Adult Summer Reading

Summer reading is for adults, too!

We have spoken word performances, storytelling nights, and more. You are invited to everything, and our events are always free. Registration is required for many of our programs--visit or click the event title for details and registration.

We've created two different challenges so that everyone has a chance to participate the way they wish. Choose the method that works best for you! Both win raffle tickets towards great prizes.

For our Virtual Challenge, log in to Beanstack at or download the free app from your favorite app store. Log the books you read following the onscreen instructions. You can also win digital badges for reading and participating in library activities. Reading and attending fun library activities both earn you raffle tickets for our bi-weekly prize drawings.

Visit the library to pick up your Bingo card if you want to participate in our paper Visitors' Challenge. Earn a raffle ticket to our bi-weekly prize drawings for each book you read! Participate in fun activities to complete as many Bingos as you can! For each activity & each Bingo you complete, earn a raffle ticket towards the next drawing!

The more you read, the more chances to win!

The Massachusetts Statewide Summer Library Program is funded by the Friends of the Athol Public Library, the Massachusetts Library System, the Boston Bruins, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Most activities require registration - Click each program title for more information!

Grumytime Club Band Member.

Summer Reading Kickoff Party!

June 23 @ 5:30 pm

It's a party in the park! Come enjoy the Grumpytime Club Band perform their feel-good, all ages hits while you pick up your summer reading materials! We'll have games, prizes, food, and more!

Carrie Ferguson and the Grumpytime Club Band play original music from their award-winning 2021 album, The Grumpytime Club. They spent 2022 rocking fairs and festivals with their high-energy funky folk-pop. It's sure to be a fun time!

A black woman singing into a micrphone wearing yellow clothing.

Spoken Word Workshop with Lyrical Faith

June 28 @ 4:00 pm

Find Your Voice in Spoken Word Poetry!

Join celebrated poet and spoken word artist Lyrical Faith for this interactive workshop.

In this workshop, participants will understand and be able to identify the elements of dynamic storytelling through spoken word poetry. You will analyze and unpack the works of award-winning spoken word artists that engage audience members around passionate delivery and social justice oriented concepts.

You will have the opportunity to listen, write, and share aloud your own stories through discussion prompts and designated reflection time that ultimately is designed to support a working draft of your own original spoken word poem.

A black woman singing into a micrphone wearing yellow clothing.

Spoken Word Performance and Open Mic

June 28 @ 6:00 pm

Doors open at 6:00 for light refreshments and open mic sign up. Participants of the open mic should be prepared to share one piece (if time permits, the host will notify the audience about time for a 2nd piece). The material can be suitable for mature audiences, given consideration for HS students in attendance.

Open mic will begin at 6:30, followed by our featured performer, Lyrical Faith at 7:00. Q & A to follow.

Not ready to perform? Attend and be our audience!

Note: Please contact with any questions about performing.

Find Your Voice: An Historical Perspective

July 12 @ 6:30 pm

Genealogy and a fascination with the past have a hold on many Americans. In New England, many records are hand-written, records are incomplete, and records are written about those individuals who did not or could keep their own writings. They give an intriguing glimpse into the past, what people thought about, and how they lived their lives.

This two-part event will focus on first-hand sources, written by people living in the time period, writing about their day-to-day life. On July 12, 2023, at the Athol Public Library, Elena Palladino and J. A. McIntosh will discuss online research and accessing archives without leaving home. In the second part, on July 15, 2023, at the Swift River Valley Historical Society, they will produce original town meeting notes, correspondence between friends, and school records kept by the society.

Judy and Elena will talk about genealogy, how to use online sources such as Digital Commonwealth, how they got started with their research and writing, the value of local history.

Getting to Know Primary Sources

July 15 @ 10:30 am

We'll meet at the Swift River Valley Historical Society where Judy and Elena will show us books, photos, and more, and share the obstacles and joys of working with primary documents.

What are the processes of creating historical fiction vs family histories vs professional journal articles?

They will highlight the unique things at the SRVHC and talk about how to negotiate local historical societies.

Children running on the trail of Cutthroat Farm.

Sunday Funday Summer Picnic at Cutthroat Brook Tree Farm

July 16 @ 12:00 - 4:00 pm
All Ages
No Registration

Join Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Athol Public Library, and North Quabbin Trails Association for an afternoon of good old fashioned family fun! Enjoy time outside with community & learn a few things about the great outdoors. Potluck picnic, music, classic picnic games (when’s the last time you did a three-legged race?), gnome scavenger hunt, demo of the kids’ nature ID app Seek, kids’ storybook trail, and a long-loop 5-mile hike led by NQTA.

586 Briggs Rd. Athol, MA 01331

From the center of Athol: Take Rte. 2A East, take a right onto Rte. 32 going south and in 0.3 mile, take a left onto Briggs Rd.

From the center of Petersham: Take Rte. 32 north for 5.0 miles and take a right onto Briggs Rd.

Parking is available in the parking lot to the left on Briggs Road.

This event is part of our summer reading program, Find Your Voice, and is made possible by the support of the Friends of the Athol Public Library and/or the Athol Cultural Council.

Sunday Funday at Cutthroat Brook Tree Farm | Athol Public Library (

Jo Comerford.

Meet with Senator Comerford

July 18 @ 6:00 pm

Senator Jo Comerford serves the towns of the Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester District and has roles on the Senate Joint Committee on Higher Education, the Senate Joint Committee on Agriculture, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion, the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, the Senate Committee on Rules.

Senator Comerford will give a short presentation on topics and projects of interest to our area. After the presentation, she will open the floor to hear your questions and concerns.

Dungeons and Dragons logo with a cartoon black dragon.

Dungeons and Dragons for Grown-Ups

July 19 and August 16 @ 3:30 pm

Join local enthusiast Joe McNamara for a monthly D&D session. We'll meet on the third Wednesday of the month from 3:30 - 5:30. If you already play or if you've ever been curious about Dungeons and Dragons, this is your chance! Beginners welcome!

Find Your Voice: Stories from the Field and Forest with the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust

July 21 @ 6:30 pm

Join us for an evening of live, local storytelling centered around farming, food, and forests, and a dessert potluck! Stories will be short - approximately 7-9 minutes in length.

From 6:30 - 7:00, we'll have schmoozing and snacking! (Please bring something tasty to share.)
From 7:00 - 8:30, we'll enjoy some well-told tales together.

Image of lots of people singing.

So You Think You Can't Sing? Think Again!

July 26 @ 6:00 pm

Think you can't sing? Think again! Join us on Wednesday, July 26, as Julie Bouchard leads us through some exercises and teaches us how to use our voices to get more pleasing results.

Star and director of many area musicals, Julie will help us fin?d joy in our own voices. Julie has been performing for over 40 years, both locally and internationally, including traveling to Paris as an American singer and touring New York City with the Childrens Educational Workshop. With over 50 theatre credits, Julie takes pride in directing at our local schools and working with our youth and is a vocal coach and a dance instructor for Mount Wachusett Community College.

Don't miss this fun and uplifting workshop!

A drawing of a knight on a green dragon and a cartoon chess board.

Chess Club

Every Tuesday @ 6:00 pm

Join coaches Dave and Clint for an evening of chess at the library. Learn the classic game from experienced players or find new opponents to challenge.

All ages willing to learn are welcome. No registration is required.
The club meets weekly on Tuesday evenings on the second floor of the library (between the two study rooms) from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.