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Beneficial Bits ‘n Bytes: Our amazing world and universe. October 12, 2016

Posted by youngm2015 in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Reference.
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Hi everybody, Maggie here with the latest installment of free websites to improve your life.

Recently with so many affected by Hurricane Matthew, I was looking for worldwide and up to the minute weather views.  I stumbled upon Ventusky.com, the site below, and I’ve included some other sites to expand our minds and understanding of where we live on a global scale.  I hope you enjoy and learn something new.  Here we go!

Real-time current weather patterns worldwide.  https://www.ventusky.com/ventusky


Also real-time world weather with highly customizable views.  https://earth.nullschool.net/untitled


Had enough of this world? Explore google sky. https://www.google.com/sky/


Or get the free google earth download <https://www.google.com/earth/> to visit and explore the earth, stars, moon, AND Mars!


Can you think of any other sites that help you understand the earth and beyond? Share in the comments.


Beneficial Bits ‘n Bytes – Printing a new Barcode for your Library Card September 9, 2016

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Uncategorized.
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Is the barcode on your library card or library card key tag so faded that our barcode scanner cannot read it? I have recently discovered an easy way to print and tape a barcode to a library card or key tag. Here are the directions.

  1. Go to http://www.barcode-generator.org/
  2. On the upper left side of the screen select Code 128 from the dropdown menu
  3. Type your 13 digit library card number then click create barcode


  1. On the right side of your screen you will see the new barcode, download, print, then tape to your library card


NOTE: you may need to resize the barcode image to fit on your card or key tag. I find it easy to do by inserting the image in Microsoft Word and resizing it to fit on the key tag or library card.

Owen Frank, Branch Supervisor
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits ‘n Bytes: Free Digital Magazines July 12, 2016

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Uncategorized.
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zinioZinio for Libraries offers our library members access to over 180 popular magazine titles, and many back issues as well. Browse or search the collection and view magazines in full-color. There are no holds, no loan period, and no limits to the number of magazines you can check out.

Click on the Zinio box that is displayed on your library’s home page and that will lead you to our digital magazines. You can create an account by clicking on the link in the upper right hand corner of the page or you can begin browsing the collection immediately and once you click on a selection, you will be prompted to set up your account. When you have your account set up, and you are logged in, you will see a My Collection link where you will manage the magazines you have checked out to your account.

Magazines can be read online in the browser with a Windows or Mac computer. Download checked-out magazines to apps for iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire/HD/HDX which enables you to read the content offline.

Zinio for Libraries is easily accessed and has an incredible selection of magazines to choose from!

Connie Ogilvie, Librarian
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits ‘n Bytes: Lynda.com May 18, 2016

Posted by youngm2015 in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Technology.
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lyndaAre you ready to take the next step in your job or hobby but just don’t have the skills you need in one crucial area?

Do you need to learn Excel in order to be considered for a promotion?  Do you want to learn how to build databases through Access?  Do you need tutorials on Computer Aided Drafting for the next career move?

These classes are available for free, on demand, through your library.  The Chemung County Library District is proud to offer all its patrons free access to lynda.com–a treasure trove of online classes in specialized topics.    All you need is a library card and the Internet to access this information.  (If you don’t have internet at home, come to the library for free wifi and to use a computer here).

To get to lynda.com, click on the lynda.com button that appears on our home page:  http://ccld.lib.ny.us/

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Reference Sites March 12, 2016

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Reference.
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Listed below are a small sampling of freely accessible reference sites that provide information about very popular topics. As you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will find important links that can assist you on which presidential candidate you wish to vote for in the New York State primary and November general election.

USDA’s Local Food Directory

Looking find locally grown produce with this site, you can find the nearest farmer’s market, farmers who sell locally grown produce to consumers? The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services Local Foods Directory is fantastic Free resources.


Ever wondered what the all those counter-intuitive abbreviations people type in text messages such as ROFLOL? Net Lingo is a concise dictionary that will solve the seemingly unsolvable.

Smithsonian Onlinehttp://sova.si.edu/

A digital collection of 7,171 items from the renowned Smithsonian Institution.


A site dedicated to investigating rumors propagated by fake news sites or urban legends. This site created by David Mikkelson, who has over 20 years’ experience as a professional researcher and writer.


As we march towards electing a new president, members of congress and other elected officials, Project vote smart aspires to, “to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to ALL Americans.”


Ever wonder if claims from presidential candidates that seem unbelievable are true or not? This site may satisfy your curiosity. FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.


Open Secrets provides details of financial contributions to political campaigns and the net worth of office holders and candidates. This site enables all who visit to, “follow the money.”

Owen Frank, Branch Supervisor
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – BookMyne December 1, 2015

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Technology.
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Have you ever had a conversation about books or movies and thought to yourself ‘When I get home I will search on my computer to see if I can borrow the book or movie from the library’, then when you get on your computer, you’ve forgotten the title or author? If you have a smart phone or tablet, I suggest that you download and install BookMyne.

What is BookMyne?

