Friends of the Library


With your generous support, the Friends of the Wesleyan Library sponsor events for members, the Wesleyan community, and the public.  For more information, contact

Spring 2015 Friends Events

Friends of the Library Annual Meeting Event
Dione Longley '82 will speak about her new book: Heroes for All Time: Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 -- 7:00 p.m. -- Develin Room, 2nd floor, Olin Memorial Library

An exhibit of Civil War materials from Special Collections & Archives will be on view from 6:30-7:00 and 8:00-8:45 in the Davison Rare Book Room, 1st floor Olin Memorial Library

Dione Longley will speak about how she and co-author Buck Zaidel sifted through soldiers’ letters and diaries and written accounts by nurses and doctors, soldiers’ families, and volunteers on the home front to vividly portray the war through their moving stories.  The book includes hundreds of outstanding period photographs, most previously unpublished.

Dione graduated from Wesleyan with a BA in American Studies in 1982.  She was director of the Middlesex County Historical Society in Middletown for 20 years.  Now a public historian and writer, she resides in Higganum with her husband and two daughters.

The book is available from Wesleyan University Press, and will also be for sale by Broad Street books at the event.

Reception for and short reading by library staff author, Joy Christine Mlozanowski celebrating the publication of her new book Night Flying

Exhibits in SC&A

Fall 2014


Victorious Secret: Elite Olympic Champions as Dancing Bikini Girls

by Angela S. Lorenz

Victorious Secret

Artist’s talk Wednesday, Nov. 19, 4:15 p.m.
Smith Reading Room, Olin Library, 252 Church St., Middletown
followed by an open house in Special Collections & Archives

Please join us for the opening of Victorious Secret: Elite Olympic Champions as Dancing Bikini Girls by Angela S. Lorenz.  This series of three mosaic triptychs is based on the famous mosaics on the floor of an ancient Roman villa in Piazza Armerina, Sicily, from 300 AD.  The mosaics are often interpreted as “dancing bikini girls,” but Angela Lorenz reclaims them as the elite athletes they really were.  At the open house following the artist’s talk, more than twenty of Lorenz’s artist’s books will be on display.  Victorious Secret commemorates the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

Victorious Secret is on display in the lobby of Olin Library through the end of the semester.

Sponsored by the Friends of Wesleyan Library, the Office of Equity & Inclusion, the Athletics Department, and Special Collections & Archives.

For more information, email


Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale

Saturday, September 27, 2014

10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Lobby, Olin Memorial Library

Book sale

Approximately 3,000+ books in a dozen categories for sale.  

Most books priced $1-$5. Special books $10+. Cash and checks accepted.

Some of the book remainders will be on sale in the lobby until Monday morning. 

For more information, email


Constitution Day Lecture

David Rabban '71

“Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and the American University”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 -- 7:00 pm
Smith Reading Room, 1st floor, Olin Memorial Library
252 Church Street, Middletown, CT

This talk will cover the judicial treatment of free speech and academic freedom at American universities from the 1950s to the present.  It will explore the First Amendment rights of professors, students, and universities as institutions, and the tensions that arise when these rights conflict.  Topics will include the regulation of classroom speech, the constitutionality of campus “speech codes,” student political expression and association, the relationship between academic freedom and affirmative action, and the extent to which general First Amendment principles have been modified in the academic context.


David Rabban

David M. Rabban graduated from Wesleyan in 1971 and from Stanford Law School in 1974.  After working in a labor law firm and as staff counsel for the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), he joined the faculty of the University of Texas School of Law in 1983.  He served as general counsel of the AAUP from 1998 to 2006 and as chair of its Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure from 2006 to 2012.  His book, Free Speech in Its Forgotten Years, 1870-1920 (Cambridge 1997) was co-winner of the Morris D. Forkosch Prize presented by the Journal of the History of Ideas for “the best book in intellectual history published in 1997” and winner of the 1998 Eli M. Oboler Award of the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Round Table for “the most significant work in intellectual freedom published in 1996 and 1997.”  His most recent book is Law’s History:  American Legal Thought and the Transatlantic Turn to History (Cambridge 2013).


Email for more information.


Spring 2014

Friends of the Library Annual Meeting and talk by Molly Barton ’00 

Write Better Together:

an inside look at a new generation of social networks and websites that empower writers

Thursday April 24, 2014 - 6:00 pm – Develin Room, 2nd floor Olin Library

Molly Barton

Ms. Barton is teaching the senior seminar for Wesleyan’s Writing Certificate this spring.  Formerly the Global Digital Director at Penguin Random House, she founded a start-up inside Penguin called Book Country (, “the most supportive writing and publishing community on the web” – where writers can get feedback on their manuscripts, and if they desire, publish them as e-books. Barton left Penguin in February to work more closely with the NYC tech and start-up community. She is working on a number of undisclosed digital initiatives with major media companies, and serving as strategic advisor to publishing related start-ups in New York City and Silicon Valley.

