— 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.

The library would like to thank voters for approving the $3.75 million budget levy for 2016-17 on Tuesday, May 17, by a vote of 2,127 to 457. Your continued widespread support has allowed us to remain a vibrant and dynamic institution, able to offer the innovative services and materials that enrich the lives of those in our community.

Voters on Tuesday also elected newcomer Paula Rice to a five-year term on the board of trustees. We welcome her to the board, and would like to remind everyone that our board meetings, which typically take place on the second Monday of the month, are always open to the public.

Holiday hours

The library will be closed Memorial Day weekend Saturday through Monday, May 28 to 30. Access the library catalog and other library services online anytime at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

The library at your doorstep

Books to People  is a free library delivery service available to residents of the Bethlehem Central School District who are unable to visit the library because of a permanent or temporary medical condition.

The library van will deliver requests every two weeks, and pick up returns. You can request books, circulating magazines, DVDs, music CDs, and audiobooks.  You can ask for your favorite authors, large print or specific genres, such as mystery, thrillers or romance.

To ask for this delivery service, contact the library information desk at 439-9314, press 2.

Be a summer volunteer

We’re looking for volunteers who will be in grade six to 12 in September to help with our summer reading program. Our teens staff the summer reading desk, assist with online submissions, read to children, review books, and help with programs and activities. Applications are available online at www.bplteens.org and in the library. They will be accepted until 9 p.m., June 6 or until all positions are filled. Volunteers must attend an orientation session.

Study hall at the library

Group-study space for exam prep will be available in June at the library. Study space will be set aside in the community room or the board room; check the schedule online at www.bplteens.org or in the library for details. New this year, there will be scheduled breaks for relaxation and fun. De-stress with snacks or a visit with a therapy dog. See schedule for times and activities.

 

— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Talking with their hands, a girl and her father  in Bethlehem library’s Once Upon a Sign spring-themed program learn how to make the sign for “butterfly” on Friday, May 13. The next Once Upon a Sign story time will be held June 10 at 10 a.m.

First it was fishing poles and GoPro cameras, then telescopes and slide scanners, now we have added metal detectors to the list of things you can borrow with a Bethlehem Public Library card.

Turn your next day at the park into a treasure hunt with the Bounty Hunter Time Ranger detector with top-of-the-line features, including a submersible search coil and a 4-inch gold nugget coil. You can also check out a youth-sized version that is easy for little ones to carry and use. Metal detectors must be checked out and returned to the library and can be borrowed for seven days at a time. Patrons are responsible for providing two nine-volt batteries for operation.

The metal detectors are part of our special collection, which has sometimes been referred to as a “library of things” in recent news coverage of a trend that is gaining momentum as more people embrace the sharing economy. The library isn’t exactly a newcomer to this sharing economy, in fact, it’s something libraries have been doing all along with books and other materials.

These new collection items just seemed like a natural extension of that idea. Why invest in pricey equipment when you are only going to use it once or twice? Or maybe there’s something in our special collection you were thinking about buying but wanted to test out first. Perhaps you never even thought about using a metal detector or a GoPro camera before you saw one on the shelf at the library, but had a blast all the same. Whatever your reason, our special collection items provide opportunities to learn and try something new.

The metal detectors, along with many other items in our special collection, have been underwritten by the Friends of the Library.

A village to help you age in place

The Village Movement began in 2001 with the establishment of Beacon Hill Village in Boston. Many Capital District seniors have expressed an interest in forming similar “villages” membership-driven, grassroots organizations that, through both volunteers and paid staff, coordinate access to affordable services to assist aging in place. These services can include recreational and wellness programs, home repairs, social and educational activities, and other day-to-day needs enabling individuals to remain connected to their community throughout the aging process.

A representative from the Albany Guardian Society will be at the library Tuesday, May 24, from 10 to 11 a.m. to provide an introduction to the Village Movement.

Holiday hours

The library will be closed Memorial Day weekend Saturday through Monday, May 28 to 30. Access the library catalog and other library services online anytime at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

 

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