On Saturday, July 20, from 1 to 3 p.m., experienced scrapper JoAnne Brady presents “Treasures of Your Past” using archival scrapbooking. This free program will inspire you to pull out those family photos and documents to create a visual family history you can share with loved ones and friends.

Sign up sheets are at the front desk to reserve your seat. Questions? Call 518-872-1246 or check www.bernepubliclibrary.org for details.

Seed Library

New growth has sprouted at the Berne Public Library. The 2019 Seed Library, carefully planted and landscaped by Ann, code name Broccoli Spear and Marge, code name Bean Sprout, is in the building.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview in the garden with Broccoli Spear and Bean Sprout.

Interviewer: “Bean Sprout, what can you tell us about the new Seed Library?”

Bean Sprout: “Broccoli Spear and I have written to various seed companies and received over 200 seed packet donations of flowers, vegetables and herbs.”

Interviewer: “Broccoli Spear, you’ve both put in a lot of hours to bring this idea to fruition. What was your motivation?”

Broccoli Spear: “Stirring up interest in gardening for food and pleasure. Making a variety of seeds available to the community and giving young people the opportunity to start a mini garden of their own.

Interviewer: “What’s been the response to your Seed Library?”

Broccoli Spear: “People seem to be excited about the idea and are taking seeds home at a rapid pace.

Bean Sprout: “We’re looking forward to seeing new gardens springing up.

Interviewer: “Thank you both for making this Seed Library happen. The library and gardening community is grateful.”

If you have a few moments, pop in and check out the ease of bringing home a few seeds from the new Seed Library and add some color to your garden.

Story Time

Story time for the wee explorers aged 5 and under invites you in at 10:30 a.m. on July 23 with space ships at the ready. What’s it like to be an astronaut in an orbiting spaceship with various items floating around the cabin due to no gravity? Hang on as you hear a story, move at space warp 9 and make a craft.

Star Crew

For the 6 to 12 group, Star Crew Thursday shoots for the moon July 25 at 1 p.m. It’s all part of the Universe of Stories summer reading. Books exploring space and the moon are located throughout the library. Activities, reading and exploration comes together for all Star Crew members.

Music in the Park

Music in the Park continues during week 3 of 6 this Wednesday, July 24 starting 6:30 p.m. at the Berne Town Park. On stage “Two’s Company” entertains with their classic rock and roll repertoire. Dennis White takes the mic while guitar picking, Mary White adds the bass guitar, Bill Dibble guitars it and Glen Gray drums on. Refreshments provided by Friends of the Berne Library, jokes provided by Kathy.   

Book discussion

Another new event on the Berne Public Library launching pad is the “Books and Brews!” gathering at the Helderberg Mountain Brewing Company. An outside the library building box get together for adults. Bring your favorite book on Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m. to 83 Main Street in East Berne,  to discuss books and enjoy a brew if you so desire. It’s “Books and Brews!” Friday in the hilltowns.

— Photo from Sandra Kisselback

Just a Bunch of Guys and now Some Girls will be appearing live, on the Berne Town park stage this Wednesday, July 17, starting at 6:30 p.m. 

Aztec, a miniature Palomino horse, will be visiting the Berne Library at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 15, for a “Meet a Mini” program for all ages.

Sharon Frisbie found Aztec in Texas when he was 2 years old. Frisbie became the fourth owner of this gentle creature. Golden colored with a white mane and tail, 8-year-old “Aztec loves being hugged and fussed over,” says Frisbie.

Standing 33 inches tall, with eyes that will melt your heart, it could be love at first sight. Please mark your calendar for the 15th to meet Aztec and learn some horse lingo, care, and grooming. If, after meeting Aztec, you’d like to meet him again, you can be sure to see him every year at the Altamont Fair. 

Story Time

Where will the 5 and under Wee Explorers be going for story time at 10:30 a.m. on July 16? Up to the moon, that’s where. Speaking of moon phases, which include waxing crescent, waning crescent, new and full, on July 31 is a special moon called the Black Moon - the second new moon in a single month. The full moon lands on the 16th. Pile on your astronaut gear to hear moon tales, make like a lunar eclipse and rally up the craft making call. 

