Spring Book Sale: March 8, 9 & 10

2018 Spring booksale

The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum Spring book sale is scheduled for Thursday, March 8 (4 – 8 pm); Friday, March 9 (10 am – 4 pm); and Saturday, March 10 (10 am – 4 pm). Thursday hours are reserved for Friends members only and those interested in joining can purchase a membership at the door for as little as $10.

Books on a dizzying array of subjects including cooking, biography, sports, science are meticulously organized for easy browsing. Special features of the March sale include All things Irish; short story collections, and photography books. As always, sale inventory includes vinyl, VHS, sound cassettes, books on tap, puzzle, games, baby books, and self-help. Cash, credit/debit and checks are all accepted.

Where else can you find such an array of merchandise, such delight in shopping and walk out with a fine selection of reading for mere dollars?

Lovingly sponsored by Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum, making Pittsfield’s library even better for over 75 years.



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♥ Love Letters for your Library ♥


Massachusetts Libraries play a vital role in ensuring all residents have equal access to information. Libraries are meeting places, community centers, and resources free for all.

Here at the Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library, we ask you to consider taking a minute to share what you love about your library, what critical service it provides to you or your family. You can do that here https://lovemasslibraries.com/  or by completing a paper form at one of our service desks.

Submissions will be accepted through February 28 and then shared with state legislators whose funding decisions impact the ability of libraries to thrive.

Thank you.



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Bruins Annual PJ Drive

The Berkshire Athenaeum has teamed up with the Boston Bruins to participate in their annual pajama drive to benefit DCF Kids and Cradles to Crayons. The PJ Drive’s goal is to collect 15,000 pairs of new pajamas for children and teens in need.  “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 Samantha Ceresio, Supervisor of Children’s and Young Adult Services.

The Boston Bruins PJ Drive runs from February 1 through March 15, 2018. We will be collecting new pairs of pajamas for babies, children and teens. We are also pleased to be hosting a special kick off event on Tuesday, February 20th from 2-3. Blades from the Boston Bruins and Lauren Baker will be visiting us, reading stories and growing excitement about this initiative. Throw on your favorite pair of pajamas, comfiest slippers and bring your snuggliest stuffed friends and join us in the Children’s Library as we kick off school vacation week in with the Bruins!


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 to identify specific children in need.

In 2017, the drive expanded to benefit DCF’s Wonderfund. DCF estimates that at any given time the agency is working with 45,000 babies, children and teens. DCF’s participation helps ensure that PJs stay in the area in which they were collected, benefitting local kids and teens.


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 send books and other library materials, to send their PJs to area collection locations which increases libraries’ ability to participate in the drive.

Questions? Please contact the Children’s Library for more information: (413) 499-9480, ext 203.

Attendance at library programs constitutes consent to be photographed; photos may be used in print or electronic publicity for the Berkshire Athenaeum.

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Income Tax Wednesday’s: Free Tax Preparation at the Library by appointment only!


The Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library is pleased to announce we have partnered with Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC) to offer free Federal and State tax preparation services on Wednesday’s from 1-3 p.m. To qualify for VITA’s free tax preparation services, your household income must be under $54,000.

Beginning on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 through Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC) will be providing appointments to work with taxpayers to file their taxes. Tax Preparation Services are available by appointment only; to schedule an appointment in advance with Berkshire Community Action Council at: (413) 418-3685.

To guarantee that you are adequately prepared for your session with Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC), please consult BCAC’s Tax Prep Checklist to ensure that you have all of the materials needed for your appointment.

If Wednesday afternoon’s are not convenient for you, Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC) will be available at a number of locations throughout Pittsfield and Great Barrington.

For additional program location, hours and contact, please consult the list below.


To schedule an appointment; learn about any documents that you will need for your tax preparation; or, to learn more information about this service, please contact Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC) directly at: (413) 418-3685.

If you prefer to file your own taxes, please keep in mind:

  • All Federal forms, publications and instruction booklets are available on line at IRS.gov/Forms  to view and/or download;
  • Tax products can be ordered for delivery by mail at IRS.gov/orderforms or by calling 1-800-829-3676;
  • Massachusetts State forms and instruction booklets are available on line at: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/tax-forms-and-instructions;
  • The Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library does participate in the IRS Tax Form Distribution Program. However, supplies are limited and we typically receive only basic forms such as: 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, no instruction booklets. The Berkshire Athenaeum does not guarantee availability of any forms, and all materials are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

As always, Athenaeum internet computers are available to patrons for use in viewing or printing tax forms or publications; the library’s standard copy charge of 10 cents per page applies.

For assistance with accessing IRS websites or using library computers generally, please contact the Reference Department at: info@pittsfieldlibrary.org or (413) 499-9480 x202 during library hours.

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What does Peace look like?



IS183 Art School of the Berkshires proudly presents — I Colori Per La Pace: An exhibit of over 500 Berkshire County K-5th grade artists about PEACE. This exhibition will be on display at The Berkshire Athenaeum from February 15 to March 13, 2018. Following the show, artwork will be sent to Italy to be displayed in the largest exhibition of child art in the world, organized by the association ‘I Colori Per La Pace’.

The soul of peace is the pure love of children. Healthy, genuine feelings that open the heart to hope for a better future. Little ones, with their spontaneity and colorful sense of sharing, express the universal message of brotherhood through drawings. This is how the international project “I Colori per la Pace” was born, which involves thousands of children between the ages of 4 and 10 on all five continents. An extraordinary initiative commissioned by the association of the same name, chaired by Antonio Giannelli began three years ago in Stazzema (Lucca) to remember the massacre of August 12th, 1944 –when in nearby Sant’Anna 560 people were killed by the German army.


Thousands of drawings have been collected from 93 nations around the world contain a significant ideal of unity among people and represent a fruitful cultural exchange between the young generations. Universally, throughout the project, many organizations, consulates, and people from have played an integral role. The meticulous work of cataloging was made possible thanks to the precious collaboration of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions and of many associations operating in particularly difficult and difficult areas. “It is nice to observe how children thousands of kilometers away and who live in different environments and conditions are essentially draw the same things”, points out Antonio Giannelli. “This is the clear demonstration that man is born pure and only in growing nurtures negative feelings”.

The exhibition has a majestic location at the Berkshires Athenaeum; however, they will be exhibited in other municipalities in the future.

For further information, contact IS183 Art School at 413-298-5252 x100



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Overdose Management & Narcan Training


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, February 9th, from 10AM-12PM and on Friday, March 9th, 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 http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/friend.cfm?curOrg=PITTSFLD&tEvt=5485397&tfPopup=1 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 https://helplinema.org 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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Holiday Hours

The Berkshire Athenaeum will be open regular hours, 9 am – 5 pm, on Friday, December 22, and 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday, December 23. The library is closed on Monday, December 25, in observance of the Christmas holiday, and reopens on Tuesday, December 26.

Similarly, the library will be open regular hours, 9 am – 5 pm, on Friday, December 29, and 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday, December 30. The Athenaeum is closed on Monday, January 1, in observance of New Years Day, and reopens on Tuesday, January 2.

We send best wishes to our patrons and our community for safe and happy holidays.

-The Staff of the Berkshire Athenaeum


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