Library News

Forbes Library, Historic Northampton and Wistariahurst host States of Incarceration, a traveling exhibition

States of Incarceration imageSTATES OF INCARCERATION
A NATIONAL DIALOGUE OF LOCAL HISTORIES

March 13-30, Forbes Library, 20 West St, Northampton, MA and Historic Northampton, 46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA

Opening reception: March 13, 5-8 PM; featuring a guided tour of the exhibit at 6pm at Forbes, led by local residents who are featured in the exhibit, and a public reading by Voices from Inside at 7pm at Historic Northampton.

Forbes Library and Historic Northampton are partnering to present States of Incarceration, the first national traveling multi-media exhibition and coordinated public dialogue to explore the history and future of mass incarceration in the United States.

The exhibition will also be on view March 1-12 in Holyoke at The Wauregan (420 Dwight St), hosted by the Wistariahurst Museum with an opening reception on March 1 from 6-8 PM.

Website: http://pv-soi.org / Programs and events: https://pv-soi.org/programs/

States of Incarceration was created by the New School’s Humanities Action Lab, a coalition of 500 university students and formerly incarcerated individuals from 20 cities, including students and faculty from UMass Amherst Public History Program and several local community organizers. It explores the history of incarceration by focusing on human stories from 20 different local communities from across the U.S., including here in western Massachusetts. The exhibit offers a diverse genealogy of the incarceration generation and challenges all of us to remember our own past and use the insights of history to shape what happens next. A Spanish-language exhibit catalog accompanies the exhibit.

States of Incarceration will be on view alongside several additional installations, including an exhibit titled The Carceral Commonwealth on how incarceration impacts families and communities in Massachusetts, a photographic installation about Holyoke-based community organizations (on display in Holyoke), and exhibit panels and artifacts on history of incarceration in Hampshire county (on display at Historic Northampton).

Simultaneous to the exhibition, Wistariahurst, Forbes Library, Historic Northampton and several other organizations are offering public programs on this theme, including field trips, film screenings, workshops, and lectures. Events include a youth-led workshop for school-based professionals led by Pa’lante, a restorative justice group from Holyoke High School; a Know Your Rights workshop led by local civil rights and defense attorney Luke Ryan on March 9; and a talk about the history of the Northampton state hospital on March 29, hosted by Historic Northampton and Forbes Library.

In addition, six local libraries have teamed up to present Hamptons + Holyoke Read, featuring a community read of the book Orange is the New Black and other related programs, including a panel discussion with three women who were incarcerated with Piper Kerman and whose lived experience informed the book and the TV series. On March 30, the exhibit culminates with a “Local Action Forum”, bringing local students, scholars, community members and activists together to discuss ongoing work to build the collective power of communities affected by mass incarceration, hosted by the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation and sponsored by the Feinberg Series. Additional programs will continue into April.

 

States of Incarceration is presented by the Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series, the UMass Amherst Public History Program, Forbes Library, Historic Northampton and Wistariahurst, with support from the Humanities Action Lab, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support was provided by The Wauregan, NEPR, the UMass History Department, and the UMass Office of Research Development.

States of Incarceration was created by the Humanities Action Lab and designed by Matter Practice. The web platform, statesofincarceration.org, was created by Picture Projects. The Spanish-language exhibit catalog was created by María José Giménez (translator) and Maggie McDonald (graphic designer). The Carceral Commonwealth was created by UMass students and local residents and designed by Jennifer Luxton. Wistariahurst created the photographic exhibit about Holyoke-based community organizations, and Historic Northampton and UMass students collaborated to create the exhibit components on incarceration in Hampshire county. More than three dozen additional students, faculty, activists, community leaders and people with direct experience with incarceration contributed to the creation of these exhibitions and programs.

Hamptons + Holyoke Read: Orange is the New Black

For Immediate release.

February 22, 2017 – Five communities are coming together during March and April in a new partnership called Hamptons + Holyoke Read. The inspiration for this multi-community initiative is the book Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman, popularized by the Netflix series. Spearheaded by the public libraries in Holyoke, Northampton, Florence, Easthampton, Southampton and Westhampton, Hamptons + Holyoke Read is sponsoring dozens of events exploring incarceration through discussion, art, film and lecture. Community partners for this project are wide reaching including Holyoke Community College, Historic Northampton, Wistariahurst, Prison Policy Initiative and UMass Amherst Public History Program.

