The word corn was used in the past to signify the most-used grain of a specific place. Wheat, barley, or oats were called corn in other countries.  Since maize was the common American corn, it took that name and keeps it today. Jan. 19 is National Popcorn Day.  

Fitness video

Teens should pop into the Berne Public Library at 6:30 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 15. The teen action group is working on a fitness video for the summer reading program and all teens are welcome.  Bring a sports uniform if you have one.  

Photo contest

There are four common types of corn:  sweet, dent, flint, and popcorn. Only popcorn has a hull thickness that allows it to pop. As the water inside the kernel heats up, the steam superheats the starch.  The pressure inside the grain will reach 135 pounds per square inch before finally bursting the hull open.    

The Friends of the Library are bursting with enthusiasm regarding their photo contest. Entries must be submitted by Saturday, Jan. 30. Grab your camera and take a shot of scenery, people, or wildlife in the Hilltowns. Corny or serious, your pictures are wanted. Details and entry forms are available at the library or at HYPERLINK ""

Lego League

The Lego League meets at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Jan. 16. Use the library's Legos to create whatever pops into your head. This monthly program is designed for children ages 5 to 12.

Knit Wits

There is a decorative crochet stitch known as the popcorn stitch. Learn this technique and other stitches during Knit Wits on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. Bring your own yarn and needles to work on a project with other passionate knitters, and crocheters.  


Story time

Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to story time at the library on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m., to investigate popcorn. There is sure to be a snack at this program along with stories, activities, and a craft.

Popcorn makes a great snack.  It is a whole grain food with only 35 calories per cup if oil-popped. Of course, adding butter will increase the calories. To achieve the utmost in popability, the moisture content should be about 14 percent. Store popcorn in an airtight container to prevent the kernels from becoming too dry.   

The information on popcorn is from the website HYPERLINK "" sponsored by the Popcorn Board. Pop over for a visit at the library to discover more about corn using our books or computers.  

Which is warmer to wear on your hands, mittens or gloves? From the Berne Public Library's website, you may access a database known as Gale's Academic One File. A UWire article discusses the pros and cons of mittens.

According to Frank Pellegrino, "With four fingers together in the same area, they can work as a team to generate heat — far more heat than a single finger can manage on its own."  Thus mittens are warmer than gloves.  

Game night

However, when it comes to playing board games, wearing mittens would be disastrous. Take them off once you arrive at the library for Game Night on Sunday, Jan. 10. Adults are invited to the cozy community room at 7 p.m., to play Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, and other games.

Story time

To avoid losing mittens, children may need them attached to their coats. Mittens is the theme for story time on Tuesday, Jan. 12.  Children ages 1 to 5 are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m., for stories, activities, and a craft. Try out a game where you match mittens.

Board meets

It is with warm hands and warm heart that we welcome three new trustees to the library board. Ted Borys, Lisa Raymond, and Missy Worden were appointed to the board on Jan. 1. Their first library board meeting is on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 6:30 p.m. This monthly meeting to discuss library business is open to the public. Come and meet your new representatives.

Photo contest

Mittens should be removed before attempting to take any pictures with a camera.  Your photographs of the Hilltowns may be entered in the photography contest sponsored by the Friends of the Berne Library. The submission deadline is Saturday, Jan. 30. Entry forms are available at the library or online at HYPERLINK ""


Teen fitness

Because gloves allow more dexterity, they are chosen over mittens in many sports activities.  Teens are encouraged to bring a sports outfit to teen night at the library on Friday, Jan. 15. The group will be working on a video for the summer reading program incorporating the 2016 theme of fitness. Join Ms. Kathy at 6:30 p.m.

Lego League

Putting together Legos while wearing mittens could be difficult. Try your hand at it on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m., during Lego League. Children ages 5 to 12 are invited to create objects using the library's Legos.  

Knit Wits

If knitting mittens is your talent, attend Knit Wits on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. This group shares ideas, problems, and solutions while working on individual projects.   

 Wear mittens for maximum warmth but wear gloves for dexterity. Brian Miller adds an additional viewpoint regarding fashion in that same UWire article. He said, "By no means do I strive to have the trendiest of winter wear, but unless your style is 'I am six years old' — you should probably get yourself some gloves." What's the most important factor for you?














“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” These words are often attributed to Winston Churchill although The Churchill Centre’s research database does not contain them.

Churchill did say these words on Oct. 10, 1908 in Dundee, Scotland: “What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?”

The library is fortunate to have many patrons who enjoy giving and who make the library a better place.  

“Star Wars” Celebration

The “Star Wars” Celebration is on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 11 a.m. to noon. Youth ages 9 and up are invited to learn the lessons of the Jedi with Ms. Kathy. Activities, games, prizes, and refreshments are all part of the fun. Registration is required and there may still be openings.  Contact the library at 872-1246. This program is possible because of donations from JoAnne, Becky, and the Friends of the Berne Library.

Knit Wits

The generous knitters and crocheters who attend our Knit Wits programs have given many hats to hospitals and the needy. Their next meeting is on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m., and all are welcome. This is your last chance to finish individual holiday projects while sharing fun with others.

