Dogs make great listeners. They don’t interrupt or snicker if you stumble over your sentences. They have infinite patience, and they adore a kind word and some attention. It is these traits that make them such great nonjudgmental book buddies for kids in grades one to five who’d like a little practice reading aloud, a skill that can build self-confidence and expand vocabulary.

This month, a canine visitor will be stopping by the Children’s Place in the Bethlehem Public Library to listen to some stories during our two Paws to Read sessions. Drop in any time between 3:45 and 4:45 p.m. on May 5 or 26 (both Thursday), and bring a favorite book or borrow one of ours to read to a gentle dog. No sign up required.

Take a trip with friends

The Friends of the Library are once again sponsoring two trips to Glimmerglass Opera this summer: Puccini’s La Bohème on Monday, Aug. 1, and Monday, Aug. 22.

The Glimmerglass trips have been an annual summer tradition for many years, and they are a great way to enjoy an elegant outing while supporting the Friends. Each bus will leave CDTA’s Delaware Avenue park-and-ride lot next to Mercato’s Restaurant at 9:30 a.m., on the day of the performance. The cost is $135 for each outing, which includes lunch at the Otesaga Hotel. Your check is your reservation  —  no refunds unless your seat is sold. For more information, contact Polly Hartman at 439-3291.

Seats fill quickly. You will find a reservation form in the May/June edition of Footnotes and online at

Use text messaging

Patrons of the library and other UHLS member libraries can now receive text messages for hold pickups, overdue reminders, and courtesy notices.

It’s easy to opt in to this service through your library account. Once you update the information in your account settings and click “submit,” you will receive a confirmation message. For help getting started, visit or ask a library staffer.

Text message notices are in addition to phone and email notices. You can cancel the messaging service anytime by replying STOP, STOP ALL, END, QUIT, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE or by asking a staff member at the circulation desk.

If your mobile service charges text messaging rates, those rates will apply.


As warmer weather beckons more people outside to enjoy two favorite activities — fishing and bicycling – Bethlehem library is there to get springtime off to a great start.

We make it easy for you to cast a line with ready-to-use fishing poles of every size. 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.

May is National Bike Month. Are you ready to ride? After a season of storage, your bicycle may need a little maintenance to get road ready. The library has a 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. Change a flat, adjust the brakes and derailleurs, or fix a wobbly seat – all at the library. Attached to the Fixit station by cables are Philips and flat-head screwdrivers, six sizes of Allen wrenches, six sizes of box wrenches, and two tire levers. 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.

Board election update

The candidates for library trustee have been invited to participate in a Meet the Candidates night Wednesday, May 4, at 6 p.m. Stop by and learn more about who they are and their goals for the library. The discussion will be taped and broadcast on BCN-TV, the library’s public access cable channel.

A brochure featuring profiles of the candidates will be available at the library and online beginning May 4. Running for the open board seat this year are Caroline Brancatella and Paula Rice.

Learn more about the 2016-17 library budget in the May/June edition of “Footnotes” and online at The trustee election and budget vote take place Tuesday, May 17.

Fashion forward

For two months, the teens in our Project Runway series have been making their fashion dreams a reality by creating original clothing designs. On Saturday, April 30, at 3 p.m., they will share the finished products in their very own fashion show.

Everyone is invited to cheer for these up-and-coming designers and see the end result of weeks of sizing, snipping and sewing.


— Photo by Kristen Roberts

Every toe was tapping Friday, April 15, at the Bethlehem library as bluegrass duo Bob and Tom performed before an appreciative audience.

Patrons of the Bethlehem Public Library and other Upper Hudson Library System member libraries can now receive text messages for hold pickups, overdue reminders, and courtesy notices.

It’s easy to opt in to this service through your library account. Once you update the information in your account settings and click “submit,” you will receive a confirmation message. For help getting started, visit or ask a library staffer.

Text message notices are in addition to phone and e-mail notices. You can cancel the messaging  or by asking a staff member at service anytime by replying stop, stop all, end, quit, cancel, unsubscribe at the circulation desk.

If your mobile service charges text messaging rates, those rates will apply.

Free job coaching

The library offers year-round free job coaching services for adults preparing to enter or re-enter the job market. Get expert one-on-one help with various job-hunting skills: resumés, cover letters, written and online applications, interview protocol, and LinkedIn accounts. Hour long appointments are available; call 439-9314, ext. 3009.

Make some noise

We’re getting spring break week off to a lively start with some energizing tunes from Jack and Steve of the Zucchini Brothers on Monday, April 25, at 2 p.m. Kids can let off steam and celebrate their well-earned time off with a little high-spirited dancing and singing along to these seasoned children’s performers. Sure beats sitting at a desk. All ages are welcome.

