Discover Your Summer Events & Activities

Join us for Discover Your Summer: Summer Reading kickoff parties, live music, animal programs, crafts, and more! | All Ages


June 20 – August 26, 2023 | All Ages

This summer, join our Discover Your Summer Reading Club to read and get rewards, enter a raffle for prizes, and more! Click the button below to learn more.

Learn About Summer Reading Club!

summer kickoff party with liam hurley

Brightwood Branch
Monday, June 5 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Children

Come and join us for an energetic show filled with drums, ukuleles, puppets and comedy as we kickoff the start of summer!

summer Reading kickoff

Forest Park Branch
Thursday, June 8 | 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM | Tweens & Teens

Join us at the Forest Park Branch Library for our summer reading kick off! We’ll have games, food and prizes to raffle off! For ages 11-18.

henry the bunny summer Reading kickoff

East Springfield Branch
Saturday, June 10 | 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM | Children

Meet the adorable and sweet Henry the Bunny! Learn about rabbits and even have the chance to pet him. Some light refreshments will be served.

juneteenth 2nd annual Celebration

Mason Square Branch
Wednesday, June 14 | 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM | All Ages

Join us for our Juneteenth Celebration and Summer Reading Kickoff!

Discover Your Summer Kickoff: Light up the night!

Sixteen Acres Branch
Tuesday, June 20 | Open Hours | All Ages

Join us for the first day of Discover Your Summer with fun activities for all ages!

  • For children birth to age 5: Check out the weekly playgroup facilitated by our community partner Home.City.Families.
  • For babies through elementary school: Celebrate Eric Carle’s The Very Lonely Firefly! Families can get comfy on our “grass” rug to share the story together then make a firefly puppet to bring home.
  • For middle school through adult: Make a cozy paper lantern decoration to enjoy all summer long.
  • For everyone: Make your own trail mix – combine your own ingredients for a personalized snack. While supplies last.
  • For everyone: Use sidewalk chalk to help make the library ready for summer.

summer solstice festival

East Forest Park Branch
Wednesday, June 21 | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM | All Ages

It’s the longest day of the year, so bring the whole family to kick off your summer of fun at the library. Family activities for all ages: Yoga on the lawn, sidewalk chalk art competition, music, games, and more! Sign up for summer reading while enjoying all the festivities.

summer reading field day

Central Library
Saturday, June 24 | 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Children

Come and join us for a field day to kick off summer reading! We’ll have lots of fun outdoor games and activities, including relay races, water balloons, and jumbo board games. The first 100 kids to sign up for summer reading will get a special goodie bag!

summer reading kickoff

Indian Orchard Branch
Wednesday, June 28 | 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM | All Ages

Kick off your Summer Reading with bubbles and popsicles on our lawn. Inside will be a summer scavenger hunt, a guessing jar, crafts, and free books for all children. Books provided by Book Rich Environments, a program of the National Book Foundation.

Ice Cream Social – Adult Summer Reading Kickoff

Mason Square Branch
Thursday, June 29 | 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM | Adults

Join us for an Ice Cream Social for Adults to kick off the 2023 Summer Reading Club! Have a sundae from Friendly’s, and enjoy a librarian performing a storytime for grown folks. Enter a raffle to win prizes, and get a free new book when you sign up for the Club. Don’t miss this fun event for grownups only!

July & August Summer Event Highlights

Click to See Events in July & August

Music Fun with Tom sieling

Sixteen Acres Branch
Monday, July 10 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Children

East Forest Park Branch
Friday, July 14 | 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM | Children

Brightwood Branch
Monday, July 17 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Children

Forest Park Branch
Tuesday, July 18 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Children

Mason Square Branch
Wednesday, July 19 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Children

East Springfield Branch
Saturday, July 22 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Children

Central Library
Monday, July 24 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Children

Indian Orchard Branch
Tuesday, July 25 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Children

Find Your Voice this Summer! Join Tom in this fun, interactive sing-along of  favorite kids’ songs guaranteed to get you up and moving! For families.

reptile shows of new england

Brightwood Branch
Thursday, July 13 | 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM | Ages 5+

Central Library
Tuesday, August 8 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Ages 5+

Welcome to the wonderful world of reptiles! Learn about the nature and life of these beautiful creatures from professional herpetologists in a fun, safe environment.

