Discussion on High Speed Rail in Western Mass.

November 5th, 2015

Monday, November 16, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Sixteen Acres Branch Library

Sign up online

State Sen. Eric Lesser
State Sen. Eric Lesser

Please join State Senator Eric Lesser and Sixteen Acres Library Branch Manager Reggie Wilson for a discussion on the future of high speed rail developments in Western Massachusetts. This program will also feature a progress report on the Union Station renovation project currently underway in downtown Springfield. Please register for this free program by calling the Sixteen Acres Branch at 413-263-6858, signing up online, or stopping by the branch.

How far in the future is affordable high speed rail travel between Springfield, Worcester and Boston for area residents along the populous inland rail route? Imagine being able to travel between Springfield’s Union Station and Boston’s South Station at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

  • The program will discuss the benefits of being able to attend a Celtics/Red Sox/Bruins game, concerts, outstanding museums and other cultural events in the eastern part of the state. Once in Boston, extremely popular train connections to Cape Cod, Maine, New Hampshire or Canada are significantly closer via land travel for tourists.
  • The Big E, Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield libraries, Quadrangle Museums, MGM Casino, Brimfield Fair and other Western Mass. attractions would be easily in reach for Eastern Massachusetts residents.
  • Can high speed rail possibly spur tremendous gains in workforce and economic development? Reliable high speed rail could lead to shorter commutes to more lucrative jobs in the eastern part of the state.
  • The route would give students rapid access to world class colleges, universities, and technical schools along the Northampton/Amherst, Worcester, and Boston knowledge corridor.
  • The program will show film clips of technologically advanced high speed trains traveling hundreds of miles per hour. These trains are commonplace in many countries throughout the world.
Amtrak Train

The program will also feature a progress report on the old Union Station currently being renovated.

  • The audience can share past and present recollections about using Union Station.
  • The program will provide a progress report using photographs and a scale model of the metamorphosis of Union Station into the area’s transportation hub.
  • The program will address how the massive renovations made to Union Station, originally built in 1926, could trigger an urban renaissance in the North End of Springfield providing a safe place for shopping, fine dining, and commuting.

Walsh, Zanetti School Students “Super” Summer Readers

November 4th, 2015

Schools to receive trophies, Springfield Superhero visit, Invitation to Winter Reading Club

Every hero has a story, and the last chapter of the Springfield City Library’s 2015 Summer Reading Club story features hundreds of children who read thousands of books for fun during their school vacation. This year’s Summer Reading Club had a superhero theme and Springfield’s own superhero, Menzuo, made a promise to deliver a trophy to the schools with the highest percentage of readers. Assemblies will be held at Mary M. Walsh School, 50 Empress Court, Springfield on Wednesday, November 4 at 9 a.m. and at the Alfred G. Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, 474 Armory Street, Springfield, on Friday, November 6, also at 9 a.m.

Menzuo, embodied by Springfield resident and author Keshawn Dodds, issued a challenge to all kids to read over the summer, and he will join Springfield City Library staff at the assemblies to offer all students a sneak peak at the upcoming Winter Reading Club which will feature prizes such as free books, tickets to see the play Shrek, and a pizza party at the library.

The 2015 Summer Reading Club was sponsored by the Friends of the Springfield Library, the Boston Bruins, the Massachusetts Library System and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Indian Orchard Branch Closed

October 30th, 2015
Indian Orchard Branch

Due to the automobile accident at the Indian Orchard Branch on Thursday, October 29, the branch is closed until further notice. We hope to have repairs completed as soon as possible.

MassLive article

Voters Guide Available at all Library Locations

October 28th, 2015

City residents can get informed about the candidates for Mayor and City Council by stopping in to any Springfield City Library branch and picking up a copy of the 2015 Voters Guide, prepared by the League of Women Voters. At the Central Library they are on display in Rice Hall near the elevator, in the front entryway (lower level State Street entrance) and on the free newspaper table in Wellman Hall.

Library staff are available to help residents find out which ward s/he votes in and what the polling place is, note it on the form, and give them the form to take to the polls with their notes. It’s not a facsimile ballot, but it does list everyone who will be on the various ballots.

Additionally, the Forest Park, Mason Square, and Library Express at Pine Point Branches are polling places, and will be open their regular hours on Election Day, next Tuesday, November 3. Polls in Springfield are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For a list of candidates plus the wording of the two ballot questions, download our Voters Guide November 2015.

Springfield Elections office homepage.

Check your voting status (am I registered to vote, who represents me, what ward am I in).

Where do I vote? Massachusetts Elections Office or Springfield Polling Locations.

