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 Library
Wednesday, May. 23, 11:45am-1:15pm
In the Community Room. 
Mason Library
Wednesday, May. 23, 5:30-7:00pm
In the History Room
@Mason Girl Scouts o
Mason Library
Wednesday, May. 23, 6:00-6:45pm
In the Community Room
@Mason Doodling as M
Mason Library
Thursday, May. 24, 3:30-5:30pm

Doodling as Mindfulness Practice provides an opportunity for participants to watch their minds, stay connected to their hearts, follow their authentic impulses, (without harmful consequences), and tap into their natural, ordinary, unique creativity.

No drawing experience is necessary.  If you can make a mark or write or scribble or doodle that is perfect!  The goal of the class is for people to have a safe space in which they can watch their own responses, experiment, explore, have a good time, take their time, follow impulses, and learn it is o.k. to not know.

This is a silent practice that allows participants to ‘do what they do’: draw, write, meditate, photograph, move their bodies. 

The practice begins with a short 3 minute, guided meditation

Then I offer a little explanation of what mindfulness is, I then suggest a simple drawing structure/ theme that people can follow or adapt in their own way.   A doodling warm-up for 5 to10 minutes followed by 1 or 2 drawing sessions of 20 to 30 minutes.  I suggest that people write down their thoughts, judgments, frustrations, discoveries – during the drawing process and there is some time at the end to journal more of their insights/reflections.

We then gather to show our work and share these reflections. People are encouraged to listen non-judgmentally and to speak from the heart.  There is no cross talking/commenting on each other’s work.  (and if people don’t want to share, that is fine)

A benefit of this practice is that we become aware and accept that we are all equally creative in our own way. We have a deeper appreciation for our own way of being and looking at the world.

Participants can bring their own paper and pencils, watercolors, craypas or markers or I will have non-toxic materials and paper available.

Bio: Deb Koffman is an artist, illustrator, writer and teacher.  She offers a weekly class in her studio in drawing/writing as a mindfulness practice.  She has written stories and cartoons about creativity, choice, being mindful and honoring all of our feelings. 

She hosts an open mic on the first Tuesday of every month at her gallery in Housatonic MA, where anyone from the community can share their poems, songs and stories.

She believes through the practice of mindful awareness and artmaking we can cultivate deeper love and acceptance for all parts of ourselves and for all things.

For more information about events and her work visit

@Mason Family Movie
Mason Library
Friday, May. 25, 6:15PM
Join us for May's Family Movie "Wonder" (click for review)
PG | 1h 52min | Drama, Family 
Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters 5th grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
Popcorn & drinks provided.
@Mason Friends of th
Mason Library
Saturday, May. 26, 9:00am-2:00pm
Thousands of books not in in perfect condition have been stockpiled to give away on the front lawn at Mason Library.  
Children’s, history, memoir and fiction are strong categories.
Please bring your own bag.
Donations welcome.

If it is raining the giveaway will still take place. It will move inside Mason Library and have a delayed start time of 10am.
Ramsdell Library
Saturday, May. 26, 10:30-11:30am
Saturday morning arts program for kids ages 3 and up
Ramsdell Library
Saturday, May. 26, 1:00-2:30pm
Bring your knitting and handwork and work in company!
Ramsdell Library
Sunday, May. 27
Mason Library
Monday, May. 28
Mason Library
Monday, May. 28, 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 Brain Builder
Mason Library
Tuesday, May. 29, 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 Mystery Book
Mason Library
Tuesday, May. 29, 5:45-6:45pm
May's selection: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
Mason Library
Wednesday, May. 30, 5:45-6:45pm
In the Community Room
Ramsdell Library
Wednesday, May. 30, 6:30-8:00pm
Are you ready to blow the roof off of your silence?  If you opened your mouth to speak your truth, would you know what to say?  Join author, blogger, mother and artist Suzi Banks Baum for the Powder Keg Sessions writing workshops.
@Mason 4-H Babysitte
Mason Library
Saturday, Jun. 2, 10:15am-2:15pm (4:00pm-7:00pm)
Our 4-H training course will prepare you to be a super babysitter! 4-H Babysitters learn 
  • Safety
  • First Aid
  • Child Development
  • Nutrition
  • Entertaining Children
  • Business of Babysitting
Good for students 11 years and up.
4-H Babysitter Manual is provided. Certificate and I.D. Cards will be awarded upon successful completion of the course. There are two required sessions from 10:15am until 2:15pm on Sat June 2 and 4:00-7:00pm on Thur June 7. (Please come 15 minutes early on Saturday for registering.)
Please bring a bag lunch; library will provide drink & snack.
The cost is $25 per student (checks should be made payable to "Berkshire County 4-H"). Our teacher is a 4-H Program Associate and homeschooling mom, Elaine Caliguiri.
4-H Registration

Ramsdell Library
Saturday, Jun. 2, 10:30-11:30am
Saturday morning arts program for kids ages 3 and up
@Ramsdell Fun With F
Ramsdell Library
Saturday, Jun. 2, 10:30-11:30am
Saturday morning arts program for kids ages 3 and up

This month's book: The Color Monster by Anna Llenas
Ramsdell Library
Saturday, Jun. 2, 1:00-2:30pm
Bring your knitting and handwork and work in company!
Mason Library
Monday, Jun. 4, 11:30am-12:45pm
Grammar Boot Camp!
Ages 10-15

Join us for a fun exploration of some of the basics of sentence structure, punctuation, parts of speech, and the ways we can have fun with grammar and writing. This multi-age class will meet homechoolers at their individual levels and encourage them to tailor their learning to meet their own goals as writers and communicators. 

In the Mason Community Room
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