Story Show

The 6 to 12 year old Star Crewsers may be getting a visit from galactic researchers for story show and do at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 18. “Take Me to Your Leader” - beep beep, zwaggle zwaggle, urp. The leader may be in hiding so prepare for the mission with your favorite search and find device. 

Music in the Park

Kathy Stempel introduced “Music in the Park” over 15 years ago. The band who entertained at the very first “Music in the Park” back then is strumming with energy to rock your world. Just a Bunch of Guys and now Some Girls will be appearing live, on the Berne Town park stage this Wednesday, July 17, starting at 6:30 p.m. 

Brian Stempel and his Wednesday-night jammers have been making music together for nearly 20 years. Avery livens it up with his guitar, Jim sizzles on the fiddle, Pat whales on the harmonica, Joanne adds mandolin. Patricia and John hit the guitar strings in a fiery fashion.

And then there’s Gruesome and Jack and the chance of surprise guests popping in with their own brand of musical energy. Refreshments will be made available by the Friends of the Berne Library. 

New Programs

Two new programs are on the radar for this coming week. First up at 7:30 p.m. on July 18 is “Stories Under the Stars” at Two Rock Ranch located at 73 Turner Road in Berne. Bring a flashlight and be prepared for a new reading experience on the farm. Join Emily Vincent and her band of local sheep residents for some baaavelous fun and entertainment. 

On Saturday, July 20 from 1 to 3 p.m. JoAnne Brady will be leading “Treasures of Your Past — Family Photos and Papers.” This free hands-on program will show you how easy and relaxing it can be to put your family history in order.

Using all those boxes of family photos and special papers giving clues to your loved ones’ lives, you will learn the papers, rocks, and scissors of archival safe scrapbooking. Gain confidence in creating these priceless scrapbooks to share now and with future generations. Sign up sheets are at the front desk to reserve your seat. Questions? Call 518-872-1246 or check www.bernepubliclibrary.org for details.

Fireworks touch the sky with sprays of color on Thursday through the weekend and around the Helderberg Hills, lakes, and backyard hideaways. It’s a celebration, a welcome break from the weekly swoosh, an opportunity to read your newly-checked-out library book.

A celebratory element envelops the Berne Sunday Book Club’s July 7 gathering as well. It’s a reader’s-choice free-for-all. Share your which book and why at the 7 p.m. huddle. Part of the evening includes stirring ingredients together for the night’s 2019 Adult Summer Reading kick-off partaaay — “Armchair Astronaut.”

There will be refreshments, READsquared or paper sign-up registrations, kibbitzing with fellow book lovers, and energizing the night with challenge choices sitting on the launching pad ready for liftoff. Read your way through five or more of the suggested cues by Sept. 6 and receive raffle tickets, a gift, and a foodie night on Sept. 8. Mark your calendars now.

Use Universe of Stories to guide you through a galaxy of new experiences. You’ll be pleasantly hoisted toward the stars on an expedition of cosmic possibilities.

Please join in on Sunday, July 7, at 7 p.m. Any questions? Call the Berne Public Library at 518-872-1246. 

Wee Explorers

On July 9, Wee Explorers, ages 5 and under, are off to find 10 little aliens. Will the 10 little aliens be sitting in their ship as one jumps off and then there were six? Wait, that can’t be right, can it?

Stop in at 10:30 a.m. on July 9 and find out for sure what those 10 little aliens are up to as you hear a story, explore, and make a craft.

Constellation exploration

On Thursday, July 11, at 1 p.m., the Star Crew of 6- to 12-year-olds are invited in for constellation exploration. Learn what’s awake in the night sky from the Milky Way to Ursa Major and the Big Dipper splashing a drink to its darkened canvas.

Gaming in Space

When July 12 slips into evening at 6:30 p.m., the teens are invited in for Gaming in Space — a night to chill for the 13- to 17-year-olds.

