PJ Drive: through March 15



The Berkshire Athenaeum is teaming up with the Boston Bruins to participate in their annual pajama drive to benefit DCF Kids (Department of Children and Families) and Cradles to Crayons. The PJ Drive’s goal is to collect 10,000 pairs of new pajamas for children and teens in need across the Massachusetts Commonwealth.

“It’s hard to imagine that so many kids and teens don’t know the comforting feeling of putting on PJs before settling down to sleep. We’re happy to be part of an effort to change that” said Nan Pearson, Children’s and Youth Services Supervisor at the Berkshire Athenaeum.

The Boston Bruins PJ Drive runs from Wednesday, February 22, 2017 through March 15, 2017. The library will be collecting new pairs of pajamas for babies, children and teens.  Please bring new pajamas for kids in need to the Berkshire Athenaeum Children’s Department.


Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson and his wife, Siw, started the PJ drive during the Boston Bruins 2007-2008 season as a way to give to give back to their community. The couple collected 1,600 pairs of pajamas for Cradles to Crayons which connects with social service agencies across the state to identify specific children in need.

Amy Riley, a social service partner from MassSTART that benefits from the PJ Drive, spoke about the drive’s impact. “Mario, his mom and two brothers are living in an apartment that is not heated properly. The bedrooms are very cold at night, and as a result the children are often sick. Mario and his brothers were also not sleeping well and would end up sleeping together in order to stay warm. Cradles to Crayons was able to provide the family with pajamas, warm clothing, bedding and blankets. This allowed Mom to save money and focus on finding a new, better heated apartment.”
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) works with the Boston Bruins to coordinate library participation in the drive.  Libraries from around the state use the Massachusetts Library System’s delivery service, typically used to move books and other library materials, for sending donated PJs to area collection locations, increasing libraries’ ability to participate in the drive. #PJDrive17

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Teen Book Giveaway


The Teen Book Giveaway table is stocked with free titles for the taking! From Monday, February 13, through Tuesday, February 21, young adults are invited to take a free book or magazine, one item per person, while supplies last. Grab some vacation reading: current offerings include Boys R Us by Lisi Harrison; speak by Laurie Halse Anderson; Black Ice by Lorene Cary; Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse; The Akhenaten Adventure by P.B. Kerr.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.



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Genealogy Series Scheduled


The Athenaeum Local History Department is pleased to announce a Beginners Genealogy series to start in late January.
Basic Hands-on Genealogy will be led by professional genealogist Alan Doyle Horbal. Horbal will outline and instruct on methods for researching the 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census.  Participants will discover how to find their ancestors’ emigration to the U.S. using the http://stevemorse.org website and the www.ellisisland.org website, along with several other databases.  Searching for family members outside of the U.S. using http://familysearch.org will be covered;  the group will explore England, Canada, Poland and other countries.
The  series is scheduled for 10 am – 12 noon on  four Tuesdays:  January 31, February 7, 14 and 21. Registrants are asked to commit to all four classes. All students must have an E Mail account and be computer literate. Participants will be provided with a library laptop; those who prefer may use a personal laptop.  The series is free and open to the public.  Space is limited and registration is required. Register at http://tinyurl.com/36av7g3 or call Local History and Genealogy Department at 499-9480 x6 during regular library hours.

Sponsored by The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Berkshire Family History Association.

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Borrow the Internet from the Berkshire Athenaeum


The Berkshire Athenaeum now offers library patrons the opportunity to borrow Verizon Jetpack brand 4G mobile hotspots. Each hotspot can connect up to 15 WiFi enabled devices (tablets, laptops, smart phones) to the internet.

Hotspots are available on a first come, first served basis and are checked out at the Reference Desk for a one week loan, from Wednesday to Tuesday.  Patrons planning community events, family gatherings or meetings where internet access would be valuable are encouraged to reserve a hotspot in advance.

The hotspots are among the latest additions to the Athenaeum’s Technology Lending Program (TLP), an initiative fully funded since 2010 by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum. The TLP makes technology available for patron learning, enrichment and entertainment in both the Adult and Children’s Libraries.

To check out or reserve a hotspot or ask for further information, contact the library Reference Department at info@pittsfieldlibrary.org or (413) 499-9480 x202

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Pearl Harbor Day Observed


The Athenaeum Local History Department has assembled an exhibit in the case in the Berkshire Authors Room honoring the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, highlighting Pittsfield connections and local news reports. Featured are two young men from Pittsfield who were killed that day; Edward J. Burns who was in charge of a ground crew at the Pearl Harbor base, and Roman W. Sadlowski who was aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma. Included in the exhibit is some wonderful material from extensive WWII notebooks that were kept by the City’s Veteran’s Services Office for many years and  transferred to the Athenaeum this past year in order to make the material more accessible to the public. Also on view are photographs from the library’s Gravelle collection and reproductions of pages from local newspapers.

