Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!  

The Friends of the Holyoke Public Library had a very successful December, with many sales of ornaments, afghans and other Friends merchandise. We completed an inventory today and have deposited the sales income into our bank account. Thank you to all who purchased gifts at the Library this month.

Friends Book Sale; Afghan; Cabinet of Friends merchandise for sale

Thank you also for visiting our used book sale, which will continue into the new year. We are delighted to report that this new initiative, launched December 1st, has now earned enough income to cover the set-up costs (purchase of bookcases and the pay-box). We passed the break-even point on December 28.  Money collected from now on supports our mission.

Thanks to such fundraising we are able to contribute funds to the Library. For example, we delivered a check for $3,179 today to the Holyoke Public Library to "sponsor" a year's worth of these significant subscriptions:

  • - Library Edition (accessible on computers in the Library)
  • Heritage Quest Online (accessible at Library and to library-card holders at home)
  • Miss Humblebee's Academy, an early literacy program accessible on computers at the Library and to library-card holders at home).

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Gifts available

We are offering for sale many items appropriate for gifts in the holiday season.

The Friends cabinet is full...
and Friends volunteers will be in the Library lobby today (Saturday Dec 12) 1:00pm-3:45pm and Monday 3:00-6:00 pm with a table display.  Please come by!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ornaments for sale

Click on image to enlarge

These historical Holyoke ornaments designed by the Friends of the Library are for sale at the Holyoke Public Library.  Prices are $14 (top row) and $18 (ones with red ribbons).

Each brass ornament (top row) is finished with 24k gold and comes in a velour holder with a brief description of the significant Holyoke building or scene depicted. From L to R above you can see the Holyoke Opera House, Scott Tower, the Library, Holyoke City Hall, and the Elizur Holyoke car of the Holyoke Street Railway. We also have the Holyoke Dam.

The colorful ornament on the bottom row shows one of the stained glass windows in City Hall (1876). It comes in a box with a description of its history.  The silvery ornament celebrates the Holyoke Train Station (designed by famous architect H.H. Richardson).

You can see additional Friends merchandise, including the popular Holyoke Tapestry Afghan ($50) and several historic books ($20 each), displayed near the Circulation Desk in the Library. Come shop for gifts in the library!  Members of the Friends will be on hand at certain hours in this holiday season, but at any time the staff at the Circulation Desk can assist you in purchasing these specials items.  Proceeds of the sales benefit the Friends of the Library.  Thank you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Book Sale in Library

A new initiative is underway:  the Friends launched a self-serve BOOK SALE within the Library this morning, December 1, 2015.

Suggested Prices:
  Hard cover books –  $1.00 each
Paperbacks –  50¢ each

We encourage re-use of these gently-used books. Please come see the selection, and make your choices. Drop your payments (cash, or check made payable to Friends of the Holyoke Public Library) into the "Please Pay Here" box in the center of the display.   Donations above the "suggested" prices are welcome, of course.  This is a fund-raiser for the Friends.

Friends volunteers will restock the shelves weekly. We have a large supply of good books that were donated this year. Although many were sold at the successful September 18-19 sale at St Paul's Church, but many boxes of books remain. We have thousands (!) of books awaiting sale. Instead of planning another big-event book sale, we have decided to try a small-scale book sale that can be on-going. It is "open for business" during all Library hours.

This model – a book sale run on the honor system with a pay-box nearby – has been used successfully by many other Friends of Library groups that raise money to support their libraries. We hope the idea will succeed here.

Proceeds from the sales will help us provide future support for this Library.  For instance, the Library Director and the HPLC Board of Directors requested this fall that the Friends "sponsor" (cover the cost of...) an impressive new software program in support of early literacy. The Friends Board voted November 23 to pay $1200 for Miss Humblebee's Academy, which is accessible to families via computers at home and in this library. We also voted to continue our sponsorship (almost $2K per year) of the very popular genealogy/history databases and Heritage Quest Online. 

