Mad about Mysteries with Sisters in Crime

June 3rd, 2014

Central Library Community Room
Wednesday, June 25, from 6:30 – 8 p.m.


A special mysteries program for the Adult Summer Reading Club presented by members of Sisters in Crime New England!

In this panel, three authors whose books run the gamut from historicals set in Puritan times, to contemporary cozies, to hardboiled PI stories about hot-button topics like teen-trafficking, will discuss the pleasures of reading and writing mysteries, including why they write the books they do, and what mysteries they have enjoyed in the past and what they are reading now. The audience is encouraged to join in the conversation.

The panelists are:


M.E. Kemp is the author of a series of historical mysteries featuring two nosy Puritans as detectives, the series reflecting her love of American history. Kemp was born in Oxford, MA, the town her ancestors helped settle in 1713 and where her family still resides today. With her roots going back even further, to Salem, MA in 1636, it is no wonder that she developed an early love of New England history. In seventh grade she won first prize in a national Scholastic Magazine contest with a New England-based short story. She still corresponds with the seventh grade teacher who sponsored her.


Carole Shmurak is Professor Emerita at Central Connecticut State University and the author of eleven books. Deadmistress, her first mystery featuring professor/sleuth Susan Lombardi, was named a Notable Book of 2004 by Writers Notes magazine. Other titles in the Lombardi academic mystery series are Death by Committee, Death at Hilliard High, and Most Likely to Murder. Writing as Carroll Thomas, she co-authors the Matty Trescott historical novels, one of which – Ring Out Wild Bells – was nominated for the Agatha for best YA mystery of 2001.


Steve Liskow: A former English teacher, actor, and director, Steve was a finalist for the Edgar Award for best short story (“Hot Sugar Blues” in Vengeance, edited by Lee Child) by the Mystery Writers of America. He won the Black Orchid Novella Award for “Stranglehold,” which appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and has twice won Honorable Mention for the Al Blanchard Award from the New England Chapter of MWA. He has also published five novels set in central Connecticut. Blood On The Tracks, which came out in fall of 2013, introduces guitar-playing PI Chris “Woody” Guthrie, who battles crime and bad songs in Detroit. Steve conducts several fiction workshops and lives in the northeast with his wife Barbara and two rescued cats.

The panelists will have their books for sale at the event.

Attend this program, and earn a chance to win! Gift cards for La Fiorentina, Barnes & Noble, Friendly’s, Leone’s, Hot Table, and more will raffled off for registered Adult Summer Reading Club members who attend ASRC programs.

Author to Join Noon Book Group Discussion

May 8th, 2014

Noon Hour Book Group
Tuesday, May 13, 12 noon
Central Library Community Room


Come join us for a discussion of Springfield during the 1940s. Our book discussion group is reading Waitin’ for the Train to Come In: a novel of World War II by David Garnes.

This story is about a family living in Springfield and describes events and struggles they had during that time. The author grew up in Springfield and will be joining the book group to answer questions about what it was like back then. So if you remember the old Forbes & Wallace building, know anyone who worked at the Springfield Armory, Milton Bradley, Mass Mutual, or just want to come and hear about or re-live those years, come join us.

Book Description: World War II, perhaps the defining event of the 20th century, didn’t happen only on the battlefield. WAITIN’ FOR THE TRAIN TO COME IN is an historical novel about a New England family on the home front during the tumultuous years that changed the world–and the lives of all Americans.The novel follows the Stewarts of Springfield, Massachusetts as they cope with the sacrifices, adventures, and drama of “the war to end all wars.” Live the years 1943-1946 through the eyes of Laura and Alan Stewart, their son Billy, and his Aunt Belle as each experiences life in an urban neighborhood and, for one, on a Navy ship in the Pacific. Through the eyes of Laura, Billy, Belle, Alan and many other characters, WAITIN’ FOR THE TRAIN TO COME IN also explores larger outcomes of the war: the changing role of women; adjustments of returning veterans; life in wartime factories; and the struggles of being a child and adolescent during these turbulent years. Re-live air raid drills; rationing; holiday and end-of-war celebrations. Experience life in the Navy, from basic training to kamikaze attacks, typhoons, and the pleasures of wartime Honolulu. David Garnes’ extensive research also adds to the vivid re-creation of popular culture of the Forties: on the radio, in the movies, and in newspapers and popular books and magazines. WAITIN’ FOR THE TRAIN TO COME IN will appeal to readers who lived through this period, as well as those who did not experience the war but enjoy a well-plotted novel set against the backdrop of a crucial and exciting time in our history.

