Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Answers to Burning Questions About Menopause

Many women don’t know what to expect when they reach “a certain age.” To supply answers to burning questions, Bernardsville Public Library will host a talk by Brenda Forte, MSW, LCSW, on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:00 pm. Ms. Forte, a Bernardsville resident and psychotherapist with a practice in Morristown, will answer questions about peri-menopause and menopause to help women gain a better understanding of hormonal changes and symptoms at this time of life. While the program will be informative, participants will also be encouraged to share and use humor about this sometimes difficult period.

Ms. Forte received her MSW in 1987 and has been in private practice since 1991. She is a licensed clinical social worker and certified addiction specialist. Through the years, she has completed training in Short-Term Dynamic psychotherapy, addiction treatment, Hakomi (a mind/body psychotherapy), and is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, She specializes in trauma, anxiety, depression, and grief issues and treats adults, teens and couples. In 1994, she became a founding partner of The Institute for Change with locations in Morristown and Montclair where adults, children and families can seek treatment.

There is no charge to attend the 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.

Monday, September 26, 2011

“Thursdays with Charlie”: October Exhibition

Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to present Thursdays with Charlie, an exhibition of paintings by students of the artist Charlie Churchill. The exhibition, which gets its name from the day the students meet with their teacher, will be on display from October 4 through October 30, and the public is invited to meet the artists at a reception on Sunday, October 9 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. [No sign-up is necessary.]

This show features recent paintings by Ivy Antonio, Susan Bendas, Louise Duffy, Mary Richardson, and Deborah Stryker. These women have all been students of Mr. Churchill’s over the past few years. Their work showcases an extremely wide range of styles and subjects. Painting in oils, this group executes still-lifes, landscapes, animal portraits, human portraits, and assorted figurative compositions. Mr. Churchill will also have paintings on display.

Charlie Churchill has a background in advertising and illustration, but made the switch to fine art upon graduating from The New York Academy of Art with an MFA in painting in 2003. He concentrates on landscapes, portrait commissions, as well as figurative work. He gives semi-private lessons in the area and at the Studio 7 Gallery which is where he made the lucky connection with these talented artists.

The show will be on view in the library’s Community Room during regular library hours unless a meeting is in progress. For further information, please call the library at 908-766-0118.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Get Out of Your Own Way to Live a Fuller Life

With the right attitude and some creative thinking, everyone is capable of accomplishing more in both their professional and personal lives—they just have to believe in themselves and push their daily distractions to the side for a bit. On Wednesday, October 5 at 7:00 pm, Robin Holleran, a local freelance writer and adventurer who lives in Mendham, will speak at Bernardsville Public Library and tell listeners how to do just that.

Some of Ms. Holleran’s adventures include traveling solo with young children across the country, surviving a plane crash and then flying again, and hiking to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. She will have a number of suggestions to help people overcome challenges and typical objections when striving to reach new goals—sometimes with some unexpected results.

An award-winning freelancer with more than 20 years business and publishing experience, Ms. Holleran’s articles appear regularly in online and print magazines, newspapers, websites, blogs and e-books targeted to both consumer and business audiences. In addition, she ghost writes for corporate executives who want to reach and influence their internal employee base or be perceived as thought leaders in their industries. While earning her Public Communications degree at American University in Washington, D.C., Ms. Holleran got a taste for the writing profession as a public relations intern at the National Gallery of Art before becoming an assistant editor of a trade publication that promoted Lamaze childbirth. She later held a number of management positions in the real estate, banking and computer industries before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She received "Honorable Mention" in the 75th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition that attracted over 15,000 entries for a short memoir about surviving a plane crash in December 2005.

There is no charge to attend the 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.

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, October 1 at 3:30 pm to discuss The Help (2009) by Kathryn Stockett. [The author will not be present.]

This popular book, which has now been made into a movie, describes life and then change in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s among the women of the country club set and the black maids who raised their children.

Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. The Help is her first novel.
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.

The Power of Words

Inspirational speaker Andrea Mastrobattista will host a new workshop, “The Power of Words,” at Bernardsville Public Library on Wednesday, September 28 at 7:00 pm. “Whether they are said to us or used by us, words have the ability to tear us down or build us up, said Ms. Mastrobattista, “While our tendency is often to speak negatively, using positive, encouraging words is definitely the healthiest option. Come to this workshop to discover how to put a consistently positive tone to what you say about yourself and others.”

