Top 10 most wanted Springfield high school yearbooks for library to digitize (WWLP)

The library is trying to digitize as many Springfield high school yearbooks as we can. We have already received hundreds of yearbooks, but we are still missing several volumes.

Check out the story and photos from WWLP

November 21, 2022:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –The Springfield City Library recently requested high school yearbooks from the public to digitize its history and is still missing several volumes.

High school yearbooks are the second most requested local history item at the city’s public libraries. So the library is trying to digitize as many Springfield high school yearbooks as they can. They have already received hundreds of yearbooks, photos, patches, programs, and other memorabilia but are requesting the following top 10 most wanted yearbooks:

  • Classical: 1965, 1971, 1980
  • Tech: 1950, 1955
  • Commerce: 1959, 1960
  • Putnam: 1951, 1952, 1957

You can donate yearbooks at any of the nine library locations. All Springfield high school yearbooks are welcome, public, private, or charter. They will be sent to an organization, Digital Commonwealth, to be scanned, and put on the internet.

“Yearbooks are the second most requested local history item, after newspaper articles,” says Elizabeth McKinstry, a reference librarian who’s leading the yearbook digitization project. “It’s so disappointing when we don’t have the yearbook people seek. But we love to see faces light up when someone revisits a high school memory or the picture of a loved one. We want to give that experience to anyone looking for an old yearbook, whether here in Springfield, or anywhere in the world, via the internet.”

Frequently Asked Questions according to the Springfield City Library:

Q. Why yearbooks?

A. After newspaper articles, yearbooks are the most common local history reference request we get. We have a very small, patchy collection at present, and we would love to have a complete, accessible collection, that can be viewed at Central Library during all open hours!

Q. Can you just borrow my yearbook, scan it, and give it back to me after you’re done with it?

A. Not at this time. Getting these yearbooks cataloged, organized, and sent off for digitization will take close to a year, and we’re worried we might have trouble finding you again. Also, we want people to be able to come to the library and see yearbooks in person. But if you want to talk to us further about your yearbook, you can reach us using the contact information above, and someone from the yearbook team will reply!

Q. What if you get a lot of duplicates?

A. We’ll keep them! We’ll send the best one off to be digitized, but we will not throw out any yearbook that’s not already extremely damaged. It’s common for libraries to keep multiple copies of items that are hard to replace.

Q. How soon will all the yearbooks be online?

A. We hope within 12 months. This will depend on many factors not in our control, though, like the wait list at Digital Commonwealth, how quickly donations come in, and how complete our collection becomes.

Q. Are you considering digitizing other Springfield documents?

A. Yes! Some of the older City Directories were digitized several years ago, and we hope to do more after the yearbook project. But yearbooks are by far the most popular item people would like to see online.

Springfield City Library to host information session about librarianship careers (Masslive.com)

For the first time, the staff of the city’s library is giving the public an opportunity to learn about what it takes to be a librarian.

10/13/2022 – SPRINGFIELD — For the first time, the staff of the city’s library is giving the public an opportunity to learn about what it takes to be a librarian.

“Because the job market has changed, people are thinking about different opportunities available,” said Jean Canosa Albano, assistant director for public services at the library. “A lot of times, we find that people don’t know everything that goes into being a librarian.”

“So you want to be a librarian,” the name of the event, is an information session on Oct. 20 to give residents a chance to learn about careers in librarianship.

Canosa Albano added, ”This could be a way for some more local folks coming right from the community to consider library work.”

Speakers at the information session include Eric Poulin, assistant professor of practice and coordinator of the Simmons University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Mayra Quinones, branch supervisor at the Springfield City Library, and Anne Gancarz, assistant director at the Chicopee Public Library.

. . .

The information session which begins at 5:30 p.m. next Thursday and will be hosted at the Mason Square Branch Library, located at 765 State St.

Read more at Masslive.com.

WNEU setting up free legal kiosks to help economically disadvantaged in Springfield (Western Mass News)

Kiosks are about to go up all around Springfield – including five city libraries – to offer legal help to anyone who needs it.

October 12, 2022 – SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Kiosks are about to go up all around Springfield to offer legal help to anyone who needs it and Western New England University’s Center for Social Justice is behind the idea.

For the center, it is a way to help people who are economically and technologically disadvantaged when it comes to getting answers to legal questions. Director Ariel Clemmer told Western Mass News this kind of computer station will allow a “greater access to justice.”

“Anyone who doesn’t have the necessary technology devices or Wifi or broadband can come to one of these free kiosk locations and get connected to free legal resources,” Clemmer said.

That’s not all. The kiosks also allow users to get more information on legal questions or cases, as well as use Zoom to connect with their attorneys or the court system. This project is the second phase of the Consumer Debt Initiative, which was created in 2018 to help those in the Springfield area who were facing credit card issues and consumer debt. The Legal Kiosk Project was two years in the making and was fully funded by the MassMutual Foundation. Board member and Western New England alum Dorothy Varon said another goal of the project is to help close a digital divide.

