Abbie Bowker, co-author and illustrator of “Woolly Bear Winter: How North Woods Creatures Weather the Cold,” will be at the Berne Public Library at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, for an author visit, reading, and workshop.

Even while we are enjoying the fall foliage in the Hilltowns, our chores focus on preparing for winter.  The last produce in the garden is harvested, especially the squash and pumpkins, and the garlic is planted.  Our houses are prepared for cold temperatures and wood is cut and split.


The structure of a house supports it through winter storms. The brain also has interconnecting structures, but these support learning. On Friday, Oct. 14 the teen action group will be making a video that demonstrates neural connections in the brain. Teens should meet Ms. Kathy at 6:30 p.m. for some fun with Legos and a camcorder. The winning prize is a pizza party.  

Knit Wits

Now is the time to knit or crochet warm hats, scarves, and sweaters for the winter. Knit Wits is at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16. Bring your own project and share ideas, problems, solutions, and conversation with other adults.  

Story time

Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to story time at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. Join Ms. Kathy on Oct. 18 to investigate pumpkins.  This pre-literacy program includes stories, activities, and pumpkin decorating.

Author visit

How do animals deal with the winter?  Find out from Abbie Bowker, co-author and illustrator of “Woolly Bear Winter:  How North Woods Creatures Weather the Cold.”  Abbie is traveling from Vermont to Berne for an author visit at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22.  Abbie will lead a workshop on creating a nature inspired poem after a reading of her book. All ages are welcome.

Quilt making

Snuggling up with a quilt is one way that humans deal with the cold. Jane McLean created a display of quilt making techniques using the pieces from Mary Browne's grandmother in-law. These hoops are currently on exhibit in the community room of the library.  Jane also used some of the quilt pieces to make quality aprons. As of this writing, six of twelve unique aprons have been sold to benefit the Friends of the Berne Library. Visit to see what is still available.  

Photography contest

The Friends of the Library will be holding a photography contest in the winter but you may want to take some pictures now. The four categories are Joy of Reading, Reflections & Shadows, Hill-towners, and Down on the Farm. The colors displayed this time of the year provide material for some great shots. If you have not seen the flowering burst of colors at the entrance to the library, fit in a visit before the frost.  Thanks to Ann Hein, Becky Waldenmaier, Zenie Gladieux, and the Friends for the beautiful display.

Author Joan Didion has always enjoyed the world of make believe. She said, "I wrote stories from the time I was a little girl, but I didn't want to be a writer. I wanted to be an actress. I didn't realize then that it's the same impulse. It's make-believe. It's performance.”

In a make-believe world, libraries could exist without money. Unfortunately this is not reality. Our basic library functions run on funds from the towns we serve. The Friends of the Berne Library raise money to allow us to improve our space and our programs. Their major annual fundraiser is the lasagna dinner and cake walk.  This event takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 in the Hilltown Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail in Berne. Enjoy this social event and support the library. Tickets are available at the library or at the door.

Book club

Judy Blume said, "Ideas seem to come from everywhere — my life, everything I see, hear, and read, and most of all, from my imagination. I have a lot of imagination. The Sunday Book Club is discussing Blume's novel “In the Unlikely Event” on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. Any adult interested in conversations about books is welcome to attend.

Read to a dog

Children like to pretend that Ariel, our tail waggin' tutor, understands the stories they are reading to her.  Whether the dog comprehends the story or not, children improve their reading skills by reading aloud.  Ariel and her handler, Amber Pitcher, will be at the library on Monday, Oct. 3 from 4 to 6 p.m. Stop by and read a story to them.  

Story time

Folk imagination has created many different kinds of fairies. Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to explore the world of fairies during story time. Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4 for stories, activities, and a craft.

Friends meet

The Friends of the Library meet at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month.  If you would like to join this group that helps make library wishes come true, please attend the Oct. 5 meeting.  


Some people have a difficult time facing reality. This is true in the next movie being shown at the library on Friday, Oct. 7. Come at 6:30 p.m. to watch this romance film which is rated PG-13. Admission is free and refreshments are provided. Check the library's website for the title.   

If you are looking for a place to escape reality and jump into the world of make-believe, the library is the perfect spot. Hope to see you soon.


Red is the color of fire and blood. It is the color connected with the Devil and Cupid. According to, "Red is a very emotionally intense color."  It is associated with energy, danger, power, as well as passion and desire.

Challenged books

Some books are written to such extremes that they are outside our comfort zone.  Fortunately, the library values open access to all information. Celebrate Banned Book Week, Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, by reading a book that has been challenged or banned. “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, and “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James were the two most challenged books in 2015.  

Our internet connection also allows access to all information.  If your child is using a library computer, please sign the form that indicates you understand that this information is unfiltered.    

Story walk

To escape the intensity of life, enjoy a story walk at the Berne or Knox town park.  Each location has pages of a picture book along a walking path. Read a comfortable story and exercise at the same time.

The story walk at the Berne town park is the silver project of girl scout Jordan Latter. The dedication of the story walk takes place on Monday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. The brief ceremony will highlight Jordan's achievement and our gratitude toward donors. Donors include the Kiwanis, Rudy Stempel Family Sawmill, Lowes, and the Friends of the Berne Library. Scott Green and the youth summer crew installed the posts.

