Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Year, New Executive Director

The Board of Trustees of Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to announce that it has selected April L. Judge as the new permanent Executive Director of the library. Her position will start on January 2, 2014. Currently serving as West Caldwell Public Library's Director, a position she held for 15 years, Ms. Judge has worked in numerous libraries over her career as well as serving in the role of President of the New Jersey Library Association.  She is active in civic organizations and has a very special talent developed as a former children's librarian - writing and presenting puppet shows!  About her new appointment Ms. Judge commented, “I am very proud that I was selected to be the next Executive Director of this prestigious library. It is a highly regarded public library and I plan to continue promoting and instilling greatness in its operation."   Please welcome her in the New Year.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Cup of Tea

Saturday Samplers will discuss Amy Ephron's novella, A Cup of Tea, on Dec. 7th at 3:30 p.m. in the library.  Copies of the book are available to borrow, and new members are encouraged to attend meetings of this library book discussion group.
Ms. Ephron based her book on a short story of the same title published in 1922 by Katherine Mansfield.  Beginning with the same premise as Mansfield's story, A Cup of Tea by Amy Ephron takes the characters in an entirely different direction.  To read the original short story by Katherine Mansfield or to learn more about Saturday Samplers, please refer to the book group's blog.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teddy Bears Need Clothing, Too

Once again, Bernardsville Public Library is participating in the annual Teddy Bear project. In just a few weeks, the Salvation Army will be distributing these teddy bears to needy children in New Jersey as a holiday treat.  But first, there is something missing; the bears are bare and need clothing!
Right now the teddies sit patiently in our lobby cases waiting for their outfits, so we invite you to drop by, borrow a bear, dress it, and then return it before Thanksgiving. Outfits may be purchased at craft stores as well as clothing stores where preemie and small infant sizes fit the bears nicely.  Another alternative is to create your own teddy bear outfit.  Sew a dress, knit a sweater, stitch together a fleece top - be creative and enjoy the experience of dressing your teddy in a style that a child would love.  Feel the satisfaction of knowing your teddy bear will give a child much needed happiness this holiday season.

Friday, November 15, 2013

No Orthodoxy

Deborah Feldman’s 2012 memoir, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, will be discussed by Memoirs & Coffee book group on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 10:30 a.m.  Ms. Feldman’s memoir demonstrates just how transformative an exposure to literature can be.  Raised in the repressively strict religious community of the Satmar Hasidim, this Brooklyn author was bound in marriage at age seventeen to a man she did not know, but found the courage to change her life after secretly reading forbidden books, particularly those by Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott.  Ms. Feldman’s self-emancipation also engendered an ongoing search for her own identity as a modern Jewish woman.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Dickens of a True Story

Fetid drinking water, often contaminated with human waste and life-threatening bacteria, was the only option for many Londoners in the mid-nineteenth century when cholera became a common occurrence.  Overcrowded living conditions and overflowing garbage mounds added to a recipe for health disasters, one of which struck a section of London in the 1850's in a ferocious cholera outbreak.  The Ghost Map, by Steven Johnson, recounts how this outbreak came to pass, details the microbial profile of cholera, and describes how two Londoners came to realize its source at a time when scientific understanding of disease and its spread was shockingly limited.  Saturday Samplers library book group will discuss this exciting book at their next meeting to be held on Saturday, November 2, at 3:30 p.m. in the library. Copies of the book are still available at the circulation desk, and new members are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Library Benefit Draws Former Governor As Speaker

Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey, will speak this Sunday, October 27, at a library benefit sponsored by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library.  Gov. Whitman served as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush, and her topic reflects her particular interest in the well being of New Jersey's environment.  Specifically, she will be addressing the state of the environment following Superstorm Sandy and how policy making might align itself withChrsitine Todd Whitman green movement concerns in the future. This special event will take place at Dolce in Basking Ridge from 4 - 7 p.m.  Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails are included in the ticket price. For further information, please refer here

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

...On Being Stalked

James Lasdun's recent book Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked will be discussed by Bernardsville Library book group Memoirs and Coffee on Tuesday, October 22, at 10:30 a.m. in the Community Room.
Lasdun's memoir recounts how a student/teacher email correspondence went terribly wrong so swiftly and destructively, leading to what he calls a campaign of "verbal terrorism" by his female student.  About Give Me Everything You Have, Publishers Weekly writes, "This subtle, compassionate take on the subject is rife with insights into the current cyberculture's cult of anonymity, as well as the power, failure, and magic of writing." Copies of the book are available, and new members are encouraged to attend the book group discussion.

