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Out of School Learning Experience April 21, 2014

Posted by patchettd in Community, Programs, West Elmira.
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I ate my first Kumquat the other day. At least, as far as I can remember, I had never eaten a kumquat before. I did not know that it is necessary to roll the kumquat gently in my hands for a few seconds before eating, as that makes the skin sweeter. I would not have known to eat the skin with the fruit (the sweetness of the skin balances the tartness of the fruit). I would not have known that I like kumquats if I had not been at the library.

I heard a phrase the other day: “Out of school learning experience”. The more I have thought about that phrase, the more I see the value of programs at our public libraries. These programs reach across all age groups, genders, and interest areas. The day the kumquats came to the library, a chief from Wegmans (we appreciate our community partners!) came to teach a home school group about some fruits that are a little out of the ordinary. He brought several, including star fruit and pomegranates, and gave each child the opportunity to taste, comment, and ask questions. Many of the parents and caregivers joined in, as did the volunteers who were helping with the program. Other patrons who visited the library that day asked that we hold another session for adults.

We are very fortunate that there are many places families can take children for an out of school learning experience in our community, especially now that the weather is improving. Did you know you can rent snowshoes and kites at Tanglewood? Did you know that Letchworth State Park sends their calendar to our libraries, listing their interpretive programs? Did you know that the theme of this summer’s Summer Reading Club is science based? The Chemung County Library District staff is now busy planning programs and projects for the summer that will engage your child in fun, active learning experiences. Though many of you already know this, there are still some local residents who need to discover what is going on at our libraries. You may find that you too like kumquats!

Dianne Patchett
Branch Manager
West Elmira Library

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.

New Year, New You January 7, 2013

Posted by roganp in Programs, Recommendations.
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Energy Every DayThe rallying cry at the library this year is: New Year, New You. We are having programs, displays, and lots of books and videos to get you started on a new improved you.

The first program is Healthy Eating and the Better Homes and Gardens Big Book of Healthy Family Dinners is available to help the whole family eat better. Another one I like is Appetite for Life: The Thumbs Up, No Yucks Guide to Getting your Kid to be a Great Eater by Stacey Antine. My kids are grown but I still remember how hard it was to get them to take the time to eat a healthy breakfast and to eat their vegetables without giving them to the dog under the table.

The next program is Active You and we have lots of books on exercise, yoga, walking, running, etc.  Energy Every Day by Ron Woods is a favorite of mine. We all know that if we eat well and exercise every day, we will have more energy but it’s hard to do. This book might give you the incentive you need!

The next program is called Spiritual You –  Richard Warren who wrote The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for? has been on TV a lot lately and that always makes a book popular. Another is Following the Path The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose and Joy by Joan Chittister.

The last program is Creative You and we have lots of books on crafts, how to do everything you can think of, from making furniture to sewing, knitting, or even making robots, if that’s where your heart leads.

Stop by our second floor display at Steele and check out our calendar of events for program details.

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

So I’m Retiring or Retired, Now What? September 17, 2012

Posted by CCLD in Programs, Steele.
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Merrill and Sally FrankQuestion: Are you retiring or already retired; what to do?

Answer: Trap pythons in Florida, or document water resources in New Mexico, guide tours at Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, or collect environmental data in Alaska.

It’s easier than you may think. Join Merrill and Sally Frank in the Steele Memorial Library Auditorium on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm as they present how to plan a fulfilling, adventurous life after retirement.

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!

ZOMBIES!!! October 7, 2011

Posted by lewisjm in Programs, Recommendations, Steele.
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Zombie BooksDo you love zombies?  Are you planning to attend this year’s zombie-themed haunted library program at Steele Memorial Library on October 28th?  Are you getting ready for Season 2 of AMC’s The Walking Dead (Oct 16th)?  Excited about Brad Pitt’s upcoming zombie flick World War Z (2012)?  If so, you might be interested in this month’s 2nd floor display at the Steele Memorial Library; it’s all about zombies!  Read The Walking Dead graphic novels, to experience the original story the television show is based on (and check out season 1 on DVD).  World War Z is based on a book by the same name (by Max Brooks).  We have these and many more zombie-related titles at the library.

Feed by Mira GrantA recent zombie favorite of mine is the Newsflesh series by Mira Grant.  The first book in the series, Feed, takes place in 2039, 25 years after “the rising”, and is told from the perspective of sister and brother bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they follow the presidential campaign trail of Senator Peter Ryman, the first presidential candidate to come of age in the post-rising world.  While this series follows many of the traditional zombie rules, it is an original story amongst the slew of zombie books that have been published in recent years.  Readers are introduced to the world, already a generation after the zombie plague has occurred; order has already been restored, the government is functioning, bloggers are respected journalists, zombies are a fact of life, society has adapted.  Georgia and Shaun Mason stumble upon a dangerous conspiracy, along the campaign trail, that could end up costing them their lives.  As they fight to uncover the truth and get the story out, there is plenty of zombie action along the way, to keep readers entertained.  Book 2, Deadline, picks up where Feed leaves off.  Book 3, Blackout, is scheduled to be released in May, 2012.