The Noon Hour Book Discussion Group meets in the Central Library’s Community Room on the second Tuesday of each month at, unsurprisingly, noon. Ask for a copy of the current book at the second level circulation desk. For more information, contact Chris Kasputis at 413-263-6828 ext 442 or by email at

Sister Stories at Mason Square on May 17

May 5th, 2014

Sister Stories: Education–Empowering Girls and Women

Saturday, May 17, 2014, 1-3 pm, Mason Square Branch Library

Despite advances, mothers, women, and girls still face obstacles to achieving all they are capable of, worldwide and here at home. How do education, reading, and writing empower girls and women and have their voices be heard? Our two speakers, both published authors, will give their global and local perspectives on this question during our panel discussion. Community members are invited to share their reactions, successes, challenges, and ideas. Light refreshments will be served.

Dr. Gwenn Meredith

Dr. Gwenn Meredith, a leading expert on women’s rights in the Middle East, speaks and writes about women in the Arab world. Her scholarship also includes writings about Welsh, English, and Egyptian women, historical gender studies, and other women’s issues. She says, “The young Pakistani heroine Malala Yousafzai’s cries for universal education for women and girls goes unheeded in Egypt; no one has heard the voices of street girls begging to be given a life, a chance.” Dr. Meredith has published numerous books and articles, including Il Binait Dol: Egypt’s Hidden Shame. Her talk today will focus on global perspectives on girls, women, and education, offering perspectives and insights on the situation right here.

Maryam Sullivan

Maryam A. Sullivan is an award-winning poet, playwright, and author of the first Urban Muslim Fiction book, The Size of a Mustard Seed. Mrs. Sullivan was also the 2009 Lorraine Hansberry Scholarship recipient for creative writing, the 2010 scholarship recipient for community involvement from The Springfield Partners for Community Action, and the 2011 Harold Grinspoon Creative Entrepreneurial scholarship recipient as well. Outside of the writing world, Maryam is a certified English as a Second Language teacher, operates her own online tutoring service geared towards homeschoolers, and is the founder and the creative director of Covered Girls Collective, a performing arts and media literacy group for immigrant girls in Western Mass. She holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors from Bay Path College and Master’s degree with honors from Regis University. Mrs. Sullivan’s talk today will focus on innovative ways she is using technology and community-building to further girls’ education and empowerment.

Our hosts are Ayanna Crawford and Jean Canosa Albano.

Ayanna Crawford

Ayanna C.Crawford is the proud mother of two children with one in college. She currently works for the Springfield Public Schools as an Educator. She also is the owner/President of AC Consulting Services. She is also the host of the Ayanna C. Crawford show Inside Excellence scheduled to aired on Focus Springfield as well as the co-host for the BLE program with State Rep Ben Swan on WTCC.

She has been a guest lecturer at Smith College’s education department on “Best Practices for Literacy Development in Urban Schools.” She is a graduate of Westfield State University with a BA and Springfield College with an M.Ed and a former member of AmeriCorps, a service program that places students in urban schools to help with closing the achievement gap.

Currently Ayanna serves on the board of directors for the American Red Cross and Total Women Conference, Inc, She is an Alumni from Leadership Pioneer Valley, which cultivates emerging leadership in the Pioneer Valley. She currently hosts the Gospel Café, a regional entertainment showcase in the New England area, as well as Tastemakers Soul, an event of the local, regional, national entertainment world to network with executives in the entertainment industry. Ayanna has been a featured speaker at numerous colleges and universities on the topic of race, women’s issues, and parenthood.

Ayanna has been awarded 2013 women in leadership (Action award) from the TWA. Also, she was honored as a Local and Regional Woman to watch in 2014 BIW Magazine online.

