— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Best friends Frog and Toad dropped by Bethlehem Public Library for some high fives and hugs on Thursday, July 7. The two were getting ready for their guest appearance at the July 10 mini-golf event.

You shouldn’t have to choose between going to the movies and paying the cable bill. There’s room in the budget for both at the Bethlehem Public Library with our free coffee and cinema summer film series for adults.

First up this Friday at 10 a.m. is the critically acclaimed “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” a charming tale about a group of British retirees who travel to a hotel in India and find it doesn’t quite match the description in the advertisements.

Subsequent films in the series include “Bottle Shock” on July 22, “Encounters at the End of the World” on July 29, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” on Aug. 12, “The Lunchbox” on Aug. 19, and “No Place on Earth” on Aug. 26.

Showtimes are at 10 a.m. and coffee, tea and light refreshments will be available. Flyers are available at the Information Desk, or check out the calendar at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org for more information.

All about bikes

It’s bicycle season, and the library can help you get ready to ride. On Thursday, an expert from Steiner’s Sports will be here at 7 p.m. to talk about bicycle safety and maintenance in a program for all ages.

Speaking of bicycle maintenance, you can give your bike a tune-up right here using the library’s public-use bicycle service station near the entrance closest to the parking lot. The Dero Fixit device features hanger arms that bring the bike off the ground and allow the pedals and wheels to move freely. It also includes all of the tools needed to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance on the spot.

Adjacent to the station is a heavy-duty air pump with a universal pump head that accommodates all valve stem types. The best part is no appointment is necessary. The library’s bicycle service station is free for anyone to use, 24 hours a day.

Go fish

Don’t forget, you can check out ready-to-use fishing poles of every size at the library. The poles, given to the library by local bass fishing pro Dennis LeGrange, are outfitted with reels donated by Bass Pro Shops.

Included with each fishing pole are two hooks and a bobber that you get to keep, along with information about local fishing spots and suggested titles to read up on before you head out. Please note that anyone 16 and older needs a license to fish in the state of New York.

Summer hours reminder

During the summer, the library is closed on Sundays, with regular Sunday hours resuming in September. You can access the library catalog and other library services online anytime at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Summer Reading kicked off at Bethlehem library on Wednesday, June 22, with a performance by Jester Jim, who charmed the all-ages audience with wacky beatboxing, juggling, and high-energy antics.

The sound of summer: Our annual summer concert series, Evenings on the Green, begins Wednesday, July 6, with a performance by GB5, who will be playing popular hits from the 1960s on. Next up, on July 13, Red Haired Strangers will perform some covers and some original country blues.

The rest of the lineup is equally strong, with family-friendly performances by Loosely Wound String Band on July 20; Electric City Chorus on July 27; Toss the Feathers on Aug. 3; and Andy the Music Man closing out the series on Aug. 10 with an ice cream social and membership drive at 6:30 p.m. sponsored by our Friends of the Library. You’ll find the schedule online at www.bethlehempubliclibray.org, in the latest issue of our Footnotes newsletter, or at the library information desk.

The Evenings on the Green series has been entertaining the community for more than four decades. Join us this summer for one or all of these great performances. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, pick a spot on the Green, then sit back, relax and enjoy. Concerts will move indoors if it rains.

Evenings on the Green concerts are always free, appropriate for all ages, and they take place every Wednesday in July at 7 p.m.

Holiday hours

The library will be closed Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. The library is also closed Sundays in July and August, beginning July 3. You can access the library catalog and other library services online anytime at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

Read It Forward

Teens, have you ever read a great book that you just can’t wait to share with friends? That’s the idea behind our annual Read It Forward campaign, and it’s so easy to participate. This year, the featured book is “The Raft” by S.A. Bodeen. This YA survival tale follows Robbie, a globe-trotting teen, who is left fighting for her life after her plane goes down in shark-infested waters. A limited number of copies are available at the library in the teen area. Just read the book, tell a friend about it, and pass it on. No due dates, no late fees, no worries!

For details, see the guidelines found in each book or stop by the desk in the Children’s Place. Keep the reading chain going all summer long, and tell us what you think by filling out a short survey at the library. This is a collaborative project with the Upper Hudson Library System.

 

— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Tamra Wright holds a framed copy of the resolution passed at the June 13 board meeting honoring her 10 years of service on the Bethlehem Library Board of Trustees.

Longtime library trustee Tamra Wright made her final motion to conclude the board meeting on Monday, June 13. Wright is stepping down from the board following 10 years of service, nine of which were spent as board treasurer. Her farewell was marked by the passage of a resolution that night honoring her contributions to the library, as well as a short reception following the meeting.

Wright said that serving on the library board of trustees has been a natural fit for her.

“Growing up, my siblings used to tease me that I would end up a librarian, I spent so much time there,” she said. “ Libraries have always been one of my favorite places to be.”

During her two terms on the board, Wright has seen the library evolve in many ways. One of the biggest projects she has seen through was the expansion of the library parking lot. She said the process was “a great learning experience that had a fantastic result for the library patrons.” She has also been instrumental in helping the library prepare for a major overhaul of the HVAC system in the coming years.

