January Newsletter

Happy New Year! 2020 was very hard, so let’s start fresh. We’d like to support your goals towards health, happiness, and comfort in 2021.

January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!

2020 was very hard, so let’s start fresh. We’d like to support your goals towards health, happiness, and comfort in 2021.

The Library is offering a new initiative, incorporating the theme of wellbeing into many of our programs throughout the year. In January, we begin with a workshop on organizational skills and a healthy cooking class. The next few months will bring classes on healthy breathing, neck and shoulder exercises, self-defense and more. Our programs remain virtual for now, but we look forward to the time when we’ll all meet in person again.


Memory Bags

I wrote in November that, thanks to the American Savings Foundation, we would be circulating memory kits for the caregivers of loved ones suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They are ready to check out and you can find them in the catalog by searching Those Were the Days.

Each of the four kits will contain different caregiver handbooks, music, conversation starter cards, simple picture books and other reminders of times gone by. Wellness in a different way, for a different audience. More details can be found in this short video we’ve prepared for you: Memory Kit Video.


Homebound Delivery

Please remember that the Library continues to offer homebound delivery. It is available for patrons who cannot make it to the library due to illness, disability, or advanced age, temporarily or permanently. Call 860-828-7126 to set it up. If you can visit the library, but do not want to enter the building, please use curbside pickup.

I will leave you with the words of Edith Lovejoy Pierce. “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”


Helen Malinka, Library Director

Helen Malinka
Library Director


At a Glance

  • Lobby hours are weekdays 10am–8pm, 5pm on Fridays.
  • Services include 20-minute express computer, print, copy, restrooms.
  • 1-hour computers and 2-hour study rooms available by appointment.
  • Senior hours are Wednesdays and Fridays, 9am–10am.
  • Lobby access and browsing for those over 65.
  • Book drop hours will be weekdays 7am–9pm, 6pm on Fridays.
  • Curbside pickup is still encouraged!


Book Lists

See what Berlin-Peck staff, and your fellow patrons, were reading this year with these 2020 book lists:

Worried you missed a great new book while the library doors were closed? Check out the books we’ve added since July:

Check out one of Berlin-Peck’s themed book lists or let us build you a personalized recommended list!


Booking Around Berlin Community Scavenger Hunt

Community Scavenger Hunt

The Berlin-Peck Memorial Library Children’s Department, in collaboration with Berlin’s Economic Development Department, is excited to announce the Booking Around Berlin Community Scavenger Hunt!

There’s no better time to get out from behind those computer screens and explore our town.

Between Tuesday, December 22, 2020, and Saturday, January 23, 2021, we invite you to participate in this fun and safe activity that helps families connect with each other and their community while learning and earning rewards.

Learn More

Adult Programs

Spice It Up! Cinnamon

Available January 6 —while supplies last

Try out new spices! This kit includes Snickerdoodle recipes and four types of cinnamon: Ceylon, Tung Hing (China), Korintje (Indonesia), and Vietnamese.

Request Kit


How to Get Organized and Stay That Way Online

Thursday, January 7, 6:30 pm

With patience, self-deprecating humor, and understanding, professional organizer Ronni Eisenberg walks you through practical solutions that will motivate you and leave you thinking ‘now, why didn’t I think of that?’


Learn to Make a Healthy Meal: Sweet Potato Fajita Bowls with Guacamole Online

Tuesday, January 12, 6:30 pm

No more calorie counting or juice cleanses! Learn how to determine if a diet is fad or fact. Plus, we’ll be making Sweet Potato Fajita Bowls with Guacamole.


Take & Make: Recycled CD Mandalas

Available January 14—while supplies last

Creating a mandala can be a calming, meditative experience that leads to feelings of happiness, peace and well-being, eases stress and anxiety, and activates creativity and improves focus.

Request Kit

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group Online

Monday, January 18, 1:00 pm

This new group meets monthly as a safe place for caregivers, family and friends of persons with dementia. Join us to share practical information, feelings, needs and concerns. Sponsored and hosted by Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Association.

RSVP to Patty O’Brian by calling 203-859-1992.


Book Discussion with the New Britain Museum of American Art Online

Tuesday, January 19, 2:00 pm

Join the Berlin-Peck Memorial Library and the New Britain Museum of American Art for a book discussion of the novel The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro. Contact the library for a copy.


How to Start a Garden from Seed Online

Thursday, January 21, 7:00 pm

Learn about how to start a garden from seed and Berlin-Peck’s seed library! Presented by Chris Fasciano, Kensington Garden Club.


Saturday Book Club Online

Saturday, January 23, 10:30 am

Join us for a virtual discussion of the book The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica. Contact the library to reserve a copy of this book.


