— Photo from Bethlehem library staff

Spring Into Service teen volunteers at the Bethlehem Public Library display some colorful decorations they made to brighten up the surroundings for residents at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home.

The library’s Ozobots have been out and about for some time for teen programming and school outreach, but beginning this month, they are available for patrons to check out and play with at home.

Unless you’ve seen one of these little guys in action, you may be wondering what exactly Ozobots are. They are user-friendly robots that can fit in the palm of your hand, and they can be programmed to follow lines and complete simple tasks through different color sequences.

Kids and adults can come up with whole landscapes for their Ozobots to navigate or create unique challenges and games. Your wish is the Ozobot’s command! The best part is that while you are having so much fun playing with the Ozobots, you’ll be learning basic visual coding and other STEM skills.

Don’t be intimidated by the science behind the Ozobots; they are appropriate for beginners on up. And while they are branded for kids, adults will enjoy taking them for a spin too.

The library’s Ozobots are available to borrow for one week at a time and can be found on our special collections shelf behind the info desk. When you check them out, you’ll get two Ozobots, one white and one black, a user guide, charging cables, carrying cases and a printed game sheet to get you started.

Rock your retirement

Explore the changing definition of retirement and how to make the transition from full-time work to your life’s next chapter at the library’s Meaningful Retirement Workshop on Tuesday, March 21, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

A presentation and panel discussion will feature experts in the field, including Jon Allen and Audrey Seidman. This program is sponsored by Town of Bethlehem Senior Services and Community Caregivers Inc.

Tech help

If you are an adult who is new to the world of technology, the library can help get you started with Computer Partners, a free tutoring service geared to adults with little or no computer experience.

With Computer Partners, you’ll learn how to get around the keyboard, use the mouse, navigate the Windows computer environment, set up an email account and navigate the Internet. One-on-one instruction is provided by an adult volunteer trained by library staff. Lessons are held in the library, on a library computer.

If you would like to be a Computer Partners student, stop by the information desk or call 439-9314.

Board candidate information

Nominating petition forms and informational packets are available at the library information desk for one open seat on the Bethlehem Public Library board of trustees. The seat holds a full term of five years, which begins in July. Incumbent and board president Mary Redmond will be seeking re-election.

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

 

— Photo by Natalie McDonough

Emily Ellison helps kick off winter break week on Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Bethlehem Public Library with “Sing and Celebrate Around the World,” an interactive concert for all ages.

Rainy days are never dull at the library, and we’re honored our patrons agree.

The Bethlehem Public Library was voted “Best Place to Spend a Rainy Day” in the March 2017 Capital Region Living Magazine Best of the Capital Region reader’s poll. This is the third time we’ve earned a “best of” designation but the first time in the “Rainy Day” category.

This distinction is especially noteworthy because it means you see us as a destination, not just a place to pick up library materials. We’ve worked hard to be the kind of destination everyone can enjoy — rainy day or not — by focusing on quality programs, services, and materials for all ages.

The next time the skies darken, grab your umbrella and head on over to the “Best Place to Spend a Rainy Day.” If we don’t have a program scheduled (and chances are we do), our quiet reading room is well-lit and stocked with the latest magazines so you can browse in our comfy chairs until the sun comes out.

Or, do a little surfing and take advantage of our free wifi or laptops for loan. If you have kids who are climbing the walls, come by for a storytime or some unstructured free play in our Children’s Place. We’ve got plenty of ways for you to while away the hours at your library.

For more Best of the Capital Region poll winners, go to www.crlmag.com.

Hayes plays

Bethlehem Public Library’s winter concert series “A Little Sunday Music” wraps up its 2016-17 season Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m. with a performance by cellist Will Hayes, who will be playing music by Bartók, Grieg and Brahms, accompanied by piano.