An evening of Motown with Personal Touch

Mason Square Branch
Thursday, July 13 | 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM | All Ages

Bring the family, lawn chairs and a picnic for an unforgettable night of music provided by Personal Touch. They will perform music of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Motown Sound, with all of the unmatched glamour and choreography of that era. In the Discovery Garden. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets; a limited number of chairs will be available.

What’s new from Lupa Zoo

East Forest Park Branch
Wednesday, July 26 | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Ages 5+

Indian Orchard Branch
Thursday, August 10 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Ages 5+

Sixteen Acres Branch
Thursday, August 17 | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM | Ages 5+

East Springfield Branch
Wednesday, August 23 | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Ages 5+

Friends from the Lupa Zoo will be at the library to share their knowledge of our wonderful animal neighbors. This educational show features a variety of animals

Wingmasters: world of Owls

Mason Square Branch
Wednesday, August 2 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Ages 6+

Owls are a species of bird specially adapted for nocturnal hunting, yet most of our understanding of owls has been influenced by folklore and popular culture. Come learn what owls are really about. Wingmasters Julie Anne Collier and Jim Parks, licensed raptor rehabilitators and experts, will help us explore the world of these fascinating creatures.

Wingmasters: North American Birds of Prey

East Forest Park Branch
Friday, August 4 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Ages 6+

Birds of Prey, or raptors, are terrific hunters and possess keen eyesight and hearing. Come learn what raptors are all about. Wingmasters Julie Anne Collier and Jim Parks, licensed raptor rehabilitators and experts, will help us explore the world of these fascinating creatures.

Union Jack: Beatles Tribute Band

Mason Square Branch
Thursday, August 3 | 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM | All Ages

Twist and Shout! Take a trip back to the Sixties with music by the Fab Four and other British Invasion bands that left a mark on world music.  Bring a lawn chair and picnic if you’d like. Food will be available for purchase.

Monday Funday

Join us Monday afternoons for a different Monday Funday activity each week! We’ll play, build, craft, and create! | Central | Children

Central Library – Children’s Room
Mondays, June 26 – August 28  | 3:00 – 4:00 PM | Ages 5+

Join us Monday afternoons this summer for a different Monday Funday activity each week! We’ll play, build, craft, and create!

Summer Storytimes

Join us for some beautiful sunny and family-friendly storytimes! | Central Library & East Forest Park | Children

Super Saturday Storytime

Central Library
Saturdays, June 10 – August 26 | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Children of All Ages

Join us Saturday afternoons for an all ages, themed family storytime. Each week we’ll read books, get silly, and do an activity, all about a special theme. Costumes and toys are encouraged!

Sunshine Storytime

East Forest Park Branch
Tuesdays, June 20 – August 9 | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM | Children of All Ages

Spend Tuesday mornings this summer in the sunshine with your new favorite stories. Aimed at children ages 3-5, but siblings of all ages are welcome. Storytime will be held in the reading garden outside the children’s room, just follow the gravel path and don’t forget your sunscreen!

In case of rain, we will meet in the children’s room.

Fiero Code Club

Learn the basics of computer programming and all the skills needed to become a master coder. | Central Library | Tweens & Teens

Central Library – Computer Lab
Wednesdays, June 21 – August 8  | 6:00 – 7:00 PM | Ages 9-14

Want to learn to code! Do you like video games, robotics, and website design or just think it’s neat? Come to Fiero Code Club to learn the basics of computer programming and all the skills needed to become a master coder.

