Friday, April 27, 2012

Fifty Book Challenge Group to Meet

Reading fifty books in fifty-two weeks may seem daunting, but share the goal with a supportive group and it can be a lot of fun. Community members are invited to come to the next meeting of the 50 Book Challenge at Bernardsville Public Library on Saturday, May 12 at 3:00 pm. The meeting, which will include animated discussion, snacks, and reading suggestions, will take place in the library’s Community Room. There, ambitious readers will trade notes on their progress as well as book recommendations. We will also focus on three books that are popular with the group, “The Dove Keepers” by Alice Hoffman, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery, and “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson. New members are welcome at any time during the year and will be invited to additional events in the coming months.

The fifty books in fifty-two weeks are suggested, not required, for participation in the program. Each reader will choose which reading “counts” as part of the total. There are no limitations as to what formats can be read: downloaded books, audiobooks, e-books and graphic novels are all acceptable.

For more information and resources for the 50 Book Challenge, go to the library's homepage,, and click on 50 Book Challenge. You can sign up from this webpage or by calling the library at 908-766-0118. If you are unable to attend the May meeting, but would like to enroll in the 50 Book Challenge, call the library at 908-766-0118 for more details.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In this new roundtable seminar hosted by a panel of SCORE mentors, proprietors of small businesses can learn the answers to any and all questions related to starting, maintaining or growing a business in New Jersey. The seminar will take place at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, May 8 at 7:00 pm. Potential topics could include marketing, starting, buying or financing a business. The program is limited to 15 attendees.

This workshop is sponsored with SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Business. SCORE and the Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College have formed a partnership to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in establishing a business, identifying needed skills and other elements in the business environment that are necessary for a business to thrive.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Do You Really Need a Smart Phone?

If you’re not sure what a Smart Phone can do for you, come to Bernardsville Public Library on Monday, May 7 at 7:00 pm to find out all about them. Smart Phones can connect to Internet services and perform functions many more readily associate with computers. In this class, conducted by an instructor from Programs Plus, a software training company, learn what these phones can do and about the best applications available for download—both free and for a fee.

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

Monday, April 23, 2012

“West Coast / East Coast” - May Exhibition at Bernardsville Library

Bernardsville Library is pleased to present “West Coast / East Coast,” an exhibition of paintings by Dennis McKee. The exhibition will be on view during the month of May with an opening reception for the public on Sunday, May 6 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. There is no charge to attend and no sign-up is needed.

A resident of Madison, Mr. McKee has been a graphic designer all his working career, designing brochures, identity packaging and websites. After 30 years of commercial design success, he decided to turn his talents toward fine art oil painting, mostly landscapes. He began painting in 2002, and his painting education has been acquired through independent, self-directed training. He has studied with Elio Camacho, whose mentor was Ovanes Berberian, a Russian impressionist.

A year and a half ago, Mr. McKee and his wife moved from Northern California to New Jersey. Having painted outdoors for five years in California, he has now turned his attention to the scenery of the Northeast with a definite shift in color and composition in the East as compared to the West. He sees far more greens and cooler colors here.

Mr. McKee paints exclusively in oil, usually on primed MFD board. Most of his paintings are done 70% plein air and 30% in the studio. “I try to keep my colors intense and vibrant, with bold brushwork to express the vibrancy and the energy of the natural world,” said the artist.

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.

Bernardsville Library Sponsors Digital Preservation Workshop

Bernardsville Public Library will sponsor a digital preservation workshop on Saturday, May 5 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm to help library patrons preserve personal collections of photographs, slides and audiovisual material including VHS, 8mm and 16mm film. The library has partnered with Digital Memory Media, a division of Innovative Document Imaging (IDI), to provide these preservation services to patrons. IDI Digital Memory Media advisors will be on hand on May 5 to counsel patrons on the best way to digitally preserve their collections. Materials can be brought to the library on the day of the workshop. A percentage of all proceeds will benefit the library.

Like libraries and archives, individuals and small businesses have valuable collections of important papers, photographs, slides and/or audiovisual material that require careful attention to maintain. Storing paper requires considerable space and is expensive, and irreplaceable items can be lost due to damage and age. IDI's Digital Memory Media brings secure, professional preservation services to individuals at an affordable price. Once scanned and digitized, all material will be returned to patrons alongside permanent digital copies on DVD disks. Patrons can also arrange permanent storage for documentary collections, if desired. If materials are unavailable on May 5, they may be dropped off for preservation at IDI's New Jersey facility, or arrangements can be worked out for pick-up or shipping.

Headquartered in East Brunswick, NJ, Innovative Document Imaging is a leading provider of digital imaging services to libraries, academic institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

Advance sign-up is not needed for the program. To see a pricelist for the services offered, go to Call the library at 908-766-0118 for further information.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, May 5 at 3:30 pm to discuss Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan (2004) by Phillip Lopate. [The author will not be present.]

