Library News

The Well Tempered Ukes awarded residency at Forbes Library

WellTemperedUkesBeginning this fall, patrons and followers of the ukulele can regularly meet The Well Tempered Ukes as they begin a musical residency at Forbes Library. This residency, the first of its kind for the library, aims to support artist process and program development by providing time, space and opportunity for teaching, performance, and conversation.

Once a month The Well Tempered Ukes, a trio which plays and sings mainly early music, and parlor and art songs, will present an hour long public session. They will perform selected new and old songs from their repertory, share historical and cultural information about the songs and their ukuleles, and offer tips and insights into ukulele playing and performance.

Sessions will take place in the historic Calvin Coolidge Museum housed in the Forbes Library. Dates and times for the fall are Monday, October 19 at 7 pm; Saturday, November 21 at 1 pm; and Monday, December 21 at 7 pm. Open and free to the public.

Elevator construction update: Building temporarily not wheelchair accessible

The elevator is continuing to be constructed. The frame and platform are in place and we should soon see the cage and related enclosure materials on site. The project is now expected to be completed in mid-October and then it will require a state inspection before the elevator can be used. The replacement doors at the top of the stairs are expected to be delivered and installed at the end of October. It will take a couple of days to install them and the front entrance will be closed during that time. Update posted on September 28, 2015.

Forbes Library’s Outreach Program will continue for another year

Forbes Library’s beloved Outreach Program will continue for another year thanks to generous donations from the community. To date donations in excess of $8,000 have been received and this will allow the library to keep on staff member Frank Heston, the “Book Man”, on a somewhat reduced schedule. The donations were received anonymously from several community members who had personal connections to Outreach and knew its importance.

“Outreach serves an extremely vulnerable and isolated portion of our community. The books and movies that are delivered along with the relationship they have formed with Frank greatly improve the quality of life for those who are served by Outreach. We are very touched by and grateful for the generous response of the community to this situation,” said Janet Moulding, Library Director.

The Outreach program which has been in existence at Forbes for 25 years, delivers books and movies to low mobility Northampton residents who have difficulty visiting the library themselves. Library materials are delivered to private homes, Northampton Housing Authority sites and long-term care facilities. Patrons may specify genre—such as western, romance or non-fiction; format—such as books on CD, large print or video; or ask for specific books or authors.

Books are delivered to patrons every three weeks or as requested. At its height the program had two full-time staff people that served 400 individuals. Budget constraints have forced the program to shrink to its current staffing level consisting of one part time person with some volunteer assistance. The library trustees have formed a subcommittee charged with finding a sustainable solution to the budget issues and funding for Outreach that does not rely solely on volunteers and donors.

Applications available for Hosmer Gallery 2016 season

Exhibit Opportunity for Western Mass. Artists in All Media

From September 3 through October 10, 2015, artists may apply to exhibit their work in the Hosmer Gallery at Forbes Library next year.

The application can be completed online or printed and mailed with a CD of images. Criteria for review include technical and artistic quality, a coherent theme, and contribution to an interesting and varied program for the year. Artists living and working in the greater Northampton area are eligible to apply. First-time exhibitors, individuals and groups are welcome.

Art exhibits featuring the work of local artists have been part of Forbes Library’s cultural mission for over 100 years. The Hosmer Gallery has versatile display panels, cases and pedestals to accommodate a variety of two- and three-dimensional art formats.

The Hosmer Art Gallery is designed to provide opportunities for local artists to show their work to the public. Exhibits include a wide range of media and content reflecting the diversity of the Pioneer Valley community. The gallery is curated and scheduled by the Head of the Arts & Music Department.

There is no fee for application or for the use of the space. Details and applications can be found at

Closed summer Saturdays July 4-September 5

Summer hours begin July 4th. The Library will be closed on Saturdays through September 5. We will also be closed July 3 in observance of Independence Day.
Hours through the summer are: Monday 9-9 (Children’s Department 9-6); Tuesday 1-5; Wednesday 9-9 (Children’s 9-6); Thursday 1-5; Friday 9-5.

