Greenfield library popping up at different locations

  • Library Information Services Assistant Pamela McBride, second from right, talks with visitors to the Greenfield Public Library’s Pop-Up Library during the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market on Saturday at the Discovery School at Four Corners. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The Greenfield Public Library’s Pop-Up Library during the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market on Saturday at the Discovery School at Four Corners. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The Greenfield Public Library’s Pop-Up Library during the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market on Saturday at the Discovery School at Four Corners. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • A sign at the Greenfield Public Library’s Pop-Up Library during the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market on Saturday at the Discovery School at Four Corners. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Library Information Services Assistant Pamela McBride, left, talks with visitors to the Greenfield Public Library’s Pop-Up Library during the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market on Saturday at the Discovery School at Four Corners. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 2/11/2020 9:13:18 PM

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Public Library set up a table at last year’s Franklin County Pride event to let people know about the library, what it offers and how to obtain a library card, and to allow them to check out a small collection of books.

Library Information Services Assistant Pamela McBride said it was serendipitous that the Pop-Up Library was born then and there. It was only supposed to be a one-time thing.

“It was really by accident,” McBride said. “But people visited the table and signed up for library cards. They seemed really happy that we were making it so easy for them.”

She said in spring 2019, the library set up under a tent at the Greenfield Farmers Market, bringing books, DVDs and a laptop to sign people up for library cards. The Pop-Up Library offers the library a chance to say, “We are your community library and here’s what we can do for you.”

“We also brought a button-maker so kids could make buttons,” she said. “Everyone had a blast. It was our new version of a bookmobile.”

McBride said since then, the library has set up every week at the farmers market, including in the winter, and continues to think of places where it can be of most service to its patrons and prospective patrons.

“It means so much to people to have us bring what we do to them,” she said. “Sometimes people have very little time and this helps save some for them.”

McBride said the Pop-Up Library has a different theme each time it is set up. For instance, health has been one of the themes, and the library brought books and DVDs related to healthy cooking, de-cluttering and self-help.

Books and materials are available for children, teens and adults. She said the Pop-Up Library also provides voter registration forms, census materials and other things people need to function within a community.

“Members of the Friends are there to answer questions about the group, as well as books and other matters,” she said. “We have coloring pages for kids. It can be really fun outside of the brick-and-mortar building.”

McBride said libraries aren’t just about books any longer, and that the Greenfield Public Library tries to get creative about the way it does things and what it offers.

“The Pop-Up Library is informal, and we’re connecting with lots of people who stop to ask questions, or to just chat,” she said. “It’s good for the library, too, because it keeps us connected with the people we already know and introduces us to new people.”

McBride said the Pop-Up Library will be at the spring-summer farmers market again this year, and will also be at the Community Resource Fair at the high school during school vacation in April. It plans to return to Franklin County Pride, be at the town swimming area, and work with the Recreation Department to decide where else to set up.

“You can get a book, a library card, do a craft, get a copy of the Saturday New York Times crossword puzzle, a button, bookmarks, information about different things, and then you can shop or enjoy an event, all in one place,” she said.

Depending on where the Pop-Up Library is set up, McBride said it has seen more than 50 visitors in just a few hours. Anywhere from one to a half-dozen people have signed up for a library card at different events.

McBride said pop-up libraries are becoming more popular, just as the little free libraries have — Greenfield now has eight.

“People are really positive about this,” she said. “We just love having people stop and tell us what they’re reading or watching. We also love that they are engaging with their library, with us.”

Reach Anita Fritz at
413-772-0261, ext. 269 or afritz@recorder.com.


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