Connecticut River Birding and Nature Walk

Join us for a stroll along the Riverwalk in Springfield to learn more about the plants and animals that live in the Connecticut River Watershed. | Adults

Riverfront Park
2nd Wednesday of the Month, May through September
Upcoming Dates: June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13
6:00-7:00 PM | Adults

Join us at Riverfront Park as we learn about birding and the ecology of the Connecticut River Watershed with Bill Randolph, a naturalist with the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

We’ll meet the second Wednesday of each month May-September to watch seasonal bird migration and behavior, as well learning about other flora and fauna we may see along the riverbank.

A few pair of adult and child binoculars will be available for use but you are encouraged to bring your own if you have them. Water and snacks will be provided. Wear comfortable shoes. This park is wheelchair accessible. All ages welcome!

Gather at 5:45 at the flag pole so we can start right at 6:00. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring binoculars if you have them. All ages welcome!

James Baldwin Photography Exhibit

Photography exhibit showcasing the 60th birthday celebration of writer James Baldwin. | Central Library | All Ages

Central Library – Wellman Hall Art Wall, and Rotunda
Ongoing through May 2023 | Open Hours | All Ages

Exhibit Update

The painting is BACK after a hiatus while it was being framed – and people are still coming to see the exhibit – so we’re extending it AGAIN! Come to the Central Library to see the amazing painting by Ayana Pierre-Maxwell and the incredible and intimate photos by local photographer and icon Ed Cohen.

Photograph of the painting as part of the Baldwin exhibitAyana’s Artist Statement:
My name is Ayana Irene Pierre-Maxwell, I am currently a freshman at the University of Miami. I have always loved art in all forms, but my admiration of portraiture began around 7th grade. I quickly became obsessed with portraying my friends, family, and celebrities on paper, as accurately as possible. Today, I am eager to capture those who view my work for a moment. I hope that when people view my art they are able to separate themselves from their world and enter mine. Through style, composition, and expression, I hope to replicate my perception of the world and people around me. Most of all, I hope my work can evoke an emotion in those who view it, whether it be the feeling I had as I took the photo, or their own unique experience. While I did not take the photo of the painting displayed this afternoon, I am honored and delighted to have painted this image of the inspirational James Baldwin.

Exhibit Information

The library is thrilled to host a photography exhibit curated by local and beloved photographer, Edward Cohen.

The exhibit is being kicked off with a free talk and reception Sunday, December 18th from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Central Library will be home to Cohen’s photography exhibit celebrating the late American writer, James Baldwin. Photos of Baldwin’s 60th birthday celebrations at the UMASS Campus Center and Amherst College, along with friends such as Maya Angelou, will be on display.

Ed Cohen is a Springfield, MA based freelance photographer who has been photographing in the Pioneer Valley since 1975. He attended UMass Amherst and received a degree in Communications Studies with a concentration in Afro-American and Diversity in Communications. Cohen is a published author, exhibition curator, and an accomplished political demonstration, musical and community events photographer; having participated and captured many local monumental moments for the city of Springfield and surrounding areas. He takes pride in presenting diversity in his imagery.

Cohen received a grant from The Springfield Cultural Council in order to showcase Baldwin’s birthday celebration. He says, “I had the honor of being given permission to take photos at James Baldwin’s birthday celebrations in August of 1984. In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown I edited several of the negatives of Baldwin and his close friend Maya Angelou and had time to publish a photo book and eventually to create a photo exhibit of the Birthday party events. James Baldwin remains an important figure because of his activism around racial and sexual discrimination and his literary genius. I felt it was a great time to have an event to feature the photos to generate a discussion about James Baldwin and the issues that he was so passionate about.”

