 for this work. He is currently Sterling Professor of History, Yale
University and the Director of The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.
Dr. Blight’s address will include the importance of Douglass and his relevance today, and will also touch on the
crucial roles that libraries, museums, historians and teachers have in presenting full, inclusive, honest and
accurate histories.

Tickets for this limited seating event will go on sale in January:

Location: In the Ballroom at Linden Place

Linden Place and Rogers Free Library have joined forces to present a multi-part series highlighting the life and times of Frederick Douglass. This is the fourth event in the series. We hope you will be able to join us.

Image of scrabble pieces spelling out Civil.
Putting the Civil Back in Civil Discourse
Tuesday, February 28, 2023 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Far too much of the social and political discourse we see today is defined by anger, polarization, and recrimination. Few seem to be happy with the tone of our national discourse. When it comes to engaging in social change and civil discourse, the simple question is: Do you want to be right or do you want to be effective?

“Putting the Civil Back in Civil Discourse” is a workshop led by Ron Jones which will give participants history and context for how we have gotten to this place in our shared civil lives. You will acquire the tools to have more positive “outcome based” dialogues across differences.

Ron Jones has been an educator, writer, actor and social activist for over 25 years. He is currently the executive director of Dialogues on Diversity, the nation’s premier social justice and diversity awareness theater company.

Limited seating. Please register here:

Location: Herreshoff Community Room

Generously sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Chess Club is cancelled on Wednesday, February 1 & Saturday, February 4. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.