Teen Fine Forgiveness this Summer

June 8th, 2017

New Program Deletes Late Fees to Give Teens Fresh Start at Library

teen summer-reading-experience-teen

The Springfield City Library and Springfield Public Schools are pleased to announce a summer initiative for teens that is aimed at getting former patrons back into the library. The Teen Fine Forgiveness Program, which will run from June 12th through August 26th, grants a clean slate to library card holders with accumulated fines.

Currently, there are more than 5,000 Springfield teens whose ability to borrow books has been blocked due to overdue fines. Library Director Molly Fogarty said in many cases, it’s a matter of small fines adding up. “We decided it’s time to remove that barrier,” she said. “It’s so important for teens to have access to library resources.”

older teen-boy-reading

The program will run in tandem with the Springfield City Library’s Annual Summer Reading Club. To participate, teens can stop by any of the City’s nine Library locations and join the Summer Reading Club. When they join, they will be granted a Golden Ticket to begin borrowing books from the library once again.

The Golden Ticket can be used at any Circulation or Welcome Desk in the Springfield City Library system. The ticket not only erases all Springfield City Library late fees from the teen’s library account, but also becomes a raffle ticket for gift card prizes. As an extra benefit, teens can return long overdue items with their Golden Ticket to skip late fee charges, and teens do not have to pay a replacement fee if they need a new library card.

The Library Commission voted in favor of the initiative during a meeting on April 5th. “It’s 100 percent the right thing to do for Springfield teens and their families,” said Stephen Cary, who serves as chairman of the board.

Springfield Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Lydia Martinez said library resources are an important component of student success. “We’re grateful the Library Commission has provided this opportunity for the District to join with Springfield City Library and really excited to give our teenage students a second chance to get back into the City Library,” said Martinez. “We want our teens to have as much support as possible as they progress academically.”

Young adults between the ages of 12 and 19 are eligible to participate in the Teen Fine Forgiveness initiative, which is a pilot program. Traditionally, the Library has not charged late fines for children under the age of 12. The Springfield City Library also offers a Read Off Your Fines program for teens all year long. While the summer Teen Fine Forgiveness initiative erases late fees, it does not erase fees associated with books that are lost or missing.

For more information, interested persons can call or visit their library branch.

Springfield City Library Welcomes New Dr. Seuss Museum

June 1st, 2017
Seuss Decoration

Many of us know that Dr. Seuss (real name: Theodor Seuss Geisel) was born and raised right here in Springfield, MA, and are familiar with his classic children’s books: The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, and over 50 others. With the opening of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum on June 3rd, Geisel’s legacy is growing more than ever.

The Springfield City Library has a special relationship with Dr. Seuss’s books. Those of you who have visited the Children’s Room in the Central Library know that the unique design elements are taken directly from Geisel’s artwork. The nine Springfield City Library locations have nearly 300 Seuss-related items available for borrowing, from early readers to movies, from e-audiobooks to a songbook with piano scores. (For comparison, we have 209 Harry Potter-related items). And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was published in 1937; 80 years later, Seuss books are still wildly popular. Green Eggs and Ham was named #12 in School Library Journal’s list of Top 100 Picture Books, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go is a popular gift for new graduates every spring.

Here at the Springfield City Library, we’re celebrating the opening of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum by adding an additional 200 Seuss books to the collection, in both English and Spanish. After visiting the museum, we encourage you to stop by the Central Library, enjoy our creative Seuss displays, visit the Seuss-inspired Children’s Room, and borrow copies of your favorite Seuss works. And be sure to look for us in the Cavalcade of Conveyances on June 3rd, proudly rolling a set of incredible Seussian book carts along the parade route.

Mason Square Branch Library Hosts Volunteer Fair

June 1st, 2017

Organizer Says Volunteering Can Build New Skills, Make Job Connections

Thursday, June 15, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Mason Square Branch Library, 765 State Street

Help short Pencils

Springfield residents looking for valuable volunteer experience are invited to the Mason Square Branch Library’s Volunteer Fair. The event will be held from 5:30-7:30 PM on Thursday, June 15th, at the Springfield City Library’s Mason Square Branch at 765 State Street in Springfield.

A variety of organizations will be represented, including the Dakin Humane Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Horizons for Homeless Children, Mason Square Health Task Force, Make-it Springfield, and the Springfield City Library. The event will be especially useful for those passionate about nonprofit causes, students and adults needing to complete service hours, and anyone wanting to explore the work environment at one of the participating organizations.

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, but event organizer Ellen Sulzycki, a reference librarian at the Mason Square Branch Library, says there are even more benefits: “It’s not only a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but you will have the opportunity to build new skills, connect with new people, and create opportunities for possible future employment.” The event is part of the library’s annual Summer Reading Club, the theme of which is “Build a Better World”.

