Mason Square Branch Library
765 State Street
Springfield, MA 01109
Manager: Jean Canosa Albano
Assistant Manager: Christin LaRocque
Wednesday: 10 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 1 - 8 pm
Friday: 1 pm - 5 pm
History of Mason Square Branch
Directions | Map
Opened in 1955
PVTA Bus Routes: B7, B17
2013 Summer Reading Clubs!
Read - share reviews - win prizes! Click below for YOUR Club!
Computer Classes for Adults
Wednesdays, 2 pm
July 3 - August 7
Have you always wanted to learn how to use a computer, but never had the time? Do you feel a little rusty, or want to improve your skills? Break new ground with
our series of computer classes for adults! This six part series will focus on basic
computer skills, offering users first-hand experience with Microsoft Word and
Excel, e-mail, and Web searching. All skill levels are welcome!
July 3: Computer Basics: Keyboarding, Mousing, and Windows
July 10: Microsoft Word Basics: Formatting Cover Letters and Resumes
July 17: Microsoft Excel Basics: Making Household Budgets
July 24: E-Mail Basics: Composing Messages and Attaching Files
July 31: Web Searching Basics: Understanding Search Engines
August 7: Web Searching, Continued: Library Databases
To register for any of the workshops please call or stop into the Mason Square Branch, or sign up online by clicking on the class link above.
Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., June 19 - August 7
Dig in to a good story this summer at Mason Square! We'll share stories, songs, and crafts related to our summer reading theme. For ages 3 to 6, siblings welcome!
Teen Tech Club
Fridays, 2-3:30 pm
June 21 - August 9
Teens! Keep your tech skills sharp this summer at Mason Square! Each week, we'll explore a new aspect of technology -- from creating Web sites and mixing audio -- to editing photos and making online animations. Registration is recommended due to limited computer availability.
June 21: Making Web sites with Google Sites Sign up online
June 28: Record your own book review with Audacity Audio Editor Sign up online
July 5: Design your own book cover with Photoshop Elements Sign up online
July 12: Film your own book or movie trailer with iMovie, pt. 1 Sign up online
July 19: Film your own book or movie trailer with iMovie, pt. 2 Sign up online
July 26: Direct your own cartoon with XtraNormal Sign up online
August 2: Make a Memory Map with Google Maps Sign up online
August 9: Build your own online portfolio Sign up online
CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE
Thursday, June 27, 1:30 pm
Reminiscing about the old days in Winchester Square...
Do you remember Buckingham Junior High or the Strand Theater? Join friends and host Mason Square Branch Library Advisory Committee to chat about shops, schools, friends, and teachers from the old days in “the Square.” Bring old photos or mementos if you'd like! Light refreshments provided.
New titles recently added at Mason Square (sort by author, title, call number)
- Reference: assists patrons in finding answers and/or materials
- Reader's Advisory: helps patrons of all ages find the right book
- Access to local and regional library catalogs
- Interlibrary loan service
- Access to databases with general, health and business information for adults and children
- Computer access with your library card
- Word processing: 30 minute slots
- Internet: 30 minute slots
- Photocopy machine
For information about the renovation of the Mason Square Branch Library, click here.
History of the Mason Square Branch Library
In 1943 the Winchester Square (now known as Mason Square) area of Springfield Massachusetts was a prosperous and diverse community, with thriving businesses, active churches, and excellent schools and colleges. Not surprising then, that in March of that year, library advocates pulled together and pushed for the establishment of a branch library in the area. On April 12 the Library leased space at 826 State Street, and an “agency” of the Springfield City Library opened on May 18. Growing from a deposit collection housed in a rented storefront to a library agency one month later, it soon became apparent that a full service library was necessary. (After only one month, book circulation was higher than at three older branches!) In the fall of 1950 neighborhood residents were concerned that their library might be closed due to budget issues so parents, children, and teachers from the area's seven schools worked together to keep Winchester Square from being without a branch library. They succeeded beyond their expectations and in May of 1951 the branch was relocated to a much larger space, 21 Catharine Street, with over 300 people visiting on the May 23 Opening Night.
Often visiting this branch for books was an elderly neighborhood resident, Annie G. Curran. Annie was born in Springfield during the Civil War, was quite independent, even owning one of the earliest cars in the city, and yet lived a simple life. She enjoyed sewing, listening to the radio, and reading, especially about local and national current events. Outliving three husbands, and investing monies left to her, she stunned the City upon her death in April of 1952 by leaving over one million dollars to establish and operate a full service branch library in the Winchester Square area, yet wanted no glory for herself. She did not want the new library named after her, but simply a “real full service library with meeting space.”
When it opened in September of 1955, at 765 State Street, the modern design made the new Winchester Square Branch Library a unique and inviting space for all ages, boasting an outdoor Reading Garden, children's outside story area, and spacious auditorium able to accommodate as many as 200 children to watch a movie. The main reading space included built-in ceiling speakers so patrons could listen to music as they browsed the book collections. The following year the Library's one-floor design was given an award by the Easter Seal Society, noting its lack of stairs, nice wide doors and easy-reach bookshelves as a “boon to handicapped and heart patients particularly.”
The Springfield Library and Museums Association operated all branches of the library system until February 2003 when the Library became a City Department. The building had been sold to the Urban League of Springfield in 2001 and the Community Room held the library, while the remainder of the building became the Urban League headquarters. The Library continued to serve residents, albeit on a much more limited basis. Still, the Mason Square Branch has been a vital part of this neighborhood since its inception. Residents have supported and steadfastly defended it, most recently working and planning while the eminent domain process played out. The City recovered ownership of 765 State Street allowing the library to again provide services in the entire building. The Springfield Library Foundation, guardians of the Annie G. Curran Endowment, allocated $1.5 million in the fall of 2010 to renovate and refurbish the building, and the “new” Mason Square Branch Library celebrated its grand reopening in April of 2011, fittingly during National Library Week.
Primus Parsons Mason (1817-1892), born to free black parents, was an industrious local entrepreneur, landowner and businessman. A philanthropist, he left the majority of his money to found Springfield's first Home for Aged Men, an institution open to all races. Later, Winchester Square, where the four neighborhoods of Old Hill, Upper Hill, Bay and McKnight come together, was renamed Mason Square in his memory, and in 1989 the Winchester Square Branch Library was renamed the Mason Square Branch Library as well.
The Reading Garden offers seating and wireless access. Watch as the flowers grow!
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