This display is an effort by the Local History staff  to honor the memory of those who served in WWII and to assure their surviving family members and friends that the service of the members of “The Greatest Generation” is not forgotten

Additional information about  observances and events in remembrance of the anniversary follow.




PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY CEREMONY   http://www.cityofpittsfield.org/news_detail_T3_R780.php

Pittsfield, 10 a.m.
A Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial off of South Street in Pittsfield.  This year marks the 75th anniversary. The Berkshire Veterans Coalition, along with other volunteers, Color Guards, and Honor Guards will be in attendance.

Great Barrington

http://theberkshireedge.com/event/?event_id=MjAyMA%3D&cpage=1 [WWII exhibit in Great Barrington]

Norman Rockwell Museum



WWII Museum in Natick: http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/rare-items-from-day-of-infamy-on-display-in-mass,184156?

National Connections:


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Unusual Reprints Make Unique Holiday Gifts

history books

The Berkshire Athenaeum has displayed various Berkshire County historical books that have been reprinted for use by modern students and researchers.  Many of these volumes had been out of print for decades before being republished by The Berkshire Family History Association.  In the course of republishing, complete name indexes were created for most of the volumes.  The display can be viewed in the Blake Reading Room on the main floor of the Library. For the holiday season, copies of all of these books are available for purchase at the Local History Department of the Berkshire Athenaeum.  All proceeds from the sale of these books will benefit the Library.  Inquiries should be addressed to the Local History Department of the Library at 499-9480 x6.

Books on display with the cost of the reprint are:

The History of Pittsfield (1844/2001) by David Field    $15.00

A Guide to Berkshire County Cemeteries (1988) $10.00

History of the Town of Washington (1918/1992) by Crane & Thompson $22.50

History of the Town of Lanesboro (1905/1994) by Charles Palmer $20.00

History of Lenox and Richmond (1904/1994) by Charles Palmer  $7.50

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts: a study of Indian and Colonial History

            (1886/1994) by Franklin L. Pope $7.50

History of West Stockbridge 1774-1974 (1976/1990) by Edna B. Garnett $12.00

Taking the High Road (Savoy History pub. 1997) by Jane Phinney $18.00

Catholic Pittsfield and Berkshire (1897/1992) by Katherine F. Mullany


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3D Printing: Wow!



The Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library kicks off its Fall training series with classes on 3D Printing. 3D printing, a signature project of the Maker Movement, has arrived at the library with recent purchases of a SeeMeCNC Orion and two Ultimaker 2 printers.

Two types of instruction are being offered:

3D Printing, Wow! is a concept-based competency class. This conversational, two-hour, single session takes patrons through the foundations of 3D printing and printer management such as changing filament, navigating slicing software, submitting a design to the printer and low level troubleshooting. No design instruction is included. This class is a prerequisite for enrolling in advanced classes and using the library’s 3D printers. Please bring your general questions about the 3D Printing industry; we will address them as time permits!

Introduction to Tinkercad is a five part, skill-based series covering the design program Tinkercad. This series uses a learner-centered approach, with the librarian instructor introducing assignments and tutorials that provide hands-on learning. A significant commitment of time to outside class work is required; independent exploration is critical to learning and mastering design. Internet access is freely available at the Athenaeum for follow-up assignments. Pre-requisites for this series are: computer competency with a mouse, keyboard and web-browser; established e-mail account and password; familiarity with topics covered in 3D Printing, Wow!

Multiple sessions of 3D Printing, Wow!  are offered: Wednesday, October 26, 9:30 – 11:30 am; Thursday, October 27, 9:30 – 11:30 am; Wednesday, November 30, 9:30 – 11:30 am; and Wednesday, November 30, 1:30 -3:30 pm.

The Introduction to Tinkercad series is offered twice. The November Series consists of 5 classes taught Tuesday, November 1; Thursday, November 3; Thursday, November 10; Tuesday, November 15; and Tuesday, November 29, all scheduled for 1:30 – 3:30 pm. The December Series consists of 5 classes taught Thursday, December 1; Tuesday, December 6; Thursday, December 8; Tuesday, December 13; and Thursday, December 15, all scheduled for 1:30 – 3:30 pm.

Space is limited. Registration is required and may be made at the  library website, pittsfieldlibrary.org, or by contacting the Reference Department at info@pittsfieldlibrary.org or (413) 499- 9480 ext 202 during regular library hours.

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