Videos coming soon: Judy Petrosillo, Berne Public Library manager, center, holds a $350 award from Albany County to buy a video camera for teen programs. She is flanked on June 9 by the county legislators who sponsored the library’s application —  Chris Smith, left, a Democrat from Berne, and Travis Stevens, a Republican from Knox.

— Photo by Kathy Stempel

Make way for ducklings: Marge Capuano, far right, from Albany County Headstart shows ducklings to the Storytime Kids at the Berne Library.

Father's Day is Sunday, June 19. The third Sunday in June was proclaimed  a permanent federal holiday in 1972 by President Richard Nixon. Is it a coincidence that the date is close to the summer solstice? Dads often light up our lives and the first day of summer has the longest daylight of the year.

Lego League

Lego League is a great opportunity for dads to shine. Bring your children to the library at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 18. Use the library's Legos to create a summer scene that will be on display until next month.  

Knit Wits

Many of our regular programs take a summer hiatus and return in September. The Knit Wits meet at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 19.  Anyone interested in knitting or crocheting is invited to attend. The next time the group meets will be Sept. 18 so don't miss this opportunity to finish one of your projects.  

Story time

The last regular story time of the season is on Tuesday, June 21 and will resume in the fall on Sept. 13. Children ages 1 to 5 are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft. Wee Read Storytime is our summer program which runs for six weeks from July 5 to Aug. 9.  

Inky Fingers

The Inky Fingers program is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 23. Although it will be too late to make a Father's Day card, create cards that you will need throughout the summer. The next time the group meets will be the first day of autumn.

Help us out

Many of us have inherited pictures on slides from our dads. We recently received a request to borrow our slide projector but, alas, the library does not own one. If you have a machine that you could donate to the library, we would lend it to patrons in need. Contact Judy at 872-1246.

Summer programs

It may sound like the library is closing down for the summer.  In reality, we are gearing up for many special programs so stay tuned. We kick off our summer programs with a professional duo performing an acrobatic and juggling variety show at the Hilltown Senior Center. The show is for all ages and begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 30.  Interactive circus play for children follows the performance. Please save the date.  

The East Coast of the United States should receive nearly 15 hours of sunlight on June 20. Enjoy it with your dad by bringing him to the library.


— Photo from Judy Petrosillo

Plant them and they will grow: Ann Hein, a member of the Friends of the Berne Library, spent an afternoon planting flowers to improve the entrance to the library.

When talking about gaming, designer Warren Spector said, "We set up a situation and let you interact with it and see the consequences of your choice. That's what gaming does."  Whether you play fantasy wargames or board games, you are always learning something.  


Teens will be playing life-size games during TAG on Friday, June 10. Join Ms. Kathy at 6:30 p.m. as the library becomes a giant Pacman scene.  Games of life-size Jenga and Scrabble are also planned for the evening.  Bring a friend and participate in the fun.

Board games

Adults will be playing board games at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 12.  Anyone interested in learning a new game or playing an old one should attend this program.  

WWII scrapbook

Real war games are not as much fun. Linda Carman made a scrapbook of Hilltowners who participated in World War II from spotters to soldiers. The book is currently at the library for you to look through.  It is interesting to see how many residents helped with the war effort.  

Book discussion

Prior to WWII, the 1936 Olympics took place in Berlin. That time period is the setting of the next book for the Sunday Book Club.  Request a copy of “The Boys in the Boat:  Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown.  The discussion about this true story takes place on Sunday, July 10.  

Flag Day

The Revolutionary War gave our country its independence. According to the website, the first Flag Act was passed on June 14, 1777 to establish an official flag for the new nation. June 14 was established as Nation Flag Day by President Truman in 1949.

Story time

Red, white, and blue flags are the focus of story time on Tuesday, June 14.  Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to celebrate Flag Day at the library.  Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft.  

Water damage

The library looked like a war zone last week.  The west side of Berne received heavy rainfall on Sunday, May 29 causing water to seep into the library.  Thanks to Diane Cook and Marion Burghart who helped with the drying process before the water damage restoration company arrived. Everything should be cleaned, repaired, and back in place by this weekend.  Fortunately, the water did not reach the bookshelves. Thank you for your understanding when story time was cancelled on May 31.   

Are you living your life to the fullest? Author Terry Pratchett stated, "It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It's called living."    

Olympic winners often seem larger than life. As you learn more about them, you find that their life stories include many struggles. One of these stories is told during movie night at the library at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3. The film is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and language. Check the library's website for the title.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided.   

Book discussion

The past events in the life of Alice Edevane resulted in intertwined destinies. Alice is a character from Kate Morton's novel, “The Lake House.”  The book club will meet at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 to discuss the story.  All interested adults are invited to join the conversation.  The book for next month will be “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown.


Arthur Lawton had to hold on for his life while catching a 69 pound Muskellunge.  According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, this is the largest freshwater fish caught in New York State.  Muskellunge are now in season and fishing licenses for those 16 and older are available from the Berne town clerk.  If you are under 16, no license is required.  Fishing poles for children may be borrowed from the library.  Take note that these poles are not designed to handle large fish but do include hook, line, and sinker.  

Read to a dog

Ariel, our tail waggin' tutor, enjoys hearing all types of fish stories and children benefit from reading aloud. Ariel and her handler Amber will be at the library from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, June 6.  Stop in or call the library to register for a time slot.

