Effective Communication Workshop for Springfield Community Leaders

October 8th, 2014

Monday, November 10, 12-5 p.m.
Central Library Community Room, 220 State Street

  • Frustrated or angry about an interaction with a boss, client or someone providing services?
  • Anxious about a challenging situation getting even worse?
  • Feeling badly because you aren’t sure of what to say in the heat of the moment?

Then sign up for this free workshop on communicating in ways that make you and others involved feel heard using simple tools. You can find better strategies or solutions, and make your daily interactions more pleasant and productive.

The content of this workshop is based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg’s book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, lauded by both individuals and organizations for its simple yet effective communication strategies. Each participant will receive a free copy of this book. Refreshments will be served. This event will be held in the Community Room at the Central Library, 220 State Street, Springfield 01103. Registration is required.

To Register:
Contact: Emma Peterson, epeterson@springfieldlibrary.org or call 413-263-6858 (ask for Emma), or register online.

Download our flyer

Annual Fall Fest at East Springfield Branch, October 22

October 6th, 2014

Come join us for some Fall Fun at our annual event celebrating the branch and its neighborhood on Wednesday, October 22, from 1 – 8 p.m. There will be refreshments, musical performances, and a special story time at 6 p.m. with an appearance by Toto the Tornado Cat.


There will be two baking contests, both with community judges: a neighborhood baking contest and another baking contest with submissions from the students of the Culinary Department of Putnam Vocational Technical Academy. The theme for the baking contests will be Fall Flavors; sweet or savory submissions allowed. Entries should be dropped off on the day of the festival by 6 p.m. and include a list of ingredients, for allergy purposes.


There will also be a (miniature) pumpkin decorating contest, a Peeps© diorama contest, and Fall-themed crafts and games. Materials for the miniature pumpkin decorating contest will be available a week before the festival. Peeps© for the diorama contest will be available starting October 1st, while supplies last. The dioramas should contain at least three Peeps© in a box no larger than 12 x 18 inches. Decorated pumpkins and Peeps© dioramas should be submitted to the library by October 21.

Teen Read Week

October 1st, 2014

Celebrate Teen Read Week at the Library with programs that help teens Turn Dreams Into Reality!


Do you know what you want to do in life, but are not sure how to make it happen? Or are you trying to figure out what you want to do? At East Forest Park on Saturday October 18 at 12 noon, experts from Holyoke Community College and the UAspire Springfield Promise Program as well as local organizations that mentor teens will show you how to focus on your dreams and turn them into a reality.

Confused by the college admissions process? Learn all about how you can be ready to apply and open the door to college at Mason Square Saturday October 11 at 12 noon, at the Central Library Wednesday Oct. 15 at 6:00 pm, and at Sixteen Acres Tuesday Oct. 21 at 6:00 pm. Cynthia Swan and her staff from Springfield College will answer all your questions and share some of their personal experiences as students.


Teens who want a way to build their skills for schoolwork, or who enjoy learning something new online, can come to the Brightwood Branch Library on Thursday, October 16 at 4:30 pm to join educator Scott Wohlers in a demonstration of Khan Academy. This not-for-profit organization aims to the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge. A session for students of all ages, and their coaches, including parents and teachers will take place at the Central Library on Monday October 20 at 6:30 pm.

Teens’ dreams of shining onstage can happen when they come to the Teen Talent Show at the Forest Park Branch Library on Saturday October 18 at 1:00 pm. Can you sing, dance, play an instrument, recite a poem, or tell jokes? Show us your unique talent, no matter what it is!


All week, Dreams Into Reality Art Days are happening – check the calendar for times and days at your branch library. Stop by the teen area at the Central Library, Brightwood, Forest Park, or Indian Orchard and use our art materials to make a poster or a three dimensional creation expressing the Teen Read Week theme “Turn Your Dreams Into Reality.” Put your artwork on display at the Library and earn an energy bar to get you going in making your dreams come true!

For all activities for teens and tweens, make sure you check our online calendar!

Boo! Paranormal presentations in October

October 1st, 2014

Come join us for ghoulies and ghosties, and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night, this October!

