Springfield Library Foundation Announces the White Family’s gift to the East Forest Park Branch Promise Realized Campaign

The Springfield Library Foundation is pleased to announce that the six children of former City Solicitor William White and his wife Patricia have joined together to make a $200,000 commitment to the Promise Realized Capital Campaign for the new East Forest Park Library.

SPRINGFIELD, MA September 9, 2021 – The Springfield Library Foundation is pleased to announce that the six children of former City Solicitor William White and his wife Patricia have joined together to make a $200,000 commitment to the Promise Realized Capital Campaign for the new East Forest Park Library. A formal presentation ceremony with Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno to announce the gift was held at the East Forest Park Branch on September 9.

“On behalf of my sister and brothers, I am grateful that we have this opportunity to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to East Forest Park, the wonderful neighborhood where we were raised, and to future generations of Springfield residents,” said Thomas White.  “We were so happy when our close family friend Bob Phelan raised the idea of the new library to us.  When we came and visited Springfield and toured the new library last fall, my sister Maureen, John, and I were deeply impressed by the quality of the design the thought and care that went into creating such beautiful facilities for children, teens, and families.”

In recognition of the family’s gift, the Library will name the Children’s Place in honor of William and Patricia White. Plans are underway to hold a celebration at the East Forest Park Branch in the fall of 2021 to recognize all donors to the Promise Realized Campaign, at which time donor plaques and room names will be unveiled to the public.

“The Library Foundation wants to express its sincere and heartfelt thanks to the entire family for stepping up with such a generous leadership gift during these extraordinarily challenging times,” said Library Foundation President Patrick Markey. “This commitment demonstrates the strength of the bonds between our City of Springfield and families who have moved away but retain roots here. I hope this gift inspires others to give as well.”

The Whites, who worked closely with the Library Foundation to coordinate and structure the gift believe their parents would be delighted to know that the Children’s Room will bear their names in perpetuity. “Our parents loved raising our family in East Forest Park and they both believed fundamentally in the power of reading and public libraries to transform lives and open doors to opportunity. To be able to play a part in inspiring ongoing generations of children to explore and expand their possibilities through reading would certainly have brought them great joy.  Our trip back to Springfield was made more memorable because we were able to meet up with Charlie Ryan, our father’s childhood friend and former law partner, along with Barbara Garvey, also a friend and neighbor.  Both Charlie and Barbara have worked tirelessly to make the new library a reality,” commented Maureen White.

According to Matt Blumenfeld, the Library Foundation’s Executive Director, the Promise Realized Campaign has now raised just over $1.65 million toward its $2 million goal to close out the campaign and complete the $9.5 million project.

“While we have paused active fundraising for some time because of the pandemic, we do want to relaunch as soon as conditions warrant,” said Mr. Blumenfeld. “The Foundation has continued to receive contributions for the campaign as well as other purposes, but we remain mindful and respectful of other urgent needs in the community. I am incredibly thankful to the White family for sparking our relaunch with their wonderful philanthropic gift.”

Construction on the 17,000 square foot East Forest Park Branch on Surrey Road was completed in November 2019 and the facility opened with tremendous praise from the community in December.  “Usage at East Forest Park Branch skyrocketed before we had to close, and we remain confident that it will continue to grow once we can fully reopen,” said Library Director Molly Fogarty. “Our staff are all grateful to John White and his siblings for this wonderful gift and cannot wait to see the Children’s Room once again full of youngsters and caregivers reading, learning and playing together.”

In addition to the 4,000 square foot Children’s Room, the East Forest Park Branch offers a dedicated Teen area, a Maker Space, a large community meeting room, quiet study rooms, dozens of computer stations, book and media collections, an outdoor patio and reading garden, and ample parking.  It is completely accessible to all.

Individuals, businesses and others interested in contributing may contact the Springfield Library Foundation, at promiserealizedcampaign@gmail.com or MBlumenfeld@springfieldlibrary.org  for further information.  The campaign is accepting pledges for up to five years.