 Other events co-sponsored by the Wesleyan Library

 “Evolution of American Sign Language” –a talk by Joseph Basile, Visiting Professor

Thursday, March 27

A One Book, One Middletown event related to The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow. For the full list of events, visit

4:30 pm – Develin Room, 2nd floor Olin Library


● Thursday, April 3 – “Re-Member Me: Race, Romance and the Civil War” – a talk by Lois Brown, Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor, African American Studies and English Department

Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 2014 lecture at Wesleyan.

5:00 pm – Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Library


Keynote address by author Beverly Donofrio ’78 at the Middlesex Community College Women’s Forum

Friday, April 4, 2014

For more information, visit

9:30 - 11:00 am – Chapman Hall 808 A-D, Middlesex Community College

Fall 2013

Love in the Time of War
Poetry reading by Yusef Komunyakaa

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 8:00 p.m.
Russell House, 350 High Street, Middletown


A reading by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, to celebrate the release of a limited edition of "Love in the Time of War," designed and produced by Middletown's own Robin Price, Printer & Publisher. Price will kick off the event with a brief explanation of her work on the silk and aluminum book.

Komunyakaa is the author of twenty books of poetry. He received a bronze star for his service as a journalist in the Vietnam War and is a professor and senior distinguished poet in the graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University. Komunyakaa's Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (Wesleyan) is also being released in fall 2013. A reception and book signing will follow the reading.

Co-sponsored by Friends of Wesleyan Library, the Center for African American Studies, Writing at Wesleyan, the English Department, the Music Department, and Wesleyan University Press.




Constitution Day Lecture -- Theodore Shaw '76

“Looking Backwards; Looking Forward: The Persistence of Race in Twenty-First Century American Life”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 7:30 p.m.
Smith Reading Room, Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown


Ted Shaw is Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University Law School and of counsel at the international firm of Fulbright and Jaworski. He served as director-counsel and president of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 2004 through 2008 and as a Wesleyan Trustee for 15 years.

Friends of the Wesleyan Library Book Sale

Saturday, November 2, 2013 • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown

Thousands of donated and ex libris books, most priced $1-$5.  Special books $10+.

Cash and checks accepted.

For more information, email



Adaptation Film Series

Almayer’s Folly (2011) 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 8:00 p.m.
Goldsmith Family Cinema, Center for Film Studies, 301 Washington Terrace, Middletown

Almayer's Folly

 A series exploring the adaptation of literary text to the screen. Almayer's Folly is Based on Joseph Conrad’s first novel. Free admission for Friends members.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Film Studies.




Spring 2013


Screening of Big Trouble in Little China as part of One Book, One Middletown

Artists Take Action Series

Spring Book Sale

Fall 2012 Constitution Day Lecture:

"Imposing Sentence:  The Balance Between Affording Discretion and Avoiding Disparity" -- by Chief Magistrate Judge Steven Gold ‘77 P’09

Book sale

Screening of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

Kallir Exhibit


Spring 2012


WESEMINAR: American Treasures from the Dietrich Collection

Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. and repeated again at 11:00 a.m.

Richard Dietrich III ’92 (Dietrich American Foundation) and Director of Special Collections Suzy Taraba ’77 MALS ’10 discussed the superb rare books and manuscripts collected by Richard’s father, the late Richard Dietrich II ’60, one of the great Americana collectors of his generation.  These materials are on long-term deposit in Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives.  Several highlights of the Dietrich Collection will be shown, including a George Washington letter, the diary of a Loyalist woman from Pennsylvania in the 1780s, a Civil War soldier’s diary, a whaling ship’s logbook, the first edition of Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the New World, and other items.  

Presenters: Suzy Taraba ’77 MALS ’10, director of Special Collections and Archives; Richard Dietrich III ’92
Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, 1st Floor, Olin Memorial Library


ANNUAL MEETING and TALK by Professor of Economics, Richard Adelstein

      Thursday, April 26, 2012 -- Develin Room (2nd floor Olin Library)

Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics Richard Adelstein talked both about his new book, The Rise of Planning in Industrial America, 1865-1914, and the writing of it.  The Rise of Planning explores the transformation undergone by business in the U.S. over the half-century following the Civil War -- from small sole proprietorships and partnerships to massive corporations possessing many of the same constitutional rights as living men and women.  Approaching this story through historical, philosophical, legal and economic lenses, Professor Adelstein presents an original, three-pronged theory of the rise of business firms leading up to the Supreme Court's controversial 2010 Citizens United decision. The talk was preceded by a brief Friends of the Wesleyan Library Annual Meeting.


Fall 2011













Spring 2011

 Constitution Day Lecture -- Spirited Debate: God talk on the campaign trail – and beyond by Jane Eisner ‘77 P’06’12

Jane Eisner has been editor of the Forward since June 2008 and prior to that held executive editorial and news positions at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 25 years, including City Hall bureau chief, London correspondent, and features editor.  She has also served as vice president for national programs and initiatives at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.  A 1977 cum laude graduate of Wesleyan, Ms. Eisner was the first woman to edit the college newspaper, The Argus, served as an alumni-elected trustee from 1983-86, and received the McConaughy Award in 2007 for contributions to journalism and public life.  She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Adaptation Series Screening: Breakfast at Tiffany's --Wednesday, September 28, 2011  

The film was Preceded by a talk by Sam Wasson '03, Visiting Instructor in Film Studies and author of Fifth Avenue, 5 a.m.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Dawn of the Modern Woman.

