Becket and Washington's Community Library

The Becket Athenaeum

It is through your generosity that we are able to keep our programs and services 100% free. Please consider making a donation today. The Becket Athenaeum is a 501(c)3 non profit organization. 

STAFF

Cathy DeFoe, Director
Nancy Wilson, Librarian
Dawn Greene

Ellen Manley 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Purr McEwen, Chair
Aaron Beatty, Vice Chair

Bob Gross, Treasurer

Maria Wallington, Secretary
Lee Glazerman

Allison Mikaniewicz
Jan Nelson

Liz Oakes

Tuesday - 1:00-7:00pm
Wednesday - 3:00-7:00pm

​     (summer: 10:00am-2:00pm)
Thursday - 1:00-7:00pm
Saturday - 10:00am-4:00pM

HOURS OF OPERATION

WHAT WE BELIEVE

 

The Becket Athenaeum is more than a library. It is a living, breathing, center of community involvement and engagement, predicated on the notion that when a community’s needs are revealed, particularly in small, rural areas, it is the responsibility of institutions like libraries to harness the community’s existing strengths and create a space and a haven to meet the revealed needs. All of the library programs and services are offered free of charge and have been carefully researched, developed and implemented based on the real, documented needs of the community. 

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GENERAL INFORMATION


HOMEWORK HELPERS  (started in the fall of 2009)

  • Provides homework assistance and enrichment resources for up to 29 students, K-12, each school year
  • Pairs students with dedicated volunteers for homework help, mentoring and one-on-one guidance
  • Offers enrichment activities on a number of topics to inspire learning and academic exploration
  • Gives students a nutritious snack and lots of encouragement in a safe, supervised environment

 
HIGH HOPES

  • Launched in 2012 as an expansion of the Homework Helpers program
  • Uses technology and creativity to help up to 12 students annually in grades 4-12 identify and pursue their dreams
  • Features a class for students and their parents in nutrition, technology and life skills
  • Offers wide-ranging support from trained professionals, including internships and career guidance


TECHNOLOGY

  • Serves as a Point of Interconnection (POI) on the MassBroadband 123 network, giving the Athenaeum and its patrons the very best internet service currently available
  • Features iPads, e-Readers, iMacs and more available for patron use
  • Houses eight (8) state-of-the-art computers and specialty software programs
  • Offers staff-assisted access to a fax machine and printer/copier. A small fee of 15¢ per side is charged for printing. There is no fee to send faxes though donations are gladly accepted. 
  • Participates in MassCat, a small library network, making our entire catalogue available online for patrons to search and place holds: becketathenaeum.masscat.org. Once your hold is placed, please email us to let us know what you ordered. Otherwise, when the items arrives at the Athenaeum, we won't know who to call.
  • Hosts a Small Business Lab with professional web design and graphic design software and diverse multimedia resources, for local entrepreneurs
  • Engaged in a long-term archive organization and digitization process to preserve important historic documents and artifacts related to the history of Becket


COMMUNITY

  • Worked collaboratively with the Becket and Washington communities to create a short term (5-year) and long term (20-year) plan for the library based on stated needs of the communities
  • Coordinates an active volunteer program with over 100 volunteers donating more than 7000 hours over the past two years, along with material donations to support programming
  • Developed a Volunteer Dollar Program which allows parents/guardians/sponsors of children (ages 1-18) to volunteer at the library and earn credits for use at Berkshire Organics, a local organic market  
  • Offers four (4) paid internships each school year to high school age students; each internship runs 12 weeks, pays $500 and teaches the basics of library operation while catering to individual interests or career goals
  • Developed a partnership, over the past two years, with the Becket Chimney Corners YMCA; they provide a discounted rate for summer day camp and the Athenaeum secured grant funding for the balance of the cost in order to send 25 students enrolled in the Homework Helpers and High Hopes programs to day camp for free for two weeks a piece.


GROWTH

  • Implementing a multi-year, grant-funded, Community Preservation Act (CPA) funded and town funded capital improvement plan, modernizing, restoring and repairing the interior and exterior of the building while maintaining its historical integrity
  • Hosting a seed exchange; patrons can “check out” seeds to grow their own local produce
  • Providing a weekly story time for preschool and young elementary school students, exposing children and families to local resources (Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, yoga, quilting, anthropology, music and much more)
  • Expanding partnership with local YMCA to include leadership training for High Hopes participants
  • Expanding partnership with local elementary, middle and high schools related to the Homework Helpers and High Hopes program
  • Increasing usable space in the library for patrons and staff through grant-funded addition of loft and other capital improvements.
  • Engaged in a series of grant-funded strategic planning workshops for the Board of Trustees and Library Director involving governance, fundraising, public relations and board recruitment