Free Recycling for old computers & peripherals: April 18 – 21



In celebration of Earth Day 2018 the Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library, is collecting used computer equipment and peripherals for environmentally friendly recycling.

In partnership with Goodwill and Dell Reconnect, the library is accepting any brand of used computer equipment in any condition. Candidates for this drive include monitors, desktop and laptop computers, printers, scanners, hard drives, keyboards, mice, speakers, cords/cables,  just about anything that can be connected to a computer. (Please note: television sets will not be accepted.)

Items will be accepted during regular library hours from Wednesday, April 18, through Saturday, April 21,  and should be placed in the collection bins at the library’s Wendell Avenue and Bartlett Avenue entrances.

What a great way opportunity for some tech spring cleaning!



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New Museum Pass: Springfield’s Forest Part Zoo


museum passes

We are pleased to announce an addition to the Berkshire Athenaeum’s  collection of Museum Passes. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum,  a pass to  The Zoo at Forest Park in Springfield is now available. This new pass offers free admission for up to five people to The Zoo and Education Center.  Forest Park entrance fee ($3 in-state, $5 out-of-state vehicles) still applies. Those planning a visit to The Zoo at Forest Park are advised to consult  hours of admission and driving directions at their website or Facebook page.

This latest addition joins the Athenaeum’s selection of over fifteen museum passes, providing free or reduced general admission to museums and cultural attractions  in the Berkshires and beyond. What a great way to plan an affordable family visit to these gems.

How does this work?

  • Library patrons must have a CWMARS library card and a Library Account Password to use the online reservation program. Alternatively patrons can contact the Circulation Department at (413) 499 9480 x103.
  • At the request of participating museums, we ask that patrons honor the limit of one pass per party per day.
  • Passes not picked by noon on the reservation date will be released to others who have interest.
  • Some Museum Passes do not need to be returned to the library. Instead, patrons are given a Museum Pass Facsimile (photocopy)  which is to be turned in at the museum admission desk.

Need more information? Contact the Circulation Desk at (413) 499 9480 x103


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Family Scavenger Hunt: Saturday, April 14, 10:30 – 3:30

magnifying glass

The fun and hunt for prizes starts in the Children’s Library and will continue throughout the Library!

Registration is required due to staggered start times. Please call (413 499-9480 ext 203) or stop by the Children’s Library to register.

Children under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult, age 18 or older, at all times. Attendance at library programs constitutes consent to be photographed; photos may be used in print or electronic publicity for the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Sponsored by the Berkshire Athenaeum.

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Speed Repping: Time to talk to your representives

Speed Repping imageIn honor of National Library Week, the Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library, invites you to our inaugural “Speed Repping” event on Friday, April 13th, from 2PM-4PM.

What is Speed Repping? Much like speed dating, Speed Repping provides community members three minutes to sit down with their representatives in a one-on-one setting and ask them questions about who they are, what they do, voice concerns, or offer suggestions.

Who will be here? Mayor Linda Tyer, State Senator Adam Hinds, State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Director of Administrative Services Roberta McCulloch-Dews, City Council President Peter Marchetti, and School Committee Member Dennis Powell will be at the Library to engage thoughtfully with the people they serve.

How can you participate? Arrive at the Berkshire Athenaeum auditorium starting at 1 pm and sign up to speak with the representative of your choice. Appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis. You are welcome and encouraged to schedule appointments with more than one representative. The event is free and open to the public and co-sponsored by the Berkshire Athenaeum and Junior League of Berkshire County.

Questions? Contact Alex Geller, Outreach Librarian, at 413-499-9480, ext. 202

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Outspoken Youth Poetry Workshops for Ages 12 – 14



The Berkshire Athenaeum and WordxWord are pleased to present Outspoken Youth Poetry Workshops for ages 12 – 14.

You have opinions; you have a voice. What inspires you to speak up? What holds you back? In this six week workshop series, we’ll practice writing, speaking, and sharing the stories that make us who we are. It’s time to write poetry that’s as bold as you are. Together, our words can change the world. Stand up. Speak up. Speak out. Be OUTSPOKEN.

Workshops meet Tuesdays, March 27th – May 1st, 5:00pm – 6:30pm at the Berkshire Athenaeum. The first session will be an introduction to spoken word and a screening of the film Louder than a Bomb; pizza will be served! The workshop series will culminate in a final performance.

Registration is required by either calling 413-499-9480 x203 or emailing





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Overdose Management & Narcan Training: Friday, April 6, 10 – 12


The Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library, is proud to join Cathleen Vidoli from Healthy Steps in offering overdose management and Narcan administration training on Friday, April 6, from 10AM-12PM in the Athenaeum Room.

In this training, you will learn what measures to take when responding to opioid overdoses (including fentanyl and carfentanil concerns). The class will cover overdose prevention techniques, signs of an overdose, rescue breathing, and narcan administration. All attendees will receive an overdose response kit, including Narcan nasal spray, to take with them after the training.

The class is free and open to the public. Space is limited and registration is required. Register at or by calling 413-499-9480 ext. 202

Berkshire County offers many local substance use recovery services. Please visit the Massachusetts Substance Use helpline website at or call (800) 327-5050 to learn more about your options. Helpline services are free and confidential. Their caring, trained specialists will help you understand the treatment system and your options.