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.

Memoirs and Coffee Book Group to Meet

The next meeting of Bernardsville Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, September 27 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room. Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Coordinator for the library, will lead the discussion of Townie: A Memoir (2011) by Andre Dubus III. [The author will not be present.]

After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their working mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence. To protect himself and those he loved, he started pumping iron and learned to use his fists so well that he became the kind of man who could send others to the hospital with one punch, and did. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash of worlds between town and gown, between the hard drinking, drugging, and fighting of “townies” and the ambitions of well-fed students debating books and ideas, couldn’t have been more stark. Only by finally putting pen to paper himself did young Andre come into his own, discovering the power of empathy in channeling the stories of others—and ultimately bridging the rift between his father and himself.
Andre Dubus III is the author of The Garden of Last Days and House of Sand and Fog (an Oprah Book Club pick and a finalist for the National Book Award). His writing has received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Magazine Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He lives with his family north of Boston.

There is no charge and no sign-up is needed to join the discussion. Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Singing Bowl Meditation

Take some time out to relax to the sounds from crystal bowls at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00 pm. The sounds are calming and induce a sense of peacefulness, taking the listener out of ordinary reality into a relaxed state that goes beyond the physical body. Sandee Conroy and Peter Olsen, both sensitive and accomplished musicians, will summon the mixed tones and harmonics inherent to seven quartz crystal singing bowls combining them into a mesmerizing tapestry of sound.

According to Ms. Conroy, regular listening to crystal bowls is a powerful, but gentle way to balance the hemispheres of the brain, tune and re-harmonize the molecular structure, and strengthen the mind, body and natural immune defense system. They help radiate out the negative energy and stress of today’s hectic lifestyles which keep our bodies out of balance and restrict their ability to function at fullest potential.

“Using sound to evoke ‘the relaxation response’ is one of the simplest, non-invasive ways to promote harmony within the body,” she says. “Bowls effectively bring sort of a hypnotic state of consciousness, which opens the door to the inner world quickly and swiftly. They help to restructure disharmonies on the non-physical level, promoting healing on the physical plane. The sounds produced by singing bowls are rhythmic and soothing. They come and go, again and again. Even though they may seem monotonous, the beauty of the intricate sound patterns they produce makes them fascinating. Tibetan Monks have used metal singing bowls for centuries. We now make these bowls from quartz crystal which produce a greater purity of tone as quartz acts as an oscillator and magnifies the tone.”

Participants can sit in a chair or bring a mat to lie on. There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is required. 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, September 13, 2011

Library to Honor Volunteer of the Year

Bernardsville Public Library will honor long-time volunteer Carola Stern at a reception in the library hosted by the Board of Trustees on Sunday, September 25 at 2:00 pm. Ms. Stern has volunteered as a teacher and coordinator for the library’s on-going English-As-A-Second-Language (ESL) classes since 2005.

A native of Finland, Ms. Stern has traveled extensively and lived abroad for many years before settling in the United States with her husband in 1999. In the fall of 2005, her Finnish friend Rita McMaster of L.E.A.R.N. Associates asked for her help in running Bernardsville Library’s ESL program. Ms. Stern ran the afternoon classes which, at that time met once a week, and Ms. McMaster continued to run the evening classes. By 2007, Ms. Stern had taken over coordination of all the classes and volunteer teachers. That year, the Library received a grant for the ESL program which enabled its expansion from two sessions one day a week to four sessions on two days.

“I really enjoy working both with the ESL students and the volunteer teachers,” said Ms. Stern, “It is rewarding to provide this service to the community. Sometimes we have students from as many as twenty-five different countries all polishing their English language skills.” Ms. Stern herself is fluent in four languages and has studied several more. Since Finland is bilingual, she learned Finnish and Swedish as a child. She also speaks English and Bahasa Indonesian fluently having lived in Indonesia as a teenager when her father worked there. She has studied French, German, Spanish, and Japanese in school and Filipino when she lived in the Philippines for several years. When she first married, she lived in Thailand with her husband Michael, an American working abroad, and studied Thai “to get by in daily life in Bangkok.”

In addition to her volunteering at the library, Ms. Stern teaches children swimming at the YMCA including those with special needs. In 2004, she started teaching water exercise at Fellowship Village.

