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 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

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."

The Greek root word for books is biblios and phile is the root word for love or friendship. Hence, a lover of books is known as a bibliophile. If you like being able to read books without having to purchase them, then you should be a library lover.

Movie Rentals and

Family Movie Night

For cinophiles, those who are fond of motion pictures, the library has movies on DVDs available for a seven-day loan period at no cost with your free library card. Also, each month we show one of the newly released movies on the big screen in the community room. On Friday, Feb. 6, Family Movie Night begins at 6:30 p.m. There will be animated adventure that is rated PG and runs 100 minutes. Admission is free and refreshments are provided.

Take Your Child

to the Library Day

Saturday, Feb. 7, at 11 a.m., bring your children to the library to participate in Take Your Child to the Library Day. Ms. Kathy is leading special family story time with books by James Dean and Mo Willems. Make and take crafts are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Help us foster a life-long love of reading in your children.

Book Club

The book club meeting was rescheduled to Sunday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. This adult group will be discussing The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. The conversation is always interesting, even if you have not read the book. New attendees are welcome.

Story time

Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 10:30 a.m., join Ms. Kathy for stories, activities, and a craft. This week the program will focus on hearts and valentines. This program, which is designed to develop pre-literacy skills, is open to children ages one to five.

Memoir Writing Program

On Wednesday, Feb. 11, share your fascinating story of a romance at the Memoir Writing program. This group will meet at 2 p.m. to accommodate those who are heliophiles and prefer sunlight.

Board Meeting

On Thursday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. there will be an open meeting of the Library Board of Trustees, ergophiles who love to work. The annual 2014 annual report will precede the meeting. Please attend to hear how your tax money was utilized and the excellent results.

Teen Book Lovers

Teens who love the library are invited to enjoy the space while the library is closed to the public.


Friday, Feb. 14, at 6:30 p.m., TAG meets to complete the video for the Summer Reading Program contest.

Card Making Class

On Saturday, Feb. 14, at 10:30 a.m., Kim Young will lead the introduction to card making class. Join other iconophiles, those who love icons, illustrations, and pictures, including those who like making cards for others. This two-hour class is designed for adults. Registration is appreciated. To sign up, contact the library at 872-1246 or email by Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Junior Master Chef


On Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m., participate in the library’s Junior Master Chef Competition. This makerspace program is for children ages eight to 13. Participants will have a limited time to create a culinary masterpiece with provided ingredients. Judges will determine the winner. Please register for this program by Monday, Feb. 16.

Lovers of Words

Hope to see local logophiles, lovers of words, at the library this week.