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Baseball! April 30, 2011

Posted by roganp in Recommendations.
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Baseball MiscellanyIn the spring, a young man’s fancy turns to — baseball; at least my eleven-year-old grandson’s does. We have lots of new books on baseball this year but the writers definitely seem to like the history of baseball. I’m sending my son a copy of Baseball Miscellany by Matthew Silverman because he loves trivia, especially sports trivia. It would be a good buy for the bar that used to call me every Monday night at the reference desk so I could declare who was the winner of their bets.  I haven’t heard from them in a long time; guess they Google the answers now.  That must put a stop to a good rousing argument before it even gets interesting! And they never brought me that drink they promised me!

Two new books about old baseball players are Henry Aaron: Baseball’s Last Hero by Howard Bryant; call number BA113 and Campy! The Two Lives of Roy Campanella by Neil Lanctot; call number BC186. Both are in the NEW biography section. We also have books on anything related to baseball such as coaching youth baseball, hitting, softball, or memoirs of baseball players in the 796.357 section.

Henry Aaron:  Baseball's Last HeroThe first floor also has books on current players and playing baseball, for the under eighteen set, in the same Dewey call number section. It’s a wonderful way to encourage a boy to read! Killing two birds with one stone–encouraging a boy to enjoy reading and learning how to play baseball at the same time. Where did that old saying come from? Pretty horrible when you think about it.

If you like to read fiction, don’t forget The Natural by Bernard Malamud and if it’s a DVD you are looking for Baseball’s Greatest Legends might be just the ticket. Finally if you are looking for an audiobook to listen to as you drive to Myrtle Beach or even driving to work, the Boys of Summer might be just the thing. Whichever you choose – enjoy!

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

It’s a Wrap! April 20, 2011

Posted by CCLD in Bookmobile.
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Graphics Being AppliedA few weeks ago I had the pleasure of checking the progress as the Bookmobile had its wrap applied by Mike Bahantka, a graphic artist for Graphic Solutions in Painted Post.  The deed was completed in the garage at Chemung County Transit where I work. Constantly referring to his artist’s rendering as a guide, Mike stood atop his ladder with propane torch in hand as he heated up each section of the design and smoothed it in place. Conforming the vinyl around the rivets on the vehicle was particularly tricky. The air punctuated with the ratatat of a power wrench, the sound of the torch is barely audible in the cavernous space.

Our garage is spacious and well-lit, and the luminescent blue bookmobile stood out against the backdrop of white transit buses and yellow safety stripping.  I’m glad to see “Big Blue,” as I call the bookmobile, covered with the primary colors of Tedd Arnold’s design.  Now I’m anxious to see the inside and hear staffers Dianne Patchett and Kim Jones tell of the planned programming at Blue’s dedication from 5-7 pm on April 20th!

Tina Hager
Board of Trustees
Mobility Manager for Chemung County Transit System

There’s Just Something About a British Mystery April 19, 2011

Posted by CCLD in Recommendations.
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MidSomer MurdersI love a good mystery. To be honest I even love a bad mystery. I have seen every episode of Scooby Doo and Murder She Wrote, even the cross over episodes with Magnum P.I. (forgot about those didn’t you). I can’t take too much blood or gore but I do love to know “who dun it”. That’s why I was absolutely head over heels to discover two of my favorite British murder mystery series at the Library.

The first in my heart is “Midsomer Murders”. Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby and his partner (either Scott or Troy) dig into the heart of small towns in Midsomer County England solving murders and disturbing long held secrets along the way. Between solving murders, keeping his young protégée in check and dodging his wife’s lousy cooking Barnaby deals patiently with it all and never fails to get his man (or woman). The small towns have all the interesting characters we have come to expect and the supporting cast is enjoyable as well. It all comes together to make a very pleasant hour and a half of murder mystery British style.

Rosemary & ThymeThe second series is “Rosemary and Thyme”. Two women Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme have come to a cross roads in their respective lives. They decide to throw in together and become gardeners (one actually is more or less so that helps). Whether they are asked to revive dead gardens or plant new ones they always seem to run into a dead body or two. After nine seasons of “Murder She Wrote” this no longer seems strange to me. Sadly there were only three seasons of this show but the Library has them all!

Check out more mysteries at your neighborhood library.