“Bernardsville Public Library gratefully acknowledges Carola’s contribution to the library’s English-As-A-Second-Language program,” said Madelyn English, the Library’s Adult Program Manager, “In addition to her knowledge of many languages, working with different cultural groups comes naturally to her and makes students who might otherwise be self-conscious comfortable when practicing their English.”

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Long and Short of Poetry

Enjoy the poetry and different writing styles of New Jersey poets Marcia Ivans and Ray Brown when they read from their work at Bernardsville Public Library on Saturday, September 24 at 2:00 pm.

Marcia Ivans, who lives in Chatham and whose poems are usually short, will be reading from her second collection of poetry, Over Easy (2007). She began writing over twenty-five years ago as she embarked on the journey that is her life today. As her writing gathered momentum, she found herself sharing both her written works and the healing process of creating them. She is a member of Women Who Write, Inc. of Morris County where she serves on the board. She hosts “Poetry and Pastries,” a bimonthly open poetry reading in Chatham and was recently the featured poet at the “Poetry on the Loose” reading series.

Ray Brown, a resident of Frenchtown who writes the longer poems, graduated from the University of Notre Dame and Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey. His poetry has appeared in a number of literary print journals and on-line. He will read from his first collection of poetry, I Have His Letters Still - Poetry of Everyday Life (2010). This fall he will publish two books, Like Flies on Milk and The Crèche.

There is no charge to attend the 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.

Somerset County Deputy Surrogate to Speak

Is your will in order? Are you familiar with what should be included in an estate plan? To answer these questions, Somerset County Deputy Surrogate Stanley Layton will speak at Bernardsville Public Library on Thursday, September 22 at 10:30 am. He will give an overview of issues that are important to know, particularly what to expect when probating a will in Somerset County, and he will also touch on the preservation of important papers as related to estate administration. Finally, he will highlight recent changes in the law and bank practices.

This program is part of the Library’s Community Assistance Resource and Educational Services (CARES) program, a locally administered umbrella program that delivers informational sessions pertaining to local, county, state and federal programs from subject matter experts.

Mr. Layton has been Somerset County Deputy Surrogate since 1995. A graduate of the University of Utah, he attended New York Law School and then worked as an associate with the law firm of Woolson Guterl Sutphen and Anderson in Somerville. He was a solo practitioner in Somerville from 1990 to 1995 before moving to the Surrogate’s office.

The duties of the Surrogate Office include the probate of wills; appointment of estate administrators; appointment of guardians of minors; acting as Deputy Clerk to the Superior Court of New Jersey in contested probate actions; and the processing of adoptions. In addition, the Surrogate is responsible for recording and preserving records of the proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court and making those records available to the public.

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.

Craft Group to Meet

Saturday Crafters, a monthly craft group organized by Bernardsville Public Library, will meet on Saturday, September 17 at 3:00 pm. Individuals are invited to bring their own handwork projects to the Library and work together in a comfortable, communal setting while enjoying the benefits of shared tips and conversation. The next meeting of the group will be on Saturday, October 15 at 3:00 pm.

Readers’ Services Assistant Evelyn Fischel will showcase different project ideas and books at each meeting. A long-time crafter, Ms. Fischel will encourage such interests as knitting, crocheting, paper arts, hand sewing, embroidery and other needlework, as well as any other craft the group wishes to cover.

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

Moms Mentoring Moms

Bring a bag lunch on Wednesday, September 21 at noon and get an overview of the clubs and activities available to your student at Bernards High School. “Moms Mentoring Moms” is a monthly program designed for parents of high school students and seeks to provide a forum in which parents can come together for an opportunity to interact with other parents to provide support and insight as they wade through the high school years with their children. Both Moms and Dads are welcome.

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.

Comments & Conversation with Library Director

Bernardsville Public Library exists to serve the people of Bernardsville. I hope you will help me spread the word that we welcome feedback and new ideas.

The library is a complex institution. Most people don’t know all it does for the community except in the way they use it personally. I invite anyone wanting to have a conversation about the library to talk with me, whether positive or negative, minor problem or overarching concept. I am available by appointment and also available for walk-in discussions on the third Monday of each month from 4 to 6 pm. This month, that date is Monday, September 19.

