Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Liverpool Singer to Appear at Bernardsville Library

Singer and acoustic guitarist Kenny Cunningham will perform in free concert at Bernardsville Public Library on Sunday, December 12 at 3:00 pm. [Doors open at 2:45 pm.] Funded by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library, the program is part of the Sundays at Three concert series. There is no charge to attend and no advance registration is necessary.

Mr. Cunningham will present a program of holiday music befitting the season along with popular tunes from the 1960's and ‘70's. He hails from Liverpool, England and is known for interacting with his audience with his special brand of Liverpool humor. He has performed across Europe and the Caribbean as well as in many libraries, clubs and at special events in the United States. Known for his extensive repertoire and engaging personality, he is recognized among New Jersey musicians for his musical talent and a certain flair that only true British singer songwriters display.

Although heavily influenced, as he says, by “his hometown lads, the Beatles,” his inspiration to buy his first guitar (and sell his motor bikes) came in 1967 after having seen the movie and hearing the acoustic songs of Simon & Garfunkel on the soundtrack of "The Graduate." Arriving in the United States in 1979, Mr. Cunningham had planned to stay only for the summer, but extended his stay over the decades. “Music became an integral part of my life,” he says, “And my ambition now involves enjoying the creativity of music and sharing this experience with [my audience].”

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Parents, visit our Pre-School Fair!

Choosing a pre-school for a child can be a daunting experience. To make the task a little easier, Bernardsville Public Library will host its third Pre-School Fair on Thursday and Friday, December 9 and 10 to allow parents with young children to gather information about local pre-schools in one convenient location. Representatives from more than twenty pre-schools and enrichment programs will be present. Parents can take this opportunity to speak to them and ask questions about subjects such as curriculum, programs and registration. Specific questions about family needs or special requirements will also be answered.

Each pre-school will set up a table at the library with literature and photos. The fair will be open on Thursday, December 9 from 12:00 pm to 8:30 pm and on Friday, December 10 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

There is no charge to attend the program, and no sign-up is necessary. Call the library at 908-766-0118 for further information.

Monday, November 22, 2010

17th Annual Giving Tree @ Bernardsville Library

Books for Kids is a program sponsored during the holiday season by the New Jersey Library Association to collect books for needy children of all ages. Again this year, Bernardsville Public Library is joining the effort. Members of the community are invited to bring a new, unwrapped book (or books) to the Library to be placed under the annual Giving Tree. Books for infants through teens are needed and will be collected from Monday, November 22 through Wednesday, December 15. The books are distributed to children and teens throughout New Jersey who have limited access to books, including those at the Martin Luther King Youth Center in Bridgewater and the Resource Center for Women.

“Community members have always been very generous with their book donations,” said Michaele Casey, Youth Services Librarian. “We know the children look forward to receiving the books each year, and for some children this may be the only book in their personal library. All the book donations are gratefully accepted.”

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, December 4 at 3:30 pm to discuss The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers (2007) by Harry Bernstein.

The book, written when Mr. Bernstein was 97 years old, tells the story of his family’s struggles to make ends meet on the eve of World War I in a small Lancashire mill town in England where there was an “invisible wall” dividing Jewish and Christian families. His father was a tailor, who spent most of his wages drinking and gambling. His mother was illiterate, fiercely devoted to her children, and persistently begging relatives in Chicago to send money for the family’s passage to the United States. The “love story” is about Bernstein’s older sister who did the unthinkable: falling in love with a Christian boy. The New York Times reviewer wrote of the book, “A Romeo and Juliet drama gradually unfolds…The small events of family life and the daily dramas on the street take on a shimmering, timeless quality… Mr. Bernstein, with great economy and skill, maneuvers an extensive cast of characters onto his small stage and lets their stories play out within the larger historical and social context. In the end, that little street turns out to be very big indeed.”

Led by Readers’ Services Assistant, Evelyn Fischel, Saturday Samplers is a book discussion group dedicated to sampling various kinds of literature, including short stories, nonfiction, new and old novels, and even teen fiction. Its goal is to search out interesting, noteworthy, and sometimes overlooked books. Readers can find information about the group and about the books and authors on the reading list at http://saturdaysamplers.blogspot.com/. No sign-up is needed to join the discussion. Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Memoirs & Coffee Book Discussion Group to Meet

The next meeting of Bernardsville Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, November 30 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room. Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Coordinator for the library, will lead the discussion of Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism (1995) by Temple Grandin. [The author will not be present.]

