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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Library Commission Announces New Façade Lighting for Central Library (WWLP)

The Springfield Central Library has installed lighting on State Street to not only illuminate the historic 110-year-old building but to also increase safety on State street.

Check out the story and video from WWLP

The story:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor Sarno was joined by Congressman Neal where members of the Library Commission announced the new façade lighting.

The Springfield Central Library has installed lighting on State Street to not only illuminate the historic 110-year-old building but to also increase safety on State street.

22News spoke to Mayor Domenic Sarno about this evening’s lighting ceremony.

“To be able to highlight this we did a lot of façade work here also but the vibrancy and when you have things that are lit up but it also brings a sense of public safety,” Mayor Sarno said.

Mayor Sarno also added that his administration is working on installing more lighting and traffic improvements to this street to increase safety.

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.

 

Statement on Racial Justice

Statement from the Library Director and the Springfield Library Commission on Racial Justice

June 5, 2020

On behalf of the Springfield Library Commission and the Library Administration, we are writing to share our personal sense of heartbreak and devastation at the events surrounding the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis. And we join you and the Springfield Community in your grief and justified anger. As we witness repeated episodes of violence and killings perpetrated against our Black Community by rogue police officers, it is impossible not to experience a deep sense of outrage, disbelief and grief. We honor the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others. We are reaching out to you to share the grief and anger that we know you also feel, but also to reaffirm our common resolve. Both as private citizens and as members of this great institution, we must all do what we can to ensure that we foster a culture of inclusion, equity, and respect for one another. We promise to keep our resolve and strengthen our combined efforts against systemic racism until we can all see that this time justice will prevail and endure. We need to look to each other for strength and hope, and recommit ourselves to our shared goals of making the world a better place for all, especially black and brown people. Now is the time for us to come together as we serve together. Our work has never been more critical. Our concern for each other has never been more important.

We saw a young woman at a recent protest holding a sign with a quote from Angela Davis. It reads, “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept” This quote is a perfect nest of powerful words to reflect about George Floyd’s death and a call to justice. These words beg people and organizations to change this unacceptable and systemic racism.

The Springfield Library Commission cherishes the work that library staff perform to address literacy challenges, the digital divide, to provide a place where everyone can share ideas and gain knowledge. We believe the incredible mission of the Springfield City Library serves as a powerful force to counter many inequities including racism.

The Springfield City Library is proud to have signed the Urban Library Council’s Statement on Race and Social Equity through which we, along with 167 other Urban Libraries have steadfastly committed to:

  • Eliminating racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies and practices.
  • Creating and maintaining an environment of diversity , inclusion and respect both in our library system and in all aspects of our community role.
  • Ensuring that we are reaching and engaging disenfranchised people in the community and helping them express their voice.
  • Serving as a convener and facilitator of conversations and partnerships to address community challenges.
  • Being forthright on tough issues that are important to our communities.

It is our collective responsibility to examine what we are doing now in light of our commitments that we signed onto, to reevaluate our services and internal culture and to constantly improve and stand with our communities of color.

In the words of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Sincerely,

Stephen Cary: Chair, Springfield Library Commission

Molly Fogarty: Library Director

Molly Fogarty, Director
Springfield City Library – All Yours, Just Ask
220 State St.
Springfield, MA 01103
413-263-6828 ext. 290
lfogarty@springfieldlibrary.org

Stephen Cary
scary@focusspringfield.com

Springfield Central Library Renovations Completed (WAMC)

A major renovation project has been completed at one of the most historically significant and heavily used public buildings in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

A major renovation project has been completed at one of the most historically significant and heavily used public buildings in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

The $4 million project at the Central Library on State Street included replacing the entire flat roof and gutter system and substituting the crumbling terracotta cornices and lion head ornaments with molded plaster.  The front marble stairs were reconstructed and in the rear of the building a new access ramp was put in.

All the work has resulted in the building becoming more accessible and safe for library patrons and protecting its collections from any possible damage, according to Molly Fogarty, Director of the Springfield City Library.

Read more and listen to the radio version – click here.

Springfield Central Library Celebrates Completion of $4 Million Renovation Project

The Springfield City Library hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony today at the Central Library located at 220 State Street to celebrate the completion of a $4 million renovation and historic restoration project.

10/09/2019 – The Springfield City Library hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony today at the Central Library located at 220 State Street  to celebrate the completion of a $4 million renovation and historic restoration project.  The ceremony featured a number of speakers including Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Helen Caulton-Harris, Health and Human Services Commissioner, Stephen Cary, Chair of the Springfield Library Commission, Peter Garvey, Director of Capital Asset and Kay Simpson, President of the Springfield Museums.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “This is my administration’s continued efforts to improve the physical plan of our municipal buildings.  This effort will also enhance accessibility and the welcoming experience to our Andrew Carnegie Central Library and Quadrangle Museum complex.”

Library Director Molly Fogarty expressed her enthusiasm. “The Central Library is an information and cultural resource for the entire city and is one of Springfield’s most historically significant and heavily used public buildings. The completed renovations provide increased accessibility and enhance the experience for more than 400,000 visitors every year and for generations of visitors.”

The Central Library was built in 1912 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.  It is among four Springfield libraries and 17,00 around the United States that were funded in part by donations from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Read more at the city website – click here

 

 

Springfield Central Library unveils new ramp and plaza (WWLP)

Improved access to a historical library branch in downtown Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – Improved access to a historical library branch in downtown Springfield.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and City Library Director Molly Fogarty cut the ribbon, unveiling the new ramp and plaza at the library Wednesday morning.

A disabled Springfield woman was also invited to help open the newly upgraded entrance-way.

A proud moment for Goldie Clark, who loves coming to the Springfield Central library branch several times a week from her home on nearby Chestnut Street.

Read more – click here.

Springfield Central Library unveils new ramp and plaza

 

Springfield children clock over 500,000 summer reading minutes… so far

MassLive highlights Springfield kids’ summer reading totals so far – join our Summer Reading Club to contribute!

From the article at MassLive:

So far this summer, Springfield children have read 27,919 times at 20 minutes a session, amounting to 558,380 minutes of page-turning as part of the Springfield Reads to Build a Better World summer reading project. The results were announced at an assembly Tuesday at Central High School.

“We’re more than halfway there, and we have a few weeks left of the summer,” said Goren-Watts, a principal planner and manager of data, education and municipal technology at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. “We need you all to keep reading, tell all your friends to keep reading.”

Springfield Reads to Build a Better World started in 2017. It is made up of 13 summer reading programs throughout the city along with the city’s summer schools.