60 Bridge St. * 413-625-0306 * Housed in the historic Pratt Memorial Library Building since 1914


  • Monday 1–7 pm
  • Wednesday 11 am–7 pm
  • Saturday 10 am–3 pm

Upcoming Events

A Play Reading - American Clock
Date Friday, October 11, 2019, 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Arms Library and Footlights at the Falls of Shelburne Falls are holding four play readings in



  • Monday 1–7 pm
  • Wednesday 11 am–7 pm
  • Saturday 10 am–3 pm


So Many Moving Parts!

My most common sentiment these days is, “Oh my gosh, so many moving parts!” Day-to-day library services continue, fulfilling needs expressed by library users. (Well, as many needs as we are able to fulfill.) Behind the scenes it is busier than ever, as we ready ourselves for our fall renovation. Our staff, trustees, building committee, Friends group, and architects are gearing up for a new chapter (of course that pun is intended) in our library’s growth.

What is mostly on my mind right now is finding tiny temporary housing for our library. In addition to regular administrative work when the library is closed, we are looking for a space in which to house a portion of our library, and are creating plans to operate our library during the six-eight week period we will be closed in the fall for construction.

In our much, much smaller temporary space we will be doing a “brisk business” in interlibrary loans, offering current fiction and non-fiction books, children’s books, DVDs and audiobooks, and accepting library returns. We of course will be promoting our “sister libraries” of Shelburne Center and Buckland as the great places to browse that they are! We plan to continue to offer our children’s story hour and our Third Friday Open Prose and Poetry. What we are able to offer will depend upon the size of the space we move into.

We have requests out to a number of organizations in town, and are grateful for their consideration of this large and unusual request. Even though our library is small, it’s been described by a representative from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners as “a huge project.”

In a nutshell, the moving parts we need to juggle before we can inhabit our temporary little library include finding the space; moving shelving, selected books, DVDs and movies; moving our telephone and CW/MARS access points; figuring out delivery; publicizing our whereabouts; and keeping the community abreast of progress.

We will be making this transition as clear and easy as possible for you, by posting regularly on Facebook and on our website, posting notices on our spaces to keep you all informed, and by word-of-mouth.

We continue to fundraise, as we head toward our May 12th goal of meeting a Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Foundation matching grant of $266,000. We will continue to raise money after that date, but money given before then is matched dollar for dollar! You may have gotten a letter or two about that.

For those who have already given to our Capital Campaign, thank you so very much!!! Your gifts will be matched as part of this grant.

We are also, for the first time, participating in Valley Gives Day, a day of giving to your favorite organizations throughout the Pioneer Valley. Donations are made online via the Valley Gives page on May 1st. In addition, in our effort to raise the most we can toward this matching grant, we are asking the voters of the Town of Shelburne to approve $50,000, a last portion from the Town, toward our Capital Campaign. Thank you so much for previous years’ votes! Ask us about it when you visit the library or pick up information at the Shelburne Annual Town Meeting. We would love to have your support.

Why so many “moving parts”? After all of our work in the past six years to save the structure of this village cornerstone, we now have the opportunity to improve our functioning by making the inside more streamlined and comfortable for our patrons. The renovation will allow us to provide better service and to be more flexible in our ability to offer diverse programming and use of our space. We can do so much more with these changes! It’s about you, our library users and our future users, it’s about 50 years from now, it’s about 100 years from now. (And remember, in 50-100 years we can open the time capsule we put under the copper dome!)

I love that the Arms Library, such an important part of our town’s history, is planning for our future generations. We will one day became part of their history. Let’s leave them an amazing one!

I wish you well,
Laurie Wheeler