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.

The Bethlehem Public Library has recently added a fun, new reading program that you and your child can access from home. Scholastic BookFlix is an online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks from Weston Woods with related nonfiction eBooks from Scholastic to build a love of reading and learning.

This engaging resource for children in grades pre-kindergarten through grade three will help early readers develop and practice essential reading skills and introduces students to a world of knowledge and exploration.

Your children can access Scholastic BookFlix anywhere there is an Internet connection, it’s like having access to the library’s collection 24 hours a day, seven days a week. BookFlix includes:

— 110 classic video storybooks each paired with a related nonfiction eBook;

— Spanish language versions of 32 pairs;

— Read-aloud supports so students can hear each book narrated and also hear definitions of key words and directions for each activity read aloud;

— Educational games and activities so children can show what they have learned;

— Safe, age-appropriate web links selected by Scholastic’s editors so kids can extend their learning on a topic; and

— Meet the author section to learn more about the author of each fiction book.

BookFlix is specifically created to support non-, beginning and reluctant readers — it’s the perfect resource for independent reading practice at the library and at home. Check it out at For more details or questions, give us a call at 439-9314.

Concert series ends on a floral note

The library’s winter concert series "A Little Sunday Music" wraps up its 2015-16 season Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m., with a recital by soprano Bien Baez. The performance, titled "A Bouquet of Song," brings together a selection of art songs, arias, and popular music with a floral theme.

Baez has been a chorister at Glimmerglass Opera and with what is now known as Opera Saratoga. She is also a frequent recitalist in the Capital District, and serves as choir member and soloist at Emmanuel Baptist Church. She studies voice with noted singing coach and accompanist Michael Clement, who will accompany her in this program.

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

Board meets

The library’s board of trustees meeting has been rescheduled for March 7 to accommodate a scheduling conflict. The meeting begins at 6 p.m., and is open to the public.

Dog days at the Bethlehem Public Library: We see a lot of people coming through our doors every day — it’s a library, after all. We even have an occasional dog or two drop by for our Paws to Read programs. But it’s not every day we get a visit from the Big Red Dog himself, and when we do, it is a cause for celebration.

Clifford will be swinging by the library on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 3 p.m., and he can’t wait to meet you. Join WMHT’s Barbara Lukas while you watch a short film featuring Clifford, make a craft and, best of all, meet everyone’s favorite crimson canine in person.

This winter break activity is a perfect outing for kids and families.

Winter break fun

The fun doesn’t stop when Clifford hits the road. The following day, Friday, Feb. 19, we’ll be celebrating Seuss-style as we mark the great Theodor Geisel’s upcoming birthday with crafts, games, stories, and videos. Stop by and join the Seussabration at 10 a.m.

Board’s meeting rescheduled

The library's board of trustees’ March meeting has been moved up to March 7 to accommodate a scheduling conflict. Meetings begin at 6 p.m., and are always open to the public.

Reference only a mouse click away

We’ve recently added materials from the Gale Virtual Reference Library to our databases. The GVRL e-books are available 24-7 with no wait and can be browsed, searched, and downloaded anytime from any Internet-connected device. Topics include test preparation, financial literacy, job readiness, computer literacy, do-it-yourself projects, and cooking. They are also integrated into the library’s online catalog, so they will show up if they match any of your searches.

The Gale Virtual Reference Library e-books can also be browsed by going online to and clicking on “databases” in the Quick Links section.

GoPro at the library

The library’s addition of a half-dozen GoPro cameras and accessories to its collection has already received a lot of positive feedback. The cameras are easy to use and the picture quality is great. Come see what all the fuss is about.

Each GoPro Hero3+ camera is available to borrow for a week at a time and comes with a waterproof case, USB cable, rechargeable battery and 32GB MicroSD card. Also included are a chest mount harness and head strap harness, as well as a quick clip mount that can be used on a baseball cap. Available to borrow separately are a dog harness mount, child-sized chest harness and an arm harness mount.

When the calendar switched over to 2016, many of us vowed to be more mindful of what we eat. There are a lot of aspects to healthy eating, but most nutrition experts agree that preparing your own meals gives you greater control over what you are consuming, in terms of cost, calories, and flavor.

To help you meet your wellness goals by preparing your own nutritious meals, the Bethlehem Public Library is offering a “Healthy Seasonal Cooking” event on Saturday, Jan. 30, at 2:30 p.m. A ShopRite dietitian will show you how to cook meals using seasonal ingredients that taste good, are good for you and feature items readily available for the time of year.

Registration for this program is required. Sign up online at, in person, or by calling 439-9314.

Let them eat cake pops

Here’s a sweet idea for teens: Come to the library on Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., for “Cake Pops and Crafts!” Whip up some yummy cake pops and create fuse bead masterpieces while they are baking. What better way to spend a chilly February afternoon?

Reference only

a mouse click away

We’ve recently added materials from the Gale Virtual Reference Library to our databases. Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, is a longtime publisher and aggregator of educational content, tools, services and other resources. The GVRL e-books are available 24-7 with no wait and can be browsed, searched and downloaded from any Internet-connected device.

Topics include test preparation, financial literacy, job readiness, computer literacy, do-it-yourself projects and cooking. They are also integrated into the library’s online catalog, so they will show up if they match any of your searches. GVRL funding is provided by the Upper Hudson Library System. 

The Gale Virtual Reference Library e-books are just one example of the many resources provided through our databases. If you haven’t checked out the list of materials available recently, it’s worth a browse at, click on “databases” in the Quick Links section

E-filing your taxes

You can make an appointment for tax filing assistance with staffers from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. This is not a tax preparation service; it is meant to assist those who are looking to file online. If your household income is under $62,000, you can get free help filing your state and federal returns. Time slots are available at the library on Tuesdays through April 12, and appointments must be made in person at the information desk.