In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed August 19 as National Aviation Day in celebration of the development of aviation. The day is significant because it is the birthday of the first pilot, Orville Wright. National Aviation Week includes this day and promotes the education, awareness, and celebration of aviation.  

How should you celebrate? Go for a flight, build a model airplane, or visit the Berne Public Library for a book on aviation. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin, The Wright Brothers: how they invented the airplane by Russell Freedman or The Astronaut Wives Club: a true story by Lily Koppel are all excellent choices.

Lego League canceled 

There is no Lego League in August.  Let's plan on making flying crafts at the next Lego League event on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Story time

Airplanes are the focus of story time on Tuesday, Aug. 20.  Come fly with Kathy at 11 a.m. and enjoy stories, activities, and a craft.  This program is designed for pre-school children and their caregivers.

Adult program

One of the concerns of space travel is how to carry enough food and water for the trip.  Sustainable living is the last topic for the adult summer reading program.  Choose a book from the selection at the library or pick your own. Write a short book review, and be entered in a drawing to win prizes.  The program ends on Sunday, Sept. 8 with a program on promoting a sustainable food economy.


Look to the skies on Saturday, Aug. 24 for fireworks.  The town of Berne is sponsoring the Berne Summer Celebration from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the Berne town park. The rain date for this event is Sunday, Aug. 25.

Enjoy the car show, listen to music, and plan on having lunch at the Friends of the Library food booth. Help support the library by purchasing a ticket for a children's author signature, or a quilted wall hanging made by Peg Hoagland. Drawing tickets are available at the park during the celebration or during hours at the library.  

Library renovations

The new library renovations are progressing and it will soon be time to set up the bookcases. We had additional bookcases made to match the cases we purchased from Borders when they closed. The new shelving needs to be stained and finished by volunteers.  If you are interested in helping, please let us know by calling 872-1246 or e-mailing Judy at

Orville Wright said, "If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  If he had done that, he would have never flown. 

The first fair at the Altamont Fairgrounds was 120 years ago in 1893 according to the website  In 1945, it became the only fair in New York State to represent three counties: Albany, Schenectady, and Greene counties.  Be sure to be part of this long standing tradition by attending the Altamont Fair from Aug. 13 through 18.

The beginning of the fair also represents the end of the summer reading program at the Berne Public Library.  The SRP grand finale for ages 1 through 18 is this Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Hilltown Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail.  Meet Kathy at 3:30 p.m. for to receive certificates and prize bags, participate in activities, and enjoying refreshments. Thanks to all those youth who participated in the program or helped by volunteering.

The adult SRP continues through August and ends on Sept. 8.  For the remainder of the summer, the book topic is gardening or sustainable farming.  Dig into a wide range of titles set aside at the library or pick a book on your own. The adult finale will be on Sunday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m., and includes a program on sustainable farming presented by Sarah Gordon.

Story time

Regular story time for preschool children and their caregivers resumes on Tuesday, Aug. 13.  Learn about all the things you can see at the fair. Join Kathy at 11 a.m., for stories, activities, and a craft.

Music in the Park

Wednesday, Aug. 14, is the final Music in the Park concert for the summer.  Attend this event at the Berne town park and be entertained by a double billing of Chuck Wagon and Two's Company.  The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. and the admission is free.  Refreshments will be available for purchase from the Friends of the Berne Library.

— Photo by Judy Petrosillo

Magnetic Magic: Tweens and teens investigate the properties of magnets at the Berne Library on July 19.

— Photo by Judy Petrosillo

Rocks in rainbow hues: Kids in the Wee Read summer program, which meets on Tuesdays at the Berne Library, form a circle around palettes of paint on July 23 to brush colors on their stones.

The Berne Public Library begins this week of activities with a special program on the Underground Railroad.  Paul and Mary Liz Stewart, founders of the Underground Railroad History Project, will be at the library on Sunday, Aug. 4, at 7 p.m.  There is no charge for this adult program.

Summer reading program

Participants of the adult summer reading program should pick a classic groundbreaking read for this week.  The selections include Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, 1984 by George Orwell, and more. 

Wee Read

The last Wee Read is on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 11 a.m.  Join Kathy to find out what happens to the water that goes underground.  Stories, activities, and a craft help develop early literacy skills.

Music in the Park

Slim Pickn's will provide the entertainment for Music in the Park this Wednesday. Enjoy the tunes of our free family event from 6:30 p.m. until dusk on Aug. 7. Refreshments will be available for purchase from the Friends of the Library.

Friends meet

On Wednesday, Aug. 7, the Friends will meet.  Anyone interested in supporting the library may join this group that meets at 7:30 p.m.

Family trip 

The family trip to Secret Caverns is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 8.  The bus leaves the Berne-Knox-Westerlo parking lot at 9:45 a.m. and returns at 1:15 p.m.  This trip is free to those youth who meet the library's SRP goals. The cost is $7 for those youth who do not fully participate, and $10 per adult.  Call the library at 872-1246 or stop in for details and registration.

Board meets

The library board of trustees will meet at 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, August 8, for their monthly meeting to discuss library business.  This meeting is open to the public.  

Reading program finale 

The SRP for youth is ending soon.  The grand finale is Saturday, Aug. 10.  Participants are invited to the Hilltown Senior Center at 3:30 p.m. for certificates, prizes, activities, and refreshments.  

