In 1912, the city of Springfield celebrated the opening of its new public library, which was built with money donated by Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish-born industrialist who funded thousands of libraries around the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
This week, a gala marks the 100th anniversary (well, technically, 101st) of the city’s library system, which now includes 10 branches. Called “An Evening With Andrew Carnegie,” the event will be held on Saturday, April 20, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Central Library on State Street. Tickets ($50) can be bought at any of the branch libraries or from the Spirit of Springfield. Money raised will go to the Friends of the Springfield Library.
This will be the second celebration for Springfield library lovers in recent weeks. Late last month, Ward 7 City Councilor Tim Allen was named the Mass. Library Association’s Advocate of the Year at a Statehouse ceremony. He was honored for his successful effort last year to earmark a portion of the city’s trash fee to keep open three branch libraries, which Mayor Domenic Sarno had proposed closing to save money.
Allen’s idea won the support of Sarno and a majority of city councilors, although several, including Ward 8 Councilor John Lysak and at-large Councilor Tim Rooke, objected to using the trash fee to pay for other city services.