The Adaptation Series is a collaboration with the Center for Film Studies exploring the translation of literary text to the screen.

Annual Book Sale
Thank you to all who shopped at the book sale on Saturday, October 15 and to the many volunteers who made it possible!  We raised $3000 for the library. 

Connecticut in the American Civil War: Slavery, Sacrifice and Survival
a lecture by Dr. Matthew Warshauer, in conjunction with the Friends of the Wesleyan Library Annual Meeting

Suzy Taraba presented a WESeminar on the Pinnacles of Poetry: Highlights from Wesleyan's Collectionsr is in conjunction with the exhibition  Building Wesleyan's Poetry Collections: Frank Kirkwood Hallock (1882) and Caroline Clark Barney (1895) which was on view in Olin Library. 


Fall 2010 Screening: Paths of Glory
With introductory talks by Erhard Konerding, Government Documents Librarian, and Marc Longenecker '03, Programming and Technical Manager in Film Studies at Wesleyan
Part of the Adaptation Series - co-sponsored with the Center for Film Studies

Constitution Day Event
"Constitutional Decision Making at the Forefront of Technology: How Courts Decide Cases Where There is Little Guidance"
Talk by the Honorable Mark R. Kravitz,  '72, P '00, United States District Judge

2010 Book Sale
Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, donors, and shoppers, the book sale raised over $4000 for the library!

Food for Thought: Artists' Books and Environmental Issues
A WESeminar talk by Suzy Taraba
The artist's book is an ideal medium for social critique. The book's marriage of text and image offers an artist the opportunity to explore a topic or advance an extended argument along with the emotional, visceral, and sometimes playful impact of imagery. Using examples from Wesleyan's superb collection of artists' books, Suzy Taraba, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, talked about book artists' responses to issues of climate change, the environment, and the commodification of food in conjunction with the exhibition Food for Thought (Olin Library), which highlighted Special Collections & Archives resources for the study of food as a social, political, and historical phenomenon.

Members Event: Book Conservation Lab Open House --
Friends of the Wesleyan Library members and guests were invited to an open house at Olin Library's Book Conservation Lab (ground floor of Olin Library) on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.  The occasion was the launching of the Friends Adopt A Book program.  During the open house Michaelle Biddle, Collections Conservator and Head of Preservation Services, demonstrated some of the techniques used to preserve the Wesleyan collection. 

Spring 2010 Screening of The Duchess of Langeais
With a talk by Marc Longenecker '03, Programming and Technical Manager in Film Studies at Wesleyan
Part of the Adaptation Series - co-sponsored with the Center for Film Studies

Premiere screening of Episode 4 of the HBO series The Pacific
With writer/producer Bruce McKenna '84

Counting on Chance: 25 Years of Artist's Books by Robin Price, Publisher


Fall 2009 Book Sale
Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, generous donors, and wonderful book buyers, the annual book sale raised over $5,000 for the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.
For photographs of the sale, see the Wesleyan Connection.

Constitution Day Event
The 'Molten Core' of the Constitution: Habeas Corpus After Guantanamo: a talk by Stephen Oleskey '64

Open House at Olin Library's Book Conservation Lab

Spring 2009 Proceed and Be Bold
Screening of the documentary film Proceed and Be Bold (Laura Zinger, director; Brown Finch Films) about the life and work of letterpress printer and book artist Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.  The event also included an exhibit of Kennedy's work in Special Collections and Archives and a sale of Kennedy's posters.

William Manchester: Portrait of a Writer
On Thursday February 5, 2009, Wesleyan University Library celebrated the life of the noted author and historian William Manchester. 

"Of All The People In All The World"  -- Satellite installation in Olin Memorial Library Lobby of the main exhibit in Zilkha Gallery.
For photographs, see "Rice Used to Represent Human Statistics."

Fall 2008 The Book Artist as Social Critic -- A talk by Suzy Taraba, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist

Events in honor of the 400th Birthday of John Milton
 Events included an Open House showcasing rare editions of Paradise Lost in Wesleyan's Special Collections and Archives and conversations with John Basinger on his Milton Memorization Project

Spring 2008 Artists' Books 101 -- A talk by Suzy Taraba, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist

Fourteen Quotes from Rosa Louise Parks, Civil Rights Activist -- An exhibit of prints by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. in honor of Women's History Month

Book sale raised over $3,500.
Fall 2007 A screening of "Lolita" and talk by screenwriter and Wesleyan alumnus Stephen Schiff
Spring 2007

The Connecticut Premiere of “Indies Under Fire: The Battle for the American Bookstore”

Fall 2006  A Tirade by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.
Spring 2006 Library Book Sale

The sale of thousands of books deaccessioned from the Wesleyan Library raised over  $17,500. 
Fall 2005 The Book in Antiquity -- A talk by David Sider 
Spring 2005 American Diners -- A Slide Show and Talk by Richard Gutman
Fall 2004 Stone Reader -- A screening and discussion with director Mark Moskowitz and Dow Mossman, author of The Stones of Summer