Story time

The theme for Storytime on Tuesday, June 7 is fish.  Children ages 1 to 5 develop pre-literacy skills with stories, activities, and a craft.  Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for lots of fun during this special time of life.

Trustees meet

The library’s board of trustees play a large part in the functioning of the library.  Their open meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9.  Interested community members are encouraged to attend.  

Teen games

The teens start their "Game On" events at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 10. This month the group is playing life size games of Pac-Man, Jenga, and Scrabble. All teens are welcome so bring a friend and be the life of the party.  
The library has something for every walk of life.  Make use of your community resource.

Although Veterans Day honors all United States military personnel, Memorial Day was established as a day for remembering those who died during their service. This includes over 405,000 persons who gave their lives during World War II.

Holiday schedule

The library is open on Saturday, May 28, but closed on Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.  Look for the library float in the parade down Route 443 which begins at 9:45 a.m.  The road closes from the Hilltown Senior Center to the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School during the parade so please plan accordingly.

   On Memorial Day, there will be a yard sale at Dr. Kolanchick's home diagonally across from the library.  Anyone wishing to set up their own table and sell items may use this space under the condition that the proceeds go to the library.  For buyers, you can find treasures and support the library at the same time.

Story time

Red, white, and blue is the theme for story time on Tuesday, May 31. Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to participate in this pre-literacy program.  Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m.,  for stories, activities, and a craft.    

Friends meet

The Friends of the Library group meets on Wednesday, June 1. This group gives an Olympian effort toward all its fundraisers. Plans are being made for the Music in the Park concerts in July and August and your help is needed.  Even if you would rather not attend meetings, paying dues to become a member is a great way to support the library, and gives you a vote in how their money is spent. Offering to work at the food booth during the concerts or making baked goods would also be appreciated.  Contact President Donna Gwin at .

Movie night

In 1931, Berlin, Germany was chosen for the site of the 1936 Olympics.  The Nazi Party rose to power in 1933 and its racist policies led to an international debate about a boycott of the Games.  The Nazi party blatantly promoted their vision of the superiority of the Aryan race; yet Jesse Owens, a black American, took home four gold medals in the track and field events.  

Movie night at the library is at 6:30 p.m., on Friday, June 3.  This month's movie centers around those 1936 Olympic events.  The film is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and language.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided. Make this your weekend night out in the Hilltowns. Visit to see the movie's title or contact the library at 872-1246.

Book discussion

The book club meets at 7 p.m., on Sunday, June 5, to discuss “The Lake House” by Kate Morton.  Any adult interested in discussing this novel is welcome. The book for next month is a true story, “Boys in the Boat:  Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold” at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.  Request a copy soon so you can finish reading the book before the next meeting on July 10.

The 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of  World War II.  Despite the devastation caused by the war, London held the summer Olympics in 1948.  Rationing was still in place in Britain and no new venues or Olympic village were erected.  Because of this, the 1948 Olympics came to be known as the Austerity Games.

Learn more about World War II and the Olympics by using the resources from your library.  

"Shellebrate" World Turtle Day on Monday, May 23. This day was initiated in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue to increase respect and knowledge for one of the world's oldest creatures.

Co-founder of ATF, Susan Tellem says, " These gentle animals have been around for 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of smuggling, the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming, and the cruel pet trade."  

Learn more about turtles and tortoises using library resources.  

Lego League

Try making a turtle from the library's Legos during Lego League on Saturday, May 21. Meet at 11 a.m., with other children ages 5 to 12 and express your creative side.  Projects will be displayed in the library until next month when they will be disassembled and used again.

Game night

There is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle game, but adults will not be playing that on Sunday, May 22.  During game night they are more apt to be playing Settlers of Catan or Scrabble.  If you are interested in playing board games, join this group at 7 p.m., in the community room.

Story time

Turtles will be the theme for story time on Tuesday, May 24.  Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft. The children develop pre-literary skills in a fun environment and the caregivers have a chance to socialize. Story time is followed by Family Playtime until noon.    

We considered having real turtles to look at but ATF says not to bring turtles into areas with children under the age of 12.  There is a real risk of contracting salmonella, a bacterial infection, from water turtles.  Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and vomiting appearing one to three days after exposure.  Adults should wash their hands thoroughly after touching a turtle or its water.  

Library closing

The library closes at 2 p.m., on Tuesday, May 24, because the assessors are using the building for the annual Grievance Day.  If you would like to challenge the assessment of your property, please contact them at 872-1448, ext. 107 to make an appointment.  Information is available online at, click on "Boards and Departments", then click on "Office of the Assessors."  The library's computers are connected to the printer if you need to print the necessary forms.

Inky Fingers

Have you ever received a card for World Turle Day? Enjoy designing one at the Inky Fingers program at 7 p.m., on Thursday, May 26. Come out of your shell and make greeting cards with the help of this talented group

Holiday closing

The library will also be closed on Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.  Look for the library float during the town of Berne Memorial Day parade.  Remember that Route 443, Helderberg Trail, will be closed for the parade which starts at 9:45 a.m., from the Hilltown Senior Center and finishes at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School.

As novelist Alex Haley said, "Anytime you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you know he had some help."  If you decide to protect a turtle from traffic, be sure to move them to the side of the road they are headed toward.  Please don't put them on a fence post.