If you’re a fan of zombies, check out our display or use our online catalog to place a hold on a title and have it delivered to your local library.  Also, don’t forget to stop by the zombie haunted library on October 28th from 6:30pm-8:30pm (not suitable for young children; no strollers, please).

Jennie Mathews, Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

Summer Reading Club Event – Faustwork Mask Theater June 20, 2011

Posted by CCLD in Horseheads, Programs, Steele, West Elmira, Youth Services.
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Faustwork Mask Theater presents The Mask MessengerFaustwork Mask Theater - The Mask Messenger

Monday, June 27 – 2:00pm @ West Elmira Library

Wednesday, June 29 – 6:30pm @ Teal Park (hosted by the Horseheads Free Library)

Thursday, June 30 – 6:30pm @ Steele Memorial Library

The Mask Messenger is a series of vignettes ranging from comic to bizarre to poignant. Body language, psychological insight, and humor are the driving forces that captivate audiences ranging in size from 200 to 1200. The show, available in solo or duo performance variations, illuminates and expands the concept of the mask, exploring its relationship to human psychology, business, fashion, art, dance, and theatre.

The set consists of an impressive collection of masks, created by Mr. Faust and the company, exhibited center stage. After a brief and informative mock-lecture about the myriad uses of masks in cultures throughout the world, the performers begin to demonstrate the power of transformation by removing the masks from the wall, and assuming the emotional state expressed in each face. A variety of characters spring to life, including some who speak dialogue, wearing Commedia Dell’Arte style half-masks. Full masks are worn on top or back of the head, creating distortions that baffle the eye and tickle the funny bone.

The success of The Mask Messenger/s is due to the fact that it offers not only comic exuberance, but also new insights into the artistic, cultural, and historical aspects of the mask. The show has been performed over 2000 times at festivals, corporate events, universities, and in theatres throughout the United States and the world.

(reproduced, with permission, from http://www.faustwork.com)

I Dream In Color March 28, 2011

Posted by macethedog in Mace, Programs, Steele, Youth Services.
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Mace Under the Circulation DeskHi!

It’s been a while since I have been able to write.  Mom has been keeping me busy and away from the computer.  I think she is afraid that I will drool on the keys.  I finished my Doggy Tales program at Horseheads and am missing all of those kids reading to me, but on Thursday April 7th, you can come to the Steele Memorial Library at 3:30 and read to me.  I can’t wait!!! Please!! Please come and read to me!  I love to have little kids pet me and lay on me.  Let’s face it, spying in the library isn’t a very busy life.  I really just do a lot of sleeping in the library, but you can wake me up and ask if you can pet me. When I’m at the circulation desk, no one knows that I’m under the desk sleeping until they look into the hole where the cords go and see me under there. Usually they are surprised to see a dog in the library. But I’m a special dog!!!  Mom likes to fool the kids by saying “How do you think he got down that small hole?”. 

Come see me on the 7th!!


Paws For Books February 11, 2011

Posted by macethedog in Horseheads, Mace, Programs, Steele.
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Mace at HorseheadsHi everyone,

Mace “the spy” here, reporting on what’s happening at the library.  I’m a very busy dog.  Besides “the spy” business, I have my own program and its called Doggy Tales.  I have the cutest kids bring a book and they read to me.  Come visit me at the Horseheads Free Library on Wednesday nights at 6:00 pm and read me a story!  I get lots and lots of petting.  All I have to do is lay there and listen.  They sometimes use me as a pillow.  They sure read me the best stories too.  I heard all about Fly Guy.  Can you imagine having a fly for a pet? I have a cat as a pet—his name is Snickers.  That’s a little strange don’t you think? What kind of pets do you have?  Does anyone have a fly as a pet?  They read me a book called “Green Eggs and Ham”.  OK who has green eggs and would you eat them?  I would because I like to eat.

I found out the Steele Memorial Library has a program called Toddler Story Hour for kids from 18 months old until they are 3 yrs old, on Fridays at 10:00am.  Well I’m 14 months old but I look big for my age so thought I would check it out. That’s what spies do you know, sneak into places. Well, it was a lot of fun.  Miss Janet read us stories and we got up and danced.  OK I’m not a very good dancer but I wiggle a lot and prance around.

The next time you are at the Steele Memorial Library, look for me at the circulation desk.  If you ask you can pet me, I love to be petted.  Sometimes I have my head under the door watching everybody leave with their books so don’t be startled.


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