Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Book Club choices for Jan and Feb

The Friends Book Club meets in the Library the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm, immediately following the Friends Board Meeting (5:30-7pm).

We will be discussing these books in the upcoming months:

January 12:  The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
February 9: Under Fishbone Clouds by Sam Meekings

Come join us!  All welcome.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What a Party!!

The Holyoke Holiday Gala and Silent Auction at the Library tonight was well-attended and lots of fun. Here are some photos to give a sense of the event, which included entertainment by Holyoke Strings, the Madrigal Choir from Holyoke High School, and the Sea Tea Improv group.

View from the mezzanine while choir sang;
Cash bar at center desk served by Brennan's Place

Sea Tea Improv
Opening a door prize...

Impressionistic view of people and lights on mezzanine 

The Silent Auction included paintings, photographs, baskets of goodies, a tea set, jewelry, and services.

Silent Auction items on display
Auction team tallying the bids

The proceeds from tickets, bar sales, and auction bids will be shared equally by Homework House and the Friends of the Library. THANK YOU to all who participated in making this Gala such a success!
    For more photos visit MassLive "Seen@" gallery.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Gala & Silent Auction

The Holyoke Holiday Gala and Silent Auction is right around the corner: Saturday, December 11, 6-10pm at the Holyoke Public Library.
NOW is the time to buy (or reserve) your tickets. Don't delay! We want to have an accurate head count by Monday, December 6, to help with the food planning.

This year the Gala will benefit two wonderful Holyoke organizations that support the academic lives of our youth: the Library and Homework House. Live entertainment by Holyoke Strings, the Madrigal Choir & the Sea Tea Improv Group (comedy); Cash bar donated by Brennan's.
See our Facebook event page.

To reserve your ticket or for any more information, please email the planning group at or call 413-422-0506.
Or you may (for $1 processing fee) purchase tickets online using a credit card.

Please join us for this wonderful party!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Club: Three Cups of Tea

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving! And, wishing you time to read a good book! How about Three Cups of Tea?

That's the selection for the next meeting of the Friends Book Club, Wednesday, December 8, 7:00 - 8:00pm, in the Library's Holyoke Room, second floor. All welcome!

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin

Come join us! Come earlier, if you wish, for the Friends Board meeting (and refreshments), starting at 5:30pm December 8 in the Community Room. All our meetings are open to the public.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book Club/OneBookHolyoke

After a lively Friends of the Library board meeting last night, several of us talked about OneBookHolyoke and decided to schedule a BOOK CLUB date.    Instead of staying to eat more of the delicious refreshments, we went downstairs and consulted the room scheduling calendar and our calendars.  The result?    Wednesday November 10, 7:30-8:30pm, in the Community Room at the Library.  That will be after next month's Friends of the Library board meeting (5:30-7:00pm).

TONIGHT is the grand kick-off for OneBookHolyoke.   Don't miss it!  Dramatic readings, music, motivating speakers.

One Book Holyoke's Opening Event
Thursday, 10/14/10, 7 PM
Holyoke High School Auditorium
500 Beech Street Holyoke

Greetings from Mayor Pluta
Holyoke High School student Nick Allende
Dramatic Reading by:
John Haag, Enchanted Circle Theater
Vietnam veteran speakers:
Jim Munroe and Gumersindo Gomez
Holyoke High School Chorus
Holyoke High School Band

This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Board Meeting Wed October 13, 5:30pm

Come to the Friends of the Library Board Meeting. All are welcome!

5:30 pm Wednesday October 13, 2010, at the Library. 

The agenda will include discussion of the Library's Capital Campaign and the role of the Friends. Nina Mankin of the Campaign office will come to speak with us.

You'll also hear updates about this year's Cocktail Party, which is shaping up to be an exciting event. It is being planning in conjunction with Homework House.

Join us!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New ornament to benefit Friends

President Tim Damon recently announced the arrival of a shiny new ornament in the Friends of the Library's series of historic ornaments. This one depicts the popular Holyoke landmark of Scott Tower.  The design was selected by long-time Friends volunteer Michael Baron. 

The sale of each ornament ($14) benefits the Friends and ultimately the Library,  helping to fulfill the Friends mission of supporting the Library.  You can buy the ornaments at the Library, in the Mayor's Office,  or whenever you see a Friends of the Library table at a community event.

The Scott Tower ornament made its debut at the Great Holyoke Block Party, Sunday September 5, 2010.    It was on display in Veterans Park along with the Civil War Memorial ornament honoring the statue that is being restored by Cesar Lopez in the center of that park.

Karlene Shea (pictured here) was one of the volunteers staffing the Friends table.

Walter Scott Memorial Tower is the official name of the tower, as noted in the information card that accompanies the new ornament. (See photo below).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

September's coming!

September will start with much activity, and YOU could be a helpful volunteer for the Friends.

President Timothy Damon is seeking people to help staff a Friends of the Library table on Sunday, September 5 during the Great Holyoke Block Party  (11am-8pm on Chestnut Street by Veterans Park, Holyoke).   Our role is to encourage the public to use the Library and to consider joining the Friends of the Library.  Last year at this event we recruited several new members and had fun in the process.  Come enjoy the music, food, and games AND volunteer at the Library table to help for an hour or two.

This is also the time of year for our membership mailing about dues renewal.  Come socialize with Friends as we hold a "work bee" to stuff envelopes starting Wednesday afternoon, September 1.  (The materials are  being printed...  schedule may shift slightly, but our hope is to get all in the mail by September 3.)  Contact Sandy Ward, Tim Damon, or Margaret McCarthy if interested in helping for an hour or two.

