— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Celebrating those who help: The Bethlehem Public Library marked the conclusion of this year’s Summer Reading Program with a community fair on the Green that highlighted the organizations that help us Build a Better World.

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month, and we're celebrating with a library-themed scavenger hunt from Sept. 5 to 30 that will test your library savvy. Participants will be entered in a raffle for some great prizes. Adults can stop by the information desk or visit bethlehempubliclibrary.org  beginning Sept. 5 to get started; kids can head to the Children's Place.

A library card is your ticket to free educational resources and activities for all ages. You can sign up for your own library card online anytime at bethlehempubliclibrary.org or drop by the library circulation desk for help.

The library will be closed Saturday through Monday, Sept. 2 to 4, for the Labor Day weekend. Sunday hours are noon to 5 p.m. and begin on Sept. 10.

A full fall slate

We may be saying so long to summer, but at the library, there are plenty of reasons to greet fall with anticipation, as it marks the return of some of your favorite programs. They include:

— Regular Tai Chi instruction returns beginning Sept. 7 at 10:30 a.m. and continuing on most Mondays through the fall. The program focuses on the core movements of the Tai Chi for Diabetes form. These movements build on skills week to week and provide a solid foundation in Tai Chi for people of any age;

— Our Coffee & Conversation series kicks off the season with a crowd favorite on Friday, Sept. 15. To Life! Part 3, presented by Richard Feldman, features songs from popular American musicals about falling in love and being yourself. Coffee & Conversation, which is co-sponsored by Bethlehem Senior Projects format, is an hourlong program starting at 1 p.m. with a coffee and social hour following. A strong lineup continues through fall with topics that touch on music, history, culture and more. Pick up a flyer at the library or find the schedule online;

— After the summer hiatus, our book discussions begin anew in early September. DayBooks meets at 1:30 p.m. monthly on a Monday. Featured this fall are "All Things Cease to Appear" by Elizabeth Brundage, who will be joining the discussion on Sept. 11, and "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts" by Joshua Hammer.

Two evening book discussions - AfterDinner Books on Wednesdays and AfterDinner Too on Tuesdays - meet at 7 p.m. on alternate months. Those discussions will delve into "The Last Painting of Sara De Vos" by Dominic Smith  in September and "Silence" by Shusaku Endo in October. New members are always welcome, and copies of the books are available at the information desk. Audio and downloadable copies may also be available; and

Our monthly Listening Parties with Bethlehem librarian Michael Farley are also back! This is a great chance for you to join fellow music lovers and share your opinions about the artists that have shaped the musical landscape. Up first is Steely Dan on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. This popular '70s band created a jazz/rock hybrid style.

More information about all of these programs can be found in the latest edition of Footnotes, mailed to every home in the Bethlehem Central School District, and online at bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

It’s finally here! Summer Reading sign-up begins Monday, June 19. This year’s theme — Build a Better World  — will inspire people of all ages to take their reading to the next level.

Reporting for prizes begins July 3, and all summer long, the library will be hosting programs focusing on fun ways to build up your awareness of this big, wonderful world we live in.

Sign up online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org or in person, and check out upcoming programs on our website or in the latest version of the Footnotes newsletter. Preschoolers are invited to join our brand-new Rubber Ducky club to get started on early literacy activities for the summer and beyond.

Summer reading isn’t just for kids

We don’t think adults should be left out of all the summer reading fun, and that’s why we have a special Summer Reading Program for the 18 and over set. Register online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org beginning June 19 or visit the information desk to find out how you can record your reading adventures for a chance to win great prizes.

Let’s get it started

We love getting our Summer Reading Program started off right, so this year we’ve invited master balloon artist and magician Daryl Baldwin to amaze and entertain us at the Summer Reading Kick-off Celebration and Balloon Extravaganza on Wednesday, June 21 at 2 p.m. With more than three decades of experience, Baldwin will delight guests with his unique brand of larger-than-life balloon sculptures. Kids and families are invited to join us as we get ready to Build a Better World – one balloon sculpture at a time.