Board meets

The Berne Library Board of Trustees meets on July 11 at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public.

Hilltown Ramblers 

Music in the Park news flash! Take note!

On Wednesday, July 10, at 6:30 p.m., the Hilltown Ramblers are taking the platform in the Berne Town Park. This group started its musical journey over 25 years ago during a jam session at the Old Woodshed Bar.

From there, the group performed at county fairs, parks, and many sold-out Caffe Lena shows. In 2003, “It’s About Time,” a self-produced CD was available to long-time fans.    

Dick Stock, playing mandolin, and Mo Safford making his five-string banjo hum are the original Ramblers. Other players joined and left along the way but Stock and Safford kept jamming along.

Wednesday night, Jim Selkirk on guitar and Ed Krzykowski, who’s been playing bass with the group for five years, round out the stage. A mixture of bluegrass, traditional, contemporary, old country, and their own original homegrown tunes are on the playlist. See you at the park. 

Next week: Just a Bunch of Guys.

As July rolls into view and summer’s 2019 smorgasbord of delights is activated, it’s time to announce to the world July’s Word of the Month Club’s action word. It was a toss between energize and invigorate.

After an intense ping-pong match, energize came out on top. So energize it is. Energize your thoughts, your words, your journals. Energize your actions. Energize your friendships. Energize your month. 


With energizing in full swing, it’s time to get your storytime eyes and ears on. For July 2, it’s a Sky Full of Stories for the 5-and-under group. How many colors will light up the sky this week? Listen to a story, practice your oohs and aahs and participate in a craft activity. Early literacy is booming on.

Beginning the week of July 8, storytime will be happening twice a week until Aug, 1. All part of the Universe of Stories 2019 Summer Reading. Tuesdays are for Wee Explorers ages 5 and under and on Thursdays, humans of the 6 to 12 range can swing by at 1 p.m. for a Star Crew program. For July 11, the first Star Crew gathering, the group will be exploring constellations. Pick up a flyer at the library for a full listing of summer storytime themes and other events.

Summer Reading Packets

The Universe of Stories summer reading packets for all age groups, including adults, are ready for pick-up at the front desk. Packets are divided into four groups - wee readers are 5 and under, the star crew grabs 5.1 to 12 year olds, teens are next and adults round out the reading scene. Sign up for summer reading and take home a free book. Then get on the reading train of challenges for prizes, special events and other space activities.

Music in the Park

You’ll want to mark your calendar for the 2019 season of Music in the Park. Organizers are gearing up with a slate of six bands over the next several weeks. The First band to hit the stage at the Berne Town Park on July 10 at 6:30 p.m. is the Hilltown Ramblers. Admission is free, refreshments are available from the Friends of the Berne Library and the band plays on until dusk. Throw your dancing shoes on and come on down.  

Holiday Closing

Please note that the library will be closed for the July 4 holiday. Regular hours resume Friday, July 5 from 2  to 6 p.m. Call 518-872-1246 if you have any questions.  

Llama Llama, do you know him? He’s the cutest character with eyes that draw you into whatever emotions he may be feeling — scared, surprised, frustrated.

It seems Fuzzy Llama, his stuffed animal friend, broadcasts feelings with his eyes as well. The two have appeared in many books together. Author Anna Dewdney brought them to life in 2005 when “Llama Llama Red Pajama” hit the bookstores. The book and characters were an instant success.

After the initial publication, the Llama Llama books continued to share different life moments that young humans experience as they traverse the lines of being a kid. The author passed away in 2016 but Dewdney’s Llama Llama legacy lives on through the Anna Dewdney Trust. Her heartfelt wish was for people to take time and read aloud to a child.

The Berne Public Library’s story program does just that. Every week you can bring your 5-and-under children in to hear a story, wiggle about, and try a craft.

According to the latest news feed, a full-size Llama Llama character will be making the rounds in the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary School on June 24 and 25 in the early morning. After visiting school on Tuesday, June 25, Llama Llama will be clopping over to the Berne Public Library for a special visit during story time.

