Springfield City Library joins Digital Commonwealth Collection

August 2016 –

Public Can Now View Springfield Directories from the Last 167 Years

Springfield City Library is pleased to announce its inclusion in the Digital Commonwealth, beginning with the digitization of City of Springfield directories. City directories list addresses and business ads, and are used by genealogists, historians, and others researching people and places of the past. Digitization provides an easy way for the public to look through directories online. Once the project is complete in 2017, a full listing of the City of Springfield directories from 1849 – 1989 will be available in the Internet Archive. Directories from 1849-1869 are available thanks to the generosity of Maggie Humberston at the Wood Museum of Springfield History.

The Digital Commonwealth site provides access to thousands of images, documents, and sound recordings that have been digitized by member institutions so that they may be available to researchers, students, and the general public. Digital Commonwealth members receive free digitization services from the Boston Public Library as part of a grant awarded by the MBLC (Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners) and funded by the LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act). Member institution’s collections are included in the Digital Commonwealth, Internet Archive, and Digital Public Library of America. Explore the Digital Commonwealth here.

Visit our Local History and Genealogy page for more information about our collections.

Founded in 1857, the Springfield City Library provides over 800,000 free print, physical, and digital resources for public enrichment.

New Commonwealth Catalog Announced

December 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 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 on the Commonwealth Caalog’s FAQ page.

Imagine a Peace-Full City

Springfield Massachusetts Skyline
April 2014-

Inspired by the Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts’s “Imagine a Peace-Full City” prayer flag project, from October 29–November 20, 2014, the Springfield City Library offered residents a number of opportunities to come together and discuss ways that Springfield could become a safer, more peaceful place to live and raise a family. Cooperative craft-making, a creative open mic opportunity for teens and young adults, informative workshops focusing on public safety, fun family activities, and informal brown-bag lunches offered perspectives on solutions for safer neighborhoods and peace-making gave participants ways to make their homes, schools, and workplaces a better place.

Download the flyer

Firearms Safety Workshop

Forest Park Branch
Saturday, November 2, 2014 | 1 pm

Central Library Community Room
Monday, November 4, 2014  | 6 pm

Certified firearms instructors will lead a workshop for parents and other interested adults on how to keep children safe when they live in or visit homes where the adults own firearms. Learn how to safely store firearms at home and how to discuss gun safety with children. Practical safety tips will be offered, and questions will be answered. Part of the “Imagine a Peace-Full City” series.

Strangers Become Friends Photography Project

Indian Orchard BranchMan with Camera
Wednesday, November 6, 2014 | 6 pm

Brightwood Branch
Thursday, November 14, 2014 | 6 pm

Imagine a City of Springfield where strangers become friends. In this innovative photography project inspired by Richard Renaldi’s Touching Strangers project, Leonard Underwood of Underwood Photography Services will photograph strangers together. We will create a digital album of the results. Come take a chance, meet your neighbors, and maybe make a new friend. Part of the “Imagine a Peace-Full City” series. More information on Touching Strangers.

Open Mic & Arts Night

MicrophoneMason Square Branch
Thursday, November 7, 2014 | 6 pm

Imagine a PEACE-full Springfield. Youth: share poems, spoken word, music, digital works, and other artistic creations that imagine how our city can be more peaceful, or reflect how violence has affected you. Featuring a scene from JELUPA Productions play, Rising Waters, by Wilma Pruitt.
Sign-ups start at 5:30 pm, mic opens at 6 pm. For youth 15-25 years old.

Part of the “Imagine a Peace-Full City” series.

Getting Started with Neighborhood Watch

Mason Square Branch
Friday, November 8, 2014 | 1 pm

East Forest Park Branch
Friday, November 15, 2014 | 12 pm

Are you interested in a safer community? Join us to learn how you can work together with your neighbors to start a Neighborhood Watch organization. Feel free to bring a lunch; we’ll provide beverages. Part of the “Imagine a Peace-Full City” series.

Securing Peace in a Troubled Neighborhood: A Community Based Approach

People Holding GlobeSixteen Acres Branch
Tuesday, November 12, 2014 | 1 pm

We all strive to stay out of trouble and to keep our houses safe. The problem is, you can choose a neighborhood but you cannot choose your neighbors. What do we do when we become aware of violence in our neighborhood? The police can’t be everywhere, so how do we bridge the security gap? Join your neighbors for this informative talk and discussion when we’ll explore with you viable ways to secure peace in troubled neighborhoods. Feel free to bring a lunch; we’ll provide beverages.

Our presenter is Sera Mukankubito, who holds a dual Master of Arts in Sustainable Development and Coexistence and Conflict Management from Brandeis University. Part of the “Imagine a Peace-Full City” series.

Brown Bag Discussion: Peacemaking from a Veteran’s Perspective

Army Boots East Springfield Branch
Wednesday, November 13, 2014 1 pm

Join our guest Colonel Stephen White as we discuss Peacemaking from a Veteran’s Perspective. Col. White retired in 2011 after 30 years in the military as a Marine and as an Army Reservist. Bring your own lunch (we’ll provide beverages) and we’ll talk about possible solutions to violence and conflict in our city.

Col. White has deployed to Japan, Korea, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Iraq, and spent 18 months in Afghanistan, where he served in 2002 as the Deputy Chief of Operations in Bagram, and then in 2009 and 2011 as the Army Operations Center liaison to US Forces-Afghanistan in Kabul. He also served three years as Team Chief in the Army Operations Center at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Col. White has a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Wesleyan University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.

Plan For Better Cities StampCan We Have a Peace-Full City? Panel Discussion

Mason Square Branch
Saturday, November 16, 2014 | 1 pm

Join us for a panel discussion addressing whether we can have a peace-full city, with less gun violence and greater public safety. Jim Madigan will moderate the discussion and the panel will include Rev. James Atwood, Springfield Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet, Luz Lopez, Central & Western Massachusetts Organizing Manager of Stand for Children, and other community representatives. After prepared questions, there will be time for audience members to address the panel. Part of the “Imagine a Peace-Full City” series.