WiFi at the pool

Don’t forget, you can take advantage of free WiFi access when you’re chilling out at the Elm Avenue Park pool complex this summer thanks to a partnership between the library and the town of Bethlehem. The signal, which went live last summer, will appear on electronic devices as “Free Library WiFi” and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Save the date

Back by popular demand, the library will transform into an 18-hole miniature golf course on Sunday, July 9 from 1 to 5 p.m. Library mini-golf was such a hit last year and at our centennial celebration a few years ago that we decided to bring it back this summer. Golfers of all ages, from pros to duffers, can enjoy this favorite family pastime inside the library’s delightfully climate-controlled environs. This program is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more information.


Visitors from Wunsapana Farm, Teri Conroy and a pair of llama stopped by the Bethlehem Public Library on Tuesday, April 18, for a special llama story time and meet-and-greet.

At the Bethlehem Public Library, we’re making it easy for your little one to get excited about early literacy with a new experience that is all it’s quacked up to be!

Our Rubber Ducky Club, which launches May 1, is a brand-new educational early literacy program for you and your child to do together — creating special moments and encouraging a love of language and reading.  It may be a while before your child starts kindergarten, but he or she is already developing the skills that will lead to success in learning to read, write, and be part of the school environment. Rubber Ducky Club makes learning those skills fun, and it is a great way for families to create some special moments together.

Designed for children from birth to those entering kindergarten, Rubber Ducky Club focuses on five basic early literacy skills: talk, read, write, sing, and play. Record your child’s progress online and earn badges and prizes when you reach learning milestones.

It’s easy to register online, or visit us at the Children’s Desk, and we’ll help get you started. All abilities are welcome. Registration opens May 1. To register online, go to:  bethlehempubliclibrary.beanstack.org.

To get things started off right, we’re having a Rubber Ducky Club Kickoff Party on Friday, May 5, from 10 to 11 a.m. It’s a ducky-themed extravaganza to celebrate the launch of this exciting new program. We can’t wait for you to join the club!

Budget review

Don’t forget, the proposed 2017-18 budget will be presented at the Monday, May 8, Board of Trustees meeting at 6 p.m.; we encourage you to attend. On the ballot this year is a library levy 2.07 percent higher than last year, within the limit specified by New York State.

You can view the proposed budget in the May/June edition of Footnotes. It is also posted in our lobby and online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

Also on the ballot is one seat on the board of trustees with a term of five year. Incumbent board President Mary Redmond is running unopposed. The trustee election and budget vote will take place Tuesday, May 16, at Bethlehem Central High School from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m..

New Flipster titles

We’ve recently added a dozen new titles to Flipster, our popular, user-friendly digital magazine service. Bethlehem cardholders now have access to “Better Homes & Gardens”, “Glamour”, “Martha Stewart Living”, “Taste of Home”, “Family Circle”, “Food and Wine”, and more. To access the magazines, go to our website at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org and click on the Flipster icon on the home page.

— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Bibliophiles sign on: Students from Slingerlands Elementary School visit the Bethlehem Public Library on Thursday, April 13, for a tour and to sign up for their very own library cards.

For the past few weeks, the teens in our Project Runway: Go Green series have been making their fashion dreams a reality by creating original clothing designs using recycled and repurposed materials. On Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, at 3 p.m., they will share the finished products in their very own fashion show.

Everyone is invited to cheer for these up-and-coming designers and see the end result of weeks of sizing, snipping and sewing.

Candidate forum

You are invited to join us on Wednesday, April 26, at 6 p.m. for a Meet the Candidates night. The idea behind this forum is to give candidates for the Bethlehem Public Library Board of Trustees a chance to share a little more about themselves and why they chose to run for a seat on the board. The forum will be taped and broadcast on BCN-TV, the library’s public access cable channel, as well as online.

There is one seat with a five-year term on the ballot this year. Incumbent board President Mary Redmond will be seeking re-election.