Llama llama storytime gets under way at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy time with Llama Llama while listening, crafting and practicing your llama walk.

Library Table

Berne Public Library director Kathy Stempel is hosting a table during the Jean Forti Fundraiser at the Berne Town Park on Friday, June 21 from 6 to 8. The following day, Saturday, June 22, Stempel will have a table at the Pucker Street Fair in Knox from 1 - 9.

Catch her if you can. You can make a bookmark, sign up for the Universe of Stories summer reading program and learn about the summer reading kickoff party on June 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Please visit the library table to say hi and snag your own bookmark to take home.

Summer Reading

About that Universe of Stories “Countdown to Blast Off” 2019 summer reading kickoff party. There will be refreshments. There will be fun with STEM activities. Everyone gets a take home thingamabob of their very own. The rising din of people having a blast is beginning to build. See you there or Readsquared June 27, 6:30 to 8 p.m. 

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

John Williams at work, using a photograph as a guide. Although many Enterprise readers know Williams as the scribe for The Old Men of the Mountain, he is also an artist. His paintings are now on display at the Berne Public Library.

Hands down, the man can paint. Octogenarian John Williams is generously sharing 12 of his paintings for all to enjoy at the Friends Art Gallery located in the community room of the Berne Public Library.

Allis Chalmers, Farmall M, Case, Jack, a special lady sitting atop an MG, and a portrait of a flower-holding mother-in-law give you a hint of the June show.  

Williams has been creating art since the age of 6. Allowed freedom to dabble, he used the walls and ceilings of his room as a canvas to cover with art. Even the back of a window shade could be a medium for a scene or two. An early work in crayon of the sacred heart was one piece particularly favored by his mom.

From pastels to water colors, from oil paints to water oils, using charcoal and pencil and then deciding on stretched canvas, watercolor paper, or something completely rebelesque, much goes into the creative process.

After teaching art classes at Bethlehem for 30 years, the most important lesson Williams wanted students to learn was color. Light against dark. Cool versus warm. Shadowing in just the right places.

Favorite themes include farms, tractors, family, local people and places. After thousands of paintings, arthritis reared its aching grip. Williams had to lay down his brushes for a time.

But the call was strong and the passion to paint brought him back to the studio. Today, water oils are his favorite. Three ambulance rides, two stents and a detective M.D. steered him away from using oil paints.

But that’s a story for another time. For now, through the end of June, give your senses a treat as you view the stunning array of portraits on display.  

Story time

Speaking of stories, what’s the scoop for Tuesday’s, June 11, 10:30 a.m. story time? Are you ready? Here are seven clues: blanket, paper plates, watermelon, chips, hot dogs, potato salad and fun. Any guesses? Okay then. The theme for the June 11 story time is: Picnics. Bring your favorite picnic toy, listen to a story, move like an ant and make a craft for the 5 and under group supported by their adult fans.

Reading program

The 2019 Universe of Stories Summer reading program is in the building. June 15 is the start date to begin tracking reading minutes. Sign up packets are being prepared for all ages — wee explorers to adults. Wees through teens, reach 500 reading minutes by Aug. 7 to receive a gift and a really high 5, way to go, great genius, excellent reading prowess. Adults, get your read on and be one with the book list for prizes and a food fiesta in September.

Another creative avenue available thru the 2019 summer reading Universe of Stories program is a teen video challenge. Open  to teens in New York ages 13 to 18, entries are being accepted from June 1 to Aug. 2. Ask library director, Kathy Stempel for details — 5 winning teen/ teen teams will be in the running for a $200 cash prize plus a $50 gift certificate for the library from the Collaborative Summer Library Program.

Visible to those on an archaeological dig, highlighted loudly to the explorer’s eye and on the front dash of the detective in training you’ll find happenings at the Berne Public Library are like discovering rich creamy chocolate for the first time. All manner of treasures are ready and waiting for the bold, the brave, and the curious.

