— 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.

— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Reading in a sunbeam: The Children’s Place at the Bethlehem Public Library was a sunny spot to spend some time reading on a recent chilly day.

Our winter concert series “A Little Sunday Music” continues its 2016-17 season Sunday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m. with soprano Rose Hargrave performing a selection of French art songs in program titled, “Tour de France.”

Hargrave is a member and past president of the Monday Musical Club of Albany. She has studied voice with Karen Ranung and coaches with Michael Clement. She performs music from oratorio and opera to jazz and Broadway and has sung extensively with St. Margaret Mary’s Church, All Saints Catholic Church and The New York Catholic Chorale.

She is a featured vocalist on the CD “Mis Suenos de Tango” with Spiral Ensemble, and a more recent recording, “Armenian Genocide Centennial Memorial Concert,” with Andrew Krystopolski on piano. Past musical engagements have included The Mendelssohn Club, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Proctors Theater, Caffe Lena, the Albany Tulip Festival ,70 Beekman Street Art Gallery, Mohonk Mountain House Resort, the Hyde Collection and Saratoga Racetrack. She also performs benefit concerts throughout the Capital District.

A Little Sunday Music closes the season with a March 5 performance by cellist Will Hayes, who will be playing music by Bartók, Grieg and Brahms, accompanied by piano.

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

What’s new?

Our special collection, sometimes known as a “library of things,” continues to grow. On the heels of the virtual reality headsets, we have added portable karaoke machines and binoculars that can be borrowed with a library card.

Got a song in your heart? Sing it loud and proud — with friends or by yourself — when you check out one of our new karaoke machines. Nothing livens up a gathering or a teen’s slumber party more than some good-natured, off-key warbling. The portable devices are stand-alone, but they do come with cables if you want to hook one up to your television. They can be checked out for a week at a time and include two microphones, four karaoke CDs, a remote control and a user guide.

You can also check out one of our binoculars, and get a closer look at the world around you. The Celestron Nature DX 8x42 adult binoculars strikes the perfect balance between performance and ease of use.

Both the karaoke machines and binoculars, as well as the VR headsets, telescopes, GoPro cameras and more, are available on our special collections shelf behind the Information Desk on a first-come basis. Look for the white cases with the corresponding images.

— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Reading in a sunbeam: The Children’s Place at the Bethlehem Public Library was a sunny spot to spend some time reading on a recent chilly day.

Our winter concert series “A Little Sunday Music” continues its 2016-17 season Sunday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m. with soprano Rose Hargrave performing a selection of French art songs in program titled, “Tour de France.”

Hargrave is a member and past president of the Monday Musical Club of Albany. She has studied voice with Karen Ranung and coaches with Michael Clement. She performs music from oratorio and opera to jazz and Broadway and has sung extensively with St. Margaret Mary’s Church, All Saints Catholic Church and The New York Catholic Chorale.

She is a featured vocalist on the CD “Mis Suenos de Tango” with Spiral Ensemble, and a more recent recording, “Armenian Genocide Centennial Memorial Concert,” with Andrew Krystopolski on piano. Past musical engagements have included The Mendelssohn Club, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Proctors Theater, Caffe Lena, the Albany Tulip Festival ,70 Beekman Street Art Gallery, Mohonk Mountain House Resort, the Hyde Collection and Saratoga Racetrack. She also performs benefit concerts throughout the Capital District.

A Little Sunday Music closes the season with a March 5 performance by cellist Will Hayes, who will be playing music by Bartók, Grieg and Brahms, accompanied by piano.

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

What’s new?

Our special collection, sometimes known as a “library of things,” continues to grow. On the heels of the virtual reality headsets, we have added portable karaoke machines and binoculars that can be borrowed with a library card.

Got a song in your heart? Sing it loud and proud — with friends or by yourself — when you check out one of our new karaoke machines. Nothing livens up a gathering or a teen’s slumber party more than some good-natured, off-key warbling. The portable devices are stand-alone, but they do come with cables if you want to hook one up to your television. They can be checked out for a week at a time and include two microphones, four karaoke CDs, a remote control and a user guide.

You can also check out one of our binoculars, and get a closer look at the world around you. The Celestron Nature DX 8x42 adult binoculars strikes the perfect balance between performance and ease of use.

Both the karaoke machines and binoculars, as well as the VR headsets, telescopes, GoPro cameras and more, are available on our special collections shelf behind the Information Desk on a first-come basis. Look for the white cases with the corresponding images.

It may be winter, but here at the Bethlehem Public Library, it’s Mango season. Bethlehem, along with the rest of the libraries in the Upper Hudson Library System, now offers 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, and then you’ll be ready to say “bonjour” to your new language.

Available courses include widely spoken languages, like Italian and Chinese, as well as less commonly used languages, such as Biblical Hebrew and Scottish Gaelic. There are also 17 English as a Second Language courses available. There are even some fun mini-courses like Pirate, Medical Spanish and romance courses.

Mango teaches practical vocabulary with pronunciation demonstrated by professional native speakers of the language you wish to learn. You can hear words in any language offered both at a conversational speed and at a slowed-down, easier-to-understand speed.

So if learning a foreign language is on your list of things to do in the new year, or if it’s something you need for business, travel or professional development, Mango Languages is a great way to broaden your vocabulary.

Open sewing

The library has a number of sewing machines that are used for sewing and quilting programs for all ages. We also make these machines available for independent use during our Open Sewing sessions, the next of which takes place Monday, Jan. 9. Sign up for a two-hour block of time, and bring your own project and supplies. Volunteers may be available to assist you. Open Sewing takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. with more sessions scheduled for Jan. 23 and Feb. 27. Questions? Give us a call at 439-9314.

Holiday hours

The library will close at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, and remain closed until 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3. We’re always open online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

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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