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Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Unbiased App Reviews June 17, 2015

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes.
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So often we rely on users’ opinions and our friends’ suggestions on what apps we download to our smartphones and tablets. Sometimes our friends and other reviewers are wrong. Luckily there are other sources to find unbiased reviews of apps.  Below are a few excellent unbiased sources available online:

An easy to navigate site that allows you to select Android, Apple, or Windows phone interfaces.



An excellent site that provides reviews for educational apps intended for children. According the website, “Common Sense is dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.” https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews

Another unbiased source for reading reviews of apps intended for children. http://www.slj.com/category/reviews/apps/


Owen Frank–Branch Supervisor
Chemung County Library District


Our precious books repaired–Thank you, Friends of CCLD! June 17, 2015

Posted by youngm2015 in Friends, Genealogy / Local History.
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We have some really wonderful, hard-to-find and hard to replace reference books in our popular genealogy and local history section of the Steele Memorial Library.  But, even if these books don’t leave the library, they have seen a lot of use over the years.  Many are in disrepair, and quite a few could be repaired, but were beyond what we could to do to responsibly repair them in the library.  We needed to send some out for a complete rebinding, but our small budget couldn’t possibly begin to cover the cost.

That’s why we are so, so, grateful to The Friends of CCLD!  http://www.steele.lib.ny.us/friends.htm

The Chemung County Library District Friends made it possible for us to send the books in the most dire need of rebinding out to a professional bookbinder.  They came back in this week and they are like brand-new books! Some titles that were falling apart but now are in wonderful new bindings: “Refugees of 1776 from Long Island to Connecticut”, “History of Waverly, NY”, “History of Bradford County, PA”, and “Thirty Thousand Names of Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776”, among others!  As a special bonus, we can now offer to our patrons for the first time a 4-volume set of the Genealogy of Early Connecticut families.  This was donated to us but we couldn’t put it on the shelves due to its deteriorating leather covers.  They are now in pristine condition and able to be used by our researchers.

As a genealogy and local history department, we have two main mandates regarding our collection.  The first to acquire items that will be of use to people researching genealogy and local history.  The second is to maintain these items in a responsible way to ensure that library patrons 100+ years from now will have access to this important and hard-to-obtain information.  Thank you, Friends of CCLD, for helping us keep our collection healthy.  We couldn’t have done this without your help.


Maggie Young

Before_CCLD Bindery

after_CCLD bindery

Anniversary of a heroic WWI Pigeon: Cher Ami, Savoir of the Lost Battalion. June 13, 2015

Posted by youngm2015 in Genealogy / Local History.
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On this date in 1919, Cher Ami, a carrier pigeon and recipient of the Croix de Guerre Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster for Heroic Service in World War I, passed away in Fort Monmouth, NJ as a result of wounds suffered in war.  A pigeon of the Lost Battalion suffering both enemy and friendly fire, she was the only pigeon to avoid death long enough to deliver a message to Allied Forces to save the remaining members of the Lost Battalion.  She was severely wounded, and eventually lost a leg.  Members of the Battalion made her a wooden one.  She is now stuffed and in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.  This was discovered in one of the Steele Memorial Library’s copies of “History and Rhymes of the Lost Battalion,” now in our reference collection, the book was given to members of Elmira’s American Legion Post, so we wouldn’t forget the sacrifices of the Lost Battalion.  In the end, 197 men were killed, 150 captured or missing, and 194 were rescued.

The message Cher Ami delivered to Allied Troops who were dropping friendly fire on the Lost Battalion

The message Cher Ami delivered read, “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.”



History and Rhymes of the Lost Battalion: Reference 973.91 M129.

History and Rhymes of the Lost Battalion: Reference 973.91 M129.


U.S. Official Photograph taken in France shortly after the men were relieved and near the famous “pocket” the men were trapped in.

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Newspapers Online June 11, 2015

Posted by youngm2015 in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Genealogy / Local History.
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NYS Historic NewspapersResearching newspaper articles is a great way to get primary source information on a topic of interest.  They’ve never been more accessible to everyone, either, all you need is an Internet connection and some trusty sites to search.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. NYS Historical newspapers: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/

Very easy to use site to browse news articles from New York.  Just click on a county to begin browsing.  Free to everyone. Not all counties are up on this site yet.