Ann Cady
Board of Trustees

Which is better…the book or the movie? April 13, 2011

Posted by CCLD in Steele.
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Eat, Pray, LoveRecently we created a display, at the Steele Memorial Library, of books that were subsequently made into movies.  Many examples come to mind, including older titles such as “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett (1930) and the film version of the same title which starred Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor (1941). Additionally, there are many contemporary titles such as the memoir “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” by Elizabeth Gilbert (2006), adapted to the screen starring Julia Roberts (2010).

In the process of making lists and gathering books and DVDs for this display, we became involved in that age old debate “which is better the book or the movie?”  The popular consensus seems to be that the book is usually better than the movie.  What I’m hearing from this discussion is that the reading process enables the reader to appreciate the written words and engages their imagination.  Greater depth may be created within the written story and the characters can be envisioned with much more detail.

I think everyone has to agree that sometimes a great book can become an even greater movie.  The first title that comes to mind is “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell published in 1936.  The movie of 1939, featuring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, became a timeless classic.  There is also  “The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien, a wonderful fantasy story written between 1937 and 1949, and published in 1954.  These books are the subject of various film versions, but the one that stands out, directed by Peter Jackson, was produced in three parts: “The Fellowship of the Ring (2001),” “The Two Towers (2002),” and “The Return of the King (2003).”  These films definitely bring the story and its intricate fantasy world to life!

Another part of this debate is stories that were better on the big screen than they were in print.  “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo (1969), was made into the film version in 1972, directed by Francis Coppola starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.  This film won many awards, including an Academy Award for Best Picture.  This film brought the book and its author greater popularity.

Meanwhile, the debate continues.  What are your thoughts, which do you think is better the book or the movie?

Connie Ogilvie, Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

Celebrate Your New Bookmobile April 12, 2011

Posted by CCLD in Bookmobile, Community, District News.
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Celebrate your new Bookmobile on April 20th from 5pm – 7pm at Steele Memorial Library, 101 E. Church Street Elmira, NY.  Come by for food, fun, and a chance to check out our new wheels.  If you can’t make the event then check out our new wheels at one of our community stops.

Unfinished InteriorChemung County Library District (CCLD) is pleased to announce the official unveiling of its newest portable branch, the Bookmobile, a 34 foot long vehicle designed by OBS, Inc. of Canton, Ohio. Since 1949 bookmobile services have been offered in Chemung County. It has played an important outreach role, connecting new users and raising awareness of library services throughout the county.

Finished InteriorThe new Bookmobile offers many of the same services that patrons find in their community libraries, including popular materials, story times, class visits, and participation in community events. It serves communities with collections that include materials for children, teens and adults. The bookmobile travels 11,000 miles per year, loans out over 16,000 items, provided 198 programs where over 3,500 people attended- despite being off the road for almost 5 months.

Graphics Being AppliedThe new Bookmobile features state-of-the-art equipment and technology including the use of low-sulphur fuel; ADA compliant with wheelchair access; low bench seating and an awning for outdoor community meeting space, improving access for class visits, story times, and other popular programs and events; and flexible shelving, allowing for rotating collections and programs.

Come see the new Bookmobile graphics by Tedd Arnold…
Back of Bookmobile


A tip of the hat to one of our favorite benefactors, Hattye B. Skelley April 8, 2011

Posted by CCLD in Community, Steele.
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Tuesday – April 12th – we are celebrating Hattye B. Skelley Day at the Steele Memorial Library.  In honor of the day, library staff members will be wearing their favorite hats.

After taking good care of her brother Otto, Hattye donated $250,000 of her estate to the Library (April 12th, 1990).  We thought you might like to know a little about her, so here is some research we’ve done about Hattye and her family.