We Put NextRead Books Right In Your Hands

We do everything except read the book for you!
Now you can sign up on Bernardsville Public Library's website to receive email newsletters tailored to your reading preferences via Next Reads.  The NextReads service delivers customized reading suggestions to your email inbox on a weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly basis.  Do you like to read historical fiction?  Want to know what's the latest and greatest in mysteries or in kids' books?  You get to choose which genres or kinds of books you will be notified about when you sign up here for NextReads. 
We take the next step for you, too!  You'll find a NextReads display in our lobby with the latest NextReads books already pulled and waiting for you on these display shelves.  We've even sorted them by genre.  You do have to pick them up, however, and check them out! How easy is that?

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Circus in Winter

Saturday Samplers book group will discuss Cathy Day's novel, The Circus in Winter, on Saturday, October 5, at 3:30 p.m. in the library.  Ms. Day currently teaches in the English Department of Ball State University, but at one time was an instructor at The College of New Jersey.  

A native of Indiana, she set her first book, The Circus in Winter, in her hometown of Peru (fictionalized as Lima, Indiana) which had an interesting history as the winter home of a travelling circus.  Ms. Day's book tells the fascinating stories of circus people, townsfolk and the town itself over a timeline of many decades.  

As the Chicago Tribune notes, "Day moves back and forth in time, from the 1880s to the 1960s to the 1930s to the near present, in a story-cycle form similar to the work of Louise Erdrich and Sherwood Anderson."  For more information about Cathy Day and the book, please refer to a posting on the blog of this book group, Saturday Samplers.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blankets for Preemies from Saturday Crafters

Saturday Crafters, a Bernardsville Library crafting group, has just completed another charity project, this one to be donated to a local hospital.  Forty beautiful blankets for premature babies were knitted or crocheted by participating crafters who volunteered their time and materials for this project.  
Participants chose their own patterns and yarns, so each blanket is truly one of a kind.  Hospitals are happy to receive these donations which they distribute to premature infants remaining in hospital for a period of time, often weeks.  The blankets not only help the babies regulate their body heat, but also add a cheerful note to the neonatal nursery setting.  When the infants are finally able to go home, the blankets are given to the departing families as a gift.  
In addition to these preemie blankets, Saturday Crafters has produced a large quantity of woolen clothing for the Dulaan Project in Mongolia and has assembled knitted washcloth/soap sets for The Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown.  Members of Saturday Crafters also enjoy creating outfits for the holiday teddy bears given annually to needy children. New members are invited to attend monthly meetings of this group where they can make progress on their own handwork projects while enjoying the camaraderie of others.  All kinds of handcrafts are encouraged and welcomed.  The next meeting of Saturday Crafters will be October 19th at 3 p.m.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

From the South Bronx to the Supreme Court

My Beloved World, the 2013 memoir by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, will be discussed by Memoirs and Coffee book group on Tuesday, September 24, at 10:30 a.m. in the Community Room.  The public is welcome to attend this library book group discussion, and extra copies of the book are available at the circulation desk.  Bernardsville Library also has a copy of the memoir in Spanish, Mi Mundo Adorado, which may be borrowed.  Whether you read it in Spanish or English, My Beloved World will give you a clear sense of the determination, patience, and intelligence of a young Sotomayor who grew up in the Spanish-speaking projects of the South Bronx, yet attained admission to Princeton University and Yale Law School.  Along the way she had to deal with personal and family health issues and a failed marriage, still her spirited quest for a meaningful life eventually brought her to the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court in the service of justice.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Go Green This Halloween

What a great idea!!  Donate your gently used Halloween costumes so that others can purchase them at the upcoming Halloween Costume Sale hosted by Bernardsville Library's Teen Group. Recycling a costume makes perfect sense these days and is in keeping with the Teen Group's interest in the "green" movement. Your slightly used Halloween costumes for children or adults are now being accepted in the donation box located in our lobby.  Costume accessories are also welcome.  The fun part starts on these sale days when great costumes will be available to buy, and the proceeds will benefit future Teen Group activities.  The sale will take place on two separate days as seen in the poster.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Coming Full Circle