Her motto is, “Be the change you want to see in the world”- Gandhi


Ms. Canosa Albano is the Manager of Public Services and the Mason Square Branch for the Springfield City Library. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, earned her Master’s in Library and Information Services from the University of Rhode Island, and is a member of the Sigma Delta Pi and Beta Phi Mu honor societies for Spanish and Library & Information Studies, respectively. She has been named a Massachusetts Literacy Champion and recognized in the Springfield Republican for International Women’s Day.

May is National Pet Month

May 1st, 2014

The library is celebrating with a donation program for the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center and with pet-related programs throughout the month.


National Pet Month is a celebration of the benefits that pets bring to people’s lives and that people bring to pets. It is observed annually in the United States in May. National Pet Month’s goals are to:

  • promote the benefits of pet ownership
  • support pet adoption
  • make people aware of the benefits of pets for people and of people for pets
  • increase public awareness of local community animal shelters
  • raise awareness of the role, value, and contribution to society of working companion animals

Each library branch will have a drop-off donation area for animal care or maintenance supplies for Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center. Help give back to the community during the month of May and drop off donations/supplies at any library location in the City of Springfield. It’s a very easy, simple way to make a contribution and make a difference in your community. The Thomas J. O’Connor Center provides shelter, education, advocacy, and assistance for animals and people in need. They rely solely on contributions from individuals and businesses that care about animals.

The Springfield City Library and the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center are both departments of the City of Springfield.

Wish List for Thomas J. O’Connor


  • Canned dog and cat food (any brand)
  • Beech Nut all-meat baby food (no onion or garlic, just meat)
  • Peanut butter, spray cheese, hot dogs
  • Fresh vegetables when we have rabbits and reptiles


  • Rawhide chews, pigs ears, bully sticks
  • Stuffed animals, ping pong balls, cat toys
  • Kiddy pools (summertime wading)
  • “Kong” toys and other heavy duty treat-dispensing toys
  • Small dog biscuits
  • Stretch and Scratch cat scratchers


  • Stainless steel bowls
  • Bedding: comforters, towels, and blankets
  • Clay cat litter
  • Plastic cat carriers
  • Dog crates and exercise pens
  • Dog shampoo and conditioner (not flea control)
  • B-Air Pet Dryer, 115 volt, or similar dryer with hand-held hose & nozzle
  • Nail clippers (new – dog and cat sizes)
  • Slip leads, 6’ leashes, adjustable collars (cloth)
  • Bandanas
  • Baled timothy hay – 1 bale every 3 months
  • Humane box traps (any size)


  • Laundry detergent, liquid bleach, dryer sheets
  • Liquid hand soap, white vinegar
  • Paper towels, Kleenex
  • Brooms, mops, mop heads (string type), dustpans
  • Lint rollers and refills
  • Air freshening sprays
  • Dishwashing liquid and gloves
  • Glass cleaner, multi-surface cleaners


  • Bottle water

GIFT CARDS (for our immediate needs)

  • Dave’s
  • Petco
  • Staples
  • Walmart
  • Big Y
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s

Download Wish List

Programs at the library in May!


Animal Meet & Greet!

East Springfield Branch, Wednesday, May 7, 6 – 7 pm

East Forest Park Branch, Wednesday, May 14, 6 – 7 pm

Join us in celebrating National Pet Month with an Animal Meet & Greet. Come meet some furry friends from one of our local animal shelters. Learn about their pet care, pet safety and how you can adopt a pet from your local animal shelter. This is a free family event.


Visit with Toto the Tornado Kitten

East Forest Park Branch, Saturday, May 17, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

In honor of National Pet Month, Toto the Tornado Kitten will be visiting East Forest Park Branch Library with his caretaker Jonathan Hall. Come admire and meet one of the coolest cats and hear Jonathan tell the story of Toto’s remarkable rescue after the tornado in June 2011. Jonathan’s books Toto the Tornado Kitten and Oh Toto! Where Did You Go? will be for sale.

Family Film: The Jungle Book

Mason Square Branch, Thursday, May 22, 6 – 8 pm

In the last animated film produced by Walt Disney himself, a young baby is discovered in the jungle by Bagheera, a panther. The strong-willed boy, Mowgli, is raised by Baloo, the bear and the two paternal animals try to keep him safe and raise him right as he meets with misadventures that involve swing-dancing monkeys, hypnotic snakes, and fearsome tigers. Free popcorn and refreshments will be served.


