Friday, September 27, 2013

Joel Zelnik Trio to Perform at Bernardsville Library

Joel Zelnik at the Steinway
The Joel Zelnik Trio will perform in free concert at Bernardsville Public Library on Sunday, October 13 at 3:00 pm.  "My Bill Evans – A Personal Conversation" is a fascinating program based on the dialogues between Joel Zelnik and Bill Evans, a seven- time Grammy Award winner, at the Village Gate during the mid-1960s.  Signature Evans works will be performed as the trio presents informative insight into this jazz great.  Part of the “Sundays at Three” series, this concert is funded by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library.  Doors open at 2:45 pm.  No sign-up is needed.

Bill Evans, who was born in Plainfield, NJ, is acknowledged to be the most important innovator of jazz piano in the late 20th century.  Joel Zelnik had the great fortune to play at the Top of the Gate in New York City during the mid-1960s.  On Monday nights, he split sets with the Bill Evans Trio, and his greatness has stayed with Zelnik right up to the present.  As Zelnik tells it, "Bill said to me: as a musician, it’s not what you play, but how you play it.” Zelnik has lived that in his own piano playing no matter what style or circumstance.

Jazz great Dr. Billy Taylor was the first to give air play to Mr. Zelnik's first jazz album, “MOVE.”  A contemporary of Bill Evans, Zelnik has entertained five presidents, has been a pianist/bandleader for thousands of events, and has performed at concert venues in New York, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Japan and Greece.  New York venues include Windows On The World and The Rainbow Room.  He has recorded four CDs and holds an M.A. from Rutgers University.  His latest recording, “Live At Steinway Piano Gallery,” was performed on a Steinway Model D Concert Grand and released in Japan.

Brian Glassman, bassist for the trio, is an extremely versatile musician, at home in almost any genre of music be it classical, rock, Latin, R&B, or cabaret.  He is perhaps best known for his work in jazz, cabaret and world music styles such as Klezmer.  Glassman has performed nationwide, throughout Europe, and in Asia, Japan, South Africa, Brazil, Israel, Russia, and the Mid-East.  He can regularly be heard playing his historic c.1820's Prescott American double bass at many New York City venues.  He has been Instructor of Jazz Bass at Princeton University since 2003.

Percussionist David Cox is currently on the faculty of Adelphi University.  He has performed in many New York theater productions including Annie, My Fair Lady (with Rex Harrison), Dancin’, 42’nd Street (with Jerry Orbach), Cats, Pippin (with Ben Vereen), and My One and Only (Tommy Tune and Twiggy).  He toured with Mr. Vereen in Pippin and in his Vegas night club act, and with Engelbert Humperdinck, Vic Damone, and Liza Minelli.  As a Graduate Fellow he served as the Assistant Conductor of the Brooklyn College Conservatory Orchestra (1994-97) while earning a Master’s Degree. He holds an Undergraduate degree from Manhattan School of Music, doing graduate work at the Julliard School (1970-72).

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

Meditation Group to Meet at Bernardsville Library

Basking Ridge resident Fauzia Burke will lead the next monthly guided meditation session at Bernardsville Public Library on Friday, October 11 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 15 years and leading meditation groups for eleven 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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Surviving the Job Search: You Want What?!

Go behind the scenes with Neil Berger, on Wednesday, October 9 at 7:00 pm at Bernardsville Public Library, and he will share his more than thirty years’ experience in the interview process as a Human Resources professional—from ‘screening interview’ to job offer. Whether you are between jobs, exploring career options or returning to the work world, you’ll come away with information and tools to help you land your next job.

Some of the topics that will be covered include formulating a 2-minute biography to answer the question, "Tell me about yourself"; interview etiquette; dealing with employment agencies, search firms and other third-party recruiters; identifying legal and illegal interview questions; and negotiating a realistic salary.

Neil Berger has more than thirty-five years of teaching experience. After five years as a New York City high school English teacher, he joined the private sector, first as a training specialist, then as Manager of Training and Development for Chemical Bank (which later became part of Chase Bank) and then as Director of Training and Development for a 4000-employee manufacturer before becoming a Director of Human Resources for an international conglomerate responsible for recruiting, training, benefits, labor relations and compensation.  His experience includes the financial community, retailing, transportation, manufacturing, and the not-for-profit community.  At the same time, he taught business writing as an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College for fourteen semesters.  He has a BA in English; an MA in Education and an MBA in Management.

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. 

Meet the Author of "The Great Truth"

Janet Pfeiffer, a motivational speaker and award-winning author of "The Great Truth: Shattering Life's Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life's Sole Purpose," will speak on Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00 pm at Bernardsville Public Library.