Author Sam Keen said, "Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."  What better time to relax with a good book from the library or sit back and enjoy one of the programs?  

— Photo by Judy Petrosillo

Building a gnome home was the order of the day for participants, like these, in the Summer Reading Program at the Berne Library.

— Photo by Judy Petrosillo

Serious business: As  part of the Summer Reading Program at the Berne Library, this boy is participating in the “digging Up Trouble” project, focusing on gnomes, leprechauns, fairies, and trolls.

It is dismaying to look outside at the garden and see that varmints demolished the vegetables.  Many of these creatures live underground, including woodchucks, rabbits, and chipmunks.  Like Mr. McGregor, it takes a crafty gardener to win this war.  Visit your library, and borrow a gardening book for tips on controlling these destructive animals.

Summer reading

The Summer Reading Program will be investigating underground animals this week at the Emma Treadwell Thatcher Nature Center off Ketchum Road.  On Tuesday, July 30, the preschool children are invited to discuss "Vivacious Animals" with Megan.  Intermediate readers, ages 5 to 12, should join Megan on Thursday, Aug. 1, to explore "Burrowing Animals."  Meet Kathy at the Nature Center at 11 a.m. for these special summer reading programs.

Teen program

The library is also sponsoring a special presenter for our teen program on Monday, July 29.  Ms. Ceceri will help teens create a moving robot by reusing household items and adding a solar source. The Wobblebot program starts at 6 p.m.  Register for this program before noon on Monday by calling the library at 872-1246.


Dig up the dance floor, or sit back and listen, at Music in the Park on Wednesday, July 31.  The Bluestones will be providing the tunes for this week's concert, which begins at 6:30 p.m.  There is no admission fee for this family event.  Refreshments will be available for purchase from the Friends of the Berne Library.

Underground communities

"Underground Communities" continues this week as the theme for the adult summer reading program.  Paul and Mary Stewart invite adult community members to a free program on the Underground Railroad.  They will share their extensive knowledge on Sunday, Aug. 4, at 7 p.m. in the town of Berne meeting room.

Secret Caverns

Although there is another month of summer vacation, the youth summer reading program ends on Aug. 10.  The exciting trip to Secret Caverns is on Thursday, Aug. 8.  The school bus will leave Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School at 9:45 a.m., and return at 1:15 p.m. In order to earn a free trip, incentive charts for Wee Read and Intermediate Readers must be submitted by Wednesday, Aug. 7, and 600 reading minutes must be logged in.  If you did not earn a free trip, you are still encouraged to attend at the cost of $7 per child and $10 per adult.  Children under the age of ten must be accompanied by an adult.  Bring your own food and drinks for lunch. Please sign up for this trip at the library. 

Summer reading grand finale

The grand finale for the youth summer reading program, ages 1 to 18, is on Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Hilltown Senior Center on Route 443 in Berne.  Join us from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for presentation of summer reading program certificates and prize bags, activities, and refreshments.


While underground digging is occurring on the main street of Berne, the work at the new library is above ground.  Asbestos floor tiles were removed for the safety of our patrons, and insulation was installed in the ceiling and walls to keep down our energy costs.  We are currently applying for a 75 percent matching grant from the New York State Library Construction Grant Program in order to complete the renovations and furnish the building.  If you would like to contribute, each dollar will be matched with three.  Send your donations to the Friends of the Berne Library, PO Box 42, Berne, NY 12023.

As the academic year draws to a close, the kindergarten students have finished their first year of formal schooling. The book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum offers advice. “Share everything. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Put things back where you found them.”  These words of wisdom certainly apply to libraries. We share all of our items with the public. With a free library card, you may borrow books, magazines, e-readers, audiobooks, music CDs, and movies.  The only catch is that you need to return them in a timely fashion.  But you don’t need to put them back; the staff of the Berne Public Library will do that.

Library friends

The members of Friends of the Berne Library are great at sharing time and skills.  Over the past fifteen years, their fund-raisers have added up.  Last week they gave a $30,000 check to the town of Berne to be used toward the renovation work at the new library site.  The money was matched by a New York State Library Construction Grant.  For the last two years, the group has been working on raising an additional $30,000 for furniture and equipment. We hope that this money will be matched by an additional grant.  Please help with any size donation. 

Game night

Participate with other adults at Game Night on Sunday, June 9, at 7 p.m. The group follows Fulghum’s advice, “Play fair. Don’t hit people.” 

Story time

Father’s Day is the perfect time for fathers to share time and play with their children. To prepare for the day, preschool children and their caregivers are invited to story time on Tuesday, June 11.  Join Kathy at 11 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft that involves making a gift for dad.  

Trustees meet

The library’s board of trustees will meet to discuss library business on Thursday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. All interested community members are invited to this open meeting.

Lapsit program

The library is holding a baby lapsit program on Saturday, June 15, at 10 a.m.  Bond with your baby while exposing them to stories, tickles, songs, and bounces which have been shown to help baby brain development.  Parents will learn rhymes so they can continue these interactions with their children at home.  

Lego League

The library shares our large Lego collection with children in grades 2 through 8 during Lego League.  The next monthly program is on Saturday, June 15 at 11 a.m..  Create a project to display at the library.  After a month the Legos will be put back and used in our next program.

As Robert Fulghum said:  “Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” The library can help you attain this daily goal.