“The Library Foundation has been a strong steward of many gifts large and small, and we intend to continue this legacy far into the future,” said Mr. Markey. “Since 2005, the Foundation has contributed more than $6.5 million to the Springfield City Library, for books and materials, in support of the Mason Square branch, and for staff development and library programs. The Promise Realized Campaign continues this legacy and enables all of us to make a positive contribution to the future of the City of Springfield.”

Family Roots In Old Neighborhood Bring Gift To New Library (WAMC)

In recognition of the gift, the library named the children’s reading room in honor of William and Patricia White. This brings the $2 million campaign up to $1.6 million.

Link to audio and entire article here.

An excerpt:

A family gift aims to make reading and library access available to generations of children in a Springfield, Massachusetts neighborhood.

When John White and his five siblings were children growing up on Wendover Road in East Forest Park five decades ago, their mother always made sure to take them to the bookmobile when it stopped in their neighborhood.

“I remember vividly our mother would walk us down the hill to Old Brook Road and we would go to the bookmobile,” White said.

The children of William and Patricia White grew to have successful professional careers and all moved from Springfield – John White lives in California.

“Springfield and East Forest Park are in our hearts – always have been and always will be,” White said.

The siblings returned to their old neighborhood recently to announce a $200,000 gift to the new East Forest Park Library in their parents’ memory.

“As kids our parents instilled in us the notion of learning and education and the significance of it,” White said. “They also instilled in us the importance of giving back to the community.”

In recognition of the gift, the library named the children’s reading room in honor of William and Patricia White.

John White said if his mother could see the new library she would be proud and happy.

“It is a bigger better bookmobile,” White said. He praised the design of the new library and the technology that it contains.

“It is a great place for kids to come and learn,” he added.

At an event acknowledging the White family’s gift, Springfield Library Foundation President Pat Markey said it will help relaunch the fundraising to support the new library that had been paused because of the pandemic.

“With this gift they bring our $2 million campaign up to $1.6 million,” Markey announced.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno also thanked the Whites and said their generosity will impact countless numbers of children who will use the library.

“That is just such a great great legacy,” Sarno said.

Read entire article at this link.

Central Library Building Reopens; All 9 Springfield City Library Locations Resume Regular Schedule

Beginning Tuesday, September 7th 2021, the Central Library will open its doors to the community after 17 long months. Branch libraries will also resume operating full schedules on that date.

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.- September 2, 2021 – The Springfield City Library announced today that beginning Tuesday, September 7th 2021, the Central Library, located at 220 State Street, will open its doors to the community after 17 long months. Branch libraries will also resume operating full schedules on that date. Click for the hours of operation.

The Springfield City Library has taken every precaution possible to ensure all safety measures are being met and have obtained air handling units to improve air circulation and ventilation. Libraries are in compliance with the City’s mask mandate that requires all staff and visitors to wear masks covering their mouth and nose at all times while in the Library. Disposable masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the entrances. Staff members are eager to open the doors and welcome the community back into the building that has seemed so empty without them.

Springfield City Library Director Molly Fogarty stated, “We are so thrilled to be welcoming back patrons at the Central Library location. It was great being able to open the other branches over the summer and this feels like the final piece to the puzzle “

Founded in 1857, the Springfield City Library provides nearly 5000 educational and recreational programs per year. To learn more, visit www.springfieldlibrary.org.

Reopening News

Springfield City Library branches reopen for limited hours starting July 6. Click for more details.

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021 most library locations will reopen on a reduced schedule as follows:

Brightwood Branch, East Forest Park Branch, Forest Park Branch, East Springfield Branch, Indian Orchard Branch, Mason Square Branch, and Sixteen Acres Branch:

Monday – 1pm-5pm
Tuesday – 1pm-5pm
Wednesday – 1pm-6pm
Thursday – 1pm-5pm
Friday – 1pm-5pm
Saturday – 11am-3pm*

*Brightwood will remain closed on Saturdays

Library Express at Pine Point:

Monday – 1pm-5pm
Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday – 1pm-6pm
Thursday – Closed
Friday – 1pm-5pm
Saturday – Closed

The Central Library building will remain closed due to a lack of air conditioning.

Curbside pickup service will continue at all locations for those who prefer that option.

No indoor programming will be scheduled in the libraries during the limited summer hours.

