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.


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.