Ms. Grandin writes about what it is like to live with autism and to be among the few people who have broken through many of the neurological impairments associated with autism. In the foreword, Dr. Oliver Sacks says of the book, “Thinking in Pictures is a deeply moving and fascinating book because it provides a bridge between our world and hers, and allows us a glimpse into a quite other sort of mind.”

Ms. Grandin has a PhD in animal science from the University of Illinois and, with her unique empathy for animals, is renowned for designing humane livestock handling facilities in the United States and abroad. In 2010, she was included in the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She also lectures on autism at meetings and conferences. Using her own experience, she explains how people with autism perceive and process visual and sensory information, experience and express emotions, and develop social skills.

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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Film Screening: "I Can Dance: Four Stories"

Bernardsville Library is pleased to present “I Can Dance: Four Stories,” a feature documentary film produced and directed by Paul G. Sanderson III of Our Town Films, Inc., on Tuesday, November 30 at 7:00 pm. The film is an inspirational look at the world of Pro-Am Ballroom dancing in the United States as seen through the personal stories of two amateurs and two professionals. Mr. Sanderson is an award-winning filmmaker, will introduce the film and answer questions afterward.

The film follows four dancers: Lydia, who saw an ad in the local paper for dance lessons that led her to meet Angelo a larger-than-life dance instructor who would change her life forever; John, who has danced since he was six years old before burning out as top-flight professional, only to rediscover his love of dancing while being a judge and a teacher; Tillie who is ninety-one years old and is inspired to keep on living after the tragic loss of her daughter who leaves her a trust fund which finances her dance lessons; and beautiful Larinda who discovered her destiny while dancing with a complete stranger in college and became a champion professional who now teaches amateur men while also coaching a championship college ballroom team.

These four stories are woven around the ins and outs and the ups and downs of real life ballroom dance competitions that take place all over the country every weekend. Judges, teachers, organizers, hairdressers, DJ's, MC's and the dancers themselves all describe what it’s like to be in their shoes. “I Can Dance: Four Stories” introduces the viewer to a wonderful carnival-like world full of great dancing and wonderful characters.

As producer/director and president of Our Town Films, Inc., Paul Sanderson has enjoyed considerable success in creating television documentaries and educational programs. Since founding Our Town Films in 1992, Mr. Sanderson has won over 30 national awards, including nine CINE Golden Eagles. The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has honored Mr. Sanderson by placing one of his films in its permanent collection. His programs have appeared on NBC, PBS, The Discovery Channel, A&E Network, The History Channel and CNBC. His films have premiered at Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian.

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

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

“On the Spot” Children’s Portraits at Bernardsville Library

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for grandparents or a keepsake to capture your child’s appearance in 2010? If so, make an appointment to come to Bernardsville Public Library on Saturday, November 20 between the hours of 10:30 am and 2:30 pm when Harding artist Tine Kirkland Graham will be on hand to draw portraits “on the spot.” Mrs. Graham’s quick pen and ink sketches with watercolor highlights capture the essence of a person’s form and will be available for only $10/figure. (She can also work from a photograph if a child is not available on November 20.) Proceeds from the event will benefit the library.

“I love to sketch people of all ages, all sizes and all shapes,” says Mrs. Graham, “With their colorful garb, their different hair styles and attitudes, they all have a story to tell and I try to get the feel of each person.” She also writes books which she illustrates with her colorful drawings—about dogs and children’s stories with illustrations set in Nantucket, Bay Head and Florida. Her latest book, “Big Bossy Betty,” is an old-fashioned book about manners, which, she recounts, many people who are tired of the bad manners displayed when driving a car or at a dining room table encouraged her to write. It’s an instruction book filled with fun and lively illustrations. “Big Bossy Betty” will be on sale at the library event, and Mrs. Graham will enter personal inscriptions upon purchase.