  • Hattye was the daughter of William and Alvena Birkholz.
  • William was born in Germany in 1873, just after that nation was created.
  • Alvena was also born in Germany, in 1875.
  • William and Alvena married in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1892, probably entering the country at Ellis Island.
  • William was a blacksmith and Alvena (sometimes listed as Elvina) was a homemaker.
  • William and Alvena Birkholz had three children:  Hattye H., Otto A., and Fred H..  Hattye was born in 1893; Otto in 1894, and Fritz in 1897.
  • In 1901 the City Directory has William, a blacksmith, at 217 Harriet Street but by 1912 they had moved to 807 John Street, on Elmira’s East Side near what we now call Newtown Creek.
  • In 1912 Hattye, now 19 years old, is working as a clerk for F.M. Howell, but by 1914 she moves (still a clerk) to Flannigans, a dry goods and department store located at 112-116 West Water Street.
  • The 1920 Census of Population has the family living at 807 John Street, in Elmira’s 2nd ward.  Their neighbors were also immigrants, but from Russia and Austria.  Other neighbors were immigrants to Elmira from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
  • In 1920 Hattye was a stenographer, working for a law office, Otto was a partner in the blacksmith shop of his father, and Fred (who became known as Fritz) was a pharmacist.
  • Both Otto and Fred (Fritz) served the United States in the First World War (1914-1918).
  • All three children were members of the “German Church” – the United Church of Christ.
  • By 1925 Hattye, still a stenographer, had moved to the City Clerk’s office and, in 1926, she was still living with her parents at their home at 807 John Street.  Hattye eventually became City Clerk (1962-1963) and then retired from her career with the City of Elmira.
  • In either 1926 or early 1927, Hattye married Lawrence J. Skelley, and moved to 354 Maple Avenue.  Lawrence was an automobile salesman and, in 1925, was manager of Wolcott Motor Company.  By 1955 he has retired and, in either 1959 or 1960, dies.
  • Fred, listed as Frederick H. in the 1960 City Directory, is no longer a pharmacist; rather, his occupation is listed as “investment securities.”  Several say he spent a great deal of time at the Steele Memorial Library.

Source:  Elmira City Directories; 1920 Census of Population.

Libraries Still Have Good Information! April 6, 2011

Posted by roganp in Community, Recommendations, West Elmira.
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The New Health Care SystemWe’ve been doing a lot of talking at the Library about the unpleasant (to me) fact that nonfiction books are not circulating as much as they used to. Some of us comment that people are using the internet and videos more and books less. Newspapers are going out of business and social networking is the new “in-thing”.  The new census stats show that our county is losing population and we all see the empty houses for sale and don’t see as many people who used to come and talk about books at the reference desk any more. We miss them!

I worry that people don’t realize that libraries still have good information – facts about health, current issues, latest information on science and technology, car repair – and that we don’t seem to be very successful at getting that information out to the people in the county who could make use of it.  In the midst of all this talk of gloom and doom, I was heartened by a woman in the West Elmira Library who checked out their copy of: THE NEW HEALTH CARE SYSTEM: Everything you need to know by David Nather. She spoke to the head of that library who told me:

“She was pleased with the information in this book.  She said it is so different than what we are hearing on television.  The fact that it is unbiased was important to her.” Yes! Somebody gets it. Somebody has discovered that libraries are here to provide good information. You have no idea how happy that comment made me.

So in case there are others out there who are interested in some new health books, see below:

Dodging the Toxic Bullet: How to Protect Yourself from Everyday Environmental Health Hazards by David Boyd

The Checklist ManifestoHealing Our Autistic Children by Julie Buckley MD

A Patient’s Guide to Heart Rhythm Problems by Todd Cohen

The Language of Life by Francis Collins

From Zero to Mastectomy by Jackie Fox

Treat Me, Not my Age by Mark Lachs

The Emperor of All Maladies by Mukherjee

Designer Genes by Steven Potter

Reiki for Life by Penelope Quest

What’s Up Down There? by Lissa Rankin

Clinical Trials by Lorna Speid

And my favorite, that I wish every doctor, dentist and health administrator at every hospital would read: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.

Phyllis Rogan
, Reference Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

Kids Can Read Down Their Fines! April 2, 2011

Posted by poppendeckc in Youth Services.
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In celebration of National Library Week, CCLD will be offering the opportunity for patrons under the age of 15 to read down their fines.

This means for every 15 minutes they spend reading in their local library (Big Flats, Horseheads, West Elmira, Steele, or Van Etten), they can deduct $0.50 from the total of their fines. This will apply only to their own library card; they may not read down fines for family members or friends.

This is a great chance for kids who have chalked up fines of any amount to lower or eliminate fines preventing them from borrowing materials.

The dates will be April 11 – 16.

Mark down the dates, and come in to the library and read down those fines!

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