"Put aside all concerns of finding happiness, satisfying your dreams, or being loved," she says. "This will replace all prior beliefs and needs, provide a guaranteed map for effortless living, and transform your life in ways unimaginable.  Everything else will follow, I promise."  Her books will be available for purchase and signing.

Ms. Pfeiffer, a resident of Oak Ridge, is a sought-after speaker, an authority in the field of anger management and conflict resolution, and a consultant and instructor at a battered women’s shelter.  She serves as a consultant to the U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, AT&T, Hoffman-LaRoche, Rutgers University, Carnival Cruise Lines, United Way, YWCA, and the New Jersey Education Association.  She is a former columnist for the Daily Record and hosted her own cable TV and radio shows. 

As an inspirational speaker and private consultant, Ms. Pfeiffer is a frequent guest on radio and TV and has appeared on CNN, Lifetime, NBC News, Fox, CBS News, and more than 80 top radio stations.  She also runs “The Antidote to Anger Group” for court ordered offenders and those with issues of anger. 

In 2001, she founded "Reunion of Hearts," Reconciling and Reconnecting Estranged Families," the nation's first non-profit support group of its kind dedicated to the emotional healing and reuniting of estranged family members. 

There is no charge to attend the library 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. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Sporting Dogs and Hounds at Home and in the Field" - October Exhibition at Bernardsville Library

"The Chase"
Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to present “Sporting Dogs and Hounds at Home and in the Field,” an exhibition of paintings by Jerilyn Weber, during the month of October.  There will be an opening reception on Sunday, October 6 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

Known primarily for her animal portraits, Ms. Weber enjoys working on both commissioned and non-commissioned pieces.  A resident of Flemington, she concentrates in pastels, finding the medium to be an excellent means of rendering the various textures and colors found in animal coats.

Ms. Weber captures both the outer appearance of an animal and its inner soul, a process that involves understanding not only the animal but also the special relationship between owner and animal.  With ease and subtlety, she expresses the special characteristics of each of her subjects, whether it be curiosity, gentleness, power, a sense of humor, intelligence or the interplay of the many other characteristics animals possess.

“I think it is from my own love of animals that I understand the central importance an animal has for its owner.  A portrait germinates from the love we have for our pets and celebrates and honors them.  In a humble sense, a portrait keeps our animals with us for a lifetime.”

In addition to pastels, Ms. Weber works in paper collage and multi-media, most recently a series of frescos on canvas.  Using soft and rough textures, these pieces capture the energy, power, and vitality of her subjects.

Ms. Weber exhibits regularly and has received numerous awards for her work.  She has been a multiple first place winner at the NY Dog Fanciers Contemporary American Dog Art Competitions and has been featured in several national publications including “Canine Images,” “Equine Vision Magazine,” and “Polo Players' Edition.”   Her work has been on the covers of “The Chronicle of the Horse” and “Horse News.”  She is a founding member of the New Jersey Equine Artists Association.

This exhibition 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.

Saturday Samplers book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, October 5 at 3:30 pm to discuss “The Circus in Winter” (2004) by award-winning author Cathy Day.  [The author will not be present.]

The book, a fictional history of her hometown, describes how, from 1884 to 1939, the Great Porter Circus makes the unlikely choice to winter in an Indiana town called Lima.  Over three generations, the circus transforms this small town, providing a magical backdrop to daily life.  The connected tales of "The Circus in Winter" display the rise and fall of an American circus as the author follows the performers and their progeny into history, vividly bringing the everyday lives of circus people to the page.

Cathy Day was born and raised in Peru, Indiana and is the author of two books.  The first, "The Circus in Winter" was a finalist for the GLCA New Writers Award, the Great Lakes Book Award, and the Story Prize, and is being adapted into a musical.  It was a Barnes & Noble “Discover” selection, an “Original Voices” pick at Borders, and a Best Book of 2004 on 

Her stories and essays have appeared most recently in Pank, Sports Illustrated, The Millions, North American Review, Ninth Letter and elsewhere.  Her fiction and nonfiction have been broadcast on NPR’s "Selected Shorts” and “Studio 360.”  Her most recent work is "Comeback Season: How I Learned to Play the Game of Love" (Free Press), part memoir about life as a single woman and part sports story about the Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl season.  She teaches creative writing at Ball State University and is currently working on a novel.  She maintains blogs about her novel-writing class, her linked stories class, and literary citizenship.

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, September 17, 2013

Artist to Draw "Great Big Faces" at Bernardsville Library

Freelance cartoonist and illustrator Paul Merklein, who combines dynamic art, comedy and audience participation as he draws famous faces and people right from the audience, will lead two programs at Bernardsville Public Library on Saturday, September 28.  At 1:00 pm, there will be a family oriented program and at 3:00 pm, children in Grades 4 through 12 will get tips on how to draw Super Heroes.

