The dog days of summer are over.  According to TWC, the weather channel website, the expression refers to the days from July 1 to Aug. 11. The expression dates back to the ancient Romans. Sirius, a bright star in the constellation Canis Major, was also called the Dog Star.  It was visible in April but by mid-summer, the star would rise and fall with the sun.  The Romans reasoned that since Sirius was so bright, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year.  They were certainly barking up the wrong tree.


The summer reading program for children at the Berne Public Library, known as SRP, is also over for the year. We had 39 children participate with 27,904 reading minutes logged in. Great job. Thanks to all who participated.  

The adult SRP continues with the theme of solving mysteries with forensics. Pick up a book at the library, write a review, and be entered for a prize. The concluding program will be on Sunday, Sept. 6, so please save the date.


The best way to celebrate summer is with the entire community. Join us for the Berne Summerfest on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Berne town park. The music starts at noon along with many vendors and activities for every age group. The Friends of the Library will be selling subs, chips, soda, water, and baked goods. Purchase items from their food booth to support the library. Visit Ms. Kathy at the library booth and design your own bookmark.

Story time

Story time is on summer hiatus. The program will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Memoir writing

Did you have a dog while growing up?  Perhaps you would like to write down your memory and share it with others.  The memoir-writing group meets on Tuesday, Aug. 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the community room of the library.

Consider reading Dog Stars by Peter Heller. It is available through the library as a book, a large print book, audiobook on CD, e-book, or e-audiobook, pick your favorite format and borrow the item with your free library card. 

The summer reading program for children ages one to 18 is rapidly nearing its completion. As the Roman poet Virgil said, "All our sweetest hours fly fastest."

Teen program

The teen program concludes with Artistic Expression on Friday, Aug. 8.  Join Kathy from 6:30 to 8 p.m., to create musical instruments and see how sweet an impromptu band can sound. If you prefer not to perform, please attend anyway. The musicians will need an audience.

Surplus items for sale

The time has come to clear out the garage behind the library so the yellow house can be sold.  Surplus items from the church and the library will be for sale.  Check the library website for a partial list of items.  The sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9.

Finale for summer

reading program

The Family Finale for the summer reading program` is this Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Hilltown Senior Center, 1360 Route 443, Berne. Certificates and gift bags will be presented to children who complete the library's goal of 500 reading minutes. Activities and refreshments will be part of this program that runs from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Field trip

The SRP field trip this year is to the Museum of Innovation and Science in Schenectady on Monday, Aug. 11. Interested community members are invited to attend but there are limited seats and time is running short. The last day to sign up at the library is Saturday, Aug. 9.  

Time travel

The adult SRP continues through Sept. 7.  Disregarding Time is the topic for Aug. 10 to 23.  Read any book on time travel and write a short review to share with others.  

Story time

Although the children's SRP has reached its conclusion, there will be one more story time in August. Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to the library at 11 a.m., on Tuesday, Aug. 12, to explore time.  Stories, activities, and a craft are all part of this program.

Memoir writing

What special memories do you have of your lifetime?  Make time to write down these events and share them with your peers at the Memoir Writing program on Tuesday, Aug. 12.  The group meets from 6:30 to 8 p.m.


If you haven't made time to attend a Music in the Park concert, there is one last chance this year. Chuck Wagon will entertain the crowd on Wednesday, Aug. 13, from 6:30 p.m. to dusk in the Berne town park. Admission is free. Refreshments are available for purchase from the Friends of the Library.  

Board meets

The library’s board of trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday Aug. 14.  This monthly meeting is to discuss library business and is open to the public.  

Italian playwright Dario Fo said, "Know how to live the time that is given you."  If your local library is not a part of your life, you are missing a good time.

If asked to list famous scientists, who would be on your list?  Einstein, Galileo, Madame Curie, or Darwin may come to mind.  Over the next two weeks, adults in the summer reading program will be asked to read and review a book about scientists or their discoveries.  Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is on that list of books along with many others.  Any interested adult may participate.

First magnets

The first magnets were not invented by a scientist, but rather were found from a naturally occurring mineral called magnetite.  Lodestone is another name for magnetite, an iron oxide.  Magnets will be the focus of the Wee Read SRP on Tuesday, July 29.  Children ages 1 through 5 are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 11 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft.

Music in the park

Lodestone is also defined as a thing that is the focus of attraction.  If good music is your lodestone, the Berne Town Park is the place to be on Wednesdays.  The Music in the Park concert series features Slim Pick'ins on July 30.  The band will be playing from 6:30 p.m. to dusk and admission is free.  Refreshments will be available for purchase from the Friends of the Berne Library.


Army surgeon, William Beaumont, discovered how the stomach breaks down food.  In 1822, a gunshot victim allowed the surgeon to insert a tube into the wound that penetrated his stomach.  Beaumont was able to observe the workings of the stomach and to collect and analyze the contents.  Sound gross?  Grossology is the title for the next Fizz, Boom, Read SRP for children ages 5 to 12.  Meet at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 31 for an exploration into things that could be considered disgusting. 