The Ghostology series is led by Agawam Paranormal, and our very own library staff member, Sarah Hodge-Wetherbee, will lead the Mysterious Massachusetts program. Sarah offered Mysterious Massachusetts at the Central Library and also at the Forest Park Branch Library in 2012 and it wonderful to have her back with the popular program she takes on the road to other libraries and community centers as well. Agawam Paranormal is enjoying popularity with local libraries, being booked at several agencies this fall throughout the area and beyond.


Ghostology 101
October 15, 6:30 – 7:45 pm
East Forest Park Branch

Sign up online

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, starting with terminology, equipment, EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena), spirit photography and video, as well as “ghost hunting” skills and suggestions. Led by local experts from the Agawam Paranormal team, this fun and fascinating presentation is appropriate for older teens and adults.


Ghostology 201
October 22, 6:30 – 7:45 pm
Indian Orchard Branch

Sign up online

This is the second in the series and gets into more advanced subject matters including demons, angels, necromancy, exorcism and possession. While it is believed that only a very small percentage of paranormal activity is caused by demons or their like, it is undeniably a very popular topic with today’s public. Here we will try to remove fact from fiction and see just how it all ties together. The program will include some hands-on experiments with the tools used by paranormal investigators including EMF meters, temperature work, and spirit photography. Updated for 2014, this segment is designed for an adult audience and really is not suited for children. Presented by the Agawam Paranormal team.


Mysterious Massachusetts
October 29, 6:30 – 7:45 pm
East Springfield Branch

Sign up online

Reports of UFO’s, alien abductions, sea serpent sightings, haunted houses and the like abound in Massachusetts. Join library staff member Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe in this hour long review of weirdly fascinating paranormal activity in the Commonwealth. This program is good for teens and adults.

Ghostology 301
November 5, 6:30 – 7:45 pm
East Forest Park Branch

Sign up online

Get the lowdown on local haunted places and other paranormal activity in Springfield and its surrounding towns! This fun and exciting presentation is good for all ages, but is intended primarily for adults and older teens.

T-shirt raffle! We will raffle off a free Agawam Paranormal t-shirt at each Boo! program. All attendees who remain present through the end of the program earn a raffle ticket to win the free t-shirt.

Candidates Forum on October 6

September 24th, 2014

Library, Elections Office co-sponsor civic engagement event

The Springfield City Library is partnering with the City’s Election Commission to offer Springfield residents an opportunity to participate in a forum with candidates seeking to represent Springfield residents. Participants can bring their concerns and hear directly from candidates at the free event planned for the Central Library, 220 State Street, Springfield on Monday, October 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. In this forum candidates will take audience questions after answering the moderator’s questions.


While at the library, people can also check their voter status, find out where their polling place is, and register to vote. The event is timed to allow people to get registered before the October 15 deadline for the November 4 general election.

“Now that the primaries have narrowed down the state senatorial and representative fields, voters can help make up their minds who to vote for by attending this forum and getting answers to their questions. Just as important are the many ballot questions, so we’re partnering with City of Springfield Election Commissioner Gladys Oyola and her staff, who are trained to explain what a “Yes” or “No” vote means on each question,” said library manager Jean Canosa Albano of the Library’s Civic and Community Engagement Team.

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.

Fiesta! programs coming soon

September 22nd, 2014

FIESTA! Celebrating Hispanic Heritage and Culture, October 2-11, at Springfield City Library


The library’s Hispanic Heritage celebration kicks off with a Film Series at our Mason Square Branch, 765 State Street. Thursday, October 2, 6-8 p.m., we’ll show Cesar Chavez. Director Diego Luna’s biopic chronicles the birth of a modern American movement led by famed civil rights leader and labor organizer, Cesar Chavez. Rated PG-13. Puerto Rican specialty desserts will be served. On Thursday, October 9, 6-8 p.m., we’ll show Il Postino. Join us for a beloved romantic comedy; Mario, an Italian postman, learns to love poetry while delivering mail to Nobel-Prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. Mario uses what he learns from his unlikely friend to woo local beauty, Beatrice. Rated PG. Pastries and popcorn served!


