Read. Think. Engage. Learn.
Learning doesn’t stop when one becomes an adult. We keep changing and growing, discovering new areas we’d like to study. Adult learners often learn for the love of it, not for the attainment of a degree or certificate. The Lifelong Learning @ GPL program seeks to bring together people who: 1) like to share what they know with others, and 2) like to learn new things together.

The group leaders of the program are experts who plan and facilitate short seminars. Participation is limited to promote active involvement and discussion. It is hoped that participants can attend most, if not all, of the classes in a series.

Individuals may sign up for these programs online using the Calendar or by calling the library. Signup is handled on a first come, first served basis.

All materials and activities in Lifelong Learning are free of charge to participants. Books, films, and readings are available for check-out at the library.

Made possible with the support of the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust.

  • Genealogy 101 with Linda MacIver

    Patrons must commit to attending the first two classes and must have basic computer skills. Meets via Zoom.

    Ready to take the plunge but haven’t any idea how to start researching your family history? Register for this course and join in one of America’s most popular hobbies, second only to gardening! Getting started is the hardest part!

    Beginning with “Six Key Steps to Launching Your Family Search” learn the basic skills, especially how to get organized from the beginning, to save time and frustration later in your research. Understand the many things you can, and should, do first in the comfort of your home 24/7. Prepare to take advantage of the many opportunities to learn from your family connections as you interview family members. Begin to add to your basic skills as you are introduced to free as well as major online commercial tools and the wealth of resources available to you in the metro area.

    Linda B. MacIver is an educator, lecturer, librarian and genealogy researcher. She retired from a 27-year career at the Boston Public Library where she inaugurated the BPL patron genealogy classes and taught the multi-week beginners’ genealogy course. She also organized two extremely popular seasons of the Local and Family History series and developed the Intermediate Genealogy Summer Lecture series. Linda is the past Secretary and Director of Federal Records of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council, a member of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MSOG) and the Essex (MA) Society of Genealogists (ESOG.) She serves as the New England Representative for the Essex (England!) Record Office. Linda has a BA in History from the University of New Hampshire, an MEd from Boston University and earned her MLIS at Simmons College.

    Linda was the 2018 recipient of the Richard S. Lackey Scholarship to the Genealogical Institute for Federal Records (GEN-FED) and the inaugural recipient of the 2019 Senior at the Center of Excellence Award sponsored by Xerox Corporation and the City of Boston.


    September 15

    September 22

    September 29

    October 6

    October 13

    October 20

  • Culturally Curious, The European Art Series

    Starting September 2022

    September 25 - Botticelli: Beauty, Virtue, and the Bonfire of the Vanities – Sandro Botticelli was a leading artist of the early Italian Renaissance with a distinctive linear style. This program will focus on how his explorations of beauty and myth dramatically shift after the rise of the religious leader Savonarola and his Bonfire of the Vanities.

    October 16 - Off with Their Heads! The Art of the French Revolution

    From the over-the-top-lavish lives of the royals at Versailles to portraits of revolutionary leaders to triumphant images of Napoleon, this program will examine artwork from this period of tremendous political upheaval in France. With works by French masters including Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, Jacques-Louis David and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, we’ll consider the role of paintings in the struggle for power in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

    November 6 The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: A Medieval Fantasy
    This program will provide an introduction to the Pre-Raphaelites of the 19th century and look at the paintings of the leading members, including William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabrielle Rossetti and John William Waterhouse. Learn about the roots of this British movement and see how the artists’ fascination with the medieval past,
    Romanticism and Realism led to a beautiful style that lasted more than half a century.

    December 4 - Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

    The Sistine Chapel is one of the most beautiful and most famous works of art in
    the world. Dive into Michelangelo’s inspiration and process (did he really lie
    down as he painted the ceiling?) and consider how the masterwork has been
    altered by time and restoration.

    January 8 - Sunflowers and Starry Nights: The Genius of Vincent Van Gogh

    Vincent Van Gogh is one of the world’s most famous artists. This interactive
    program will look at his life and work, exploring his influences, his innovations and
    his incredible legacy.

    February 5 - Sacred Symbols and Devilish Details: Northern Renaissance Painting from Campin to Bosch

    Artists of the Northern Renaissance used single-hair paint brushes to capture
    astonishingly tiny details in their paintings. Explore these awe-inspiring additions and
    their symbolic significance in high resolution and decode the meaning of religious and
    secular works from the period.

    March 5 - Parisian Cafes and Impressionist Painting

    Impressionist artists are celebrated for their beautiful depictions of nature, but they
    also frequented the cafes, bars and nightclubs of Paris and captured modern life in their
    works. This program will explore images by Monet, Renoir, Degas and others and
    consider how the hub of activity in Parisian cafes inspired some of the world’s most
    famous artists.

    April 9 - The Surreal World of Rene Magritte

    Rene Magritte’s work delighted and fascinated audiences long before Paul
    Simon’s famous song. This program will focus on the life and influences of the
    Belgian Surrealist painter whose paintings are both familiar and confounding.
    Discover the ways his work relates to contemporaries like Salvador Dali and
    learn how art historians interpret his mysterious paintings.

  • Spanish Conversation Group (year-round)

    Venga y practica su espanol!

    Group leader, Veronica Mazzu, is a native Spanish speaker from Chile and a public school Spanish teacher in Southborough. The Spanish Conversation Group meets twice monthly on Tuesdays (usually the first and third), 6:00 - 8:00pm. Runs year round.

    September 6 & 20

    October 4 & 18

    November 1 & 15

    December 6 & 13

    January 10 & 24

    February 7 & 21

    March 7 & 21

    April 4 & 18

    May 2 & 16

    June 6 & 20

    This group meets via Zoom. Please check the Calendar for individual dates and details.

    Generously supported by the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust.

  • Great Decisions (returning January 2023)

    For the past several years, the library has participated in America's largest discussion program on world affairs. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book and meeting in a weekly discussion group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. The Foreign Policy Associations' Annual Briefing Book comes out each January and are provided to participants thanks to the generosity of the GPL Endowment Trust.

    The next Library Great Decisions Discussion Series will begin in late January 2023.