“Springfield Speaks” Coming Soon

March 10th, 2016

Oral History Interviews
Saturday, April 23 and 30, 12 – 3 p.m.
Memoir Writing Workshops
Saturday, May 7 and 14, 1 – 3 p.m.
Mason Square Branch Library

Springfield MA riverfront

People have a lot to say about the City of Homes, its struggles, successes, and its future. This spring, city residents will have the opportunity to TELL their stories, WRITE their stories, and SHARE their experiences about living in Springfield. With permission, the library will compile these narratives and interviews into a digital exhibit, available to all City Library card holders.

Springfield Speaks: On Saturdays, April 23rd and April 30th, between 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. patrons are encouraged to join us in the Mason Square Branch’s Community Room where City Library volunteers will conduct brief oral history interviews focusing on life in Springfield, past and present. Do you have photographs of the city, your neighborhood, or Springfield events that you want to share? Feel free to bring them in. We’ll be adding photographs to the exhibit as well.


Springfield Writes: Next, on Saturdays May 7th and May 14th, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., adults of all writing backgrounds are invited to put pen to paper in a free, two-part memoir writing workshop, led by local author, Haven Williams.

The first workshop will help to answer the question: What is a memoir? How does one get started in writing one? Students will complete practice exercises designed to develop a focus in their writing.

In the second workshop, students will bring in samples of their writing and workshop one another’s work with assistance from Williams and librarian, Caitlin Kelley.

Please note: All participants will have to sign off on a permission slip, so that the library may use the content provided during each program. Anyone who does not wish for their work to be included in the digital exhibit is still encouraged to participate.

For more information, call the branch at 413-263-6853 or email ckelley@springfieldlibrary.org

Teen Survey!

March 5th, 2016
teen summer-reading-experience-teen

Teens, the Library is interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions on what kinds of programs and services YOU would like to attend and use at the library. Please share with us your thoughts and opinions by filling out this brief questionnaire. Tell us what your needs and interests are and how we can respond better to them!

Take this 10-question Teen Survey here, now through March 31.

Be sure to vote for your choice of programs to take place on Teens’ Choice Day! The winning program:

  • Teen Sandwich Making with a prize for the most creative sandwich
  • Teen Arts Festival with a chance for participants to creative visual arts of all kinds and have it on display at the library, or
  • Hour of Code exploration of coding
will take place on April 27 at the Central Library.

For more information, contact Martha Coons at 413-263-6828 x425 or mcoons@springfieldlibrary.org.

Open House at Central Library Thursday

January 20th, 2016

New Year, New Look to Be Unveiled on Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thanks to the generosity of Nancy Urbschat and TSM Design, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Springfield City Library will reveal its modern, new brand at 2 p.m. on Thursday, January 21 in the Rotunda of the Central Library, 220 State Street, Springfield.

For over 160 years Springfield City Library has been a place of connection to information and knowledge, culture and community. TSM Design, 293 Bridge St., Springfield MA, spent many hours exploring the past history and current aspirations of the Library, and donated their expertise and talents to create a fresh look for us.

We invite the public to join us at the Central Library for an Open House from 2-4 p.m. and share in our excitement as we show it off! Enjoy free refreshments and exchange your old library card for one with our fresh look. Bring your electronic device and our knowledgeable staff will show you how to download e-books, plus receive personalized book recommendations, and much more.

New Commonwealth Catalog Announced

December 10th, 2015

Springfield City Library has joined hundreds of Massachusetts libraries to provide a new service called the Commonwealth Catalog that makes it easy for residents to get the resources they need from libraries across the entire state. “It gives our residents access to millions of items beyond our local collection,” said Molly Fogarty, Library Director. “It also helps us save money. We couldn’t possibly afford to own every book our patrons need.”


When Springfield City Library’s network, C/W MARS, doesn’t have an item, residents can use the Commonwealth Catalog (commonwealthcatalog.org) to search through all participating libraries in one easy step and sort results by books, audiobooks, or DVDs. Next, they simply request the item and it’s delivered right to any Springfield City Library branch for pickup, usually within a few days. Last year, residents borrowed 6.5 million items from libraries outside their own community.

“Commonwealth Catalog is part of our strong statewide system of sharing library resources,” said Dianne Carty, Director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. “No matter where a resident lives, resource sharing gives everyone the same access to the vast resources available at libraries throughout the Commonwealth.” It includes items from unique public library collections such as the Boston Public Library, as well as academic collections from institutions like the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Bridgewater State University and many other public and special libraries.

Funding for the Commonwealth Catalog is provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The service is managed by Fenway Libraries Online with participation from the nine automated Massachusetts library networks and several public universities.