Read to Bella, the Reading Therapy Dog

East Forest Park, Saturday, May 31, 1 – 2 pm

Do you have a beginning reader or a reader needing some reading practice? Sign up for a specific ten minute time slot to read to Bella, a Pomeranian therapy dog, trained to serve as an audience with children to help them with improving their reading skills. This opportunity is especially for beginning or reluctant readers who just need some positive reading practice. Bella is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face while helping to promote and encourage children to read.

Call 413-263-6836 or stop in at the East Forest Park Branch Library to secure a spot.

Comic Book Day is May 3!

April 29th, 2014

And we’re celebrating!

Free Comic Book Day at Forest Park Branch, Saturday, May 3, 11 am – 3 pm

Celebrate Free Comic Book Day at the Forest Park Branch Library! Drop by and pick up your free comic book while supplies last. One book per person.

Comic Book Celebration

East Springfield Branch, Saturday, May 3, 11 am – 3 pm
Brightwood Branch, Tuesday, May 6, 3:30 – 7:30 pm

Join us for an afternoon celebrating comics and graphic novels in the library. We’ll have a comic themed scavenger hunt, a trivia contest, and many other surprises all day! All ages welcome!

Phoenix Swords Coming to the Library!

April 28th, 2014

May 24, Indian Orchard Branch Lawn, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

May 24, East Springfield Branch Lawn, 1:30 – 2:30 pm May 31, Central Library Rotunda, 11 am -12 pm

May 31, Forest Park Branch Community Room, 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Long swords, daggers, and lances, oh my! Phoenix Swords demonstrate the history of swordsmanship using real weaponry. They will describe stage fighting and there will be a time for questions and answers. At some locations this event will take place outside so please call ahead if weather will be an issue.

Phoenix Swords is a performance group that for the last 12 years has given shows everywhere from Canada to Florida. Their focus is on historical sword techniques as written about by sword masters in Europe from 1300 to 1700. They perform at venues of all sizes and have done shows for everything from birthday parties to The History Channel.

Children’s and Teens’ Choice Book Awards

April 23rd, 2014

Indian Orchard Branch Library
March 25 – May 12

YOUR Books! YOUR Choice!


The Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards is the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by children and teens. Last year, over 1,000,000 votes were cast by young readers!


Come to your local branch to vote on YOUR favorite book. You may either vote on line at or on paper.

Winners will be announced during Children’s Book Week — May 12-18, 2014.


Children’s Book Week is all about celebrating your favorite books, authors, and illustrators! From comics to mysteries, from magic to history…you can find anything between the pages of a book! And TEENS don’t let the name fool you –- Children’s Book Week is for you, too! This week is all about celebrating the books that matter to you.

Library Snapshot Day — more pics

April 12th, 2014
Students from Forest Park Middle School congregate inside and outside the Forest Park Branch Library on a nice day...
Students from Forest Park Middle School congregate inside and outside the Forest Park Branch Library on a nice day…
Storytime at Mason Square Branch.
Storytime at Mason Square Branch.
More storytime...popular program at Mason Square Branch.
More storytime…popular program at Mason Square Branch.
DeBerry School students at Mason Square Branch Library.
DeBerry School students at Mason Square Branch Library.
DeBerry School students at Mason Square Branch Library.
DeBerry School students at Mason Square Branch Library.
DeBerry School students at Mason Square Branch Library.
DeBerry School students at Mason Square Branch Library.
DeBerry School students at Mason Square Branch Library.
DeBerry School students at Mason Square Branch Library.

Job Fair a Great Success!

April 10th, 2014

We had several representatives from local agencies on hand for Let’s Get to Work, Springfield II: our job fair and business fashion extravaganza on Wednesday, April 9.

