The Springfield Library Foundation Mourns the Death of Charles V. Ryan

Charlie Ryan’s devotion to the City of Springfield and the Library were well-known facets of his long and productive life and his tireless efforts made it possible for our Library system to thrive.

The Springfield Library Foundation mourns the death of Charles V. Ryan who passed away on October 18, 2021 and extends heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.

Charlie Ryan’s devotion to the City of Springfield and the Library were well-known facets of his long and productive life and, as Mayor Domenic Sarno acknowledged in recent remarks, Charlie’s tireless efforts truly saved, enhanced and made it possible for our Library system to thrive. For the Library Foundation, Charlie was instrumental in guiding it toward its position today, as a key Library funder and advocate.

“We are deeply saddened by Charlie’s passing, and wish his entire family peace during this difficult time,” said Foundation President Pat Markey. “Charlie’s advocacy for the City Library and the Foundation have made it possible for us to support programs, materials and capital efforts for decades to come. His work has made a tremendously positive and direct impact on thousands of residents of Springfield, the City Charlie loved so well. He stands forever as a stellar role model as we dedicate ourselves to upholding his legacy and continuing to support Springfield’s children, adults, seniors and families through the good works of the City Library.”

The Ryan Family has requested that charitable gifts in memory of Charlie be made to the Springfield Library Foundation. Gifts may be made on line at: https://www.springfieldlibrary.org/library/about/the-springfield-library-foundation/ (please use the donate button), or by sending a donation to Springfield Library Foundation, 220 State Street, 4th Floor, Springfield MA 01103.

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.

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.”