The Bernardsville Public Library Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Anne Meany will serve as Interim Director while it conducts a search for a permanent director of our library.  Many people in the area are already familiar with Anne, a resident of Bernards Township, who recently retired as Director of Bernards Township Library. Prior to that position, she was Director at our library, Bernardsville Public Library. She has also worked in the Somerville and Raritan public libraries of Somerset County. We’re very happy to welcome her back starting August 21st.  During this interim period, a Board Search Committee will screen candidates for the library position about to be made vacant by our departing Executive Director, Karen Brodsky.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Affordable Care Act Resources

Bernardsville Public Library now offers online resources to assist you in understanding the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as ACA.  These resources have been pooled by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and we are providing a link to their Middle Atlantic Region data on the ACA.  These same resources may also be accessed from within our website by following links from "Collections & Resources" to "Research & Learning" and finally linking to "Health."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Hare with Amber Eyes

Edmund de Waal's family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, will be the topic of the next book discussion by Bernardsville Library's book group, Saturday Samplers.  Saturday Samplers meets Saturday, July 13th, at 3:30 p.m. in the small meeting room, and new members are encouraged to attend.
The book's title refers to one of the 264 netsuke which the author inherited after this collection of Japanese carvings was passed down through several generations of the fabulously wealthy Ephrussi family.  By the time de Waal inherited these small carvings in ivory and wood, the Ephrussi line living in Vienna had already suffered the irreparable loss of position, wealth, and family possessions due to Austrian anti-Semitism and Hitler's purge of European Jews.  The Ephrussi dynasty rose and fell, but the little netsuke survived intact, inspiring the author in his research and demonstrating to him that some things endure even when so much changes.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Local History" Tidbits, Tales and Treasures

Volunteers from Bernardsville Library's Edwin S. Spinning Local History Room will offer the public a historical overview of Bernardsville, New Jersey, on Saturday, July 13th, from 10 a.m. to noon in the library.  Referencing old maps, newspapers, and photographs, our volunteers plan to discuss noteworthy and perhaps even odd stories about the early days of our town.  Here's a wonderful opportunity to learn about notable houses, famous past residents, and lesser known, but equally fascinating tidbits from Bernardsville's local history.  Small group tours of the Spinning Collection will follow the presentation.  To sign up or for more information, please refer here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My First Coup d'Etat

A memoir of his youth in Ghana from the current president of the nation, My First Coup d'Etat: and Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa is the next selection for Bernardsville Library's book group, Memoirs and Coffee.  My First Coup d'Etat will be discussed on Tuesday, June 25, at 10:30 a.m. in the library.  Memoirs and Coffee is open to new members who may borrow copies of the book at the circulation desk.
Written by John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana since 2012, My First Coup d'Etat describes growing up in Ghana during the tumult of post-independence. The Wall Street Journal noted that “Mr. Mahama is at his best in describing this vanished world. He does so with the eye of a historian and the flair of a novelist...At times the lost world he describes seems almost magical, as if it were populated by fairies and demons rather than real people... His stories overflow with humanity.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Library CAT at Work

Bernardsville Public Library's Collection Advisory Team (CAT) has just produced a new roster of recommended reading for our patrons.  These books are featured on shelving within the New Fiction area and may be borrowed immediately.  A blend of fiction, including thrillers, mysteries, and romance, is currently on display there.
The Collection Advisory Team consists of members of the community who are active library members willing to make suggestions for the library's collection development.  Their collaboration with our librarians enables Bernardsville Public Library to broaden the appeal of its collections and to ensure that community input is considered.  It's great to have a CAT in our library!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Snake Stone: Investigator Yashim Returns

British novelist and historian Jason Goodwin has confected a truly memorable detective series featuring Yashim the eunuch, who lives in the unforgettable setting of 1830's Istanbul.  Yashim moves freely between the world of the palace - the Sultan, government functionaries, the royal harem - and the colorful and dangerous city streets crammed with spice markets, vendors, and a cross-pollination of world travellers.  Intrigue and mystery are everywhere, and Goodwin uses all the tricks in the book to keep the reader engaged.  There are red herrings, historical tidbits, murders and betrayals, and peril is always just around the corner!  
Saturday Samplers, a library book group, will discuss the second in Goodwin's Yashim series, The Snake Stone, at its next meeting Saturday, June 1st at 3:30 p.m.  Led by library staff member Evelyn Fischel, Saturday Samplers book group reads a variety of literature, non-fiction, short fiction, memoirs, teen fiction, etc., so as to broadly sample the written word. New members are welcome and more information about the book group may be found here    

