Mayor Sarno joins East Springfield Library Branch to Celebrate National Library Week

The Springfield Libraries celebrated all our libraries all week with special events for National Library Week (Sunday, April 7 through Saturday, April 13)


Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined today with Library Director Molly Fogarty, Assistant Director for Public Services Jean M. Canosa Albano, East Springfield Neighborhood Council President Kathy Brown and neighborhood council members, and the dedicated staff of the East Springfield Library Branch to celebrate National Library Week at the East Springfield Library on Osborne Terrace. The Springfield Libraries have been celebrating all our libraries all week with special events for National Library Week (Sunday, April 7 through Saturday, April 13). At the Springfield City Library, it’s all yours, just ask! Visit the library website to learn more:

Mayor Sarno states, “My administration is proud to celebrate and recognize National Library Week at our local East Springfield neighborhood library branch to highlight the essential and important role our neighborhood libraries play in our community. They serve as a place to learn, where the community can gather, and hold numerous events and programs to support and enhance the quality of life in our community. The neighborhood hub feel is alive and well at the East Springfield branch which we look forward to expanding and enhancing the East Springfield Branch which has been around since 1935. Not only has my administration kept all our libraries open with stable and expanded hours, but we’ve also built a new neighborhood branch library in our East Forest Park neighborhood and are working toward more. I want to encourage every resident to stop by and visit and support your local neighborhood library and thank a library worker for everything they do.”

Read more / see photos on the city’s website.

Western Mass. state legislators discuss their priorities with Springfield library community (WAMC)

State lawmakers and local librarians gathered in Springfield, Massachusetts on Friday to discuss funding, digital equity and more.

February 26, 2024
View full article at WAMC Northeast Public Radio | By James Paleologopoulos

Advocates for public libraries across western Massachusetts met with lawmakers as the two groups sat down for a special “Library Legislative Breakfast” at Springfield’s Brightwood Branch Library.

There, legislators representing parts of Hampden County and the surrounding area listened to the needs of the region’s libraries – while also presenting their own work on Beacon Hill.

Organizations such as the library sharing network, Central and Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing or “CW MARS,” and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners made their case for increased funding.

For fiscal year 2025, the MBLC’s legislative agenda requests a total of $51.4 million for multiple line items – a year-over-year increase of $4 million.

That includes direct, local aid for public libraries, as well as funding that assists groups such as CW MARS in their own operations, connecting their member libraries with others to allow patrons to reserve and take out books across western and central Massachusetts.

Executive Director Jeanette Lundgren says library users will be able to access the system in a new way in early March.

“We’re rolling out a new online catalogue – this will be a new front-end to the catalogue that will help promote discoverability of both our online and physical content, and provide more opportunities for our libraries to interact and connect with their patrons,” Lundgren said.

According to Lundgren, the over 150 public library systems taking part in CW MARS have access to nine million items in its shared catalogue, including 2.4 million “e-items” such as ebooks and audiobooks, which were at the center of a much-discussed piece of legislation Friday.

Throughout the lineup of guest speakers, both lawmakers and librarians referred to House Bill 3239 — An Act empowering library access to electronic books and audiobooks.

MBLC Commissioner Vicky Biancolo says when it comes to negotiating with publishers, libraries are unable to purchase digital books and audiobooks the same way as consumers, and are instead forced to pay figures that can be at least triple the cost.

In one instance, Biancolo described how an audiobook with a consumer price tag of $15 would end up costing a library $130 for a two-year license.

It’s a costly endeavor for libraries across the commonwealth, especially when the digital editions are in high demand and library waitlists only appear to be getting longer.

“Networks have doubled what they spend on ebooks and audio books and wait times, can be 60-90 days up to six months I’ve heard for some titles,” Biancolo said. “We just can’t keep pace with demand – it just is continuing – this is – never ending.”

The commissioner encouraged the lawmakers in attendance to support the bill, which was filed by Democratic Representative Ruth Baler of Newton. The legislation calls on the state’s consumer protection laws to force publishers to use fairer practices when negotiating with libraries.

Another piece of legislation highlighted included a bill to better protect librarians from an onslaught of book challenges, championed by State Senator Jake Oliveira of Ludlow and State Representative Aaron Saunders of Belchertown.

Libraries across Massachusetts are seeing a steady uptick in book challenges, in addition to thousands of complaints, which Oliveira says often target communities of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+.

“We need to push back against that – that’s why we need your help – to get these bills over the finish line,” the senator said as the group of book lenders before him broke out in applause.

Among other functions, the bill would require libraries to adopt the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights” to be eligible for state funding.

