Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Videos of Grand Opening and Library Tours

Thanks to Mike Hines of the Holyoke Public Schools Media Center, we can view videos of the following Holyoke Public Library ceremonies and tours:

  • Grand Opening ceremony, November 22, 2013  (51 minutes)
  • TOUR of the new library, conducted by María Pagán (20 minutes)
  • Construction site tour, conducted by Tom Ryan in fall 2012 (10 minutes)
  • Library Topping Off Ceremony, September 2012 (33 minutes)
  • Holyoke Public Library "Next 100 Years" Campaign" (15 minutes)
These videos are accessible online via this link:

Enjoy watching this documentation of our library's history.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New website and Grand Opening!

The Holyoke Public Library website has a new look:

Just in time for the 

GRAND OPENING and Official Ribbon-Cutting

Friday, November 22, 2013

Starting 11:00 AM 

Official Ceremony 11:30 AM

250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke

Friends of the Library will provide refreshments
after the ceremony

TOURS of the newly expanded library
will be offered in the afternoon.

Come see!  Bring your friends!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tag Sale and Book Sale

The Friends of the Holyoke Public Library will hold a Tag and Book Sale on Saturday, November 16th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

The sale will be held at the Lynch School at 1575 Northampton Street (Rte 5 near Exit 17 from I-91) rather than at the library itself.  Come to the back side of Lynch and follow signs; there is plenty of parking and a ramp up to the door we'll be using.

Included in the sale are hundreds of used items from the original library building as well as material and equipment that was used at the temporary library location in Holyoke City Hall during the 18-month construction project.  In addition to library materials, the sale will also include used books donated by the Friends of the Holyoke Public Library and others.

See Tag Sale photo gallery for a preview of selected sale items.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the Holyoke Public Library Building Fund.

Note: You'll be able to buy BOOKS and the bookcases for them -- all in one convenient sale!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Library re-opening Oct 28

Regular hours of library service will resume on Monday October 28, 2013:
   Monday -Thursday 8:30 am to 8:30 pm.
   Friday - Saturday  8:30 am to 4:00 pm. 

New phone number:  413-420-8101

New address:  250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA 01040

** A special PUPPET show for pre-school thru grade 5 will be presented at 1:00pm, Saturday October 26 in the Community Room.  Come in the new entrance and turn right (the rest of the library will not yet be open).    Come early (12:30pm) for the tour of the new library.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pre-Opening Party

Almost ready for opening!  The moving back process has begun.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Meet us in the new Community Room, 250 Chestnut Street
Socializing with Friends

Celebrating our 30thAnniversary!
Founded in 1983, the Friends group has provided significant support for the Library. 
In fall 2013, for the first time in the history of this volunteer-run nonprofit organization,
we will have a space of our own, a small dedicated workroom/office
 in the basement of the renovated library.  
We look forward to this new era!

At 5:30pm, we'll introduce Friends Board Members
 and then convene our first meeting in the new space. 
Join us and learn about plans for the coming year.

Our Board meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month, 5:30-7:00pmAll current and prospective Friends are welcome to attend these meetings. Mark your calendars for Oct. 9, Nov. 13, Dec. 11, 2013 and Jan. 8, 2014, Feb. 12, Mar.12, Apr. 9, May 14, and Jun 11. Come early on October 9 for our Anniversary Party!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meetings of Friends Board

The Friends board meets once a month, on the second Wednesday, 5:30-7pm.

TODAY's meeting, September 11, will be at Career Point, 850 Main St, Holyoke.

All future meetings will be at the newly renovated/expanded Library, 250 Chestnut Street. Hooray! Plan to come early on October 9th.  We'll arrange tours of the NEW spaces!  

As you can see from this photo of the new Children's Room taken yesterday (Sept 10), the library is almost -- but not quite -- ready for use. The building has been built. Walls have been painted, and floors carpeted. Shelving is being erected.  In the distance is the children's activity room, with colorful walls.

Wonderful progress!   But the Library is not yet ready to open; no books can be moved in until the Fire inspector finishes an inspection, and a few other steps are completed.  Exact re-opening date still unknowable...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Friends T-shirts at Block Party

Friends President Tim Damon waved a friendly greeting from the Friends table at the 5th annual Great Holyoke Block Party, Saturday August 31, 2013.  He and Karlene Shea, above, and other Friends volunteers staffing the table during that afternoon wore the green "Friends of the Holyoke Public Library" t-shirts.

Even the bear wore a t-shirt, helping us promote the library and the Friends.

For the first time, we began offering these shirts for sale. Last year, when Christine Alger ordered these shirts for board members and volunteers, she acquired extras in various sizes. We decided to sell these extras @ $15 each and, if demand warrants, re-order a supply to sell along with our other fund-raising merchandise (e.g., the holiday ornaments, and the Holyoke afghan). 

The logo on the shirt was designed by Donna DiCarlo of DiCarlo Studios in Holyoke, closely matching the logo she designed for the new Library. The shirts are 100% pre-shrunk cotton. Sizes S, M, L, XL, and 2XL.  

