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There’s a book for that! July 7, 2014

Posted by roganp in District News, Recommendations, Steele.
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PhyllisBy the time you read this, I will be retired. Connie Ogilvie has taken over the writing of this column but I asked her if I could use it to say goodbye. I have loved working in a public library, meeting our patrons and volunteers and talking books with them. Another great benefit of working in a public library is working with other reference librarians who keep up with the latest technology and are so happy to keep other staff and patrons updated too. Please look for the list of technology classes on our calendar of events.

We started Librarian’s Picks on our website twenty years ago, to try and let people know about all the treasures and information in the nonfiction section of the library. Although I always considered myself a reader and a public library user, I never realized how much easier my life would have been if I knew what was available in the library, before I became a librarian. For example:  shortly after I got the job, my son who had just graduated from college and had moved to California called me on Thanksgiving Day to say he was in a hospital in Los Angeles because he had been in an accident, breaking several bones in his face; the surgeon who would be operating in the morning didn’t speak much English but did tell him that he might lose his eye or hearing and have scars. I told him to not sign anything until I called him back, knowing that we had a book in the reference department titled Best Doctors and other books listing medical specialties and the people accredited in them. I raced to the library and found he didn’t need a plastic surgeon but a cranial facial surgeon; the best one, the one who other doctors would take their family to, was in Santa Monica so I got his phone number and called my son back and had him call the doctor. He answered his phone and told Dan that he would gather his team and operate the next day, which he did. Dan had no hearing loss, no eyesight lost, no scars. The doctor’s staff asked how Dan knew to come to this surgeon and he answered: “My Mom is a librarian”. Later I came across books that I would have loved to know existed when I was a homemaker, such as What to expect the first year by Heidi Murkoff, and wanted other people to know they existed, but never found the perfect way. When we were young, my husband and I bought a very old house and remodeled it ourselves, learning as we went with all the mishaps and mistakes. I later discovered that the library had books that told you exactly how to do each of the things we struggled with.

My mantra as a librarian is “From birth to death, no matter what you do, there is a book or video to help you do it easier or better at the library. ” So the next time you have a question or are struggling with a problem , consider coming to the library for a book, a video, a class or a chat with a reference librarian.

Phyllis Rogan, Librarian

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FIZZ, BOOM, READ! June 9, 2014

Posted by ackermanj in District News, Steele, Youth Services.
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FIZZ, BOOM, READ!

It’s almost that time of year again… Summer! Which means that our library Youth departments are busy planning our Summer Reading Club programs. We are very excited about this year’s theme, FIZZ, BOOM, READ! Activities for kids at our local CCLD branches, include: Science Experiments (have you ever made elephant toothpaste?), Exploration of Space, Visits from the Science and Discovery Center, Fun with the 5 senses, Puppet and Dinosaur shows, and so much more.  Best of all, our programs are completely FREE! Sign ups start June 30, either online at www.ccld.lib.ny.us or stop in at your local branch. Once you sign up and start reading, remember to stop in weekly at your local branch for prizes and the club event of the week. All readers who enter the club and report their progress either online or at the library, will be invited to an end of Summer Reading Club party at Eldridge Park, sponsored by the Friends of CCLD. Parents, remember this is a great way to get your child to keep reading over the summer months, and avoid the “summer slump” or loss of reading skills. For the tweens (9-13 years) out there, we will be offering a six week theatre camp, on Wednesday evenings starting July 2 from 6:30-8:00 pm. Registration is required for this program, please call 733-9174 to sign up. There will also be separate reading programs and plenty of events for teens and adults. Here are some great recommendations for science-y reading fun for kids, available through our CCLD libraries:

Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino

Citizen Scientist: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery in your own Backyard by Lorie Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz

Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss

Crazy Concoctions: A Mad Scientist’s Guide to Messy Mixtures by Jordan D. Brown and Anthony Owlsley

The Secret Science Project that Almost Ate the School by Judy Sierra

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Central (Steele) Library, CCLD

ARE YOU A ROCK-N-ROLLER? April 29, 2014

Posted by harrisb1 in District News, Steele.
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If you enjoy good ol’ classic rock music, then you need to check out the Audio-Video department at CCLD-Central library. We are compiling a fantastic selection of classic rock music for both old and young fans of a great era in music.