“During COVID, for example, when all the courts were going virtual, if you didn’t have access to broadband and you couldn’t be virtually connected, you were really almost unable to participate in court proceeding that you were involved with,” Varon noted.

The kiosks will be found at ten locations, including one at the Western New England University School of Law library. Others sites include the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the New North Citizens Council, the United Way of Pioneer Valley, and Open Pantry Community Services. The equipment will also be found in five city libraries including Brightwood, Forest Park, Indian Orchard, Library Express at Pine Point, and Mason Square.

. . .

The Western New England University Center for Social Justice will hold a launch event for the kiosks on Monday, October 17 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Services in Springfield from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The public will then be able to use the devices the following day.

Click through for video and to read the rest of the article.

Community Paint Party at Mason Square Branch Library

Fresh Paint Springfield held a community paint party Saturday over at the Mason Square Library.

09/11/2022 – SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Fresh Paint Springfield held a community paint party Saturday over at the Mason Square Library.

Everyone came to grab a paintbrush and participate in the mural movement that was originally designed and created by AfriCOBRA artist Nelson Stevens.

“We’re keeping his memory and soul alive and I’m sure he’s proud because I am not an artist, but I’m here today to paint a part of one of the murals that he did back in the 70s,” said Theresa Cooper-Gordon of Holyoke.

The community mural is done in a paint-by-number style, using polytab to mesh together all of the pieces, allowing the community to paint together and commemorate Stevens’ Legacy throughout the city.

Read more at WWLP.com.

See pictures of the event at Masslive.com.

Springfield Yearbook Donations and Digitization

Donate yearbooks to preserve Springfield history and make them available online for all!

Donate Your Yearbooks

Would you like to be a part of preserving Springfield History? The Library needs your help!

We want to fill in our very incomplete yearbook collection, and then put scanned copies online for anyone to access freely.

If you have a yearbook from any High School in Springfield, Massachusetts – public, private, or charter – from any year, and are willing to donate it to the library, just drop it off at one of our nine locations in Springfield.

It’s okay if it has writing in it, or it’s not in perfect condition. We’ll add all usable copies to our collection for people to browse, and send as much of the collection as we can to be scanned by Digital Commonwealth at the Boston Public Library.

Then Springfield’s yearbooks will be up on the internet for anyone to look at, any time, from anywhere!

So please look for that old yearbook, and give it to us so we can create a yearbook archive for Springfield! We appreciate your help with this important project to preserve our community’s history.

If you have any questions about this project, you can reach us at 413-263-6828, x213, or ask@springfieldlibrary.org, or fill out our Ask A Librarian form, here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why yearbooks?

A. After newspaper articles, yearbooks are the most common local history reference request we get. We have a very small, patchy collection at present, and we would love to have a complete, accessible collection, that can be viewed at Central Library during all open hours!

Q. Can you just borrow my yearbook, scan it, and give it back to me after you’re done with it?

A. Not at this time. Getting these yearbooks cataloged, organized, and sent off for digitization will take close to a year, and we’re worried we might have trouble finding you again. Also, we want people to be able to come to the library and see yearbooks in person. But if you want to talk to us further about your yearbook, you can reach us using the contact information above, and someone from the yearbook team will reply!

Q. What if you get a lot of duplicates?

A. We’ll keep them! We’ll send the best one off to be digitized, but we will not throw out any yearbook that’s not already extremely damaged. It’s common for libraries to keep multiple copies of items that are hard to replace.

Q. How soon will all the yearbooks be online?

A. We hope within 12 months. This will depend on many factors not in our control, though, like the wait list at Digital Commonwealth, and how quickly donations come in, and how complete our collection becomes.

Q. Are you considering digitizing other Springfield documents?

A. Yes! Some of the older City Directories were digitized several years ago, and we hope to do more after the yearbook project. But yearbooks are by far the most popular item people would like to see online.

News Coverage

WWLP Story

WWLP Video

Springfield Libraries Eliminate Late Fees (Masslive.com)

Patrons of all Springfield City Library branches will no longer be penalized if they don’t return books and other materials on time.

SPRINGFIELD — Patrons of all Springfield City Library branches will no longer be penalized if they don’t return books and other materials on time.

The Springfield Library Commission voted unanimously in 2019 to remove all late fees on library items, but held off on making an announcement on the change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Springfield City Library employees and Mayor Domenic Sarno called a press conference at the Brightwood branch, 359 Plainfield St., to announce the news Thursday.

“In the last fiscal year, we collected about $7,000 in our fines and fees account and only about $700 of that was for late fines. The rest of it (was for) replacement costs,” said Jean M. Canosa Albano, assistant director for public services. “For anyone concerned that we’re just letting everything go, no, you still have to bring back the materials you returned, but if you’re late, it’s OK.”

Canosa Albano went on to say that after a set period of time, the patron will receive a message in their mail and other alerts to remind them they are in possession of an overdue item, but will still not be charged for it, as long as the item is returned in good condition.