Stop in on Saturday, October 4, 12-2 p.m., for an Hispanic Heritage Food Festival at the Forest Park Branch Library, 380 Belmont Avenue. Enjoy delicious specialties from local Hispanic restaurants! Featured will be foods of Puerto Rico, Mexico and El Salvador, provided by Salsa’s Salvadoran Restaurant, Estelita’s Taqueria, and the Food Zone Restaurant. Free tickets will be given out at the door and traded for food samples.


On Tuesday, October 7, 6-8 p.m., the Brightwood Branch Library, 359 Plainfield Street, will host a Flan Contest, plus a Concert by Alturas Duo. You can sample flan from Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Taste and vote for your favorite! Contest winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd place) announced at 6:15 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. Alturas Duo will play South American folk and classical music by bringing together unique sounds and instruments to create a passionate music that moves fluidly and excitedly between styles and eras. The Alturas Duo will be enjoyed by all ages! Local authors Wayne Phaneuf & Elizabeth Román will discuss the exciting book Nuestra Historia, a chronicle of Hispanic history in Western Massachusetts. Copies of the book will be available for sale at a discount.

Stop in to the East Forest Park Branch Library, 122 Island Pond Road, on Wednesday, October 8, 6-7:30 p.m., for a Chocolate Tasting. Taste five different chocolates from various countries, with a progression of cacao content to educate your chocolate palate. Sample delightful specialty, designer and premium chocolates! During the course of this program you’ll learn about the origins of chocolate, its historical significance, variations in taste based on growing regions, botanical and chemical facts, and medicinal uses. Browse our book display highlighting cooking and baking with chocolate, as well as the chocolate-themed fiction.

Saturday, October 11, 11:30-1 p.m., a Spanish-Language Poetry Reading will take place at Indian Orchard Branch, 44 Oak Street, under the beautifully restored library dome. Come listen to local poets in this family-friendly poetry reading coordinated by El Pueblo Latino’s reporter Damaris Perez-Pizarro.


Sunday, October 19, 1-2 p.m., our Rotunda Rhythms concert at the Central Library, 220 State Street, will feature Alturas Duo, recognized as one of the most engaging ensembles performing chamber music today, and the only group of its kind. If you missed them at the Brightwood Branch, here’s your chance to hear them in another exceptional venue, the phenomenal Central Library rotunda!

All events are free and open to the public. If you have any questions, please call 413-263-6828, ext. 422.

Read/Write/Now Anniversary

September 22nd, 2014

READ/WRITE/NOW Adult Literacy Program Begins 27th Year of Service


This month Read/Write/Now, Springfield City Library’s adult literacy program, will be starting its 27th year of adult basic education classes in a new, temporary location.

While the Pine Point building at 204 Boston Road is being renovated, Read/Write/Now classes are being hosted by the Elder Affairs Department in the Good Life Center at 1600 East Columbus Avenue.

Read/Write/Now offers day and evening classes for adults who are working on their basic skills; the program is almost completely funded by grants from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, Adult & Community Learning Services.

Throughout the years Read/Write/Now has served thousands of adult learners, and has been instrumental in helping them achieve their educational, employment, family, and community goals.

Local Author Fair September 20

September 15th, 2014

This Saturday is our Ninth Local Author Fair, and we have a very good roster lined up. Many of the authors are from Springfield, most are from Hampden County, with just a trio from towns further afield. Represented are novelists, poets, young adult writers (including a Springfield school teacher), scholars, and more. Stop by the Central Library Rotunda if you can and check them out!

There are twelve scheduled authors:

The Fair will be held on Saturday, September 20, 2014 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Central Library’s Rotunda.

The Library’s biannual Author Fairs provide occasions for writers to connect with interested readers and new audiences. In addition book collectors in pursuit of signed books or small press books have an opportunity to add to their collections. You won’t be disappointed, and we really do look forward to seeing you at the Library! Please call the Central Library at 413-263-6828, ext. 221 if you have any questions. Visit our Local Author Page for more information.

Library Express at Pine Point closing

August 20th, 2014

The Library Express at Pine Point will be closing temporarily on Friday, August 22, for the final phase of renovation. We anticipate re-opening in Spring, 2015. For more information on the closure and future plans for the Library Express and Read/Write/Now, read the press release at the City of Springfield website.

