September brings two things to mind: time to go back to school and time to harvest the garden before the first frost. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the first frost for Albany, is October 3.  Of course, the date for the Hilltowns is typically earlier. Despite our short growing season, it is possible to have a local sustainable food economy.  

Sarah Gordon, an enthusiastic believer in sustained living, will be presenting a program on this topic in the meeting room of the Berne town hall.  Gordon founded FarmieMarket and is actively involved in promoting local farmers. The presentation on Sunday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m., is open to the public.

Prior to Ms. Gordon's presentation, there will be a potluck dinner at 6 p.m.  We are celebrating the closing of the adult summer reading program and the resuming of the monthly Sunday Book Club at the Berne Public Library.  

The library staff will supply the drinks and place settings.  Participants are asked to bring a dish made with local foods. Please respond at 872-1246 or e-mail the and indicate the dish you will be bringing. With a little planning, it should be a balanced and delicious meal.

Story time

There is a new time for story time starting on Tuesday, Sept. 10, beginning at 10:30 a.m.  Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to join Kathy for stories, activities, and a craft.  This week the group will be playing school and taking turns being the teacher. What is the best way to prepare children for school?  Make sure they have a library card.

Volunteers needed

Work bees to apply polyurethane to new bookcases are scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon, and 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5 and on Monday, Sept. 9.  Any interested adult with paintbrush skills is invited to help with this community project. Please meet at the Hilltown Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail, in Berne. We hope to move the shelving into the new library by the end of the month.

Board meets

The library’s board of trustees will be discussing library business on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m.  This meeting is open to the public.

September is the perfect time to visit the library. There are new issues of magazines from 21 different subscriptions. If you would rather read a nonfiction book, try The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading: an encyclopedia for independent living by Nicole Faire. Remember, there is no charge for a library card or for taking out items. Why buy when you can borrow? 


Labor Day is a national holiday for recognizing the economic and social contributions of workers.  The Berne Public Library will be closed on Saturday, Aug. 31 and Monday, Sept. 2 in observance of this holiday weekend. 

School opens

Labor Day weekend is also the symbolic end of summer and the beginning of the school year.  For Berne-Knox-Westerlo students, school begins Thursday, Sept. 5 and school buses will once again be on the roads. Remember that if the red lights of a bus are flashing, you must stop. According to the Safe NY website, this includes buses that are on the opposite sides of divided highways, on multiple lane roadways, in parking lots, and on school grounds.  

Story time

This week story time will focus on school buses. Preschool children and their caregivers should attend this fun program which helps develop literacy skills. Join Kathy on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 11 a.m., for stories, activities, and a craft.  The wheels of the bus do go round and round.

Thank you

Thanks to all who contributed to the Friends of the Berne Library during the summer festival. It was a wonderful day ending with spectacular fireworks. Proceeds from the food booth, pie contest, and quilt drawing will go toward furnishings and equipment for the new library.  The Friends will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 4, in the town of Berne meeting room at 7:30 p.m.  All interested adults are invited to attend.

 Adult read

The end of the adult summer reading program is also the return of the monthly book club.  A potluck supper will be held on Sunday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m., for both groups. Please RSVP to the library staff at 872-1246.  At 7 p.m. Sarah Gordon will be presenting a program on sustainable food economy. This program is free and open to the public.    

Martin Luther King Jr. said, "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."  Thanks to all workers who do their jobs well, especially bus drivers. 

Where did the summer go? With the last week of summer vacation approaching, it is time for children and young adults to finish their assigned summer reading for school. The Berne Public Library has many of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo schools required reading books so stop by soon before someone else checks them out.

Family fun day

To celebrate the summer, the town of Berne is sponsoring a family fun day at the town park on Saturday, Aug. 24. Summerfest runs from 10 a.m. to dark, and concludes with fireworks.  Hope to see you there.   

Eye checkups

While preparing for going back to school, don't forget about your children's eyes.  According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. If you notice that your child has a disinterest in reading, this may be the reason.

Story time

August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month.  We are investigating this topic on Tuesday, Aug. 27, during story time.  Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to join Judy at 11 a.m. to explore the human eye.  Stories, activities, and a craft are always a part of this fun program.

Thank you

Thanks to all who participated in the youth summer reading program.  Hope you had as much fun as we did.  Forty-four children read 39,132 minutes.

Adult read

The summer reading program for adults concludes on Sunday, Sept. 8.  Please save the date for our potluck supper using local foods and our program on sustainable living.

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.