Mr. Merklein performs in libraries, schools, colleges, and at festivals and special events around the country, entertaining all ages.  He has been called “an amazing artist” and “a magic marker wizard” by reporters and fans.  

Merklein began his career as a professional artist at the University of Wisconsin, where he drew signs for the Student Union Publicity Department while he was studying art.   After college, he worked as a freelance cartoonist and illustrator for newspapers, magazines and online media, including The New York Times and The Milwaukee Journal.  In 2001, Mr. Merklein performed his first "Great Big Faces" show at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and he has performed at Milwaukee's Summerfest, Harvard University, and The Freeman Stage in Delaware. 

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

Friday, September 13, 2013

Meet Author Maryann McFadden

When Maryann McFadden finally landed a major publishing contract at auction, writers’ blogs called it “winning the literary lottery.”  If only it were that easy.  On Sunday, September 29 at 3:00 pm at Bernardsville Public Library, Ms. McFadden will tell the inspiring story of her ten-year publishing journey--how she decided to publish her book herself and prove it was worthy, and she did.  This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Bernardsville Library.   

Ms. McFadden self-published her first novel, The Richest Season, in 2006 after five years of rejection and shelving it three times.  Championed by independent booksellers, she soon found herself attached to a literary agent who believed her novel should be published.  It sold at auction to Hyperion Books (ABC/Disney) and an expanded version was released in hardcover in June 2008.  It was recognized as an Indie Next Pick and Target Breakout Novel.  Since then, her books have been translated into German, Italian and Spanish.  

Her third novel, The Book Lover, debuted in May of last year and was also selected as a nationwide Indie Next Pick by the American Booksellers Association.  Publisher’s Weekly described The Book Lover as "the subtly complex tale of an aspiring author, a struggling bookseller, an Iraq War veteran, and the pursuit of a dream that brings them all together...a believable story of self-discovery.”  Ms. McFadden's advice to aspiring writers with a dream: "Work hard, persevere, and believe!"  

Ms. McFadden is also a speaker and writing coach, and loves to chat with book clubs and writers.  She lives in Northwest New Jersey where she is working on her fourth novel.  

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. 

University of Can-Do Master's Program

The next session of the "University of Can-Do Master's Program" will meet on Wednesday, September 25 at 7:00 pm at Bernardsville Public Library. "Do you have a goal that you think you can't make happen?" asks Andrea Mastrobattista who leads the group, "Well, you can, because you have what it takes to accomplish it."

This workshop runs throughout the year, and each month participants discover more skills for cultivating and maintaining the "can-do" determination to make a dream come true. This month’s session will focus on mastering the art of saying no. If you are a people pleaser, it’s difficult to say no when asked to do something, but saying yes to all requests can become detrimental to your well-being. Come to this workshop to learn how to turn down requests with grace.

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.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dr. Marianna Marchese, an experienced college counselor who has worked in college counseling for over 25 years, will review the college application and admissions process for high school juniors and seniors and their parents on Tuesday, September 24 at 7:00 pm at Bernardsville Public Library.

The founder of College Connexxions, Dr. Marchese assists a diverse array of high school students in finding their best college or university match and then provides them with the advice and direction they need to optimize their chance of gaining acceptance there.  Her in-depth knowledge of the college landscape and the relationships she has cultivated with numerous Deans and members of college admissions departments has enabled her to effectively guide students of all backgrounds to their college or university of choice, be it Ivy League or other superlative post-secondary institution.

"I truly believe the college process is a journey to be taken with each and every student. Regardless of their economic status, I have encouraged all students to seek the best possible educational path to achieve their personal and career goals.  As a first generation student attending college, I know how important it is for every student to have the opportunity to make the dream of higher education a reality," says Dr. Marchese.

Dr. Marchese earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University.  She has worked as Director of Student Personnel Services at West Morris Mendham High School, Mendham, NJ; Director of Student Personnel Services in Pascack Valley Regional School District, Montvale, NJ; Director of Guidance, Glen Ridge High School at Glen Ridge, NJ; and as Guidance Counselor at Westfield High School, Westfield, NJ.

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. 

GED Prep Program Offered at Bernardsville Library

Mary Martin, Emerging Technologies Librarian at Parsippany Public Library, will offer an informative program at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, September 24 at 7:00 pm for those who are preparing for the GED high school equivalency test.

Ms. Martin will review online resources such as Learning Express which offer practice exams—how to access it from library or from home; the available subject areas (language arts; math, science, social studies, writing, skills improvement); and the foreign languages available. She will also review the forms required to sign up for test; where live review classes are offered and how much they cost; and where and when the actual exams are offered.

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. 