Bestselling Author and Surgeon to Speak

October 21st, 2015
Author Talk: The Books of Andrew Lam Sixteen Acres Branch Library Saturday, November 14, 1:30 p.m.   Dr. Andrew Lam, an author and retinal surgeon at Baystate Medical Center, will be discussing his recently published books, Saving Sight and Two Sons of China, at the Sixteen Acres Branch Library, 1187 Parker Street in Springfield, on Saturday, November 14, at 1:30 p.m. Dr. Lam is an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. The event is free and open to the public. savingsight In Saving Sight, Dr. Lam takes readers into the operating room, revealing the stress and joy of a job that enables him to turn darkness into light, and in which failure can mean blindness. “We are living in a golden age of sight-saving treatments,” Dr. Lam says. “Eye surgeons remove cataracts in minutes, perform LASIK surgery yielding instant 20/20 glasses-free vision, and are beginning to implant retinal microchips that return sight to the blind.” The book reveals an unflinching look at a surgeon’s approach to cataracts, LASIK, macular degeneration and more. Lam also blends his personal story with profiles of ophthalmology’s greatest heroes, innovators whose inventions saved the sight of millions around the world. Saving Sight has been an Amazon bestseller, won Honorable Mention Awards at the New England and London Book Festivals, and was a Finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. two_sons Prior to becoming a surgeon Dr. Lam earned a history degree from Yale. His second book, Two Sons of China, is an historical novel from a forgotten theater of World War II. The book centers on an unlikely friendship between an American soldier and a Chinese Communist guerilla fighter who, despite their deeply held, clashing convictions, form a bond of brotherhood in battle. “Too few people are aware of America’s role in China during World War II,” says Lam. “This is an action-packed, romantic war novel that shines a light on unsung American heroes who served with honor in a distant, difficult land.” New York Times bestselling author William Martin writes, “Prepare to be captivated. Two Sons of China takes you to WWII China, introduces you to a fascinating cast of characters, and spins a terrific tale of adventure and romance. If you love historical fiction, or any fiction, don’t miss it.” Two Sons of China won the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Award and Foreword Reviews’ 2014 Book of the Year Award for military fiction.

Entrepreneurial Dreams Workshops

October 13th, 2015

Entrepreneurial Dreams: First Steps
Brightwood Branch Library
Tuesday, October 13, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Forest Park Branch
Thursday, November 12, 5:30-7:30 pm.

Entrepreneurial Dreams: From Wondering to Knowing if You Should Start a Business in 21 Days
Indian Orchard Branch
Tuesday, October 20, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

ValleyVenture Mentors

Do you have an idea for starting your own business, but don’t know where to start? If so, Springfield City Library’s upcoming “Entrepreneurial Dreams: First Steps” is meant for you. We’re partnering with Valley Venture Mentors, Springfield’s highly regarded entrepreneurship program so expect a fast paced, high-energy evening involving a lot of interaction, discussion, advising, and initial mentoring. New entrepreneurs will present their ideas for new ventures, and receive “lovingly critical” guidance on how to develop their pitch and how to assess their business proposition. Sign up for one of our “pitch camps” and get ready for some feedback!

This is “Shark Tank” — with a heart! Pizza and refreshments will be served. The workshop will be offered twice, on Tuesday, October 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Brightwood Branch Library, 359 Plainfield St., 413-263-6805; and again on Thursday, November 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Forest Park Branch Library, 380 Belmont Ave., 413-263-6843. To save your seat please call the branch or register at our Events Calendar.

© Sandra Costello 2015
© Sandra Costello 2015

Actually what is a day in the life of a business owner really like, and what does it take to build a profitable business, not just tinker with your favorite hobby and make an occasional sale? The Indian Orchard Branch Library will host Angela Lussier, award-winning speaker, business coach, and CEO of Angela Lussier Enterprises, with “Entrepreneurial Dreams: From Wondering to Knowing if You Should Start a Business in 21 Days.” This informative workshop on starting a small business will be held on Tuesday, October 20, 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the 44 Oak Street branch.

In the workshop, an introduction to Angela’s new book, Who’s With Us? From Wondering to Knowing if You Should Start a Business in 21 Days, you’ll complete two self-assessments to get you moving from wondering to knowing. So rather than ponder this path for a lifetime, attend and go from “Would it work?” to “I know what I’m going to do next!” To register call the branch at 413-263-6846, or sign up at our Events Calendar.