BookMyne is a mobile app that allows users to search and place holds on items contained within the Southern Tier Automated Regional Catalog (STARCat). The app is available on both Android and IOS (Apple) platforms.

How Do I get it?

Go to the Play Store (for android devices) or the App Store (for iPhones or iPads) and download to your smartphone or tablet.

How do I set up?

1. After installing the app, tap on “Find Library” toward the bottom of the screen.


2. Tap on your library from the list and then tap on “Add This Library”.


I’ve installed BookMyne, and added my library now what?
Tap on “My Account” (you will be prompted for your library card number and PIN). Once logged into your account you can view and renew checkouts, view/edit/remove/suspend holds, and view fines and profile info.



Can I search for books?
1. Tap on Search.
2. Type desired keyword(s) in the search box (1).
3. Tap one of the limiter fields (2) (Note: All Fields is the default).
4. Tap the search icon (3)


If you are in a bookstore, You can even scan the book’s barcode.
1. Tap on “Barcode Scanner”.


2. Scan the book’s UPC barcode with your smartphone or tablet’s camera.


Can I place holds with BookMyne?
Yes you can!
1. Tap on an item in your search result (Note: You can tap on the check boxes for multiple items as well.)
2. Tap on “Place Hold” (if you have not already done so, you will be prompted to login to your account.)


3. When prompted to select pickup location (this corresponds to the library you chose when you first installed the app), tap “Save”.

3. Tap on “Place Hold”.


Owen Frank, Branch Supervisor

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


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!


Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Free Online File Conversion May 2, 2015

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Technology.
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zamzarA lot of people visit the public library because they need to print a document. Most Windows computers come with a word processing program called Microsoft Works installed and many people use it to create documents. What a lot of people do not realize is that Microsoft Works files are not compatible with Microsoft Word, the paid product from Microsoft used for word processing (the program installed on the library’s computers). If you’ve created your file using Microsoft Works and get to the library, ready to print, only to discover that your file will not open, there is a solution!   There is a free online file conversion site, zamzar.com, that allows you to upload a file, choose the file type you’d like to convert it to, enter your email, and have the finished converted file emailed to you for download. The great thing about this site is that it does not require you to install any software to convert the file, since many public libraries restrict users from installing software for security reasons. Not only does this site convert WPS files to DOC files for the scenario described above, it also converts a number of other document, music, and image file types.

Jennie Lewis
Virtual Services Librarian
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Useful Websites August 15, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Steele.
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 This month, the Steele Memorial Library’s Adult Services Department provides a sample list of websites we have used in answering reference questions. Remember, you can call us at 733-9175 or send us an email message from: http://ccld.lib.ny.us/edeskref.htm

A General Subject Guide:
Internet Public Library

IPL Logo

Hosted by Drexel University’s College of Information Science and Technology, this site provides the visitor with a collection of links based on subject. Visiting this site allows the user to browse hundreds of links on virtually any topic

an credit rep

Federal law requires each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to give you a free credit report every 12 months if you ask for it. The only true “Free” Credit report site

Charity Reports

Ever wonder if the charity seeking your donation is legitimate? Guidestar.org is an excellent resource to   investigate a non-profit organization’s financial records.

Election information
vote smart

This site provides unbiased information about elected officials and candidates for public office.


A great site to read about medical research as well as information about various health topics.

Internet Movie Database

A fantastic site to find information about movies and television shows old & current. This site includes cast and crew information as well as plot summaries to movies throughout the history of film-making.


The Internet Archive strives to save all digitally born content from the internet. Users have the ability to view earlier versions of websites, videos, music, text documents, scanned historical documents and much more.
kelly BB
Kelley Blue Book is one of the best resources for researching automobiles, trucks, SUVs, or vans. Not only can you look up the value of the vehicle, you can read reviews, compare similar vehicles, even search for vehicles for sale.

Law: NYS Statutes

A free version of the laws and statutes of New York State. Organized by topic, this site allows the user to quickly find a specific New York State law
Law: US Code
US code
Similar to the NYS Statutes site, the House of Representatives has provided an easy to navigate site containing the U.S. Code.
The Library of Congress American Memory Project provides an impressive collection of historical photos, recordings, texts, and videos. Users can browse or search a wide variety of

Doctor Profile

Visiting a new doctor? The New York State Doctor Profile site can provide information about your doctor such as when he or she received their license, if there have been any disciplinary actions and much more.

Hospital Profile


Are you or someone you love being admitted to the hospital? This site provides impartial data about any New York State hospitals.

NYS School Report Cards

Curious to see how your local school district compares to other districts in the State? A visit to this site provides detailed information about test performance, disciplinary records, and graduation rates.

NYS Traffic, Travel, and Transit Info


A fantastic site to find out about road construction, traffic and weather conditions throughout NYS. A must before any road trip!

Occupational Outlook Handbook
occupational outlook handbook

An electronic version of the classic career research tool. This site provides information about hundreds of occupations. Each article includes education requirements, expected salaries, and long term employment outlooks.
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