Story time

Red apples are the focus of storytime on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Children ages 1 to 5 are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft. Fortunately, the red apples at the program will not signify danger as they should have for “Snow White.”

Fund raiser

Red enhances human metabolism which might account for the amount of lasagna a person can eat.  The lasagna dinner and cake walk is Saturday, Oct. 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the Hilltown senior center. The meal includes lasagna (meat, vegetarian, or gluten-free), salad, bread, beverage, and an ice cream sundae.  Tickets are on sale at the library for a discounted price or at the door for full price. This is an annual fundraiser by the Friends in support of the library.

Book club

The color red has very high visibility which is why stop signs and fire equipment are painted red.  Planes did not stop and fire equipment was needed in the book “In the Unlikely Event” by Judy Blume.  The Sunday book club will be discussing it at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2.  

Enjoy a novel

Red is so intense that people suffering from temporary blindness due to a brain injury will begin to perceive red long before they see any other colors. Perhaps that is why Lois Lowry choose to use red in her book “The Giver.”  Read the novel to see what this means.

For a challenge this week, download a free e-book from the library's website that has the word red in the title.


Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse are animated characters created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera in 1940.  “The Tom and Jerry Show,” a spin off of the original cartoons, is still on television today. The plots usually center on Tom's attempts to capture Jerry and the mayhem and destruction that follows. Jerry's cleverness saves him from demise.  At times, the two work together to pursue a common goal.  DVDs of the cartoons are available at the library.


Teens are invited to show their cleverness during TAG at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16. The community room will become a Real Escape Room. Try to find the clues, solve the problems, and escape the room before the time limit is up.

Community book

It doesn't seem possible that Tom and Jerry existed before World War II.  Our servicemen may have been entertained with these cartoon shorts while waiting for deployment. A scrapbook of community members that served in World War II was compiled by Linda Carman and tweaked by JoAnne Brady. The book will be available for viewing at the library with other local history resources on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library is just one of the many stops of the Farms and Artisans Tour being held this weekend by the Helderberg Hilltown Association.

Knit Wits   

The Knit Wits program returns on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Adults who are interested in knitting or crocheting are invited to bring their projects to the library. Instructions will be available for knitting a toy mouse for a cat.  

Story time

Children ages 1 to 5 are welcome at story time on Tuesdays. Nice mice are the focus for Sept. 20.  Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft.  

Inky Fingers

The Inky Fingers program begins a new season at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22. Adults and teens interested in creating pieces of art on paper cards should attend. A small material fee of $3 or less may be applied but you will be taking home some great cards. It could even be a card for your favorite cat lover.

Cat month

According to the CATalyst Council, September is Happy Cat Month. The annual event was created to assist in spreading the word about the health, welfare, and value of companion cats. This group would definitely not approve of any real life antics that copy the Tom and Jerry show.  

Friends fundraiser

Working together to achieve a common goal is what the Friends of the Berne Library do.  Their major fundraising event is the annual lasagna dinner and cake walk. This year's event takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1. Tickets are now on sale at the library. A silent auction for homemade cakes occurs after the dinner. Please offer to help by making a tray of lasagna, baking a homemade cake, or attending the event. Contact the library for more details.


As children head back to school, backpacks are being filled with essentials. A library card should be included. September is Library Card Sign-up Month and that free library card can lead to many surprises.  Coming into the library for one reason may result in the discovery of other pleasures. Poet Carl Sandburg said, "Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me."  


Participating in a potluck dinner means taking a chance. Everyone could bring a tossed salad. The summer reading program for adults concludes with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11. Bring a healthy dish of your choice. Place settings and beverages will be provided. Favorite summer reads will be discussed after dinner. Prizes will be given to those who have completed the challenge sheet.  

Book club

“In the Unlikely Event” by Judy Bloome will be distributed to the book club members after the program. If you are interested in joining the club, request a book to read before the next meeting on Oct. 2. This novel is based on three plane crashes that took place in Elizabeth, N.J. over the course of 58 days.  Quite unlikely but it actually did happen.

Story time

Story time starts for the season with fresh, new, and unanticipated ideas. Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13 for Up, Up, and Away.  This pre-literacy program includes stories, activities, and a craft.   


Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Teen Action Group will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 instead of Sept. 9. The planned activity is a real escape room. Expect to be locked in the library with only your wits and brainpower to figure a way out before the time limit is up.  

Knit Wits

Plan ahead for the Knit Wits program at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18. You will need your own pattern and materials for knitting or crocheting. The fun is in sharing conversations, ideas, problems, and solutions.

Friends fundraiser

It should come as no surprise that the Friends of the Library group works hard to raise money to support the library.  The lasagna dinner and cake walk is the next fundraiser. The dinner is at the Hilltown Senior Center on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 5:30 p.m. The $10 meal includes lasagna, salad, bread, beverage, and an ice cream sundae. Volunteers are needed to make trays of lasagna or homemade cakes.  Contact Donna at .  

Expect the unexpected at your local library.