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Out of School Learning Experience April 21, 2014

Posted by patchettd in Programs, West Elmira, Community.
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I ate my first Kumquat the other day. At least, as far as I can remember, I had never eaten a kumquat before. I did not know that it is necessary to roll the kumquat gently in my hands for a few seconds before eating, as that makes the skin sweeter. I would not have known to eat the skin with the fruit (the sweetness of the skin balances the tartness of the fruit). I would not have known that I like kumquats if I had not been at the library.

I heard a phrase the other day: “Out of school learning experience”. The more I have thought about that phrase, the more I see the value of programs at our public libraries. These programs reach across all age groups, genders, and interest areas. The day the kumquats came to the library, a chief from Wegmans (we appreciate our community partners!) came to teach a home school group about some fruits that are a little out of the ordinary. He brought several, including star fruit and pomegranates, and gave each child the opportunity to taste, comment, and ask questions. Many of the parents and caregivers joined in, as did the volunteers who were helping with the program. Other patrons who visited the library that day asked that we hold another session for adults.

We are very fortunate that there are many places families can take children for an out of school learning experience in our community, especially now that the weather is improving. Did you know you can rent snowshoes and kites at Tanglewood? Did you know that Letchworth State Park sends their calendar to our libraries, listing their interpretive programs? Did you know that the theme of this summer’s Summer Reading Club is science based? The Chemung County Library District staff is now busy planning programs and projects for the summer that will engage your child in fun, active learning experiences. Though many of you already know this, there are still some local residents who need to discover what is going on at our libraries. You may find that you too like kumquats!

Dianne Patchett
Branch Manager
West Elmira Library

Did you know that your public library is a vacation planner’s paradise? April 14, 2014

Posted by cclddirector in Community, Director's Comments, District News, Recommendations, Reference, Technology.
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About a year ago my daughters and I were in the process of planning for their first trip to Europe. Seeing that all three of us were recent college graduates we balked at the thought of signing up for a group tour package. Deciding to set our own itinerary meant we would have a whole lot of work ahead of us.

Fortunately my daughters figured that since dad was paying for the trip they wouldn’t complain at where he wanted to go (amazing how that works out). We decided to use library materials as our “travel agent” to give us tips on where to go and what to see. So for a few months prior to our departure I checked out travel guides, books and DVDs to learn more about Europe. And borrowing from the library helped us save money. After all who can’t use extra cash when they are going on vacation?

In addition, the suggested itineraries helped us focus our sightseeing on the places we really wanted to visit while making sure we didn’t overextend ourselves. We also had copies of important phrases from different guide books so we could at least say “please” and “thank you” in the language of where we were (a hint- the good guide books will have an index of common foreign language phrases).  I had also checked out a French CD to brush up on my skills as well as used our Mango Languages program to make sure the phrases we were trying to use sounded reasonably close. If you are not familiar with Mango Languages, it is an online language-learning system, teaching conversation skills for over 30 languages including English. Mango uses real-life situations and actual conversations to more effectively teach a new language. Once again, this is a free database available at CCLD.  All you need is your library card and PIN to access Mango Languages.

We used the library computers to research the State Department website to make sure where we were going was safe, checked on flights and trains, and researched tricks to help save money on airfare and hotels. Fortunately, we had also downloaded a few library eBooks prior to departure which gave us something to read during the long flights and delays we encountered.

So the next time you are going on vacation come on in and give us a try. You will find a variety of resources to help make your trip more enjoyable.  Also, make sure to sign up for our vacation planning class next month at the Central Library:  Roadtripping – May 21 at 6pm.  Learn to plan, organize, and discover great places to visit this summer using roadtrippers.com and more. The Tech Lab Class is limited to 12 participants. Call today to register 733-9175.