Read/Write/Now classes will temporarily be held at the Good Life Center at 1600 East Columbus Avenue, Springfield MA. (map)

LittleFest on Saturday, September 13

August 18th, 2014

LittleFest 2014

The Springfield Museums at the Quadrangle and the Springfield City Library will host the annual “LittleFest” event to promote a love of reading in young children, on Saturday, September 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

LittleFest is presented in conjunction with WGBY Public Television for Western New England. The event is sponsored by the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation. Activities are free with the price of museum admission. Admission is free for members of WGBY, Springfield Museum members, and Springfield residents with proof of address.

Ongoing Activities

  • Special, limited appearances by Curious George (10 am-3 pm, Science Workshop, 2nd floor, Springfield Science Museum.)
  • Free books for the first 400 families, Blake Court, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, courtesy of WGBY. One book per family while supplies last.
  • popielarczyk
  • Strolling magic by Ed Popielarczyk’s Magical Moments (10:30 am-2:30 pm, Springfield Science Museum)
  • Art Activities – Art Discovery Center, G.W.V. Smith Art Museum, (noon-4 p.m.) and at Central Library Children’s Room, (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
  • Family-friendly lunches available for purchase at the Blake House Café.

Scheduled Performances:

  • Bubbleology: The Secret World of Bubbles (two performances: 10:30 a.m. & 12:45 p.m., Davis Auditorium, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts). As seen on Discovery Channel’s “Time Warp”, National Geographic TV, Keith Michael Johnson enchants audiences of all ages with the art and science of soap bubbles.
  • The Tale of Juan Bobo (two performances: 11:30 am & 1:45 p.m, Community Room, Lower Level, Central Library). CactusHead Puppets bring to life his classic Puerto Rican folktale about a trickster for whom even the smallest task can lead to the silliest of results.

The Central Library is located at 220 State Street and the adjacent Springfield Museums are located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street in downtown Springfield. Free onsite parking is available. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays; City Library Hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Museum admission is $18 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, $9.50 for children 3-17, and free for children under three. Museum and WGBY members must show proof of membership to receive free admission. For information, call 413-263-6800 ext. 488 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.


Library wins top innovator award from national group

August 13th, 2014

The Springfield City Library has won national recognition as a top innovator for its efforts to position the library as a leader in community engagement, an award that places it in the same league as some of the best urban library systems in the nation, Library Director Molly Fogarty said.

Read more at MassLive.

Community Picnic and Farm Festival at Mason Square

August 4th, 2014

Community Picnic and Farm Festival
Mason Square Branch
Thursday, August 14, 2- 8 pm

Does this spot look familiar?


Patrons of the Mason Square Branch of the Springfield City Library will recognize this space as the overgrown, trash-strewn, vacant lot between the branch’s two parking areas.

It may be hard to imagine from the photograph, but on Thursday, August 14th the branch, in collaboration with the Stone Soul Festival, Gardening the Community, and the Mason Square Health Task Force, will be hosting a community picnic and farm festival in the lot above to honor generous library benefactor, Annie G. Curran.


A day of farm fresh food, family fun, and time spent amongst neighbors, the event will culminate with a concert by students from the Community Music School and singing by four-time Stone Soul Festival performer, LaDawn. A singer since elementary school and member of many church choirs and gospel groups, LaDawn has been singing with the Floyd Patterson band since 2005. You can listen to her perform here. Although seating and refreshments will be provided, participants are encouraged to bring whatever picnic gear they please — blankets, lawn chairs, Frisbees, or a cooler of favorite summer snacks.

This event and the renovations necessary to transform the lot into a viable community space were made possible through the Outside the Box program, a grant awarded to the branch in June by OCLC, Projects for Public Spaces, and Redbox. The lot’s revitalization will be permanent. The area will be landscaped, with trees, raised garden beds, and pots of herbs and will be furnished with café sets, Adirondack chairs, and umbrellas for shade. In addition, the space will be able to accommodate a variety of community events with the addition of an outdoor tent and PA system.

The implementation of these enhancements will allow the Branch to showcase local musical and theatrical talent and host outdoor family film screenings and community potlucks, as well as entertaining and educational activities for kids. It will become a space where patrons can read quietly in the shade; a space to toss a ball without worry of it landing in a busy street; a space for neighbors to gather. We look forward to seeing you there!