Monday, August 30, 2010

Photos by Linda Bock-Hinger on Display

Linda Bock-Hinger, a Bedminster photographer who loves to travel and record people and places around the world, will display her photos at Bernardsville Public Library during the month of September (Sept. 1-24).

Her photos chronicle her global travels, but for this show she has turned her attention to revisiting the USA. Her exhibition will have two foci: the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque and the architecture of the American Southwest.

Bock-Hinger states, “It started with thinking about what it means to live here, what our hopes, dreams, values, and general lifestyles are. I started to think about the many origins of people in this country and that in turn lead me to learning more about the Native Americans.” To understand more about their current life and customs, she attended the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque and photographed Native Americans in tribal dress and performing traditional dances and rituals. The “Great Chief” led several thousand Native Americans from all over North America in the Grand Entrance of the PowWow. Their attire, demonstrated by bold colors, elaborate feathers and exquisite beadwork, was designed to tell their story.

The architecture of our American Southwest owes its heritage to Native Americans, Mexicans, Spaniards, and influences from the early settlers who used whatever materials were at hand. The use of natural building materials and environmental orientation reflected the unique method of the Pueblos. These qualities of Native American tribes inspired the Spanish settlers who entered the Southwest in the 16th century.

Ms. Bock-Hinger explains, “It starts with opening the mind and heart along with the eye to capture a feeling, then I catch it with my camera.” Her photographs aim to make the viewer feel a connection to her subjects and thereby experience their lives and places in the world. Bock-Hinger’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions, juried art and photography shows, public buildings and museums, private homes, corporate offices, and several publications in the United States and other countries. Her international photographs have won many awards and prizes.

Bock-Hinger went from photography as avocation to profession after her retirement in 2000 from a career in education. She has studied photography and art and now combines them into artography, which uses photographs as the cornerstone of her mixed media work.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bernardsville Library to Honor Two Long-Time Volunteers

Bernardsville Public Library will honor two long-time volunteers at a reception in the library hosted by the Board of Trustees on Sunday, September 12 at 2:00 pm. These exemplary volunteers are Theo Mulgrum, who has taught in the library’s English-As-A-Second-Language (ESL) program for more than ten years, and Esther Warner, who has helped with processing books, DVDs and other materials in the Technical Services department for more than fifteen years.

Ms. Mulgrum has lived in Bernardsville since 1972. Before her retirement, she was a Spanish teacher at Bernards High School. As such, she and ESL teacher Maureen Underwood were aware of the need for English lessons among their students’ parents. A proposal for classes was subsequently approved by the Board of Education, and they began running in the old library building on Thursday nights. This was at the same time that a community service requirement was instituted at the High School and provided a steady stream of high school students who taught under the guidance of Ms. Mulgrum and Ms. Underwood. “Teaching these classes is so rewarding,” said Ms. Mulgrum. “I fall in love with my students every year. Some stay in the program for many years. I even enlisted my husband as a volunteer teacher.” Because she is always willing to take on a new task, the library staff has also called on Ms. Mulgrum to translate library materials into Spanish and, for a short period, to teach them Spanish. In addition, she has helped with interpreting for Spanish speakers who seek help through the library’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. Ms. Mulgrum also helps out at Morristown Hospital where she serves as an interpreter in the prenatal and postnatal clinic and leads bilingual tours of the Labor and Delivery area of the hospital for expectant mothers.

Esther Warner has lived in Bernardsville for 30 years. Among the many tasks she has undertaken in the Technical Services area are processing new materials (books, DVDs, and audiobooks for both children and adults), working with revolving collections of books and DVDs that come in for short periods from other libraries, weeding out books that don’t circulate, shelving, and searching for misplaced items. “Esther’s very creative and a really important cog in the machine,” says Technical Services Librarian Rosalie Baker. “She uses her imagination in creative ways to package materials for circulation, and I can always depend on her to work until the job is done.” About her long tenure at the library, Ms. Warner says, “I started volunteering when I retired because I am a big believer in the public library. I learn new things and meet interesting people at the library.” A highly skilled knitter, Ms. Warner is a big contributor of beautiful, miniature sweaters which dress teddy bears at the library each holiday season. These teddy bears are then donated to disadvantaged children through the Salvation Army. She also volunteers at Leonard J. Buck Garden, the NJ Audubon Society, and for the Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Bernardsville Public Library gratefully acknowledges the contributions of these two special volunteers as well as those of the many others who serve the library on a regular basis.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

VITA Program to Expand Under CARES Umbrella at Bernardsville Library

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), a program at Bernardsville Public Library that has assisted residents in calculating and filing their income taxes for over 15 years, is now available to help all year around, not just in the first four months of the year. Coordinator Bob Baker and other volunteers can help with estimated taxes, tax filing extensions, and returns that are being filed under extension. Mr. Baker is also looking for volunteers for next year so that the number of residents served can grow. Although tax season may seem far away, it’s really only four months until training for the VITA volunteers takes place in January. Public appointments are scheduled starting in February. Becoming a VITA volunteer is easy and rewarding, but does require a time commitment of approximately three to four hours a week during tax season (February through April 15). For details on joining this special group of volunteers, contact Madelyn English at 908-766-0118.

