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


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!

Meet & greet candidates for local, state offices

July 23rd, 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 meet candidates for local and statewide offices. Participants can bring their concerns, ask questions and hear directly from candidates at the free event planned for the Central Library, 220 State Street, Springfield (see map) on Monday, August 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. While there, 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 August 20 deadline for the September 9 primary.

“Typically, most of the attention is paid to November elections. But many races will be decided at the September primary elections, so we wanted to highlight them. Partnering with City of Springfield Election Commissioner Gladys Oyola means that this event can be one-stop shopping for residents: learn about all the races and the candidates, and make sure you are registered to vote at the same time,” said library manager Jean Canosa Albano of the Library’s Civic and Community Engagement Team, who added, “We expect that candidates for all the offices on the ballot will be in attendance.”

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.

Steampunk Filmfest at Mason Square

July 8th, 2014

Movies @ Mason Square: The Films of Steampunk

To complement Steampunk Springfield at the Springfield Museums, the Mason Square Branch will host a series of three steampunk inspired movies. A special craft event will precede each film showing.

Each screening will be hosted by a steampunk-knowledgeable emcee who will introduce the movie and lead a discussion relevant to the movie afterwards. Free pizza will be available to those who attend the movie.


Thursday, July 24
4 pm: Craft Do you like launching marbles, pennies, or balls of paper through the air? Join us to make popsicle stick catapults. It’s fun for all ages! All supplies will be provided.
5:30 pm: Film

Van Helsing: Vampires, adventure, and epic fight scenes! Van Helsing, the notorious monster hunter, is sent to Transylvania to stop Count Dracula who is using Dr. Frankenstein’s research for sinister purposes. Rated PG-13. This week’s screening is hosted by Cynthia Miller, co-author of Undead in the West. Ms. Miller will lead a discussion with questions and answers following the movie.


Thursday, July 31
4 pm: Craft Try out your flying-machine skills! Fold and throw all different types of paper airplanes in the Mason Square Garden. All supplies will be provided.
5:30 pm: Film

Around the World In 80 Days: A bet sends a British inventor, a Chinese thief, and a French artist on a worldwide adventure following a bet that they can circle the globe in 80 days. Rated PG. This week’s screening is hosted by library staff member Sarah Hodge-Wetherbee, with discussion following the movie.


August 7
4 pm: Craft Create a beautiful, steampunk-i-fied Calder mobile out of recycled materials to hang in your home. All materials provided.
5:30 pm: Film

Wild Wild West: Government agents set out to track down an evil genius in the wild West of the 1860s. The agents are exact opposites — a smooth-talking charmer and a gun-slinging action man — making for a comical adventure through a wild and lost time and place. Rated PG-13. This week’s screening is hosted by Bow Van Riper, co-author of Undead in the West. Dr. Van Riper will lead a discussion with questions and answers following the movie.

Love steampunk? We’ve got some reading lists for you!

Digital Media Mini-camps for Teens

July 7th, 2014

Teens! Spend two afternoons learning to create a video in iMovie or an audio recording in Audacity, and submit your finished project to be showcased at the Teen Digital Media Festival on August 20. You will earn credit toward Summer Reading Club prizes for attending the mini-camp (the equivalent of reading and reviewing 2 books) and for submitting a project to the Festival (the equivalent of 1 book).



iMovie at Library Express at Pine Point
July 7 and 9, (Monday and Wednesday), 2 – 4 pm
Sign up online

Audacity at the Central Library
July 14 and 16, (Monday and Wednesday), 2-4 pm
Sign up online

Audacity at Mason Square
July 22 and 23, (Tuesday and Wednesday), 2-4 pm
Sign up online

iMovie at Forest Park
July 28 and 29, (Monday and Tuesday), 2-4 pm Sign up online


iMovie at Sixteen Acres
August 5 and 6, (Tuesday and Wednesday), 2-4 pm
Sign up online

iMovie at East Forest Park
August 14 and 15 (Thursday and Friday), 11:30 am – 1 pm
Sign up online

Teen Digital Media Festival
Central Library Community Room
Wednesday, August 20, 6 – 8 pm

Springfield teens will showcase videos and audio recordings that they’ve made during the Library’s Digital Media Mini-camps or on their own. Come celebrate our young people’s creativity and tech skills as they “Spark a Reaction” with their digital artworks!

Local Authors @ Your Library

July 1st, 2014

July is local author month at the Mason Square Branch Library.

On the first four Thursdays in July from 6-7:30 p.m. the Mason Square Branch will feature recently-published local authors who will be available to meet and greet the public, sell and sign copies of their books, and answers questions about writing, publishing, and more. Stop by and see what stories they have for you!

Thursday, July 3, 6-7:30 pm


Haven Williams is co-author of the joint autobiography, Perforated Fiber, which chronicles the difficulties faced while growing up in the ghettos and semi-rural areas of Connecticut and Massachusetts in the late 1970’s into the 1990’s. You can find out more about the book here and see it in the catalog here.