NEW: We will soon allow bookings of community rooms for events held October 4 and later. Please check our meeting rooms page for a link to reserve rooms.


Starting Tuesday, September 7, 2021 the Central Library and all branches will be open regular (pre-Covid) hours.


We will update you if anything changes – you can keep up to date with our Facebook, Instagram, or email newsletter.

East Forest Park Branch Library receives $150,000 from the Springfield Library Foundation Promise Realized Campaign

The East Forest Park Branch Library received $150,000 from the Springfield Library Foundation Promise Realized Campaign.

See full article with video at WWLP’s website: https://www.wwlp.com/news/local-news/hampden-county/east-forest-park-branch-library-gifted-funds/

MAY 10, 2021 – SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The East Forest Park Branch Library will receive $150,000 from the Springfield Library Foundation Promise Realized Campaign.

The Springfield City Council will vote Monday to approve accepting the funds from the Foundation’s Promise Realized Capital Campaign for the new East Forest Park Branch Library.

“In these extraordinarily challenging times, it is important to share good news with the community and the Library Foundation is excited to continue to fulfill its promise to the City and Springfield City Library with this $150,000 payment,” said Foundation President Patrick Markey. “With this gift, we bring our total contribution to the East Forest Park Branch to $1,150,000.”

After 14 months of construction, the 17,000 square foot library located on Surrey Road was completed in November 2019 and the facility opened to the community in December during the 2019 Christmas season.

“On behalf of our City, I thank the Foundation and its donors for this generous and substantial investment in our Library,” said Mayor Sarno. “We are fortunate to have the Foundation in our corner, and their support is instrumental in providing our residents with a world class library system.  I know that the Foundation continues to seek donations and pledges for the Promise Realized Campaign, and I would encourage everyone who can to continue to give as generously as they can.”

“When we opened the East Forest Park Branch usage skyrocketed,” said Library Director Molly Fogarty. “The community room and quiet study rooms were being booked constantly, and we saw huge increases in children’s program attendance, overall circulation and computer usage. The project is a complete success as a public-private partnership and we look forward to our eventual reopening and serving all of our patrons post-pandemic.”

“The Library Foundation has been a strong steward of numerous gifts large and small that have been made by generous individuals over many years, and we intend to continue this legacy far into the future,” said Mr. Markey. “Since 2005, the Foundation has contributed more than $6 million to the Springfield City Library, for books and materials, in support of the Mason Square branch, and for staff development and library programs. The Promise Realized Campaign continues this legacy and enables all of us to play our part and make a positive contribution to the future of the City of Springfield.”

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

Helping Eligible Springfield Residents Who Need Help Scheduling COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments

Springfied Library and Elder Affairs staff will assist eligible Springfield residents who do not have access to technology to book their vaccine appointments. 

From the City’s website:

Eligible Springfield Residents can Contact Springfield City Library and Department of Elder Affairs for Help Scheduling COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris announce that the Springfield City Library and the Department of Elder Affairs continue to take action to help eligible Springfield residents, especially senior citizens, who need assistance with booking their COVID-19 vaccine appointment at one of the city neighborhood vaccination sites.

Each vaccine site has a specific registration link unique to that neighborhood location. Those interested in getting their vaccine appointment must first register for an appointment by calling our Library and Elder Affairs Departments for further information.

Effective immediately, during open hours, Library and Elder Affairs staff will be available by phone to assist those eligible Springfield residents who do not have access to technology to book their vaccine appointments. In order to have a successful booking, people must have a checklist
of things at the ready:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Address (if experiencing homelessness, a temporary address or street intersection or other general description)
  • Phone number (preferably mobile)
  • Email address (if they have one)
  • Insurance information

The Library and Elder Affairs departments encourage those who need assistance to call their local branch during open hours: (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, at 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Wednesday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm). Saturday hours include: Central Library 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; East Forest Park, Forest Park, East Springfield, Indian Orchard, Mason Square and Sixteen Acres 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Please note that Brightwood and Pine Point will not be open on Saturdays.

