Three Library Branches to Provide At-Home Rapid Covid-19 Testing Kits for Springfield Residents

The city will distribute another 25,000 at-home testing kits at several locations, including three library branches, starting Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

01/11/22 – Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris Continue to Provide At-Home Rapid Covid-19 Testing Kits for Springfield Residents

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris continue to work to get rapid antigen at-home Covid-19 testing kits in the hands of our Springfield residents. Identification will be required and will be checked by HHS staff.

Mayor Sarno and Commissioner Caulton-Harris will make available another 25,000 at-home testing kits which will be distributed at the following locations, days, and times starting on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

LOCATION TIME DAY(s)
Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center
1476 Roosevelt Ave
10:00 am to 2:00 pm Thursdays
Department of Health and Human Services
311 State Street
10:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesdays and Wednesday
New North Citizens Council
2455 Main Street
10:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesdays and Wednesday
South End Community Center
99 Marble Street
10:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesdays and Wednesday
East Forest Park Library
136 Surrey Road
11:00 am to 2:00 pm Saturdays
Forest Park Library
380 Belmont Ave
1:00 am to 4:00 pm Fridays
Mason Square Library
765 State Street
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Fridays
Clodo Concepcion Center (Greenleaf Community Center)
1187 Parker Street
10:00 am to 2:00 pm Thursdays and Fridays
Indian Orchard Citizens Council
117 Main Street IO
3:00 pm to 7:00 pm Thursdays

Two kits per household will be distributed on a first-come first-served basis, while supplies last.

Read more at the City website.

Springfield City Library Temporarily Reduces Hours and Limits Services

Beginning January 4th, 2022, library patrons may enter their local library to pick up their materials but all in-person programming is suspended, including computer access and usage.

01/03/2022 – Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris Announce Senior Centers and Libraries to Switch to Hybrid Operations – Encourage Residents to Conduct City Business Remotely or Schedule an Appointment –

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris announced today that due to an alarming and significant increase in COVID-19 cases and out of an abundance of caution, the City of Springfield’s public libraries will switch to hybrid operations.

All neighborhood library branches will suspend programing but will offer pickup services for library patrons.

To see the limited open hours for each branch – mostly afternoons – please click here.

Library patrons may enter their local library to pick up their materials but all in-person programming will be suspended, including computer access and usage.

To see online and take-and-make events, please see our Events Calendar.

Free at-home COVID-19 testing kits available for Springfield residents (WWLP)

WWLP interviewed people at Central Library on the first day of handing out rapid home covid test kits to Springfield residents.

Check out the full story and video from WWLP – they interviewed people at Central Library on the first day of handing out kits!

An excerpt:

As we approach Christmas and its many family gatherings, home testing has become a must for many people.

“We’re planning on going to our grandparents house for Christmas and there are those who are not getting vaccinated. So I think it’s our responsibility, out visiting everyone,” said Nicole Rooney of Springfield.

Emily Colon of Springfield has a child on the way, adding to her determination to take the test and get the result within fifteen minutes, “Me and my husband work full time and I’m in my first trimester of my pregnancy. So we’re just going to be cautious.”

Eugene Couser of Springfield just came to the library to take out a couple of books but after thinking if over, he too asked for a couple of the at home testing kits, “Even though I’ve got the vaccine, you can never be too safe, you know what I mean. And I want to do myself and my wife. My wife is right now under the weather.”

“Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and I want to thank the Baker-Politio Administration for their continued efforts partnering with us throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. These free rapid COVID-19 at-home test kits will provide our residents with another easy and convenient option to get tested. This distribution plan is part of my administrations continued commitment to making these testing kits readily available by utilizing our neighborhood library branches, the Raymond Jordan Senior Center and our many community partners and to increase access for our residents and their families,” said Sarno.

 

Poetry Workshops, Performance At Springfield City Library: Apply Now For Master Class With Poet Laureate Magdalena Gómez

Applications are now open for women, teen girls, and women-identified people interested in an introduction to writing and performing inviting, exciting, and inspiring poetry. Join this master class with Springfield’s Poet Laureate, Magdalena Gómez.

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.- September 29, 2021 –  Applications are now open for women, teen girls, and women-identified people interested in an introduction to writing and performing inviting, exciting, and inspiring poetry. Join this master class with Springfield’s Poet Laureate, Magdalena Gómez. Space is very limited in each of the cohorts with pre-registration required. The application form is available on the Springfield City Library´s website.

The program series, Out/Spoken Words, is for participants at all levels in their poetry writing and performance. Master Classes are usually for professionals in a particular field. This is a Master Class for anyone who truly loves poetry and/or spoken word and wants to share that passion with others. Ms. Gómez added, “Participants will be provided with tools and encouragement to conjure poems and voice for performance of their original writing. All we ask is your willingness to fully participate and to bring a poem that matters to you to your first session, whether you wrote it or not.” The workshops will culminate in a public performance by participants at the Mason Square Branch Library Further information can be found at the Library’s website, or by calling 413-263-6828, ext. 291.

About the presenter:  Magdalena Gómez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She studied English and Theater at Lehman College, and Spanish Literature at the University of Sevilla, Spain. She is the author of Shameless Woman (Red Sugarcane Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Bullying: Replies, Rebuttals, Confessions and Catharsis (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012). Her new book of lyrical narrative will be released by Heliotrope Books, NYC, in April 2022.

Mayor Domenic Sarno recently announced he has extended Gómez’ term as Springfield’s Poet Laureate for another year, to encompass 2019 through 2022. Ms. Gómez is the recipient of a $50,000 Poet Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets in 2021 with funds from The Mellon Foundation. A portion of those funds will support these workshops at the Springfield City Library.  Her website is http://www.latinapoet.com/

Jean Canosa Albano, Assistant Director for Public Services at Springfield City Library, commented. “Poetry has long been exceedingly popular among Springfield residents of all ages. From our bookshelves, to open mic events, to contests and workshops, the Library has responded by offering diverse ways for people to find joy, deal with pain, and explore their voices through poetry. We are thrilled to partner with Magdalena to expand these offerings.”

Information regarding the workshops by Ms. Gómez is available on the Library’s website now: https://www.springfieldlibrary.org/library/poetry-workshops/.

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

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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