Short Story Contest Opens: Cash prizes to be awarded!


The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum are pleased to
announce the 21st Annual Short Story Writing Contest for Young Adults and the 40th Annual Short Story Writing Contest for Children.

The contests opened on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Entry Forms  are available for download here – Children’s Contest and Young Adults Contest – and also at the Children’s desk during regular library hours.

The Young Adults contest is separated into two divisions (Aged 11 – 14
years as of June 1, 2018; and Aged 15 – 18 years as of June 1, 2018). If there are not enough entries in each one, the divisions may be combined.

Depending upon entries received, the following prizes will be awarded in each division:
First Place will receive a $35.00 cash prize, Second Place will receive a $25.00 cash prize, and Honorable Mentions will receive $20.00 cash prizes.

The Children’s Contest divisions are: ages 6 years as of June 1, 2018; Aged 7 – 8 years as of June 1, 2018 and Aged 9 –10 years as of June 1, 2018). If there are not enough entries in a division, it may be combined with another.

Depending upon entries received, the following prizes will be awarded in each division:
First Place will receive a $35.00 cash prize, Second Place will receive a $25.00 cash prize, and Honorable Mentions will receive $20.00 cash prizes.

Stories will be judged on their originality, appeal, and writing style. Each contestant
should submit her/his story to the Berkshire Athenaeum Children’s Library (1 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201); and all entries, whether delivered in person or by mail, must be received by 4:00 PM on Monday July 23, 2018.

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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 Park 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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