The chief responsibilities of the board of trustees is to see that the best possible library service is provided to the community, to assure adequate financing and proper money management, to act as library advocates, and to review policy on a regular basis, and develop new policy as need arises.

2017-18 budget

Learn more about the 2017-18 library budget in the May/June edition of Footnotes and online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.  On the ballot this year is a library levy 2.07 percent higher than last year, within the limit specified by New York State.

The library budget vote and board election will be held Tuesday, May 16, at Bethlehem Central High School from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

      Upcoming events

All events are free and take place at Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Ave., Delmar.  For more information, call 439-9314 or visit bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

The schedule includes:

— Friday, April 21, Coffee and Conversation: The Extraordinary Mr. Edison. A representative of the SUNY Poly CMOST Traveling Museum will share some slides and artifacts that will illuminate Edison’s life and inventions, from 1 to 3 p.m. The hourlong program is followed by a coffee hour featuring beverages and light refreshments;

—  Sunday, April 23, True Wilderness. Multimedia presentation will provide a glimpse of the Adirondacks in all four seasons through the eyes of Erik Schlimmer, author and creator of the 235-mile Trans Adirondack Route, at 2 p.m.;

—  Tuesday, April 25, STEM Challenge: Chenille Towers. Build the highest tower – with some challenges thrown in, 3:45 p.m. For grade one through five. Sign up online or call; and

— Thursday, April 27, Teen Poetry Slam. Perform or read the poem you entered in our poetry writing contest (more details) or read one that you love that was written by somebody else, 4 to 4:45 p.m. For grades six through 12.


— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Young engineers craft chairs out of newspapers during a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program at the Bethlehem Public Library on Tuesday, March 28.

Coffee & Conversation, the library's popular Friday afternoon lecture series returns this spring with an exceptional lineup of speakers and musicians. Kicking off the new season, and back by popular demand, is Richard Feldman, who will be presenting “To Life! Part II” on Friday, April 7, at 1 p.m.

Back in September, Feldman packed the house with a celebration of the songs of optimism and hope from popular Broadway musical scores by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter and more. He returns with more beloved selections from American musicals featuring music by Jerome Kern, Cy Coleman and Jerry Herman among others!

Feldman has directed and choreographed more than 125 musical productions at local venues and taught English, creative writing and American musical theater at Bethlehem Central High School for 33 years. He’s also a frequent contributor to Bethlehem’s Humanities Institute of Lifelong Learning.

Coffee & Conversation programs continue through April with “Theories of Laughter” on the 14th, featuring Skidmore professor Beck Krefting; “The Extraordinary Mr. Edison” with Elizabeth Lafergola of SUNY Poly CMOST on the 21st; and “Shakespeare in the Garden” on the 28th, featuring speaker Cathie Gifford with the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Coffee & Conversation programs begin at 1 p.m. and last about 60 minutes with a coffee and social hour following. Programs are co-sponsored by Bethlehem Senior Projects, Inc.

Pat Fahy

New York State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy will be holding a discussion at the library on Wednesday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m. about the state budget. The talk will take place in the Community Room, and everyone is welcome.

Poetry for all

The library is hosting a poetry contest for all ages to celebrate National Poetry Month. Submissions will be accepted through April 30. First-place winners in each age group (grades kindergarten through grade three; grades four through six, grades seven through nine; grades 10 through 12; and adult) will get a prize and have their poem displayed in the library in May.

Holiday hours

The library will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 16. Access the library catalog and other library services online anytime at bethlehmpubliclibrary.org.

Finger Lakes bus trip

There is still time to sign up for the Friends of Bethlehem Public Library Finger Lakes bus excursion and winery tour on Saturday, May 13. The trip will include stops at three wineries in the Finger Lakes region, lunch, and a visit to a cheese shop and Mennonite store.

The bus will depart the Delmar Park and Ride at 6:30 a.m. and return around 9 p.m. The cost is $135 per person. Forms are available in the March/April edition of Footnotes and online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org. For more information, call Elissa Zwiebach at 573-7184.