Masterful Musicians to Perform in Sixteen Acres

December 15th, 2016

Cellist and Pianist to Play Gorgeous Classical Selections
Tuesday, December 27, 6:30 p.m.
Sixteen Acres Branch Library

Add some joy to your holiday season and attend an educational, enchanting, free classical music concert at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 27th. Two teachers from the Community Music School of Springfield will play a wide variety of classical music at the Sixteen Acres Branch Library, located at 1187 Parker Street in Springfield. Sofya Shainskaya, a pianist with a distinguished career as a performer and teacher for over 30 years, was at one time the accompanist and musical arranger for the former USSR Olympic Gymnastic Team. Sofya’s husband, Boris Kogan, a cellist, was a child prodigy in his native Russia. Mr. Kogan was Assistant Principal cellist with the Leningrad Symphony and has performed in locations such as Yale University, Carnegie Hall, and Washington, D.C. As well as playing beautiful musical selections by J.S. Bach, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, Sofya and Boris will talk about the composers, as well as their own experiences as musicians in the United States and in Russia.

Mason Square Branch Awarded “Health in the Square” Grant

December 6th, 2016
Mason Square 2014

Grant Will Fund Free Nutrition, Gardening, and Technology Programs

The Springfield City Library’s Mason Square Branch has been awarded a grant from the National Library of Medicine for a series of programs called “Health in the Square.” The Library will partner with the Mason Square Health Task Force, Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, American International College, and Springfield Food Policy Council to provide a variety of programs designed to increase health and health knowledge among Springfield residents.

As part of the grant, Springfield City Library staff will receive training on an online resource called Medline Plus; the Mason Square Branch Library will purchase three tablets for patrons to easily access health information via the National Library of Medicine; the Mason Square Branch Library will host nutritional “Tasty Tuesday” snack programs for children ages 9-12 and their families; and the Springfield Food Policy Council will lead gardening workshops at both the Mason Square Branch Library and at additional community garden locations in the City of Springfield.

All library programs are free and open to the public. Some programs have limited spots and require registration. All library locations and hours, as well as a complete listing of all library events, can be found on our website. You may also request information by calling the Central Library Reference Desk at 413-263-6828 ext. 213.

Health Literacy Resources at your local library

December 6th, 2016

By Ellen Sulzycki, Reference Librarian


Recently, Mason Square Branch Library received a grant from the National Library of Medicine for Community Engagement. Through this grant, Springfield City Librarians have been trained in best practices for health reference services. Margot Malachowski, previous Health Sciences Librarian at Baystate Medical, visited Springfield City Library for a training session on serving patrons with health related questions. Topics ranged from how to access reliable health data to how to locate primary care providers.

Mason Square Branch Library will soon have iPad tablets exclusively for patrons seeking health information. Visit a Springfield City Library location today to explore these recommended websites for health information:

Delicious Baked Goods, Great Books for Sale at Library

December 1st, 2016

The book sale will continue through Friday, December 23. Stop by!

Mason Square Hosts Annual “Book and Bake Sale”
Thursday, December 15, 3 – 7:30 p.m.


Pioneer Valley residents looking for literary holiday gifts will want to stop by the Book and Bake Sale, to be held at the Springfield City Library’s Mason Square Branch from 3-7:30 PM on Thursday, December 15th. Shoppers will enjoy free hot chocolate while they browse a wide selection of used fiction and nonfiction books for adults, teens, and children, all for sale at deep discounts. Paperbacks and children’s books are priced at $0.50 each, hardcovers are $1.00, or you can fill a bag for just $5.00.

Visitors will also find an array of baked goods for sale, including cookies, brownies and fudge. All proceeds from book and baked good sales will benefit the Friends of the Springfield Library, who support a large number of the Springfield City Library’s free programs for the public.

Those wishing to contribute a baked good for the bake sale may contact Mason Square Branch Supervisor Caitlin Kelley at 413-263-6853.

Reading Lists: Cozy Home, Cooking and Baking

November 15th, 2016

The colder the weather, the nicer it is to have a snuggly home. That may mean colors, candles, and blankets, or it may mean lots and lots of pie. Either way, we hope you’ll find some inspiration below!