Some of the artists we are now housing include:
• Eric Clapton
• Lynyrd Skynyrd
• David Bowie
• Dire Straits
• Guess Who
• Deep Purple
• Grand Funk Railroad
• Blue Oyster Cult
• And many more classic rock artists

We are also adding rock concerts on DVD. So, come on down to the Central library Audio-Video department and “bang your head”.

ROCK ON!!!

Brian Harris
Principal Library Clerk
CCLD-Audio Video Dept.

Did you know that your public library is a vacation planner’s paradise? April 14, 2014

Posted by cclddirector in Community, Director's Comments, District News, Recommendations, Reference, Technology.
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About a year ago my daughters and I were in the process of planning for their first trip to Europe. Seeing that all three of us were recent college graduates we balked at the thought of signing up for a group tour package. Deciding to set our own itinerary meant we would have a whole lot of work ahead of us.

Fortunately my daughters figured that since dad was paying for the trip they wouldn’t complain at where he wanted to go (amazing how that works out). We decided to use library materials as our “travel agent” to give us tips on where to go and what to see. So for a few months prior to our departure I checked out travel guides, books and DVDs to learn more about Europe. And borrowing from the library helped us save money. After all who can’t use extra cash when they are going on vacation?

In addition, the suggested itineraries helped us focus our sightseeing on the places we really wanted to visit while making sure we didn’t overextend ourselves. We also had copies of important phrases from different guide books so we could at least say “please” and “thank you” in the language of where we were (a hint- the good guide books will have an index of common foreign language phrases).  I had also checked out a French CD to brush up on my skills as well as used our Mango Languages program to make sure the phrases we were trying to use sounded reasonably close. If you are not familiar with Mango Languages, it is an online language-learning system, teaching conversation skills for over 30 languages including English. Mango uses real-life situations and actual conversations to more effectively teach a new language. Once again, this is a free database available at CCLD.  All you need is your library card and PIN to access Mango Languages.

We used the library computers to research the State Department website to make sure where we were going was safe, checked on flights and trains, and researched tricks to help save money on airfare and hotels. Fortunately, we had also downloaded a few library eBooks prior to departure which gave us something to read during the long flights and delays we encountered.

So the next time you are going on vacation come on in and give us a try. You will find a variety of resources to help make your trip more enjoyable.  Also, make sure to sign up for our vacation planning class next month at the Central Library:  Roadtripping – May 21 at 6pm.  Learn to plan, organize, and discover great places to visit this summer using roadtrippers.com and more. The Tech Lab Class is limited to 12 participants. Call today to register 733-9175.

Ronald W. Shaw
Director, CCLD

Colgan Air Flight 3407 February 12, 2014

Posted by cclddirector in Community, Director's Comments, District News.
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Five years ago today, Flight 3407 crashed Clarence Center, NY. As names were released to the public, there appeared, “John G. Roberts, III.” I felt a chill as I had served with someone by that name in the army. He was the Battalion Adjutant and I was assigned as the Assistant Adjutant. John was one of the finest officers I served with in my 29 years in the military.

Many years ago, we were in Germany and somehow John ended up in the Reichel building in Rheinberg (with heat, showers and hot food). I ended up in a tent in the middle of a field, (in January and in the snow), eating MREs and suffering from a lack of hygienic opportunities.

We were in the field for a couple of weeks when he drove out to drop off some material. When he saw us I think our appearance caused him to find a way to get us out of there and, on his own, he got us redeployed to Rheinberg and we were able to feel human again.

He also arranged a day trip for us to go to Cologne where we would have about 8 hours to see some sights. It was a great day for me as I got to tour the Cologne Cathedral. I spent the time wandering around the cathedral and the streets out front, just taking in the atmosphere and I bought a poster of the cathedral for my mother as I thought she would like it.