Titanic: A Date with Destiny Online

Tuesday, January 26, 6:30 pm

Listen as we tell the story of the Titanic—its celebrated construction, employing thousands during difficult times, its sailing and final plunge to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.


Children’s Programs

School-Aged Storytime (Grades K-2) Online

Wednesday, January 13, 2:30pm

Join us for a fun virtual live storytime and activity about music and sound!

Registration is required. Supplies for the activity will be available to pick up at the library as a grab and go kit. You may pick up your grab and go kit starting Friday January 8th at 10am.


NEW Playaway Launchpads

NEW Playaway Launchpads have landed in the Children’s Department! Launchpads are tablets pre-loaded with content for kids, and the library has a Launchpad learning tablet for every child. Our new Launchpads include titles for preschoolers and kids in grades K-2 and 3-5. Whether you are teaching at home, looking for a way to keep kids engaged, or need access to new learning materials, Launchpad has you covered. 100% secure. No internet needed. Borrow one today! They are available for checkout at the Children’s Reference Desk or you can call us at (860) 828-7127 and we’ll schedule a Curbside Pickup.


Storytime 2 Go Book Bundles!

We’ve introduced themed Storytime 2 Go Book Bundles so you don’t have to miss out on storytime fun! Each Bundle will include an adorable Mo Willems Pigeon Book Bag (for reuse); a Mo Willems bookmark; 5-7 books; literacy activities (including fingerplays, games, and songs); video links to our Children’s staff performing fingerplays and songs, and more! Some Bundles will even include supplies and instructions for a simple activity or craft.

Storytime 2 Go Book Bundles can be scheduled for pick-up via our Curbside Pickup Service by filling out the Storytime 2 Go Book Bundle form on our website or by calling the Children’s department at (860) 828-7127.

Learn More

Book Bundles

Kids need books, and we’ve made it easy for you to get them! Simply fill out one of the forms on our website, and the Children’s department staff will choose up to 10 books (depending on the category) for your child. When your books are ready, you’ll be called to schedule a pick-up time via our Curbside Service!

Learn More

Grab & Go Activity Kits

Each kit comes with supplies and instructions and is available for Curbside Pick-Up. Visit our EVENTS page to register for each kit and for more details. Registration is required.

Once you have registered, you may pick up your kit at the Children’s Desk during the pickup dates. If you prefer to pick up your kit outside, please call the library, and we will bring it out to you. If you do not pick up your kit by the last pickup date, it will be given to the next spot on the waiting list.

Questions? Call us at (860) 828-7127.

Tape Resist Art (Grades 4+)

Registration begins December 28
Pickup January 4-6

Looking for something fun to do inside? Create your own tape resist art! This kit includes everything you will need along with instructions.

Winter Process Art (Ages 2-5)

Registration begins January 12
Pickup January 19-21

Looking for something fun to do inside? Get messy with some wintery process art for your little one!

STEAM: Build a Boat (Ages 2-5)

Registration begins January 19
Pickup January 25-27

Create your own boat and then test it out! See how many pennies it can hold.


Booklists for Kids!

Are you looking for something to read but don’t know where to start? Check out our booklists! There’s something for every grade and interest, and more are being added all the time.

Learn More

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program is available via Curbside Delivery! 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is an ongoing library program that encourages all families and caregivers to read at least 1,000 books (any book) to their infant, toddler and/or preschooler before entering kindergarten. Find out more at https://berlinpeck.org/children/1000bbk/ or call us at (860) 828-7127.

Learn More


Teen Programs

Book Bundles for Teens

Don’t know what to read next, or looking for a new author or series to try? Request a Book Bundle for Teens today! Fill out a quick form, and one of our librarians will choose 5 books selected just for you. We’ll put those books together in a bag (along with a bookmark) and then we’ll contact you to schedule a pickup. If you have specific titles you would like put on hold, please use our Curbside Pickup service. Visit https://berlinpeck.org/teens/book-bundles/ to get started!

Learn More

Grab & Go Kits

Each kit comes with supplies and instructions and is available for Curbside Pick-Up. Registration is required. Visit our EVENTS page to register for each kit and for more details. Questions? Call us at (860) 828-7127.

Tape Resist Art (Grades 4+)

Registration begins December 28
Pickup January 4-6

Looking for something fun to do inside? Create your own tape resist art! This kit includes everything you will need along with instructions.


Teen Book Reviews Online

Are you in grades 6-12? Have you read a book you loved (or just liked) and want to tell others about it? Share it with us and we’ll post it on our website! It’s a great way to learn about the great books others are reading and share titles you really love! Visit the page and fill out a quick form to submit your book review (note that reviews are moderated). If approved, your review will be added to our Teen Book Reviews webpage!