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 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  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.   

On Friday, Feb. 14, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., join in the Bethlehem Public Library’s community room. It will be your space to hang out, be yourself and talk with your friends. Games, crafts and snacks are available. This activity is for kids in grade six to 12.

Origami Club

On Saturday, Feb. 15, at 3:30 p.m., come to the library and learn basic techniques; get help with a special project. For kids in kindergarten through grade 12.

Building challenge

On Monday, Feb. 17, at 2:30 p.m., the challenge for you or your team is to use newspaper and tape to build a chair strong enough to hold a stack of encyclopedias. Call 439-9314 to sign up. Grade 1-5. This is a library STEM program.


On Monday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., leave your stuffed friend overnight at the library for a sleepover; find out later what a good time they all had. Call 439-9314 to sign up. All ages are welcome.

Thumbs up

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 11 a.m., celebrate your handy opposable thumbs with stories and a creative project. For kids in kindergarten through grade four.

Dinosaur stomp

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 3 p.m., dance like the dinosaurs, listen to stories, and do a dinosaur craft. For kids ages three to eight with their family.

Pajama rama

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m., join us for bedtime stories and fun for children up to age six and their families.

Listening party

On Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., the library’s Listening Party will enjoy Eliane Elias. Listen to the best in jazz; learn about jazz history; share observations and stories.

February is Library Lovers Month.  Libraries help us to better understand each other. By providing programs, collections, and meeting spaces, the Berne Public Library allows people to share and learn from their differences. Understanding leads to respect and respect leads to love. 


Children in grades two through eight are invited to share the library’s Legos on Saturday, Feb. 15.  This week we are building transportation vehicles to display in the library.  Like most library programs, Lego League is free and open to the public.

Knit Wits

The Knit Wits meet on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. The group is working on a service project for the Knots of Love organization.  Join others while you knit or crochet caps for chemo patients and others facing life-threatening illnesses.  You may also work on your own project. 

Story time

Libraries strengthen families.  Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to story time on Tuesday, Feb. 18.  Join Kathy at 11 a.m. to go under and upside down with the letter U.  Stories, activities, and a craft are all a part of this program, which help families learn, grow, and play together.

Digital literacy

Libraries support digital literacy.  For the school winter break, we have scheduled a Makerspace program for ages 10 to 18.  Learn coding for video games on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 1 p.m.


Libraries build communities.  Local teens worked with art teacher Laura Provo-Parker to express their sense of community through photography.  An art reception will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m., in the community room of the library.  Visit with the young artists, view their art projects, and support art in our community.  

With so much to offer, it is no wonder that people love libraries.  


The Helderberg Hilltowns are beautiful places to live all year round. The major drawback to country living is driving up and down the hill to go shopping and attend events.  In the winter, transportation can often be challenging.  

It is possible to attend movies without traveling off the hill.  Friday, Feb. 7, is Family Movie Night at the Berne Public Library.  Join us at 6:30 p.m., for an animated film, rated PG; that includes foodimals and funny weather. Admission is free and refreshments are available.

Game night

In the strategy game Ticket to Ride, players collect cards of various train cars and build railway routes. This is just one of the board games played at Game Night for Adults. The next program is Sunday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m., and all adults are welcome.  

Story time

Preschool children and their caregivers will investigate types of transportation on Tuesday, Feb. 11.  Story time with Kathy begins at 11 a.m.  Trains, turtles, and other “t” words will be the focus of this early literacy program.  Enjoy stories, activities, and a craft.


Suppose you have nothing to read at home and you don’t want to embark on a trip to the library.  Or perhaps you do not want to carry heavy books when you sally forth. An e-reader would be convenient.  Don’t purchase e-books and e-audios when they are available at no cost from the library. The program Ipads, Kindles, and Nooks, Oh My! is designed to teach you this process. This event takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.  Bring your digital device and know your passwords.  Jo-Ann from UHLS will show you how to make the most of this service from the library.

Library meeting

Certainly moving the library to its new location was the highlight of 2013. It is great having a comfortable space within a short driving distance. Learn the worth of your library tax money by attending the annual meeting. The 2013 annual report will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m. 

The monthly meeting of the library board of trustees will follow.  Both of these meetings are open to the public.  

Teen group

The teen advisory group meets on Friday, Feb. 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  Travel to a place of adventure and spark a reaction as you work on the video for the summer reading program.  


The library has the wheels and Legos for building vehicles. Children in grades 2 to 8 are invited to Lego League on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 11 a.m.  See what you can build in an hour.

Books can transport you to places at no cost.  Come visit your library.

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.