Monday, September 22, 2014

"One Book Bernardsville" Gets Underway in October

With the beginning of October comes the first "One Book Bernardsville" organized by Bernardsville Public Library and featuring the book by Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. This shared community reading experience includes activities for both adults and children: a month of book discussions and thematically related programs on the Appalachian Trail, hiking, wildlife, camping equipment, and campfire stories.
The official kick-off will be on Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00 pm with guest speaker will be Bob Sickley who through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in two long sections in 1997 and 1998. A 1978 graduate of Bernards High School, he has been an avid hiker and backpacker for more than thirty years. He currently works at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), focusing on treadway programs and projects in ATC's Mid-Atlantic region, i.e. from the New York/Connecticut border to the southern end of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Among the other programs scheduled are a program on camping equipment, a walk led by naturalist Christa Wood in Lord Stirling Park, one at the Sherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary focusing on our local birds of prey, and another on the portion of the Appalachian Trail that actually runs through New Jersey. All three of the library’s book groups will be discussing "A Walk in the Woods" as well, and it's not too late for local book groups to call the library and sign up to have a library staff member lead their discussions.

“This book has broad appeal for its humor as well as its information on hiking, geology, plant life and animal life, making it the perfect choice for our first 'One Book' selection,” said April L. Judge, Library Director. The library has books for individual participants or members of local book clubs to borrow.  Books are also available for purchase at The Bookworm.

Detailed information on all the events is available at, or call the library at 908-766-0118. All the programs are free. To sign up for the kick-off event on October 8 or the other programs, go to or call 908-766-0118.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Essex Water Color Club: Exhibition in October

Ethiopian 2 by John Wolff
Paintings by members of the Essex Water Color Club will be on display at Bernardsville Public Library during the month of October. The exhibit represents the club's final exhibit this year of members’ watercolors whose topics range from landscapes and portraits to abstract paintings. There will be an opening reception, to which the public is invited, on Sunday, October 5, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

The Essex Water Color Club is New Jersey’s oldest watercolor organization. It was founded by twenty-seven Essex County artists in 1932 to stimulate interest in and advance the art of water media painting. Since then, this non-profit organization has continuously provided a forum for artists to meet, share ideas, discuss techniques and exhibit their work. 

This exhibition will be on view in the library’s Community Room from October 2 through October 30 during regular library hours unless a meeting is in progress. For further information, please call the library at 908-766-0118.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Can-Do Connection

The next meeting of The “Can-Do” Connection will convene at Bernardsville Public Library on Wednesday, September 24 at 7:00 pm. Some people fear failure; some fear success. Whatever your fears, come to this workshop led by Professional Inspirer Andrea Mastrobattista to discover how to turn fear into the fuel that helps you achieve your goals.
Ms. Mastrobattista has been leading her inspirational workshops on Wednesday evenings at the library since 2006. She heads a company called Operation INSPIRATION and also facilitates workshops in the Somerset Hills such as "Facing Your Fears" and "Transforming Negatives Into Positives" in which she helps people to fully form their goals and develop a strong can-do attitude for achieving them. Her core belief is that, no matter what circumstances people face, they have the strength and ability to create and live fulfilling and inspiring lives. She also owns Golden Slipper Productions, a company which creates websites and promotional materials for small and mid-sized businesses.

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.

Page Turners: Evening Book Group

Bernardsville Public Library’s evening book discussion group, Page Turners, will meet on Wednesday, September 24 at 6:30 pm in the library’s Community Room when Library Director April Judge will lead the discussion of “Providence" (2014) by Lisa Colozza Cocca. [The author will not be present.] The book is the "One Community, One Book" selection for the Morristown Festival of Books this month.

The novel follows the story of a Becky, a young girl who runs away from a violent home and, a few hours later, finds an abandoned newborn girl whom she rescues from a train and with whom she settles in another town far away. As she forges bonds with the people in this town and the infant she has rescued, Becky becomes tangled in the web of lies she has woven and is forced to make difficult decisions. She manages to survive, even thrive, in difficult circumstances.

The author grew up in upstate New York and now lives in New Jersey. She worked as a teacher and has run a school library. "Providence" is her first published novel, but, she says, "I’ve written other novels, chapter books, and picture books... If you’ve been to school in the past decade, there is a good chance you have used something I had a part in making."

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

Friday, September 5, 2014

Memoirs and Coffee Book Group to Discuss "I Am Malala"

The next meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, September 23 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room. Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Manager for the library, will lead the discussion of “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” (2013) by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb. [The authors will not be present.] The group will also celebrate ten years of great books and discussions.

Malala Yousafzai was born in Pakistan in 1997. She is known for her activism for rights to education for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, its attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley. In 2011, she was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize by South African activist Desmond Tutu.

In October 2012, Malala was shot by the Taliban as she rode home from school on her school bus. Miraculously, she survived and continued to speak out. She is now living and studying in the United Kingdom, where she attends school.

Marie Arana of the Washington Post called the book "riveting" and continued, "Co-written with Christina Lamb, a veteran British journalist who has an evident passion for Pakistan and can render its complicated history with pristine clarity, this is a book that should be read not only for its vivid drama but for its urgent message about the untapped power of girls.... It is difficult to imagine a chronicle of a war more moving, apart from perhaps the diary of Anne Frank, with the essential difference that we lost that girl, and by some miracle, we still have this one."

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

Reading by Donna Baier Stein at Bernardsville Library

Meet Bernardsville author, poet and editor Donna Baier Stein at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, September 23 at 7:00 pm. Ms. Stein will read from her collection of short stories, Sympathetic People, which was published last year.  Bestselling author Caroline Leavitt wrote of the book, "Donna Baier Stein uncovers the sometimes heady glint of danger in relationships in a brilliantly edgy collection of stories that gets under your skin even as it illuminates love, lust - and everything in between."  Copies of Ms. Stein's books will be available for purchase and signing at the library event.