When YOU buy a used book from the Friends,
you are helping us fund these library resources. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Friends Board Meeting

The next meeting of the Friends Board will be on Monday November 23, 5:30-7:00 pm, in the Board Room on Level 1 of the Library.  All welcome.

We'll be discussing new initiatives for this year. Ideas welcome.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Library Park improvement

On Wednesday October 28, third grade students and their teachers from Lawrence School came to celebrate the re-opening of the Library Park near Cabot Street.

Recent renovations changed the pathways, and added a new bicycle rack, as well as tables for playing games.

Story walks and other library-related activities will make use of this refurbished park space. The Friends of the Library will plan events here in the future.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Happy faces and new ideas

At the September 29, 2015, board meeting of the Friends of the Library, we brainstormed ideas for Friends projects in the coming year.  Many voices contributed, and new ideas surfaced. It was a fun exercise and we came out smiling.

We filled the white board with words representing various ideas generated during about 20 minutes of brainstorming.  A smaller board displayed ideas that had been suggested prior to this meeting.

We will think about these ideas, discuss them (via group email), and find out who wants to work on what.  We'll narrow the list down to those that have strong support, and then begin to make real proposals for action.  

Board Meeting

The first official meeting of the newly-elected board is today, Tuesday, September 29, 7:00 - 8:15 pm in the Board Room on Level 1 of the Library.  All our meetings are open to the public.

We will be brainstorming ideas for new programs and activities, as well as taking care of some essential business of running this non-profit corporation, and responding to some requests from the Library Director for support of library programs, especially early literacy.

We'll also hear a brief report about the recent Book Sale.  A separate meeting will be scheduled later by the Book Sale team to consider next steps. The huge book sale at St Paul's was well organized, but perhaps not well enough publicized. Many good books remained unsold by the end, and have now been boxed and saved for a future date.

Friday, September 4, 2015


A book sale to benefit the Holyoke Public Library will be held on Friday, September 18 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 19, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at St. Paul Episcopal Church, 485 Appleton Street in Holyoke.  The Reverend Barbara Thrall has generously donated the space for this book sale.

Library Director Maria Pagán says, “Even in this day of digital materials, the physical book is very important and represents a commitment to reading and literacy in Holyoke. We are thrilled to collaborate with Reverend Barbara Thrall and the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church congregation with an event that will re-distribute books to the community."

Anyone interested in contributing books, CDs, and audio books to the sale, please bring them to the Holyoke Public Library Circulation Desk at 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, or call the Circulation Desk at 413-420-8101. Donations will be accepted up until Wednesday, September 16.

The Library is accepting donations in: Art/Architecture/Photography; Biographies; Business/Economics; Children'ʹs books; Cookbooks; Education; Entertainment/Drama/ Music/CDs; Fiction; Foreign Language; Gardening; History/Government/Law; Hobbies/Sports; Holyoke and the Pioneer Valley; Home Improvements; Humor; Poetry; Short Stories; Reference; Religion, Philosophy; Science/Medicine/Health; Short Stories; Social Sciences; and Travel. Note: Library staff members cannot appraise gifts for the tax purposes of the donor. [The book sale cannot accept magazines, except for art and architecture; Readerʹs Digest Condensed Books; paperbacks without cover; water damaged or mildewed books; law case books; or out‑of‑date text books.]

Friends volunteer Tim Damon (photo, right) has been busy for weeks sorting donated books into subject categories. Other volunteers help Tim transport the boxes to the church.  Additional volunteers will be needed to set up the sale Thursday evening September 17.  Contact Tim by email, or call the Friends office 413-420-8110.

This book sale is a joint project of the Holyoke Public Library Board and the Friends of the Library, in collaboration with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Books!  Books, and more books!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New team, new collaboration

On September 1, 2015, three of the new officers of the Friends met with HPL staff member Nancy Kocsmiersky of the Library Development Office to discuss ways that we could work together. Nancy snapped this photo of us:
   Sandy Ward, President (standing)
   Kate Kruckemeyer, Vice President, left
   Pattie Lumbra, Assistant Treasurer/Membership Co-Chair, right.