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Keep Calm And Carry On With “All Things Downton”

Need some help to get through the off season of Downton Abbey?  Chin up, we have a new library display entitled “All Things Downton.”  As you enter the library you will be greeted by a comprehensive selection of period literature and dvds exploring 20th century British fiction and history.  Read-alikes/view-alikes to the Downton Abbey PBS series are showcased throughout the display.  Featured videos include The Cazelets, Brideshead Revisited, The Forsyte Saga, and, of course,Upstairs, Downstairs.  When not on reserve, our dvd sets for seasons 1, 2, and 3 of Downton Abbey may also be borrowed.
Fans of biographies might enjoy reading Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey detailing the life of the fifth Countess of Carnarvon and events at Highclere Castle during the First World War.  Noteworthy fiction apropos of the times or dealing with similar topics can be found throughout the display. Here you may borrow Howard’s End, The Remains of the Day, or The Buccaneers, for instance.  

In addition, please browse or take our original, complimentary bookmarks for Downton Abbey subject matter or for British historical fiction.   These bookmarks are included in the display and will serve as helpful reminders of what to read next.  And don’t forget to visit “The British Collection” area of our dvd shelving to find other great series as well.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Driving With Dead People

Monica Holloway's memoir Driving With Dead People will be discussed on May 4th at 3:30 p.m. by Bernardsville Public Library's book group, Saturday Samplers. The observation that some people ought never to become parents certainly applies here as the author reveals a childhood of parental abuse and neglect that proved shocking to the people who knew her family and later read her memoir. Some of the abuse from her parents was verbal, some psychological, some physical, some violent, yet those in her hometown claimed they were surprised to learn of this sad family history when her book was published.  Perhaps it was a result of the times, the 1970's, when neighbors didn't interfere with the sanctity of other people's families, but it is hard to believe that such obvious abuse and neglect were overlooked.  The more shattering, hidden abuse the author and some of her siblings endured is only revealed at the end of this book.  As she notes, "I almost feel like I have climbed Mount Everest. My sister and I don’t have the shame anymore. We gave the shame back in a way, not to the public, but to the people who can accept responsibility —
and that is why I wrote the book.”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Library Week

National Library Week (April 14-20th) at Bernardsville Public Library is designed to highlight the strong bond we share with our community.  The slogan, "Communities Matter" illustrates the symbiotic relationship inherent between libraries and library users.  When people use libraries, libraries succeed; when libraries serve people, people succeed.
To celebrate our community, we have created posters of a few Bernardsville community leaders holding their favorite books.  Each poster is unique, but all posters say the same thing, "Read."  Posters of the staff with their favorite books are also included in the poster/book display shown in this post.  Additional community leaders will be included in future "Read" posters, again emphasizing the importance of reading and libraries throughout our lives.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Life of a Newspaperman

Bernardsville Public Library book group, Saturday Samplers, will attend author Mark Di Ionno's talk on Saturday, April 6th, in the Community Room of the library. The book group has just finished reading his new book, The Last Newspaperman, an acclaimed piece of historical fiction set entirely in New Jersey.  Mr. Di Ionno is an award-winning reporter for The Star-Ledger and has a lot to say about the newspaper business.  

The Last Newspaperman recounts the life and journalistic exploits of fictional reporter Fred Haines, now elderly, who reminisces about the years he spent working in tabloid journalism of the 1930's.  Four sensational episodes in New Jersey history serve as the framework upon which Fred comes to judge the nature of journalism and his own lack of scruples therein. Among those episodes were the Morro Castle fire and the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. 

