Main Street Recommends

The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon is Hosting its 26th Annual Sharon Book Signing

By Published On: June 25th, 2024

With this year’s highly anticipated summer book signing event in Sharon, CT, on the horizon, I spoke with Hotchkiss Library of Sharon executive director Gretchen Hachmeister to learn more about the organization’s upcoming programs and events, culminating in the long-awaited author festivities in early August.

The significance of a local, community library

Founded in 1893 by Maria Bissell Hotchkiss, widow of Benjamin Berkley Hotchkiss, The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon is a truly valuable resource in the surrounding region. Alongside their many print and electronic resources available, the library is committed to planning and continuing a variety of programs for the entire community to enjoy.

Indeed, the library’s original building recently underwent a restoration and expansion project, and since the organization has returned to this original site after a two-year relocation, Gretchen points out that there has been a remarkable uptick in participation at the library. “We are [a] bustling place and clearly are filling a need in the community. It is so gratifying to see so many new faces at the library and to welcome back so many of our long-time patrons.”

Gretchen notes that many nonprofits and local groups have taken advantage of the library’s new community room. Additionally, having seen a 10% increase in library card signups, and boasting over 1,000 visitors per month in addition to many program attendees, it is clear that there has been a renewed interest in the library as an organization in the area. 

With this being the busiest time of year at the library, Gretchen describes that the coming months have plenty of exciting plans for everyone to enjoy.

Upcoming and recurring festivities

This summer, the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon has a ton of fun community events to which you can look forward, featuring plenty of ongoing activities like weekly yoga, knitting, crafting, story times, and children’s programs; seasonal qigong workshops; and monthly book clubs. Other offerings include open painting studio events, author readings and talks, Thursday morning movie matinees, and once monthly Saturday morning community coffee. 

Starting June 15th, the Children’s Summer Reading program launched, and a Special Story Time with author Gabriele Davis will be held on Saturday, July 6th at 10:30am. Continuing through the month of July, The StoryCrafters will put on an interactive, musical storytelling performance on Tuesday, July 9th at 5pm. A fabulous experience for all ages, you won’t want to miss it!

On Friday, July 19th at 7pm, the library will host a Family Movie Night, and the next day, July 20th at 11am, they are organizing a Nature Adventure in collaboration with and hosted at the Sharon Audubon Center. Later in the summer, on August 10th at 11:30am, a Summer Reading Finale Picnic will feature free books for all children provided by the Read to Grow Bookmobile, accompanied by games and ice cream. 

To learn more about all the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon’s upcoming events, find their complete calendar here!

About the approaching book signing

Author Jenny Jackson speaking with a guest at last year’s signing

From 4:45 to 7:30pm on Friday, August 2nd, the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon will be hosting its 26th annual Sharon Book Signing, highlighting 28 authors, some of whom are local and many of whom are nationally acclaimed.

Gretchen explains that in the beginning, “The Sharon Summer Book Signing originally started to highlight local authors and featured five or six authors.” Now, over two decades later, the event has evolved considerably, in terms of its increased size and the impact it has on both the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon and the community at large. “It is our signature fundraising event and there is nothing else quite like it in Northwest CT.”

The featured authors offer a range of impressive works, including novels, nonfiction works, essays, memoirs, biographies, and children’s literature. “This year’s stellar lineup includes Ann Hood, Roxana Robinson, Peter Steiner, and Adele Waldman with fiction. A wide array of nonfiction will be presented by Bunny Williams, Michael Korda, Sara B. Franklin, Ann Leary, Lucy Sante, Lyn Slater, Francine Prose, Marty Baron, Steven Brill, Kevin Baker and more,” Gretchen shares. The showcased books encompass a variety of compelling topics with something to suit anyone’s interests.

According to Gretchen, as “the area’s premier literary event,” the book signing serves as “a great party that celebrates the power of books and libraries!”

Images of last year’s book signing by Stephanie Stanton, High Vibe Chick Photography, courtesy of the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon. To learn more about the book signing’s ticketing tiers and the author dinners following the event, visit this page. Here, you will also be able to purchase your tickets for the event and explore the selection of featured titles. To support the library’s initiatives, donate, learn more about their events, and get in contact, you can go to their website.