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

Mayor Sarno Joined with Springfield Library and Springfield Library Foundation for a Special Major Gift Announcement by the Estate of Mary K. Brogan

The Springfield Library Foundation Board of Directors has voted to establish the Mary K. and John J. Brogan Endowment Fund to provide a permanent source of funding for the Library’s Reference Department.

07/14/22 – Mayor Sarno Joined with Springfield Library and Springfield Library Foundation for a Special Major Gift Announcement by the Estate of Mary K. Brogan

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Springfield Library Assistant Director Jean Canosa Albano, Springfield Library Foundation President Patrick Markey, Springfield Library Foundation Executive Director Matt Blumenfeld, Springfield Library Commission Chair Stephen Cary and Judith Cramer Ph.D., Personal Representative of Mary K. Brogan, for a special major gift announcement from the estate of Mary K. Brogan. Mary was a longtime Springfield resident.

The Springfield City Library has had a profound impact on tens of thousands of patrons throughout its history, but for Mary K. Brogan, the Library and, in particular, the Reference Department, were essential to her professional career as a Private Investigator. Ms. Brogan practiced her profession in the City of Springfield for several decades beginning in the mid-1960s and passed away in October, 2020 at 92 years of age. Now thanks to a significant bequest from Ms. Brogan’s estate, she is going to play an equally essential role in the future of the Library’s collections and other resources for decades to come.

♦  ♦  ♦

Recently, the Foundation Board of Directors voted to establish the Mary K. and John J. Brogan Endowment Fund to provide a permanent source of funding for the Library’s Reference Department. “We expect that the Brogan Fund will add approximately $12,500 per year to the Reference budget,” said Patrick Markey, the Library Foundation President. In addition, the Foundation is using $50,000 from the fund to create the Business Center and Reference Desk at the East Forest Park Branch and $50,000 to create the new Brogan Research Center at Wellman Hall at the Central Library. “Together these commitments will help keep the City Library relevant for patrons of all ages,” said Mr. Markey.

♦  ♦  ♦

According to City Library Director, Molly Fogarty, the Information Services (formerly known as Reference) Department is busier than ever, and the new Brogan Fund will play a huge role in keeping services and resources up-to-date. “So many of today’s resources are available electronically, and as costs rise, it is critical to be able to subscribe to the databases, journals and other resources that patrons need. The type of questions asked of our staff has changed as well. More patrons request help doing things – learning how to do genealogical research on their families, finding out how to start a business, and learning how to use electronic resources for work, school and personal interest. Reference is now more about helping patrons to problem solve. The Brogan Fund will help us expand our reach where its needed most, and I am so excited and grateful.”

Read more at the City website.

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

#  #  #

Library Commission Announces New Façade Lighting for Central Library (WWLP)

The Springfield Central Library has installed lighting on State Street to not only illuminate the historic 110-year-old building but to also increase safety on State street.

Check out the story and video from WWLP

The story:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor Sarno was joined by Congressman Neal where members of the Library Commission announced the new façade lighting.

The Springfield Central Library has installed lighting on State Street to not only illuminate the historic 110-year-old building but to also increase safety on State street.

22News spoke to Mayor Domenic Sarno about this evening’s lighting ceremony.

“To be able to highlight this we did a lot of façade work here also but the vibrancy and when you have things that are lit up but it also brings a sense of public safety,” Mayor Sarno said.

Mayor Sarno also added that his administration is working on installing more lighting and traffic improvements to this street to increase safety.

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.

Brightwood Library in Springfield offering up 20 books for youngsters to read during Hispanic Heritage Month (Masslive)

Connecting with culture can be done through food and music and family traditions, but it can also be done through literature.

SPRINGFIELD — Connecting with culture can be done through food and music and family traditions, but it can also be done through literature.

For many Latino children and teens who grew up in the United States it can be difficult to connect with their ancestors, especially when knowledge of the language is lost or has become Spanglish, a combination of both English and Spanish words.

Springfield’s Brightwood Library head librarian Haydee Hodis and reference librarian Gregg Mitchell have offered up some books for children and teens and adults who are young at heart to explore Latin American culture during Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated in the U.S. from Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

While the books are mainly in English many are bilingual for those interested in practicing or learning new Spanish words.

Read more and see the list at Masslive.com!