While Commonwealth Catalog provides books, audio books, DVDs, and CDs, Massachusetts libraries also provide a wide array of digital resources including eBooks, research databases with information not available through standard online searches, language courses, streaming music and video, and more. Digital and material resources combine to give residents access to over 52.5 million items. Frequently asked questions are addressed at https://commonwealthcatalog.org/mvc/#home/1258|-1

Winter Reading Club 2016

December 8th, 2015
WRC logo2016

From January 11-February 21, 2016 Springfield City Library will offer a Winter Reading Club that’s a perfect fit for any age!

Every day you read, or read to a child, provides an opportunity to win free books, gift cards and more, all funded through the generosity of The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Berkshire Bank, and the Friends of the Springfield Library.


Adults read any books they want, write the title, a couple of kindlepwsentences as a review and rate the book (giving it one to five stars) on a card with their name and phone number. Each card is entered into that branch library raffle, with the winner receiving a $30 gift card to a local grocery store. A Grand Prize winner’s name will be drawn from all review cards from all branches; the winner will receive a Kindle Paperwhite. Spend a cold day curled up with a good book, because the more you read the better your chances to win!


Teen and elementary ages can also choose whatever they want to read, with a daily goal of reading for at least 20 minutes. Participants will be given reading logs to record their progress plus get a scratch ticket for each day they read. They can win a prize immediately, or their ticket will go into the Grand Prize raffle, and reading every day earns a book of their choosing.


gifted tonesA Kids Winter Reading Club Kick-Off Art Party will be held from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the Mason Square Branch Library, 765 State Street on Thursday, January 14. Gifted Tones Studio will show participants that everyone can make art! Children in grades K-5 can come in and create some cool art while enjoying hot pizza, great prizes and more!

Teens can stop by the Central Library for a Kick-Off on Monday, January 11 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. and play board games, enjoy hot apple cider and decorate cupcakes plus pick up a reading log to start reading for a chance to win great prizes, and a book of their choice.

Don’t forget that Winter Reading Club is for babies too!toddler2

When ten books are read to babies, toddlers and preschoolers they’ll receive a free book, plus get an invite to a free family special event at the Sixteen Acres Branch Library at the end of the club. A unique event we’re calling a “Play-cation” will take place on Saturday, February 20 from 9:30-11 a.m. and involves playing at the beach, visiting an artist’s studio, rocking out at a dance party, going on a dragon hunt, and buying snacks and souvenirs – all indoors at the library on a cold winter day! It’s a celebration party recommended for toddlers, preschool and kindergarten children and their families.


Arts & Crafts Fair in the Rotunda

December 1st, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 12:30 – 4 p.m.
Central Library Rotunda
220 State Street, Springfield MA

Download our flyer


Come to our inaugural Fair and enjoy arts and crafts made by local crafters. On display for browsing and purchase will be jewelry, paintings, miniature sculpture, needlework, and much more, just in time for the holiday season! Pick up a perfect gift or stocking stuffer. Artists will demonstrate their handiwork, and be available for questions and answers about their craft. Speak to an artist and earn a raffle ticket good for one of two valuable prizes.

Mischa Epstein

Featured crafters include:

  • Rita Bartholomew (Springfield) lace
  • Bonnie Chandler-Schieb (Chicopee) painted and hand-crafted miniatures
  • Jacquelyn Durkee (Springfield) knitted miniatures and others
  • Mischa Epstein (Springfield) painting and collage miniatures
  • Marisa Graziano (Chicopee) miniature wire sculpture, jewelry, small paintings
  • Steven Hodges (West Springfield) knitting and other needlework
  • Bob Johnsen (Springfield) rock miniatures
  • Valeria Jones (Springfield) crochet
  • Santos quilt
  • Norma Santos (Springfield) quilts and miniatures
  • Delphine Ray (Springfield) jewelry
  • Viva Walters (Springfield) crochet
  • Whitney Wood Rahm of Whitney Works (East Longmeadow) painting and 3D miniatures
  • and others!

For more information, contact Matthew Jaquith at 413-263-6828 ext 221 or email: mjaquith@springfieldlibrary.org

Ray earrings Durkee decorated bag Chandler gord woman

Rock the Stacks! at Mason Square

November 28th, 2015

A free, community-based after school music arts programming series for young people ages 6-14.
Wednesdays, December 2, 2015 through April 6, 2016
Mason Square Branch Library, 765 State Street

Come together and learn drumming at the library! Join the Mason Square Library and the Community Music School of Springfield for a six-week community-based after school music arts program. Youth ages 6-14 can learn an instrument and find new ways of self-expression, while promoting whole brain engagement, self-discipline, stronger math and language arts skills, and more.