Angela is the creator of the Do+Make Business District, an online school and community for business owners, and author of The Anti-Resume Revolution and Do+Make, The Handbook for Starting Your Very Own Business. Her advice has been featured on ABC, NBC, Yahoo!, About.com, The Ladders, Entrepreneur.com, and CBS Money. She is a recipient of the 40 Under Forty award from Business West and mentors startups through Valley Venture Mentors. Angela will be one of the featured speakers at TEDxSpringfield on October 9, 2015.

New Location for Candidates Forum

October 8th, 2015

Rebecca Johnson School, 55 Catharine Street to Host Free Event
Wednesday, October 14, 5:30 – 8 p.m.


The Springfield City Library is again partnering with the City’s Election Commission to offer Springfield residents an opportunity to participate in a forum with candidates for Springfield Mayor and City Council. Participants can bring their concerns and hear directly from candidates at the free event to be held at Rebecca Johnson School, located at 55 Catharine Street, Springfield, on Wednesday, October 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Join us at 5:30 p.m. to learn about important ballot questions, check your voter status, find out where their polling place is, and register to vote. A moderated forum will be held from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

If you are working on a campaign and haven’t responded yet or missed the invitation, please contact Jean at 413-263-6828, ext. 291.

Fall Festival at Mason Square

October 7th, 2015

Come to the Mason Square Branch Library on Thursday, October 15th for the Fall Family Festival! Participants are encouraged to join us in the branch’s reading garden for a full afternoon of fun activities.


At 4:30, meet a variety of farm animals, visiting from the Forest Park Zoo! There will be chickens, goats, sheep, and maybe even a pig, right here at the library.

After that will be beanbag toss, corn cob print-making, and a doughnut on a string contest. Be the first to eat a powdered doughnut suspended on a line–with no hands–before it falls to the ground! There will be prizes!

And did we mention the cider and pie? Grab a slice and settle down on a hay bale. We’re holding storytime at dusk.

The event runs from 4:00 to 7:00.

Annual Fall Fest at East Springfield

October 5th, 2015

East Springfield Branch Library
21 Osborne Terrace
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 from 1-8 p.m.

fallfoodJoin us for the annual celebration of the East Springfield Branch Library and its neighborhood. Music, refreshments, henna tattoos, a visit by Jonathan Hall and Toto the Tornado Kitten for story time, plus the ever-popular pie contest and more will happen at various times throughout the day for all to enjoy.


Activities include:

  • Pinecone Owl drop-in craft for the whole family: all day
  • Voting for Repurposed Book Contest: all day
  • Henna tattoos: 3-5 p.m.
  • Pie Contest judging: 5:30-6 p.m.
  • Toto the Tornado Kitten reading and visit: starting at 6 p.m.
  • Visit by Springfield fire truck: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Fiddle playing by Emma Reyes, 7-7:30 p.m.


October 1st, 2015

Fun and Fascinating Presentations on Ghosts, Hauntings, and the Paranormal

Wednesday, October 14 from 6:30-7:45 p.m. at Indian Orchard Sign up online
Tuesday, October 20 from 6:30-7:45 p.m. at Sixteen Acres Sign up online


Ghostology 101: This is the first in a series of programs designed to both entertain and educate the general public about the world of the paranormal. We’ll explore the basics of paranormal investigations, EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena), spirit photography and video, as well as “ghost hunting” skills and more. This program serves as basic training for any investigators on the Agawam Paranormal team. Good for teens and adults, it is the perfect choice just in time for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 21 from 6:30-7:45 p.m. at East Forest Park Sign up online

Ghostology 201, the Darker Side Revealed: This, the second in the Boo! series, discusses demons, angels, necromancy, exorcism, possession, and other dark aspects of the paranormal. The Agawam Paranormal Team tries to remove fact from fiction to see how it all ties together. As time allows, we’ll have hands-on practice with some of the tools used on haunting investigations. This segment is designed for an adult audience and may not be suited for children.

Thursday, October 29 from 6:30-7:45 p.m. at Forest Park Sign up online
Ghostology 301, Local Lore: A team from Agawam Paranormal will review local haunts the likes of which could be West Springfield’s Backyard Bar & Grill, Southwick’s Town Hall and Library, and the Tap Room Bar & Grill in Wilbraham, or others. Good for teens and adults, be sure to stop by for a spooky good time.


Wednesday, October 28 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Central Sign up online

Haunted New England: There’s nothing quite like a New England ghost story. From Peter Rugg’s ghostly carriage ride to the haunting of the Sterling Opera House, there is a wealth of spooky tales that are told all over the northeast. Come hear the cases of some of New England’s most famous hauntings, and decide for yourself if you ought to sleep with the lights on. Local author Christine Black will be on hand to sell and sign copies of her ghostly book Whispers from the Beyond. This program, good for teens, tweens, and adults, is led by Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe, Library Associate.

