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My Guilty Secret… May 31, 2013

Posted by CCLD in Recommendations.
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june_picks_1My guilty secret is out! I love to read Regency Fiction. What a great escape – to immerse oneself in another time and place – where the heroines are all smart, the men are all charming and perfect and all ends happily every after. It can change my whole mood; just like eating chocolate! The best ones are witty, lighthearted and just plain fun. Recently, when one of my fellow employees, who knew of my addiction, brought a new regency to me; I said “oh, that ‘s not one of my authors”; a volunteer overheard and said she read regencies too but didn’t know there were good and bad authors. So I told her my favorites – Mary Balogh, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Candace Camp and Elizabeth Boyle. I guarantee a good time with any of their books.

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

Online and Email Safety May 27, 2013

Posted by CCLD in Technology.
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Computer hackers are taking a new approach these days, they don’t just want to infect your computer they want to gain access to your finances or scam you into paying them money. There are new methods of gaining entry into your personal computer or scamming for money being developed all the time.

One of the newest methods is an email message claiming to be from the Department of Homeland Security or National Cyber Security Division stating it has suspended the computer and the user must pay a fine to unblock it.  A popup might come up on your screen, claiming to be something very similar, requiring you to pay for something, or it might hijack your computer saying you have to pay to regain access.

Microsoft has issued a warning that a new piece of malware masquerading as a Google Chrome or Firefox add-on is making the rounds, threatening to hijack Facebook accounts.

In the case of the Associated Press, the hackers sent a link disguised as a Washington Post article. Syrian Electronic Army hackers claim that more than 50 A.P. employees fell for the hoax, including several of the A.P. social media editors.

It is very difficult today to avoid scams and viruses; you have to be proactive, as well as, cautious and alert. The following are some preventive methods recommended by the Department of Homeland Security to use to avoid falling into a trap:

  1. Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages
  2. Use caution when opening email attachments; they are a common source of viruses. Use caution even if you know the sender, their account could be infected and be sending out malware. The best thing to do if you are at all suspicious would be to contact the person who sent the email and see if it is actually from them.
  3. Sometimes a person’s email account will become compromised and their address book starts sending out spam with malware attached. The best thing to do would be to delete all the contacts in your address book and immediately change your password.
  4. Maintain up-to-date antivirus software
  5. Make sure your firewall is always on.
  6. Most email scams are soliciting an idea that is too good to be true, such as work-at-home schemes, investment opportunities, chain letters or anything related to “easy money”.
  7. Users who are infected should change all passwords AFTER removing the malware/virus from their system.
  8. Keep your software up to date. Install all patches, to close holes in your computer that someone can gain entry through. Most computers let you know when new patches are available. The most common patches are for Adobe Reader, Flash, Shockwave, Java, and Microsoft Windows.
  9. Do not give out information in web pages or to anyone (in person or not), unless you know for a fact they are indeed who they claim to be and should have access to that information. If there is any question at all, ask someone else about it first.
  10. Avoid Phishing attacks, such as someone claiming to be an organization affiliated with a current event (hurricane relief, political campaigns, health scares, economic concerns, etc.). To double check you could always go to the original website for the organization yourself instead of responding to an email request, this way you would know the organization is legitimate.
  11. As always, do not use the same passwords for everything. If someone gains access to an account they will then have access to all of your accounts.
  12. If you believe your financial information has been compromised, contact your financial institution immediately.
  13.  Consider reporting the attack to police, and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/).

Deb Brimmer
Technology Coordinator

Birdcams May 24, 2013

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It started with a children’s program at the Central Library. A bird program for Youth Services in the spring had Children’s staff exploring something called birdcams. Universities, Chambers of Commerce, etc. install cameras in view of a niche or a nest known to be a roosting spot for Peregrine Falcons, Eagles, and wild birds of all kinds. Enthusiasts can watch the eggs hatch, the parents feed the chicks, and even witness them fledge. The birds are no worse for the wear, and humans can marvel at the intimate glimpse into their very private world.

The unknown factor about this spectacle is that it is addictive. Cornell Lab Bird Cams spotlight a Great Blue Heron nest, and a Red-Tailed Hawk nest, and are partnered with a couple of other species located outside the area. Their site have a sign-in feature, so enthusiasts all over the world can chat with each other and exclaim over anything that goes on in the nest. We can witness the parents regurgitating fish to feed the baby herons, listen (yes! even sound!) to the accompanying wildlife calls, and watch the babies interacting with each other. Once we even got to see all five of the baby herons watch an airplane fly across the sky – THAT lit up the chat board!

Cornell’s Hawk Cam is located right on the campus. The downy-white chicks huddle together while the parents take turns feeding them whatever is on the menu that day – snakes, squirrels, rabbits.

SUNY at Buffalo has a Peregrine Falcon Cam, located right on their premises. These are endangered birds. Four tiny chicks sleep huddled together, wait for Mom or Dad to deliver the next meal, flap their little wings as they grow.

You can watch all the wobbly cuteness at http://www.buffalo.edu/falconcam.html

Cornell Hawk cam: http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/16/Red-tailed_Hawks/

And for the herons: http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/8/Great_Blue_Herons/

Be forewarned: after a day of Blue Heron nest-watching, the sounds of the neighboring Canadian geese, bullfrogs and peepers will echo in your head. You may also experience intense emotional involvement in their development. Enjoy!

