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, February 3, 2014

Free IndieFlix Access For Our Patrons

indyflix graphicBernardsville Public Library is pleased to offer its members free access to thousands of feature films, award-winning short films and documentaries.   Our library website now provides Bernardsville Library patrons the opportunity to sign up for free viewing access to IndieFlix, an online video streaming service.  With IndieFlix, our patrons can even watch foreign language films from over 50 countries!  These films may be viewed on computers, smartphones, tablets or on Roku, xBox and Apple TV.  Simply create an IndieFlix account with your library card number via our website link:

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.

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.