Kitchen of light: new Scandinavian cooking with Andreas Viestad

First frost: cozy folk knitting by Lucinda Guy

Against the grain: (extraordinary gluten-free recipes made from real, all-natural ingredients) by Nancy Cain

A year of gingerbread houses: making & decorating gingerbread houses for all seasons by Kristine Samuell


Carla’s comfort foods: favorite dishes from around the world by Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko

Warm bread and honey cake: home baking from around the world by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra


Hand made baking: recipes to warm the heart by Kamran Siddiqi

Little retreats: more than thirty cozy getaway spaces for the seaside, mountains and country by Jane Tidbury

Gluten-free Christmas baking by Ellen Brown [e-book]

Baking chez moi: recipes from my Paris home to your home anywhere by Dorie Greenspan

Sweet Eats for All: : 250 Decadent Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes–from Candy to Cookies, Puff Pastries to Petits Fours by Allyson Kramer

Shades of country: designing a life of comfort by Chippy Irvine


Handcrafted Christmas: ornaments, decorations, and cookie recipes to make at home by Susan Waggoner


Simple sustainable style: ways to make a house your home by Randy Florke with Nancy J. Becker

Vegan for the holidays: celebration feasts for Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day by Zel Allen [e-book]

Knish: in search of the Jewish soul food by Laura Silver

This is just a small sampling of all the materials we have available through the library. Browse the catalog online or ask your librarian for some great recommendations!

History Comes Alive with Civil War Soldier Reenactor

November 2nd, 2016

Forest Park Branch Library to Host Reenactor Doug Quigley
Thursday, November 10, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for Union soldiers during the Civil War? What did they eat? What did they wear and carry with them? We invite you to Springfield City Library’s Forest Park Branch on Thursday, November 10th, to find out. Costumed reenactor Doug Quigley will make the past come alive and present a fascinating window into the experience of the Civil War. Children, teens, and adults are all invited to this free event, which will be held from 6:30-7:30 PM at 380 Belmont Avenue in Springfield.

Special Event for Nonprofits to be Hosted at Library

October 24th, 2016

Local Organizations Invited to Nonprofit Mingle
Central Library Rotunda
Thursday, October 27, 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Local nonprofits, foundations, and grassroots organizations are invited to the Nonprofit Mingle at the Springfield City Library, to be held from 5:30 – 7:30 PM on Thursday, October 27th. Attendees will enjoy the social atmosphere, wine, and food while networking and discovering the Library’s Funding Information Network resources. Those who bring business cards will be entered into a special raffle at the event.

“The Nonprofit Mingle is a great chance to network and build relationships,” said Jean Canosa Albano, the Library’s Assistant Director for Public Services. “The more the nonprofit community becomes connected, the easier it is for all of us to collaborate to address Springfield’s aspirations and concerns. We’ll also get to show off the Funding Information Network. I think attendees will be pleasantly surprised by how useful it is.”

The Mingle will be held at the Central Library, located at 220 State Street in Springfield. Although the event is free to attend, registration is required. Register online or by calling the Central Library Reference Desk at 413-263-6828 ext. 213.

Please note that the library will be closed to the public at that time, so you should enter by the street level door on the right of the building on the State Street side. Free parking is available in the parking lot across the street (between the Classical High Condos and the old School Department building).

Library Hosts MGM Springfield Trade Union Panel

October 24th, 2016

Event for Job Seekers to be Held on October 27th

The Springfield City Library’s Mason Square Branch will host a Trade Union Panel presentation for anyone interested in learning about trade jobs at MGM Springfield. The event will be held on Thursday, October 27th from 6-7:30 PM at 765 State Street in Springfield. The panel will feature representatives from local trade unions who are working with MGM, including Electricians (IBEW Local 7), Laborers (Local 999), and Painters (District Council 35).

“We are excited to have the cooperation of the trade unions in offering this informational panel,” said Layla Johnston, who serves as the Library’s Adult & Youth Information Services Manager and Workforce Development Team leader. “So many of our job-seeking library patrons have questions about construction employment with MGM and other economic development projects currently underway in Springfield. We hope everyone with questions will stop by the panel and get the answers they are searching for.”