The Bill of Rights holds that “materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.” It would also establish a “Book Access Fund” for localities challenging book bans.

A similar piece of legislation geared toward public school libraries was filed by Sen. Julian Cyr of Truro and Rep. John Moran of Boston.

Also highlighted at the meeting was funding for the “Massachusetts Center for the Book,” which offers family literacy programming in gateway cities.

Speaking with WAMC, Springfield State Senator Adam Gomez emphasized the importance of events such as Friday’s, adding it’s vital to listen to librarians, who are deeply embedded in their communities.

“Keep our ears open, make sure that we are listening to the advocates that are actually doing the work when it comes to our communities, especially these free spaces, our branches and libraries which are community centers and also, I would say, a place where imagination is created,” Gomez said.

More information on the MBLC’s legislative agenda can be found here.

Springfield Thunderbirds bring “Boomer’s Reading Club” back to Springfield City Library (WWLP)

Join Springfield Thunderbirds hockey players as they share some favorite books with you.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Thunderbirds are thrilled to announce the return of their community partnership with the Springfield City Library and the T-Birds Foundation through “Boomer’s Reading Club.”

On five afternoons in February, Thunderbirds forward Drew Callin, alongside a teammate, mascot Boomer, and T-Birds staff, will engage in interactive reading sessions and activities with local youth at various branches of the Springfield City Library.

“Going to a T-Birds game is fun for the whole family, and so is going to the Springfield City Library! We are so excited to renew our partnership with the Springfield Thunderbirds with Boomer’s Reading Club, which combines reading, library activities, and a chance to meet some of your favorite hockey players,” expressed Jean Canosa Albano, Assistant Director at Springfield City Library. “For the second straight year, we’ll share some great books and discover why getting into reading when you are young is so important and fun.”

The tentative dates and locations for Boomer’s Reading Club are as follows:

  • Thursday, Feb. 8: 3:45-4:45 p.m. – Springfield Central Library Children’s Room (220 State Street)
  • Monday, Feb. 12: 3:45-4:45 p.m. – East Forest Park Branch (136 Surrey Road)
  • Thursday, Feb. 15: 3:45-4:45 p.m. – Mason Square Branch (765 State Street)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 21: 3:45-4:45 p.m. – East Springfield Branch (21 Osborne Terrace)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27: 3:45-4:45 p.m. – Sixteen Acres Branch (1187 Parker Street)

Apart from Callin’s involvement, the T-Birds Foundation will contribute to Boomer’s Reading Club with book donations and various supplies for each branch.

Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa expressed, “We are proud to continue our support of the Springfield City Library and thank Drew Callin for his commitment to our youth in the area. The T-Birds Foundation will be directly involved once again to ensure that the Springfield City Library and its numerous branches have every resource necessary to enhance the experience for all children who visit. We hope that the different branches see another tremendous turnout and, more importantly, we join in their wishes that reading becomes a lifelong passion for these young children.”

Boomer’s Reading Club represents the latest reimagination of Thunderbirds’ community programming. In 2023, the Thunderbirds made over 300 appearances in the Greater Springfield community, including trips to more than 40 participating schools in the Thunderbirds’ Stick to Reading program, promoting the love of books in local school districts, including Springfield Public Schools.

View the full article on WWLP

Read the T-birds press Release

City Officials Meet to Discuss ongoing plans for Renovations and Expansion of East Springfield Library Branch

The Springfield City Library has submitted a grant application with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to expand and renovate the branch.


Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, City Council President Attorney Michael Fenton, Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Parks, Buildings and Recreational Management (PBRM) Executive Director Patrick Sullivan, Capital Assets and Construction Director Peter Garvey, My-Ron Hatchett, Senior Project Manager, Springfield Library Director Molly Fogarty, and Board of Library Commission Chair Stephen Cary met today to discuss ongoing plans for the renovation and expansion of the East Springfield neighborhood library branch. The Springfield City Library has submitted a grant application with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).

Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank Council President Attorney Michael Fenton and East Springfield Neighborhood Council President Kathy Brown for expressing their support to renovate and expand our East Springfield neighborhood library branch.  I am proud of the fact that while other communities have consolidated their local library branches, my administration has worked hard with our local stakeholders and partnerships to not only renovate our neighborhood library branches but to build new and expand them as well.  My dedicated team, including HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, PBRM Director Patrick Sullivan, the Capital Assets and Construction team of Peter Garvey and My-Ron Hatchett, and our dedicated Library team of Director Molly Fogarty and Board Chair Stephen Cary, are working closely with the MBLC to support our grant application to help fund this important project.”

