Get ready Springfield!
I hope this message finds you all well and enjoying the new year. I’m writing with big news! I’ve accepted a branch supervisor job with the Springfield (MA) City Library, and will be relocating to Western Massachusetts at the beginning of March. The position is going to be an exciting blend of the various library work I’ve been doing for the past two years (youth services, technology instruction, programming, and reference), along with new skills like supervising library staff and allocating a discretionary budget. I’ll be running the recently renovated Mason Square branch three days a week, and spending the rest of my time strengthening system-wide outreach and youth services.
Springfield is the largest city in Western New England at 150,000 residents, and is deeply multicultural. The library’s service population includes a large Hispanic population and a growing Somali refugee community, and my branch specifically services the city’s historically African-American neighborhoods. Native sons and daughters of Springfield include Dr. Seuss (!!!), Johnny Appleseed, Joe Arpaio, Chloe Sevingny, and Staind. Springfield is economically depressed, and struggles with all the associated issues. A tornado and gas explosion added insult to injury in recent years. However, there’s a dedicated community of advocates that are trying to shift the narrative on Springfield(Watch this great video!), and the Executive Director of the library wants the system to be a big part of this strengthening civic life in the city. The library is currently undergoing an organizational change assessment, and there is ample opportunity to implement new services and make the library system a strong anchor in the community. I’m really excited to get started and see Springfield get back on its feet!
Thanks to everyone who listened and offered advice and insight while I went through the application process. I hope to be settled in to an apartment by mid-March, and am looking forward to exploring all that Western Mass has to offer. Come visit! We can hang out with J Mascis.