Describing herself as a “late in life artist,” Mrs. Graham is a self-taught artist who took some courses at The Center for Contemporary Art (formerly the Somerset Art Association) and the Summit Art Center. She began with pastel portraits of children and then moved on to large, wild beach and ocean scenes. Her work is represented in two galleries in Nantucket, as well as one in Bay Head, New Jersey and one in Florida.

Call the library at 908-766-0118 to reserve a timeslot or request further information.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Life Well Lived: Workshop

Inspirational speaker Andrea Mastrobattista will lead her on-going discussion group, A Life Well Lived, at Bernardsville Public Library on Wednesday, November 10 at 7:00 pm.

“A well lived life has little to do with monetary wealth and material possessions,” said Ms. Mastrobattista. “It’s about the experiences you have and the person you are becoming each day. If you feel like you need something more in your life, but are not quite sure what, then this monthly workshop is for you. Enjoy lively conversation with a supportive group of people who will help you enrich your life in countless, and perhaps unexpected, ways!”

There is no charge to attend the library workshop, but advance registration 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.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meditation Group To Meet

Basking Ridge resident Fauzia Burke will lead the next monthly guided meditation session at Bernardsville Public Library on Friday, November 12 at 10:00 am. Ms. Burke’s style of meditation incorporates many cultural traditions and uses the power of word and imagery to facilitate a meditative experience; there is no right or wrong way, no particular way to sit, or words to say. Each experience is honored as unique and can help reduce stress, generate creativity, and create positive energy.

“Our intention for these gatherings is to find peace and serenity through a practice of regular meditations, and to develop a community for support and friendship,” says Ms. Burke. She has been meditating for 12 years and leading meditation groups for eight years. By day, she is the President and Founder of FSB Associates, an Internet marketing firm that promotes books and authors on the Web. She lives in Basking Ridge with her husband and two daughters, and volunteers to lead the Splendid Life meditations in an effort to help others achieve the peace of mind and inspiration that she has found through mediation.

There is no charge to attend the program, and no sign-up is required. No experience in meditation is necessary. Bring a journal and pen, and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

Bernardsville Library is a STAR Library

Library Journal, the long-established professional publication which reports news about the library world, has released its latest public library rating report, and once again, Bernardsville Public Library is at the top of the list with five stars as the #1 Public Library in New Jersey in its budget category ($400,000-$900,000) and the #2 Public Library in New Jersey overall. The ratings are based on four per-capita service indicators that are reported annually to state agencies: library visits, circulation, program attendance and public Internet computer uses. In libraries in its budget category, Bernardsville Library ranks fifth nationwide. The Library Journal Index of Public Library Service 2010 divides libraries into nine peer comparison groups based on total operating expenditures. Libraries are evaluated on each service indicator relative to the performance of other libraries in their peer group. All four indicators receive equal weighting.

Director Karen Brodsky says that one reason Bernardsville ranks so highly is due to community involvement. “We have many multi-talented library volunteers who are as dedicated to library service as our staff members,” she said, “And the library has received many generous gifts from community members that are used to fund specific initiatives.” The Somerset Hills Education Foundation (SHEF) has just made a $2,000 grant to the library for audiobooks for the library’s Youth Services collection to support the school curricula. The grant will be matched by an equal amount from the Friends of the Bernardsville Library which provides funding for programs and projects from local donations. Students and families of the Somerset Hills School District will benefit from these twin grants, and library staff members hope to continue to serve these library users at the level they have enjoyed in past years. Ms. Brodsky continued, “In difficult economic times, it is more essential than ever that the library find ways to partner with community groups with similar missions to maintain services for residents.”

In recent years, the library has also been the recipient of generous grants from St. John on the Mountain Outreach Commission which benefit the English-As-A-Second-Language program, and library volunteer Maud Thiebaud has just offered a scholarship to a qualifying staff member to underwrite a substantial portion of tuition for attaining a graduate library science degree (Master of Library Science or Master of Library and Information Science). “Staff development is important to maintain the library’s current level of excellent service,” said Ms. Thiebaud, “It also helps retain the caliber of personnel so necessary for patron support.”

Director Brodsky agreed, “Underwriting staff development is an effective, long-term gift to the community because the staff member must make a commitment to work at Bernardsville Library after graduation and the community benefits while he/she is in school. We are also fortunate that the Friends of the Library dedicate funds annually, as their budget permits, toward staff development.”