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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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Controversial Williamstown Sporting Goods Store Proposal Withdrawn

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

A proposal to site a sporting goods store on North Hoosac Road has been withdrawn because of vocal opposition. 
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday avoided a decision on the most controversial issue it has faced this year.
But it did allow a resident to take advantage of the bylaw that resulted from the most contentious issue that faced another town board in the last 12 months.
Billy Preite withdrew his request for a special permit to operate a sporting goods store on North Hoosac Road, obviating the need for the board to continue a stormy public hearing that began in September.
In a letter to the board, Preite cited the hostility of those who objected to his proposal to open the store, which would have included a line of collectible firearms.
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