Great Barrington Libraries Programs

Join us for upcoming events, classes and programs at Great Barrington Libraries! All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Registration required where noted.
Limit by location:      Limit by audience:
@Mason Homeschooler
@Mason Homeschooler Astronomy
Mason Library
Thursday, Mar. 22, 1:30-2:30pm
Join local amateur astronomer Rick Costello for a three-part series on our solar system.

Good for ages 8 & up
Participants to be charged $15 each for series


Rick Costello is an amateur astronomer and educator who has always been fascinated by our universe. He has presented three astronomy programs at Mason Library (& other libraries in the area) including telescope viewing and lecture. He has worked with schools for 20 years, six years at the Children’s Museum in West Hartford, CT, and other groups. 

@Mason Housatonic River Initiative Board Meeting
Mason Library
Friday, Mar. 23, 3:30-5:30pm
In the Community Room
@Ramsdell Fun With Fine Arts
Ramsdell Library
Saturday, Mar. 24, 10:30-11:30am
Reading, arts & crafts for the under fives
@Ramsdell With an Ar
@Ramsdell With an Artist’s Eye: Drawing Basics with Ken Otsuka
Ramsdell Library
Saturday, Mar. 24, 10:30am-12:00pm

Class Description:

The Great Barrington Libraries are pleased to be offering a six-session drawing class with local artist Ken Otsuka.  Suitable for beginning and intermediate artists, this class will help develop your artist’s eye and improve your technique.  Students should bring 9”x12” or 11”x14” paper; and a pencil (5B or 6B), a charcoal pencil (medium or hard), OR a non-graphite pencil.

$120 for the series of 6, or $20 for a drop-in class

Space is limited, please register on-line at


Teacher Biography:
Ken Otsuka paints in a realist style gained from his studies at the Aoyama Institute in Tokyo and the Art Students’ League in New York. After his studies Ken went on to teach at the Adult School of Montclair and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He has exhibited nationally for the past ten years and has work in private and corporate collections. He is internationally known for his exceptionally realistic landscape paintings. Ken’s art can be viewed locally at the Lauren Clark Gallery.
He lives in Great Barrington, MA.


In the Art Room at Ramsdell Library
@Ramsdell Sit ’n’ Knit
Ramsdell Library
Saturday, Mar. 24, 1:00-2:30pm
Bring your knitting and handwork and work in company!
@Mason GB Reads RBG:
@Mason GB Reads RBG: Supreme Court Talk with Monica Wagner
Mason Library
Saturday, Mar. 24, 1:30-2:30pm
Monica Wagner clerked for RBG when she was on the the US Court of Appeals and will discuss the Supreme Court process through the lens of one of RBG's famous dissents.

Monica Wagner received her law degree from Columbia Law School in 1981 and clerked with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, prior to Ginsburg becoming a Supreme Court justice.
After her clerkship, she joined the law firm of Terris & Sunderland in Washington, D.C., where she did environmental and employment discrimination litigation and became a partner in 1988. After leaving that practice in 1998 she opened a small-town general practice in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where she handled real estate transactions and family law matters. Wagner closed that practice in 2007 when she was appointed as an assistant solicitor general in the New York Attorney General’s Appeals and Opinions Division. In 2011 she became deputy chief of the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau. Wagner was a member of the Clinton Administration transition team and served as president of the Washington Council of Lawyers.
Ramsdell Library
Sunday, Mar. 25
@Mason Bagels & Books
Mason Library
Monday, Mar. 26, 9:00-10:00am
This month's selection: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
In the Community Room.
@Mason Kristin Grippo Classes for Homeschoolers
Mason Library
Monday, Mar. 26, 12:00-2:00pm
In the Community Room
@Mason Read and Wag Reading Dogs!
Mason Library
Monday, Mar. 26, 3:30-4-15pm

Did You Know? Reading to dogs can boost reading skills in children as well as help with emotional and social skills.
Children in our community can "Read with Lucy, Sylvestor or Romeo!" Please register ahead, or drop in to check availability. Good for school-aged children.

Reading Skills

  • Reading to dogs gives children essential extra practice with reading and oral skills.
  • Some children feel that reading becomes less difficult when reading to a dog and are more willing to read aloud at school.
  • Reading to dogs has motivated some children to start reading more at home, especially to their pets.
  • Children want to try reading more difficult books as they go through the reading to dogs program.
  • Kids feel more confident when answering reading related questions.
  • Research studies have shown that reading fluency can increase after participating in a reading to dogs program.

Emotional Benefits

  • Children enjoy the program and think it's fun!  They look forward to coming to the library because a dog is waiting for them.
  • Children feel comfortable reading to dogs because dogs don't judge if a word is mispronounced.
  • The process of petting dogs can help with motor skills and is also known to be a calming factor that can reduce stress, blood pressure, and anxiety.
  • Some children feel nervous when reading aloud and reading with a dog immediately calms them down.
  • Kids feel safe when sitting with a dog from the program.
  • Reading to dogs boosts the confidence levels of struggling readers and gives children an increased sense of pride.
  • A child can feel like a leader by turning the book toward the dog, reading aloud, and pretending (s)he is the teacher. 
  • Children feel a sense of accomplishment by reading an entire book.
  • If a child has experienced a recent loss of a family member or pet, reading to a dog can help bring them comfort.