Community Music School instructor Rick Marshall will lead the bucket-drumming program on Tuesday, December 1, 8, 15, 22, 4:00-5:00 p.m., as well as Tuesday, January 5 & 12, 2016 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. Participants will have an opportunity to be a part of the bucket-drumming ensemble taking part in the community-wide Dr. King Day celebration at the MassMutual Center on January 18, 2016.

The bucket-drumming teacher, Rick Marshall, has been a force on the Springfield music scene for more than 30 years. He has toured the country with Matt “Guitar” Murphy of the Blues Brothers fame, and played and recorded internationally with numerous renowned musical groups. Rick teaches drumming and drumming history, leads drumming workshops throughout New England and leads several of Community Music School of Springfield’s Community Partnership programs.

Planned for January and February is a six-week Hip Hop program; and in March and April a six-week Latin Rhythm’s for Recorder program. All programs are free of charge and include all supplies, and snacks will be provided at every session.

“Rock the Stacks” is made possible through the generous support and partnership of the Association for Library Services to Children, Disney, and the Community Music School of Springfield.

Bucket Drumming
Wednesdays, December 2 — January 13
A six-week program teaching self-expression through music with bucket drumming, regardless of participants’ background or experience level. This program emphasizes self-expression and the benefits of learning a musical instrument; participants can be a part of the bucket drumming ensemble at the 1/18/16 MLK Day celebration at the Mass Mutual Center.
Program dates: (all programs from 4-5pm)
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Hip Hop
Wednesdays, January 20 – February 24
A six-week program providing an introduction to self-expression by engaging young people and developing their unique voice. Participants learn to freestyle and rhyme, spit lyrics, and develop beats, working on their own music which they will be creating and recording.
Program dates: (all programs from 4-5pm)
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Wednesday February 24, 2016

Latin Rhythms for Recorder
Wednesdays, March 2 — April 6
A six-week program teaching basic rhythms and musical literacy. The concept of rhythmic notation will be introduced to support mathematic skills, logic and reasoning. Programs will focus on elements of Latin music and celebrate Springfield’s diverse cultural roots, and will conclude with a gala public ensemble performance! Recorders will be provided to all students.
Program dates: (all programs from 4-5pm)
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 

For more information, or to sign up, call Ted McCoy at 413-263-6853, or sign up online using our Event Calendar.

Discussion on High Speed Rail in Western Mass.

November 5th, 2015

Monday, November 16, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Sixteen Acres Branch Library

Sign up online

State Sen. Eric Lesser
State Sen. Eric Lesser

Please join State Senator Eric Lesser and Sixteen Acres Library Branch Manager Reggie Wilson for a discussion on the future of high speed rail developments in Western Massachusetts. This program will also feature a progress report on the Union Station renovation project currently underway in downtown Springfield. Please register for this free program by calling the Sixteen Acres Branch at 413-263-6858, signing up online, or stopping by the branch.

How far in the future is affordable high speed rail travel between Springfield, Worcester and Boston for area residents along the populous inland rail route? Imagine being able to travel between Springfield’s Union Station and Boston’s South Station at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

  • The program will discuss the benefits of being able to attend a Celtics/Red Sox/Bruins game, concerts, outstanding museums and other cultural events in the eastern part of the state. Once in Boston, extremely popular train connections to Cape Cod, Maine, New Hampshire or Canada are significantly closer via land travel for tourists.
  • The Big E, Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield libraries, Quadrangle Museums, MGM Casino, Brimfield Fair and other Western Mass. attractions would be easily in reach for Eastern Massachusetts residents.
  • Can high speed rail possibly spur tremendous gains in workforce and economic development? Reliable high speed rail could lead to shorter commutes to more lucrative jobs in the eastern part of the state.
  • The route would give students rapid access to world class colleges, universities, and technical schools along the Northampton/Amherst, Worcester, and Boston knowledge corridor.
  • The program will show film clips of technologically advanced high speed trains traveling hundreds of miles per hour. These trains are commonplace in many countries throughout the world.
Amtrak Train

The program will also feature a progress report on the old Union Station currently being renovated.

  • The audience can share past and present recollections about using Union Station.
  • The program will provide a progress report using photographs and a scale model of the metamorphosis of Union Station into the area’s transportation hub.
  • The program will address how the massive renovations made to Union Station, originally built in 1926, could trigger an urban renaissance in the North End of Springfield providing a safe place for shopping, fine dining, and commuting.

