Oct. 15 Marks the Start of National Friends of Libraries Week

The Berkshire Athenaeum will be honoring its Friends of the Library group, as part of the 12th annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week, Oct. 15-21.

Celebratory recognitions and events include a Mayoral Proclamation, lobby book sale giveaway, free refreshments in the Food Zone, a “Buy One-Get One” discount on Friends Store items, special prizes, and a discounted new member rate. There will also be information on volunteer opportunities. The public is invited to attend the Friends Annual Meeting at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19. A full schedule of activities, visit http://www.pittsfieldlibrary.org/

“This library has always played such an important role in my family’s life. Today, I recognize the importance of our spaces as a community gathering place. Whether it’s in the Food Zone, the reading room, the Local History Room, the computer kiosks or just browsing our extensive collection,” said Friends President Amy Chin.  “Moving forward, we remain relevant in the 21st century by becoming a Library of Things. Patrons can borrow a telescope, a wireless hotspot, and soon, we will have a Seed Lending Library.”

“Our library offers these rich resources to the community thanks to the hard work of the Friends,” said Library Director Alex Reczkowski. “The funds they raise take our library from good to great.  From extra copies of bestsellers to 3D printing supplies, I think most patrons would be surprised to learn how many of the services and programs they enjoy are supported by the Friends.”

The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum was established in 1938 and for over 75 years have provided the library with essential technology, furniture, landscaping, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) learning tools, and free family programs. Currently, almost 500 community members contribute annually to the Friends, and about 35 actively volunteer to assist with fundraising efforts including three book sales annually that generate close to $60,000.

National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united.

To learn more, visit www.pittsfieldlibrary.org for more information, or call Amy Chin, President, The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum, 413-441-9220 or Reczkowski at 413-499-9480.