Friction Farm to Perform at the Central Library

May 1st, 2017

Musical Duo Turns Favorite Books Into Literary Songs
Sunday, May 7, 2-3 PM
Central Library Rotunda

The Springfield City Library is thrilled to present a performance by musical duo Friction Farm on Sunday, May 7th from 2-3 PM. Guitarist/vocalist Aidan Quinn and bassist/vocalist Christine Stay are avid readers who turn their love of great books into songs. Literary inspirations include popular novels like The Cellist of Sarajevo, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, The Glass Castle, and well-known nonfiction such as Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, and more.

This concert is part of the Rotunda Rhythms musical series, hosted in the Central Library at 220 State Street in Springfield. Each performance includes a free attendance raffle for the audience, sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Vibrant Paintings by Dr. Gloria Caballer-Arce Featured at Library

April 27th, 2017
Paintings by Gloria Caballer-Arce CL Poster

Exhibit Reception Includes Paintings, Jewelry, and Painted Plates

Central Library, 220 State Street
May 1 – June 29
Reception: Monday, May 1, 6:30 p.m.

Paintings by Dr. Gloria Caballer-Arce will be on exhibit at the Central Library from Monday May 1st through Thursday, June 29th. Her artwork represents a trademark style of bold colors, interweaving lines, and abstract shapes. Dr. Caballer-Arce is a retired Springfield Public Schools administrator. She has displayed her artworks widely in the Greater Springfield area and beyond.

A public reception in honor of the artist and her works is scheduled for Monday, May 1st starting at 6:30 p.m. Join her and others to see her latest paintings, as well as a selection of her handmade jewelry and painted plates. Refreshments compliments of the Friends of the Library with free attendance raffle to all who participate. The Central Library is located at 220 State Street in Springfield, MA.

Cabaret Concert to be Held at the Central Library

April 10th, 2017

“The Cabaret Art of Vickie Phillips” to be Performed April 23rd

The Springfield City Library will present “The Cabaret Art of Vickie Phillips” on Sunday, April 23rd from 2-3 PM. A master of her craft, Vickie Phillips has been entertaining audiences coast-to-coast for decades. Back from recent performances in New York City, the award-winning actress and singer will perform a cabaret, featuring a variety of great American standards. Accompanying on piano will be Springfield pianist Michael Rheault, composer of The Birth and Fabulous!

This concert is part of the Rotunda Rhythms monthly musical series, hosted in the Central Library at 220 State Street in Springfield. Each performance includes a free attendance raffle for the audience, sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Library Offers Hands-On Pastel Painting Workshop for Adults

April 10th, 2017

Award-winning Pastelist Gregory John Maichack to Instruct

Saturday, April 15, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Central Library Community Roo
Sign up online

The Springfield City Central Library on 220 State Street in Springfield will host award-winning pastel artist Gregory John Maichack to present an adult hands-on workshop, “Pastel Paint the 45-Million- Dollar Flower,” on Saturday, April 15th, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This pastel painting workshop is designed for beginners up to experienced artists. Seats may fill quickly so please call (413) 263-6828 ext. 221 to pre-register. Participants will freely experiment with hundreds of the artist’s professional grade pastels, pastel pencils, and pastel paper, in this fun pastel painting workshop.

In this new, highly researched workshop, participants have fun producing their own pastel painting of Georgia O’Keeffe’s elegant Jimson flower that sold for $45.4 million. Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1 has been described as a vehicle for pure expression. Mr. Maichack will demonstrate how beginners to accomplished artists can pastel paint easily using techniques of masters such as O’Keeffe. As always, participants will keep their pastel paintings.

Mr. Maichack has been a faculty member of the Museum Studio School in the Fine Arts Museum Quadrangle in Springfield, MA; and taught at Holyoke and Greenfield Community Colleges, Westfield State University, East Works, the MFA, Boston, and The Guild, Northampton. Winner of the Award of Merit from the Bennington Center for the Arts: Impressions of New England Show 2003, he also was awarded the Savoir-faire Pastel Award from the Great Lakes Pastel Society. Maichack has been commissioned to paint portraits of past Westfield State University president Doctor Frederick Woodward, as well as dictionary great Charles Merriam for Merriam-Webster Co.

Women’s Leadership Panel to be Held in Mason Square

March 21st, 2017
My Beloved Springfield- Honoring Pioneering Librarians and Women's Leadership Panel

Event Also Honors Pioneering Mason Square Librarians
Thursday, March 30, 5:30 – 7:30 PM

The Springfield City Library is reprising one of its most popular events, entitled “My Beloved Springfield: Honoring Pioneering Librarians and Women’s Leadership Panel”. Attendees can explore local leadership development opportunities for women and girls at an information fair from 5:30-6 PM, and help honor two pioneering librarians, Mrs. Bettye Webb and Mrs. Sylvia Humphrey-Spann. Mrs. Webb and Mrs. Humphrey-Spann led the Mason Square (formerly Winchester Square) Branch Library and made it a welcoming, educational, and motivational cultural center for neighborhood residents.