Back at the barracks later that evening, about 2 a.m., I heard a rustling as someone was looking for “Robert Shaw.” Even though the name was wrong I knew it was me they were looking for- but I didn’t get up. Somehow I knew the phone call was about my mother, and I knew it wasn’t going to be a good one. Eventually they rousted John out of his bunk and he came over to me. I was staring at the ceiling and I think he could tell by the look on my face that I knew what to expect when I got to the phone.

We went downstairs where I received the news my mother had died suddenly and I was needed back home. I don’t remember much of the next few hours except John taking care of all the arrangements to get me on the next flight out. He had me pack up my gear and I remember going from office to office with him as he tried to get me released. No one seemed able to help which only served to focus him even more. He cut through every bit of red tape that was thrown his way and secured the proper clearance from our unit back in the States, the unit we were attached to in Germany, and the airlines to get me home.

Because it took so long, the only flight I could get that day left in 3 hours. The only problem was the airport was over two hours away and you had to be there at least two hours prior due to security issues. Let’s just say that John set a land speed record of some sort. I remember him parking illegally out front and going with me to the counter. He waited as the agent took care of the ticketing and security went through their tasks. Finally he wished me well and I prepared to board my flight. I turned to say thank you but he stopped me in mid-sentence. We had worked together long enough to know there was no need to say anything.

When my wife realized my concern over seeing the name in the paper, she asked me what it was about John. I then told her about him and how he helped me. She told me that I had never talked about what happened that day. She also told me she finally understood why I had an old, framed poster of the Cologne Cathedral hanging in the hallway. Every day when I enter my house, I look at it. Instead of making me sad, it reminds me of someone who knew the right thing to do, when to do it, and didn’t expect to be thanked for doing what needed to be done.

To say that he will be missed is an understatement.

Ronald W. Shaw
Director, CCLD

Change November 20, 2012

Posted by CCLD in District News.
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Change.  It’s only one word, but what a scary word it can be.  There are many people, like me, that embrace change and look forward to the new things that happen in life, but there are also just as many that avoid it like the plague.  These people are happy with their world staying status quo.  For those of you that are out there in the world, the next few months at the library should leave you quaking in your boots!

There are many changes happening in our library world, not just at Steele, but all the branches.  Things like new meeting rooms, carpeting, offices being built, a new quiet room, shifting of collections, and best of all, new circulation desks.  These changes will hopefully allow us to give better library service to all our patrons, young and old alike, and still serve as the beacon to the community for entertainment, career advice, meeting place for community organizations, and all the other wonderful opportunities we have to offer at CCLD.

We ask you for your patience during this building process, and we promise that when we emerge on the other side of it all, you will like the way the new library looks and feels.  If you are one of the people who are resistant to change, look upon this as coming to a whole new library for the first time, and if you are one of the few like me who look upon change as a good thing, embrace our new look and explore.

Change.  It’s only one word, but what a great word it is!

Glenice Peel, Head of Circulation
Steele Memorial Library

Libraries Closed October 29, 2012

Posted by CCLD in District News.
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All CCLD libraries are closing at 5PM today and will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday, October 30th), due to inclement weather.

“Weeding” Good for the Library October 4, 2012

Posted by cclddirector in Community, Director's Comments, District News.
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When my wife and I started packing before we moved into our current house I used to think we had a couple boxes worth of books. I was wrong. When we finished packing everything, I discovered we had 39 boxes of books, books, and more books.

These days I try not to buy so many and, if I want to read something, I get it from the library. And if I can’t find it on the shelves here, I get it through interlibrary loan from a bunch of different libraries. Otherwise, I know that sooner or later I will once again have to carefully select those I truly need to have in my life to fit the available space. I hate that. I get enough of it at work.