UMass Professor Emeritus, Ekwueme Michael Thelwell, will serve as reception speaker. A pioneer in Afro-American Studies, in 1970 Thelwell became the founding chairman of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department. The Jamaican-born writer, activist, educator, came to the United States in 1959 to attend Howard University and went on to do his graduate work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Ayana Irene Pierre-Maxwell, currently a freshman at University of Miami, will present a painting based on a photo taken by Cohen at a UMass Commencement in 1978 where Baldwin received an honorary degree.

Pierre-Maxwell says, “While I did not take the photo, I am honored and delighted to have painted this image of the inspirational James Baldwin. I hope that when people view my art they are able to separate themselves from their world and enter mine [and] my work can evoke an emotion in those who view it.”

The exhibition is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. The exhibit will be on display through the end of Black History Month in February 2023.

This exhibit is supported in part by a grant from the Springfield Cultural Council, a local agency of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Springfield City Library, and Monson Savings Bank.


Free Computer Classes for Beginners

Hands-on workshops to build basic computer skills | Central Library | Adults

Computer Classes for Beginners

Do computers intimidate you? These classes are great for beginners. These are hands-on, relaxed courses that will help you get comfortable with computers, even if you’ve never used one before.

By the end of one of our courses, you will be ready to explore on your own. Registration is required to participate, but you do not have to attend all of the classes – feel free to try the first before thinking about the rest.

If you have any questions, you can call your local library to talk to a reference librarian. We can help you register for one of our classes or figure out where to start!

Computer Basics at Central Library

Central Library Computer Lab
Tuesdays: Three sessions in series
June 13, 20, and 27 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | Adults

Part 1: Getting Started
June 13 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Overwhelmed by computers? This class starts at the very beginning and will help you understand what a computer is and get comfortable with the basics. No experience is necessary!

Part 2: The Internet
June 20 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

In this class, we will talk about the internet, how to use it, and learn some tips to make it easier to navigate. Basic keyboard and mouse skills are required.

Part 3: Search and Email
June 27 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

In this class, we will talk about searching the internet, and email basics including how to send and receive messages online. Basic keyboard and mouse skills are required.

Getting STarted with Computers At Forest Park Branch

Forest Park Branch
Currently on Hiatus | Adults

Want to improve your computer skills in 2023? Join us at Forest Park for a fun, low pressure introduction to using a computer, navigating the internet and more. Sign up for all three sessions, or just one!

Visit our online calendar to register!

If you have any questions, you can call (413) 263-6843 to talk to a librarian.

Beginner Computer Literacy Skills At Mason Square Branch

Mason Square Branch
Currently on Hiatus | Adults

Take part in weekly classes to learn how to use a computer. Topics covered in the beginner level include: learning to use a mouse and keyboard, searching on the internet, saving and finding files on a computer, and creating an email account. Registration is required.

Visit our online calendar to register!

If you have any questions, you can call (413) 263-6853 to talk to a librarian.

Free Computer Resources

Raymond Jordan Senior Center Book Club

Come join us for a fascinating book club at the Raymond Jordan Senior Center! | Adults

Raymond Jordan Senior Center
Third Thursday of the Month | 10:00-11:00 AM | Adults

Come join us for a fascinating book club at the Raymond Jordan Senior Center! Do you love to read about real life events? Are you intrigued by learning more about others’ stories and experiences – whether in the present or the past? If so, then meet us at the Raymond Jordan Senior Center for our monthly Book Club, where we delve into the heart of historical fiction, non-fiction, and even memoir.

We will bring each month’s book in large and regular print to each book club meeting. If you need assistance getting additional copies, please contact Elizabeth McKinstry at

Middle Earth Walking Challenge: May 1 – September 30

Now is your chance to help Bilbo cross Middle Earth! Can you walk 950 miles to complete the adventure? | All Ages

All Library Locations
May 1 – September 30 | Open Hours | All Ages

Now is your chance to help Bilbo cross Middle Earth by walking from The Shire to The Lonely Mountain to steal from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Bilbo went 950 miles – can your group do the same?

