Monday, May 4, 2015

Thank You, Volunteers!

Volunteer Appreciation Week is coming up the week of May 18th, at which time the Friends of Bernardsville Public Library will celebrate our hardworking volunteers. Without this capable corps, it would not be possible to offer many of the features that make our library so extraordinary. For instance, our free English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs are run by trained volunteers who offer their time on a regular basis, as do our knowledgeable Local History volunteers. These people are willing to commit to a regular volunteer schedule and always come through for us.
Those who like to work behind the scenes have helped us process the large assortment of new materials coming in every day, including audio-visual items as well as books. We even have a volunteer who does minor book restoration for us! As members of the Collection Advisory Team, other volunteers suggest new additions to our book collection. There are additional committees on which interested volunteers may serve, too, including One Book Bernardsville and Maker Day.
We even benefit from the horticultural talents of the Bernardsville Garden Club whose members tend our gardens and provide weekly arrangements for the library. Opportunities also exist for teen volunteers to assist us with shelving and story time preparation. In all, there have been over 4,000 hours of volunteer time given annually to our library, and the entire library organization is so appreciative. If any of these volunteer opportunities interest you, please consider volunteering here or at your local library.

Monday, April 20, 2015

No More Forgetting to Remember

A quiet litt20720_10152647947526402_737871946537203328_nle feature with a big impact has been added to your Bernardsville Library account. We will now automatically renew your two-week items when due if no reserves have been placed on them. Automatic renewals will continue on these items for up to three renewal periods, so you won't have to track your due dates for quite a while! This also means that you won't accrue fines by forgetting about those return deadlines. Life is complicated enough as is! Please note that this automatic renewal feature does not apply to paid DVDs, which loan out for three-day periods.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Celebrate National Library Week With Us

This year, April 12-18th marks the period when U.S. libraries and their associations celebraLibrary Weekte National Library Week. It's a time when communities acknowledge the importance of libraries to their well being and when individuals make a point to visit their public or academic libraries.
During National Library Week, libraries around the country present special programming and activities to promote their services. If you haven't visited your local library recently, this is the week to see what's new and to learn how libraries can improve your quality of life. You may be surprised to discover how much fun may be had there, too!
At Bernardsville Public Library, we'll be offering programs for children and adults that range from decorating Minion cupcakes or mixing up Oobleck to learning about the world of mediums or doing handcrafts in a communal setting. As a special treat, we are also holding a photo identification contest using photographs from our Local History Collection. Those contestants who can identify all ten photos will be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card! This isn't anyone's idea of an old-fashioned, hidebound library; instead, we're a center for our community. During National Library Week, we hope you'll celebrate our close partnership with you.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Little Brook Farm, A Home of Distinction

Little Brook
Little Brook Farm, a charming country estate in Bernardsville, has been selected as the location for the 2015 Library Foundation fundraiser known as Homes of Distinction. Each year a notable Bernardsville home is featured by the Library Foundation and graciously opened by its homeowners for a late afternoon of house touring, cocktails, and an auction to benefit Bernardsville Public Library. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, April 12, from 4 to 7 p.m., affording ticket holders a wonderful opportunity to tour an historic, breathtaking estate otherwise not open to the general public.
Although partLittle Brook Farm-webs of the property date back to the 1840’s, Little Brook Farm was brought to its story book perfection by the Dr. Babbott family in the 1930’s. Dr. Babbott was enchanted by the location of this property and called it his Promised Land. The home was even featured in an article in a 1939 issue of House and Garden. Now in the hands of homeowners Monique and Gregg Seibert, Little Brook Farm is not to missed at this once in a lifetime opportunity! For more information about the 2015 Home of Distinction and to order tickets, please link here.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bernardsville Public Library To Participate In NJ Makers Day 2015

Select New Jersey libraries, museums, schools and commercial spaces will be providing public makerspaces on March 21st for the first statewide NJ Makers Day 2015, and Bernardsville Public Library is proud to be hosting one of these makerspaces.
As stated by its organizers,  “The ultimate goal of NJ Makers Day 2015 is to enhance community engagement and develop connections among New Jersey residents by collaborating with libraries, museums, small businesses and others to promote and explore new opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation and hands-on learning experiences.”
We at Bernardsville Library are quite familiar with the maker movement, having hosted our own exciting Maker Day in September of 2014. For our participation in NJ Makers Day 2015, we will once again be utilizing much of the library’s layout to accommodate various exhibits and mini-makerspaces. These makerspaces will include interactive opportunities to explore squishy circuits, pop-up book crafting, and origami, among other things.  Bernardsville Library Director April Judge notes, “We are committed to finding ways to help people to learn new skills and to work collaboratively on exciting hands-on projects.”
Please mark your calendars to attend our free NJ Makers Day 2015 event on Saturday, March 21 between 11 a.m and 4 p.m.  For further information and updates, please refer here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is TheThought of Tax Prep Taxing You?