Michal Viola, another VITA volunteer, is also spearheading the development of a new library program called CARES: Community Assistance Resource and Educational Services. Scheduled to launch in January 2011, CARES will host seminars at the library on a variety of topics dealing with local, state and federal programs. The goal is to inform and educate local residents about programs for which they may be eligible and about which they have questions. Expert speakers and government representatives will be invited to speak.

For further information about these programs, call the library at 908-766-0118. For general information on the library and scheduled events, go to

Pictured: Bob Baker (left) and Michael Viola (right)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Language Resource Available

Bonjour...Hola....Ni Hao...Ohaiyogozaimasu

Most people know that each of these words is a form of greeting in its respective language. French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese, in that order, to be exact. Most people probably wouldn't know how to say much else. But now, thanks to its Friends group, Bernardsville Public Library has added Mango Languages to its list of online resources. According to Mango, only nine percent of the population in the United States is bilingual while the number internationally is nearly 70%. Why is that number so low? It's not because people don't want to learn a second language. It's because people think it's too hard, or will take too much time, or will cost too much money.

With the Mango database, these barriers are removed. It’s is a simple, easy-to-use language learning program and is a very effective way to learn a language. It's not just about learning words and phrases. It's fun. The courses are presented with an appreciation for cultural nuance and real-world application that integrates components of grammar and culture. Students learn actual conversation, breaking down complex conversational elements within an audio-visual framework that allows the user to draw important connections between pieces of information they have already learned.

Mango is available in two versions. One is Mango Complete, a 100-lesson course that is designed to provide a full understanding of an entire language and its culture. It is available in nine foreign language and three ESL courses. The second is Mango Basic, which teaches everyday greetings, thank you’s, goodbyes and helpful phrases in a short period of time and is designed to appeal to a beginner in a new language. The courses, which require only two to five hours of time to complete, are currently available in 22 foreign languages and 14 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

"Language resources are expensive to purchase and making them available at the library saves people in the community a lot of money,” said Director Karen Brodsky. “We are very grateful to the Friends of the Bernardsville Library for funding Mango, which is an engaging and efficient tool."

To learn more about Mango and see what the program has to offer, visit the library's website, Click on Online Resources and then Learn Languages. Even better, with a Bernardsville library card and an Internet connection, the actual courses can be accessed remotely from anywhere.

For more information, stop by the Circulation Desk at the Library. And, by the way, Au Revoir...Adiós....Zài Jiàn...Sayonara!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bernardsville Library Sends Books to West Virginia

When Basking Ridge resident Neil Klingenburg visited his daughter Laura Peach in West Virginia, she told him that she didn’t have enough children’s books at different reading levels for her third grade students at the Mountain Ridge Intermediate School. So, shortly after returning home, Mr. Klingenburg visited Bernardsville Library and asked Youth Services Librarian Michaele Casey if she had any books she could spare to send to his daughter’s school. She did. For the past three years, Bernardsville Library staff members have been putting extra books aside (usually books donated by community members that the library already owns), and when Mr. Klingenburg drove down to visit his daughter, he took the books with him.

“The kids were impressed and so was I,” said Ms. Peach. “The books we received were good, high-interest reading. I even had to go out and buy additional bookshelves!” Ms. Peach, who married and moved from New Jersey to West Virginia with her husband, has been teaching at the Mountain Ridge School in Gerrardstown for four years. “I believe in giving the kids reading choices,” she said. “I have kids at all reading levels and abilities, and there was always something for everyone. This year I laid out all the books and let the children choose eight books to take home with them over the summer. I still have the largest book collection in my grade level, and the kids, some of whom don’t have many books at home, were thrilled to receive them. It has been such a blessing to receive the books all these years; I think it would be wonderful if people in your community/area knew what you have been doing and the impact it has made.”

A few months ago, the library received a class picture and eighteen hand-written thank you letters in the mail. “My new books are the best,” wrote a student named Anthony. “I love reading. I read here, there, everywhere. I read so much I can’t remembere [sic]. Again I love books there [sic] the best.”

Ms. Peach wrote, “Thank you…I hope that together we have developed some lifelong readers and learners.” Bernardsville Library staff members hope so too.