Berkshire Athenaeum
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The Berkshire Athenaeum exists to initiate, nurture and feed a passion for knowledge and learning, and as one of its primary goals, “People of all ages will have their questions answered or have the necessary resources provided to them to discover answers for themselves.” To fulfill this goal, the Athenaeum provides and promotes access to materials and services that support the community's need for self-education, information, culture and recreation by means of an Internet website.


The URL for the Berkshire Athenaeum website is Berkshire Net maintains the host server.


The Library Director appoints a Webmaster to develop the website, make site changes, and create and maintain web pages, content and links with the approval of the Director. The Webmaster is a member of the library staff. The Webmaster creates content and links to other websites based on the selection criteria for electronic resources outlined in the Athenaeum's Materials Selection Policy. With the approval of the Library Director, the Webmaster may appoint a backup web technician from the Library staff to assist in maintaining the library website. Only the Library Webmaster and his/her backup are authorized to make changes to the Library website.


A user name and password combination are issued by the owner of the host server for accessing the Berkshire Athenaeum’s website. The user name/password combo is given to the Webmaster and the backup web technician, if one is appointed. In the interest of maintaining the integrity of the library website, upon separation of service of the Webmaster and/or the backup web technician, a request will be submitted to the owner of the host server to change the user name/password combo.


The Library website provides public and staff access to a variety of educational and informational resources in electronic format, and is a dynamic collection of links and content on a variety of subjects for users of all ages and levels of experience. Website information complements and supplements the print and multimedia collections of the Athenaeum. The information includes, but is not limited to, a web-based catalog of print and multimedia materials owned by members of C/WMARS , online databases, electronic books, information on Library programs and services, and links to other selected Internet websites.


The Webmaster develops the Athenaeum website to accommodate a broad range of computer capacities and to serve patrons of varying abilities. The Webmaster evaluates all potential website content for appropriateness in accordance with the Athenaeum's mission and website scope. Access to some library web resources may be restricted to Berkshire Athenaeum patrons because of license agreement limitations.  Others may be restricted to C/W MARS cardholders for the same reason.


a. The Berkshire Athenaeum will provide links from its website to other websites to support the library's goal of providing a wide range of information to the public. Staff librarians will recommend websites to the library Webmaster for their informational and/or educational value. Government, non-profit, and commercial websites free from excessive marketing may be included. To be selected, websites must meet the following criteria:

b. Because website content may change or disappear entirely without notice, the Athenaeum cannot be held responsible for the content or accuracy of websites not maintained by library staff.  Every effort will be made by library staff to keep links current, however website visitors are encouraged to inform the webmaster if they find a link that no longer functions or that is inconsistent with the above stated criteria.


The Berkshire Athenaeum will not duplicate content offered by the C/W MARS (1) or WMRLS (2) websites. Within the limitations of the operating budget, the Berkshire Athenaeum will subscribe to selected electronic resources if they meet the library's selection criteria for electronic content outlined in the Athenaeum's Materials Selection Policy.


The Athenaeum’s Webmaster and his/her backup will maintain the library's website.

(1) Central Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing is a consortium of approximately 150 member libraries dedicated to efficient resource sharing and rapid access to information that offers a shared online computer system and combined collections of more than six million items.

(2) Western Massachusetts Regional Library System is a state-supported collaborative of public, academic, school and special libraries that provides leadership and services that fosters cooperation, communication and sharing among member libraries.



Updated February 2010.  

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Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield's Public Library, Pittsfield, Massachusetts