Here's Dick Coleman (above), long-time Friend of the Library, sporting his new shirt.  And Michael Baron wore one as he helped staff the Library's table at the Block Party:

Many people came to these library tables and gathered information, especially about the NEW library. The construction phase has finished; the moving-in phase is just beginning.  Excitement is high as we eagerly await the re-opening, expected in one month.

Meanwhile, we had a good time at the Block Party. We sold t-shirts and hopefully made some new friends as well.  Karlene, Tim, and Brittney packed up the tent at the end of the afternoon.  For more photos of the Block Party, see Sandy Ward's album,  the Facebook event page, and MassLive photo gallery.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Friends Meeting and Library update

Tim Damon, President of the Friends of HPL, invites us all to come to a meeting of the Friends Board on Wednesday August 14, 5:30pm.  The location will be in a meeting room at Career Point, 850 High Street, Holyoke.  All welcome!

The Friends Board doesn't usually meet in August, but this is not a usual year. We're gearing up for the transition into the newly renovated and expanded Holyoke Public Library.  Come join us!

Monday September 30 is now the projected date for the re-opening of the Library at the original site. The construction phase is almost finished; the building is 98% complete. The sidewalks around the library park are now walkable; the fences were moved today. The new parking lot across from the library on Chestnut Street is being paved this week. The temporary library in City Hall will close for two weeks (probably from September 16 on) for the actual moving of the book collection. Other parts of the move will occur in early September.

This schedule of course impacts plans for our annual Friends cocktail party, which was held in September last year. (Remember the fun of that costume party?)   Come share your ideas for Friends events for the coming year.

Come see us, too, at the Great Holyoke Block Party Saturday August 31  (rain date Sunday Sept 1) on High Street in front of City Hall.  The Friends of the Library will staff an information table there. Stop by and greet us. Come and join us.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Annual Meeting June 12

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Holyoke Public Library, Inc.,
will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at 5:30pm

Location: Career Point, 850 High Street, Holyoke, MA
                  Esperanza Room on the 2nd floor

All Friends of the Library are invited to attend this membership meeting.  

The agenda will include nomination and election of board members and of officers for the coming year. The Nominating Committee will present a slate of candidates, and additional nominations may be made from the floor.

Candidates nominated for officers for the coming year (July 2013 - June 2014):
President: Tim Damon
Vice President: Brittney Noble
Treasurer: Barbara Raines
Vice Treasurer: Karlene Shea
Secretary: Dayna Abrazinski
Corresponding Secretary:  Darlene Elias

This is the beginning of the 30th anniversary year of the Friends of HPL.  It will be a remarkable year with the re-opening of the main library, which includes a special Children's Story Area for which the Friends have raised funds, and an office/meeting room for the Friends organization. Much to celebrate!

Please help spread the word of this meeting.   Invite your friends.  

Sandy Ward
Corresponding Secretary

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Special program May 18


“Stories from My Cousins,” a first -hand account of one family’s remembrances of surviving the Holocaust during the German Occupation of France between 1940 and 1944, will be the subject of a special program on Saturday May 18, at 1:00 PM. The program will be presented by Holyoke resident and Holyoke Public Library long-time Trustee Thomas Schwab and is open to the public free of charge. 

While Mr. Schwab’s father and several other members of the Schwab family moved to the United States in the early 1900s, his father’s five sisters and their families remained in France, several living in Paris or its suburbs until World War II broke out. It was then that in order to survive a series of moves were essential. These moves included abandoning their homes and, in some cases businesses, and moving to other parts of what remained as “free” France. 

While the periods of the German Occupation was one of great difficulty for all French residents, its impact on Jews was “incalculably greater” for a variety of reasons. Mr. Schwab’s story of his family’s  struggles and their survival was assembled as a result of personal visits and accounts from family members who survived the Holocaust, and their recollections of other friends, relatives, and countless acquaintances who did not survive. Mr. Schwab’s account is a remarkable tribute to his family and to the survival of the human spirit. 

The presentation of the Holocaust tribute will be held in the Community Room of the Library on the second floor of Holyoke City Hall, 536 Dwight Street. (Enter by the back door that faces the parking lot; other City Hall doors are locked on weekends.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Friends in action