Wright, who recently wrapped up coursework for her masters in accounting, brought a solid financial background to the board, offering guidance in fiscal matters large and small. Last year, she was named one of “The Albany Business Review’s” 2015 CFO’s of the Year for her work as controller at the law firm Deily & Glastetter, LLP.

“The library has definitely benefitted from Tamra’s sound financial advice over the years, and our  ‘no findings’ audit with the Office of the State Comptroller in 2014 is evidence of that,” said Library Director Geoff Kirkpatrick. “She has brought a lot of expertise and experience to the board, and she will be missed.”

Looking ahead, Wright said the timing of her stepping down from the board coincides with her children graduating from Bethlehem Central High School, and as they move up and move out, it will open up an opportunity to relocate within the next few years.

The library is grateful for Wright’s 10-year commitment to the board and wishes her all the best in her future plans.

A season for reading

Summer reading sign-up is under way. This year’s themes: On Your Mark, Get Set … Read for preschoolers and school-age kids; Get In the Game for teens; and Exercise Your Mind for adults  —  will inspire young and old  to take their reading to the next level.

Reporting for prizes begins July 5, and all summer long, the library will be hosting programs focusing on fun ways to keep your body and mind active.

Sign up online or in person, and check out upcoming programs online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org or in the latest version of the “Footnotes” newsletter.

 

The wonder of an underwater world is reflected in the face of a young Bethlehem library patron on Friday, June 10.

We’re kicking off our summer reading program, and this time we’re not kidding around. Get ready for some serious fun Wednesday, June 22, with Jester Jim.

With a trunk full of props, you won’t know what to expect next as Jester Jim brings his juggling and high-energy antics to the library community room. Audience members of all ages will be glued to his every sound as he performs his amazing beatbox intro, and everyone is sure to be talking about his wild antics for weeks.

Jester Jim will perform two shows; at 3 and 6 p.m. Space is limited, so please arrive early.

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.

The library is looking at ways to extend the free signal to other areas of the park this summer.

You’ll flip for Flipster

Have you tried our newest digital magazine service — Flipster? Access Flipster on your cell phone, computer,or tablet — including the Kindle Fire — as long as it is connected to the Internet. Anyone can read and download the magazines inside the library, but you will need your Bethlehem library card to access them off site.

Click on the Flipster icon at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org to get started, or click on our “eBooks & eMagazines” link to find out more about the service.

Museum passes

Check out our huge collection of individual and family passes to more than a dozen regional museums. Visit Hancock Shaker Village, the Children’s Museum at Saratoga, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex in NYC, Binghamton Zoo, Bronck Museum, Hildene, National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame,  Olana state historic site, and more for free. View the rest of the collection at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

Newsletter available

The July/August edition of “Footnotes” has been mailed, and it’s full of some great summer programming  for all ages. You can also pick up a copy in the library or view it online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

 

— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Author and historian the Rev. Gary Ferris re-enacted a World War II Armed Forces broadcast at the Bethlehem Public Library on Friday, June 3, as part of the Coffee and Conversation series.

Visit a museum for free. We've recently added some great new museum passes to our collection, just in time for your summer weekend getaways.

Your library card allows you to borrow individual and family passes to more than a dozen regional museums. Family budgets get a reprieve when parents and kids can visit Hancock Shaker Village, the Children’s Museum at Saratoga, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex in New York City  and more for free.

New to the library this year are passes for the Binghamton Zoo, Bronck Museum, Hildene, National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and Olana State Historic Site, among many others. Check out the rest of the collection at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

A musical journey

Up next in our Coffee & Conversation series is the lost Radio Rounders’ “Politics and Patriots” program on Friday, June 10, from 1 to 2 p.m.

Take a break from the vitriol of this campaign season while enjoying a selection of the political songs that accompanied the campaigns and administrations of yesteryear. The Lost Radio Rounders, a duo featuring Michael Eck and Tom Lindsay, will perform the music that chronicled the triumphs and tragedies of American statesmen from George Washington to F.D.R.

Lindsay, on guitar, banjo and piano, is a local photographer, educator and recording engineer. He has taught New York State cultural history, American music history, audio/video technology, and photography at the fifth-12th-grade levels. Eck, who plays mandolin, guitar, dobro, ukulele and banjo, is a songwriter with four solo albums to his credit. He is also a widely published music critic and radio personality, as well as a visual artist focusing on portraits of American roots musicians.

The “Politics and Patriots” concert takes place in the library’s community room. A one-hour coffee and social hour will follow the performance.

The event is free and open to all and is co-sponsored by Bethlehem Senior Projects, Inc. The final Coffee & Conversation program, “Chocolate Delights,” is scheduled for June 17, at 1 p.m., and will feature storyteller Kate Dudding sharing a variety of chocolate-themed tales.

Digital magazines

The library has recently introduced a second way to read popular magazines for free on a computer or mobile device — Flipster. You can access Flipster on your cellphone, computer or tablet — including the Kindle Fire — as long as it is connected to the Internet.

Anyone can read and download the magazines inside the library, but you will need your Bethlehem library card to access them off site. Click on the Flipster icon at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org to get started, or click on our “eBooks & eMagazines” link to find out more about the service.

Go to our website or call or visit the library for help getting started.

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