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
CCLD, Horseheads

New and Old Dishonesty May 20, 2013

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Here at the Horseheads library, I shared a brief but intense dialogue with a patron about corruption in government. It seems as if it is only getting worse. She stated the stories are repetitive; new times, but same hijinks.  I stated that even if a politician starts out noble, there is so much treachery, he/she would have a difficult, if not impossible time of maintaining their integrity all the time.

These statements are not new. Corruption in government is a very old story, and spans all cultures. Our constitution is based on our forefathers’ resolution to NOT allow the corruption of the times to infiltrate a new brand new government manifesto.

One only needs to peruse the 940-941 stacks in the library to get an idea of the injustices and corruptions that moved nations, sometimes brilliantly, sometimes brutally. This fluctuating agitation isn’t new. It has been with mankind since we traveled in tribes and clans. There will always be flux in determining the direction a nation will go, and those who have the abilities will drive the changes in ways they know to be effective, no matter how detestable.

But, we the people can and should always expect and demand uprightness from our government representatives. Otherwise, there is no balance, and who knows how far corruption can go? Explore the history section in your library to find out.

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
CCLD, Horseheads

CCLD Chess Challenge May 13, 2013

Posted by CCLD in Programs.
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by Michael Kane

chessThe status of Elmira as a city of culture, an education and entertainment center, took a step up on Sat. (5/4) at the Steele Memorial Library.  The CCLD, the Friends of the Library, and the Chemung Canal Trust Co. sponsored a Chess Challenge attended by 50 players and many more observers, doubling the attendance of last year’s first annual chess tournament.  All look forward to next year.

Innovatively dropping the staid format of standard tournaments, organizers created a fantasy realm in which contestants stormed a castle to gain a throne, or defended it against barbarian invaders. This fluid format novelly permitted participation (and possible reward) to far more players:  from 4 to 75 years of age.  How many activities can command the enthusiasm of persons so varied, in age and ability, male or female?

Both the youngest and oldest participants won prizes and trophies by superior play.

Walter Buehl (75) not only attained the throne first, he withstood all challenges all day.  His youngest subject Kai Patrone (4) rose impressively on merit above his elders, but never pretended to the throne as did Andy He (10).  Other prize-winning princes deserve listing:  Gene Millard, Michael Kane, Michael Mosher, Brian Murphy, Draven Kurta, Zack Pifer, and Max Pan (10).

Anyone interested in chess should call Michael (607-857-8479) who organizes Chemung Valley Chess.  Among other locations, he plays at the library every Wednesday.  Everyone should be interested in any activity which trains young minds to think maturely analytically, and maintains youthful vigor in old minds.

If you would organize your brain, would master logic, learn brutal life lessons on action/consequence, and know thyself (both strengths and weaknesses), play chess. To enjoy contemplation before swift action, to employ memorization and innovation (left and right brain lobes), play chess.  To build concentration, to practice distraction and deception in plain sight, play chess.  To deploy the fairest set of rational rules ever devised for cruel mayhem and ruthless destruction, play chess.  To hunt with purest skill for your one main chance, play chess.  To engage in a war game for territory like American football, but without broken bones, play chess.

Chess you can play alone or on-line; you can battle one opponent all day, or more than one at once; you can organize a tourney on a train in any foreign country though no one speaks English.  Always you will fight against yourself, in the present moment, while continuing a glorious legacy of legions of quiet warriors around the world.

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – YouTube as a Reference Source May 6, 2013

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes.
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The Central Library Presents: Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes
May 2013: YouTube as a Reference Source

We all know how entertaining and sometimes disturbing YouTube videos can be, but some of us may not be aware of how useful YouTube can be as a source of information. There are several options for browsing content plus searching for specific instructions, product reviews, or product demonstrations. Below are some examples.

1. There are specific channels created for companies and organizations such as:

Chemung County Library District: http://www.youtube.com/user/ChemungLibs
Mayo Clinic: http://www.youtube.com/user/mayoclinic
Consumer Reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/consumerreports
Edmunds: http://www.youtube.com/user/Edmundsvideo
PBS: http://www.youtube.com/user/PBS
Smithsonian: http://www.youtube.com/user/smithsonianchannel

2. There are videos demonstrating how to do just about anything.
Here are some sample searches to try:

How to tie a tie
How to draw a rose
How to crochet a scarf
How to make buckeyes
How to edit photos on Instagram

3. How do I find specific reviews or other educational content?
You can conduct searches from within YouTube’s search feature as well as in the popular search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Here is an example of a Google search:


Something to always remember: There is little editorial control over YouTube’s content. It is possible for younger users to view inappropriate content. Also, some content may be offensive or inaccurate. We strongly urge parents to monitor their children’s use of YouTube or any other internet search engine, website, or social network site.

Owen Frank
CCLD – Central Library Reference Department

Spring is starting and so is yard work… May 4, 2013

Posted by roganp in Recommendations.
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Beautiful no-mow yardsHurrah! The tulips are out! The daffodils are out!

The dandelions are out.  😦

Spring is starting and so is yard work. The latest thing about lawns seems to be – not to have grass, but to have a vegetable or flower garden in your front yard.  Whatever you choose to do, pick up one of our books on lawns to tell you how to have a spectacular front yard.

Here are a few titles to check out:

Beautiful No-mow Yards: 50 amazing lawn alternatives by Evelyn Hadden

The Edible Front Yard: the mow-less, grow-more plan for a beautiful, bountiful garden by Ivette Soler

The American Meadow Garden: creating a natural alternative to the traditional lawn by John Greenlee

Scotts Lawns: your guide to a beautiful yard by Nick Christians

Quick & Easy Curb Appeal by Better Homes and Gardens

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

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