We've had our fun with various festive holidays, but now it's time to get those tax documents ready for state and federal filing deadlines! Once again, Bernardsville Public Library will offer free tax assistance to local residents through the VITA program.

This Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program known as VITA utilizes local volunteers who are trained to help you in the filing of state and federal income tax returns, extensions, and estimated tax payments. Our volunteers have just completed a training update and will be accepting appointments starting in February.  Call the library at 908-766-0118 for a free one-hour appointment with a VITA volunteer and breathe a little easier. For more information, please refer here:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Not One, Not Two, But Three!

Did you know that Bernardsville Public Library has three book discussion groups which meet at different times and days of the week?  Never again say that there's no time in your life for a book group.  We've scheduled our discussion groups with you in mind! 
Do you prefer an evening time slot or perhaps a group meeting on a weekend afternoon? Is morning the most convenient time for you? Please consider joining one of our three monthly discussion groups at any point in the year; membership is open to the public.  
Page Turners, our newest discussion group led by library director April L. Judge, will meet on Tuesday, November 11, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin. The following meeting is set for Thursday, December, 4, at 6:30 p.m. when Page Turners will discuss Amy Tan's book, The Bonesetter's Daughter
For those who prefer mornings, the library offers a memoir discussion group led by Pat Kennedy-Grant. This group, Memoirs & Coffee, will meet on Tuesday, November 18, at 10:30 a.m. to discuss Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward. There will be no meeting in December, but Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra is to be discussed in 2015 on Tuesday, January 27, at 10:30 a.m.
Saturday Samplers is the group for those who want to wind down on a Saturday afternoon with a book group which samples various kinds of literature, including nonfiction, short stories, plays, and fiction. Facilitated by Evelyn Fischel, Saturday Samplers will next meet on Saturday, December 6, at 3:30 p.m. to discuss Gabriel Garcia Marquez's short story collection No One Writes to the Colonel.  There will be no meeting in January, but in 2015 the group will tackle The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen on Saturday, February 7, at 3:30 p.m. 
In all three cases, new members are always welcome to attend and books will be made available to borrow.  Why not try one of these book groups out for yourself?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to."

In October, Bernardsville Public Library will host a month-long community reading event known as One Book Bernardsville.  The memoir A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson has been selected as our One Book.  To become better acquainted with the author, please view the enjoyable video posted below.
Bill Bryson's 1989 book, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America, begins with the words "I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to."  That opening line also kicks off this video about the author's childhood.  Aired in the United Kingdom on Melvyn Bragg's South Bank Show in 2006 (South Bank Show – Bill Bryson,) the video features Bryson's recent return visit to his hometown to discuss what it was like growing up in Iowa. Included in it are numerous charming clips from home movies his father took.  Bryson's mother appears in it as well as high school friend, "Katz," who accompanied Bryson on part of his Appalachian Trail hike. That attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail is recounted in our One Book Bernardsville selection, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, to be read and discussed by the community during the month of October. Please click here for information about A Walk in the Woods and about the One Book Bernardsville events our library has planned throughout October. Now, enjoy the video!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

One Book Bernardsville

Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to announce that Bill Bryson's meWalk in the Woodsmoir, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, has been selected for its first "One Book Bernardsville" event to take place in October. During this month, our community of readers and area book groups are invited to participate in this shared reading experience.  The library will provide assistance for book groups wishing to participate, and copies of the book will be made available. In addition, local bookstore The Bookworm will stock extra copies of this paperback for purchase. Thematically related programs on conservation, hiking, and the Appalachian Trail itself will be offered at the library throughout October, which happens to be a great hiking month.  It's hoped that this informative, humorous memoir will appeal to young and old readers alike and that it will generate lively discussions. Scroll down through our catalog link to read reviews of  the book here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

After Visiting Friends...

