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.”