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Happy 4th of July! June 29, 2012

Posted by cclddirector in Community, Director's Comments.
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On Wednesday July 4th we will celebrate America’s birthday. Some of my earliest memories are the flags flying on front porches and the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers sizzling on backyard grills. The traditions continue today with fireworks, great food, and fun with friends and family. Some people have even switched from imported to American beer in honor of this national holiday. This year I’d like to suggest a new tradition- how about celebrating the freedom of this great nation by showing your freedom to read?

It’s not so far-fetched when you think about it. The Founding Fathers of this country were well-educated people who knew the importance of books, libraries and reading. For example, Benjamin Franklin is among the most unique of our statesmen. His work as a writer, printer and publisher is obviously tied very closely to the mission of libraries.

In 1800 legislation was signed by President John Adams that provided not only for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington, but also for the establishment of a reference library for Congress only, containing “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress – and for putting up a suitable apartment for containing them therein….” The original library was housed in the new Capitol until August 1814, when invading British troops set fire to the Capitol Building, burning and pillaging the contents of the small library. In 1815, the government, knowing that the Congress of that time and its successors would need access to information, accepted Thomas Jefferson’s offer of his personal library of 6,487 books as a replacement and it became the core around which the Library of Congress was formed.

In order to help you continue the celebration, the Library is offering two reading programs for patrons this summer. We are continuing our popular summer reading program for children, this year’s theme is “Dream Big. READ!” New this year is our first annual adult summer reading program. This year’s theme is “Between the Covers.” Each week we will have a variety of special events at our branches so make sure you check our calendar.

I hope you enjoy your holiday but I would like to ask one last thing. During your party stop for a moment and reflect on the true meaning of what July 4th symbolizes. Ours is the greatest nation on earth and we have our freedom due to the sacrifice of many men and women. No fact is more worthy of our celebration.

Reading – Then and Now June 25, 2012

Posted by poppendeckc in Youth Services.
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The Youth Services staff enjoyed a lively conversation in regards to our favorite books as children. Some of the series we favored were: Donna Parker, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, The Dana Girls.  Once upon a time, parents dreaded the steady diet of what they considered unworthy volumes of “tripe” their children were enamored with, and preferred they would pick up literary classics like, Gulliver’s Travels, Treasure Island, or Little Women.

We, on the other hand, consumed our favorites with relish, some of us admitting to reading favorite volumes over and over. We couldn’t get enough of the mystery, humor, beloved or hated characters, and the overall familiarity these books presented to us. Classics? Not interested.

You know what? We had it right. The lure of our favorite “tripe” expanded our worlds, introduced us to language both written and spoken, sated our hunger for knowledge and at the same time, made us hungry for more. Book lovers were born of these disrespected volumes, paving the way of our lifelong love of learning.

Literacy experts now base great value on reading – anything – as long as the skill is developed, practiced, and strives for mastery. Comic books, cereal boxes, games of any kind which include vocabulary are encouraged for honing reading skills and interest in the written word. So much research has been done showing early literacy sets the tone for overall learning throughout life, that no path can be overlooked if it builds reading skills.

So, outlooks have changed, but the true barometer for promoting literacy is to locate what a child finds appealing, then let them loose on it, to develop a long-term relationship with books and reading. And if you are not sure what they may like, most of our libraries have some Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew series books on our shelves…

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library

Small Library, BIG on Relationships June 18, 2012

Posted by metzgerd in Community, Van Etten.
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Alyssa and pet chick at Van Etten LibraryI accidentally locked myself out of the Van Etten Library a few weeks ago. I walked to the neighbor’s house and tried calling all the town officers to see if anyone could let me back into the municipal building. It was a Saturday, so no one was home. The neighbor realized that everyone in town was probably at a memorial service at the church. Feeling rather embarrassed, I followed the neighbor over to the church where the memorial service was ending. We found the Town clerk, who cheerfully announced to everyone as she made her way through the crowd, “the librarian has locked herself out of the library; I have to go let her in!” Now practically the whole town knew I was in a silly predicament!  It was embarrassing, but also very funny. And this is why I love rural librarianship in a small village. Getting to know everyone, building relationships, and helping patrons, is integral to being a good librarian. That’s true of librarianship in every setting, but it is especially noticeable and vital in a small community.

