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 itv.com/southbank,) 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 http://www.bernardsvillelibrary.org/program/seniors-day-2/.

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.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Past is Present in Our Local History Room

Thanks to the dedicated work of some Bernardsville Public Library volunteers, a large trove of Somerset Hills family histories, artifacts, photographs, and books have been preserved in the library's Edwin S. Spinning Local History Room. Significant collections in the Local History Room include the Fred Pitney Crater negatives from the early 20th century. Hundreds of these negatives have now been scanned and are viewable on our website. These negatives document town life in the early 1900's and include marvelous images of various well-known mansions built for industrialists seeking country living on a grand scale.
Decorative holiday cards and postcards dating approximately from 1905 make up another extensive collection in the Local History Room.  Postcards of area sites and state-wide views are particularly of interest.  Maps, manuscripts, old medicine bottles, and crockery comprise some of the other items donated to the library for preservation.  Oftentimes, these donated items have been found in home basements or attics long after having been left behind by their original owners.
The Local History Room also maintains a file of obituaries dating back to the 1800's for genealogists in search of family histories.  For those who want to revisit their youthful days in Bernardsville or research a family member who graduated from Bernards High School, a collection of high school yearbooks dating back to 1907 may be looked at on days when the Local History Room is open.  Our dedicated volunteers are present on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. to show you these items, discuss local history, answer questions or receive donated materials pertinent to Bernardsville's past.  Please keep this wonderful resource in mind.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

VITA Appointments Being Taken

VITABernardsville Public Library continues to provide complimentary tax assistance to community residents through the VITA program.  VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, and this service has been offered free of charge for over 15 years at our library. Volunteers are trained to assist with state and federal tax preparation as well as to help with estimated taxes and the filing of tax extensions.  We are especially pleased to offer translation for Spanish language speakers who request this service. Free appointments may be made with our VITA volunteers by calling the library at 908-766-0118.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Handmade Baby Blankets Are Donated By Saturday Crafters

IMG_6145Saturday Crafters, the Bernardsville Public Library crafting group, completed yet another charity project, this one benefiting premature infants at Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey.  As you can see, the project certainly brought out the creative talents of everyone involved!  Each of the baby blankets was a unique creation demonstrating a joyful choice of color, pattern, and technique.  Not only will the blankets brighten up the neonatal ward at Overlook, but once the infants are released from the hospital, these blankets will go home with each child as a special gift.
Group leader Evelyn Fischel, a staff member at the library, first contacted several area hospitals to inquire about their interest in receiving handmade blankets for preemies, and Overlook Hospital responded enthusiastically.  Members of the group who wanted to volunteer for this project then worked at home as well as at the monthly Saturday Crafters meetings to complete more than 40 blankets and hats for the infants.  Using donated supplies and yarns they purchased themselves, the members hand knit or crocheted the blankets and hats over a period of six months.
Evelyn delivered the finished items to Overlook Hospital just before Christmas and was deeply gratified by the appreciation of the staff and nurses who received them.  A thank you letter sent to her will be shared with the group at the next meeting of Saturday Crafters, scheduled for Feb. 15th at 3 p.m. in the library.  In addition to the baby blankets, Saturday Crafters participants have donated handmade items to the Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown, to the Dulaan Project in Mongolia, and to the annual Teddy Bear project at the library.  Monthly Saturday Crafters meetings are open to individuals who enjoy working on their own projects in a pleasant, communal setting, and new members are always welcome to attend.