Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bernardsville Library Celebrates Seniors

Friday, June 4 is Bernardsville Public Library’s eighth annual Seniors’ Day. Community seniors are invited to a free continental breakfast and a chance to socialize at 10:00 am followed by a musical performance by Mary Elizabeth Young on her harp.

Ms. Young, a long-time, now retired, teacher and librarian at Bernards High School, has been playing the harp since she was a sophomore in high school. She studied for four years at Oberlin Conservatory where she was a member of a five harp ensemble that traveled around Ohio to perform. She went on to study with Carlos Salzedo, a well-known French-American harpist and composer who moved to New York and was first harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He inaugurated the harp department at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and founded the Salzedo Harp Colony at Camden, Maine.

Ms. Young will play a variety of classical pieces by Bach, Mozart, and Handel as well as some pieces composed by Salzedo especially for harp. She will comment on the music and talk about the harp—how it produces music and how the pedals work. Her own harp was one of the last harps to be made before World War II by Lyon & Healy Harps, one of the first major harp manufacturers in the United States. Her father purchased it for her when she was in high school.

Seniors wishing to sign up for the program can call the library at 908-766-0118 or register online at www.bernardsvillelibrary.org and follow the link under Programs/Activities. Advance registration is required to attend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Memoirs & Coffee Book Discussion Group to Meet

The next meeting of Bernardsville Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held at 10:30 am on Tuesday, May 25 in the library’s Community Room. Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Coordinator for the library, will lead the discussion of Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People (2009) by William Iġġiaġruk Hensley. [The author will not be present.]

In the book, Hensley offers readers a rare chance to immerse themselves in a firsthand account of growing up Native Alaskan--in a sod house with no electricity, running water, a bed of his own, or medical or dental care. Although he was sent by missionaries to the Lower Forty-Eight to pursue an education and eventually attended George Washington University, he later spent years lobbying on behalf of the Alaska Native land claims movement. Success came in 1971 when the United States government set aside 44 million acres and nearly $1 billion for use by Alaska’s native peoples.

Hensley was a founder of the Northwest Alaska Native Association and spent twenty years working for its successor, the Iñuit-owned NANA Regional Corporation. He also helped establish the Alaska Federation of Natives in 1966 and served as its director, executive director, president, and co-chair. He spent ten years in the Alaska state legislature as a representative and senator, and recently retired from his position in Washington, D.C., as manager of federal government relations for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Hensley and his wife, Abigale, live in Anchorage, where—now an Iñupiat elder—he is the chair of the First Alaskans Institute.

There is no charge to attend the book discussion, and no sign-up is needed. For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Roth IRA Conversions: Is this the time?

Beginning in 2010, tax regulations were amended to allow all investors to make full or partial conversions from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, regardless of their income. And a special rule is in effect for conversions made in 2010 permitting one half of the taxable portion of the converted assets to be declared on a 2011 tax return and the other half in 2012.

It’s a complicated decision and many different factors should be taken into account before making it. To shed some light on the subject, Glenn C. Guerin, a Certified Financial Planner who works within Peapack-Gladstone Bank's Trust Department, will present an overview on Thursday, May 20 at 7:00 pm at Bernardsville Public Library. He will talk about the 2010 Roth conversion rules and changes; reasons to consider a conversion (this year or later); and the tax implications in 2010 and beyond.

Mr. Guerin is licensed through LPL Financial as a financial consultant. He has a Master's Degree in Finance and has provided investment and financial planning advice for over 26 years.

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at www.bernardsvillelibrary.org and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Note: Securities and Insurance products offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA and SIPC. NOT FDIC insured, NOT Bank guaranteed, NOT a deposit, NOT insured by any Federal Government Agency, and may lose value.

Peapack-Gladstone Bank is not affiliated with LPL Financial.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bernardsville Library Wins Public Relations Award from NJ Library Association

Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to announce that at the recent annual meeting of the New Jersey Library Association in North Branch, NJ, the Library won a Public Relations Award for its publication of “A Town History: The Story of Bernardsville.” The attractive booklet includes vintage photos with accompanying text aimed at children eight to ten years of age. Its printing was funded by a grant from the Somerset Hills Education Foundation (SHEF), and the books are now for sale at the library for $3.50.

“A Town History” was the product of a team effort. Over her years at Bernardsville Library, Youth Services Librarian Michaele Casey has seen many children come into the library to research their town history for a school project or to earn a merit badge for Scouts. While the library had a wealth of information, none of it was geared to the eight to ten-year-old age group. Ms. Casey approached the volunteers in the Local History room, and they readily agreed to put something together. At the same time, one of them made a proposal to the fourth grade teachers at Bedwell Elementary School to see if they were interested in collaborating on the project with their students. Eventually, a successful grant application was made to SHEF by Ms. Casey, and the students of two fourth grade classes made a field trip to the library with questions to which they wanted answers, the “Top Ten Things Every Kid Should Know About Bernardsville.” Photos were gathered, and text was written and checked by the volunteers. It was then formatted and edited by Readers’ Services Coordinator Pat Kennedy-Grant and Program and Publicity Coordinator Madelyn English.

On April 27, both Ms. Kennedy-Grant and Ms. English were on hand at the NJLA meeting along with Debra Wilkins, the representative of the school district, as well as the Somerset Hills Education Foundation, to accept the award. (See photo.)

“‘A Town History’ is not only a resource for children in Bernardsville, but is also a nice memento of the place where they grew up,” said Ms. Casey, “It was a collaborative effort that involved three generations of residents, and we are grateful to everyone who contributed.”

Friday, May 7, 2010

Women on the Move: Volunteerism

Women on the Move, the eighth annual panel discussion hosted by The Business and Professional Women (BPW) of Bernardsville and Bernardsville Public Library, will take place on Wednesday, May 12 at 7:00 pm at the Library. Facilitated by Co-President Andrea Mastrobattista, this year’s panel will bring together a group of women who have made volunteerism a vital part of their lives and have been forever changed for the better as a result of this pivotal decision. This year’s panelists are Megan McDowell, the founder and president of Heartworks, a random acts of kindness organization; Marsha Bostick, who volunteers for Habitat for Humanity; Katie Meyler the founder of More Than Me, an organization based in Liberia that empowers underprivileged children; and Susan Dorward, a BPW member who volunteers for the group on the local, state, national and international level.

"We've covered many fascinating topics over the years with these panels," said Mastrobattista, "but because volunteerism is what BPW is all about, this year's theme is especially appropriate. It’s really awe-inspiring what women are accomplishing."

Join the speakers and BPW members for networking starting at 6:30 pm and, after the discussion, for a dessert reception, compliments of the Bernardsville BPW membership. There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at www.bernardsvillelibrary.org and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the Library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.