Contact: Alex Geller, Outreach Librarian, 413-499-9480, ext. 202

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3D Printing Stories: Repairing our SeeMeCNC Orion


SeeMeCNC Orion's head unmounted and placed on the machine's build plate. A screw driver sits next to the machine, ready for work and use. Behind the machine in the background are pictures of book shelves, making for an intriguing setting for this project.

Ready for Work: SeeMeCNC Orion’s head unmounted and placed on the machine’s build plate.

The Berkshire Athenaeum’s well-loved SeeMeCNC Orion Delta printer has seen a lot of use over the course of our programming at the library, thanks to the library’s Self-Guided Program. As it happened, one afternoon when library staff was looking to demo print a job for curious patrons, the machine would not start printing.

When the Orion prepares to print, the machine needs to heat up. The build plate needs to be warm for the material to stick, and the nozzle – the part where material flows out of – needs to be heated high enough in order to melt the material; we have typically been running at 60*C on the build place and 210* on the nozzle. When the machine is properly preheated and about to print its file, the head of the machine rides up on its three arms and “homes”, which means that it bumps its censors a few times to confirm balance before printing. After the machine homes, the machine drops down and begins to build its design.

What we observed was that the Orion was not heating up enough in order to begin printing; this meant that there had to be a problem with the heating unit, or that the machine’s computer was not properly reading or transmitting the proper temperature. Reference Staff conducted research to identify what was wrong with our machine. We hypothesized that replacing the Orion’s thermistor may be necessary after having learned that a thermistor is: “an electrical resistor whose resistance is greatly reduced by heating, used for measurement and control.”


An example of three SeeMeCNC Orion Thermistors

Over the course of a two-week period, the Reference Department organized a group of 3D Printing Library Enthusiasts to come together to learn more about our SeeMeCNC Orion and assist in restoring it to service. Library Patron’s Tim Laporte, Bill Macfarlane and Annette Guertin worked together with the library to disassemble the Orion’s printer head in order to access the thermistor and any other parts that needed replacing.

Our small group of librarians and patrons learned together about the careful process of changing out the Orion’s thermistor. The thermistor, which is made up of two fine wires, is located inside a clear silicon tube from which it needs to be removed. Once the thermistor is removed from the tube, the thermistor needs to be connected to wires which are connected to the Orion’s heat sensors. Once the resistor is resistor is connected to the heat resistor’s wire, we then had to cushion the thermistor wires with the silicon material it came in for protection.


Tim Laporte holds a new Orion Thermistor in his hand for demonstration. Below his hand the Orion’s original thermistor remains attached to the wires that connect to the Orion’s heat resistors.

Following the reinstallation of the thermistor, our group tested the SeeMeCNC Orion printer to see if it was capable of heating beyond the 190* where it was stagnating prior to this repair. Since the machine was unable to go beyond 190* and the thermistor was accurately reading temperatures, we knew that there had to be something else wrong with the heating of our unit. Our group decided that it would make sense to try and change out the heat resistors; most likely, the Orion was not heating properly and the heat resistors needed to be changed. We decided we would regroup and change the heat resistors during our next repair session.

As we were working through this repair process, our group learned that the head of the SeeMeCNC Orion has installed on it two heat resistors. Heat resistors distribute heat across the head and nozzle in order to warm up the printing material for flow. We tested the heat resistors and found that they were not equally heating; this confirmed our new theory that the heat resistors were in need of replacing. With the assistance of our patrons, library staff worked to change the heat resistors on our SeeMeCNC Orion.

Once we inserted the new heat resistor into the head, library staff was able to test the part. We found that the heat resistors were evenly distributing the heat; this meant that once we reassembled the head of our equipment, the machine would heat up properly, the temperature would be read properly, and the heat would be equally distributed across the head and through the nozzle (all good news!). After we applied a liberal amount of RTV High Temp Epoxy to the head to keep the resistors in place, we started to reassemble the nozzle in order to keep everything in place. The Epoxy required that we had to let the project dry for 24 hours before fully reassembling the printer.


Propping a partially reassembled head on a 3D Printed shoe to keep all newly replaced parts secure during the expoxy drying process.

The assembly part of the SeeMeCNC Orion’s head was led solely by Tim Laporte; we are grateful for his careful hands and fine attention to detail. In order to ensure that the machine was running correctly, library staff calibrated the machine and we were able to successfully print a small model of Wonder Woman’s Head Band (woot!). Library staff also sought the advice of Peter Bell and Joseph Method of the Berkshire County Technology Group for advice on printing with our machine going forward. Since we changed out parts relating to temperatures and heat, we are working with our machine to determine the best temperatures to print at going forward.

We are grateful to all of our community members for their work and support with assisting the us repairing our publicly available printer. The Athenaeum prides itself on serving our community and growing together; the restore of one of our beloved 3D Printer is a wonderful example of how the Pittsfield community works and thrives together.

If you are interested in getting involved with the library and 3D Printing by way of volunteering time or simply learning how to design and print, please reach out to us at the Reference Department ( or get started with the Athenaeum’s Self-Guided Program.

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