A library provides resources to gain knowledge and enlightenment. Another type of enlightenment is the goal of Zen Buddhism, a sectarian movement within the Buddhist religion. Buddha, the historical founder of the Buddhist religion, was personally known as Siddhartha and Sakyamuni Gautama.  

Buddha is quoted as saying, "To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear."  Since a goal of the library is to strengthen the mind, it is no wonder that fitness is the summer theme.  

Programs encouraging healthy bodies and minds  

Stop by the library to pick up a package explaining reading minutes and challenges. There is something for every age from 1 to 100. Participate in one, some, or all opportunities for your age group.

One must be in shape to perform acrobatics and juggling. Scotty Nut Nut Entertainment consists of a duo who will demonstrate their professional skills at the Hilltown Senior Center on Thursday, June 30. All ages are encouraged to attend this show that starts at 6:30 p.m.  Interactive circus play for children follows the performance.  

Movie night

On Friday, July 1 join us for Family Movie Night at the library. The animated film is being shown at 6:30 p.m. in the air-conditioned community room. Check our website www.bernepubliclibrary.org for the title.  This newly released movie on DVD shows how peaceful co-existence is difficult to maintain. Admission is free and refreshments are provided.  

Summer schedule

Two hours have been added to the library's summer schedule. The doors open at noon on Thursdays instead of 2 p.m.

The library will be closed on Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day so please plan accordingly. Due to the holiday weekend, the Book Club for Adults will meet on July 10 instead of July 3.

Story time

“When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.” said Buddha. The first Wee Read Story time is on Tuesday, July 5.  Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers that watch after them are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. The stories, activities, and craft focus on appreciating nature.

Friends meet

The Friends of the Library are watching over the community; providing them with entertainment and a means to exercise. The group meets at 7 p.m. on Wednesday,  July 6 to discuss Music in the Park. If you can help at the concerts, please attend this meeting or notify Donna Gwin. The first concert is scheduled for July 13.

Reading programs

On Your Mark, Get Set...READ programs for ages 5 to 12 begin on Thursday, July 7. The fun starts at 10:30 a.m. when the library is closed to the public. Learn the dance steps to the jitterbug. Enjoy fitness games from the 1950s including jump ropes and hula hoops. Decorate a hula hoop to take home.


Zen gardens were created at Buddhist temples to aid in meditation about the true meaning of life.  The teen action group will meet on Friday, July 8 to create a miniature Zen garden.  Ms. Kathy leads this Mind and Body Wellness program from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  All teens are welcome so grab a friend and head to the library.

Books on Zen Buddhism and other religions are available at the library.  Visit us soon.


In the minds of students, summer begins when school ends despite what the calendar may say. And so, the crazy, hazy days of summer are here.

You will be hearing a lot about fitness of the body and mind for the next two months. Fitness is the 2016 national theme for public library programs. Many of our regular programs are taking a summer vacation but special programming replaces them.

The Berne Public Library has two summer components for children ages 1 to 18. One is attendance at programs that use games, sports, and healthy eating to promote fitness.  Participate in one or all of the programs offered to your age group.

The other component encourages reading by challenging you to read for 500 minutes between June 24 and Aug. 11. Although 500 sounds like an insane number, it means reading about 10 minutes a day.  Non-readers have someone read to them. On your mark, get set, read starting June 24. Children keep track of their reading minutes by signing up at the library or online at www.bernepubliclibrary.org.  

Story time

There is no story time this week. Regular story time resumes on Tuesday, Sept. 13. In its place, Ms.Kathy has scheduled six weeks of Wee Read Story time for the summer beginning July 5.

Circus fun

The first unique program of the summer is a variety show of acrobatics and juggling on Thursday, June 30.  A professional duo will perform at the Hilltown Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail, Berne. This program is designed for all ages but only children will be allowed to try out the circus equipment after the show. Bring your friends and family for a free night of nutty entertainment beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Movie night

A zoo can be a collection of living animals or a situation marked by confusion. Either definition describes the film for Family Movie Night. The movie is being shown at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 1 in the air-conditioned community room of the library. Admission is free and refreshments are provided. The movie is rated PG.Adult reading

Adults have their own challenge and programs for the summer.  Pick up a challenge sheet after June 24 and complete five of the 12 choices by Sept. 8. Attend any programs that interest you, including the book club on Sunday, July 10.  Meet at 7 p.m. to discuss “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown. This is a true story that emphasizes the wild amount of training required to be fit for Olympic competition. Note that this program is a week later than usual because of the July 4 weekend.


Congratulations to the seniors graduating this Saturday from the Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School.  Continue to learn and broaden your experience outside the classroom by coming into the library.  For those who have more years of high school, your summer reading has been assigned.

Most of these books may be borrowed in hard copy or as e-books from the public library.  All you need is a free library card, one of the tools for success.


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 USFlag.org, 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.