With your library card in hand, you have access to borrowing books, music CDs, magazines, movies, cake pans, iPads, fishing poles, board games, puzzles, books on tape, and museum passes — Clark Institute, MiSci, USS Slater and the newest addition, the Empire Pass for entrance to parks and Department of Environmental Conservation facilities.

With or without a library card, you can use a computer, have items faxed, print your latest list of positive words, and attend programs of various interests. Form a club, apply for use of the community room for meetings, suggest possible programs you’d like to attend or present an idea for a program to facilitate yourself.

It’s all available at the Berne Public Library whose mission statement goes something like this: “... Meeting community needs with resources for lifelong learning and entertainment.”

Story time

June’s remaining story time slate is entirely hush hush - a behind the scenes affair. An unveiling is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11 at 10:30 a.m. in the morning. It’s being billed as “June’s Surprise Story Time”. Excitement is building to a fever pitch as a guessing game of possible themes are being volleyed about. Fathers, feathers, flamingos? Arlo the Great Dane showed up last week. Find out what the genius organizers pull out of their hat in weeks to come?

The premise behind story time programs wraps around the vintage recipe of early literacy. Start young, keep them interested, make it fun, be consistent, make it memorable, encourage them to come back for more.

Summer Reading Program

Starting early provides gentle forward momentum and the Berne Public Library is giving parents a heads up for the 2019 “A Universe of Stories” summer reading program. Boosting literacy power through the summer months in a fun way. Sign up for kids and adults is happening now with prizes, kick-off events and stories under the stars. Who will be reaching the 500 reading minutes goal by August 7? How many adults will accept the challenge and cross the finish line by September 5? All are invited to hop on the summer reading train.

Art gallery

It’s a new show at the Friends art gallery residing on the south wall in the community room. A series of paintings by John Williams is in the building for your viewing pleasure. Take in the beauty now through July 1.

Book comes to life: A life-size “Bad Kitty” character will visit the Berne Library on June 8 for a family-friendly event, which includes making a craft.

It’s time to flip the page. The calendar page that is. June’s line-up at the Berne Library includes the usual suspects plus a few surprises. Book Club gets the ball rolling on the 2nd and the 2019 summer reading program fires up the rocket ship for its kick-off party on the 27th.

Before slipping into details, it’s time to share the Word of the Month Club’s chosen utterance for June. Drum roll, eyes sparkling with anticipation, and the winner by unanimous agreement is: genius. Speak genius, look for written genius, doodle genius all over the page. It’s a month for finding your genius.

Book Club

The Berne Sunday Book Club meets at 7 p.m. on June 2 in the community room. They will discuss the classic “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. Set during the French Revolution, wrongful imprisonment and struggles for justice carry the reader to Paris and London.

Dickens life was deeply affected after members of his family were sent to debtors’ prison and he took up work at age 12. The feeling of loss, injustice, and financial strain are visible in many of his 15 novels and numerous other writings. His first novel was published at 24 years of age.


Arlo the Great Dane comes to storytime. Leslie Yolen has volunteered to bring her 1-year-old Great Dane to story time at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 4. Yolen will be reading a Steven Kellogg story starring Pinkerton, the Great Dane puppy. Children 5 and under with their caregivers will have the opportunity to meet and greet Arlo, ask questions and watch as Arlo gets comfortable during the half hour program.

Join the Friends

Interested in helping the library but not sure how? Join the Friends of the Berne Public Library as a paid member or volunteer with or without membership at one of their many fundraisers. The regular monthly meeting is being held this Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. in the library’s community room. Gearing up for summer reading and the 2019 edition of Music in the Park is in the works. Everyone is welcome.

Come hang-out

A Teen/Tween Fortnite is scheduled for June 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This after hours program offers a safe place to hang out and chill with friends. Bring your devices and enjoy the evening. There are a limited number of IPads available for use.

Bad Kitty

Mark June 8, from 11 a.m. to noon, on your calendar for a special “Bad Kitty” program at the library. This  family friendly event includes a life-size “Bad Kitty” character dropping in for a visit and a craft. A sign up attendance sheet is at the front desk or call 518-872-1246 to add your name to the list.  

