Top 10 most wanted Springfield high school yearbooks for library to digitize (WWLP)

The library is trying to digitize as many Springfield high school yearbooks as we can. We have already received hundreds of yearbooks, but we are still missing several volumes.

Check out the story and photos from WWLP

November 21, 2022:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –The Springfield City Library recently requested high school yearbooks from the public to digitize its history and is still missing several volumes.

High school yearbooks are the second most requested local history item at the city’s public libraries. So the library is trying to digitize as many Springfield high school yearbooks as they can. They have already received hundreds of yearbooks, photos, patches, programs, and other memorabilia but are requesting the following top 10 most wanted yearbooks:

  • Classical: 1965, 1971, 1980
  • Tech: 1950, 1955
  • Commerce: 1959, 1960
  • Putnam: 1951, 1952, 1957

You can donate yearbooks at any of the nine library locations. All Springfield high school yearbooks are welcome, public, private, or charter. They will be sent to an organization, Digital Commonwealth, to be scanned, and put on the internet.

“Yearbooks are the second most requested local history item, after newspaper articles,” says Elizabeth McKinstry, a reference librarian who’s leading the yearbook digitization project. “It’s so disappointing when we don’t have the yearbook people seek. But we love to see faces light up when someone revisits a high school memory or the picture of a loved one. We want to give that experience to anyone looking for an old yearbook, whether here in Springfield, or anywhere in the world, via the internet.”

Frequently Asked Questions according to the Springfield City Library:

Q. Why yearbooks?

A. After newspaper articles, yearbooks are the most common local history reference request we get. We have a very small, patchy collection at present, and we would love to have a complete, accessible collection, that can be viewed at Central Library during all open hours!

Q. Can you just borrow my yearbook, scan it, and give it back to me after you’re done with it?

A. Not at this time. Getting these yearbooks cataloged, organized, and sent off for digitization will take close to a year, and we’re worried we might have trouble finding you again. Also, we want people to be able to come to the library and see yearbooks in person. But if you want to talk to us further about your yearbook, you can reach us using the contact information above, and someone from the yearbook team will reply!

Q. What if you get a lot of duplicates?

A. We’ll keep them! We’ll send the best one off to be digitized, but we will not throw out any yearbook that’s not already extremely damaged. It’s common for libraries to keep multiple copies of items that are hard to replace.

Q. How soon will all the yearbooks be online?

A. We hope within 12 months. This will depend on many factors not in our control, though, like the wait list at Digital Commonwealth, how quickly donations come in, and how complete our collection becomes.

Q. Are you considering digitizing other Springfield documents?

A. Yes! Some of the older City Directories were digitized several years ago, and we hope to do more after the yearbook project. But yearbooks are by far the most popular item people would like to see online.

WNEU setting up free legal kiosks to help economically disadvantaged in Springfield (Western Mass News)

Kiosks are about to go up all around Springfield – including five city libraries – to offer legal help to anyone who needs it.

October 12, 2022 – SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Kiosks are about to go up all around Springfield to offer legal help to anyone who needs it and Western New England University’s Center for Social Justice is behind the idea.

For the center, it is a way to help people who are economically and technologically disadvantaged when it comes to getting answers to legal questions. Director Ariel Clemmer told Western Mass News this kind of computer station will allow a “greater access to justice.”

“Anyone who doesn’t have the necessary technology devices or Wifi or broadband can come to one of these free kiosk locations and get connected to free legal resources,” Clemmer said.

That’s not all. The kiosks also allow users to get more information on legal questions or cases, as well as use Zoom to connect with their attorneys or the court system. This project is the second phase of the Consumer Debt Initiative, which was created in 2018 to help those in the Springfield area who were facing credit card issues and consumer debt. The Legal Kiosk Project was two years in the making and was fully funded by the MassMutual Foundation. Board member and Western New England alum Dorothy Varon said another goal of the project is to help close a digital divide.

“During COVID, for example, when all the courts were going virtual, if you didn’t have access to broadband and you couldn’t be virtually connected, you were really almost unable to participate in court proceeding that you were involved with,” Varon noted.

The kiosks will be found at ten locations, including one at the Western New England University School of Law library. Others sites include the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the New North Citizens Council, the United Way of Pioneer Valley, and Open Pantry Community Services. The equipment will also be found in five city libraries including Brightwood, Forest Park, Indian Orchard, Library Express at Pine Point, and Mason Square.

. . .

The Western New England University Center for Social Justice will hold a launch event for the kiosks on Monday, October 17 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Services in Springfield from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The public will then be able to use the devices the following day.

Click through for video and to read the rest of the article.

Springfield Yearbook Donations and Digitization

Donate yearbooks to preserve Springfield history and make them available online for all!

Donate Your Yearbooks

Would you like to be a part of preserving Springfield History? The Library needs your help!

We want to fill in our very incomplete yearbook collection, and then put scanned copies online for anyone to access freely.

