We want to know, Was it AWESOME?

awesomeHave you borrowed something from the library (a book, a CD, a DVD) that was especially amazing, useful or entertaining? When you return it, we’d like you to place it in the AWESOME Box. When we scan the item back in, the title will upload to a page of shared recommendations that other readers can view.  http://pittsfieldlibrary.awesomebox.io/

Don’t worry:  placing an item in the AWESOME Box does indeed return the item to the library for removal from your library account, just as when returns are made to the library book drops. And while items that are AWESOME are shared online for general viewing, information about who borrowed or suggested  the item is, as always, confidential. AWESOME Boxes are located at both the Children’s Library Desk and the Main Floor Adult Circulation Department.

The AWESOME Box is supported by the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, the Harvard Library Lab, and the Arcadia Fund.

Share something awesome today!

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Friends prepare for July Booksale: Thursday, July 10, – Saturday, July 12

CIMG1653CIMG1656The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum are  sorting, marking and arranging books and other materials in preparation for their Super Summer Booksale, scheduled for Thursday, July 10, through Saturday, July 12.

An additional hour is being offered for the July sale, which runs 4 – 8 pm on Thursday; 10 – 4 pm on Friday and Saturday. The Thursday evening hours are, as always, reserved exclusively for members of the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum. Those who would like to join the Friends may do so at the sale doorfriends4 for as little as $10.








The sale will offer books for  children, teens and adults; DVDs, CDs, VHS cassettes, Vinyl LPs and books on cassette; classics and collector items. Many items are in gift-giving condition. Inventory is organized by category and prices start at 25¢.

This summer sale offers an especially strong collection of classical and opera music CDs, audio & video tapes and books. A large selection cookbooks and travel books will also be available.

As a new service, arrangements have been made for shoppers to have their book selections held while they browse for more.friends6

Make plans now to shop ’til you drop!

Proceeds from the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum booksale support library activities, especially the Children’s Summer Reading Club and the adult programming series.



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Genealogy Workshop scheduled for Tuesday, June 10

genealogy_treeA new genealogy workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, June 10, 2014.  An Introduction to Ancestry.com  will be offered as a morning session, 10 am -12 noon;  the same session will be repeated that afternoon, 1 – 3 pm.

Instructors are Janet Rogge and Angela Rifkin, assisted by Vera Silva. There are no pre-requisites.

Registration is required and may be made  by contacting the Athenaeum’s  Local History Department at 499-9480 x6.  Early registration is encouraged: these sessions are expected to fill quickly.

Sponsored by the Berkshire Athenaeum Local History Department.

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Teen Book Giveaway Week: Monday, June 9, through Saturday, June 14


Attention Teens: Grab some free reading material! Visit during the week of Monday, June 9, through Saturday, June 14, and select a free book or magazine from the giveaway table, while supplies last. One free item per teen, please. What a great way to snag some summer leisure reading material!

Sponsored by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum, with over 75 years of service to the Berkshire Athenaeum

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New Sculpture installed on Athenaeum Plaza

Circus by Michael Thomas This week the Athenaeum had an  Artscape- sponsored piece installed  at the Wendell Avenue entrance to the library. Circus, by Michael Thomas, is a welded steel sculpture in a distinctive orange and  generates engaging shadow play as the sun travels across the sky.

Asked about his commitment to displaying in this space that he calls the “Athenaeum Plaza” – from the 17th century Spanish, literally meaning “place” – Thomas explains, “I’ve always just been whizzing by in a vehicle, barely noticing the jewel that is the Athenaeum Plaza … but once working on the grounds there, installing  sculpture, I began to feel the synergy between the open space, the court buildings across the street with their enormous, majestic, hardwood trees, and the Library itself. There is a palpable conversation going on here, and this space is built for people … walking, talking, coming and going, not in any frantic rush. The kind of serene place where things slow to a human pace and connection is made between structure, environment and residents.  It’s really quite an extraordinary ‘place’ ; and it’s gratifying to know that someone long ago had the vision to design it, knowing full well that it would become a place for gathering, and a place with the potential for remarkable beauty.”

We couldn’t be happier to host Thomas’ engaging work and invite you to stop by and enjoy the work in situ.

Our thanks to Artscape, a volunteer-led committee which sponsors, plans and oversees an annual juried exhibition of public art in the City of Pittsfield.






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New titles in the Athenaeum collection

A new  feature gives you a quick peek at the newest items in the Athenaeum collection – added within the last 14 days; you can search within that collection of items, place holds, or add desired items to your Wish List.

Here’s how:

Step One: From the Evergreen catalog screen, locate the link at the right side of the screen “See New Titles at your library”.

new titlesStep Two: Click on the link.

new titles2Step Three: You will see a list of CWMARS member libraries.new titles3

Step Four: Select Pittsfield Berkshire Athenaeum from the Library list.

new titles4If you have questions about this process – or any catalog function – contact the Reference Department at pittsref@cwmars.org or (413) 499 9480 ext 202 during regular library hours.

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Food For Fines: An abundant collection

fof 1

The National Library Week Food for Fines collection brought in an abundance of nonperishable food donations: Thank you for your generosity!

The Salvation Army will be picking up the donations; these items will  assist local families in need.fof 2


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