Library News

Elevator construction update: Building temporarily not wheelchair accessible; Mid-September completion expected

Parts for the new elevator have started arriving! Kurtz Construction has begun to assemble it as of the first week of July and expect to complete the elevator cab installation in about 25 days. After that there will be finish work but the elevator should be functional no later than mid-September. There will be days during the construction time when the front entrance must be closed, but we hope to have enough notice to post closings on the website the day before. The bad news is that the new doors at the top of the stairs will not be delivered until October 20. It will take a couple of days to install them and the front entrance will be closed during that time.

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.

Building temporarily not wheelchair accessible during elevator construction

Construction on the elevator to replace the lift in the front entry began the week of Feb. 23 and will continue into late summer. During this time the library will not be wheelchair accessible. The library offers Outreach delivery service to patrons with limited mobility who can not come into the library including those that are impacted by the construction process. The library will arrange for someone to drop off and pick up library materials at your home. For more information about this service, please contact the library by calling 413-587-1017.
The front entrance will be kept open for most of the construction  process, although there will be disruptions, including the loss of some parking spaces and noise during construction. “The good news is that in the end we will have a fully functional, commercial-grade, attractive elevator that will serve our needs for decades to come,” said Lisa Downing, Assistant Director.

Book Spine Poetry Contest: April 1-30, 2015

2014 Winner Adult Category by Ellen LaFleche Why I Wake Early Seeing things before the dawn: Day lilies wash a kind of yellow into the forest.  A home at the end of the world.  Just before dark, what moves is not the wind. Ruby owls and other fantasies, scarlet tanager, a feast of snakes.  We who would not kill for the relief of unbearable urges. The angel of history, kind one, in such hard times I died for beauty. Goodbye and amen. Love, Ellen.

2014 Winner Adult Category
by Ellen LaFleche
Why I Wake Early
Seeing things before the dawn:
Day lilies wash a kind of yellow
into the forest.
A home at the end of the world.
Just before dark,
what moves is not the wind.
Ruby owls and other fantasies,
scarlet tanager,
a feast of snakes.
We who would not kill
for the relief of unbearable urges.
The angel of history,
kind one,
in such hard times I died for beauty.
Goodbye and amen.
Love, Ellen.

April is Poetry Month and we’re celebrating with the annual Book Spine Poetry Contest!

How to Participate:

Create a poem using book spines. The poem can incorporate any element of the spine you like (color, text, whatever). Theme/length/format is entirely up to you. If you need some inspiration, take a look at last year’s entries:
Take a photo of your poem and upload the photo to the library’s
► Facebook: or for teen entries. Tell us about your poem in the comment box.
► Tweet it: tag it with @ForbesLIbrary and #bookspinepoetry
► Post it to Instagram: tag it with @ForbesLibrary and #bookspinepoetry
You can include a list of the books you used, a transcription of the poem if you want, and any explanation you would like to add.

Stop by the Reference Desk if you want help uploading your picture.

Deadline: Add your photos by Thursday, April 30. Winners will be announced on Monday, May 11.

Prizes: A grand prize of a $25 Northampton Gift Card will be awarded in both the adult (20+) and teen (13-19) categories. We will also have honorable mentions in various categories.

Fine print: You can enter as many times as you like, but you can only win one prize. By entering the contest you certify your images and the poems are your own creations,
and you give the library the right to use your name and photograph of your poem for publicity and promotional purposes. All decisions as to winner will be made by Forbes Library staff, and our decisions are final. Library staff and family can enter, but can only be honored as prize-less runners-up. Prizes must be claimed in person.

Questions? Feel free to post questions/discussion/etc. on Facebook, or contact or 413-587-1012.

Sponsored by the Friends of Forbes Library.

View the poster