Ronald W. Shaw
Director, CCLD

St. Peter and Paul’s Cemetery Records April 11, 2014

Posted by roganp in Genealogy, Reference, Steele.
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The Genealogy Department is proud and happy to announce that our staff and volunteers have completed a spreadsheet containing the names from St. Peter and Paul’s Cemetery Records from their Ledger Book encompassing the years 1890 -1947.  We now have over 32,000 names recorded from the cemetery. As the cemetery can no longer assist genealogists, except to tell people who have a name and date of death the place of burial at the cemetery, we are providing a much needed service, providing access to all the information the cemetery has about the deceased. As this ledger book was handwritten with letters formed in old script, it was necessary to research obituaries, city directories, the NYS Vital Statistics Index and other records to determine as reliably as possible the person buried. To see the index of our cemetery records, please come to CCLD Central Library (Steele Memorial) and ask at the adult services desk for genealogy assistance.

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
CCLD Central Library

New cookbooks at the Central Library April 1, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Recommendations.
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stuffedThere is definitely a science to cooking, measuring ingredients, heating at the perfect temperature, blending ingredients to make sauces, and the timing involved in preparing a recipe. But cooking is a lot more than just a science. Cooking is an art form! The fact is, cooking impacts all of our senses. The aromas of the carefully chosen seasonings, the sounds of chopping as we prepare ingredients or that hot sizzling in a pan, and there is the visual presentation of complimentary colors and textures. Then of course is the finale, the wonderful tastes and textures of your creation!

Our library has so many wonderful cookbooks that can take you around the world on any given night or perhaps for a special occasion. There is Italian, Mexican, or Thai cooking; or you can find books on dietary styles such as vegetarian, low-fat, or gluten free. Whatever cuisine you fancy, I’m sure you will find it in our library’s cookbook collection. Even if you’re not a cook, you have to appreciate CCLD Central Library’s beautiful collection of cookbooks! Here are some of our newest titles…..

Cooking for two : more than 130 delicious recipes to enjoy together Edited by Jeff Nowak Healthy – sensible small batch cooking with the nutritional information provided.

Grain Power By Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming – over 100 easy to make recipes featuring gluten-free ancient grains.

Lidia’s commonsense Italian cooking : 150 delicious and simple recipes everyone can master By Lidia Mattichio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali – easy steps to wonderful recipes, plus tips for choosing and preparing ingredients.

New Middle Eastern street food : snacks, comfort food, and mezze from Snackistan By Sally Butcher – a variety of Middle Eastern snack recipes for those who love this exotic cuisine.

Stuffed : the ultimate comfort food cookbook : taking your favorite foods and stuffing them to make new, different and delicious meals By Dan Whalen – some fun and different recipes, taken to the Extreme!

Connie Ogilvie, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – NoveList March 24, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Technology.
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What to Read Next???

If you have read every book by Stephen King, John Grisham, or Joanne Fluke in the STARCat collection and yearn to learn of other books or authors that are similar in writing style, plot, or setting, try our Novelist Database today.

What is NoveList???

Novelist is a special database that helps fiction readers of all ages find new and interesting books and authors by identifying titles similar by plot, subject, writing style, setting, and much more. In the library business we call this database a Readers Advisory tool.

How do I find NoveList???

  1. Go to: http://ccld.lib.ny.us/db.htm#Literature
  2. type in your 13 digit Library Card number.
  3. Click Submit Query Button

How do I use NoveList???

There are several ways to discover new books and authors. Here are some browsing options:

Top left Corner by author, series, subject or more.


Right Column Articles and in-depth Topics


Left Column Browse by Genres


The middle of the page provides suggestions by popular titles


Searching Options–You can enter your favorite author, title, series or subject in the search box.

After your search is completed, You have several options for limiting or narrowing your results. See Below


Similar Authors


Or by audience, and publication date.

Click here to view tutorial YouTube videos. Of course you can always call the Central Library’s adult services desk at 733-9175 if you have any questions.

