Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer 2015

Library Park improvements (as reported in the previous post) are now under construction, affecting the Cabot Street end of the park. The project should be completed this fall.

The Library has been open on selected Saturdays this summer, in addition to the usual M-F summer hours. This expansion of service is welcome.

The Friends of the Holyoke Public Library are collecting books for a BOOK SALE to be held on the weekend of September 18-20.  Please bring your donations of books to the Library. Staff at the Circulation Desk will accept book donations and take them to the basement Friends office for sorting and temporary storage. Thanks to a generous offer from Rev. Barbara Thrall of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, 485 Appleton Street, the book sale will be held in a large space there, in conjunction with a bake sale run by church members. All proceeds of the book sale will benefit the Holyoke Public Library. We welcome volunteers to help with this book sale and its preparation.

Meanwhile, the Friends Board is making plans for the coming year. Several changes are underway. Want to be part of the process?  Come to the next meeting of the board:
Tuesday, July 28, 5:30-7:00 pm
Community Room, Holyoke Public Library
250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA

Stay tuned for updates. And, please mark your calendar for Tuesday August 25, 5:30pm -- proposed date/time of a special membership meeting to elect new board members and officers. (Planning for this is on the agenda of the July 28th meeting. Contact Barbara Raines for more information.)  A mailing to all Friends members of record will be prepared as soon as the details are confirmed.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Report of Annual Meeting

During the Friends Annual Meeting on June 11, 2014, María Pagán showed proposed re-designs for the Cabot Street side of Library Park, while Tim Damon helped hold her display.

Sherrill Harris, Mary Ross, Carol Soules, Baird Soules and Peg McCarthy were elected to the Board of the Friends; they will serve from July 2014 to June 2017. In addition, Board members Patricia Lumbra, Tim Damon, Barbara Raines, and Karlene Shea were re-elected for three-year terms.  Continuing board members include Christine Alger, Michael Baron, Catherine Dower, Darlene Elias, Maredith Haesaert, Connie Kennedy, Sara Krohn, Kate Lynch, Brittney Noble, Andrew Parker, and Migdalia Thomas.

Officers for the coming year were elected:  Tim Damon, President; Brittney Noble, Vice President; Barbara Raines, Treasurer; and Karlene Shea, Assistant Treasurer. (Two positions, Secretary and Corresponding Secretary, lacked candidates at the time of the meeting.) 

Board members whose terms expired (Dick Coleman, Sandy Ward) and one member who has moved out of the area (Elaine Baskin) were thanked for their years of service. 
Sandy and Elaine
After the meeting was adjourned, we enjoyed a lively performance by Sarah the Fiddler.

Light refreshments were provided, organized by Connie Kennedy:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sarah the Fiddler TONIGHT at Library

Come hear "Sarah the Fiddler" tonight, Wednesday June 11, in the Community Room of the Holyoke Public Library.   

Sarah Michel, fiddler, and her friends Keith DaSilva, percussion, and Joe Dziok, accordion and piano, will offer a lively program of bluegrass, Celtic and old-time tunes.

Bring your friends for this toe-tapping concert to celebrate with the Friends of the Library at the conclusion of our fiscal year.

(Come earlier, at 5:30pm in same room, to participate in the Friends annual membership meeting.  All welcome!)  Refreshments begin at 5:30pm.

For more information about the music, visit

Monday, May 26, 2014

Annual Meeting June 11, 5:30pm

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Library will be held Wednesday June 11, at 5:30 pm in the Library Community Room.

All welcome!

Note:  The Library will be on summer hours by then, but we will be able to stay past the 6pm closing.

Library hours, June-August
Mon - Wed.: 8:30am - 6:00pm
Thurs & Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm
Closed Saturdays, Sundays, & Holidays

Success of Poetry Reading

The Library Community Room was filled on Saturday afternoon May 24 for poet Dan Shanahan's program, "Holyoke - The Ground We Stand On: Geology, Mythology, History, and Poetry."  Dan read a selection of poems from his forthcoming book of poetry about Holyoke.  Musicians Robert Jonas (shakuhachi flute) and Steve Sleboda (recorder) accompanied some of the poems.

One highlight of the program was Dan's poem about the Library. Since his March 8th reading he had revised this poem, and printed an illustrated broadside with the text; audience members could obtain a copy for a modest donation (to the Library).  This poem is still a work-in-progress, he said.

Dan's wife, Carla Bee, joined him in song later in the program. They performed a poem by William Butler Yeats that had been set to music.

Also on the program was storyteller Megan Moore, who told a Native American tale of the Giant Beaver, the shape of which can still be seen along the Connecticut River at Mount Sugarloaf. 

This event was hosted by the Friends. Connie Kennedy provided refreshments; Sandy Ward introduced Dan Shanahan at the beginning, and led a tour of the Library afterwards.  During the tour Carla Bee found a comfortable chair with a good view of the park:  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Future Begins Here photos

Good food, good company -- a well-attended event at the Holyoke Mall.  THANK YOU to all who contributed auction items, bought raffle tickets, volunteered before and during the event, bid on items and spent money at the cash bar.  It all adds up. We don't know yet the exact total raised for the Library, but we did have some fun in the process. Here are a few photos from this year's Future Begins Here.
Karlene and Barbara, selling Raffle tickets at entrance.

Silent Auction tables

This item was POPULAR and sold well.

Susan and Brittney

Saturday, April 5, 2014

2014 Future Begins Here

The 23rd annual Future Begins Here Gala will be held at the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside on Sunday May 4, 2014, 6:30 pm.

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us. Come enjoy GOURMET food, and live music, as well as live and silent auctions. For a list of the fine restaurants participating this year, visit You can purchase tickets in advance ($35) or at the door ($40).

This event is a major fundraiser for local children's services, including the Children's Room of the Holyoke Public Library.  Every year the Friends of the Library help gather auction items and provide volunteer labor.  

How YOU can help:
  • Donate interesting new items (wine, jewelry, electronics) for the auction. Or donate a special service (massage, dance lessons, vacation home...) to be auctioned.
  • Come to our weekly Future Begins Here work parties (Mondays, 3:30pm- ) in the Friends office at the Library. Come see current donations, find out about FBH plans. Become part of the team soliciting auctions items from businesses. Call the Friends office 413-420-8110 and leave a message for President Tim Damon or Silent Auction Chair Brittney Noble.
  • Volunteer to sell RAFFLE TICKETS in advance. Contact Tim Damon or Susan Carey.
  • Become a Sponsor of the event; see the FBH website:
  • Volunteer to work May 4th at HPL silent auction tables.
  • Invite friends to attend this event. 
Thank you! This is our largest annual fundraiser, bringing in $8,000 - $13,000 per year to support to Children’s Room programs of our Library.