Deciding which books not to keep is the most painful task a librarian faces. Most of us got into the profession out of a basic desire- our love of books. But unlike most everyone else, we don’t presume that once a book makes it to library shelves, it will be there forever. Our experience has taught us libraries not only collect books, but they have to get rid of them too.

We call this process “weeding,” and we do it for the same reason a gardener weeds. We need to make room for fresh, healthy growth. Just because a book makes it to the library shelves, doesn’t mean it stops getting old. Over time, and despite our best efforts, the paper yellows and turns brittle. The binding begins to deteriorate. Dust collects. The lettering on the spine starts to fade. Old books eat up shelf space. After a while, they actually scare people away from the new books.

Particularly in the non-fiction areas, we can’t afford to keep books more than 5-8 years. In some areas, even five years is pushing it. Old books, particularly medical and technical books, have outdated information in them.

How do we decide what goes? Well, it’s kind of like the electoral process- the people decide. Every time someone checks out a book, it counts as one vote. Popular books get a lot of votes. So whenever we weed, we re-elect them to our shelves.

But sometimes we find that a book hasn’t been checked out in a long time. And in the public library, as in politics, a book that hasn’t gotten a single vote in awhile gets kicked out of office. It’s democracy in action.

Even when the “People Have Spoken,” it doesn’t make it any easier on librarians. Some books – classics, for instance – we may choose to replace with newer copies. In our innermost hearts, we still believe that every book has its reader, and every reader his or her book. It’s sad when one of our books goes unloved.

But here’s the other thing, verified by countless libraries around the world. When we get rid of the older growth, the use of the newer material takes a big jump. Now patrons can find what they’re looking for.

So where do new books go when they’ve been weeded? Often, they wind up in library book sales. From there they pass to precisely the places that please us most. They find good homes, with people who will love them.

Ronald W. Shaw

Director

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month! September 1, 2012

Posted by cclddirector in Big Flats, Bookmobile, Community, Director's Comments, District News, Horseheads, Programs, Steele, Van Etten, West Elmira.
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When you go out to dine you might use a credit card to pay for your food. When you get gas for your vehicle you may use a debit card. But did you know that, when you want to pick up some brain food or fuel your imagination, you can use your library card? In fact, you can use your library card to go everywhere, meet everyone and do everything. There are no limits to the usefulness of a library card.

The Chemung County Library District is joining libraries nationwide in celebrating September as National Library Card Sign-up Month. Chemung County residents are invited to stop by their local branch and, if they don’t have a card, and get one. After all, they’re free to citizens of Chemung County.

As part of the activities for the month, patrons will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for an iPad, Kindle Fire or Kindle Touch. Entries can be made in any of three ways- get a new card, update your current information, or sign up for our electronic newsletter.

New York State residents, ages 5 and older, who come to the library qualify to receive a free library card. In order to get a library card, applicants are required to complete and sign an application signifying their agreement to adhere to CCLD policies. Children age 5 – 15 years must have their application co-signed by their parent or guardian.

Applicants must present identification before being issued a library card. Parents or guardians of children age 5 – 15 years must present proof of address on their behalf. The most appropriate form of identification is a New York State driver’s license. Also accepted will be a NYS auto registration, a personal checkbook with printed current address, a letter postmarked to one’s current address, or another official document with one’s current name and address.

Your library card allows you to partake of all the services CCLD has to offer—online database usage, eBooks, free entertainment and educational programs, homework and business help, and, of course, DVDs, CDs, print and audio books.

Another added benefit is that your library card may be used at any CCLD branch- the Central Library (Steele Memorial), Big Flats, Horseheads, West Elmira, Van Etten, and The Bookmobile. Your library card also allows you to access materials at all Southern Tier Library System Libraries throughout Alleghany, Schuyler, Steuben, and Yates counties.

Call or visit your local branch for information about programs scheduled in celebration of National Library Card Sign-up Month! To find your local branch, visit http://ccld.lib.ny.us./index.htm. Stop by your local branch during the month of September and get a library card—then you can stop by every month for the rest of your life to use it!

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!

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