Central Library Reference Department
Chemung County Library District

Mrow! New non-fiction books about cats… March 4, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Recommendations.
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Guys Can Be Cat Ladies TooIf you Google “cats” you can find the definition of cats, advice on health care for cats, cat quotes, cat blogs, and of course cats on YouTube. I noted “Adopt a Cat Month”, which is June, “National Cat Day”, October 29th, and don’t forget “National Hug Your Cat Day” which is celebrated on June 4th. I understand cats make wonderful pets and I know there are many cat lovers out there. This entry is for those who are already cat lovers, as well as those who are intrigued by our furry feline friends.

Our non-fiction collection boasts a treasure trove of books about cats, including raising a cat, cat first aid, and training your cat. There are also a number of books that contain anecdotal or humorous stories about cats. The Dewey decimal number to look for is 636.8, our selection is abundant, and you won’t be disappointed!

This month as I perused the New Book non-fiction section at the Central Library for inspiration to write about, I came across four interesting and different books about cats that caught my attention.

The Complete Cat Breed Book Edited by Dorling Kindersley, a beautifully illustrated book describing
100 cat breeds and information on caring for your cat.

The Cat Whisperer by Mieshelle Nagelschneider, practical and effective strategies for solving a wide range of feline behavior problems.

The Big New Yorker Book of Cats Foreword by Anthony Lane, a stellar collection of writers contributing stories about our feline companions from the archives of the New Yorker.

Guys Can Be Cat Ladies Too: A Guidebook for Men and Their Cats by Michael Showalter, a one of a kind guide to help a guy understand and ultimately bond with the felines in his life. Educational, and definitely humorous!

Connie Ogilvie, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

The Creepy and the Ghoulish February 24, 2014

Posted by poppendeckc in Horseheads, Recommendations.
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Ghost HuntersWe at Horseheads Library recently added some ghost hunting series DVDs to our collection. For those of us who enjoy a spooky, spine-tingling adventure, we now have Ghost Hunters, with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. This show currently has the most episodes for borrowing, so you can really immerse yourself in the chain-rattling thrills. We also have the spinoff show, Ghost Hunters International. Visit ruined castles and experience hauntings from around the world!

The Cream of the Creepy Award has to go to Syfy Channel’s Paranormal State, with Ryan Buell, an amazing cast of paranormal researchers, and great psychics, including the astounding Chip Coffey, who is right from Elmira, NY! I personally hang on every word and every gesture from Chip. His input in any case is fascinating.

Also featured here at Horseheads Library is The Discovery Channel’s A Haunting. This series has fewer episodes, but are worthy of your time. They are re-enactments of eyewitness accounts of the paranormal. These have the entertainment quality of a good ghost story. You can watch the haunting as it unfolds by actors, with interviews from the eyewitnesses.

It doesn’t have to be Halloween to have a scare-a-thon. Try one this weekend!

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
CCLD, Horseheads

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – JobNow! February 18, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Technology.
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JobNow!Job searching and resume creation are topics that we are often asked about in the Adult Services Department of CCLD’s Central Library.  You may or may not be aware that patrons of our library and libraries of the Southern Tier (public libraries in Allegany, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, and Yates Counties) have access to a service called JobNowJobNow has a number of features that can help job seekers including:  career resources, resume help, interview coaching, GED test prep, and more.

For individuals looking for help creating a resume, there are downloadable templates available to help them get started.  If someone already has a resume and would like help fine-tuning it, there is a resume lab service that allows users to submit a resume and receive feedback within 24 hours.  Another great feature available is live resume help that allows users to connect with an expert for resume advice.  The portion of the website dedicated to helping users “ace the interview” includes links to tips and resources and also has a live coaching feature that allows you to connect to an interview coach.  All of the live help features are only available from 2pm – 11pm on Mondays.  For more information about JobNow, contact the Central Library.  To access JobNow, click on the link located on our databases page.

JobNow was purchased with Central Book Aid Funds provided to CCLD’s Central Branch by New York State.