Please mark your Berne Public Library event calendar to note the following closings. Monday, May 27, the Berne Public Library is closed in observance of Memorial Day. Representatives from the library will take part in Berne’s 56th Memorial Day parade orchestrated by the Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs.

This memorial and commemorative event kicks off at 10 a.m., passes west through Berne and pulls up ranks by the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary School’s flagpole and garden where the annual ceremony is held.

On Tuesday, May 28, the library closes at 2:30 p.m. for Grievance Day. Regular library hours will resume on Wednesday, May 29, from noon to 8 p.m.

Story time

Parade story time is on deck at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 28. What ingredients are needed to have a parade? Gather some people, throw in a few costumes, fill a few bags with candy to toss to spectators. Find a wagon or five, a couple lawnmowers and a few tractors, craft some floats and pull them through town.

Or, take the 5 and under story time crowd, open up the costume bin, add marching and a few musical instruments and voila it’s parade story time at the library. Books, movement and a craft every week to inspire early literacy in new and remarkable ways.

Seed exchange

Speaking of remarkable, a new experiment is sprouting at the library. The notion is by no means unique as other libraries have sowed their own seed exchange programs. It’s called a seed library. With volunteer extraordinaire Ann Hein taking the lead, Berne is throwing their hat into the seed spreading ringer.

As a precursor to the fully planted Berne Public Library Seed program, a small sprinkling of seed packets are currently available for the taking at the library. You’ll want to be ready to toss a few seeds in the ground when the rain stops. Seeds were donated by True-Value Hardware in East Berne.

Anyone interested in helping to establish seed stockpiles in this seeds for the community program taking shape at the library please call 518-872-1246, drop by to express interest or e-mail director@bernepubliclibrary.org to get all the dirt.

Empire Pass

In the non-book items realm the library now has one Empire Pass available for a five day check out. The pass allows the holder and all occupants in the vehicle entrance into most New York State Parks and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation facilities for the day. A hearty thank you to the Friends of the Berne Library who made this addition to the Berne Public Library possible.  

The month of May brings a new display at the Friends of the Berne Library Art Gallery, showcasing four mini-quilt fronts. Under the guidance of art teacher Colleen Skiff, fourth- and fifth-graders from Berne-Knox-Westerlo have added their artistic flare to the hangings.

Nine mini-squares flavor each quilt with the artist’s first name added to a cat or dog scene drawn from the student’s creative imaginings. Labeled “Pet Memorial Quilts,” these pieces, when fully completed, are destined for donation to an animal shelter.  

Knit Wits

In the donation vein, every so often a small bag appears at the library stocked with a remarkable assortment of knitted items. On the bag is stapled a note: Knit Wits.

Meeting the third Sunday of each month, knitting or crocheting charitably is one of the groups focal points at various times throughout the year.  All interested yarn enthusiasts drop stitch in on Sunday, May 19, 7 p.m. at the Berne Public Library to join the Knit Wits for the evening.

Share a project, conversation, ask for advice, compare notes.

Story time

Carrot story time pulls into the community room for the 5-and-under crew, and caregivers, on Tuesday, May 21, at 10:30 a.m. After a carrot story, be ready to dig in and try hands on fun in a carrot planting sort of way.

Take a bit of dirt, a pack of heirloom seeds, throw all into a container and watch the carrot story unfold over the next few weeks. What’s the best way to eat your carrots? In carrot cake, of course.


Please make note on Tuesday, May 28, that the library will be closing at 2:30 p.m. Plan your library visit accordingly.

If you haven’t seen it yet, a new look to the Berne Public Library website has hatched. Explore www.bernepubliclibrary.org to find out what’s happening at the library. Click on Berne Public Library/The library with heart logo on the top left corner to pull up library event descriptions. Need a handy reminder of library hours? Pick up a magnet at the front desk. Call 518-872-1246 with any questions.