In the first instance of its kind brought to the attention of the local library, a Pittsfield serviceman, en route to Japan by LST, browsing around the ship's library, opened a book he selected to find on the inside cover the bookplate of the Berkshire Athenaeum — "the establishment that weaned me on its books."

Capt. Harold K. Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold G. Brown, 28 Reuter Avenue, in a letter received today by Librarian Francis H. Henshaw, described the "few hours of pleasure to one of Pittsfield's native sons" that he received from the use of the book. "Many thousands of miles separate us, but believe me, today I felt as though I were walking through the front door of the library with my old blue card in my hand."

Of the estimated 50,000 to 60,000 books for servicemen shipped out by the local library, this is the first time word was received by the library of a Berkshire man getting a Berkshire book. The shipment of books for servicemen is still continuing, Mr. Henshaw emphasized, especially to hospitals, camps and Merchant Marine ships used as transports. Donations continue to be welcome.

From the sale of unusable books, $710 has been received; of this sum, $425 has been spent for pocket books, special books and transportation.

Capt. Brown wrote, "We have just left Okinawa astern; we left Manila a few days back. Time hangs heavy aboard a transport ship, and books become precious items.

"People who are kind enough to donate books for servicemen must, I am sure, feel some satisfaction in the knowledge that it gives some bit of pleasure to a serviceman. I just thought that the satisfaction might be just a bit fuller if it were known that at least one of these books gave a few hours pleasure to one of Pittsfield's native sons … Many, many thanks."

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.