Central Library Reference Department
Chemung County Library District

Colgan Air Flight 3407 February 12, 2014

Posted by cclddirector in Community, Director's Comments, District News.
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Five years ago today, Flight 3407 crashed Clarence Center, NY. As names were released to the public, there appeared, “John G. Roberts, III.” I felt a chill as I had served with someone by that name in the army. He was the Battalion Adjutant and I was assigned as the Assistant Adjutant. John was one of the finest officers I served with in my 29 years in the military.

Many years ago, we were in Germany and somehow John ended up in the Reichel building in Rheinberg (with heat, showers and hot food). I ended up in a tent in the middle of a field, (in January and in the snow), eating MREs and suffering from a lack of hygienic opportunities.

We were in the field for a couple of weeks when he drove out to drop off some material. When he saw us I think our appearance caused him to find a way to get us out of there and, on his own, he got us redeployed to Rheinberg and we were able to feel human again.

He also arranged a day trip for us to go to Cologne where we would have about 8 hours to see some sights. It was a great day for me as I got to tour the Cologne Cathedral. I spent the time wandering around the cathedral and the streets out front, just taking in the atmosphere and I bought a poster of the cathedral for my mother as I thought she would like it.

Back at the barracks later that evening, about 2 a.m., I heard a rustling as someone was looking for “Robert Shaw.” Even though the name was wrong I knew it was me they were looking for- but I didn’t get up. Somehow I knew the phone call was about my mother, and I knew it wasn’t going to be a good one. Eventually they rousted John out of his bunk and he came over to me. I was staring at the ceiling and I think he could tell by the look on my face that I knew what to expect when I got to the phone.

We went downstairs where I received the news my mother had died suddenly and I was needed back home. I don’t remember much of the next few hours except John taking care of all the arrangements to get me on the next flight out. He had me pack up my gear and I remember going from office to office with him as he tried to get me released. No one seemed able to help which only served to focus him even more. He cut through every bit of red tape that was thrown his way and secured the proper clearance from our unit back in the States, the unit we were attached to in Germany, and the airlines to get me home.

Because it took so long, the only flight I could get that day left in 3 hours. The only problem was the airport was over two hours away and you had to be there at least two hours prior due to security issues. Let’s just say that John set a land speed record of some sort. I remember him parking illegally out front and going with me to the counter. He waited as the agent took care of the ticketing and security went through their tasks. Finally he wished me well and I prepared to board my flight. I turned to say thank you but he stopped me in mid-sentence. We had worked together long enough to know there was no need to say anything.

When my wife realized my concern over seeing the name in the paper, she asked me what it was about John. I then told her about him and how he helped me. She told me that I had never talked about what happened that day. She also told me she finally understood why I had an old, framed poster of the Cologne Cathedral hanging in the hallway. Every day when I enter my house, I look at it. Instead of making me sad, it reminds me of someone who knew the right thing to do, when to do it, and didn’t expect to be thanked for doing what needed to be done.

To say that he will be missed is an understatement.

Ronald W. Shaw
Director, CCLD

Teens & Libraries: made for each other February 10, 2014

Posted by metzgerd in Steele, Teen.
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Playing Board GamesI’m very fond of teenagers. Why? Because they are full of intensity of thought, emotion, and growth. They are creative and open to new information and experiences in their search for figuring out who they are now, and who they want to be in the future. Libraries are the best public places for making friends, collaborating, being creative, building relationships, and learning (by both reading AND doing). These characteristics make teens and libraries perfect for each other.

Teenagers have unique developmental needs that are necessary to becoming successful adults. Young Adult library programs (ALWAYS developed in conjunction with teen input), are key in nurturing these needs. Library programs and volunteering teach responsibility, technology skills, develop teens’ interests and talents, prep them for academic success, and more.

How we are already making a difference to teens
Feedback from our teens: Aidan: “It (library programs) gets us out of the house & introduced to a variety of situations and experiences that we wouldn’t otherwise get.”
Dan: “It (the library) prepares us for the future.”
Nick: “This (teen hangout night) is the only place I can be with people I LIKE.”
Mary: “I’ve never been to anything like this before!” Can we do this again…?” (referring to the Vampire Masquerade Ball the Friends generously funded).