Donna Baier Stein's poetry and prose have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, New York Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Washingtonian, and many other journals and anthologies. She was a founding poetry editor at Bellevue Literary Review and now publishes Tiferet Journal.  Her story collection was a Finalist in the Iowa Fiction Awards; her unpublished novel Fortune received the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Other awards include a scholarship from Bread Loaf, fellowships from Johns Hopkins University and the New Jersey Council for the Arts, prizes from the Poetry Societies of Virginia and New Hampshire, an Honorable Mention from the Allen E. Ginsberg Poetry Prizes, a Summer Literary Seminars Scholarship, three Pushcart nominations and prizes from Kansas Quarterly, Florida Review, and elsewhere. Her poetry chapbook Sometimes You Sense the Difference was published by Finishing Line Press in 2012.

A freelance direct marketing copywriter since 1980, Donna Baier Stein has also written for clients that include Smithsonian, Time, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and many others.  She created and presents seminars on copywriting for the Direct Marketing Association and has taught copywriting and writing at universities, corporations, and clubs.  Her two nonfiction books on copywriting are published by McGraw Hill and Thomson Shore.  She was also named Direct Marketer of the Year by the New England Direct Marketing Association in 2004 and Copywriter of the Year by the American Writers and Artists Institute.

There is no charge to attend the library reading, 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, September 3, 2014

Maker Day at Bernardsville Library

The "Make" movement is sweeping across the country and encompasses everything from Do-It-Yourselfers, artists and crafters to computer programmers and app developers. To experience the movement yourself, drop in at Bernardsville Public Library on Saturday, September 20 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm when all kinds of makers will be on hand, and there will be interactive activities for adults and children alike.

Among the exhibits and exhibitors scheduled at the Library are a 3D printer demonstration, Arduino kits and Raspberry Pi, a jeweler, an artist who uses pressed flowers to make her art, a seamstress who uses up-cycled materials, a painter who paints mandala art and one who paints gourds. There will be special children’s activities in the Story Time Room including beading, origami and edible chocolate modeling clay. It’s all free.

Doug Baldwin, Emerging Technologies Librarian at Piscataway Public Library, will provide a hands-on demonstration of a Makerbot 3D printer, as well as free software you can use to start working with 3D models. He will also give visitors a look at the Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized computer, and give attendees an opportunity to use Arduino kits to build all types of electrical circuits.

Local artists will also be demonstrating their crafts, and many will have hands-on projects for visitors to complete and take home. Rebecca Baranowski will use her sewing machine to up-cycle clothing and fabric scraps. She’ll display clothing, doll hats, fascinators and pins that she has made. Brigid Glynn-Young will have a display showing the origin and history of Mandalas. She will demonstrate her process of creating Mandala, the stages of a piece, and the tools and supplies she uses. There will be Mandala templates for visitors to practice making their own Mandala art. Michelle Marigliano and Lorenzo DiAndrea will display samples of Lorenzo’s Saori weaving. Participants will be given time to weave on a pre-warped Saori loom. Beth Murphy will demonstrate and describe the process of pressing botanicals to best preserve their color and beauty. She will have a variety of different presses and a supply of already pressed flowers for people to work with to make their own cards or bookmarks to take home. Andrea Skerratt, who makes jewelry and metal objects using silver, copper, brass, gold and semi-precious gems, will demonstrate how she uses hand tools to create silver jewelry. Mark Thompson will demonstrate how to dry gourds and then cut, carve, burn, sand, paint, dye and apply various dried flowers to make decorative and useful bowls, vases and birdhouses. Tiny bottle gourds will be available for visitors to decorate and take home. The library's on-going Saturday Crafters will meet in the Small Meeting Room at 3:00 pm and answer questions about their group.

There will be other activities as well.  Angela Ferraro-Fanning will conduct a demonstration of Photoshop on the library’s iMac from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. From 1:00 to 2:00 pm, she will be available to answer questions. Library staffers Sarah Gillis will direct visitors in a hands-on craft creating a paper circuit using copper tape and LED lights, and Laura Shabazz will demonstrate how, with black-out poetry, one can combine a love of word finds and lists to reveal one’s inner artistic poet.

Maker activities for children will start at 10:30 am with a special Saturday Story Time for families. This drop-in program will run until 12:30 pm and include stories and Maker crafts. Older children (Grades 4 to 12) will enjoy Maker activities from 1:00 to 4:00 pm such as beading, origami, edible chocolate modeling clay and creating a refrigerator magnet.

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ilene Beckerman at Roxiticus Golf Club

On Tuesday, September 30, at 11:30 am, the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library will host Ilene Beckerman, author and inspiration for the current Nora and Delia Ephron play, Love, Loss and What I Wore, at a luncheon at the Roxiticus Golf Club. In addition to having written many books, Beckerman has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Ladies Home Journal; Oprah Winfrey has profiled her. She is a New Jersey resident with ties to the Somerset Hills, having lived and worked in Bernardsville and some of the surrounding towns. She also ran The Beckerman Group, an advertising and public relations firm that was located on Mill Street in Bernardsville.

Tickets may be purchased at the library until September 20th and will be sold for $75. Wine and lunch will be served and the author’s books will be available for purchase.

The Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library was established in 1902. The Friends consists of a group of volunteers who are committed to providing special programs and services that benefit all users of the library and all members of the community. If you have questions about this fundraiser, please contact Madelyn English at the library at (908) 766-0118.