All library branches, with the exception of Pine Point, will be taking phone calls during their open hours. The contact information for the library branches are below:

Brightwood Branch: 413-263-6805
Central Library: 413-263-6828 ext. 215
East Forest Park Branch: 413- 263-6836
East Springfield Branch: 413-263-6840
Forest Park Branch: 413-263-6843
Indian Orchard Branch: 413-263-6846
Mason Square Branch: 413-263-6853
Sixteen Acres Branch: 413-263-6858

Residents can also contact the Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm with the necessary information ready. The City respectfully ask callers to be prepared to leave a message with their name and phone number so that a staff member can call the resident back in case there is no one immediate available. The contact information for the Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center is below:

Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center: 413-787-6785

In addition, the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services and Behavioral Health Network (BHN) have partnered to provide vaccination appointments for Springfield residents. Those eligible Springfield residents can register for an appointment with BHN at the dates and times available by visiting the City of Springfield’s website at www.springfield-ma.gov and navigating to the city’s COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Information page.

Mayor Sarno states, “In order to help our residents who may not have access to technology, such as a computer or smart phone, our Springfield Public Library and Department of Elder Affairs will have staff on hand to assist those eligible residents with scheduling their vaccine appointment at one of our city vaccination sites. I want to thank Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Springfield Library Director Molly Fogarty, and Elder Affairs Director Sandy Federico and their respective teams for their continued leadership helping our residents, especially our senior citizens, signup and troubleshoot any issues they may have in registering for a vaccine appointment. My administration will continue to move aggressively to provide assistance for all of our residents as we continue to work together with all of our partners and stakeholders in defeating this COVID19 Coronavirus pandemic.”

HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “It is critical that we work collaboratively to meet the public health needs of our residents, especially our seniors. I am grateful to the Departments of Elder Affairs and the Library system for their critical role in helping to make vaccine help available, particularly to our most underserved populations. I am also thankful to all of our local partners for helping to stand up our local neighborhood vaccination sites.”

It is important to note and understand that librarians and Elder Affairs staff are not able to give medical advice and are only capable of helping everyone understand the online forms and book the appointments. Please call your medical provider if you have any specific questions about vaccines before calling the libraries or elder affair.

Residents can visit the City of Springfield’s website and navigate to the City of Springfield’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Situational Update page for more information on registering for a vaccine appointments, the city’s vaccination sites, the Commonwealth’s vaccination timeline, and COVID-19 statistical information.

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

COVID-19 and Novel Coronavirus Resources

Reliable, trusted, up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus.

Looking for information about COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus? See below for links from reliable, trusted, up-to-date sources.

If you have additional suggestions or questions, you can call us at one of our library locations or send us a question online.

NEW 6/12/20:  City of Springfield Phased Reopening Plan

NEW 3/21/20: The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including disease outbreaks like COVID-19. The call is toll-free, multilingual, and confidential.

NEW 3/18/20: Mass.gov has collected resources from all the state websites with COVID-19 Guidance and Directives, including information for Health Care Professionals & Organizations, Education, Businesses & Employers, State and Local Government, Insurance, Caregivers, Transportation and Other Guidance.

NEW 3/16/20: Please check the City of Springfield website for the latest information on the City’s response to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

NEW 3/15/20: Baystate Health COVID-19 Updates and Guidance

NEW 3/11/20: The federal government has created an easy-to remember web address that will direct you to the latest information from the CDC: Coronavirus.gov

NEW 3/11/20: In the News: Coronavirus and “Alternative” Treatments

Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, causes respiratory illness in people. It can spread from person to person through “respiratory droplets” that occur when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Common symptoms that present 2-14 days after exposure include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When to seek emergency medical attention

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency on January 30, 2020.

What is the novel coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. That virus, called the novel coronavirus, is also known as SARS-CoV-2.

Links to Important Resources

All the links below are being updated regularly. Please check back for the most current information on this developing situation.

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are our nation’s premier authority on public health information.

World Health Organization (WHO) – The World Health Organization (WHO) is a trusted, authoritative source for public health information. The WHO announced the official name for the disease that is causing the 2019-2020 outbreak of coronavirus disease: COVID-19.

Massachusetts Department of Health – The Massachusetts Department of Health’s page provides general and state-specific information.

Springfield Department of Health and Human Services – The City’s Department of Health’s page provides general and local information.