Yoga Classes Offered at Bernardsville Library

In a partnership between Bernardsville Library and Bernardsville Recreation, a six-session course on yoga basics will be offered in the library's Community Room on Tuesdays, September 24 to October 29 at 1:00 pm. Taught by Julie Shaw of Lotus Mind and Body, the total cost for the 6-week session is $30.00.  Registration is through Bernardsville Recreation’s Community Pass portal, Students should bring a yoga mat or towel with them to class.
Suitable for all students, the classes will offer an integrated sequence of poses designed to warm up the body and then work toward a specific intention within the natural movements of the spine. Students are encouraged throughout the entire practice to link their awareness of breath to the movements of the body. This awareness is the single most important key to a Hatha yoga practice because it serves to keep the practitioner in the present movement, observing and accepting what is. Pranayama (breath work) and a final deep relaxation are integral to every class.

Twenty-five years ago Instructor Shaw's long commute in a car with a cranky clutch resulted in back pain. She looked up “yoga” in the yellow pages and stepped into so much more than an exercise class. Fourteen years later she completed her first level Yoga Alliance-approved teacher training, followed six years later by her second level training. She began teaching 10 years ago and has studied several primary forms of yoga, including Iyengar, Kripalu and Viniyoga. Currently, she is studying to become a certified yoga therapist in the Viniyoga tradition, which is one of the remaining truly authentic yoga traditions. She teaches group classes and works privately with individuals, developing a yoga practice which can best serve their needs, whatever their condition may be. Ms. Shaw has had the privilege of experiencing the cumulative effects of decades of yoga, and she uses that awareness to encourage all students, beginners or veterans, to be open to what yoga can offer in this moment of their lives.  

For further information, call Bernardsville Library at 908-766-0118 or Bernardsville Recreation at 908-766-2546.

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, September 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 “My Beloved World” (2013) by Sonia Sotomayor. [The author will not be present.]

The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon.  In her memoir, she recounts her life with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice.  From a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, she tells of a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.

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

Saturday Crafters to Meet

Saturday Crafters, a monthly craft group organized by Bernardsville Public Library, will meet on Saturday, September 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.  They can also take advantage of the many books available at the library on different types of crafts. 

Public Relations Assistant Evelyn Fischel will showcase 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.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bernardsville Library to Honor Volunteer of the Year

Bernardsville Public Library will honor 2013 Volunteer of the Year Pat Bankowski at a reception in the library hosted by the Board of Trustees on Sunday, September 22 at 2:00 pm.  

"Pat Bankowski has been the moving force in bringing the information in the library's Edwin S. Spinning Local History collection into the digital age," said Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers' Services Manager at the library, "She uploaded our record of obituaries dating back to the early years of the 20th century and worked with us to make the historic Fred Pitney Crater collection of local photographic images available to the public; now she keeps the obituary record up-to-date and is working on making wedding records available online."

After retiring as a data analyst for AT&T and Prudential, Ms. Bankowski was recruited to join the Local History Room volunteer committee by Marion Kennedy, former committee chair.  "I frequently met Marion while walking my dog, and she told me about the Local History Room.  I had to admit that I had never been in there.  I loved the library, but somehow I had missed the Local History Room," said Ms. Bankowski.  She started to volunteer in 2010 and was amazed by the richness of the materials in the collection.  "So many photographs, the old Bernardsville News volumes, the files of information—it was overwhelming and exciting," she said.  "I have lived in Bernardsville all my life except for eleven years, and working in the Local History Room I can see how it was at various times and try to ensure that our own times are documented as well for the future."

"The library couldn't be as effective as it is without the dedication and volunteerism of people like Pat," said Donald Burset, President of the Library Board of Trustees.  "Their contributions and expertise, truly make Bernardsville Library 'a world at your doorstep.'"

Chess Lessons Offered at Bernardsville Library

Bernardsville Public Library will offer a free series of chess lessons on Wednesdays, September 18 through October 23.  The lessons, taught by Martin Sobin of Jersey Chess, are for children in first grade and up, both beginners and beyond.  Beginners' lessons start at 4:15 pm; players with previous experience will meet at 5:30 pm.  The lessons are made possible by support from the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library.

Mr. Sobin, through his company, Jersey Chess, has been teaching chess programs at numerous schools, libraries, summer camps and to individuals throughout northern and central New Jersey for many years.  He has taught at least two programs every year since 2007 at Bernardsville Library.  "My goal," he said, "is not just to teach children how to play chess, but to instill in them a love for the game, so that they will play often, get better at it, and hopefully, for some, play competitively at tournaments.”  He has several students from Bernardsville Library who have come back to his programs year after year and some play regularly at chess tournaments throughout the region, often winning individual and team trophies.

There is no charge to take the chess lessons, but advance sign-up is required and donations to help underwrite the program are welcome.  Register online at and follow the link under Kids or call the library at 908-766-0118.