The goal is to get families moving and adventuring this summer! It’s also a chance to read The Hobbit as a group, if you want.

1 – The walking challenge starts May 1. Go to your favorite library location, pick up a group walking log (or print your own) and up to 2 pedometers per family/group while supplies last. Define your group however you like – friends, families, whatever!

2 – When your log reaches 250 miles, bring it to the library and pick up a couple water bottles for your group for walking hydration, while supplies last.

3 – Turn in your log when you’re done or by Sept 30 – we don’t expect most groups to finish! But it’s fun to try. Get a fancy personalized certificate with your mileage!

4 – Top 3 mileage groups will get a lovely gift illustrated edition of The Hobbit. Seven more copies of the book will be raffled off randomly to all other groups who turn in their log at the end of the challenge!

ALSO – join us on Wednesday, September 20th at East Forest Park Branch to watch the 1977 animated Hobbit movie!

Hit Us with Your Best Shot: a Photography Contest

Enter the contest and send us your photos! | Teens

Contest Rules and Details

Entries Accepted (see rules below):
Thursday, June 20 – Monday, July 31, 2023

Winners announced:
Monday, August 14, 2023

We’re having a photography contest for teens ages 13 to 18! Use your creativity to take pictures on such themes as as family life, friends, nature, wildlife, social issues, sports, and your hometown to win gift card prizes.  Three winning photographs will be picked Monday, August 14, 2023.

Submit photos (or ask questions) to Photos should be accompanied by:

  • Photographer’s full name
  • Contact information (email and telephone number)
  • Street address
  • Category: Amateur or  Semi-Professional

Rules and Details

  • Photos may be full color or black and white.
  • Up to three photographs may be submitted by each photographer.
  • Photos will be judged on the following criteria:
    • How closely does the photograph match the theme (30%)
    • How effective is its technique, such as balance, color contrast, and image quality? (50%)
    • How unique or creative is the photograph? (20%)
  • All entries must be original to the photographer, and suitable for all-ages, family-friendly viewing.
  • Winning photographs will be promoted with the library’s Facebook and Instagram
  • Photos that include people’s faces will need to be accompanied by a completed Photo Release Form for each depicted person.
  • All photos must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, July 31, 2023 to be eligible for the contest.
  • Entrants must be teens ages 13 to 18.
Winners from the Previous Contest

Winners – Amateur

Click on a photo to see full size!

1st place: Richard Harper for Deacon Samuel Chapin
Amateur 1st Place Richard Harper for Deacon Samuel Chapin
1st place: Richard Harper for Deacon Samuel Chapin
2nd place: Dora Campbell for Springfield Symphony Orchestra Stage
Amateur 2nd Place Dora Campbell for Springfield Symphony Orchestra Stage
Dora Campbell for Springfield Symphony Orchestra Stage
3rd place: Kevin Fay for The Great Franconia Elm
Amateur 3rd Place Kevin Fay for The Great Franconia Elm
3rd place: Kevin Fay for The Great Franconia Elm
1st runner up: Jim Sharrard for Trees in Forest Park
Amateur 1st Runner Up Jim Sharrard for Trees in Forest Park
1st runner up: for Jim Sharrard for Trees in Forest Park
2nd runner up: Larry Sanchez for Fireworks Over MassMutual
Amateur 2nd Runner Up Larry Sanchez for Fireworks Over MassMutual
2nd runner up: Larry Sanchez for Fireworks Over MassMutual

Winners – Semi-Pro

Click on a photo to see full size!

Winner: M.J. Tash for Winter on Mattoon Street
Semi-Pro Winner: M.J. Tash for Winter on Mattoon Street
Semi-Pro Winner: M.J. Tash for Winter on Mattoon Street
Runner up: Tara Dasso for Wonder Downtown Springfield
Runner up: Tara Dasso for Wonder Downtown Springfield
Runner up: Tara Dasso for Wonder Downtown Springfield