Join us also on Wednesday, September 8, 5:30-7:00pm, in the Community Room of the Library for the first full BOARD MEETING of the Friends of the Holyoke Public Library under our new monthly schedule  (2nd Wednesday of each month, 5:30pm).   All meetings open to the public, and refreshments* are provided.

*Another volunteer opportunity!  Contact us if you can help with refreshments for one or more meetings.

       Sandy Ward, Corresponding Secretary  413-250-8079

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer activities

The Friends of the Library sponsored an Information Table and an Activity Table at the Noche de San Juan festival in Heritage Park on June 27.  This was a fun opportunity to promote the Library, meet people, and recruit new Friends members. 
Loida did outreach in Spanish while Tim manned the table.
  Friends volunteers Tim Damon, Christine Alger, Loida Martinez, Sandy Ward, and Rory Casey were among the active participants.

Tim read books to younsters

Another outreach opportunity will come on Labor Day Weekend: we'll have a table at the Great Holyoke Block Party on Sunday afternoon September 5, 2010.  Here's a photo from last year's Block party, at which we recruited several new Friends members.

 Come join us!    Chestnut Street & Veterans Park.

  Sept 5, 2010    11am-7pm

Drop by whenever you wish --enjoy the music, food, games, dancing--  and help us talk to people about the Library and its many services).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Official! Contracts signed for Library Project

On Thursday, June 24th at 11:00 am,  in Mayor Elaine Pluta's office at City Hall,  important documents related to the Holyoke Public Library Building Project were signed by Mayor Pluta, HPLC President Terry Plum, and City Solicitor Lisa Ball:
  1. City-Library contract formalizing the on-going partnership between the HPLC and City
  2. Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners contract for $4.4M state grant  
Friends, public officials, and the media were present to witness this historic step.
   WAMC reported on 2010-06-26, "At a time when public libraries in Massachusetts are being hit by budget cuts ..., there is reason for library supporters in one Western Massachusetts city to cheer. A plan has been put together to pay for a 15 million dollar renovation and expansion of the 108 year old Holyoke Public Library building..."
 [link to WAMC report]

Friday, May 21, 2010

Community Meetings with Library Design team

Come to the Library Community Room on Tuesday, May 25, to see drawings of the proposed library expansion/renovation and give your reactions!    You have a choice of two sessions:

    5:30 - 7 pm

This is a follow-up to the well-attended May 13th community meetings pictured here.    Community input was helpful.   We expect to see further development in the design by May 25.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


May 20, 5:30pm, Community Room, Library, 335 Maple St, Holyoke.  Brief business meeting to elect new Board and Officers, then Refreshments at 6:00 pm, Program at 6:30pm: 
Come hear author Timothy Black discuss his award-winning book, When a Heart Turns Rock Solid: The Lives of Three Puerto Rican Brothers On and Off the Streets.

Photos taken May 20:   Delicious food provided Rory Casey and Michael Baron

Book-signing after the very moving program.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Future Begins Here 2010

Friends of the Holyoke Public Library participated in the 19th Annual Future Begins Here event at the Holyoke Mall, Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Christine Alger (photo, right)  and many other volunteers assisted at the Silent Auction tables.

THANK YOU to all the people who volunteered their time and/or spent their money at this gala event!

Funds raised by ticket sales, auctions sales, bar sales, balloon sales, and sponsorships help support the Children's Room at the Holyoke Public Library.
Peg McCarthy (left) staffed another table with Silent Auction items.

Rory Casey was Chair of the Library team. Thanks, Rory!
Christine Alger, Peg McCarthy, Karlene Shea, Tim Damon, Rory and Melissa Casey.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Library Bond Authorization: YES!

Library supporters turned out in force last night and the City Council voted 14-1 to approve borrowing for the Library renovation/expansion project.  Hooray!  Thank you all!

Thanks to this YES vote, the project will now roll forward very quickly. COMMUNITY MEETINGS to see preliminary plans have been set for next week, Thursday May 13. (Two Spanish meetings 10am & 4pm; two English 11:30am & 5:30pm at the Library.) The architectural firm from Boston is now hard at work creating drawings and scenarios for public input. At least 3 choices will be on view.

A second day of community meetings (to look at refinements after a preferred plan has been selected) is scheduled for Tuesday May 25.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Library Building Renovation/Expansion Project

The 2009/2010 year has been a very active one!   The Friends group has had representatives attending a wide range of meetings regarding the long-awaited building project.  We have been well represented on the Campaign Working Committee, led by the FDA team hired by HPL Corp to direct the fundraising.   We set up TOURS of the building in January to educate our membership about the conditions of the existing structure (see photo of old stacks, which no longer meet building codes).  We participated in interviews for hiring the Owner's Project Manager (OPM). One of us was then invited to join the Building Committee, and participated in reviewing 14 Design Team proposals, interviewing 6 teams, and recommending an architectural/design team.

See Sandy Ward's online Library Project photo album documenting the library tours and many subsequent meetings.

The Friends group was asked in September 2009 to make a formal pledge to the Library Building Campaign.  We did so, pledging $100,000!   Of this, $26,000 was donated immediately and  another $14,000 promised to be paid before June 2010 -- to be used during this year to offset costs associated with redesign of schematics required by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).  The remaining $60,000 is to be raised in future years, conditional on City commitment to bonding for the project.

President Tim Damon and Sandy Ward visited many other public libraries in western Mass.  Sandy made several trip to eastern MA libraries as well, focusing particularly on historic buildings with new additions.  We can learn from these examples. See Sandy's "Ideas from elsewhere" photo albums.