"Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses, a box where sweets compacted lie," said British poet, George Herbert. According to the calendar, March 20 is officially the first day of spring; a season which broadly represents renewal and regrowth. 

Friends sale

While giving your home a spring-cleaning, send your used books, puzzles, movies, and jewelry to the Hilltown Senior Center on Saturday, March 21. The doors will be open from 9 a.m. to noon in order for the Friends of the Berne Library to accept your donations for their sale. If this is an inconvenient time, leave the items at the Berne Public Library during hours.

Legos League

Use the library's Legos to build a spring scene. Children ages five to 12 are invited to participate in Lego League at 11 a.m., on Saturday, March 21. Creations will be put on display at the library until next month's program.

Story time

Spring is the focus of story time at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, March 24. Children ages one to five develop pre-literacy skills with Ms. Kathy through stories, activities, and a craft.

Sugar maple trees

Early spring is when the sap in a tree begins to move up the stem to feed the buds. The sap of a sugar maple tree is collected by humans for the production of maple syrup.  Although all types of sweeteners should be used in moderation, maple syrup and honey have benefits not found in cane sugar. Find out more at the library.

Memoir writing

The memoir-writing group meets at 2 p.m., on Wednesday, March 25. Write a story to share with the group and facilitator MaryJo McKeon. Suggestions for this month include memories about spring, maple syrup, or honey.

Paper crafting

Sweet thoughts in a homemade card that looks professional and is a treat to receive. Experts in paper crafting will be sharing ideas and tools during a class on Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m. To make sure there are sufficient supplies, please register for this program by March 24.  Contact the library staff by calling 872-1246 or e-mail director@bernepubliclibrary.org.


The Introduction to Beekeeping program is scheduled for 7 p.m., on Monday, March 30. Richard Ronconi and Mark Huth will share their beekeeping experience with those interested in bees and those who are might like to keep bees for producing honey. Like most library programs, this one is open to the public with no admission fee.

System change

All libraries in the Upper Hudson Library System are changing the circulation software on March 31. Patrons will need their library cards to check out items on Monday, March 30 while the system switches over. Check with the staff to see if there are other changes that could affect you. 

Maple weekends

The Hilltowns Maple Weekends are March 21, 22, 28, and 29. While you are in the hill towns on March 28 and 29, stop by the Hilltown Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail, Berne for the book and jewelry sale. The Friends of the Berne Library are raising money for the library by selling used books, audio-books, puzzles, movies on DVDs and VHS, music CDs, and jewelry. The sale is on Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

There is nothing sweeter than supporting and using your local library.  

March is Irish-American Heritage Month, which includes Saint Patrick's Day on March 17.  Although Saint Patrick's Day was originally a religious holiday, it has evolved into a celebration of all things Irish.  What Irish symbols come to mind?  The harp is the official national symbol of Ireland, but it was probably not your first thought.

Irish Gaelic and English are the official languages of Ireland. There are apps that can be downloaded to e-devices for learning Gaelic. Have you ever wanted to make someone into a leprechaun? Leprechaun Me is an app that does that by adding features to photos.

Apps and new technology will be the focus of the next teen program at the Berne Public Library. Participate in Teen Tech Week with Kathy on Friday, March 13.  The Teen Tech Cafe begins at 6:30 p.m.  Share your favorite app with your peers.

Knit Wits

The Irish flag consists of three vertical stripes. The green represents the Gaelic tradition, the orange represents the followers of William of Orange, and the white represents the aspiration for peace between them. Those who knit or crochet use these colors in their creations.  Bring your own project to work on during the Knit Wits program on Sunday, March 15, at 7 p.m. It promises to be a peaceful night with other adults who share your passion.  

Library survey

Legend says leprechauns are wee folk that are mischievous and intelligent.  They like to play odd tricks but are generally harmless.  Perhaps that is who changed the due date of the library surveys to March 1, which is incorrect.  The trustees are very interested in hearing your opinions about the library, so please fill out a survey on paper or online and submit it anytime in March.  The survey is for everyone living in Berne, East Berne, and Knox.

