Staffing at the library has been an issue for some time now and five full-time employees must cover the 46 hours a week the library is open. Hackner said there are often gaps when employees take time off that cannot be filled with part-time employees and volunteers.
The food-for-fines program, now in its 23rd year, is the library's attempt to create a more positive feeling about getting overdue library materials returned, and to get library borrowers to clean out their bookshelves and bring back library items that have been long forgotten.
For the first year of being a trustee, she saw about 10 different people come through the library, which was only opened for two hours a week. She believed that many in town didn't even know it existed. So she started making the presence known.
The breakfast was a chance to let local legislators — state Reps. John Barrett III and Tricia Farley-Bouvier and state Sen. Adam Hinds, represented by his aide A.J. Enchill — know the importance libraries hold as centers of communities. And to encourage those in attendance to spread the word about writing letters in support of the Board of Library Commissioners' budget requests.
Libraries have changed a lot in 24 years.
They have gone from having large card catalogs to find the book with the information the patron needs, later adding desktop computers, to now being able to check out wireless hotspot times, iPads, hands-on learning tools for children, a telescope, to a 3D printer. You can even eat and drink in one portion of the library. But, shhh! You still have to keep your voice down.
iBerkshires.com will participate in a public forum on Monday sponsored by the Milne and North Adams public libraries on so-called "fake news."
"Fact or Fabrication in Today's News" takes place on Monday, March 27, at 7 p.m. at the Williamstown Youth Center.
Many parents of children with autism are worried about taking their children to public areas. They're not sure how others will react to their child's behavior.
But the Berkshire Athenaeum wants those parents and children to know: you're welcome here. The library is launching a new story time for children with autism and the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum have purchased toys specifically designed for autistic children. The program is part of a two-year grant to improve the library's work