By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – The Pine Point neighborhood has a library back, although it is smaller than the facility closed in November 2013.
State Sen. James Welch, and City Councilors Clodo Concepcion and Orlando Ramos joined the Library Commission at the officials opening of the Pine Point Library Express on March 10.
The library is located in its former building at 204 Boston Road. The building is home to the Read Write Now literacy program and the new library space takes up two rooms in the facility.
It features books, magazines, DVDs as well as a public computers and free WiFi. The schedule will be Monday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 1 to 6 p.m.
Library Commission Chair Stephen Cary thanked Mayor Domenic Sarno and the City Council for their help in re-opening a library for the neighborhood. The full service library had bee closed in an effort to increase hours of operation at other branches.
Welch said, “Libraries act as a bridge to employment, to school, whatever the next step will be.”
Concepcion said, “I wasn’t too happy with closing the library. Pine Point is the poorest neighborhood in the city. People need some place to go.”
He added, “I hope the library us used a lot by people in the community.”
City Library Director Molly Fogarty told Reminder Publications
that library use is considerably increased – at some branches as much as 40 percent. Computer use has also increased as well as attendance at public programming.
She attributed the increase in part to standardizing the hours through the library system. The new express branch came about, she explained, due to a collaboration with the School Department, which will be moving its adult education activities into the building.
Despite the return of library services, Gloria DeFillipio, the treasurer for the Pine Point Neighborhood Council, said the neighborhood would still advocate for the return of a full service library.
“I love that we have an express library, but I’d be in seventh heaven if we had a full library,” she said.