Forbes Library to Present Trustees Award

Susan Stinson, photo by Jeep Wheat

Susan Stinson, photo by Jeep Wheat

The Trustees of Forbes Library will present Susan Stinson with the Twenty-Eighth Annual Trustees Award on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 2 PM. The event will take place in the Coolidge Museum on the second floor of the library. The program will include brief readings by Susan Stinson, Outgoing Writer in Residence; Diana M. Gordon, First Writer in Residence; and Naila Moreira, Next Writer in Residence followed by a reception. The public is cordially invited to attend the award ceremony.

Each year the Trustees of Forbes Library honor a community member who has given exceptional volunteer service to Forbes Library with the Trustees Award. This year the recipient in Susan Stinson who has served as Writer in Residence at the library for the past five years. She has given countless hours of service in this role developing programming, engaging with writers and readers in our community. She has also served as a spokesperson for the library locally and
nationally through local traditional and social based media outlets.

Susan Stinson’s novels are Venus of Chalk (2004), Fat Girl Dances with Rocks (1994) and Martha Moody (1995). Spider In A Tree was published in Fall 2013 by Small Beer Press. Belly Songs, a collection of poetry and lyric essays, was published in 1993.

Her work — which has appeared in The Public Humanist, The Kenyon Review, The Seneca Review, Curve, Lambda Book Report and The Women’s Review of Books — has received the Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Benjamin Franklin Award in Fiction as well as a number of fellowships. She was born in Texas, raised in Colorado, and now lives in Northampton, MA.

Susan was a visiting lecturer at Amherst College for the spring 2014 semester. She has given workshops and been a featured speaker at Dartmouth College, Mt. Holyoke College, University of California/Berkeley, San Diego State University, Wheaton College, Hampshire College, Dickinson College, Canisius College, University of Massachusetts, Yale University and Smith College, as well as conferences such as the National Women’s Studies Association, Nolose,
NAAFA, OutWrite, and Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. In the past, she did a monthly radio segment, Book Swap, with Bob Flaherty on WHMP1400 AM. She also supports other writers as an editor and writing coach.

Opening on Forbes Library Board of Trustees

There will be a vacancy on the Forbes Library Board of Trustees for the term beginning January 2016. The volunteer, four year, elected position will be decided at the city elections Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

Potential candidates must be Northampton residents and at least 18 years old. Election papers are available at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall. These papers must be signed by at least fifty registered Northampton voters and turned into the Northampton Registrar of Voters by July 24th.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Forbes Library Board of Trustees is encouraged to contact Library Director, Janet Moulding ( or 413-587-1016) or any of the current Board of Trustees of the library. More information is available on the library’s website at

Forbes Library selects new Writer in Residence

Naila Moreira

Naila Moreira

Forbes Library has selected Naila Moreira as its new Writer in Residence. Ms. Moreira will begin a two year term in July succeeding Susan Stinson who has held the post for five years.

The Writer in Residence is a professional writer who furthers the library’s fundamental mission by volunteering approximately five hours each week creating, offering and promoting library programming. The intention of the WIR program is to further the engagement between the library and the community’s writers and readers. Forbes Library is unique among public libraries to have a Writer in Residence. “We are so fortunate to live in an area with such a rich literary community. Having a Writer in Residence at the library allows us to reach out to the writers as well as to readers in our community in exciting and meaningful ways,” said Lisa Downing, Assistant Director.

Naila Moreira is an essayist, poet, and science journalist.  Her work frequently focuses on themes of science and nature, drawing on her past experiences in the sciences, including her doctoral work in geology.  Her articles and essays, including nonfiction for children, have been published in numerous venues, including The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, Science News, The Common Online, and Science News for Students. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Gorgeous Infidelities, an art book published by Impossible Dream Editions in collaboration with internationally recognized photographer Paul Ickovic.  She works at Smith College as a lecturer in the English Department and a writing instructor in the Jacobson Writing Center, and teaches a science and nature writing course for high school girls in Smith’s Summer Science and Engineering Program.  She recently completed her first children’s novel and is at work on a novel for adults. You can learn more about Naila on her website, and follow her on Twitter (@nailamoreira) or on Facebook (naila.moreira).

Susan Stinson will receive the Twenty-Eighth Trustees Award at a public awards ceremony on Saturday, May 30 at 2 PM at the Forbes Library in recognition for her exceptional volunteer service.