In the book, Lopate fuses history, lore, politics, culture, and on-site adventures to take readers on an exuberant, affectionate, and eye-opening excursion around Manhattan’s shoreline. Starting at the Battery and moving leisurely along the banks of the Hudson and East Rivers, the author describes the infrastructures, public spaces, and landmarks he encounters, along with fascinating insights into how they came to be. Unpeeling layers of myth and history, he reveals the economic, ecological, and political concerns that influenced the city’s development. E.L. Doctorow wrote of the book, “Phillip Lopate . . . demonstrates that you don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to be a great explorer. Anyone who finds Manhattan fascinating--there should be several million of us--would do well to read Waterfront, his beautiful ramble into its heart and soul.”

Phillip Lopate is the author of nine books, including “Getting Personal: Selected Writings,” the essay collections “Bachelorhood," "Against Joie de Vivre,” “Writing New York,” and “Portrait of My Body,” and the novels “The Rug Merchant” and “Confessions of Summer.” Most recently, he authored “Seaport: New York’s Vanished Waterfront,” a book of photographs of maritime Manhattan. He is also the editor of “The Art of the Personal Essay,” and his work has appeared in “The Paris Review,” “Esquire,” “Vogue,” and many other publications. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter, and teaches at Hofstra University.

Led by 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 No sign-up is needed to join the discussion. Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Free Concert @ Bernardsville Library

Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to announce a free concert by pianist John Bianculli and singer Jackie Jones on Sunday, April 29 at 3:00 pm—the second of this year’s Sundays at Three concerts funded by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library. It will be a program of jazz standards, American popular song, renditions of some contemporary pop songs, and original music. Doors open at 2:45 pm. No sign-up is needed to attend.

John Bianculli is a lyrical and soulful pianist and composer. His dynamic original music is a unique blend of jazz, Latin, Brazilian, rhythm and blues, and world music. A self-taught, accomplished and versatile musician, Mr. Bianculli was born and raised in New York City’s Greenwich Village across from the Village Vanguard. He got much of his training playing the jazz circuit from New York to Washington D.C. His compositions have been performed by his quartet, quintet and sextet in New York City at the Blue Note, Jazzmania, Jazz Cultural-Theatre, Greene Street, the Rainbow Room and Jilly's; and in Washington D.C. at the One Step Down and Blues Alley.

About his music, the Home News and Tribune wrote, “It invokes beauty and playful fancy, stirs the imagination, and goes straight to the heart. It is unique, lyrical, dynamic, rich, and uplifting. . .” The Star Ledger described it as “ music that will draw you in and make you listen. . .”

Jackie Jones is a graduate of Newark's High School of the Performing Arts and Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey. While earning her degree in Psychology at Rutgers University, she continued her formal music education at the Mason Gross School of the Arts. There she trained and further refined her musical style under such noteworthy jazz talents as pianist Kenny Barron, drummer Keith Copeland, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and bassist Larry Ridley. As an alumna of Rutgers University, Ms. Jones maintains close ties with the jazz program, frequently returning as a guest performer. She has electrified audiences throughout the United States as well as internationally.

Ms. Jones has opened for the legendary Lou Rawls and has performed with numerous noteworthy artists. Her greatest vocal influences are anchored in the tradition of jazz song stylists Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Etta Jones.

For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

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

Looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift or a keepsake to capture your child’s appearance this year? Harding artist Tine Kirkland Graham’s quick pen and ink sketches with watercolor highlights capture the essence of a person’s form, and she will be at Bernardsville Public Library on Saturday, April 28 from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm ready to draw portraits on the spot. The cost is only $10/figure and percentage of proceeds from the event will benefit the library. Call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up for a timeslot in advance. Ms. Graham can also work from a photograph if a child is not available on April 28, and she draws dogs and cats from photographs as well. Photographs may be dropped off in advance.

“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.

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 for further information.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The University of "Can-Do"

The next session of "The University of Can-Do,” led by inspirational speaker Andrea Mastrobattista, will meet on Wednesday, April 25 at 7:00 pm. "Do you have a goal that you think you can't make happen?" asks Ms. Mastrobattista, "Well, you can, because you have what it takes to accomplish it."

This workshop will run through the year, and each month participants will discover how to cultivate and maintain the "can-do" determination to make a dream come true. On April 25, the discussion will center on gaining the courage to share dreams with others, because “people will cheer you on and help you make them happen when you do,” says Mastrobattista. “We will also continue working on our individual vision boards, or create one if you haven’t made one yet.”

There is no charge to attend the library workshop, but advance registration is requested. Register online at, and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Friday, April 13, 2012

E-Commerce for Small Businesses

Proprietors and employees of small businesses will learn about the avenues available online to promote and manage their companies during this SCORE seminar at Bernardsville Public Library on Wednesday, April 25 at 7:00 pm. Nancy Bukovina, whose industry experience includes international trade, imports and exports, marketing, advertising and creative services, will discuss the importance and benefits of a web presence for small businesses, strategies for integrating web technologies into a business, the elements of effective website design, website development options, and measuring results.

This workshop is sponsored with SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Business. SCORE and the Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College have formed a partnership to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in establishing a business, identifying needed skills and other elements in the business environment that are necessary for a business to thrive.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Memoirs & Coffee Book Group to Meet

The next meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, April 24 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room. Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Manager for the library, will lead the discussion of “Half A Life” (2010) by Darin Strauss. [The author will not be present.]

