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Dalton Free Public Library

Dalton Free Public Library

News & Events

Berkshire Museum February Break Ticket Raffle!
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Dalton Free Public Library and an anonymous donor, we’re thrilled to be raffling off free entry passes for 2 adults and 2 children to the Berkshire Museum!
One lucky library patron will win all four passes for use over the February school break!
Entries will be accepted from 12:00PM Monday, 2/13 through 2:00PM Friday, 2/17.
You can stop by the library, or give us a call at 684-6112 to enter. The drawing will take place at 2:00PM Friday, 2/17.
One entry per household. Winner must have a CWMARS library card or obtain one prior to going to the museum.

To view the Library catalog, click HERE

Follow us on Facebook! Dalton Free Public Library – Home | Facebook

You can also view the Library’s old website by clicking HERE


The Dalton Free Library is pleased to host a number of electronic databases to promote life-long learning. Some are provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), and others by generous grants from the Crane Foundation (CF).

Ancestry Library Edition

Available for use in the Library.

Massachusetts Statewide Databases
Massachusetts Statewide Databases provide access to thousands of popular magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers (including New York Times 1985+ and Boston Globe 1980+), Encyclopaedia Britannica, biographies, health and prescription drug information, US and World History,  newswires, business directories, investment reports, K-12 resources and electronic reference books.

Grove Art, Science Online, Novelist, and Powersearch
A vast collection of multidisciplinary research databases available through the CWMARS consortium. Just use your library card number and your pin to log on to these tremendous resources. Can’t remember your PIN, try your last name in upper case letters (caps). Still need help? Contact a librarian.

Gale Powersearch
A collection of multidiscpilinary databases, encyclopedias and electronic books.

CWMARS Digital Catalog
CWMARS Digital Catalog allows you to search our collection of materials that can be downloaded to portable devices. These holdings include electronic books, audio books and videos.

E-book and e-audio downloading
Assistance and information to help you download electronic books, audio and video.

Western Massachusetts Newspapers
Archival access to approximately 30 national news magazines and 10 Western Massachusetts newspapers, including The Berkshire Eagle.

Massachusetts Moments
A digital almanac of Massachusetts history.

Massachusetts Municipalities
Contact information for all municipalities and elected officials in Massachusetts.

Digital Public Library of America
The vision of a national digital library has been circulating among librarians, scholars, educators, and private industry representatives since the early 1990s. Efforts led by a range of organizations, including the Library of Congress, HathiTrust, and the Internet Archive, have successfully built resources that provide books, images, historic records, and audiovisual materials to anyone with Internet access. Many universities, public libraries, and other public-spirited organizations have digitized materials, but these digital collections often exist in silos. The DPLA brings these different viewpoints, experiences, and collections together in a single platform and portal, providing open and coherent access to our society’s digitized cultural heritage.

Book Flix – In Library Access
Remote access to Book Flix
BookFlix is an online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks from Weston Woods with related nonfiction from Children’s Press and other trusted Scholastic imprints. It is published by Scholastic Inc. BookFlix was developed in collaboration with Weston Woods Studios and engineered by Grolier Interactive.


Social Media Tutorials

Resources for Job Seekers


The Dalton Free Public Library is happy to be able to provide access to a number of electronic book, audio, and magazine collections.

These resources can be used on PC’s, Tablets, and Smartphones. All of the major devices (Apple, Samsung, Kindle, etc…) are supported.

When using tablets or smartphones, you will need to download an App first. You will find instructions and help available for each of our collections. If you have any trouble installing an app or using one of the collections, feel free to give us a call at (413) 684-6112. You can set up an appointment to come in with your device for some troubleshooting/training.

Overdrive is a subscription through CW/MARS. This collection contains fiction and non-fiction Electronic Books, Audiobooks, and Periodicals covering a wide range of genres/topics.

For Help With Overdrive, go to Overdrive Help

Library History

The Union Library Society was the earliest recorded library in the town of Dalton. An old leatherbound book begun by William Williams in December of 1796 outlines the rules for this private library. Shareholders paid $5.00 to participate and there were severe penalties for “every spot of ink or grease inflicted” or for “turning down part of a leaf.” The society disbanded in 1828.

A blank exists in library records from 1829 to 1860. A new library association was formed at the end of 1859 by Reverend Edson L. Clark, pastor of the Congregational Church. This time the membership fee of 50 cents opened the library to wider usage. Pastor Clark became the first librarian and kept books at the parsonage and later moved them to the selectmen’s room at the Town Hall. They were soon moved again to the district school next to the Union Block.

Clark left town in 1867 and the library was absorbed by the town in 1885, when the Dalton Free Public Library was created. A total of 1,141 books were available to the public at that time and the town pledged to support the library that year with $250 raised from the dog fund. The librarian’s salary was $44 a year.

The library moved into the new Town Hall building in 1893 where it remains today. Extensive renovations and expansions took place in 1915, 1936 and 1976 when the library expanded into a section of the former opera house. The library is again outgrowing its current space and the trustees are studying possible options.

The Dalton Free Public Library now has approximately 40,000 volumes and subscribes to 90 periodicals. Besides regular hardcover books, its collection includes large print material, paperbacks, books on tape, and regular and descriptive videos (many of which are closed-captioned for the hearing impaired). The library offers access to the Internet for patrons, inter-library loan, programs for children and adults, book delivery to the home-bound and other services.

(Information from A Bicentennial History of Dalton Massachusetts, 1784-1984)

Old photos of the library in 1918 and after renovation in 1938