“Voting is how we participate in a civic society — be it for president, be it for a municipal election. It's the way we teach our children — in school elections — how to be citizens, and the importance of their voice,” said Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States. Voting is one of the five basic tenets of citizenship, responsibilities of every member of a society.

Movie night

Obeying laws is another civic duty. However, the film for movie night at the library features creatures that are breaking laws. Enjoy a free night out watching a fantasy, comedy rated PG-13. The movie starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4. Enjoy the projection on the large screen in the community room.  Refreshments are provided. Look for the title on our website, www.bernepubliclibrary.org.

Book club

Remember to turn your clocks back one hour before bed on Saturday, Nov. 5 so you aren't late for the book club on Sunday. The group will meet at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 to talk about “Same Sweet Girls” by Cassandra King. Every voice is heard so any interested adult may participate.  

Read to a dog

Dogs aren't allowed to vote but special ones are allowed in the library. Ariel, our tail waggin' tutor, will be at the library on Monday, Nov. 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. Children are encouraged to stop by and read aloud to Ariel. This is a fun way to improve reading skills.     


Caregivers of children ages 1 to 5 are encouraged to vote before or after Storytime on Nov. 8. Voting is the theme on Tuesday although the children will be voting for a color instead of a person. Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for this pre-literacy program that includes stories, activities, and a craft.

Board meets

Doing volunteer work is also considered a civic duty. The library’s board of trustees consists of eight, hard-working, volunteers. They discuss library business at their monthly meetings. The next open meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10. Community members are welcome to attend and add their opinion.


Teens need a time when their voices can be heard and not shushed.  On Friday, Nov. 11 the library is closed to the general public but open to all teens. TAG meets at 6:30 p.m. Bring your musical instruments if you are interested in jamming after the program.

Honor those who serve

In case you are wondering, the other basic civic duties are serving on juries and paying taxes to the government. Some of our citizens go beyond these basic responsibilities and sign up for the armed services. Friday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. Take time to honor all those who serve and say thank you. It is because of them that we have the right to vote.  


— Photo from Judy Petrosillo

A safe repository: Patrons of the Berne Library may now return borrowed items to the new through-wall book-return bin. Standing next to the new bin are, from left, Berne Councilman Joe Golden, Knox Supervisor Vas Lefkiditis, Senator George Amedore, library director Judy Petrosillo, Berne Supervisor Kevin Crosier, and library board trustee Ellen Doolin.

"I've never turned into a bee — I've never been chased by a mummy or met a ghost. But many of the ideas in my books are suggested by real life." said American writer, R. L. Stine. If you are looking for a spooky story for Halloween, any Stine book will do. He is best known for his “Goosebumps” series for middle readers and “Fear Street” series for teens.

There are ghost stories associated with real life experiences at the town of Berne Museum located in the town hall. Take a spooky museum tour on Sunday, Oct. 30 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Be sure to visit the room of skeletal bones assembled by the library staff.

The library will be open on Monday, Oct. 31 from 4 to 8 p.m.  Since this is Halloween, stop in for a treat. No tricks please.

Story time

It is easy to imagine creepy creatures when listening to the rustling of leaves. Have no fear; Storytime will be about leaves and not creatures. Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1. This pre-literacy program includes stories, activities, and a craft with autumn leaves.

Friends meet

American novelist Chuck Palahniuk said, "To merely observe your culture without contributing to it seems very close to existing as a ghost." If you would like to participate in activities that support the library, attend the monthly meetings of the Friends of the Library. The next meeting is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Movie night

Ghosts will be a part of movie night at the library on Friday, Nov. 4. The film, recently released on DVD, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in the community room. The movie is rated PG-13 and runs for 116 minutes.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided.  Show us that you ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Book discussion

The book club will meet at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6. The group will be discussing the novel “Same Sweet Girls” by Cassandra King. Skeletons come out of the closet when college friends have a reunion.  Now that they are in their 50s, can they still be the same sweet girls?  All interested adults should attend.

Ghost stories often begin with a dark night in the country. As English author Susan Hill said, "It would be difficult to write a convincing ghost story set on a sunny day in a big city."  You can borrow scary boo-oks from the library during our daytime or nighttime hours with a free library card.

Databases accessible from the library's website include reliable encyclopedias and are available with a free library card. Articles from Grolier Online were used this week to check facts about the woolly bear.  That is the common name of the caterpillar stage of the Isabella tiger moth. The adult stage is a yellow moth spotted with black. However, the larval stage is a caterpillar with black in front and behind, with a brownish red middle.  

This caterpillar is often seen crawling around in the fall. It is searching for a cubbyhole where it can sleep through the winter. The woolly bear is famous in American folklore as a predictor of winter weather. It is said that the wider the red band, the warmer the coming winter will be.

Author visit

Abbie Bowker and her sister Cam Sato created a book about the woolly bear and other animals that are preparing for winter. Ms. Bowker is traveling from Vermont to visit the Berne Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 22.  Join her at 1 p.m. for a reading from her book, “Woolly Bear Winter,” along with a workshop on creating a nature inspired poem. All ages are welcome.


What types of things may be lurking in those cubbyholes? Perhaps it is just our imagination that makes us afraid of the dark. Storytellers Siri Allison and Nancy Payne will be sharing "Scary Stories to tell in the Dark" at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24. In addition, there will be a mini-workshop on how to tell a great scary story. The library and the Berne Historical Society are co-sponsoring this event geared toward adults and families with older children. The program is underwritten by the Story Circle of the Capital District through funds raised by their annual storytelling concert for adults, Tellabration.

Story time

Funny monsters may be lurking in those shadows. Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to story time on Tuesday, Oct. 25 to look for some non-scary monsters. Perhaps there is one in the new book return.  Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories and other monstrous activities.  

  Inky Fingers

Participants of the Inky Fingers program will be learning a shadow stamping technique on Thursday, Oct. 27. Any interested adult is invited to join this artistic group at 7 p.m. to design creative cards.

So do the bands of a woolly bear predict the harshness of winter? In truth, this band grows wider as the caterpillar matures. So the woolly bear's brownish red band tells you its age. If the band is especially wide in autumn, it may suggest that the previous winter ended early. Hindsight is always easy.


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 www.pinchpennythreads.com 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.