Social Benefits

  • Children learn to take turns while waiting for their chance to read to the dog.
  • Children can learn kindness and empathy by petting the dogs, cuddling with them, and bringing them treats.
  • Communication skills can be improved by practicing reading aloud.
  • Participants enjoy talking with each other and sharing books they have read.
Sponsored by Canine Link.
@Mason Flying Cloud
@Mason Flying Cloud Lego Robotics Party & Open House
Mason Library
Monday, Mar. 26, 3:45-4:45pm
Join our Lego Robotics celebration and Open House.
@Mason Local Voices:
@Mason Local Voices: Telling Your Story In Video
Mason Library
Monday, Mar. 26, 5:30-6:45pm

Susanna Opper has spent a lifetime communicating in words. She’s published a book and numerous articles, many in local publications. But now she’s making videos. “Telling a story in sound and motion is far more compelling than just using words. But videos are also much more complicated,” she says.

At this session, you’ll view two videos of local events: “Silver Scramblers’ Trail Magic” and “Home Grown: West Stockbridge Farmers Market.” Susanna will tell how she got into video and encourage the audience to try their hand at filmmaking.

In the Mason Community Room


@Mason Brain Builder
@Mason Brain Builders! Play & Learn Playgroup
Mason Library
Tuesday, Mar. 27, 10:30-11:30am
Read, sing, play, & talk during circle time & continue with fun table time activities, combining STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) & Every Child Ready to Read, for baby through 5 years and their caregiver.  No registration required.
  Sponsored by South Berkshire Kids (funded by the Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Grant provided by the Department of Early Education and Care), and the CHP Family Network.
@Mason  Intro Spanis
@Mason Intro Spanish for Homeschoolers
Mason Library
Wednesday, Mar. 28, 11:30am-12:30pm
Join Luzita Lopez for an introductory series of Spanish Classes. 
10 Wednesdays from January 10 through March 21 2018 (no class Feb 21).
Good for ages 8 and up.
Each participant will pay $50 for the series.
@Mason Staff Use
Mason Library
Wednesday, Mar. 28, 4:00-5:00pm
Community Room
@Mason Homeschooler
@Mason Homeschooler Astronomy
Mason Library
Thursday, Mar. 29, 1:30-2:30pm
Join local amateur astronomer Rick Costello for a three-part series on our solar system.

Good for ages 8 & up
Participants to be charged $15 each for series


Rick Costello is an amateur astronomer and educator who has always been fascinated by our universe. He has presented three astronomy programs at Mason Library (& other libraries in the area) including telescope viewing and lecture. He has worked with schools for 20 years, six years at the Children’s Museum in West Hartford, CT, and other groups. 

@Mason  Celebration
@Mason Celebration Book Club Pizza Party!
Mason Library
Thursday, Mar. 29, 3:30-5:00
We celebrate all the students who have read from our Book Club selections with a Pizza Party!
Please register so we have enough pizza for all.
If they wish, students can do a little presentation about a book that was not read in the Book Club, such as:

Abbott, Tony, The Forbidden Stone

Baptiste, Tracey, The Jumbies

Milford, Kate, Greenglass House

Oppel, Kenneth, Nest

Pearsall, Shelley, The Seventh Most Important Thing

Sands, Kevin, The Blackthorn Key

Shurtliff, Liesl, Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk

Stroud, Jonathan, Screaming Staircase

Wicks, Maris,  Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean: Science Comics

Woods, Brenda, The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond

@Mason  Healing Anxi
@Mason Healing Anxiety Through Breathwork: a Workshop with Anna Brooke
Mason Library
Thursday, Mar. 29, 4:00-5:00pm
Born and mostly raised in New York City, Anna began her path as a lover of art and dance, obtaining her BA and MA in Art History and Contemporary Art.  Having let her formal art training go, Anna has been a full time healing arts practitioner since 2010. She is a Breathworker, reiki master, Wu Tao Dance teacher and essential oil enthusiast and advocate. For more information on Anna, please visit her website at

In the Community Room
@Mason Family Movie
@Mason Family Movie "Coco"
Mason Library
Friday, Mar. 30, 6:15 PM
Join us for March's Family Movie "Coco" (click for review)
PG | 1h 45min | Animation, Comedy, Adventure 
Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.
Popcorn & drinks provided.
@Mason GB Reads RBG:
@Mason GB Reads RBG: Legal-Feminist Movie Marathon
Mason Library
Saturday, Mar. 31, 10:15am-2:30pm
Popcorn & drinks served
10:15am "Philadelphia (1993)" PG-13 2h 5m  Drama

Fearing it would compromise his career, lawyer Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) hides his homosexuality and HIV status at a powerful Philadelphia law firm. But his secret is exposed when a colleague spots the illness's telltale lesions. Fired shortly afterwards, Beckett resolves to sue for discrimination, teaming up with Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), the only lawyer willing to help. In court, they face one of his ex-employer's top litigators, Belinda Conine (Mary Steenburgen).

12:30pm "Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)" R 2h Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 
The Feminist Picture of the Year by the NY Post. A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in postapocalyptic Australia in search for her home-land with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshipper, and a drifter named Max.

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