In this memoir, Mr. Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was behind the wheel of his father’s Oldsmobile when a girl riding a bicycle on the side of the road swerved in front of his car. The collision resulted in her death. In the book, he takes a hard look at loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and, at last, acceptance of this tragedy.

Mr. Strauss is the international best-selling author of the New York Times Notable books “Change and Eng” and ”The Real McCoy,” and the national bestseller “More Than It Hurts You.” His work has been translated into fourteen languages and published in seventeen countries.

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Attaining and Sustaining Employment Today

Learn how to stay relevant in the job market of the future from Mike Landau, CEO of SetFocus, at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:00 pm. Mr. Landau will discuss the critical skills needed in today’s marketplace, self-evaluation, development of a personal learning plan, and ways to leverage the tools found on the web with a Personal Learning Environment (PLE)."

Mr. Landau has started a number of successful small businesses since 1987, prior to which he was the Director of Strategic Planning at AT&T. SetFocus is a technology school that has selected, trained, and placed over 2,500 IT professionals since 1997. Mr. Landau has an undergraduate degree in Economics and an MBA from New York University.

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Craft Group to Meet @ Bernardsville Library

Saturday Crafters, a monthly craft group organized by Bernardsville Public Library, will meet on Saturday, April 21 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.

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.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Coffee, Tea & Poetry

Bernardsville Public Library is recognizing National Poetry Month in April with a unique poetry event on Saturday, April 21 at 3:00 pm. Join us for coffee, tea and refreshments while we take turns reading short poems for all ages - some serious, some silly, some fun! Poems will be selected at random from a basket of poetic gems, or bring one poem by your favorite poet to share.

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

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Homes of Distinction" to Benefit Bernardsville Library

The Bernardsville Library Foundation's annual fundraising event, Homes of Distinction, will be held on April 22, 2012, 4:00-6:00 pm, offering guests the opportunity to attend an afternoon cocktail party at one of Bernardsville's finest mansions. This year's selection includes Kenilwood, owned by Richard and Andrea Hall; Country Home, owned by Rich and Pat Sostowski; and Tall Oaks, owned by Herb and Cathy Vinnicombe. The cost is $100/person. The Foundation was started in 2011 to be a source of private funding to enable the Library to operate at or above the current level of excellence without regard to adverse changes in public funding.

Kenilwood was built by and for George B. Post in 1902. The Post family rebuilt the Gothic Revival style home the following year after a fire and continued to live there for eighty years. One of its most famous owners was Mike Tyson, world heavyweight boxing champion, who lived there with his wife, Robin Givens, in 1988. Tennis great Martina Navratilova and Oprah were frequent guests.

Country Home was built 1988. It is a spacious, contemporary colonial on a private road, which was originally a pasture of the Engelhard estate. It has been the venue for many events for friends and family and is known for its hospitality to the Bernardsville Garden Club.

Tall Oaks, a sprawling Georgian style mansion, was originally named Brick House when it was built in 1909. One of its most famous owners was Swing Era Band Leader Tommy Dorsey who lived there from 1935 to 1944. The home had a reputation for huge parties with famous guests like Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner and Jackie Gleason.

Not only are the homes noteworthy, but three great local restaurants are catering the food for the event as their gift to the fundraiser. They are: Bistro Seven Three, Bernardsville; Cafe Azzurro, Peapack; and Two Fifty Two, Bedminster.

There will be other fundraising opportunities available during the event. Available selections are on display in the lobby of the library. Items include a one-week vacation at a resort of your choosing, 30 tickets to the Patriots Ball park for a game in the Somerset County Freeholder's skybox with fireworks, the use of a private vacation home on Cape Cod for one week, the watercolor painting by Mark de Mos used for this year's invitation, and a private party for 12 guests at a mansion in Bernardsville.

Invitations are available at the library. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Event Co-Chair Kathleen Palmer at 908-963-0365 or

Free Mobile Phone Holder During National Library Week

To celebrate National Library Week, starting on April 9 the first 500 Bernardsville Public Library cardholders to download the new Bernardsville Public library mobile app and show their mobile device with the app to library staff will get a free Driinn Mobile Phone Holder at the library (one per person while supplies last).

“We’re all getting mobile,” said Library Director Karen Brodsky, “And now Bernardsville Public Library has a new mobile app to give library users instant information on library hours, what’s available at the library, what kind of programs are going on, and check on renewals and requests in their personal accounts.”

This Mobile Project Initiative was co-funded by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library and by LibraryLinkNJ, The New Jersey Library Cooperative whose services are funded by the New Jersey State Library, which is responsible for the coordination, promotion and funding of the New Jersey Library Network.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Organize Your Life with Google Calendar

Learn how to use Google calendar to keep track of your life’s important activities—all in one place. Bernardsville Public Library will offer a hands-on class on Tuesday, April 10 at 7:00 pm. Taught by an instructor from Programs Plus, a software training company, the class will demonstrate the basics and the fine points of using Google calendar—how to get event reminders via email or have text messages sent right to a mobile phone; how to organize your schedule and share events with friends and family.

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is required because space is limited. Register online at and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.