I invite anyone with a comment, question or idea to join me for informal conversation.

Karen Brodsky
Director, Bernardsville Public Library

Free English Classes Offered @ Bernardsville Library

Bernardsville Public Library’s next session of English-As-A-Second-Language (ESL) classes will begin on Monday, September 12. Classes will be offered on Mondays and Thursdays at both 3:00 pm and 7:15 pm and will run for ten sessions (till November 17). There is no charge to attend and students may sign up for more than one timeslot if they wish. Limited childcare for children aged three and up is available during the evening sessions.

At the first session, students will be divided into small groups based on their native language and their facility with English. On Mondays, they will practice conversation and role play daily tasks that have to be executed in English. On Thursdays, the format will be based on lessons and practice. Trained community volunteers teach the classes. Community members who would like to volunteer as teachers are encouraged to call the library at 908-766-0118.

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.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Architect Mark Hewitt to Speak at Bernardsville Library

Bernardsville architect Mark Alan Hewitt will talk about his new book, The Vintage House: A Guide to Successful Renovations and Additions at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, September 13 at 7:00 pm. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Co-written with Gordon Bock, the book provides a blueprint for renovating in a way that upholds the character and integrity of the original house. A must-have primer for historic preservation–minded homeowners, architects, and designers, it is the first comprehensive guide to achieving truly compatible, stylistically resonant additions and renovations.

Mr. Hewitt is nationally recognized architect and Gordon Bock is a preservation consultant. In the book, they carefully explain the preparations that are fundamental to renovation and intelligent rebuilding—how to work within the existing footprint of a home, blend in additions that “stay in tune,” expand heating and cooling systems discreetly, maintain a “face,” or facade, in keeping with a home’s codified style (be it Colonial, Cape Cod, Tudor, etc.), select authentic materials, and much more.

Mr. Hewitt, FAIA, is an architectural historian and preservation architect who teaches at Rutgers University. His books include The Architect and the American Country House and Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Farms. [Co-author Mr. Bock was the longtime editor of the Old House Journal. He teaches in the preservation program at Drew University.]

There is no charge to attend the 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.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Photographs by Richard Lear on Exhibition

Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to present Objects of Desire: Flowers of the World, an exhibition of photographs by Richard Lear. The exhibition will be on display during the month of September, and the public is invited to meet the artist at a reception on Saturday, September 17 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. [No sign-up is necessary.]

Richard Lear, a resident of Plainfield, New Jersey, has traveled the world looking for extraordinary flowers to photograph. In his lens, he has found beauty as well as abstraction from New Jersey to Fiji. “Since the flower is one of nature’s most perfect and unique gifts,” he says he finds that it makes the ideal subject. “It brings joy and laughter, and brightens the darkest of days. The magnitude of color is always awe-inspiring,” he adds.

Mr. Lear has put himself in some very precarious situations to get just the right shot with his macro lens. Once he had his partner sit on his legs so he could hang over a body of water to reach the perfect water lily; another time he hung upside down over a second story balcony to capture a unique flower he had never seen before. “I never knew life could be joyful, exciting and calm all at once until I picked up my camera for the first time and tried to capture the beauty that had been before me my entire life,” he said.

Growing up in the Ozark National Forest made Mr. Lear aware of the beauty that surrounds us all on a daily basis. He moved from the forests of Arkansas, first to Los Angeles and then to Manhattan before finally settling in New Jersey. Even in those urban environments he has always had the ability to find something extraordinary to observe in his surroundings. Forced to vacate his apartment due to the World Trade Center disaster in 2001, he realized that life was too precious to waste and decided that he shouldn’t wait to do the things he desired.

It was his scuba certification and underwater photography that taught him he had an eye for composition. That and the love of flowers he shared with his father brought him to the collection he has been working on for some time. Letting the wind and his camera take him where they may, Mr. Lear has shot flowers in Fiji, Saba, the Netherlands Antilles, Honduras and Bonaire to name a few of the more exotic locations. He also will present images from New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma as well. “I try so very hard to present something that brings the viewers in and captivates them. At the same time, sharing the joy that I feel while shooting these precious gems brings me tremendous satisfaction.”

The show will be on view in the library’s Community Room during regular library hours unless a meeting is in progress. For further information, please call the library at 908-766-0118.

PHOTO: Golden Chalice by Richard Lear