— Photo from Judy Petrosillo

“Making caps and brightening the lives of people who are suffering from the ravages of cancer is such a small thing to do, but the results have made a big impact on the patients,” says the founder of Knots of Love, Christine M. Fabiani, of California. Her not-for-profit group has volunteers stretched across the country. These hats were made by women at the Berne Library.


Springtime inspires people to clean out their homes with zeal. A good guideline is to only keep things that are useful or bring you joy. Consider donating your unwanted books to the Friends of the Berne Library for their book sale. They are accepting book donations on Saturday, March 22, at the Hilltowns Senior Center between 9 a.m. and noon.  

Since books do bring zest to life, replace your discarded books with those you have not read.  The Friends Book Sale is Saturday, March 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail, Berne. Enjoy a soup luncheon before or after browsing through tables of books.  All proceeds will go toward a matching grant to install air conditioning in the new library.

Story time

There are zero zoos that have zebras and zombies. Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to learn about the letter Z during story time on March 25.  Join Kathy at 11 a.m., for a zany time with stories, activities, and a craft.    

Book club

On Sunday, April 6, the book club will be discussing The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Request a copy of the book soon so you can participate in a conversation full of zing. The group meets at 7 p.m., and new members are always welcome.

Add more zip to your life by participating in activities at your local library.

As the hours of daylight lengthen, thoughts turn to spring.  American journalist Doug Larson aptly stated, “Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” Spring is more than a season; it represents rebirth and rejuvenation. Reinvigorate your mind with the resources and programs available at the Berne Public Library.

Teen group

The library is open only for teens on Friday, March 14.  Join Kathy from 6:30 to 8 p.m., for an evening of exploring the technology available at the library. Plan on playing video games during this TAG program.

Lego League

The Lego League challenge for this month is to make a scene representing spring. Children ages five to 12 are invited to use the library’s Legos on Saturday, March 15, at 11 a.m.  Projects will be displayed in the library until they are disassembled for next month’s program.

Knit Wits

The Knit Wits meet on Sunday, March 16, at 7 p.m.  In addition to working on individual projects, the group is making hats for the Knots of Love organization. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by bringing projects made with green yarn for show and tell. Any adult interested in knitting or crocheting is welcome.

Story time

Songbirds return north in the spring to lay their eggs. Yucky, yellow yolks will introduce the letter Y to preschool children during story time on Tuesday, March 18. Stories, activities, and a craft are included in this program which begins at 11 a.m.  

Maple festival

The maple sap is running.  After enjoying a pancake breakfast during the Maple Festival. Travel to the Hilltown Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail, Berne for book browsing. The Friends of the Library are holding a book sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturday, March 29 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 30.  A homemade soup luncheon and bake sale are also planned.  

If you have books to donate to the sale, please bring them to the senior center on Saturday, March 22, from 9 a.m. to noon.  Also, volunteers are needed to help run the sale.  Contact Donna at 872-2161 or e-mail director@bernepubliclibrary.org.  All proceeds will go toward a matching grant to install air-conditioning at the library.  Hot summer weather will be here and the slushy spring will be gone eventually.


A library is defined by Merriam-Webster as a place where books are kept for use but not for sale. If taking this historical view of a library, people might be confused by our movie and music collections. They might wonder why we have programs such as Makerspace, Lego League, or Knit Wits. The answer is found in the mission statement of the library. “Meeting the needs of the community for life-long learning and entertainment.” 

Board games

As we spring ahead into Daylight Savings Time on March 9, there will be more light in the evenings.  Adults are encouraged to spend this Sunday evening playing board games at the Berne Public Library.  Develop strategical thinking while having fun. Game Night begins at 7 p.m.

Story time

Reading and the development of literacy skills is still the mainstay of the library. Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to join Kathy for story time on Tuesday, March 11, at 11 a.m.  Explore the letter X with x-rays.  Stories, activities, and a craft are all a part of this weekly program.

Annual report

Ever wonder where the library money comes from, what it is spent on, or how much material circulates each year?   The library is required to submit this information to the New York State Department of Education and report to the community.  The annual report for 2013 will be presented on Thursday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m.  Find out what was accomplished on a shoestring budget. The monthly meeting of the library board of trustees will follow the presentation.

Tech week

Teen Tech Week is March 9 -15.  This year’s theme is “DIY @ your library.”  The purpose is to showcase all of the great non-print resources and services that are available to teens.  We have books, but libraries are also places where teens can explore, create, and share. The teen advisory group takes over the library on Friday, March 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  All teens are encouraged to attend this hands-on technology event.

