Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fifty Book Challenge Group to Meet @ Bernardsville Library

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 on Saturday, April 20 at 3:00 pm in the library’s Community Room. 

At this meeting, which will include animated discussion, reading suggestions and snacks, ambitious readers will trade notes on their progress as well as book recommendations.  We'll also share our own six-word memoirs.  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 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 which formats can be read: downloaded books, audio books, 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 Adult Programs and then Book Discussions and the 50 Book Challenge event.  You can sign up from this webpage or by calling the library at 908-766-0118.   

Craft Group to Meet @ Bernardsville Library

Saturday Crafters, a monthly craft group organized by Bernardsville Public Library, will meet on Saturday, April 20 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.

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

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Celebrating National Poetry Month with Reading @ Bernardsville Library

In commemoration of National Poetry Month, April 2013, the Raritan Valley Federation of Municipal Libraries is publishing a National Poetry Month Celebration AnthologyThe booklet features the original works of local New Jersey poets from participating libraries Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Dunellen, Middlesex, New Brunswick, and Raritan.  Poets who submitted their work to Bernardsville Library will read their poems to the public on Thursday, April 18 at 7:00 pm in Bernardsville. The poetry-loving public is invited to attend.

The Raritan Valley Federation of Municipal Libraries was formed to foster-shared services and provide better access to library materials for local residents.  All residents of Bedminster/Far Hills, New Brunswick, Bernardsville, Bound Brook, Franklin Township, Manville, Middlesex, Raritan, Somerville, and South Bound Brook may use their home library cards at any Federation library.  The mobility of the population obscures local boundaries and the public expects this to be reflected in their ability to procure library materials wherever convenient.

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, March 25, 2013

Movie Screening of "Call of Life" @ Bernardsville Library

All over the world, species are becoming extinct at an astonishing rate, from 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than normal.  The loss of biodiversity has become so severe that scientists are calling it a mass extinction event.  To learn more about this troubling phenomenon, come to Bernardsville Public Library on Sunday, April 14 at 2:00 pm for a free showing of Call of Life, the first feature documentary to investigate this growing threat to Earth’s life support systems.

Through interviews with leading scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and indigenous and religious leaders, the film explores the causes, the scope, and the potential effects of the mass extinction, but also looks beyond the immediate causes of the crisis to consider how our cultural and economic systems, along with deep-seated psychological and behavioral patterns, have allowed this situation to develop, continue to reinforce it, and even determine our response to it.  Call of Life tells the story of a crisis not only in nature, but also in human nature, a crisis more threatening than anything human beings have ever faced before. 
After the movie, there will be a discussion led by Rhea Landig, Director of Development for Species Alliance, the producers of Call of Life.  Her involvement with the organization began seven years ago when she reconnected with the film’s director, a childhood friend.  The information she learned about the biodiversity crisis impacted her so profoundly that she began to raise funds for the production of the film that literally changed the course of her life.  She sees her role as educating and advocating for a healthy, sustainable planet for all species.

Ms. Landig has also worked in the New York media and fashion industries for over 20 years and has extensive experience both in front of the camera as a spokesperson and behind it as a producer, editor, and stylist for print and television, including work for Lifetime Television, The Disney Channel, and The Rosie O'Donnell Show to name just a few.  She has also done fundraising and other volunteer work with numerous non-profits including The Hunger Project, Youth at Risk, and various animal rescue and advocacy organizations.

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, March 21, 2013

Restoring Our Tree Landscape After Sandy

Devastation in Bernardsville
 after Superstorm Sandy

Superstorm Sandy was too much for even perfectly healthy trees that had survived previous storms for over 100 years.  To address concerns of residents on how to wisely restore the natural beauty of their landscape and take advantage of opportunities arising from the devastation, the Bernardsville Shade Tree Committee is partnering with the Bernardsville Public Library to present an informative program on Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 pm.  A panel of experts will address topics such as preferred planting techniques, what species to plant and what invasives to avoid, protecting native saplings and a new generation of forest understory from deer over-browsing, post-planting maintenance, tree stumps, and the importance of proper planning to avoid unnecessary expense.  Questions from residents will be encouraged at the end of the program.

Our panelists will be Michael Anderson, Sanctuary Director of New Jersey Audubon in Bernardsville; Nicholas Polanin, County Agricultural Agent for our area; and Dennis Galway, forestry professional on the Bernardsville Shade Tree Committee.

Michael Anderson will open our program with a brief slide presentation highlighting the challenges and opportunities to our environment and trees after the impact of Superstorm Sandy.  As Sanctuary Director of the Scherman Hoffman Center in Bernardsville, Mr. Anderson is dedicated to fostering an environmental awareness and a conservation ethic among New Jersey's citizens and to promote the protection and preservation of New Jersey's valuable natural habitats.

Nicholas Polanin will follow with slides pertinent to forestry best practices for our Bernardsville community.  A County Agricultural Agent with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Mr. Polanin has been nationally recognized for his leadership and educational initiatives in training arborists and other tree care professionals, Green Industry workforce development programs, distance education for consumer and commercial audiences, and volunteer management.  His special areas of expertise include urban and community forestry, street tree management, Integrated Pest Management, and shade tree management.

Finally, Dennis Galway will answer questions from the audience about their individual landscape/tree concerns.  Mr. Galway advocates purchasing land for preservation and focuses on the vital importance of managing these resources for the near future to maintain rare and unique habitat and to protect threatened, endangered plant and animal species.