Originally published in 2010, Orange is the New Black tells the true story of the author, a Smith College graduate, who served a 15-month sentence in a federal women’s prison for drug trafficking. Although the book and to a larger extent the Netflix series give a narrow and often unrealistic view of prison life, the organizers of Hamptons + Holyoke Read are using this book as a jumping off point to encourage community conversations about pervasive issues of mass incarceration affecting our communities and our nation.

There are currently 2.2 million people serving time in the United States, which represents a 500% increase over the last 40 years according to the Sentencing Project, a nonprofit research and advocacy group. In Massachusetts alone there are nearly 20,000 people currently serving time. The State Senate will be discussing three important criminal justice related bills this year and nationally prison policy is receiving lots of attention. “The topics raised by this year’s community reading event are extremely timely and important. Participants will have the opportunity to increase understanding and foster conversation about the past, present and future of prison and its impact on our society,” said Lisa Downing, Hamptons + Holyoke Read Co-Chair.

Copies of Orange is the New Black are available to borrow from the participating libraries. For a complete list of events and exhibits please visit http://forbeslibrary.org/hhr.

Concurrent with Hamptons + Holyoke Read, the national exhibit States of Incarceration: A National Dialogue of Local Histories is coming to Holyoke and Northampton during the month of March. For more information about the exhibit and related programs, please visit https://pv-soi.org/.

Molly Moss is appointed new Assistant Director/Patron Services Librarian

Please welcome our new Assistant Director, Molly Moss!

Molly Moss, Assistant Director

Molly Moss, Assistant Director

Head of Reference at Forbes Library since 2010, Molly is excited to take on this new role at Forbes. Molly has worked as a Reference Librarian since 1997, spending several years as an academic science librarian before making the move to public libraries in 2003. Since starting at Forbes, she has led an LSTA grant for Readers Advisory services, remodeled the Doland Reference Room, and co-founded the Readers Advisory Round Table for Western Massachusetts. Molly has also served as a library trustee, both in Illinois and currently in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. In her new role at Forbes, she looks forward to continuing her focus on improving customer service and working more with programming, collections, and community outreach.

Friends of Forbes bus trip to Hyde Park, NY, National Historic Sites

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's homeThe Friends of Forbes are presenting a 1-day bus trip on Saturday, May 13, 2017, to Hyde Park, NY, with guided tours of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s home & library and the Vanderbilt mansion, plus lunch. Both homes are National Historic Sites. The cost is $139 per person, which includes a donation to the Friends of Forbes and is based on 42-50 participants. Motor coach departs at 7:00 a.m. from Forbes Library, 20 West St., Northampton. Estimated return is 7:00 p.m.

If you have not reserved a seat yet, you may use PayPal (below) or mail a check to Friends of Forbes Library, P.O. Box 1363, Northampton, 01061. For questions call 413.584.8334.

You may park for the day on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Smith College parking garage, which is just a few doors beyond the library on West Street. There is no charge for that parking. The 1st floor is for students, who have paid to park there.

Seats are limited. Deadline for reservations is March 29, 2017.

Tickets may also be bought online via PayPal.





Outreach Delivery Service

Is it difficult for you or someone you know to get to the library?

Let us bring the books to you! Forbes Library volunteers deliver and return library materials to home bound residents in Northampton, Florence and Leeds.

Apply online or pick up an application at the library. For more information call 413-587-1019.

Applications available for Hosmer Gallery

Exhibit Opportunity for Western Mass. Artists in All Media

Applications and details: http://forbeslibrary.org/gallery/info-for-artists/

From January 3 through February 5, 2017, 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. Applications and details can be found at http://forbeslibrary.org/gallery/info-for-artists/.

Food for Fines in January

Forbes Library is offering its annual Food for Fines during the month of January. This is a time of year to support the needs of people in our community and clear accumulated overdue fines. During this time, patrons may pay overdue fines by donating items in demand by the Northampton Survival Center.
This year the drive has been expanded beyond food to include personal care items and cleaning supplies. The library will be accepting donations of canned goods (please check expiration dates) and healthy non-perishable food items; personal care items including deodorant, lotion, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, conditioner, powder, shaving cream, razors, diapers, lip balm,  feminine hygiene, shampoo; and household cleaning supplies including laundry detergent, dish soap, and any household, kitchen or bathroom cleaners.
The suggested donation is one item for each $2 in fines that are waived and applies to late fines only and not to lost or damaged fees.

