According to the University of Florida's website, May 16 is Biographers Day. The day was chosen in honor of the first meeting in 1763 of James Boswell and Samuel Johnson.  Boswell went on to write Johnson's celebrated biography.  Imagine how many biographies have been written since then.The Berne Public Library has 686 biographies. With a free library card, you can access all the biographies from any library in Albany and Rensselaer counties.   


Walt Disney's biography would include information about his first animated film with a soundtrack, “Steamboat Willie,” which was released in 1928. The Teen Action Group will be discussing and experimenting with animation at 6:30 p.m., on Friday, May 13.  Since the library is closed to the public, this is a perfect time for teens to meet and express their creativity. Bring a friend to TAG and join in the fun.

Knit Wits

We usually think of biographies as accounts of the lives of leading cultural and historical figures but that isn't always the case.  If you enjoy knitting, your biography of choice might be “Knitlandia:  A Knitter Sees the World” by Clara Parkes.  Persons interested in knitting or crocheting are invited to attend Knit Wits at 7 p.m,. on Sunday, May 15. Work on your own project while sharing stories with other passionate crafters.  

“And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road,” by Margaret Roach is an autobiography that delves into leaving the big city for a life of gardening in the country.  

Story time

Gardening is the focus of story time at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, May 17.  Ms. Kathy leads the program which includes stories, activities, and a craft for children ages 1 to 5.  Parents and caregivers may also want to bring babies for socialization.


A biography on Ole Kirk Christiansen describes Ole making wooden toys in 1932.  He named his company "Lego" based upon the Danish phrase "leg godt" which means "play well".  Children ages 5 to 12 are invited to play well with the library's Legos at 11 a.m., on Saturday, May 21. Creations will be displayed at the library until they are disassembled for next month's Lego League program.  

Photography contest

A great book for photographers would be the biography of Ansel Adams.  If you are interested in photography, the Friends of the Berne Library recently decided to hold the second annual photography contest in the winter of 2017.  Start taking photos now for the categories "Joy of Reading", "Reflections & Shadows", "Hilltowners", and "Down on the Farm".  

I was once asked for the autobiography of Mark Twain and I asked the person, "Who wrote it?"  By using the library, you can participate and capture moments in your life for a future memoir.


Amidala was the mother of Luke and Leia Skywalker and the grandmother of Kylo Ren.  If you are not a fan of “Star Wars,” this information is of little interest.  However, “Star Wars” aficionados might like to know who would be honored on Mother's Day.

The last program of the “Star Wars” celebration takes place on Friday, May 6.  Movie Night at the library begins at 6:30 p.m. with a science fiction adventure film that is rated PG-13.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided.  The drawing for a 31-inch Stormtrooper will take place after the movie.  Consider giving a small donation to the Friends of the Library for a chance to win this collectible.      

Book discuss

     Amy Dunne, the main character in “ Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, will be an unreliable mother at best.  Discussion of the book will take place at 7 p.m., on Sunday, May 8.  Conclude Mother's Day at our book club surrounded by those who enjoy reading and conversing.  

Story time

Mothers and other caregivers are encouraged to bring their children ages 1 to 5 to story time.  The pre-literacy programs are held on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.  On May 10, Ms. Kathy will honor mothers with stories, activities, and a craft.

Board meets

All of these programs are possible because of the library’s  board of trustees working to increase the budget.  The next open meeting of the trustees is at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, May 12.  All community members are encouraged to attend these monthly meetings when library business is discussed.  

Teen night

American journalist Franklin P. Jones said, "You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance."  If you need some time away from your teens, they can go to the library.  Teen Night is from 6:30 to 8 p.m., on Friday, May 13.  Check our website to see what Ms. Kathy is planning for this month.

Digital help

Did you recently receive a new tablet, smart phone, or laptop? Bring it to the library on Tuesday afternoons for digital help. Judy can show you how to download free e-books from the library's website and answer questions on how to use your device.  

Remember that the library has many great stories about the love of mothers. Happy Mother's Day.


The Every Child a Reader organization is dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children.  They join with the Children's Book Council to sponsor Children's Book Week which is the week of May 2.

A love of reading

The 2016 Children's Choice Book Award winners will be announced during the week.  This is the only national book awards program where the winners are selected by kids and teens.  The last day for voting was April 25 but you can still celebrate children's books and reading by visiting the library to check out the nominees.  

Adults attending the Sunday Book Club definitely have that lifelong love of reading.  Due to Spring Break, they will meet May 8 instead of May 1.  The group will be discussing the psychological thriller, “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.  All are welcome to attend this program that begins at 7:00 p.m.

If your child prefers to read to a nonjudgmental audience, our canine friend Ariel will be at the library from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, May 2.  Read one of the award winning books aloud to our tail-waggin' tutor and her handler, Amber Pitcher.


“Funny Bones:  Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras” by Duncan Tonatiuh is one of the Choice Book nominees.  The story is about the Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada.  Children ages 1 to 5 will be investigating Mexico during Storytime on Tuesday, May 3.  Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft making a maraca.

Low-maintenance gardening

How do you maintain a garden and still have time to read books?  Master Gardener Judith Fetterley from the Cooperative Extension Service has the answer.  On Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m., she will be discussing low-maintenance gardening.  Learn how to grow the most with the least amount of effort.  If you are interested in gardening, this program is a must.  

Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Library meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4.  Any person interested in supporting the library is invited to attend.  The agenda includes the recent Bowls for Books event and the upcoming Music in the Park series.  The Friends are currently looking for donations to purchase state books for the junior non fiction section of the library.

The Fourth Awakens

Wednesday, May 4, is also Star Wars Day; May the fourth be with you.  The library has a 31-inch storm trooper which will soon belong to some lucky person.  Stop at the library to find out how that winner could be you.  The new owner will be announced during Movie Night at the Library on Friday, May 6.  You should be able to guess which movie, recently released on DVD, will be shown.   The adventure, rated PG-13, will begin at 6:30 p.m.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided.

Be sure to stay tuned for the 2016 winning books and authors of the Children's Choice Book Award.  They were chosen by the most qualified critics around: our children.


According to, the first Earth Day was in 1970 when human energy was officially channeled toward environmental issues.  Forty-six years later, we continue to observe the day with the power of example. What are you doing on April 22, and every day, to help create a greener, more sustainable future?

Earth Day will be the focus of storytime on Tuesday, April 26.  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.  Learn what even the youngest of humans can do to help the Earth.

Kiwanis members discovered a lot of litter during their highway clean-up.  Consider acknowledging Earth Day by collecting garbage along a section of your road with family members.  Hopefully, this task will encourage them not to litter.  

Pajama story time

A Native American Proverb says, "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."  Put your children in their pajamas on Tuesday, April 26, and head to the library to learn more about being green.  Ms. Kathy is holding a pajama story time at 6:30 p.m. for children ages 1 to 5.  Members of the pre-school book club will receive their ribbons.

Vacation Makerspace

Ecologist Barry Commoner said, "The proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it."  Science is the theme of Vacation Makerspace at 2 p.m., on Wednesday, April 27.  During the school break, engage in hands-on activities including soldering and examining remote controls.  Work on a flying aircraft with other youth ages 10 to 18.   

Inky Fingers Club

The three R's — reduce, reuse and recycle — all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. Participants of the Inky Fingers Club definitely follow that mantra.  They make outstanding handmade cards from scraps instead of purchasing cards at a store.  The club meets at 7 p.m.,  on the fourth Thursday of each month.  Join them on April 28, as they share equipment and techniques. If you are interested in seeing what types of cards they make, visit their incredible display in the community room of the library.

Low-maintenance gardening

Growing your own produce contributes to a more sustainable Earth. Save Tuesday, May 3, at 7  p.m., to learn about low-maintenance gardening.  Judith Fetterley, a master gardener from the Cooperative Extension Service, will present this program.

Thank you

A huge thank you goes out to all those who helped with the Friends Bowls for Books event. The chili and soups were delicious and being able to take home the bowl was an extra bonus. The library books purchased with the proceeds will add to our junior nonfiction collection.  

Libraries are definitely green since they loan out books over and over again. Help save trees by using your library.


When someone mentions March Madness, it is difficult to determine if they are talking about basketball, politics, or the weather.  Perhaps they are referring to all the activity at the library.

Thank you to those who supported the Friends of the Berne Library at the yearly book sale by donating, purchasing, and/or working.  The fundraiser was definitely a success.  Start saving your books and jewelry for March 2017.  

Glaze and decorate

The Friends' next fundraiser is Bowls for Books on Saturday, April 16.  Colleen Skiff's art students are making the bowls while learning how to use a pottery wheel; but we need your help to decorate and glaze them.  Work sessions  are being held at the library on Thursday, March 31 between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. and again on Saturday, April 2 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Stop in anytime during the sessions but please let the library staff know you are coming so we have sufficient supplies.

Using your device

The first NCAA tournament was held 77 years ago in 1939.  Only eight teams competed for the title, with the Oregon Webfoots emerging victorious over the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Facts on March Madness were gathered from the Best Schools Magazine 2016 website.  

Do you know how to find this type of information online?  The Albany County Office of the Aging is sponsoring technology workshops for those 60 or older.  Trainers from MicroKnowledge, Inc. will be at the Berne Library on Monday, March 28 at 1 p.m. for a workshop on tablets.  They will be there again on Thursday, March 31 at 1 p.m. for a laptop computer workshop.  The class is limited to twelve participants so please register with the library staff as soon as possible by calling 872-1246 or emailing .  Attend one or both of these events.  

Trademark madness

The phrase “March Madness” was not associated with the NCAA until 1982 when sportscaster Brent Musburger coined the term during his coverage of the tournament. The phrase had been used previously in an Illinois high school tournament and a trademark battle ensued.  The court decided to grant a dual use trademark allowing both groups to continue use of the term.  


Despite the weather, Spring officially began on March 20 with the vernal equinox.  Children ages 1 to 5 are invited to Storytime on Tuesday, March 29 to explore springtime ideas.  Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft.

Movie Night

The madness of power is the theme of Movie Night at the Library on Friday, April 1.  Check the library's website for the title of the film.  The movie begins at 6:30 p.m. and is rated PG-13 for action and violence.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided.   

Sunday Book Club

Finish off the month of March by reading “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty.  The novel will be discussed at the Book Club on Sunday, April 3.  Join other adults at 7 p.m. for a conversation about the power-crazed parents of kindergartners.  

Don't expect to fill out a perfect March Madness tournament bracket.  The chances are 1 in 9.2 quintillion of picking out all the winners.  You have a much better chance of finding a book you would like to borrow from the library with your free library card.  Stop in and see.