— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Center of attention: Oliver, the reading dog, entertains a crowd of eager readers at the Bethlehem Public Library’s March 23 Paws to Read session. The next Paws to Read is scheduled for Thursday, April 6, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.

Sip and sightsee with friends: The Friends of Bethlehem Public Library have added a new bus trip to their lineup — a Finger Lakes excursion and winery tour Saturday, May 13.

The trip, which would make a perfect pre-Mother’s Day outing, 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.

Your check is your reservation; there are no refunds unless your seat is sold.

The cost is $135. Forms are available in the March/April edition of Footnotes and online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org. Checks can be made out to Friends of Bethlehem Public Library. For more information, call Elissa Zwiebach at 573-7184.

Poetry for all

April is National Poetry Month, and scribes of all ages can celebrate by entering a poem in our poetry contest. Submissions will be accepted April 1 through 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.

We’ve got even more poetry plans for April. Adults are invited to Play with Poetry on Tuesday, April 4, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Have fun with unscrambled poetry, magnetic poetry, blackout poetry, book spine poetry and more. Share your favorites in the last half hour.

Later on in the month, we are holding a pair of poetry slams – one for teens and one just for kids and families. Participants are invited to read the poems they entered in our poetry writing contest or one they love that was written by somebody else, or they can simply come by to hear some great poems. The Teen Poetry Slam takes place Thursday, April 27, from 4 to 4:45 p.m. The Poetry Slam for Kids is the following day, Friday, April 28, from 4 to 4:45 p.m.

The Bard abridged

Don’t forget, Gaslight Theater Company of the Capital Region will be performing “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” Thursday and Friday, March 30 and 31, at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 1, at 2 p.m. This popular comedy, which enjoyed a nine-year run at the Criterion Theatre in London, uses just three actors and some clever parody to tell the Bard’s tales.

 Performances will take place in the Community Room, with doors opening 15 minutes prior to showtimes.

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.

— Photo from Bethlehem Public Library staff

Borrow one of the Bethlehem library’s birdwatching kits for kids and get started on a new hobby.

William Shakespeare was a prolific playwright with 37 (or 38 or more, depending on the source) plays to his credit, and watching them all could mean a significant investment of time. Fear not, fans of The Bard with little time on your hands, Bethlehem library is now giving you three chances to enjoy his complete works — albeit humorously abbreviated — in one sitting.

Gaslight Theater Company of the Capital Region will be performing “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” Thursday and Friday, March 30 and 31, at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 1, at 2 p.m. This popular comedy, which enjoyed a nine-year run at the Criterion Theatre in London, uses just three actors and some clever parody to tell the Bard’s tales. It’s Shakespeare for fans and neophytes alike.

Performances will take place in the community room, with doors opening 15 minutes prior to showtimes.

Winging it

Let your imagination take flight at the library as photographer Warren Green share’s some of his newest work in digital photography, focusing on birds and other natural wonders of the Adirondacks.

Wings and Wonders of the Adirondacks takes place Wednesday, March 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the community room. The event is co-sponsored by the Audubon Society.

Speaking of birds …

We are now loaning out birdwatching kits for kids. The supplies come in a cute clear backpack and include binoculars, bird identification books and an easy-to-follow bird chart.

They can be borrowed for a week at a time and are located in the Children’s Place near the board games. We’re also circulating binoculars for adults so all ages can join in the birdwatching fun.

Try Atomic Training today

Access in-depth online tech and career tutorials from trusted sources using the library’s Atomic Training database. Training tutorials on more than 150 software applications are quick, concise and easy to understand. Novices can work their way through the tutorials from the beginning, while those with some proficiency can skip ahead to troubleshoot a particular area.

To watch videos at the library or remotely from home with a library card, visit www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org and click on “databases” in the quick link options. Or visit the Information Desk for help getting started.

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.-9 p.m. at Bethlehem Central High School.

— 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.

 

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