Women’s Leadership Development Panel

September 23rd, 2015

My Beloved Springfield: Women’s Leadership Development Panel and Information Fair at the Central Library

Six highly accomplished local women will take part in a Women’s Leadership Development Panel at the Central Library, 220 State Street, on Wednesday, September 23, 5:30 – 8 p.m. The public is encouraged to stop in and visit the information tables to learn about leadership institutes, universities, nonprofits, and civic engagement causes aimed at women, then stay to hear a diverse range of speakers sharing stories about their own paths to leadership. Panel participants are: Elizabeth Cardona, Bay Path University’s Executive Director for Multicultural Affairs, International Student Life and Assistant to Provost for Diversity and Inclusion; Alesia H. Days, Esq., 2nd Associate City Solicitor and Director of Licensing for the City of Springfield; Dawn Leaks, President and CEO of Woman of Confidence Coaching, and Consulting and Adjunct Professor of Business at Bay Path University; Linda Matys O’Connell, communications and educational consultant with her company OC2; Maite Aponte Parsi, Associate Labor Counsel at City of Springfield; Olga Pedraza, bilingual, bicultural Hispanic member of the board of VFI, trained facilitator, and mentor. Those attending will have an opportunity to ask the panelists questions, network with other attendees, as well as enjoy light refreshments.

Let’s Get to Work Springfield IV

September 2nd, 2015

Springfield Central Library, 220 State Street, Springfield, MA
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Business wear advice from Dress for Success.
Business wear advice from Dress for Success.

1:00-2:00 p.m. How to Dress for Success and Ace your Job Interview
Central Library Community Room (ground floor)

Finding employment can be challenging, especially in today’s ever-evolving job market. But don’t worry, Dress for Success and Suit Up Springfield have got you covered. “How to Get Attention in Today’s Job Market” helps job seekers better align their skills, experience, and goals with employer expectations. This workshop offers insights on how to complete online applications, dress for your interview, and strategies to stick out among fellow job candidates. We’ll also share cutting-edge interviewing techniques and advice on how to handle the most common interview questions.


2:00-4:00 p.m. Resume Critique
Wellman Hall (second floor)

Librarians from the City Library will take a look at your resume and provide valuable feedback to help you create an impressive resume. Our expert staff is also very knowledgeable concerning any classes, databases, or services that the library has to help job seekers find employment.

3:00-5:00 p.m. Career Fair
Rotunda (second floor)

Bring your resume and talk with these area employers about working for their company!

  • AMR (American Medical Response)
  • Avon Products
  • Bay Path University
  • Bay State Health
  • Center for Human Development
  • City of Springfield School Department
  • Command Security
  • Dept. of Elder Services
  • F. L. Roberts
  • Griffin Staffing Network
  • Home Instead Senior Care
  • Human Resources Unlimited
  • Porch Light VNA Home Care
  • Performance Food Group
  • Reliable Temps
  • Sears
  • Sodexo
  • Springfield Partners for Community Action
  • Springfield School Dept.
  • TD Bank
  • United Personnel

Stop in and Meet with Representatives from: Rotunda (second floor)

Bay Path University – “At Bay Path, classroom learning and real life experience combine for a meaningful education. From our founding more than 100 years ago, we have emphasized a career-focused curriculum that prepares people to become professionals and leaders in their field.”

Center for Human Development – “Are you looking for a job that inspires you every day? A job with meaning and purpose? Then you’re the kind of person CHD is looking for! As the region’s leading social services organization, CHD employs over 1,400 people – all dedicated to making life better for everyone living in our communities. You’ll love working at CHD!”

Dress for Success – Is a non-profit agency that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.

Holyoke Community College – “HCC is rich in opportunity, but very affordable. And with our small class size and dedicated faculty and staff, it’s hard to find a better value anywhere. Holyoke Community College—the opportunities you want; the future you’re looking for.”

The Job Corps – We are a free educational and training program that helps young people find a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. (For those 16 years of age that qualify as low income.)

Springfield College – “For more than a century, Springfield College has been a leader in providing a broad and balanced educational experience. Humanics, the philosophy that has inspired Springfield College from its beginning, calls for educating the whole person—spirit, mind, and body—for leadership in service to others. A broad range of educational opportunities, both undergraduate and graduate, are offered at the main campus.”

Springfield Technical Community College – “STCC is devoted to helping individuals achieve their goals. STCC has a remarkably extensive selection of degree programs, degree options and certificate programs (over 100, as a matter of fact!) – many of which are not available anywhere else in the region.”