If you have a yearbook from any High School in Springfield, Massachusetts – public, private, or charter – from any year, and are willing to donate it to the library, just drop it off at one of our nine locations in Springfield.

It’s okay if it has writing in it, or it’s not in perfect condition. We’ll add all usable copies to our collection for people to browse, and send as much of the collection as we can to be scanned by Digital Commonwealth at the Boston Public Library.

Then Springfield’s yearbooks will be up on the internet for anyone to look at, any time, from anywhere!

So please look for that old yearbook, and give it to us so we can create a yearbook archive for Springfield! We appreciate your help with this important project to preserve our community’s history.

If you have any questions about this project, you can reach us at 413-263-6828, x213, or ask@springfieldlibrary.org, or fill out our Ask A Librarian form, here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why yearbooks?

A. After newspaper articles, yearbooks are the most common local history reference request we get. We have a very small, patchy collection at present, and we would love to have a complete, accessible collection, that can be viewed at Central Library during all open hours!

Q. Can you just borrow my yearbook, scan it, and give it back to me after you’re done with it?

A. Not at this time. Getting these yearbooks cataloged, organized, and sent off for digitization will take close to a year, and we’re worried we might have trouble finding you again. Also, we want people to be able to come to the library and see yearbooks in person. But if you want to talk to us further about your yearbook, you can reach us using the contact information above, and someone from the yearbook team will reply!

Q. What if you get a lot of duplicates?

A. We’ll keep them! We’ll send the best one off to be digitized, but we will not throw out any yearbook that’s not already extremely damaged. It’s common for libraries to keep multiple copies of items that are hard to replace.

Q. How soon will all the yearbooks be online?

A. We hope within 12 months. This will depend on many factors not in our control, though, like the wait list at Digital Commonwealth, and how quickly donations come in, and how complete our collection becomes.

Q. Are you considering digitizing other Springfield documents?

A. Yes! Some of the older City Directories were digitized several years ago, and we hope to do more after the yearbook project. But yearbooks are by far the most popular item people would like to see online.

News Coverage

WWLP Story

WWLP Video

Springfield Libraries Eliminate Late Fees (Masslive.com)

Patrons of all Springfield City Library branches will no longer be penalized if they don’t return books and other materials on time.

SPRINGFIELD — Patrons of all Springfield City Library branches will no longer be penalized if they don’t return books and other materials on time.

The Springfield Library Commission voted unanimously in 2019 to remove all late fees on library items, but held off on making an announcement on the change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Springfield City Library employees and Mayor Domenic Sarno called a press conference at the Brightwood branch, 359 Plainfield St., to announce the news Thursday.

“In the last fiscal year, we collected about $7,000 in our fines and fees account and only about $700 of that was for late fines. The rest of it (was for) replacement costs,” said Jean M. Canosa Albano, assistant director for public services. “For anyone concerned that we’re just letting everything go, no, you still have to bring back the materials you returned, but if you’re late, it’s OK.”

Canosa Albano went on to say that after a set period of time, the patron will receive a message in their mail and other alerts to remind them they are in possession of an overdue item, but will still not be charged for it, as long as the item is returned in good condition.

Read more at Masslive.com.

Springfield Library Eliminates Fines & Announces Summer Reading Program (Video)

Watch a video of these official Springfield City Library announcements.

07/07/22 – Springfield Library Eliminates Fines & Announces Summer Reading Program

Watch the announcement in the video below!

Increasing Community Internet Access: Introducing Chromebooks

The Library will circulate Google Chromebook laptops for those in the community that do not have computer access at home.

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – April 20th, 2022 – The Springfield City Library has introduced Google Chromebook laptops into circulation in an effort to expand access to technology within the community. The Chromebooks can be borrowed separately or paired with one of the wireless hotspots that began circulating in May 2021. These Chromebooks are available to be borrowed free of charge with an active library card.

The Google Chromebooks are available to borrowers 18 years of age and older who are in good standing with the library. They may be borrowed for 14 days and are available on a first come, first served basis. Each Chromebook comes with a power cord and sturdy carrying case and can be operated with an existing Google login or guest option. Chromebooks are available at all Springfield Library locations; please check the link below or call your local branch to check on availability. Borrowing a Chromebook and wireless hotspot together make the perfect pair for internet access at home.

CLICK TO SEE CHROMEBOOK AVAILABILITY IN THE CATALOG.

Jean Canosa Albano, Assistant Director of the Library, said, “It’s very important that we, at the library, are doing everything we can for our community to have access to technology, whether it is within our doors or at home. With the changing times, we are glad we can be flexible in the how but unwavering in the what and why. We are excited to see the impact this has for our patrons.”

Chromebooks are made possible through a grant from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The goal of this program is to provide access to the technology necessary to connect to the internet to those that do not have the ability.