Author Anne Herbert said, “Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”  Make use of this community resource that has books and much more.

Celebrate, Read Across America with the National Education Association on March 3. This annual event is planned around the birthday of Dr. Seuss, a beloved author of children’s books.  Stop at the Berne Public Library to pick up a good book that you can sink your teeth into.

Book talk

Reading together as a family is a lot of fun, but discussing the ideas afterward can be awkward. The library has a solution. Kathy and Avery Stempel have been trained by the NYS Council for the Humanities to facilitate these types of discussions. Parents of children ages 9 to eleven are encouraged to register for Together — Book Talk for Parents and Kids. This program begins on Saturday, March 1, at 1 p.m., and includes six sessions with refreshments and childcare. 

Book club

The Book Club for adults will be held on Sunday, March 2, at 7 p.m. The group will be discussing The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. Your input is welcomed even if you have not read the book.  

Story time

There is still plenty of white, winter weather in March.  Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to explore the letter W during story time on Tuesday, March 4. Join Kathy at 11 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft.  

Friends meet

The Friends of the Berne Library will meet Wednesday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m., to discuss fund-raising ideas for the library. Their book sale and soup luncheon are being held at the senior center on March 29 and 30. Donated books will be accepted on Saturday, March 22, between 9 a.m. and noon. If you have books that cannot be delivered on that day, contact Judy at the library at 872-1246 to make other arrangements.

Movie night

Do you like to read the book before seeing the movie?  The novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a popular science fiction book for young adults.  Movie Night at the Library is Friday, March 7, at 7 p.m. This month’s movie is rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material. There is no admission fee and refreshments will be served.

As Dr. Seuss wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  Make one of those places your local public library.


The 2014 Olympic events in Sochi, Russia conclude this Sunday and already people are preparing for South Korea in 2018.  The International Olympic Committee is responsible for selecting the host city and updating and approving the sports program. Twelve new events were included this year.

The five rings on the Olympic flag represent the continents of our world community. What symbols represent our local community? This question was posed to four teens who participated in a photo art workshop facilitated by artist Laura Provo-Parker. 

Please support these budding artists by attending their art reception on Saturday, Feb. 22, from 1 to 2 p.m., in the community room of the library. View their interpretation of our community as seen through the lens of a camera. 

The Olympic torch is lit in Greece and then carried by torchbearers to the Olympic venue. 

Story time

Greece is also famous for its volcanoes, especially Santorini.  Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to investigate volcanoes and the letter v during storytime. Join Kathy on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m., for stories, activities, and a craft.  Be prepared for vinegar causing a volcanic eruption.

Write a history

You may never participate in an Olympic event, but you have interesting stories to tell. If you would like to write the history of your life in a format that is not boring, try a memoir-writing workshop. Freelance writer MaryJo McKeon will work with participants over a series of six Tuesdays from March 4 to April 8.  Register with the library staff by calling 872-1246 or e-mailing director@bernepubliclibrary.org. before Feb. 28.  We may be able to juggle dates to accommodate your schedule. 

Together program

If your child is between ages 9 and 11 and you are interested in having meaningful discussions, join our Together program. This is a book talk for parents and kids facilitated by Kathy and Avery Stempel. The group will meet every other Saturday at 1 p.m. for six sessions from March 1 to May 3.  Babysitting and refreshments will be provided.  Register with Kathy by e-mailing Kathy@bernepubliclibrary.org.  It will be a great way to explore universal themes.

Jewelry making

Instead of a gold medal worn around the neck, consider a pretty pendant.  Make your own jewelry during a beading workshop for adults on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. Liz LaPorte will supply the instructions, form, wire, and beads needed to make a tree of life pendant. This program was so popular with the teens that it is being repeated for the adults.  

Book sale

The Friends of the Berne Library are planning a book sale for their next fund-raiser. Now is the time to make an Olympian effort to clear out books you no longer want. Donations are being accepted on Saturday, March 22, at the Hilltown Senior Center between 9 a.m. and noon. If this isn’t convenient, please make other arrangements by contacting the library. In order to replenish your bookshelves, come to the sale on Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30.  Join us for a homemade soup luncheon during the sale. 

Pierre de Coubertin was the founder of the IOC and is considered the father of the modern Olympic Games. He felt that the most important thing in the Olympic Games was not winning but taking part. That attitude can be applied to many parts of life, including the library. The fun is taking part in your community.