Nicole Griffin is the owner of Griffin Staffing Network
Nicole Griffin is the owner of Griffin Staffing Network
Marlene Corales of Westover Job Corps at Let's Get to Work Springfield
Marlene Corales of Westover Job Corps at Let’s Get to Work Springfield
Afghanistan War Vet Nick Colgin gave a great and inspiring talk to job seekers.
Afghanistan War Vet Nick Colgin gave a great and inspiring talk to job seekers.
Representatives from the City of Springfield and Six Flags New England at the job fair.
Representatives from the City of Springfield and Six Flags New England at the job fair.
Agency representatives at Let's Get to Work Springfield luncheon.
Agency representatives at Let’s Get to Work Springfield luncheon.
New England Business Associates display.
New England Business Associates display.
Nick Colgin at Let's Get to Work Springfield II.
Nick Colgin at Let’s Get to Work Springfield II.
Business wear advice from Dress for Success.
Business wear advice from Dress for Success.
Sally Rueli, boutique owner, did the presentation for Dress for Success.
Sally Rueli, boutique owner, did the presentation for Dress for Success.
Griffin Staffing Network display with Nicole Griffin.
Griffin Staffing Network display with Nicole Griffin.

Library Snapshot Day

April 10th, 2014
Storytime at East Forest Park: Clap your hands!
Storytime at East Forest Park: Clap your hands!
Storytime at East Forest Park: If you're happy and you know it...!
Storytime at East Forest Park: If you’re happy and you know it…!
Storytime at East Forest Park: I'm a little teapot....
Storytime at East Forest Park: I’m a little teapot….
Storytime at East Forest Park: ...pour me out!
Storytime at East Forest Park: …pour me out!
Storytime at East Forest Park: all done!
Storytime at East Forest Park: all done!
Tasty Tuesday at Forest Park: Chex mix, sweet & spicy!
Tasty Tuesday at Forest Park: Chex mix, sweet & spicy!
Stories & Art at Sixteen Acres: fun and interactive!
Stories & Art at Sixteen Acres: fun and interactive!
Stories & Art at Sixteen Acres
Stories & Art at Sixteen Acres
Stories & Art at Sixteen Acres: everyone gets involved!
Stories & Art at Sixteen Acres: everyone gets involved!
Stories & Art at Sixteen Acres
Stories & Art at Sixteen Acres
Our Lego Lounge at the Central Library Children's Room
Our Lego Lounge at the Central Library Children’s Room

Our Lego Lounge at the Children’s Library: Check out our Animoto video!

Let's Get to Work Springfield II: Job Fair is buzzing.
Let’s Get to Work Springfield II: Job Fair is buzzing.
Let's Get to Work Springfield II: Job Fair is buzzing.
Let’s Get to Work Springfield II: Job Fair is buzzing.

Let's Get to Work Springfield II: Job Fair
Let’s Get to Work Springfield II: Job Fair

What is steampunk?

April 8th, 2014

Monday, April 14, 5 – 6 pm
Central Library Community Room


Have you been wondering what Steampunk is? Have you visited the Steampunk exhibits at the Springfield Museums and now you’d like to know more? Come to a lively talk by librarian Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe who will explain how Steampunk has affected our culture in ways both old and new. Sarah will be dressed in Steampunk costume, by the way, and anyone who attends her talk is encouraged to come in costume, too.

And get up to speed with our steampunk reading lists!

So you think you can..? teen vacation week programs

April 7th, 2014

During April School Vacation Week, teens can learn to be creative!


So you think you can…DRAW! Cartoon Mania!
Indian Orchard Branch, week of April 22 – 25, Tuesday through Friday, 1 – 2:30 pm

In this class we will start out by addressing basic drawing skills (perspective, shading, proportions, etc.) and how it relates to cartoons. The rest of the class will be dedicated to the process of cartooning.

We will learn tricks and tips of the cartoon world; how to create characters; how to design and draw cartoons; and where and how to sell them.

The focus of this class is on each individual’s personal style with a lot of one-on-one instruction! If you have never drawn cartoons before, this is the place to learn — if you’re already drawing cartoons then we can help you take your cartooning to the next level.

Sketch books and pencils included.

TO PREREGISTER PLEASE CALL MEG AT 413-263-6846. Preregistration REQUIRED. Limited to 10 participants.