“Neighborhood library branches are an integral part of our community.  They support not only much-needed library programs and reading for residents and students, but also serve as a place for our community to gather and meet for various programs and initiatives.  Our East Springfield Library branch has been providing successful and popular library services for our community since 1934.  The East Springfield Library Branch plays an important role as a community center for educational and cultural programs, as well as a social gathering for our students and the community.  It is a hub for free access to information and technology, social and civic engagement and personal enrichment and lifelong learning.  We are hopeful that the MBLC will support our application so that we can enhance this neighborhood learning center so that it can serve our community for another 100 years,” added Mayor Sarno.      

Read more at the City website.

Springfield officials take steps to improve 91-year-old East Springfield Library branch (

The city will upgrade the East Springfield Library, saying the busy branch has not seen major improvements since it opened in 1932.

SPRINGFIELD – The city will upgrade the East Springfield Library, saying the busy branch has not seen major improvements since it opened in 1932.

“We want to make sure our library has the capacity to serve the community for the next 30 years,” said Kathy Brown, president of the East Springfield Neighborhood Council.

The council started talking about rebuilding or expanding and renovating the building on Osborne Terrace around 2014, but the first community meeting to start the process was held around 2019. That came just as the new $9.5 million East Forest Park Library, built with the help of a $4.9 million state grant, was completed.

Springfield City Library officials last week petitioned the City Council for approval to apply for a Massachusetts Public Library construction grant that will help pay for the project. It also requested a $150,000 transfer from the city’s capital project fund to cover initial planning costs.

“It doesn’t meet the standards of a 21st-century library. We can’t provide the services that we can provide at other libraries,” said Molly Fogarty, director of the Springfield library system.

It is the only Springfield library that has never seen substantial renovations and it needs them. It measures about 3,000 square feet on two levels, but the only level that is accessible to the disabled is 2,200 square feet, she said.

‘Over a decade’

“The neighborhood has been working on this for over a decade,” said City Councilor Michael Fenton, who represents the East Springfield area. “It requires substantial improvements and maintenance. It is the library that probably has received the least improvements in the city.”

Brown said the library, located in the middle of a residential neighborhood and between the busy streets of Carew and Page Boulevard, gets a lot of use.

Libraries are far more today than just books, she said. The neighborhood needs enough space for computers for adults and students who want a place to do homework. It also needs a private meeting room and an area for remote meetings and children’s programming.

The council is asking people to fill out a survey about what the library needs to offer now. It can be found online at There are paper forms available at the branch, but Brown encouraged people to answer the survey online if possible because it saves members from having to type in the answers.

Planning is in the preliminary stages, so no decisions have been made on the project, including whether the building should be renovated and expanded, torn down and replaced or a new one constructed in a different location.

The City Council voted 13-0 on both proposals that would start the process to improve the library.

“This is a great project, the neighborhood really deserves it,” City Councilor Tracye Whitfield said.


Summer Reading Club – Thank you!

Thank you for participating in our 2023 Discover Your Summer Reading Challenge. Check out a list of our winners!

We challenged you to read 20 minutes a day from June 20-August 26, and whether you made time to read for one day or every day, it’s an accomplishment worth celebrating!

Every participant who completed the challenge was entered into a drawing for their age group. Here are this year’s winners:

Young Children

Mike G., Nathanael W., and Syracuse P. each won an Elmo book and plush toy.


Marika B., Julian W., and Harper M. each won a LEGO set.


Serenity M., Jacob H., and Enya E. each won a gift card.


Jim W., Eileen M., and Ziona Y each won a gift card for groceries.

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you all for participating!

Mayor Sarno Recognizes our Springfield City Libraries During National Library Week

April 24th marks National Library Workers Day. Thank you to all our dedicated Springfield Library workers for your tremendous service.

April 25, 2023:

Happy Library Workers Day!

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the City of Springfield are proud to join with Library Director Molly Fogarty, Deputy Director Jean Canosa Albano and our Springfield City Library team to celebrate National Library Week this year from April 23 – 29, 2023. Make sure to visit your library this week, or even check out a new library you’ve never been to. Find all Springfield library locations and hours here: Locations and Hours – Springfield City Library (

There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to our libraries which are a hub for free access to information and technology, social and civic engagement, and support of personal enrichment, well-being, and lifelong learning. Today, April 24th, marks National Library Workers Day. Thank you to all our dedicated Springfield Library workers for your tremendous service. We can all show gratitude to a Springfield City Library worker who “shines” by nominating a stellar library worker for the American Library Association’s Galaxy of Stars by completing a brief nomination form at

Mayor Sarno states, “Our libraries and library employees are truly a wonderful and valuable resource for our community. From the leadership with Director Molly Fogarty and Deputy Director Jean Canosa Albano to each and every member of our library staff, we are extremely proud and grateful for our library system across the city and the important role they play in our community. This week especially, let us all take a moment to recognize how important our libraries and library employees are to our Springfield. They have so much to offer – remember, it’s all yours, just ask!”