This is just the start of a full week of fun. Check out our Spring Break flyer online at or pick one up at the library to find out more great ways to spend your vacation days.

RAD for Seniors

Awareness and defense strategies can keep you safe at any age. That is why the library is once again joining forces with the Office of the Albany County District Attorney to offer an Aggression Defense self-defense course, this time geared specifically for seniors.

The 10-session program, which takes place Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, May 2 through 27, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., instructs participants in physical defense techniques and defensive strategies, all with an understanding of the specific concerns that are unique to seniors.

The program is free and open to men and women 55 and older. Participants are required to attend all 10 sessions. There will be no classes May 11 and 13. For more information, call 439-9314.


Mold your world: Despite advances in animation that can blur the lines between fantasy and reality, there’s an old-school technique that retains a quirky charm: claymation. On Friday, March 25, at 2 p.m., kids in grades two and up can get hands on with this art form when they work with others to create an original stop-motion short using the library’s play dough and iPads.

Will the next Gumby or Shaun the Sheep emerge from these efforts? Registration for the program is required. Sign up online at or call 439-9314.

Business cents

Having that great spark of an idea for a new product or service is only part of the equation in getting a business up and running. The next step? That’s the real challenge. One of the biggest questions for would-be entrepreneurs is how to find the needed financing to get their good idea off the ground. On Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m., Bethlehem Public Library will host a panel of experts that might just have the answer.

Featuring representatives from The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region, New York Business Development Corporation, the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center, the “Financial Resources for Businesses” program will discuss financing options available to business start-ups and expansions from a variety of sources, including conventional banks and non-traditional lenders. Topics will include credit, business planning, financial projections, do’s and don’t’s, and more. Get some great information from people who know the process inside and out.

This program is co-sponsored by the Bethlehem Department of Economic Development and Planning and the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce.

Reach for the stars

Don’t forget, the library now has Orion StarBlast 4.5” telescopes for loan. When you borrow one, you get everything you need to start stargazing – the telescope itself, a carrying bag, lens brush, Celestron flashlight, guides to the night sky, and an easy-to-follow user manual. Telescopes are available to borrow for one week at a time.

Local author event

If you are a published Albany County author interested in participating in our local author event on April 10, there is still time to register. Fill out the form at The deadline is March 31.  For more information, contact Natalie McDonough at 439-9314, ext. 3023.

— Photo by Kristen Roberts
In the know: This young Bethlehem Public Library patron appears to have the answer as she attends a Grand Winnie the Pooh Tea Party, with Pooh Bear in her lap, hosted as part of an intergenerational outing for grandparents and grandchildren on Friday, Feb. 26. Participants enjoyed crafts, stories, trivia, and snacks.

If you’re a teen who likes to express yourself through your original sense of style, then sign up for the Bethlehem Public Library Project Runway challenge beginning Friday, March 11, and see where your imagination takes you.

Teens in grades six to 12 are invited to design, and create an original look over the course of two months, culminating in a fashion show for all ages to highlight their talents. Sewing machines and a Serger will be available at each session, but sewing machine knowledge is not necessary to participate. Librarian Tori Russo, an accomplished seamstress in her own right, will be on hand for advice and troubleshooting.

Come to as many sessions as you can. Trade ideas with your fellow designers or pick up some tips to help you make your vision a reality.

Sign-up is required, and attendance at the March 11 introductory session and the April 30, fashion show is mandatory. If you can’t make it, contact Tori at or 439-9314 ext. 3034.

Project Runway sessions take place on the following dates: Friday, March 11, at 3:30 p.m. (introduction); Wednesday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April 6, at 3:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April 27, at 10 a.m.; and Saturday, April 30, at 3 p.m. (fashion show).

Are you a trivia superstar?

If you’ve got the answers, we’ve got the questions. Our first of two trivia nights this spring kicks off Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m. Sign up alone or as a team and match wits with others. Back by popular demand is a return to the written answer format popular with past players. Winners get bragging rights and prizes donated by the Friends of the Library. A second trivia night takes place Thursday, April 14. Sign up online at or call 439-9314.

Connect with your community

Local non-profit groups looking to get the word out about their services and connect with potential volunteers are welcome to take part in the library’s Community and Volunteer Fair next month. Register your organization to participate in the Saturday, April 2, event by filling out the form at Forms must be received by March 21. For more information, contact Natalie McDonough at 439-9314, ext. 3023

    Consider a run for library board of trustees

Nominating petition forms and informational packets are available at the library for one open seat on the library board of trustees. The seat holds a full term of five years. Petitions must contain at least 64 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 18.

Elections will be held on Tuesday, May 17, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Bethlehem Central High School.