The American Library Association has a code of ethics for library staff. It includes upholding the principles of intellectual freedom and resisting all efforts to censor library resources. September 21 through 27 is Banned Book Week. This annual event celebrates the freedom to read.  

The list of the top ten challenged books in 2013 includes The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison and the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey.  Stop by the Berne Public Library to check out these books.

Family Playtime

In addition to books, there is a community room at the library. This room is being reserved on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10:30 a.m. to noon for Family Playtime.  There are Legos, Duplos, puzzles, and games for children to play with. This is a great way to socialize with other families in a welcoming environment.   

Knit Wits

The freedom to seek and express ideas is a part of our Knit Wits program.  Meet with adults who knit or crochet on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m.  Share problems, solutions, and conversations as well as ideas.  

Story time

Story time is on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 10:30 a.m. Children ages one to five and their caregivers are invited to join Ms. Kathy for stories, activities, and a craft about dogs.  The freedom to read should begin with our children.

Memoir Writing

The Memoir Writing group meets on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 6:30 p.m. Develop the skill of sharing past events in an engaging, written form. Any interested adult can drop in for this bi-monthly program facilitated by MaryJo McKeon.

Librarians have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.  Author Salman Rushdie asked, “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” 

Many readers are enthralled by pirates. From Long John Silver in Treasure Island to Captain Hook in Barrie's Peter Pan, pirates have sparked the imagination.  Some real pirates such as Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, are legendary.  

Blackbeard relied on his fearsome look to intimidate those he met. Appearances do count. Teens will meet at the Berne Public Library on Friday, Sept. 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., to improve the look of our Facebook page. Plans also include making binary bracelets and playing video games such as Pirates of the Caribbean. Brin' a bucko.

Game night

Game Night is Sunday, Sept. 14 beginning at 7 p.m. Play board games with other interested adults. Place treasures in your ports during a game of Settlers of Catan.

Therapy dog

Ariel, the therapy dog, will be at the library with Amber on Monday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 6 p.m.  Reading to a nonjudgmental audience is a great way to improve literacy skills. Register your child for a fifteen-minute time slot by calling the library at 872-1246 or just drop-in. The book Pirates Ahoy! by Hans Wilhelm would be a perfect choice for this week.  

Story time

Although meeting real pirates would not be fun, talking like them can be. Talk Like a Pirate Day is Sept. 19. Kathy is celebrating this holiday on Tuesday, Sept. 16, during story time. Children ages one to five and their caregivers are invited for pirate stories, activities, and a craft. This program begins at 10:30 a.m. Thar be lots o' fun.

Ayyy, matey. Stop at the library this week for a great pirate book or movie.

By Louise Grieco

On Friday, Sept. 12, at 4 p.m., come to the Bethlehem Public Library for Tai Chi for Kids. Lorraine Noval of the Asian Arts Group will teach basic tai chi movements. Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes. This program is for kids in kindergarten through grade five with their family.

International Dot Day

On Monday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. the library will celebrate International Dot Day with stories and crafts for children age three and up with a caregiver.

Teen Sew-cial

On Monday, Sept. 15, at 3:30 p.m., bring an old T-shirt to the library and give it a new life, and use the library’s sewing machines to work on a project. This program is for kids in grades six through 12.

Tabletop gaming night

On Monday, Sept. 15, at 6:30 p.m., drop into the library for games and snacks. This program is for adults, and teens age 16 and up.

Friends meet

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 6:30 p.m., the friends of the library will meet. This meeting is open to the public.

Zombie apocalypse

and other disasters

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m., come to the library and learn how to prepare yourself and your family for emergencies. Participants will receive an item to start a family preparedness kit. This program is presented by the Albany County Department of Health, and is for adults and families. Call 439-9314 to sign up.

The first Labor Day parade and massive picnic was held on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the parade was organized by the Central Labor Union. Nearly 25,000 union members and their families participated in the event. Many of the locals that were a part of the union are now AFL-CIO members.  

Library schedule

The library will be closed on Saturday, Aug. 30 through Monday, Sept. 1, in observance of the social and economic achievements of American workers. After Labor Day, the library will return to its regular hours which are as follows:  4 to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays; 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Story time

Story time resumes on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 11 a.m., with a focus on the library. Pre-school children and their caregivers are invited to explore the library through stories, a scavenger hunt, and a craft.  

Thank you

The mission of the Friends group is to support the library. Thanks to all those who worked to make the Berne Summerfest booth a successful fund-raiser. The results will be reported at the next meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 7:30 p.m. Future events will also be explored. New members and new ideas are always welcomed.


Family Movie Night is Friday, Sept. 5, from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m.  The film is rated PG for mild action.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided.  Contact the library staff for the movie title.

Adult read

Adults are encouraged to read at least one more book before the end of their summer reading program on September 6.  The topic for this week is forensic science.  Read a mystery that is solved with hard work and forensics.  

President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”  Happy Labor Day.

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.