Story time

Wee folks, ages one to five, are invited to story time at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17.  Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with Ms. Kathy, our favorite Irish lass. Listen to stories, participate in activities, and make a craft during this pre-literacy program.  


Spring officially begins on March 20.  As you begin your spring house cleaning, remember that the Friends of the Library are interested in your books, movies on DVD or VHS, audio-books, puzzles, and jewelry. Bring your boxes and bags of donations to the Hilltown Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail, Berne on Saturday, March 21, between 9 a.m. and noon.  If this time is inconvenient, bring your donations to the library during hours before March 27.

The book and jewelry sale is on Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hilltown Senior Center.  Enjoy a pancake breakfast in the area during the Hilltown Maple Weekend and then head to the Hilltown Senior Center for the sale. You should be able to find good books by authors of Irish descent, which include Vince Flynn, Pat Conroy, Michael Connelly, Nora Roberts, and Mary Higgins Clark.

We’d like to share this Irish saying, "May you get all your wishes but one, so that you will always have something to strive for!"  

What is important to our community?  How can the Berne Public Library contribute to these community aspirations? Those living in the town of Berne will be receiving a library survey in the town newsletter.  Additional copies of the survey are available at the library, the Berne town hall, the Knox town hall, and online through our website at www.bernepubliclibrary.org. The library’s board of trustees asks each individual from ages five to 105 in the townships of Berne and Knox, library users and nonusers, to fill out this survey. Your opinion is needed to form a strategic plan so that the library can service the community in the best possible way.


Programs are part of the library's offerings. Our monthly e-newsletter lists the programs for March. If you would like to receive a copy of this e-newsletter, e-mail Judy at director@bernepubliclibrary.org.

Movie night

The monthly movie night is this Friday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. While younger siblings are at the PTA movie night in the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary gym, the teens are invited to the library for a newly released film on DVD that is rated PG-13.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided.

Book discussion

Adults meet at the library to discuss works of literature.  At 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, the group will delve into a conversation on “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin. Participate in this interesting talk even if you have not read the book.

Story time

Literacy skills are developed in children ages one to five during story time. Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, March 10 for stories, activities, and a craft.  Bring a favorite stuffed animal to be examined by a veterinarian and learn what vets do for a living.

Memoir group

Author Paulo Coelho said, "Writing means sharing. It's part of the human condition to want to share things — thoughts, ideas, opinions.” The Memoir Group will meet at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, to do just that. Write a story to share with the group.    


Congratulations to DonnaJo Krimsky, an eight-year-old, for having her writing recently published in the “Scribblers” magazine.  This Capital Region production shares works written by children. Pick up a complimentary copy at the library in order to read DonnaJo's poem on recycling.

Board meets

The library’s board of trustees meets on Thursday, March 12, to discuss library business.  This is an open meeting and community members are encouraged to attend and share their opinions.

Teens meet

The monthly meeting of teens takes place on Friday March 13, at 6:30 p.m. Since this week is Teen Tech Week, expect to find out new ways to use your electronic devices.

Computer help

Remember that the library offers one-on-one computer help for those who ask.  Although tax forms are available at the library, computers, broadband Internet, and free WiFi are also provided for filing taxes.    


Please take advantage of all the library has to offer.

Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Using the pseudonym Dr. Seuss, he wrote and illustrated children's books, which are still loved today. Being persistent helped start his career since his first book was rejected 27 times before being published.

PARP, Parents as Reading Partners, kicks off on March 2 at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary School. As Dr. Seuss said, "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."

Read Across America

Children are invited to drop by the Berne Public Library on Monday, March 2, between 2 to 4 p.m., for Read Across America. Ariel, our tail waggin' tutor would love to hear a book by Dr. Seuss and the child benefits from interacting with the dog. Thanks to Amber, her trainer, for bringing Ariel to the library on the first Monday of each month.  