My observations
I see teens expanding their skills and confidence by creating designs for CCLD’s block at the sidewalk painting festival, planning a peer learning web programming workshop, and leading the monthly Manga group. New friendships are forged over a Wii video game, and informal homework help sessions between students pop up during teen night. Most poignantly, a teen came to me for help with a family crisis, because she had “nowhere else to go” (except the library) and liked and trusted our youth services staff, since meeting us through teen hangout night.

Activities with Teens at Central Library
I started a TAG (Teen advisory group) for the Central Library. Currently, I have 6 teens in the group. We meet once a month to brainstorm and plan young adult programs, assist with children’s programs, discuss what books, games and music the library should purchase, and determine which fun community outreach events we will participate in. Several of the TAG members are also regular library volunteers.

Teen oriented community outreach
So far this year the TAG group and I have promoted the library at the following community events:
Elmira Streetpainting Festival: TAG designed and painted a library themed square.
iMatter Festival: TAG manned a CCLD table at this annual life-affirming, youth oriented, scream music festival at Eldridge Park
Hero Bot Con: TAG members dressed as their favorite manga or sci fi heroes, helped library staff at the CCLD table, and took turns being Booker.

Current Central Library Teen Programs
Weekly Teen Hang out Night (every Tuesday at 6pm) came directly out of the teen survey I conducted with the help of the Elmira City school librarians. The number one request from area teens was for an after school hangout time.
• Teens play board and video games, socialize, and enjoy snacks. One teen said: “I like coming here because this is the only place where I can be with people I LIKE.” Teen night (and the library in general) is a safe, congenial place away from the social pecking order at school, or a chaotic home life.
So “Bad, It’s Good” Movie Night (monthly; open to Teens and Adults)*
*in collaboration with librarian Jennie Lewis.
• Join us every month for popcorn and good natured heckling of hilariously bad, cheesy movies.
Teen Manga/Anime Club (first Tuesday of each month at 3pm)
Geek out on all things Manga and Anime! Share your favorite movies & books, draw manga, learn about Japanese culture and more!

Future Plans & Programs
Karaoke edition of Teen night: (Tues. Feb 25 @ 6pm)
Teen Tech Share for Teen Tech Week (Wed. March 12 @ 6:00pm)
• Implement programs on game design and gaming.
Re-design the CCLD teen webpage and update the content, in partnership with virtual services librarian, Jennie Lewis and TAG.
Plan, design & find grant funding for a dedicated teen space in the Central Library. We envision this to be a vibrant, active space, one in which teens can do gaming, collaborate and create on computers and other digital media, listen to music, socialize, and..yes….read and study.
We are always looking for teen input or participation! Contact teen services coordinator, Doris Jean Metzger at metzgerd@stls.org or 607-733-9174. Watch our calendar of events and facebook for further teen library adventures!

Resources and Further Reading
Julie Biando Edwards, Melissa S. Rauseo, & Kelley Rae Unger. “Community Centered: 23 Reasons Why Your Library Is the Most Important Place in Town.” Public Libraries Online. Sept./Oct. 2011. Accessed December 30, 2013. http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2013/04/community-centered-23-reasons-why-your-library-is-the-most-important-place-in-town/

Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie and Kristen Purcell; “Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations.” Pew Internet. June 25, 2013. Accessed December 30, 2013; http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/06/25/younger-americans-library-services/

“Teens Need Libraries.” YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association). Accessed December 30, 2013; http://www.ala.org/yalsa/teens-need-libraries#Key%20Services

Karyn M. Peterson. “Pew Study: Teens Still Love Print Media, ‘Traditional’ Library Services.” School Library Journal. June 25, 2013.
Accessed December 30, 2013; http://www.slj.com/2013/06/public-libraries/pew-study-teens-still-love-print-media-traditional-library-services/

Doris Jean Metzger
Teen Services, Central Library, CCLD


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