More reasons I love rural librarianship: I feel needed, and I get to know almost everyone. Re: feeling needed:  One woman called in a panic on Friday evening, “You’re the only one that’s open in the village! My water pipe burst & I don’t know who in the village to call!! Do you have the number of the person in charge of village water???!  (I didn’t, but I knew someone who knew who WAS in charge of water and they passed on the SOS call.)

I get to know almost everyone (who walks in the library door). And they know me! Alyssa raised a fluffy black chick in school (pictured above); she brought it to the library in a hot pink bag to show me. I was thrilled. Jacie regaled me with tales of riding the zipline at the Girl Scout’s camping weekend. Cathy overheard me saying that I wished I had an old wooden ladder for my container garden. She showed up at the library next week to surprise me w/ a rummage sale wooden ladder poking out of the back of her car!

All of this reminds me how important, and reciprocal, relationships are. I’m very fond of my library patrons because I got to know them over time. Knowing who they are, their likes, dislikes and needs help me provide programs, services, and information tailored specifically to them.  Whether it is a burst water pipe, a school project, rewriting a resume, (see JobNow ) how to prune old apple trees, or surviving a zombie attack, I’m here to help this community who in turn, helps me by creating meaning, hilarity, and joy in my life.

Doris Jean Metzger, MLIS
Van Etten Library

The Clash of the Titans June 14, 2012

Posted by cclddirector in Director's Comments.
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Those of us who prefer “The Beautiful Game” to other sports had the opportunity to see the magic of Lionel Messi versus the Samba Kings of Brazil last Saturday (June 9), in the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

The tag line for the event was the “Clash of the Titans” as the two countries have won soccer’s World Cup seven times between them. There was also the subplot of duel between Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar fueled by the war between the Brazilian Pele and the Argentinean Diego Maradona- both of whom can lay claim as the “Greatest” of all time- over which of their countryman was better.

Anyone with a casual acquaintance with the game knows the bona fides of Messi, a three time world player of the year who has won five La Liga titles and three Champions League titles among his 21 major titles earned. Neymar, currently playing in Brazil for Pele’s former club Santos, has 3 Paulista (Brazilian) championships to his credit among his 7 major titles.

Billed as a an international friendly, it seemed as if both teams were intent on showing the world a style of soccer that threw caution to wind as only these South American giants can. The game turned out to be a free flowing end to end affair that left all spectators satisfied.

It was a battle all afternoon long. Brazil took an early 1-0 lead but Messi scored two before the end of the half to put the “Albiceleste” on top. Brazil started the second half strongly and scored the first two goals of the half before Federico Fernandez powered in a header to bring the score back level with just 15 minutes remaining.

A few minutes later the brilliance of Messi came shining through. Racing across the Brazilian defensive half with five minutes left, he beat three defenders at the top of the box before swerving the ball into the back of the net. The shot was so perfect that, even after seeing the replay one hundred times, I still can’t figure out how he did it. He never broke stride and never looked as if he was going to shoot. The goal was so beautiful that the full 82,000 fans in attendance stood and applauded. Despite the long rivalry and the animosity that goes with it, we all knew we had just seen something special.

After this match I believe that, should both teams build upon recent success, then we will see something very special on the playing fields of Brazil at the next World Cup in 2014.

Learn a new language with Mango Languages! June 12, 2012

Posted by CCLD in District News.
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Mango Languages

مرحبا. 你好, 你好, Bok, Ahoj, Hej, Hallo, Hei, Bonjour, Γεια σας, Alo, שלום, Halló, Halo, Dia duit, Ciao, こんにちは, Olá, Привет, Ahoj, Hola, Hallå, สวัสดี, Merhaba, Привіт, Xin chào, or Hello!

Thanks to a generous gift from the Friends of the Steele Memorial Library, CCLD patrons have 24/7 access to Mango Languages. Mango is an online language-learning system that can help you learn languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian, Russian and even ancient Greek. In addition to learning a new language, there are several English courses for non-native speakers. To access this new language tutorial go to: http://ccld.lib.ny.us/mango.htm.

Don’t want to sit at your computer or laptop? You can even download an app for your Apple or Android device and learn a new language on the go!

Read a 2012 Finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence June 1, 2012

Posted by CCLD in Recommendations.
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Catherine the GreatThe 2012 Finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction have been announced. They are Catherine the Great by Robert Massie; The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick; and Malcolm X by Manning Marable.

The Finalists for Fiction are The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright; The Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks; and Swamplandia by Karen Russell.

Of course, Steele owns them all! – Read an award winner today!

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

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