Springfield Library Foundation Unveils $2 Million Capital Campaign

Springfield Library Foundation to Raise Funds for New Library
$2 Million “Promise Realized” Capital Campaign Launching in September

September 2017 –

The Springfield Library Foundation is launching a $2 million Capital Campaign to support replacement of the current East Forest Park Branch Library with a new building. The fundraising effort is officially titled “Promise Realized” to recognize the both the potential within the East Forest Park neighborhood and the promise to continue rebuilding following the destruction of the 2011 tornado. The Foundation, which provides significant funding for Springfield City Library operations, made the formal announcement during a press conference on Tuesday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m. at the Central Library.

The new East Forest Park Branch Library will be constructed using a $4.9 million state grant and municipal support. The Foundation’s Capital Campaign will raise additional funds needed to complete the project. The Springfield Library Foundation has contracted Financial Development Agency to coordinate the campaign.

The existing branch is one of the busiest locations in Springfield, but struggles to serve the high numbers of visitors with only 4,100 square feet of strip mall space. Springfield residents are underserved in the facility, which lacks program and meeting rooms, high-speed internet access, and accessible entrances and restrooms. The new building will consist of 17,000 square feet of community space, including special areas for children and teens, a community room, study rooms, dozens of public computers, and a maker space. The new branch is expected to be “a model for the future” according to Springfield City Library Director Molly Fogarty.

Mayor Sarno said, “This new library branch is a key part of revitalizing the city, especially the tornado stricken area of our East Forest Park neighborhood. A stand-alone library for East Forest Park has been talked about for nearly 40 years. I’m proud to say that my administration is going to get it done. It’s also great to again partner with former Mayor Charlie Ryan and our Library Foundation to raise additional funds for this important ‘quality of life’ neighborhood project. No donation is too small or too large. Please be a part of history.”

“We’re so fortunate that the state, city, and Library Foundation will be coming together to make this plan a reality. The new library will have a significant positive impact for the East Forest Park neighborhood and the city as a whole,” said Director Fogarty.

“As a member of the Library Foundation and a resident of East Forest Park, this is an especially important announcement for me and all of the residents who have taken advantage of the current location and have been anxiously awaiting a full service library for many years. This Library will be the foundation for education and community development for generations to come,” said Commissioner Caulton-Harris.

Charlie Ryan, former Springfield Mayor and Treasurer of the Foundation board, said,”We’re looking forward to bringing the message with this branch to our fellow citizens. We trust that they will agree with us that its benefits will be felt for generations to come.”

Founded in 1857, the Springfield City Library provides over 800,000 free print, physical, and digital resources for public enrichment, as well as nearly 5000 educational and recreational programs per year. To learn more, visit www.springfieldlibrary.org.

For further information please contact Jessica Blasko, Springfield City Library Community Relations Coordinator, at (413) 263-6828 x422, or jblasko@springfieldlibrary.org.

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.