Read more at Masslive.com.

Springfield Library Eliminates Fines & Announces Summer Reading Program (Video)

Watch a video of these official Springfield City Library announcements.

07/07/22 – Springfield Library Eliminates Fines & Announces Summer Reading Program

Watch the announcement in the video below!

Free Summer Meals for Kids in Springfield Offered at Library Branches (WWLP)

Free lunch for children under 18 will be offered from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. starting Monday, June 27th through August 25th at the following branches: East Forest Park, Forest Park, Indian Orchard, Mason Square, and Sixteen Acres.

Check out the story and video from WWLP

The story:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Home Grown Springfield will be opening 43 Summer Eats meal sites across the city to provide free meals for kids and teens.

They provide breakfasts and lunches Monday through Friday for children and teens 18 and under at no cost. No registration or identification is needed.

Free lunch will be offered from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. starting Monday, June 27th through August 25th, at East Forest Park Library, Forest Park Library, Indian Orchard Library, Mason Square Library, and Sixteen Acres Library.

“Our unwavering commitment to serving our students doesn’t end on the last day of school,” said Sodexo Operations Manager Donna Briggs. “We never stop feeding our kids. Our team never stops.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Home Grown Springfield’s team members served over 9 million meals to students across the city when school was out.

Children do not need to be from Springfield or attend Springfield Public Schools to be eligible. To find free meals for kids and teens, text “Springfield” to 82257.

“Providing continued food access to our youth throughout the summer is vital to student wellbeing,” added Sodexo’s Resident District Manager Roger Weger. “Thank you to the community organizations who are partnering with Home Grown Springfield to serve meals; their dedication and support to expanding meal access across Springfield has been phenomenal.”

Increasing Community Internet Access: Introducing Chromebooks

The Library will circulate Google Chromebook laptops for those in the community that do not have computer access at home.

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – April 20th, 2022 – The Springfield City Library has introduced Google Chromebook laptops into circulation in an effort to expand access to technology within the community. The Chromebooks can be borrowed separately or paired with one of the wireless hotspots that began circulating in May 2021. These Chromebooks are available to be borrowed free of charge with an active library card.

The Google Chromebooks are available to borrowers 18 years of age and older who are in good standing with the library. They may be borrowed for 14 days and are available on a first come, first served basis. Each Chromebook comes with a power cord and sturdy carrying case and can be operated with an existing Google login or guest option. Chromebooks are available at all Springfield Library locations; please check the link below or call your local branch to check on availability. Borrowing a Chromebook and wireless hotspot together make the perfect pair for internet access at home.

CLICK TO SEE CHROMEBOOK AVAILABILITY IN THE CATALOG.

Jean Canosa Albano, Assistant Director of the Library, said, “It’s very important that we, at the library, are doing everything we can for our community to have access to technology, whether it is within our doors or at home. With the changing times, we are glad we can be flexible in the how but unwavering in the what and why. We are excited to see the impact this has for our patrons.”

Chromebooks are made possible through a grant from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The goal of this program is to provide access to the technology necessary to connect to the internet to those that do not have the ability.

Founded in 1857, the Springfield City Library provides over 800,000 free print, physical, and digital resources for public enrichment. To learn more, visit www.springfieldlibrary.org

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Where to Find Free COVID-19 At-Home Testing Kits in Springfield (WWLP)

WWLP interviewed Branch Supervisor, Gregg Mitchell, at Mason Square Branch – one of the locations for kit pickup.

Check out the full story and video from WWLP – they interviewed Mason Square Branch Supervisor, Gregg Mitchell, about the COVID-19 testing kits available throughout Springfield.

An excerpt:

Rapid at-home COVID-19 tests are at the ready with local governments racing to get them out.

Mason Square Library in Springfield had about 810 kits ready to give to the public on Friday. With that supply there’s quite a bit of demand. People were showing up a half hour before they opened. This is all through a partnership with Health and Human Services

Springfield residents can now get two free at-home COVID-19 tests at libraries, senior centers, citizens councils and more.

“Provide different places that people can come and get the kits, so that way there’s enough chance for different neighborhoods because not everyone has access to get to different locations.” said Gregg Mitchell, the Branch Supervisor of the Mason Square Library.

These are for Springfield residents only so you will need to show a photo ID. However, for non-Springfield residents you should check your town or city’s website to find out what tests they have available.

See the list below for locations across the city handing out test kits:

  • Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center – 1476 Roosevelt Ave, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays.
  • Dept. of Health & Human Services – 311 State Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesday.
  • New North Citizens Council – 2455 Main Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesday.
  • South End Community Center – 99 Marble Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesday.
  • East Forest Park Library – 136 Surrey Road, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays,
  • Forest Park Library – 380 Belmont Ave, from 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.
  • Mason Square Library – 765 State Street, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.
  • Clodo Concepcion Center (Greenleaf Community Center) – 1187 Parker Street, from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Indian Orchard Citizens Council – 117 Main Street IO, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.