Libraries are often wrongly prejudged as quiet and boring places with old books. A visit to the Berne Public Library will shatter this preconceived notion. Take your children to the library on Saturday, Feb. 1; to show them how exciting libraries are with new books, movies, computers, digital collections, magazines, and programs. Make a craft between noon and 2 p.m., to earn a chance on a gift basket. Tickets will also be given to children who take out an item with their own library card between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Don’t miss this special day.

Library card

A library card gives you access to many databases including Grolier Online.  If you look up snakes in The New Book of Popular Science, you will find that the prevailing notion of snakes is also incorrect. “Most people think snakes are slimy, ugly, dangerous creatures. But snakes are not slimy. Few are dangerous. Most are not ugly. In fact, many are strikingly handsome, with stripes, bands, and blotches of brilliant colors.” Snakes are valuable allies since they prey on mice, insects, and slugs.  

Book club

Recovering from tragic events can be as challenging as fighting snakes.  The book club for adults meets on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m., to discuss The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. New members are welcome to join this conversation about hope in the midst of a messy life.

Story time

Scaly snakes will be the focus of story time on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 11 a.m. Preschool children and their caregivers will explore the letter S with Kathy.

Stories, activities, and painting a beautiful, wooden snake are all part of this program.

Friends meet

Solutions proposed by the Friends of the Library are not like snake oil; they are truly helpful. Currently the group is working on raising money to purchase air conditioning for the new library.  Supporters of the library are invited to attend the monthly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The next fund-raiser is a book sale on March 29.

Movie night

If a snake were made into a foodimal, what would it be? Join the shrimpanzees and the cheespiders during Family Movie Night at the Library on Friday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. The film is animated and rated PG.  Admission is free and refreshments will be served.


There are still openings for the e-book workshop on Tuesday, February 11. The program Ipads, Kindles, and Nooks, Oh My will be held at 6:30 p.m.  Learn how to download free e-books and e-audios from the library on to your digital device.  For example, you can download the e-book The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters or the e-audio How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill by James Patterson. Registration is requested by calling the library at 872-1246 or e-mailing

According to SUNY ESF, there are only three poisonous snakes in New York State. These are the timber rattlesnake, the massasauga, and the copperhead. Because snakes are ecothermic, there are fewer species in the colder regions. That’s one good reason to like the winter. Visit the library to learn more about snakes.

To help escape from the cold weather, warm up with a bowl of hot soup.  January is National Soup Month and you can celebrate by using the Berne Public Library’s cookbook collection to find the perfect soup recipe. Soup is an ideal meal for the winter months. According to the Mayo Clinic, chicken soup also works to relieve cold symptoms.      

Thank you

Thanks to the following volunteers who came out on a blustery Monday for a work bee at the library:  Jim and Marion Burghart, Bob Gwin, Terry Hatton, MaryJo McKeon, Sharon Nevins, Laura Simpson, Alan Zuk, and Millie Zuk.  The building touch-ups make the library even more inviting.

Story time

Story time is Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m.  Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to join Kathy in an exploration of the letter R.  Rascal raccoons and red-hot rocks will be a part of this early literacy program.  

Child’s library day

Libraries strengthen families by offering a warm, comfortable, and welcoming space. The available resources allow families to learn, grow, and play together. Take Your Child to the Library Day is Saturday, Feb. 1. Save the date for a visit to show your children that libraries are a great place to be. Crafts and a potential gift basket are in the plans for this special day.  


Remember that libraries are also a source of free e-books and e-audios. To find out how to download digital content from the library on to your device, attend the program Ipads, Kindles, and Nooks, Oh My on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 pm. Registration is requested by calling the library at 872-1246 or e-mailing

The French playwright Moliere said, “I live on good soup, not on fine words.”  Many think life is best when it includes both.

“Do you want to be Queen for a Day?” This question was the introduction to a popular television show in the 1950s and 1960s. Women competed for prizes by telling their personal stories to the public. The woman whose story was voted the most heart-wrenching was crowned Queen for a Day. The show’s idea of ordinary Americans letting the public hear about their personal lives was the beginning of reality TV.

Lego League

Lego League meets on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 11 a.m. to noon, at the Berne Public Library. This open monthly program is for children in grades two through eight.  Let’s see who can make the best royal crown out of the library’s Legos.    

Knit Wits

Knit Wits is a program designed for those who would like to knit or crochet with their peers. The group meets on Sunday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m.  All are welcome to bring their own projects to work on. Share ideas, problems, solutions, and conversation in the Queen’s English.

Story time

Q is the focus of story time on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 11 a.m. Pre-chool children and their caregivers are invited to investigate queens and quarters with Kathy. This early literacy program includes stories, activities, and a craft.

