Berkshire Athenaeum

Pittsfield's Public Library

One Wendell Avenue

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Telephone (413) 499-9480

Fax (413) 499-9489


Summer Reading for children, teens & adults: registration now open!

Trouble with borrowing ebooks? We can help Do you have an iPad, a Kindle Fire or another device and don’t know how to get started borrowing library eBooks or downloadable audio books? Bring your device, your credentials and your library card; and a staff librarian will help you get started. This class will be offered three times; please register for one session only: Thursday, July 6, 10– 12 noon; Tuesday, July 25, 2 – 4 pm; Wednesday, August 16, 10 – 12 noon. Questions? Ask at the Reference Desk.

Commemorating Pittsfield's Role in WWI:
An exhibit of local photos

Image of Columbia, a woman with a red cap, wearing stars and stripes, with verbiage, Will you have a part in  Victory?
The Local History Department is proud to present a new exhibit commemorating Pittsfield’s role in World War I.  Artifacts and newspaper articles take you back to a time of rationing, victory gardens, and patriotic events in Pittsfield.  Come see photographs of Pittsfield’s World War I veterans and read about life in the trenches and on the Home Front.
Find out more about how everyday life in Pittsfield changed during the war and what the citizens did to help with the war effort.
The exhibit will be changing frequently so be sure to check back in to see new photographs, articles, and artifacts.  The exhibit will run through November 2018.

Summer Reading for Adults:
Why should the kids have all the fun?

Build a better world logo with sketches of adults and children reading.

Readers of all ages are encouraged to take part in Summer Reading and set personal reading goals.

Take part in a raffle by picking up a BINGO style card at the Athenaeum, customized separately for Teens and Adults, with suggested reading genres. Completed cards should be turned in at a library service desk; each completed card qualifies as a raffle entry. The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum, perennial supporters of the Children’s Summer Reading Club, are providing Friends memberships as raffle prizes for Adult readers. Participating readers have the option of sharing reviews and comments on their reading progress through the online program; online recommendations and other interaction is encouraged.
Registration will open on Monday, June 26th
Adult Summer Reading Program is sponsored by:  The Massachusetts Library System; Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners; Boston Bruins; The Berkshire Athenaeum and the wonderful generosity of the The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum..

Summer Reading for Children:
Registration opens Monday, June 26

Build a better world logo with gears, lightbulbs, springs, sprockets

Mark your calendar for Monday, June 26, to register for Summer Reading and be part of the fun: pick up your BragTag and Chain; collect Brag Beads for every 15 minutes you read. Read longer and collect rarer beads.

Weekly prize drawings include: Discovery Boxes, Activity Kits and so much more. Stop in often for more chances to win! 
Summer Reading Program is sponsored by:  The Massachusetts Library System; Massachusetts Board of Library CommissionersDominos; Cyberstation; TD Bank; Friendly's; The Pittsfield Suns; The Big E; Yankee Candle; Boston Bruins; The Berkshire Athenaeum and the wonderful generosity of the The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Fake News:
Tuesday, July 18, & Tuesday, August 1

upper case lettering in red that spells FAKE NEWS

Literacy on the Internet: Fake News, Part 1 (Tuesday, July 18, 9:30 – 11:30 am): There has been growing discussion of Fake News & misinformation on the internet in our civic discourse. This class will cover what is considered 'fake news'; how to read and identify reliable information on line; how to evaluate information and web pages; and ultimately, provide attendees with a grounding on how to be more vigilant when consuming information on line.
Sorting Out the Internet: Fake News, Part 2 (Tuesday, August 1, 9:30 – 11:30 am)
The discussion from Literacy on the Internet continues! In this session, we will discuss the impact of using the internet and social media as platforms for information. We will discuss how online information is sorted; what are algorithms and how they affect what you see; what makes trending content; and how entities like Facebook and Twitter work and determine what you see. 
Join us for one or both sessions.Registration is required and opens three weeks before each session. Register through our Calendar of Events or by contacting the Reference Department at or at (413) 499-9480 x202 during regular library hours.
Attention Berkshire Community College Students: These workshops are eligible for Forum credit.


Eiko Otake:
Special performance & display

In collaboration with Jacob's Pillow Dance, during the month of July, we will be exhibiting William Johnston's images of acclaimed dance performance artist Eiko Otake: A Body in Fukushima.

Additionally in a special performance at 4:30 pm on Monday, July 17, Otake will perform A Body in a Library, a site-specific solo performance in the Athenaeum auditorium. We are so pleased to be offering these unique cultural experiences free and open to the public.

Please RSVP in advance with Jacob's Pillow here.

Friends Summer Booksale:
Thursday, July 13 - Saturday, July 15

woman holding boooks while browsing bookshelves. Other persons in background also shopping for books.

The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum summer booksale is scheduled for 4 - 8 pm on Thursday*, July 13 and 10 am - 4 pm on Friday & Saturday, July 14 & 15. Audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, VHS, vinyl, puzzles and games will be instock as well as hardbound and paperback books in all genres for adults, teens and children. As always, inventory is well organized for easy browsing - and the prices cannot be beat. Many items in gift-giving condition.
*Thursday hours are reserved for Friends members only. Not a member? Join at the door for as little as $10.

Short Story Contest for ages 5 - 18:
cash prizes awarded!

Yellow rectangle with black border containing image of blank journal and these words: Short Story Contest! For Ages 5 - 18. Cash prizes! Stop at the Children's Desk for rules and entry form. Deadline is Monday July 17, 2017. Sponsored by The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.

The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum are pleased to announce the 38th Annual Short Story Writing Contest for Children and Young Adults. Contest opens Monday, May 1, 2017. Application forms available at the Children’s desk and online. Children's Form at  and Young Adults Form at
Entries must be received by 4 PM on Monday, July 17, 2017. [MORE]

The Berkshire Athenaeum is pleased to announce that the library now owns an Orion Star Blast Altazimuth Reflector Tabletop Telescope that is available for circulation. Whether you’re an astronomer or just have a passion for gazing at the night sky, this easy-does-it telescope is here for you to try.
The telescope is available for check out to adults (age 18 and older) with a library card in good standing.  You must have a physical library card.  The loan period is seven days with no renewals.
All inquiries should be made at the Children’s Desk at the Berkshire Athenaeum.
The telescope was purchased by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Get Tested at the Library:
Monday, August 14, 10 - 12

blue on white logo, the word testing, arranged diagonally from lower left corner to upper right corner The Berkshire Athenaeum is partnering with the Berkshire Medical Center’s State Clinic to offer free, confidential health screenings on a walk-in basis. Beginning Monday, August 14, 10 a.m. – 12 noon, and continuing on the second Monday of each month, clinic staff will perform testing for STD, HIV, and Hepatitis C at the library’s balcony level meeting room. All testing is confidential and notifications and follow-up services will be provided by clinic staff. [MORE]

Contact us | Updated July 15, 2017