Walsh, Zanetti School Students “Super” Summer Readers

November 4th, 2015

Schools to receive trophies, Springfield Superhero visit, Invitation to Winter Reading Club

Every hero has a story, and the last chapter of the Springfield City Library’s 2015 Summer Reading Club story features hundreds of children who read thousands of books for fun during their school vacation. This year’s Summer Reading Club had a superhero theme and Springfield’s own superhero, Menzuo, made a promise to deliver a trophy to the schools with the highest percentage of readers. Assemblies will be held at Mary M. Walsh School, 50 Empress Court, Springfield on Wednesday, November 4 at 9 a.m. and at the Alfred G. Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, 474 Armory Street, Springfield, on Friday, November 6, also at 9 a.m.

Menzuo, embodied by Springfield resident and author Keshawn Dodds, issued a challenge to all kids to read over the summer, and he will join Springfield City Library staff at the assemblies to offer all students a sneak peak at the upcoming Winter Reading Club which will feature prizes such as free books, tickets to see the play Shrek, and a pizza party at the library.

The 2015 Summer Reading Club was sponsored by the Friends of the Springfield Library, the Boston Bruins, the Massachusetts Library System and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Indian Orchard Branch Closed

October 30th, 2015
Indian Orchard Branch

Due to the automobile accident at the Indian Orchard Branch on Thursday, October 29, the branch is closed until further notice. We hope to have repairs completed as soon as possible.

MassLive article

Voters Guide Available at all Library Locations

October 28th, 2015

City residents can get informed about the candidates for Mayor and City Council by stopping in to any Springfield City Library branch and picking up a copy of the 2015 Voters Guide, prepared by the League of Women Voters. At the Central Library they are on display in Rice Hall near the elevator, in the front entryway (lower level State Street entrance) and on the free newspaper table in Wellman Hall.

Library staff are available to help residents find out which ward s/he votes in and what the polling place is, note it on the form, and give them the form to take to the polls with their notes. It’s not a facsimile ballot, but it does list everyone who will be on the various ballots.

Additionally, the Forest Park, Mason Square, and Library Express at Pine Point Branches are polling places, and will be open their regular hours on Election Day, next Tuesday, November 3. Polls in Springfield are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For a list of candidates plus the wording of the two ballot questions, download our Voters Guide November 2015.

Springfield Elections office homepage.

Check your voting status (am I registered to vote, who represents me, what ward am I in).

Where do I vote? Massachusetts Elections Office or Springfield Polling Locations.

Bestselling Author and Surgeon to Speak

October 21st, 2015
Author Talk: The Books of Andrew Lam Sixteen Acres Branch Library Saturday, November 14, 1:30 p.m.   Dr. Andrew Lam, an author and retinal surgeon at Baystate Medical Center, will be discussing his recently published books, Saving Sight and Two Sons of China, at the Sixteen Acres Branch Library, 1187 Parker Street in Springfield, on Saturday, November 14, at 1:30 p.m. Dr. Lam is an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. The event is free and open to the public. savingsight In Saving Sight, Dr. Lam takes readers into the operating room, revealing the stress and joy of a job that enables him to turn darkness into light, and in which failure can mean blindness. “We are living in a golden age of sight-saving treatments,” Dr. Lam says. “Eye surgeons remove cataracts in minutes, perform LASIK surgery yielding instant 20/20 glasses-free vision, and are beginning to implant retinal microchips that return sight to the blind.” The book reveals an unflinching look at a surgeon’s approach to cataracts, LASIK, macular degeneration and more. Lam also blends his personal story with profiles of ophthalmology’s greatest heroes, innovators whose inventions saved the sight of millions around the world. Saving Sight has been an Amazon bestseller, won Honorable Mention Awards at the New England and London Book Festivals, and was a Finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. two_sons Prior to becoming a surgeon Dr. Lam earned a history degree from Yale. His second book, Two Sons of China, is an historical novel from a forgotten theater of World War II. The book centers on an unlikely friendship between an American soldier and a Chinese Communist guerilla fighter who, despite their deeply held, clashing convictions, form a bond of brotherhood in battle. “Too few people are aware of America’s role in China during World War II,” says Lam. “This is an action-packed, romantic war novel that shines a light on unsung American heroes who served with honor in a distant, difficult land.” New York Times bestselling author William Martin writes, “Prepare to be captivated. Two Sons of China takes you to WWII China, introduces you to a fascinating cast of characters, and spins a terrific tale of adventure and romance. If you love historical fiction, or any fiction, don’t miss it.” Two Sons of China won the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Award and Foreword Reviews’ 2014 Book of the Year Award for military fiction.