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, March 7, 2013

Paintings by Eileen Bonacci on Exhibition at Bernardsville Library in April

Paintings by Eileen Bonacci, a resident of Berkeley Heights, will be on display during the month of April at Bernardsville Public Library. The public is invited to an opening reception on Sunday, April 7 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

Ms. Bonacci has had a lifelong passion for art and the beauty of nature. Working mostly with oils, she has produced many beautiful floral paintings and landscapes from her travels in the US and abroad. Recently retired, she is now devoting herself to art, traveling with her husband, enjoying her grandchildren and volunteering at Overlook Hospital.

Ms. Bonacci studied at the duCret School of Art and continues at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey in Summit. She has exhibited her work at the duCret School, Swain Gallery, Paper Mill Playhouse, Morristown Library, Overlook Hospital, Visual Art Center of New Jersey and the Freeholders Gallery in Elizabeth. She has also had one-woman exhibits at the Berkeley Heights and New Providence Libraries and at the Hopewell Valley Vineyard. In June, 2012 she won first place in oil painting for the Union County Senior Art Show.

The exhibition will be on view during regular library hours unless a meeting is in progress. For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

Book Signing by Star-Ledger Reporter Mark Di Ionno

Meet award-winning Star-Ledger columnist Mark Di Ionno at Bernardsville Public Library on Saturday, April 6 at 2:00 pm.  He'll speak about and sign copies of his debut novel, "The Last Newspaper Man," which centers on the Lindbergh baby case that rocked the nation in the 1930s as well as three other major news stories of that era as seen through the eyes of Fred Haines, an ambitious reporter who covered them all.  The book, published by Plexus Publishing, Inc. was released last fall. 

A highly-praised debut novel, “The Last Newspaperman,” is a gripping critique about present-day journalism which focuses on sensationalism and often irrelevant and superficial news coverage.  Although Di Ionno’s new book is fiction, The Last Newspaperman explores the real roots of tabloid journalism where it was born.

During his book tour appearances, Di Ionno gives a thought-provoking look at the role of the media and how reporting has devolved to create the crime-saturated and celebrity-obsessed media we have today.  Learn about the fascinating real-life events that took place in New Jersey in the 1920s and 1930s which led to the birth of tabloid journalism, and how Charles Lindbergh became the first “celebrity” to be hounded by the press.

Mark Di Ionno is a lifetime newspaperman and a four-time winner of the New Jersey Press Association’s first-place award for column writing for The Star-Ledger.  His pieces have followed the most controversial Garden State stories including, in recent years, the Dharun Ravi trial and Governor James McGreevey’s resignation.  He has recently been providing in-depth coverage of the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Besides his work as columnist and author, he is also an adjunct professor of journalism at his alma-mater Rutgers Newark, the State University of New Jersey.  Di Ionno is the author of three award-winning nonfiction books.  New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage and A Guide to New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Trail won the New Jersey Academic Alliance Award, which is judged by a consortium of librarians and historians.  Backroads, New Jersey was named among the most notable New Jersey books (1995–2005) by the New Jersey Center for the Book. 

The library's Saturday Samplers Book Group will meet after the book signing to discuss the book.  There is no charge to attend either program, but advance sign-up is requested for the book signing.  Register online at and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up. 

Splendid Life Meditation

Basking Ridge resident Fauzia Burke will lead the next monthly guided meditation session at Bernardsville Public Library on Friday, April 5 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. Each experience is honored as unique and can help reduce stress, generate creativity, and create positive energy. Free. No sign-up is needed.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The University of "Can-Do" Master's Program

The next session of the "University of Can-Do Master's Program" will meet on Wednesday, March 27 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.  In this installment of the Can-Do Master’s program, they will master the art of focusing.

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, March 5, 2013

The Future of Work: Navigating the Internet

Navigating the Internet will be an essential skill for the foreseeable future.  In this session of “The Future of Work” at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, March 26 at 7:00 pm, Mike Landau will demonstrate effective ways to search for and find the information you need on the web.  He will explain Boolean rules of logic and other ways to get beyond a basic Google search.

Mr. Landau is the retired CEO of SetFocus, a technology school and has started a number of successful small businesses since 1987, prior to which he was the Director of Strategic Planning at AT&T. SetFocus, a technology school, specialized in training and placing IT professionals. 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 under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

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, March 26 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room.  Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Manager for the library, will lead the discussion of "Winter Journal” (2012) by Paul Auster. [The author will not be present.]

Thirty years after the publication of “The Invention of Solitude,” in which he wrote movingly about fatherhood, this book is composed in the manner of a musical fugue which advances from one autobiographical fragment to the next, jumping backward and forward in time as the various themes intersect, bounce off one another, and ultimately merge in a chorus of multiple voices.

The reviewer for the Washington Post said of the book, “In turns contemplative, pugnacious and achingly tender, Auster, who may be one of the most imaginative writers living and working in America today, gives us a blow-by-blow account of his collision with life — a chronicle of scars, fears, deaths and afflictions that have hounded him to his promontory of 64 years.”

Paul Auster is the award-winning author of “Sunset Park,” “Invisible,” “The Book of Illusions,” and “The New York Trilogy,” among many other works.  "I Thought My Father Was God," the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited, was also a national bestseller.  In 2006, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature.  His work has been translated into forty-three languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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