Sarah Johnson is new head of Children’s and YA Services

Sarah Johnson

Please welcome our new head of Children’s and Young Adult Services, Sarah Johnson!

Sarah is originally from Mendon, Massachusetts and is thrilled to be back in her home state. For the past five years she worked for Brooklyn Public Library in New York. While there, she launched a storytime at a nearby community garden, co-wrote the library’s strategic plan, helped create an online readers’ advisory service, and served on BPL’s Children’s New Books Showcase Committee. Some of her favorite parts of being a Children’s Librarian are introducing patrons to great books and hosting interactive storytimes with songs, puppets, and felt board stories. In her new role at Forbes she looks forward to conducting lots of outreach, increasing programming, and working with colleagues to launch interesting new projects to meet the needs of our community.

New language learning system for young children: Little Pim

pim1

Little Pim is an online language learning system for ages 0-6. It’s a fun way for kids to learn a foreign language!

  • Little Pim’s Entertainment Immersion Method makes it fun and easy to learn.
  • Kids love Little Pim, the animated panda who teaches each lesson.
  • It’s fun for the whole family.
  • Just like the rest of the Mango system, it’s accessible anywhere you get online, right through the library website!

2016 Giving Tree for children ages 0-15

15327365_10154830281528184_8990881041988836335_nForbes Library is collecting new and unwrapped toys, gifts, and clothes for kids ages 0-15 as well as gift cards for tweens/teens, from now until December 27th. This is the 28th year that Forbes has collected for its annual “Giving Tree” program. Donations will be given to Casa Latina of Northampton for their Three Kings’ Day celebrations. Casa Latina offers educational and community-supporting programming for the local Latino community. For more information contact 413-587-1010 or info@forbeslibrary.org.

Forbes Library Seeks Assistant Director

Assistant Director/Patron Services Librarian
   posted November 23, 2016
   Assistant Director Job Description

Forbes Library, the public library in Northampton, MA seeks candidates for the position of Assistant Director/ Patron Services Librarian.

Northampton, MA is one of the top small arts cities in the United States and lies in the heart of the beautiful Connecticut River Valley. The city of just under 30,000 offers a vibrant downtown unique for its number of independent businesses and a lifestyle rich in cultural, artistic, and academic resources.

The library has a collection of 360,000 and a dedicated staff of 24 FTE, including full and part-time employees. The budget for FY 2017 is $1.49 million. The Richardsonian Romanesque building opened in 1894 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes an inviting children’s area, exemplary arts and music collections, a strong reference department, an art gallery, extensive local history and genealogy materials for Hampshire County, and the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum. There is an active and supportive Friends group.

The Assistant Director/ Patron Services Librarian is a member of the administration of the library and assists the director in all matters, assuming the role of director in absence of director. This position requires balancing multiple responsibilities in a fast paced and forward thinking environment with an emphasis on quality customer service. We seek candidates who see challenges as opportunities and will continually strive to develop and improve service models through creative thinking and effective use of technology. Library staff are encouraged to work collaboratively at all times, and the Assistant Director/Patron Services Librarian serves as a team leader and mentor to staff in various work teams and across all departments.

Responsibilities of this position include both administrative and direct patron services. The focus of this position is on borrower services, collection development, personnel management, community engagement, library programming, data analysis and volunteer coordination. For a detailed job description see, http://forbeslibrary.org/info/jobs/.

Qualifications: Master’s degree in library science from an American Library Association-accredited library and information studies program; enthusiasm for and a record of success in developing innovative patron services; 3 or more years of experience in public library supervisory roles and the ability to effectively plan and supervise the work of others; attention to detail, strong organizational skills; strong service orientation; ability to organize work, develop effective work processes and work within budget; assess work priorities and work independently; aptitude and experience with social media and technology savvy; analytical skills.

SALARY: Full time benefited position, $66,000 annually

To apply, please submit cover letter, resume and names of three references to Director, Forbes Library, via email at jobs@forbeslibrary.org — Deadline to apply is December 19, 2016.