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, 2014, 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.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Back by popular demand!

Dan Shanahan's Poetry Reading on March 8th was a wonderful success.  The Community Room was filled to capacity.  His poetry and the imagery of his presentation, as well as the live music accompaniment, created a memorable event!   His new poem about the library was especially well-received.

We want to do this again, and have invited Danny to return. Plans are underway for another reading on the afternoon of Saturday May 24, 2014.   We hope that Shakuhachi flute master Robert Jonas and local singer-songwriter-flautist Steve Sleboda will again be able to participate.  Stay tuned for details.

One reviewer of the March 8th reading wrote, "I have heard Dan Shanahan read his poetry many times over the last 35 years and I have heard him read many of the poems he featured in Saturday’s event before at various stages of their evolution, but I have never witnessed such a convergence of sacred memories married to language evocative of a particular time and place effortlessly spilling over into universal truths of our human condition."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Poetry Reading

The Poetry Reading, originally set for Feb 13, has been rescheduled to March 8th.

Poetry Reading with live music!  
Saturday March 8, 2:30pm
Community Room, Holyoke Public Library

Dan Shanahan will share his poems, including memories of the Library reading room in the 1950's. He will be accompanied by Robert Jonas, Shakuhachi flute master and author, and Steve Sleboda, poet and musician. 
Don't miss this very special reading/performance
hosted by the Friends of the Holyoke Public Library.
Free. All welcome!

Daniel Shanahan is the author of three books of poetry. He began writing poems at fifteen, spending days in the reading room of the Library listening to 78rpm vinyl records of Yeats, Dylan Thomas and T.S. Eliot. Dan is currently writing his fourth book, a collection of poems on Holyoke entitled The Ground We Stand On, which focuses on the landscape of characters and the character of the landscape of Holyoke. Dan has traveled widely, and lived in Alaska and India. He is the sole proprietor of Lotus Seed Poetry. For more information, see

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Carnival

Today's winter snowstorm (Thursday Feb 13) has closed the Library and forced us to cancel tonight's Poetry Reading -- one of the events we planned in conjunction with the Holyoke Winter Carnival.

Poet Dan Shanahan will come at a later date, which we working to schedule.   Here is a photo of Dan taken last Saturday as he -- and the Winter Carnival snow woman-- arrived at the Library:

For more about the Holyoke Winter Carnival, which continues through Sunday, see

Monday, January 13, 2014

February GALA and other events

The Friends of the Holyoke Public Library invites the public to come to a GALA
celebrating both our 30th anniversary and the newly expanded library.

Saturday, February 8, 6:00-10:00 pm 
Holyoke Public Library, 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA

Hors d'oeuvres and cash bar in the Community Room.
 Music in the library by Richie Mitnick.
Tickets ($30 per person; $50 per couple) available at the Library.

This special event comes on the opening weekend of the Holyoke Winter Carnival (Feb 7-16, 2014). We are also sponsoring several other Library events during the Carnival:

Saturday, February 8, 11:00 am  
Mary Jo Maichack will present a children's program of stories and songs.

Wednesday, February 12, 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Folksinger/storyteller Tim Van Egmond performs in the Community Room 
Refreshments will be served.
At 5:30 pm the Friends board will meet in that room. All welcome!

Thursday, February 13, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Local poet Dan Shanahan will read his poetry, 
including a poem about the library reading room in the 1950's!   
Refreshments will be served.

For more details, see the Library's online calendar of events.

VOLUNTEERS to help with any of the above events would be welcome.Please contact Friends President Tim Damon  or call the Friends office at 413-420-8110.