Each union representative will explain the process of joining their union, the qualifications necessary to join, and more. The panel will be followed by a question and answer session. All are welcome and the event is free to attend.

Voting at Your Local Library

October 13th, 2016

If you’d like to vote early for the November 8th election, know that our Brightwood, Forest Park, Indian Orchard, Mason Square, Sixteen Acres, and Library Express at Pine Point locations are all Early Voting sites. Visit during scheduled times and staff from the Springfield Election Office will be available to help you cast your ballot. It doesn’t matter where you usually vote – as long as you are registered to vote in Springfield, you can go to any of the Springfield Early Voting sites and your vote will count as always. This is the first time that registered voters can take advantage of the new Early Voting law. See a list of all Early Voting locations and hours here.

On Election Day itself, November 8th, our Forest Park, Mason Square, and Library Express at Pine Point locations will all serve as polling sites from 7 AM – 8 PM.

List of library locations and hours.

“Howlarious Halloween” Show with Mary Jo Maichack

October 12th, 2016

Minstrel Storyteller to Perform at Forest Park Branch Library
Thursday, October 20, 4:30 p.m.


Springfield City Library’s Forest Park Branch will host Minstrel Storyteller Mary Jo Maichack to perform her “Howlarious Halloween” show, which includes ghost stories, songs and jokes. The performance is scheduled for Thursday, October 20th and is suitable for both children and teens.

Ms. Maichack has won two national awards for her storytelling, has performed some 3,000 shows in libraries, schools and festivals since 1989. She was featured several times on WGBY-PBS TV, the Connecticut Storytelling Festival, Three Apples, and Mark Twain Festivals and in venues from San Francisco to Venice, Italy.

“Howlarious Halloween” is possible thanks to a grant from the Springfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. The show will start at 4:30 p.m. at the Forest Park Branch Library, located at 380 Belmont Avenue in Springfield.

WWE Legend Bob Backlund to Give Author Talk

October 5th, 2016
pic Bob Backlund

Sixteen Acres Branch Library to Host Backlund on October 18th

Anyone who knows wrestling will know the name Bob Backlund. With a career spanning three decades, Backlund was a champion professional wrestler who was inducted into the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Hall of Fame in 2013. He ran for congress in 2000 and now works as an advocate for youth development. The famous former wrestler will visit the Sixteen Acres Branch Library on October 18th to speak about his book and life experiences, including his title as WWWF champion (2008-2013). Copies of his book Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion will be available for sale and signing. The event is scheduled from 6:30-7:30 PM; the Sixteen Acres Branch Library is located at 1187 Parker Street in Springfield.

“Slots, Pot, Veal, and Schools” event to be held at library

October 4th, 2016

City Library Hosts Ballot Question Program
Wednesday, October 12, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Central Library Community Room

What do gambling slots, marijuana, farm animals, and schools have in common? They’re all tied to important questions that will appear on the ballot when Massachusetts residents vote this November. To help voters understand what a “yes” or “no” vote means for each question, the Springfield City Library will be holding a “Slots, Pot, Veal, and Schools” event on October 12th from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Central Library at 220 State Street. Attendees can expect to hear from speakers on both sides of each issue and will have the opportunity to pose questions to the representatives. Attendees may also register to vote, check their registration status, and verify their polling place.

“At this time of year, voters are inundated with conflicting and sometimes confusing ads, postcards, and social media posts urging ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ votes on the ballot questions,” stated Jean Canosa Albano, Assistant Director for Public Services at the City Library. “To help them sort out what their votes mean, we’re bringing the supporters and opponents of the referenda right to Springfield residents, giving them a chance to ask questions and make up their minds.”

Among the groups sponsoring the event is The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. “Community collaborations are crucial to the work we do at the Women’s Fund,” said Women’s Fund Program Officer Ellen Moorhouse. “Partnering with the Springfield City Library to support such a unique educational event underscores the importance of remaining informed and engaged with local issues.”

Additional sponsors include the Library’s Civic & Community Engagement Team, the League of Women Voters/Springfield, and the Springfield Board of Elections.

The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is a public foundation that connects donors with the lives of local women and girls through strategic grant making and leadership development. To learn more, visit