Berkshire Athenaeum

Pittsfield's Public Library

One Wendell Avenue

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Telephone (413) 499-9480

Fax (413) 499-9489


The Library will be closed on Monday, May 29, 2017 in observation of Memorial Day.

Free yoga with Katie Fortier:
7- 8 pm - No registration required
woman in seated yoga pose with hands palm up resting on knees
Kripalu certified yoga instructor, Katie Fortier is offering a series of free yoga classes at the Berkshire Athenaeum. Join Katie for a one hour gentle/moderate Kripalu Yoga class to cultivate breath and body awareness, stretch and tone muscles, alleviate tension, support mental clarity, invite deep peace, and honor your inner wisdom. She will begin with warm-ups and breath work, follow a sequence of postures, and end with a short meditation and relaxation. All are welcome. Please bring your own mat, if you have one!
Classes run from 7 to 8 PM on various weekday evenings in April and May: Tuesday, April 18; Monday, April 24; Thursday, May 4; Monday, May 8; Tuesday, May 16, 23 and 30. Participants are invited to attend one or all of the classes. Free and no registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.
Attention Berkshire Community College Students: This program is approved for Forum Credit.

Historic newspaper database trial:
extended through May 31!

image of masthead and above fold Pittsfield Sun newspaper, black and white
The Athenaeum's Local History Department is offering online access to the Pittsfield Sun, a weekly local paper, on a trial basis in a database that includes full text content from the paper’s inception in 1800 through 1877. Patrons can access the database at where you will be prompted for a User Name and Password. Please enter ncd50098 for both. Due to high interest, the trial has been extended through Wednesday, May 31. Please share your experiences at [MORE]

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.

Speak Up Western Mass with Senator Adam Hinds and Senate President Stan Rosenberg: Friday, June 2, 2017, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Speak Up Western Mass is Senator Hinds’ series of monthly community forums/office hours events, held in rotating locations across the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden District. They are unscripted and offer constituents a chance to meet with their state Senator and his district staff and ask questions, share their concerns or promote ideas and priorities.

This Speak Up Western Mass forum will feature a special guest, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and offer Berkshire County residents a chance to share their ideas and ask questions directly to the Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. Here is an opportunity for Berkshire County residents to connect with a major leader in state government. This meeting is open to the public and the press.

Join us for this session on Friday, June 2, 2017 from 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Blood Pressure Screenings: Wednesday, June 7, 10:00 am- 11:30 am

Did you know high blood pressure is the silent killer and every 39 seconds an adult dies of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease? A nurse from Berkshire Health Systems will be in the library to take your blood pressure. No appointment necessary. Sponsored by Berkshire Health Systems and the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Sensory Storytime and Sensory Toys
Phrase sensory story time in white letters on purple background, with images for hearing (ear), touching (hand) and seeing (eye) in colored circles

The Athenaeum Children's Library will be offering Sensory Storytimes 11 am – 12 noon on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. No registration is required. Intended for children age 6 and under, the Sensory Story Time programs are structured to be welcoming to children on the autism spectrum by including prompts that provide a tangible way for children to follow a story line and helps with transition from one activity to the next. The Sensory Story Times are funded by a grant to the Athenaeum provided through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
Also newly available in the Children's Library: an assortment of sensory tools, including fidget toys and related items, for play in the library. [MORE]

Winners of the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeumís T-shirt Art Contest are Announced!

winners of art contest spread on a table
The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum are pleased to announce the winners of their T-Shirt Art Contest! The first place winnerís designs will be made into T-shirts that will be available for purchase at the Library to help support the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum and the Berkshire Athenaeum. Winners of the T-shirt Art Contest are:

First Category: 1st Place, Paytan Flint; 2nd Place, Andrew Hamill; 3rd Place, Yashita Benga; Honorable Mention, Koby Cross

Second Category: 1st Place, Tessa Hanson; 2nd Place, Sariana Soares-Paradise; 3rd Place, Matt Mccormack; Honorable mention, Kiara Mae Fuller [MORE]

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 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. [MORE]

Out in the Berkshires: A Conversation with the LGBTQ Community: Thursday, June 22, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Out in the Berkshires

The public is invited to join with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities, as we discuss what it means to be ‘out’ in the Berkshires. In rural communities, it can be challenging to find access to education, employment, housing and healthcare. For members of the LGBTQ population the challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming. The sense of social isolation adds to the difficulty many LGBTQ individuals find in living in the Berkshires.

Where are the various LGBTQ organizations and support groups in the Berkshires? What are they doing to make our communities safer, more inclusive, and more supportive of minority populations? What are the ways LGBTQ individuals are finding to live openly and authentically? What are the challenges that lie ahead? And how can the community at large support the struggle for full inclusion and equality?

Panelists will include representatives from the Elizabeth Freeman Center, Berkshire Rainbow Seniors, the Live Out Loud Youth Project and others. Please join us on Thursday, June 22 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. for this important community conversation.

Presented by the Pittsfield Human Rights Commission.

Contact us | Updated May 26, 2017