Will Hayes is a Cincinnati Conservatory of Music graduate and past student artist at Chautauqua Institution, and the Aspen Music Festival. He has appeared in concerts with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy living legend Rod Stewart, Johnny Mathis, Eileen Ivers of Riverdance fame, and has held numerous positions in orchestras across the United States, including the Middletown Symphony in Ohio; Richmond Symphony in Indiana; Lawton Philharmonic and Enid Symphony in Oklahoma; Wyoming Symphony; Las Cruces Symphony in New Mexico; and the Schenectady Symphony.

A Little Sunday Music is generously underwritten by Friends of Bethlehem Public Library.

Teen volunteer opportunity

Teens in grades six through 12 are invited to Spring Into Service at the library on Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m. Create some colorful spring-themed crafts that will brighten the day for our neighbors at Good Samaritan Village Senior Center.

Board candidate information

Nominating petition forms and informational packets are available at the library information desk for one open seat on the Bethlehem Public Library board of trustees. The seat holds a full term of five years, which begins in July. Incumbent and board president Mary Redmond will be seeking re-election.

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

— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Women in the Feb. 17 quilting class cut and assemble the fabric pieces for a striped table runner. Sewing classes for all ages remain a popular offering at Bethlehem Public Library.

Teens in grades six through 12 looking for some volunteer hours or those just interested in the warm feeling that comes from contributing to the community are invited to Spring Into Service at the Bethlehem Public Library on Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m.

Create some colorful spring-themed crafts that will brighten the day for our neighbors at Good Samaritan Village Senior Center. This program will take place in the community room.

A milder Mardi Gras

Who says the grown-ups get to have all the fun on Mardi Gras? Kids and families are invited to a very special version of this celebration at the library on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m. Come by for some games, crafts and a treat, and get ready to laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)!

Board candidate information

Nominating petition forms and informational packets are available at the library information desk beginning Feb. 27 for one open seat on the Bethlehem Public Library board of trustees. The seat holds a full term of five years, which begins in July.

Incumbent and board president Mary Redmond will be seeking re-election.

The library takes very seriously its responsibility to serve the community by providing access to resources and programming that enhance the quality of life of our residents. Our trustees make this possible through their dedication and vision, and they fill a very important public service role that affects every tax-paying resident, whether that person has stepped foot in the library or not. Serving as a library trustee benefits the library and the community as a whole.

Board meetings are held at the library monthly and are open to the public. Meetings begin at 6 p.m. and last about two hours. Trustees are expected to regularly attend.

Petitions must contain at least 52 signatures of voters residing in Central School District No. 6 of the towns of Bethlehem and New Scotland. Petitions must be filed with the District Clerk, Bethlehem Central High School, 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar by 4:30 p.m. on April 17.

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

 

— Photo from Emily Ellison

Emily Ellison’s “Sing and Celebrate Around the World” concert at the Bethlehem Public Library kicks off winter break with a multicultural musical experience on Sunday, Feb. 19, from 2 to 3 p.m.

Not heading south for the winter break? Neither are we. Stop by for some great library programs for all ages, starting off with a concert that celebrates music and cultures from across the globe.

On Sunday, Feb. 19, from 2 to 3 p.m. performer and educator Emily Ellison will present “Sing and Celebrate around the Word,” an interactive program featuring folk songs and percussion instruments from countries near and far. With a master's degree in childhood education and an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology and Spanish, Ellison speaks conversational Spanish, plays guitar, piano, and uke, and has studied drama and voice, as well as ballet, modern and African dance. Her concert promises to be a high-energy event for all ages.

This program is part of the Ann Seegal Memorial Storytelling Series, established by Ann’s family in her memory. Programs in the series feature storytelling’s many forms across generations, cultures, and the arts.

Break week programs

— Monday, Feb. 20: How Well Do You Know Harry Potter?

Are you wild about Harry and Hogwarts? Have you aced your O.W.L.s? Then this is the trivia competition for you No need to sign up. Spoiler alert: We will be asking questions from all seven books. For kids and families. 10 to 11 a.m.