New members are encouraged to join the next Memoirs and Coffee book group meeting on Tuesday, June 24, at 10:30 a.m. when Michael Hainey's memoir, After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story, will be discussed.  Currently deputy editor of GQ, Hainey used his reporter's sense of curiosity and doggedness to solve the mystery behind his father's death.  Bob Hainey, a newspaperman at the Chicago Sun-Times, died at the age of 35 under less than clear circumstances.  His son, Michael, took up the quest to find out what really happened to his father, but encountered many evasions and secrets. It seems his father's friends at the newspaper had maintained the "newspaperman's code of silence" regarding this death, and the author's mother had little to share as well.  Borrow a copy of this book at the circulation desk and find out what Michael Hainey uncovered.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Senior's Day 2014

We are pleased to announce that our 12th annual Senior's Day event will be hosted once again by the Friends of Bernardsville Public Library on Friday, June 6, at 10 a.m. in the Community Room.  Our guests will be treated to a free continental breakfast and entertainment provided by Gordon Thomas Ward.  Mr. Ward will present an original musical program - "Story-Songs of History" - using anecdotes, multiple instruments, and vocals to transport the listener on an enchanting journey through time.  Seniors are bound to enjoy this program as well as the opportunity to socialize.  There are no restrictions as to town residency or library membership; any senior may attend!  The only requirement is that attendees sign up in advance.  Please call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up or register online at

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mom & Me & Mom Memoir

Memoirs & Coffee library book group will discuss Maya Angelou's memoir entitled Mom & Me & Mom on Tuesday, May 27, at 10:30 a.m. in the Community Room. Ms. Angelou writes a deeply personal memoir of the mother/daughter relationship, starting with the point when her own mother sent a very young Maya and her brother to live with a grandmother. Natural feelings of abandonment and loss become tempered by a growing sense of respect and love for her mother over the years. This book should give the reader new insights into Maya Angelou and how her life affected her literature.  Copies of Mom & Me & Mom are available at the circulation desk for anyone who would like to attend this book discussion.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Creative Saturday Crafters


Saturday Crafters, a monthly craft program run by Bernardsville Public Library, will hold its next meeting on Saturday, May 17, at 3 p.m.  Teens or adults are welcome to join others who enjoy doing various handwork techniques.  This could be your opportunity to complete an unfinished project, start something new or just get creative ideas, all while spending a pleasant afternoon in the library’s Community Room.
At past meetings, members have practiced rug hooking, needlepoint,  jewelry-making, crochet, rug weaving, paper arts, embroidery and knitting, so any portable handwork project would be suitable.  If you are a knitter, sewer or crocheter, perhaps you’d like to craft for charity. Over the years, some Saturday Crafters members have made and donated items to local charities, and a few are currently working on new charity projects.
One of the great benefits for this group is the fact that library resources are right at hand. Should you suddenly forget how to do a stitch, a quick walk out to the library bookshelves will put you in touch with loads of how-to books, DVDs, and magazines.  In addition, group facilitator Evelyn Fischel will showcase the library’s newest crafting books. Consider joining this creative group, then bring a friend and tell others about it, too!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Become Conversant in Icelandic or Hawaiian!

Bernardsville Public Library continues to offer the free, online language-learning resource, Mango, which has recently been upgraded to Mango Connect.  This user-friendly portal offers improved graphics and is considered to be a more intuitive way to learn a language.  Mango Connect offers a base of more than 50 foreign languages from which to chose, including Bengali, Scottish Gaelic, and Tagalog.  In addition, non-English speakers may learn English with instruction in one of 17 native languages.
Another feature of Mango Connect is Mango Conversations which allows you to hear and repeat social conversations you might encounter while travelling abroad.  Learn a few helpful words or phrases in Icelandic or Hawaiian before you take that next vacation!  If you've studied French of Spanish in high school and now want to advance your language abilities, take Mango Connect's placement tests to know which level of study you should enter.  It's all very simple; begin by setting up your account online through our website.  All you'll need is your Bernardsville Library card number and an email address.  First, go to this link and click on Mango Languages, then initiate your free account.  You may also download the App for Mango Languages Library Edition onto your smartphone or tablet. How cool is that?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

She Matters

Susanna Sonnenberg's 2013 memoir, She Matters: A Life in Friendships, will be discussed by the library's book group, Memoirs & Coffee, on Tuesday, April 22, at 10:30 a.m. The group will meet in the Community Room for their discussion led by Pat Kennedy-Grant.  Copies of the book are now available at the front desk.
Publisher's Weekly writes that Sonnenberg's book is a "tribute to her lifelong fortress of friendship" and that "her strikingly honest depictions of tumultuous female alliances and confessions about friendships are both moving and relatable."  Some bonds of friendship broke easily, others lasted. Find out why writing about this topic was so important to this particular author; join the upcoming book discussion.