TEMPERANCE — The Bedford Branch Library fairly radiates Christmas and the holidays with its annual Hall of Trees.
Officials also have come up with a creative way to encourage the gift of reading in the digital age: Anyone planning to give an ereader or tablet can come to the circulation desk for a free, wrapped gift box. The offer is good through Dec. 23.
Community Librarian Jodi Russ said the idea for the complementary gift box actually came from a North Carolina library that successfully tried it for Mother’s Day.
At the Bedford Branch, the wrapping is done by circulation clerk Jennifer Wenzel, who said she keeps six boxes wrapped at a time. “I can do them fast if there’s a Black Friday rush,” she explained, referring to the Friday before Christmas, which this year is Dec. 20.
Seventeen Christmas trees are on display, all the donated work of Bedford groups, businesses, and library staffers. Ms. Russ said the tree installations and decorating began the day after Thanksgiving.
Donors include the Bedford Flower and Garden Club, the Bedford Herb Club, the Bedford Beautification Committee, the Bedford Goodfellows Club, the Lions Club of Bedford, and the Bedford Business Association, which has the names of its member businesses on the ornaments.
The herb club’s tree, to the right inside the front entrance, is decorated with all-natural ornaments such as palm leaves and flowers. The Grinch tree, in the children’s section, depicts the Dr. Seuss character trying to steal the decorations.
The library also has a display of pop-up books bequeathed to the Bedford Branch by the late Elizabeth Koster, a Lambertville resident who died in July. One of them depicts scenes from the Twelve Days of Christmas. Mrs. Koster, a musician and artist, left the library six boxes of pop-up books, many with Christmas scenes.
Along with the pop-up books are models of buildings depicting the fictional town of Bedford Falls that was the setting for the Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life. They are on loan from Bedford Township resident and historian Trudy Urbani.