We are considering new ways to keep our membership information up to date.  It has been a challenge, in the past, to keep the Friends membership list (maintained in a spreadsheet by a volunteer on a home computer) and the Library's main mailing list (maintained by Nancy with much more sophisticated database software, not accessible by the Friends) in sync. People move, phone numbers change... and notification of such changes might be sent to the Library, or to the Friends, or neither, or both. In spite of efforts to communicate changes, our lists evolve separately.

In August Nancy printed address labels for mailing the Friends newsletter. That was a helpful efficiency, but some of our newsletters were undeliverable, costing us fees at the Post Office. As we investigated each bounced address, comparing data from our two separate lists, we realized, again, the nuisance of this separation. We are seeking solutions. The software in Nancy's office will soon have to be upgraded. We are hopeful that the new version will provide new options for collaboration.

Monday, August 31, 2015

New Board and Officers elected

At the Friends Membership Meeting on August 25, five new Board members were elected to serve 3-year terms:  Elizabeth Veillette, Sarah Page, Kate Kruckmeyer, Dottie Blain-Hamel, and Nick Alger.

In addition, three returning members were elected to 1-year terms:
Michael Baron, Darlene Elias, and Sandy Ward.

Officers for 2015 – 2016 were then elected:
  • President: Sandy Ward
  • Vice President: Kate Kruckmeyer
  • Treasurer: Barbara Raines
  • Assistant Treasurer: Pattie Lumbra
  • Secretary: Elizabeth Veillette
  • Corresponding Secretary: Dottie Blain-Hamel
For complete list of the Board of Directors, see About Friends Governance on HPL website.

Upcoming plans for the Friends for 2015-2016 were reviewed, including these events in September:

September 10:  Sip/Paint/Fun to be held 6:00 - 8:30 PM at the Wyckoff Country Club. Enjoy wine and conversation, and paint your own painting, $40 with some proceeds to benefit the Friends. See Facebook event posting for more information. Or to register.

September 18-19: Book sale to be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Volunteers are needed Thursday evening to help set up and Friday evening and Saturday to help with the sale. Call the Friends office 413-420-8110 (afternoons best time to catch volunteers there). Book donations will be accepted up until Wednesday, September 16.

September 29: Next meeting of the Board of the Friends, 7:00 - 8:15 PM in the Board room, Level 1 of the Library.  Open to all.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Membership Meeting Aug 25

All members of the Friends are invited to come to an important Membership Meeting:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 6:00 pm*
Community Room
Holyoke Public Library
250 Chestnut St, Holyoke

*Arrive earlier for light refreshments and socializing, 5:30-6:00pm.

The official meeting will be brief, ending before 7 pm.  The purpose of the meeting is to elect new board members and officers for the Friends of the Holyoke Public Library, and to hear about plans for the coming year.

You may recall that such elections usually are held at an Annual Meeting in May or June. For various reasons this year, the spring meeting did not occur. (One attempted meeting was aborted by a severe storm warning/tornado watch, as sensible people stayed home, so no quorum was reached.)

We hope for good weather and a large turnout this time. A printed notice of the meeting is being mailed to all Friends of record.

This meeting is open to the public. You may bring friends along. They could join that night, if they wish to participate in the voting.  Minimum dues = $10/year.

Slate of Candidates for Officers for the coming year:
  • President: Sandy Ward 
  • Vice President: Kate Kruckemeyer 
  • Secretary: Elizabeth Veillette
  • Corresponding Secretary: Pattie Lumbra 
  • Treasurer: Barbara Raines 
  • Assistant Treasurer:  (open)
Additional nominations may be made from the floor for any of these officer positions and for board positions. Note: Officers must be members of the board, so the election to fill board positions will precede the election of officers.

If YOU would like to become a candidate for the board, please let us know.  Please send email to friendsofthehpl [at] gmail [dot] com, or call the Friends office 413-420-8110 and leave a voice message.  

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.