The monthly board meeting of the Friends of the Library was held Wednesday March 14 in the Library's temporary home in City Hall.   Active projects in the works include:
  • Preparing for The Future Begins Here, May 5, 2013 -- the annual fundraiser hosted at the Holyoke Mall and benefitting three non-profit organizations (including our Library) that provide services to children, our future.  Chair of this year's Library team for FBH is HPLC Board member Susan Carey. Brittney Noble is in charge of the Silent Auction; please contact her if you have items to donate or could help in soliciting fabulous auction items. Table sponsorships (advance reservations for tables of 10; due April 10) are being solicited by Sandy Ward.  Volunteers to staff the auction tables on May 5 will also be needed, as always.
  • Recruiting and nominating potential new board members to fill anticipated openings. (One-third of our three-year terms expire each year; elections will be held in June.) Contact Connie Kennedy or Darlene Elias if you would like to serve on the Nominating Committee or have suggestions for people to nominate.
  • Improving the workflow of our newsletter production. We seek someone with knowledge of, and access to, Publisher software (or other appropriate software for creating a newsletter).
In addition, Friends are busy helping the Library Campaign Office prepare for a series of April events that will benefit the Library. First and foremost is the special gala on April 4th celebrating the work of photographer Jerome Liebing. Christine Alger, President of the Friends, has helped plan that party. Throughout the month of April there will be many art exhibits in conjunction with, or inspired by, the 1982 Liebling photographs of Holyoke. Sandy Ward has participated in a "Ripple Effect" project involving photos taken by teens at Girls, Inc. Artworks created from the Library's old glass floor panels will be on display as the Glass Block Art Project. See the Holyoke: Points of View website, for a complete list of exhibits and more information about each.

Christine Alger, Tim Damon, and Sandy Ward will be hosting tours of the library construction site in upcoming months. A new schedule has just been arranged -- now on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm. Contact Debra Vega at the Campaign office (322-5636) if YOU want to sign up for a tour!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Poetry Reading

Come to the Library at City Hall this Saturday, March 9th, at 11:00 am to hear poet Nancy Denig read selections of her poems.

Friends member Dan Fitzgerald invited her and will introduce her.

Critic Jendi Reiter has commented that reading Nancy Denig’s poetry is “like uncovering a treasure trove of snapshots boxed in the attic – fleeting images that make us conscious of the great arc of time, and of ourselves as small but precious points on that wheel.

Nancy Watkins Denig is a Massachusetts native who returned to Western Massachusetts in 1992, after intervening years in Chicago, Germany, and metropolitan DC. 

She began writing poetry in midlife, inspired by her life-long love of the arts, her career as a landscape architect and, not least, by depths of her experience as family, lover, friend and fellow-traveler.

At the Library March 9, she will read a selection of recent poems, as well as excerpts from her published collections - Distaff Diaries, A Memoir in Verse and Suites.

Join us!   We'll be in the Library meeting room.
(Enter the City Hall via the entrance at the back parking lot; come up the elevator to the 2nd floor.  The meeting room is accessible from a hallway that runs from the Library's lobby to the Children's area,)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Construction Progress!

Much progress is being made at the Library construction site. Friends President Christine Alger took a tour in January and gave an enthusiastic report at the Friends Board meeting on February 13. Board members Connie Kennedy and Sandy Ward joined a tour on February 19 and captured these photos.

Tom Ryan of D.A. Sullivan & Sons (the Owners Project Managers, or O.P.M., for this huge construction project) led each tour.  Library Director María Pagán helped explain what would be where in the finished library.

Two spaces of particular interest to the Friends are now visible. The Children's Story-Telling Area, for which the Friends have pledged $100,000, is now well-defined on the second floor of the addition.

Here is the view from inside the Story-Telling area.

The wall outside the Story-Telling area was being painted as we walked by. It is at the south end of the very large new Children's Room. This photo illustrates a point made by our tour guide on February 19: the project now includes a mix of rough construction and fine finishing, a variety of different types of work going on simultaneously.

Connie in the Friends office space

We were delighted to see the room that will become the Friends office. The Friends organization will at last have a real place to store files, work on projects, and have meetings of committees or small groups.

Our room is in the basement, or "Lower Level," which has been remarkably transformed from the odd mix of different levels and spaces that used to be under the 1902 building. This Lower Level also includes library staff work areas, the Director's Office, and a large room for compact shelving to hold archival collections.

In the photo at left, Sandy is standing on the 1902 main floor level near where new stairways (connecting all levels, old and new) will be constructed. Behind her is the Children's Room (above) and new main floor/entrance area (below).

Because the Library's new entrance faces Chestnut Street, a new address has been assigned: 250 Chestnut Street.

Friendly workmen greeted us, including this proud Friend of the Library who had just finished cleaning the hallway before we walked through.

If you would like to join one of the tours, which are scheduled every few weeks on Tuesday afternoons, please contact the Library Campaign office (Matt Blumenfeld or Debra Vega) at 413-322-5636.

Hard hats are provided. Tour groups are limited in size to avoid disrupting the on-going work.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Glass block publicity: ABC 40, MassLive

Samples of the glass floor panels from the Library's stack wing are on display on the 2nd floor of City Hall. A TV camera team from abc40-WGGY came Monday January 14th to interview members of HPL's Glass Block Committee about a new initiative for creative re-use of selected glass blocks.  The 6 o'clock evening news included this report:

Monday morning MassLive posted an excellent article by Mike Plaisance:
Deadline for submission of proposals in January 31.  Entry forms and details are now available on the Library's website, both on the home page and on a new page that includes links to history of the old stacks.

Some glass blocks are also FOR SALE to the public. Friends of the Library receive a 20% discount.  One size category has sold out, but others remain in stock.  Contact María Pagán to order.