Monday, January 26, 2009

Picturing America

The next time you enter the library, take a look at the balcony and then walk up the stairs to the YA Loft. You will have a view of the the history of America as seen through its art. This is the mission of the Picturing America initiative, a program that seeks to introduce Americans to their artistic heritage and inspire them to become more informed citizens. We are proud to be one of the 76,000 libraries nationwide to have received twenty double sided posters of carefully selected masterpieces from the National Endowment for the Humanities. They will be on display through May and will eventually be available for borrowing. Accompanying the poster collection is a book of information and lesson plans.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Circus Has Come to Town!


Those of you who have visited the Children's Room recently have noticed the fabulous artwork that adorns the walls--a Circus Mural painted by Springfield artist Stuart Eldredge in the mid-50s. This mural was originally commissioned for and displayed in the Children's Playroom of the Pediatric Ward of the then newly renovated Springfield Hospital and officially dedicated November 3, 1957. It was displayed for many years but, at some point, was taken down and stored. Two years ago, the Friends of the Springfield Town Library were approached by members of Eldredge's family. They wanted the children of Springfield to enjoy it, and, what better place for viewing than at the library? There was just one problem--it needed restoration. It was an expensive endeavor, but the Friends provided funding and artists of the Eldredge family donated much of their time. The finished product was unveiled at our Holiday Open House last December. How fortunate we are to be able to house this beautiful and historic piece of artwork for everyone to enjoy!

After you see it, you might be in the mood for some circus stories to share with your kids. Here are some suggestions:

The World's Greatest Elephant by Ralph Helfer
Circus Album by Linda Granfield
Sandy's Circus by Tanya Lee Stone
Emeline at the Circus by Marjorie Priceman
Ernest and Celestine at the Circus by Gabrielle Vincent
Ginger Jumps by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer
Peter Spier's Circus by Peter Spier
The Piggest Show on Earth by Arlene Dubanevich (a Springfielder)
Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman

So stop by soon, and see Springfield's Greatest Show on Earth!