Founded in 1857, the Springfield City Library provides over 800,000 free print, physical, and digital resources for public enrichment. To learn more, visit www.springfieldlibrary.org

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Brightwood Library in Springfield offering up 20 books for youngsters to read during Hispanic Heritage Month (Masslive)

Connecting with culture can be done through food and music and family traditions, but it can also be done through literature.

SPRINGFIELD — Connecting with culture can be done through food and music and family traditions, but it can also be done through literature.

For many Latino children and teens who grew up in the United States it can be difficult to connect with their ancestors, especially when knowledge of the language is lost or has become Spanglish, a combination of both English and Spanish words.

Springfield’s Brightwood Library head librarian Haydee Hodis and reference librarian Gregg Mitchell have offered up some books for children and teens and adults who are young at heart to explore Latin American culture during Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated in the U.S. from Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

While the books are mainly in English many are bilingual for those interested in practicing or learning new Spanish words.

Read more and see the list at Masslive.com!

 

Increasing Community Internet Access: Introducing Hotspots

The Library will circulate internet hotspots for those in the community that do not have internet access at home.

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – May 5TH, 2021 – With the doors still being closed to the public, the Springfield City Library is determined to continue its efforts in maintaining and increasing access to Springfield residents. The Library will start circulating hotspots, effective immediately, for those in the community that do not have internet access at home.

CLICK TO SEE HOTSPOT AVAILABILITY IN THE CATALOG.

The borrowing program will begin slowly, with just six hotspots available at the Central Library, Mason Square and Forest Park Branches. The hotspots are available through curbside pick-up or during open hours.

Any Springfield City Library cardholder can check one out with their library card after signing a borrower’s agreement; patrons under the age of 18 will need a guardian to sign. The hotspots can circulate for 14 days, fine-free, but will stop working after the designated timeframe and must be returned to the location it was originally borrowed from.

The hotspots will come with instructions and library staff will be available to offer troubleshooting tips. Each hotspot supports up to 16 devices.

The Library is very excited to begin offering these hotspots and knows how important they can be. Tom O’Connell, Manager of Tech Services and Collection Development says, “We look around us and, seemingly, everyone already has access to the Internet – and all of the resources that come with it. But it is important to remember that – what most of us take for granted – many in our community still lack. These easy to use devices allow us to provide online access for patrons who would otherwise miss out on utilizing these resources – whether it is to do homework, or apply for a job, or look up a recipe; putting all of this information in their hands is the goal.”

The Springfield City library hopes that a positive response to these devices will lead to an acquisition of many more for each of the branches. Call your neighborhood branch to request a hotspot or dial 413-263-6828, ext. 218.

Founded in 1857, the Springfield City Library provides over 800,000 free print, physical, and digital resources for public enrichment. To learn more, visit www.springfieldlibrary.org

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Welcome To Your Library Videos

Watch these fun short videos about each of our 9 locations!

Central Library

Brightwood Branch Library

East Forest Park Branch Library

East Springfield Branch Library

Forest Park Branch Library

Indian Orchard Branch Library

Library Express at Pine Point

Mason Square Branch Library

Sixteen Acres Branch Library

National Day of Racial Healing 2021

The Springfield City Library joins many organizations across the country in observing the 2021 National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

SPRINGFIELD, MA — The Springfield City Library joins many organizations across the country, including The American Library Association (ALA) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, in observing the 2021 National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, Jan. 19. On this day, thousands will celebrate our common humanity and take collective action toward a more just and equitable world.

The day was established in 2017 by leaders across the United States who wanted to have a day to take action together.  It is a day where people of all ages can come together to (adapted from healourcommunities.org):

  • Find ways to reinforce and honor our common humanity and create space to celebrate the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant.
  • Acknowledge that there are still deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome and healed, and
  • Commit to engaging people from all racial, ethnic, religious and identity groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect for one another.

Visit our Facebook or Instagram on Tuesday, Jan. 19th for a recorded video storytime read by Children’s Services Supervisor, Ellen Sulzycki, that you can share with your family at your convenience. She will be reading Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham, a picture book about racism and racial justice, inviting white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it’s real, and cultivate justice.

Resources

We also have additional reading suggestions for all ages:

And here is a guide to help get these very important conversations started:

The American Library Association also has issued a proclamation about the National Day of Racial Healing, which you can read here.

Virtual Events

You can see virtual events happening all around the country at this link, including a national livestream event at 3 p.m. ET.

ongoing efforts

The Springfield City Library is dedicated to continuing its work in these efforts and has ongoing community programming to reflect this.

Molly Fogarty, Library Director, notes that, “The National Day of Racial Healing is one important day, but the Springfield City Library is committed through its programming for all ages, including library collections and programs emphasizing economic and civic engagement, to support the critical work needed for racial healing in our community.” The Director and Board of Library Commissioners previously made a statement affirming the importance of Black Lives, which can also be seen on the library’s website.