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.

# # #

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.

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