Connecticut Journalist to Discuss His Baseball Book July 14 in Talk on Zoom

Veteran Connecticut journalist James Herbert Smith will discuss his sixth book, “Baseball’s Greatest Players: The Story of John Ellis and the Fight Against Cancer,” on Wednesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Smith is the latest author to speak as part of the nearly 11-year-old Eaton-Dimock-King Authors Series, which is sponsored by the Tolland Public Library Foundation.
The book, which is being published on July 4, recounts the story of New London native John Ellis’ 13-year career with the New Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers.
After his baseball career, Ellis contracted cancer and through surgeries, survived. He and his wife, Jane, then established the Connecticut Cancer Foundation.
“This must-read book shows you the person (John) became, saving countless lives with his and his wife Jane’s tireless work to help cancer patients,” Michael Kay of the YES network and ESPN said.
Smith has been a journalist in Connecticut for 50 years. Among other positions, he has served as city editor and sports editor of The Hartford Courant, editor of the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport and managing editor of The Day in New London. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors for his columns on the free press, has served as president of the New England Society of Newspaper Editors and was the long-time president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.
Since 2010, the EDK series has brought well-known authors to Tolland, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Dan Barry, Steven G. Smith and Susan Campbell; Chris Knopf, Caragh O’Brien, Dawn Metcalf, Denis Horgan, Jeff Goldberg, Cindy Rodriguez, Susan Schoenberger and Lucy Anne Hurston.
In 2019, Smith spoke as part of the Tolland author series about the book he edited featuring columns by 63 women journalists in Connecticut, “Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits.”
The talk is free, but audience members must register ahead of time to receive the Zoom link. Please register by clicking on the online events calendar at


Author James Herbert Smith




Meet the Tolland Library Circulation Assistants!

As National Library Week wraps up today, the Tolland Public Library Foundation wants to thank the staff of the library and have you get to know the library’s circulation assistants.

Amanda Doughty
Years in library service: 2 years at the Tolland library and a volunteer at the Birch Grove School Library Media Center 4 years ago
Favorite Book as a grown-up: “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath
Favorite Children’s Book: “The Missing Piece” by Shel Silverstein
Fun Fact: Before getting a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences, she studied Communications/Television Production and worked at Nickelodeon Studios in New York City

Marci James
Years in library service: 22 years at the Tolland library
Favorite Book: The C.J. Box Joe Pickett detective stories
Fun Fact: She enjoys taking photographs of landscapes and wildlife

Nicole Gildersleeve
Years in library service: 1.5 years, with 3 months at the Tolland Public Library
Favorite Book: The Harry Potter series
Fun Fact: Nicole has the same birthday as Harry Potter (and J.K. Rowling)

Brandon Usher
Years in library service: 2 1/2 years
Favorite Book: “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen
Fun Fact: Brandon created the Tolland Tabletop Game Group

Meet Another Member of the Tolland Public Library Staff

During National Library Week, the Tolland Public Library Foundation would like you to meet members of the library staff.

Library Technical Coordinator Kelly Marchand
Years in library service: 
10 years working in the library field and the past 1.5 years at Tolland
Favorite Book: “Black Wave” by Kim Ghattas
Fun Fact: Has been shooting portrait and cosplay photography for seven years


Meet the Tolland Public Library Staff

Since it’s #NationalLibraryWeek, the Tolland Public Library Foundation wants you to get to know library staff.

Library Director Barbara Pettijohn
Years in library service: 9 years at the Tolland library and 20 years at libraries before that
Favorite Book: “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihira
Fun Facts: She and her best friend plan on completing their fourth leg of their Route 66 odyssey in 2022

Children’s/Young Adult Librarian Andy Geary

Years in library service: has worked the past five months at the Tolland library, and four and a half years at other libraries
Favorite Book: “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens
Fun Facts: He appeared in an episode of “Breaking Bad” and worked on a Hype Williams video with Busta Rhymes and T-Pain

Lunch is on the Foundation on National Library Workers Day!

On National Library Workers Day today, the Tolland Public Library Foundation treated the hard-working staff of the library to lunch and cookies from Maddie’s Cookie Co.
Lunch was delivered by Foundation President Linda Byam and Treasurer Jan Rubino.
Pictured at right are Linda and Library Director Barbara Pettijohn; Photos by Jan Rubino.