The final part of the evening includes a panel of local women who will discuss their different paths to leadership. Panelists include The Rev. Catharine Cummings, activist and pastor with Wesley UMC in Springfield and Christ UMC in Northampton; Chrissy Howard, Instructional Leadership Specialist with Springfield Public Schools; Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, trial attorney with the Law Office of Tahirah Amatul-Wadud; Natasha Clark, writer, publisher, entrepreneur and founding partner of Lioness, the digital magazine for female entrepreneurs; and Ivette Ramos, Director at MassMutual Financial Group. The panel will be moderated by Decorti Rodgers-Tonge, Chair of the Accounting Department for Bay Path University. The panel will be followed by a Q&A session and light refreshments will be served.

The event is scheduled from 5:30-7:30 PM on Thursday, March 30th and will be held at the Mason Square Branch Library, located at 765 State Street in Springfield. Parking is available in lots on Hawley and Monroe streets, and overflow parking at the adjacent Wesley United Methodist Church, accessible by State Street and Monroe street.

Celtic Concert to be Held at the Central Library

March 16th, 2017

“The Softer Side of Celtic: Music and Stories” Features Guitarist Jeff Snow
Sunday, March 26, 2 – 3 p.m.
Central Library Rotunda

The Springfield City Library will be hosting “The Softer Side of Celtic: Music and Stories”, performed by Jeff Snow, on Sunday, March 26th from 2-3 PM. Mr. Snow is a highly regarded guitarist who also plays the autoharp, bouzouki, and other instruments. He weaves the stories of music from Scotland, Ireland and England into a unique program that includes plenty of singing, laughter, and clapping.

The concert is part of the Rotunda Rhythms monthly musical series, hosted in the Central Library at 220 State Street in Springfield. Programs in February-April will feature local musicians in performances well suited for a general, all-ages audience. Each concert includes a free attendance raffle for the audience, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. “The Softer Side of Celtic: Music and Stories” is supported in part by a grant from the Springfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Castro Documentary to be Screened at Sixteen Acres Branch

March 6th, 2017
Clodo Concepcion hi res.

Film Screening with Discussion of the Documentary The Castro Tapes
Saturday, March 25, 3:15 p.m.
Sixteen Acres Branch Library

Please join us for a free showing and discussion of a fascinating PBS documentary, The Fidel Castro Tapes. According to the producer: “To some an icon of resistance and to others the very face of dictatorial oppression, Fidel Castro was one of the most provocative political figures of the 20th century. The Fidel Castro Tapes chronicles how his drive and charisma catapulted him to power in Cuba and how he used these traits to maintain control of his country for nearly five decades and capture the attention of the world.”

There will be a discussion after the documentary that will feature a special guest, Sixteen Acres resident and former Springfield City Councilor Clodo Concepcion. Clodo grew up in Cuba, the second of 12 children, on a tobacco farm under the Batista government. He came to the United States in 1956.

“Health in the Square” Grant Funds Gardening Workshops

March 1st, 2017
Kiosk Image Gardening Workshops

Springfield Residents Can Grow Seedlings, Have Soil Tested, and Plan Gardens


Springfield City Library’s Mason Square Branch was lucky enough to win a “Health in the Square” grant from the National Library of Medicine a few months ago. However, the real winners are Springfield residents who can now attend a variety of free gardening workshops, many of which are funded by the grant.

Events include Garden Planning on March 9th from 5-6:30 PM, Soil Health and Soil Testing on March 25th from 11 AM – 12 PM, Community Garden Get Together on March 25th from 12:30-2:30 PM, and Bring Your Soil on March April 13th from 5-6:30 PM. All events listed above will be held at the Mason Square Library, located at 756 State Street in Springfield.

Many additional gardening-related workshops are planned at various city locations. For more information, please visit the Springfield Food Policy Council website or call them at 413-263-6500 ext. 6539. Those interested in attending workshops may also contact workshop coordinator Anna Muhammad at SFPCgardens@gmail.com or call 413-214-1237.

March Brings Talented Authors to Springfield City Libraries

February 28th, 2017
Kiosk Image Author Fair

Libraries Host Events Showcasing Local Writers

The Spring Local Author Fair
March 4, 2017, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m
Central Library Rotunda

Katherine Kraver Book Signing
Wednesday, March 29, From 6:00-7:00 p.m. East Springfield Branch AND
Saturday, April 1, from 1:00-2:00 p.m., Sixteen Acres Branch

Katherine Kraver II

The Springfield City Library is honored to host a large number of authors this spring. On March 4th from 12:30-3:30 PM the Central Library will host the Author Fair, which features talented local and Massachusetts-based writers. The authors will be on hand to discuss their books and their writing, and to sign copies of their novels, nonfiction works, poetry collections, and children’s books. The Central Library is located at 220 State Street. A full listing of featured authors and genres can be found on our website.

On Wednesday, March 29th from 6-7 PM, the East Springfield Branch Library will host Katherine Kraver, A globetrotter who has visited Jordan, Haiti and two dozen other countries, she is dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of refugees and hardships that children face across the globe. Ms. Kraver will be reading from her newest book, The Boy with the Red Shoes. The program will also include crafts, a slide show on the author’s travels and writing process, and a book signing. $1.00 from the sale of each of her books will be donated to The Red Cross to help children. The East Springfield Branch Library is located at 21 Osborne Terrace.