2. Fulton History: http://fultonhistory.com/my%20photo%20albums/all%20newspapers/index.html

A site begun by one man in his own home, it originally was just to share postcard pictures of Fulton, NY with his neighbors.  He really took off with this site, however, and has personally uploaded more historical newspapers to his site than Chronicling America, through the National Library of Congress, has been able to add.  Cons: It’s not easy to search right off the bat, but people can get the hang of it.  Click on the Index at the top to get a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of all the titles available and their dates.  Also, try a Google search <http://www.google.com>for the topic + fulton history.  Example: “Rorick’s Glen fulton history.”  Google will bring you newspaper pages from the site with the articles of interest.

3. Speaking of Chronicling America, here is a link to the Library of Congress site:  http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

Free online newspapers, more being added all the time.

4.  Here’s a directory of newspapers on the web, also through the Library of Congress:


Not all of the links are free, some are more effective than others, but it gives a great overview of sites all over the United States.

5. Last but not least, The Library of Australia has digitized all of their country’s historical newspapers.  It’s a great site and very exciting to search.  Let’s hope the U.S. takes note of what they’ve done and follows suit!


4th Annual CCLD Chess Challenge June 10, 2015

Posted by CCLD in Community, Steele.
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chessOur 4th Annual CCLD Chess Challenge was held at the Steele Memorial Library on Saturday, May 16, 2015.   Approximately 76 people attended, 47 of which were players. Participants ranged in age from 5 to 76 years.   With generous contributions from Vincenzo’s Pizzeria and Chemung Canal Trust Co., we were able to provide pizza for lunch and purchase trophies, medals & pins of participation.

Winners were: 1st place Walter Buehl, 2nd place Michael Kane, and 3rd place Sam VanDyke.

We continue to find ways of improving the event each year and appreciate the support for this unique intergenerational event in our community.

The Chemung Valley Chess Club meets every Wednesday at the Steele Library to play games between 10:00am and 4:00pm. Chess is a game that commands the enthusiasm of persons of all ages and abilities, male or female. It challenges the mind and develops critical thinking skills.   Anyone is welcome to join. For more information, call Michael at 607-857-8479.

left: 1st place, Walter Buehl; right: 3rd Sam VanDyke

left: 1st place, Walter Buehl; right: 3rd Sam VanDyke

2nd place winner, Michael Kane

2nd place winner, Michael Kane

Van Etten Garden Club Plans Super Foods Community Garden June 1, 2015

Posted by CCLD in Community, Van Etten.
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Summer is here, hard to believe after another long, cold and snowy winter. Where does the time go? The start of the Summer Reading Club will be here before we know it as well.

The Van Etten library will be creating a Super Foods Community Garden to correlate with the 2015 Summer Reading Club theme, “Every Hero Has a Story”. We have formed a Garden Club where participants will help plan and create a gardening space. We will learn about proper soil combinations and proper planting of seeds and plants. One thing we have already learned…for example, did you know that cucumbers grow very well when planted near beans, lettuce and radishes, but they really don’t like it when they are planted near potatoes? (It’s a lucky thing that I planted them on opposite sides of my garden at home, because I did not know that when I planted them!!)

The garden club will meet on Wednesday mornings to weed, water and maintain the garden. Our goals are to maintain a successful garden with optimal harvesting of produce, share our produce with the community and look into the possibility of recycling seeds for next year’s garden. All produce not consumed by club members or library patrons will be donated to the local farmers market on behalf of Ms. Teri Carling (local gardener, nursery owner and farmers market participant). Teri has helped the Van Etten library immensely in planning our garden. From all of us at VE, thank you Teri!

The planted seeds…..


Our seedlings at 18 days old….

2 3

The Super Foods Community Garden is funded in great part by a generous grant received from Inspire of Spencer-Van Etten. Inspire is a non-profit public charity supported by donations from individuals and organizations and grants from foundations. Thank you Inspire.

It is our hope that the Super Foods Community Garden will provide adults and children with the knowledge and skills to create their own gardens and grow healthy food. This project will also provide lifelong learning skills, and encourage and enhance overall health.   Gardening knowledge promotes the economic advantages of growing foods at home and harvesting and recycling seeds for future gardening seasons offers a money saving technique.

There are numerous at home gardeners and nursery owners in the Van Etten area, and many are willing to share their knowledge.  The Garden Club members are all filled with great anticipation to see if our “green thumbs” will be green this year. Wish us luck!

Michelle Erickson
Van Etten Library
Chemung County Library District

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