Michael Cady is a freelance artist that runs cartooning workshops within the East Longmeadow schools. Currently he is teaching cartooning to children ages 8-14 through the local Parks and Recreation Departments here in the Greater Springfield, MA area.


So You Think You Can…DANCE!
Brightwood Branch Community Room, Tuesday, April 22, 3 – 5 pm

The Stadium Of Dance group will entertain teens and tweens with their creative and award winning dance skills. This dance group, well known in our area for winning awards, will bring about 20 kids from their dance family to perform in our library’s April program. They will perform different styles of dance routines from Afro, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Salsa, Tap and Tumbling. They will invite the audience to come up and dance with the group by teaching them some of the groups easy dance techniques. The audience will also be given a chance to show case their own creative dance skills. Who knows what talents we may have in our audience that day!


STADIUM OF DANCE opened in 2009 and has received many awards for their performances showcased throughout their studio serves ages 2-50. Their studio is currently located at 143 Mill Street #201 in Springfield MA.

Owner and dance instructor, Kamari Schoolfield started dancing at the age of five at En Motion Dance Theater where she excelled in all areas of dance and taught hip hop for two years. She was a competitive student of The Dance Center Senior Company in which she has revived numerous and special awards such as: First place in the Top 5, numerous platinum metals, the MTV Award, Most Entertaining & Dancing from the Heart Award. She has performed at the Halftime Show at University of New Haven, attended classes with top names in Hip Hop such as: Rhapsody, Dave Scott, Luam, Chio and Brian Thomas. She is currently a dancer for a famous local artist in Connecticut, Ru Williams, and was chosen to be a dancer on BET’s TV show 106 & Park. While dancing everywhere and making her presence known, Kamari was teaching at Giggle Garden in Springfield then moved on to owning her own studio called Stadium of Dance in 2009. Today she continues with her studio and is looking to continue her success.


So You Think You Can…DIRECT!
Mason Square Branch, Wednesday, April 23, 2-3:30 pm AND Friday, April 25, 2-3:30 pm
Sign up online! Signing up for the first class on Wednesday includes the Friday class.

Direct your own movie in this two-part workshop. We’ll learn how to write, shoot, and edit short films using Flip cameras and iMovie. Actors, writers, and directors welcome!


So You Think You Can…DO IMPROV COMEDY!
Central Library Community Room, Wednesday, April 23, 2-4 pm
Sign up online

Phantom Sheep Comedy troupe will entertain teens and tweens with their own improv and sketch comedy, then bring everyone into the action by helping teens learn to create their own comedy. There will be a few warm-up exercises followed by games that are as much fun to play as they are to watch all in a very encouraging environment. Students will get a chance to shine as they work alongside and “on stage” with the troupe member instructors themselves.

Laugh out loud with your library!


Phantom Sheep Productions is a comedy based troupe featuring a team of professional performers, writers, producers, and technicians that worked together for several years prior to its official forming in 1996 with current repertoire members working collaboratively for over a decade. Their work has been seen in theaters, theme parks, colleges, television, libraries, and more. The troupe boasts over 200 scripted sketches produced and countless improvised scenes!


So You Think You Can…Make Jazzy Jewelry
East Forest Park Branch, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 4-5:30 pm
Sign up online

Make your own beaded bracelet, necklace, or earrings with the creative coaching of Delphine. Beads and equipment provided. For ages 12-19. Space is limited to 10; to register, contact Delphine Ray at 413-263-6836 or sign up online.

Delphine is an experienced crafter who wants to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with teens.


So You Think You Can. . .?
Forest Park Branch, Thursday April 24, 2-3:30 pm

Show us your stuff at the Forest Park Branch talent show! We want to see your unique talent, no matter what it is! Feeling shy? Just drop in and watch the show.


So You Think You Can….BE A WRITER!
East Springfield Branch, Thursday, April 24, 3:30 – 5 pm

Teens and kids 10 and up, join Springfield College intern Dylan Tully in creating an online newsletter of creative writing (and drawing). Spend some time with Dylan writing a poem or story, review a movie, book or video game — whatever interests you. You can also bring in something you have already written or drawn, and it will be included in this new publication that’s just for Springfield area youth.

WANTED: Creative writing pieces by teens for publication