In covering these events, Fred must face a number of moral dilemmas which tear away at his reporter's distance and dispassion.  The reader is left to compare this era of celebrity and disaster-driven journalism with that of today's reporting, be it by newspaper or other medium.  Mr. Di Ionna will sign copies of his book following his talk at 2 p.m.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Winter Journal

Winter Journal, Paul Auster's 2012 biography, will be the subject of discussion at Memoirs and Coffee on Tuesday, March 26, 10:30 a.m.  Memoirs and Coffee is one of two Bernardsville Public Library book discussion groups, the other being Saturday Samplers; both groups are open to new members.
Paul Auster is a master of metafiction as seen in his so-called "detective novels," The New York Trilogy.  His references to earlier New York authors and his love of Brooklyn stand out in these stories as in his later book, Brooklyn Follies.  Winter Journal, on the other hand, allows Auster the platform to finally look within himself for his own story. 
In reviewing Winter Journal, Publishers Weekly Review notes that "From the vantage point of the winter preceding his 64th birthday, Auster lets his body and its sensations guide his memories...There is no set chronology; time and place bleed from one year to another, between childhood and adulthood...This is the exquisitely wrought catalogue of a man's history through his body, a body that has felt pain and pleasure..."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

MakerSpace: A Creator's Dream @ Bernardsville Public Library

 Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to offer MakerSpace, where creativity meets computer.

A new Mac computer with extra-large monitor is available starting today for creators who want to work on photography, music,  illustration and other projects.  Our MakerSpace programs include Apple's iPhoto, Pages, Numbers and Keynote, as well as Photoshop and Garage Band.  Special headphones, mouse and keyboard are part of a check-out kit which entitles Bernardsville Library members to use MakerSpace in four-hour blocks of time.  Please sign up at the circulation desk to reserve a time slot.  For more information about this brand new library feature, please refer here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Saturday Crafters, 117 Washcloths Later

Saturday Crafters, a monthly craft group organized by Bernardsville Public Library, recently received a letter from the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center in Morristown thanking the group for its donation of 117 washcloth and soap sets.  Many of the cloths were knitted or crocheted by participating Crafters, who purchased the soaps and wrapped the parcels in colorful ribbons.  Bernardsville Library staff member Evelyn Fischel, who founded Saturday Crafters, delivered the items to the Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center where they will be made available to families and individuals in need.
Saturday Crafters welcomes new members who like to practice handwork such as crochet, knitting, rug hooking, cross stitch, needlepoint and jewelry artsPlease bring a project with you to the next meeting on Saturday, March 16th, at 3 p.m. in the Community Room and enjoy an afternoon of conversation and crafting. Participation in community outreach projects (such as the washcloth sets) is purely voluntary. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Elsewhere: A Memoir

Richard Russo's latest book, Elsewhere: A Memoir, will be featured at the next meeting of Bernardsville Public Library's book group, Memoirs and Coffee.  The book discussion will take place in the library on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 10:30 a.m.
Winner of the Pulitizer Prize for Fiction, Richard Russo wrote Elsewhere to explore his childhood in the dreary upstate New York town of Gloversville and his conflicted, but loving, relationship with his unusual mother.  It is a memoir about about family and relationships, about a town and region, about memory and reality.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bernardsville Library: A Drum Major For Justice

Bernardsville Library was honored as a "drum major for justice" by Raritan Valley Community College at its annual MLK Community Partner Breakfast on Friday, January 25, 2013.  Madelyn English, Bernardsville Library's Adult Program Manager, represented the library at this occasion and was recognized for providing "service learning opportunities for the students of RVCC."
A "drum major for justice" distinction refers to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assertion that the greatest leaders serve others, putting justice above personal gain.  In the year before he was assassinated, Dr. King stated his hope that he would be remembered as a drum major for justice.  Raritan Valley Community College celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. annually with this recognition breakfast for its community partners.  Thank you, RVCC!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Good Girls Revolt

Memoirs and Coffee, one of Bernardsville Library's book groups, will discuss Lynn Povich's  The Good Girls Revolt, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 10:30 a.m. in the Community Room.  Copies of the book are now available and new members are invited to attend.
The Good Girls Revolt recounts the story of a movement for female workers' rights at Newsweek in the 1960's when women were deemed suitable only for the mail room and fact checking.  Newsweek's female workforce wanted more, specifically that a third of the reporters and writers be women, and they sued Newsweek twice for a more equitable distribution of jobs.
What seems like a reasonable demand now was revolutionary at the time.  Author Lynn Povich was part of this movement and became the first female senior editor at Newsweek as a result of the "good girls revolt."