Family movie night

The inventor of Lego building blocks may not have been aware of all its possibilities.  Imagine a movie based on these plastic pieces.  Family Movie Night is Friday, August 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Contact the library for this month's film title. It is an animated film that is rated PG for mild action and rude humor.  Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Summer reading list

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is also on the B-K-W summer reading list.  Now is a great time to pick up the books that students need to read before school begins.  Scientists have shown that reading over the summer helps prevent learning loss.  Sounds like a smart idea.


On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.  Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration. Jefferson wrote most of the document, while John Hancock, the President of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer. If you are interested in this time period of our history, there are many nonfiction books available at the Berne Public Library.

Movie night canceled

There will be no Family Movie Night this month because of the holiday but the library will be open on Saturday, July 5. The library will also open two hours earlier on Thursdays during July and August.  

Read to a dog

Many people will be wearing red, white, and blue on the 4th.  If you have seen a dog with a red and blue bandanna in the library, then you have seen Ariel with her handler Amber Pitcher.  Ariel is a therapy dog who loves having children read to her. Sign up at the library for a 15-minute session with Ariel between 4 and 6 p.m., on Monday, July 7.


The summer reading program at the library is in full swing.  Register at the library or on-line at  There is a program for every age.  Although it is not necessary to register for SRP events, children are asked to sign up for SRP to record their reading minutes. Those who meet the library's goal will receive gift bags and a free trip to MiSci.

Story time

The science of colors is the focus of the SRP Wee Read Story time on Tuesday, July 8.  Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to join Kathy at 11 a.m.  Stories, activities, and a craft are all part of the fun with red, white, and blue.

Writing program

Can you write as well as Thomas Jefferson?  Try your hand at writing your memories of past Independence Days.  Share your composition during the Memoir Writing Program on Tuesday, July 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  MaryJo McKeon facilitates and drop-ins are welcome.


Fireworks are often displayed on the 4th of July.  Report, another name for the bang, can be heard for miles. During the SRP on Thursday, July 10, children ages five to 12 will be investigating sounds. This Fizz, Boom, Read program begins at 11 a.m.  Sounds good.

Board meets

The library’s board of trustees meets on Thursday, July 10, at 6:30 p.m., for training on long-term planning. The open meeting will follow at around 7:30 p.m.  The public is invited to the meeting portion where the board discusses library business.  

Teen event

This month's teen event is a Mad Scientist Party. All teens interested in trying experiments are invited to attend the SRP on Friday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m.  Beware, some combinations may go boom.  

SRP for adults

Scientifically Engaging is the bi-weekly theme for SRP adults.  Choose a book from those set aside at the library or choose your own book to read.  Write a book review for each book read between June 29 and July 12 to be entered in a contest for a prize. It's interesting to see which books are enjoyed by our compatriots.  

Freedom to read and write is a great part of being American.  Happy Independence Day.

School has ended and that means more time for fun at the Berne Public Library. In case you haven't heard, the 2014 national theme for the summer reading program (SRP) is science. The SRP is a great way to keep in touch with friends, prevent summer learning loss, read great books, and enjoy special programs. Sign up at the library or online as soon as possible. There is something for every age group.

Reusing discarded objects

Upcycle means to reuse discarded objects or material, in such a way, as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original. Upcycling is our first adult SRP on Sunday, June 29, at 7 p.m. Pick up ideas for reducing the trash flow and take home an upcycled project. Possibilities include herbs in a sack, a book planter, a storage jar, or a T-shirt rug. All interested adults are invited to attend.

Reading program kickoff

The Family SRP kickoff is on Monday, June 30, at the senior center, 1360 Helderberg Trail, Berne.  Starting at 6:30 p.m., Ms. Butterfly, aka Carol Ann Margolis, will perform an interactive program. Crafts, activities, and refreshments will all be a part of this entertaining program. Help us kick off the summer in style by attending with friends and family.

Preschool read

Fizz, Boom, Read for Wee Readers takes place on Tuesdays at 11 a.m.  Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to join Ms. Kathy on July 1 to learn about dinosaurs.  

Robot fun

Middle Readers, ages five to 12, will meet on Thursdays at 11 a.m.  Fun with Robots is the program for July 3.  Plan on making a robot hand with Ms. Kathy.

Friends meetings

The Friends of the Berne Library will not be meeting in July. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 6, at 7:30 p.m. The group will need help with the Music in the Park programs, which begin July 23.  Volunteer by contacting the library.

Summer programs

As parents arrange to keep their children engaged over the summer, look to the library. All programs are free of charge unless indicated otherwise.  More information is available on our website at or by calling the library at 872-1246.

Congratulations to all the Berne-Knox-Westerlo graduates.  If you are interested in seeing who graduated this year, a 2014 yearbook is available to peruse while you are at the library.