Preschool Halloween Parade: Friday, October 28, 11 am


Come Trick or Treat through the library in your Halloween costume!

Library staff will be giving out treats (no tricks!) as kids walk through all three floors of the library.
For babies and children up to age 5. Groups welcome. No registration required.  Children under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older, at all times.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.



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Genealogy with Alan Horbal: October classes scheduled


The Athenaeum Local History Department announces a series of Genealogy classes scheduled for October. Basic Hands-on Genealogy with professional genealogist Alan Doyle Horbal will be offered on Tuesday, October 4, 11, 18, & 25, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Topics covered will include:

  • Outline and instruction on researching the 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census.
  • Discovering how to find your ancestors’ emigration to the U.S. using the website and the website, along with several other databases.
  • Discover how to search for family members outside of the U.S. using
  • We will explore England, Canada, Poland and other countries.

All students must have an E Mail account and be computer literate. Limited space. We ask that you attend all four classes. You may bring your own laptop or use a library one.

This course is free and is sponsored by The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Berkshire Family History Association. Register at or call Local History and Genealogy Department at 499-9480 x6.

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Expanded Library Hours begin September 12


We are  delighted to announce that additional funding has been targeted toward extending library hours. Starting Monday, September 12, the Athenaeum is open Monday evenings until 9 pm. As we move into the start of this academic year, the Berkshire Athenaeum will be open Monday – Thursday each week, 9 am – 9 pm; Friday, 9 am – 5 pm; and all day Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm. We are grateful that the support of Mayor Tyer and the City Council makes it possible for us to offer 63 hours of service each week to our city.

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Athenaeum Local History Department offers Genealogy Classes

genealogy_treeAthenaeum Local History Department Offers Genealogy Classes

The Athenaeum’s Local History Department has scheduled a series called New Beginner’s Genealogy Classes.

September 15, 2016 10am-12pm: Organizing your Family Research and Introduction to the Census. Learn suggestions on organizing your family research, along with what a census is and how to glean information from it.

September 22, 2016 10am-12pm: Using Vital Records/Beginning Immigration Research. Learn how to navigate through various vital record sites, as well as how to begin research on your immigrant ancestor.

 September 29, 2016 10am-12pm: Introduction to is a database to help you discover your family history and build a family tree with the world’s largest genealogy website. Search birth records, census data, obituaries and more!

October 6, 2016 10am-12pm: Introduction to is a resource to learn more about family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years.

Class instructors will be library volunteers, Janet Rogge and Angela Rifkin, along with Vera Silvia. The series is co-sponsored by The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Berkshire Family History Association. Limited to 10 participants. Registration is now open. Register online at The Berkshire Athenaeum website or or contact the Local History Department at 499-9480 x6 during regular library hours.

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3D Printing for Teens!


Come join us on  in the Young Adult Department  on Thursday, July 28, 2 – 4 pm to get started with 3D Printing. We will be printing your favorite sport’s logo in honor of Summer Reading.
This event is free, requires no registration, and is open to all ages from 12-18.
No prior 3D Printing design experience required!🙂

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Rotary recognizes Friends leader

Florian Ptak, a long-time president and treasurer of the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum, was recently presented the David Kagan Award, given annually by the Rotary Club of Pittsfield as a recognition of public service – for his efforts on behalf of the Friends and Pleasant Valley Nature Sanctuary.  Because Florian was nominated by Ron Latham, Athenaeum Library Director, the introduction of Florian for the Rotary presentation was done by Ron.


As background about the award, from the Club’s website: “This award was established in 1977, in memory of Dr. David B. Kagan, a long-time Pittsfield Rotarian and community citizen. The award is presented annually and beginning in 1978 has been given to one female and one male from the Central Berkshire area to recognize volunteerism “above and beyond” the call of duty. The recipients represent the highest standards of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which is the basis of the award.”

A complete listing of prior award winners may be found at the following link:

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Teen Book Giveaway: Monday, June 6, through Saturday, June 11

Teens reading booksBe ready for vacation reading opportunities! During Teen Book Giveaway Week, Monday, June 6, through Saturday, June 11, stop in and grab a book or magazine from the free table in the Young Adults Department. We will offer paperbacks, popular titles, new and next-to-new. Limit one free item per teen, while supplies last.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.

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