— Tuesday, Feb. 21: Join us for Tinker Time. Let your imagination run wild with our assortment of cardboard shapes and straws. Make a marble run or build a fort — it’s up to you, 10 a.m. For kids and families.

— Tuesday, Feb. 21: Teen movie: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children rated PG-13, runs 127 minutes, and is for grades six through 12.

This film adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ popular young adult novel has plenty of visual surprises as young Jake finds out what it means to be “peculiar.”

— Wednesday, Feb. 22: Lego Movie workshop. Work with a team to create your own original Lego movie. Build the set, write the story and create a stop-motion video that will be uploaded to the library’s YouTube channel, 1:30 tp 3:45 p.m. For age 7 and up. Sign up online or call.

— Thursday, Feb. 23: WoWW! Wonders of Winter Wildlife. Join our friends from Five Rivers Environmental Education Center will talk about what animals do during the cold Northeastern winters. If there’s snow, be prepared to go outside and look for signs of wildlife, 10 a.m. For kids and families.

— Thursday, Feb. 23: Make Your Own Chocolate at 2:30 p.m. for grades six through 12. Create a custom milk chocolate bar with your choice of fillings and toppings.

— Friday, Feb. 24: Vacation cinema will be a feature film that will transport you to a Hawaiian paradise, at 10 a.m. For kids and families.

For more information about any of these programs, call 439-9314 or visit bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

— Photo by Bethlehem Public Library staff
Skidmore professor Tillman Nechtman discusses the global history of tea in British culture on Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Bethlehem Public Library. He was joined by colleague Catherine Golden for a presentation titled “From Wonderland to the Jewel in Victoria’s Crown.”

Is the upcoming Oscars ceremony is your idea of must-see TV? Do movie premieres make you giddy? Do you know not only the best actor and best actress Academy Award winners from past years, but also who took home the statues for best cinematography and foreign language film? Yes? Then we have a special movie-themed trivia night coming up that’s just for you.

Trivia night

On Thursday, Feb. 16, the library is hosting “Trivia Night Goes to the Movies” where you can put your film familiarity to the test. The fun starts at 7 p.m., and winners get bragging rights, as well as some cool prizes donated by the Friends of the Library. Call us at 439-9314 or go to www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org to sign up alone or as part of a team. We’ll be using the written answer format that has been popular with past trivia participants.

Trivia for kids

Grown-ups don’t get to have all the trivia fun. On Monday, Feb. 20,at 10 a.m. we’ll be holding a special trivia event featuring questions for whiz kids all about everyone’s favorite kid wizard. “How Well Do You Know Harry Potter?” will have questions from all seven books, so if you have finished the series, there may be some spoilers. There’s no need to sign up, and the program is open to kids and families.

Listening parties

Our next Listening Party focuses on the Rolling Stones’ early years with Brian Jones. Drop by on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. and discuss this ground-breaking group.

Listening Parties at the library are a great way to meet up with fellow music lovers and share your personal impressions and memories, rediscover milestones in music history, and talk about the artists that have shaped the musical landscape. Bethlehem librarian Michael Farley facilitates the discussions. Everyone is welcome. For more information, visit www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org or call 439-9314.

Lend a hand

There are many opportunities for adults to volunteer in the Bethlehem area. Pick up a copy of our brochure that lists local not-for-profit organizations to see what each offers and how to get in contact with them.

The brochure may be found on the library’s website www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org/volunteers.asp and also in print at the library.

Learn a new language

Now available to Bethlehem patrons is Mango Languages, a fun and easy-to-use, self-paced language learning program with more than 70 language courses. It’s easy to get started, just head to our website at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org and click on the Mango Languages icon on the home page. You’ll be asked to create an account using your email address.

Storm warning

Please remember that in the event of inclement weather, the library’s telephone system will provide information on a closing or delayed opening. Call ahead.

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