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.

Science Squad at the Central Library

June 9th, 2014

Central Library Children’s Program Room
Wednesdays, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, beginning June 25


This series of programs will explore eight different scientific areas with engaging, hands-on activities tailored to school-aged children. Each program will include a brief discussion of scientific principles, getting hands-on by making models or examples, and “science in action,” where Science Squad members conduct experiments and work with their models. Ages 8-12. To register, please call the Children’s Room at 413-263-6828 ext 201.

    Week 1: Geyser Science – Get messy with the science of geysers, then show off what you’ve learned by building and testing your own geyser!
    Week 2: Slime Science: The Revenge – We will dig deep into the science of slime and substances that act like two different types of matter, and make an especially gross type of slime.
    Week 3: Balloon Science – Get carried up, up, and away with the science behind hot air balloons, and design your own flying balloon capable of carrying passengers.
    Week 4: Boat Race Science – Discover principles of buoyancy, aerodynamics, and boat design, and make your own boat to race against other Science Squad members!
    Week 5: Catapult Science – We will launch marshmallows through the air with our own simple catapults, having fun while learning about engineering.
    Week 6: Rocket Science – Learn about rocket design and flight, then create and fly your own awesome rocket creation!

Home: A Reception and Exhibit of Handmade Quilts

June 4th, 2014

Forest Park Branch
Thursday, June 12, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Home is an exhibit of quilts made by Springfield residents.

"Coming Home" Quilt, created by the late Dorothy Whitten Roy, a third generation Springfield resident.
“Coming Home” Quilt, created by the late Dorothy Whitten Roy, a third generation Springfield resident.

Come see the variety of quilts displayed, and meet the quilters who created them! A wide variety of quilting techniques will be on display, from the traditional to the modern. Don’t miss the additional programming – for all ages – which complements the exhibit, including a spinning demonstration, pattern making for young children, and more.

Light refreshments will be provided at the reception.

The exhibit will continue through August 26th.

Spinning Wheel Demonstration
Thursday, June 12, 6 – 7 pm

The textile industry is back in Springfield! Come and watch and try your hand at spinning thread on a spinning wheel! Spinner Lucy Willingham will set up her spinning wheel in our lobby. Drop in and watch, or, if you wish to try your hand at spinning, be prepared to take up a spindle.


Quilt created by Barbara Stroup
Quilt created by Barbara Stroup
Quilt created by Loretta Forsyth.
Quilt created by Loretta Forsyth.

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