TAG meets

The teens are trying to spark a reaction in the library by making a video for the summer reading program. TAG meets again this month on Friday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m., to edit their videos using movie maker. Come and learn this process or help us teach others. This is the time to be a real drama queen.


If you need bookcases for all your kingly possessions, there is still time to purchase pine shelving from the old library. Stop by the Berne town hall during open hours to make a claim.  We hope to have them all sold by Jan. 25.

Children’s library day

Your children could view the library as a castle filled with make-believe stories. Saturday, Feb. 1, is Take Your Child to the Library Day. Bring them in between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., to enjoy the enchantment. Prizes are involved.

Book club

The Sunday Book Club is currently reading The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. The book talk will take place on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 3 p.m.  The novel may be requested from the library so you can read it before the meeting and be the queen bee of the discussion.


Were you treated royally with a gift of a tablet or e-reader recently?  We would like to show you how to obtain newly released e-books, e-audios, and digital videos without buying them. Ipads, Kindles, and Nooks, Oh My, downing loading training is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. Registration is requested for this free program designed to teach you how to download e-content with a library card.

You can feel like royalty at the library without telling family secrets.  The staff is ready to wait on you and supply you with books, audios, movies, and magazines at no cost. Best of all, you can escape into one of our reading chairs with the peace and quiet fit for a queen or king.  


A Rube Goldberg machine performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. Mousetrap, a board game from 1963, is an example. Teens will spark a reaction at their next teen advisory group meeting on Friday, Jan, 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Berne Public Library.  Design and create a video incorporating the ideas of a Rube Goldberg contraption during this fun program.

Board games

Adults will be playing board games on Sunday, Jan. 12.  Game night at the library begins at 7 p.m., and usually involves Settlers of Catan, A Ticket to Ride, or Scrabble. Any interested adult may join this group.

Holiday tradition

The result of a hammer coming down on peppermint candy is broken pieces.  Did anyone receive a peppermint pig as a gift during the holiday season?  This sweet hard candy has been a yuletide tradition in Saratoga Springs for many years.  The pink pig comes in a pouch with a little hammer.  After the holiday dinner, the pig is passed around with each person breaking off a piece by giving the pouch a firm tap.  A tale of the past year’s good fortune is told with hopes of prosperity for the coming year.

Story time

The letter P will be the focus of story time on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to meet with Kathy at 11 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft involving pigs and the color pink.   

Lego League

Could a Rube Goldberg device be made out of Legos?  Try it at the next Lego League program on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 11 a.m.  This program is designed for grades two through eight.    

You have the good fortune to live within a library system that networks among twenty-nine libraries in Albany and Rensselaer counties.  It is a simple task to request a book from any of these libraries and pick it up at your home library.  This well-oiled machine is not complex and there is no charge to use it.  Perfect.  

Happy New Year!  According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, families in the Philippines eat round fruits and wear clothing with polka dots on New Year’s Eve for good luck.  The circular shapes symbolize wealth and prosperity in the New Year. 

Movie night

The first Family Movie Night for 2014 is on Friday, Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m. This month’s film is a newly released, animated movie rated PG.  During the action comedy, yellow minions with circular glasses fight a super villain. Wealth is not needed for any library program.  Like most of our programs, this one has free admission with refreshments included.    

Book club

Being prosperous does not always lead to a happy life.  Lost December by Richard Paul Evans is the novel being discussed during book club on Sunday, Jan. 5.  Begin the new year with a conversation about riches to rags to redemption.  Adults meet at 7 p.m., in the community room of the library and new members are always welcome.  

Story time

Story time for Tuesday, Jan. 7, investigates the letter O.  Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to join Kathy at 11 a.m., to explore a round fruit and the color orange.  This is a fun way to develop early literacy skills.  Stories, activities, and a craft are included in the program.

Friends meet

Money and volunteer work made our new library what it is.  The Friends of the Berne Library meet on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 7:30 p.m., to discuss ways to continue supporting the library.  More help is always appreciated.

Trustees meet

The library board of trustees meets Thursday, Jan. 9, at 6:30 p.m.  This is a monthly, open meeting to discuss library business.  Community members are encouraged to attend. 


Due to great foresight, many of the oak bookcases at our new location were purchased at an incredible discount from Borders when their Wolf Road store closed in 2008. This made it possible to leave behind the narrower pine bookshelves. Those shelves have been declared surplus by the town of Berne and are now on sale to any interested person. Stop by the town hall during clerk hours to stake a claim.  All proceeds will go toward purchases for the new library.

Expanded hours

The library has the good fortune of being able to expand its hours in 2014 to better serve the community.  The new hours are as follows:  Monday 4 to 8 p.m., Tuesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Put more library visits on your list of New Year resolutions.