Story time

Our foyer tree is decorated with a Dr. Seuss tree skirt and ornaments thanks to Lorie Robison of Gramstreeskirts on Etsy. Next time you are in the library, be sure to look closely to find the Grinch and Horton. Giving will be the story time theme for our small folks ages 1 to 5. Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, Dec. 22, for stories, activities, and a craft. There may even be a visit from a jolly old elf.  

Gift of a book

For the holiday season, consider the gift of a book on every bed.  The idea is to leave a wrapped book for each child to find in the morning. This is a great way to spread the love of reading, and it may earn parents an extra forty winks.  

Holiday schedule

For your planning purposes, the library is closed on Thursday, Dec. 24, and resumes normal hours on Saturday, Dec. 26. Come in before Thursday to borrow books and movies on DVDs for the holiday. An excellent gift idea is to introduce the library to someone who has never been here. A library card would save them money for years to come.

Makerspace program

A Makerspace program for youth ages 8 to 16 takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 30, from 2 to 4 p.m. Experiment with electricity while making a glowing gift card.  Register with the library staff by Monday, Dec. 28.  

Author Kahlil Gibran said in “The Prophet,” “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”  Thanks to all who gave their time and talents to develop the strategic plan for the library. From those who submitted a survey to those who participated in the focus group, your suggestions were seriously considered when the trustees determined goals for the library. Copies of the strategic plan are available at the library. 

If you are someone who gave to the library in 2015, thank you.

In this age of text messaging, the idea of setting aside a day for writing letters seems bizarre. Yet, Monday, Dec. 7, is National Letter Writing Day.

According to the Smithsonian website, "Letter writing has become something of a lost art in our time, and for any student of history this is a horrible tragedy. This is because our knowledge of the past, of historical people and events, would suffer hugely if we were denied the incredible bounty of the millions of letters that have been sent, and kept, over the centuries."

So write a letter on Monday. Thank a World War II veteran in honor of Pearl Harbor Day, describe your holiday happenings to a friend, or write a memory for your family.

Movie night

Do you have memories of the first “Star Wars” movie that was released in 1977?  Reminisce with newer fans during our “Star War” events in December. The first program is Movie Night on Friday, Dec. 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided. The film is rated PG and geared for tweens, teens, and adults. 

The party continues with subsequent movies on Dec. 13 and 19. The grand Star War Celebration takes place on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. Registration is required for this event which includes games, activities, and prizes. Contact Ms. Kathy by e-mail at or phone at 872-1246 before Monday, Dec. 14. Write a letter to your friends and see if they would like to come with you.

Book discussion

Another method of preserving the past is to tape-record oral history and then transcribe it. This is the technique described in “Boston Girl” by Anita Diamant. Addie Baum is asked by her granddaughter, how she got to be the person she is today. The book club will be discussing this historical novel on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. All adults are welcome.

Read to a dog

Children are invited to read their letters or a book to Ariel, our tail waggin' tutor on Monday, Dec. 7. The dog and her handler Amber will be at the library from 4 to 6 p.m. Children may read aloud for a 15-minute session to a non-judgmental audience; a great way to strengthen literacy skills. 

Story time

Pre-literacy skills are developed during story time on Tuesdays. Children ages one to five are encouraged to explore the color red during the program on Dec. 8.  Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories, red-hot activities, and a craft.  

Board meets

The library’s board of trustees meets on Thursday, Dec. 10 to discuss library business. The minutes from all meetings are written for future reference and are available to the public.  

Many of our local history books contain copies of letters.  German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, "Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them." Pick up a pen this week and write.

In the United States, the fourth Thursday of November is the designated day for giving thanks.  However, daily appreciation of people and things in your life would be more appropriate. "Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." says American writer Melody Beattie.

Lego League

The Pilgrims showed their thankfulness for the 1621 harvest with a feast. The meal, recorded by colonist Edward Winslow, included wild fowl and venison. Turkey became the Thanksgiving meal of choice in the late 1800s. 

Make a Pilgrim scene during Lego League on Saturday, Nov.  21.  Meet Ms. Kathy at 11 a.m. to use the library's Legos for your creations. The scenes will be displayed during the remainder of November. This program is designed for children ages five to 15.

Story time

Turkeys will be the main focus of story time on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. The pre-literacy program includes stories, activities, and a craft. Family playtime follows story time.

Thanksgiving closing

The library will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26, in observance of Thanksgiving Day. We will reopen on Saturday, Nov. 28, at 10 a.m. Stop by early in the week to stock up on movies, books, and magazines to entertain friends and family over the holiday.

Book donations

The staff is grateful to those who offer to donate items to the library.  Recently we were unable to accept books due to lack of storage space. Fortunately, the Friends have located a place to store books until the book sale on March 19 and 20.  Single boxes and bags of books, jewelry, and fashion scarves are being accepted at the library during hours. If you have multiple boxes, please make other arrangements with me by calling the library at 872-1246.


We recently receive a complimentary copy of “State University of New York at Cobleskill” from Aracdia Publishing and the History Press. The book, written by the the Alumni Association, showcases over 200 vintage images depicting the evolution of the college.  If you are interested in this topic, visit the library to peruse the book.   

Whether people are grateful often depends on their view of life. French critic Alphonse Karr said, "Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses." The staff at the library appreciate the opportunity to work with a wonderful community and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.