Story time

"A person's a person no matter how small", is another Seuss quote. Story time is designed for small people ages one to five. Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, March 3, for stories by Dr. Seuss, activities, and a craft.

Friends meet

Dr. Seuss wrote, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."  Fortunately, the Friends of the Berne Library care a lot.  The group meets at 7 p.m., on Wednesday, March 4 in the community room. Anyone interested in supporting the library is invited to attend. The group is working on fund-raisers and a story walk for the Knox town park.  

The March fundraiser is a book and jewelry sale at the Hilltown Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail, Berne. Donations of books, puzzles, movies on DVD or VHS, audio-books, and jewelry are being accepted on Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to noon at the senior center.  Small donations may be left at the library during our March hours.  The sale is Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Movie night

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go."  That quote by Dr. Seuss aptly describes the main character in the movie being shown on Friday, March 6. Movie Night begins at 6:30 p.m. The recently released film on DVD is rated PG-13.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided.

Consider including the library as part of your regular schedule.  As Dr. Seuss said, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

— Photo from Judy Petrosillo

Health history: John Elberfeld of the Knox Historical Society installed a display of engravings and quotations from The Guide-Board to Health, Peace and Competence by Dr. William Hall written in 1869.  The Knox Historical Society has a leather-bound copy in its collection at the Saddlemire Museum. The display may be viewed in the community room of the Berne Public Library through April. 


— Photo from Judy Petrosillo

Card-carrying creators: JoAnne Brady, teacher Kim Young, and Joan Mullen show their greeting cards produced during the card-making class at the library.  A monthly club is being formed and will meet at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month starting in March.


The polar bear, Ursus maritimus, is the largest living land carnivore. The mammal can be found in the arctic with a climate similar to what we had this week. While we need crampons to walk on icy conditions, the polar bear has non-retractable claws, which act like ice picks.

Lego League

Children ages 5 to 13 are invited to the Berne Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 21, to make arctic scenes with Legos. Lego League runs from 11 a.m. to noon.  The library supplies the Legos and the creations go on display until next month. Younger siblings may join in the fun during Family Playtime from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  

Story time

Storytime is on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Pre-literacy skills are developed through stories, activities, and a craft.  On Feb. 24, children ages one to five and their caregivers will learn about polar bears under the guidance of Ms. Kathy.

Book Club

Although the northeast island featured in The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is not part of the arctic, the main character seems cold-hearted. The book club will be discussing this book at 7 p.m., on Sunday, March 8.  Request a copy from the library to read before the meeting.  

Memoir writing

The memoir writing group meets on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. Bring a written memory to share with MaryJo and the group. A story about cold winter weather or interactions with bears would be appropriate.  

Solar energy

While trying to keep the house warm during this past week, did you wonder if solar energy is the way to go?  Hear the facts on solar energy, federal and state incentives, and types of solar panels during Solar 101.  This special library program is on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. Bring your questions for the presenter Adam Jordan of Hudson Solar. 

Display unit

The display unit for the community room was installed by Scott Green and is ready to use.  Thanks again to Pinch Penny Threads for the feedsack apron benefit that earned money for this equipment.  The first display was created and set up by John Elberfeld of the Knox Historical Society. Pictures and quotes  from Dr. W. W. Hall's book, The Guide-board to Health, Peace and Competence describe how to reach a happy old age.   The leather bound book published in 1869 can be found in the Saddlemire House, Knox. This display is for all age groups. Although some of Dr. Hall's ideas are amusingly out-dated, others still apply today such as getting exercise even if it is cold outside. 

Dr. Hall said "There is naturally but one disease – that of old age. To leave the world as gently go out the embers of the hearth, or as the candle in the socket, without pain, or shock, or spasm. — this is worth taking pains for! To have the lamp of life thus go out, physically, we must live regularly, temperately, actively. Reader! May such be your exit and mine."