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Library Director Pat McLeod, Friends President Dr. Michael Sussman and Town Manager Jason Hoch cut the ribbon for the new Chapter Two Books on Spring Street.
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Chapter Two Books Opens in Williamstown to Support Milne Library

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The store offers thousands of titles in good condition.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A new store on Spring Street is providing a second chance for thousands of tomes to find their way to eager readers. 
Chapter Two Books, operated by Friends of the David and Joyce Milne Library, held its grand opening on Thursday at its location at 37 Spring St. with a ribbon cutting celebrated by local officials, library employees and Friends. 
 "Today was a celebration of our community and its love for all things book-related," said Dr. Michael Sussman, president of the Friends. "We have enjoyed welcoming community members through our doors, whether as donors, customers, or volunteers — and frequently as all three. Today was an opportunity to celebrate their contributions. 
"And we can't overstate the importance and generosity of our grand opening sponsors. Their contributions underwrote a substantial portion of startup costs associated with our new store."
The weeks leading up to opening Chapter Two Books were spent outfitting the store, fully stocking its shelves and training volunteer staff. From conception to opening took only four months.
Since opening its doors in early November, Chapter Two has sold more than 2,500 books while keeping its shelves stocked with at least 4,000 more. Thousands of more books are being processed in the donation center. 
All proceeds from the nonprofit store benefit the public library; all items for sale in the store have been donated by community members, and the store is completely managed and staffed by volunteers. 
"The quality of donations has been remarkable,” said Ginny Sheldon, coordinator of the Friends Book Donation Center, located inside the Milne Public Library. "We have received an outstanding collection of books in excellent condition, reflecting the wide range of interests of our community members."
Sheldon said donations have been steady since early September. Titles range from recent releases, local authors and local interest, children and young adult books, cookbooks, hobby and special interest books and vintage and collectibles. 
"We have more than 75 very motivated volunteers involved in the book donation process, from sorting at the library to staffing the store," she said. 
The event was underwritten by David and Wende Carver, Overland, TD Bank, Burnham Gold, Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, Dr. Karen Lartin and Goodnight Kitchen. 
"It was our hope to create a year-round place for the community to come together and enjoy browsing and meeting by chance. From the response we've received, we think we may just have hit the right note, accomplishing a warm and inviting store," store manager Susan Pike said, adding they were grateful for the volunteers' commitment. 
About 40 volunteers staff each week allow the store to be open seven days. The Friends say they are optimistic that the store and some small-scale sale events will help increase its support of the library.
Director of the David and Joyce Milne Public Library, Pat McLeod, was on hand for the event. 
"We are excited about what this new enterprise on Spring Street could mean for our library," said director Pat McLeod. "Besides its role in promoting literacy and raising needed funds for the library, the store represents an exciting new partnership with the Friends that will help raise awareness about our programming and the services we make available to the community."
Chapter Two Books is open Monday through Saturday from 10-5 and Sundays from 11-4. Store phone: 413-884-6322.

Tags: books,   grand opening,   Milne Library,   spring street,   

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Mount Greylock Committee Hears Concerns About Turf Field Plan

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

Rubber infill from the turf field at Weston Field adheres to a reporter's leg after a minute lying down on the surface to take a photo.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock School Committee last week declined to slow plans for installing an artificial turf field at the middle-high school but members noted that there is still time to weigh health and environmental concerns before shovels go into the ground.
The full School Committee earlier in the spring authorized the Phase 2 grounds subcommittee to put the turf field out to bid this summer.
Since that time, committee members have heard from a number of residents concerned about studies that have linked "infill" materials in used in turf fields to higher rates of cancer and environmental contamination due to runoff from those fields.
"Some of the chemicals found in crumb rubber are known to cause cancer," a fact sheet from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at University of Massachusetts at Lowell reads in part. Because of the large number of chemicals present in the infill, as well as the health effects of individual chemicals, crumb rubber made from recycled tires is the option that likely presents the most concerns related to chemical exposures."
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