Dr. Oliver Akamnonu is the author of over twelve books that touch on topics as varied as village life in Africa, surviving civil war, class warfare, and moving to the West. His books include: Suppers of Many Dishes part 1; Suppers of Many Dishes part 2>; The Gods have Not Yet Spoken; Taste of the West; Nation of Dead Patriots; Coming Late to America; Bature; The Honorable; and Comedy of Naked Vampires. You can find his website here and view his books in the catalog here.

Thursday, July 10, 6-7:30 pm


Latoya Bosworth: With a little bit of brass, plenty of bold, and the right amount of vulnerability, Latoya Bosworth, aka Brenda’s Child, has performed as a spoken word artist from her hometown of Springfield, MA to San Diego, CA. In 2007 she published her first poetry collection. Since then she has published five books, including two novellas and a memoir. In her most recent book, On Her Own Two Feet, the sequel to the best selling novella Despite Everything, protagonist Desiree Cruz has left her physically abusive, cocaine-addicted boyfriend and her longtime job of exotic dancer to begin to her journey of self-acceptance and self-love. You can find her works in our catalog here and her website here.



Lynnette Johnson: Lynnette calls herself privileged. She was fortunate to be born to two loving parents who not only tolerated her free spirit, they nurtured it. She was able to have experienced an extended childhood. They thought the “it” was dancing, and then “it” was drawing, and then “it” became acting, and then “it” was fashion, but there was always the writing. Mrs Brunelle asked her third grade students to keep a weekly journal. This regular writing exercise grew into a vital part of Lynnette’s life. She has been writing it down ever since.

As she grew into herself she was introduced to Spoken Word. Spoken Word is an art form that combines Lynnette’s two true loves, writing and performing. Once she discovered this form of self expression she could no longer imagine her life without it. Lynnette has a gentle style. Her voice is a combination of humor and sarcasm with wit and charm.

She speaks of love and unlove, human frailty and the favor of God. Her desire is to connect. She recently put together her first book of poems and short stories, fact and fantasy titled I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. You can find Lynnette reciting at various open mic’s, at weddings and church functions, in the mirror in her bedroom, in her car…. she just can not keep “it” to herself. You can find her website here.

Thursday, July 17, 6-7:30 pm


Price Van Ray: Author, illustrator, publisher, and former Mason Square resident, Price Van Ray, has written numerous books for children. His most recent, Chronicles of the Knickelback: The Monster Survival Guide follows a boy haunted by memories who learns that he is a Knickelback, guardian of the multiverse. You can find his work in the catalog here and his website here.



Andrea Hairston: Professor of theater and Afro-American studies at Smith College, Ms. Hairston is also the artistic director of Chrysalis Theatre, a cross-cultural performance ensemble. In addition to writing a number of plays, the professor has composed two speculative novels including Mindscape and Redwood and Wildfire. Her most recent work, Lonely Stardust: Two Plays, a Speech, and Eight Essays, brings us the texts of nine marvelous works of scholarly performance as well as two works of drama in which the fantastic shows us the way through despair. You can find her work in the catalog here and her bio here.

Andrea will read from her works accompanied by music performed by Pan Morigan.

Pan Morigan: is a songwriter, vocalist, and composer. Her genre-defying work combines the influences of blues, Irish music, Jazz, and something purely of the imagination. She is the music director for Chrysalis Theatre and has created song and improvisational scores for over 25 live productions and for public radio, as well as recording two albums, Wild Blue and Castles of Gold. She is a winner of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Music Composition and has toured across the U.S. and overseas with writer and collaborator, Andrea Hairston, composer Adele O’Dwyer, Jazz vocalist, Bobby McFerrin and others. She is currently finishing a recording of original music written for the lyrics from Andrea Hairston’s book of fiction, Redwood and Wildfire.

Thursday, July 24, 6-7:30 pm


Blanche Jackson-Hill: Wilbraham resident, Blanche Jackson-Hill’s book, Straight to the Point Financing: A Quick & Easy Guide to Managing Your Money, has been lauded as the guide that will “revolutionize the finances of the common man.” In her dedication, Jackson Hill notes that the book is for “the younger generation, who has not yet developed any bad financial habits but also has not established a solid foundation for good habits to manage money. For those who find themselves trying to get out of debt, you will hopefully find that these guidelines are easy to adopt. This book gets right to the subject at hand, making it very suitable for people who really do not enjoy reading. Therefore, this book is for everyone.” You can find her book in the catalog here.

Read to your children, say doctors

June 25th, 2014

The American Academy of Pediatrics is joining with other organizations to call for parents to read aloud to their children — from birth — to foster literacy and social skills. A recent article from NPR highlights a new initiative by pediatricians to urge parents to read to their children and to provide books for families.

The Springfield City Library has supported early literacy and lifelong learning for generations. Our librarians have created a list of suggested read-aloud books for infants and toddlers. Stop by your branch library and ask our librarians to assist you in finding good books to share with your families.

Booklist: Read-alouds for infants and toddlers.