Read more at the City website.

Springfield City Library collecting pajamas for Boston Bruins drive (WWLP)

The Springfield City Library has partnered with the Boston Bruins to take part in the Bruins PJ drive that benefits children. The drive runs through March 15 at all nine library locations in the city.

Check out the story and video from WWLP

March 1, 2023:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– The Springfield City Library has partners with the Boston Bruins to take part in the Bruins PJ drive that benefits children through the Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) Wonderfund and Cradles to Crayons.

The PJ drive runs through March 15 at all nine library locations in the city. They are looking for new pairs of pajamas for babies, children and teenagers.

“It’s hard to imagine that so many kids and teens don’t know the comforting feeling of putting on PJs before settling down to sleep. We’re happy to be part of an effort to change that” said Jean Canosa Albano, Assistant Director of the Library.

The goal of the PJ drive is to collect 5,000 pairs of new pajamas. DCF is estimated to be working with agency that assist more than 50,000 babies, children and teenagers.

The Bruins PJ drive began during the 2007-08 hockey season with Forward P.J. Axelsson and his wife Siw as a way to give back to the community. Since 2014, libraries across the state have joined in on the effort and have collected over 53,000 pairs of pajamas since.

For more information, visit Bruins PJ Drive website.

‘Anthony’s Book Club’ to support literacy in Springfield (WWLP)

Join Thunderbirds forward Anthony Angello for ‘Anthony’s Book Club’, created in partnership with the Springfield City Library and the T-Birds Foundation.

Check out the story from WWLP

January 10, 2023:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– A new effort to promote reading and literacy in Springfield is underway thanks to a member of the Springfield Thunderbirds hockey team.

‘Anthony’s Book Club’, named for Thunderbirds forward Anthony Angello, was created in partnership with the Springfield City Library and the T-Birds Foundation.

Angello will be visiting five different branches of the Springfield City Library in January and February for live story time readings, activities, and meet-and-greet sessions with young T-Birds fans. He will be joined by other team members and mascot Boomer. The Foundation will also be contributing to Anthony’s Book Club with donations of books and supplies during their visits.

“Just like the Springfield City Library, the Springfield Thunderbirds are part of our community,” said Jean Canosa Albano, Assistant Director for Public Services at the Springfield City Library. “When I learned about Anthony Angello’s commitment to reading and literacy through his ABC Anthony’s Book Club, I knew it was a great match for the Library. Reading aloud not only provides a foundation for success, it’s fun! We can’t wait to welcome Anthony, Boomer, and local families to the Library.”

“We are proud to support Anthony’s passion for children’s literacy through the ABC program,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. “Any cause close to a player’s heart makes it all the more meaningful to us as an organization. The T-Birds Foundation will be directly involved from the onset of the program to ensure that the Springfield City Library has ample resources for all children who visit. It is our hope that the libraries are packed with enthusiastic young readers thanks to Anthony’s encouragement and example.”

Tentative dates and locations for Anthony’s Book Club are as follows:

For more information about Anthony’s Book Club and other Thunderbirds community programming go to the team’s website.

Springfield Library offers online series for adult job seekers (WWLP)

This series, running from January to June, is to help support older adults that are looking for a new job or a new career direction. Anyone that is age 50 or older can do these free biweekly skill-building and networking group meetings on Zoom.

Check out the story from WWLP

January 3, 2023:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield City Library offers an online 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group series. This series is to help support older adults that are looking for a new job or a new career direction, according to a news release from the Springfield City Library.

Anyone that is age 50 or older can do these free biweekly skill-building and networking group meetings on Zoom. The series is from January through June, and a new topic will be discussed at each meeting. The 1st and 3rd Wednesdays are from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The 2nd and 4th Wednesdays are from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Jinnie Trabulsi, the reference librarian, says, “We are thrilled to offer this valuable opportunity to residents of Springfield and beyond! Job search information for older adults is a specialized area, and Debbi Hope, the professional coach, is a fantastic expert.”

Library members can check out a Wi-Fi hotspot and a Chromebook from Library if they don’t have a computer, or they do the online networking sessions using the Zoom app on a smartphone. To register, go to their website to get the Zoom links.

Visit our webpage for the 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group to find out more and register!