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TBT: On Christmas day, 100 years ago in Elmira December 25, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Genealogy / Local History.
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“Ameta: Famous French Mirror and Fire Dancer” headlined Elmira’s Majestic Theatre’s Christmas program. According the Elmira Star Gazette article from Dec. 24, 1914,  Ameta was a “…world famous mirror and fire dancer…a French woman, she had been appearing in Berlin when the war broke out and it was with difficulty that she escaped from German soil and came to this country, where she graced our local stage with her “10 large mirrors which reflect her every pose and give the effect of ten ballerinas dancing at once and …a wealth of filmy robes which are given beautiful tints under the multicolored lights in which she dances….”


And now, we can experience a moment of that long-ago Christmas show in Elmira, via video clip, courtesy of the Library of Congress.  Check out Ameta performing here:


The Majestic Theatre was located at 102-104 W. Market St in Elmira.  Using he city directories, it looks like it was founded circa 1910-1911 and went out of business circa 1929.  A picture of the theatre sign appears below.

majestic theatre

“Majestic Theatre” picture via http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/18332

Photo courtesy of Mike Paul.

Youth Book Recommendations for Holiday Gifts December 10, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Youth Services.
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As I look through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Kirkus Review and the American Library Association’s picks for best children’s books of 2014, ready to order what’s missing from our library collection, I realize that the books from these lists can be great for Holiday gift giving. When my kids were growing up, above all else, a new book was always ready for them to open on Christmas morning, and I love the idea from Amy Dickinson, now adopted by the Family Reading Partnership, of a book on every bed on Christmas morning. What a great holiday tradition to start, the idea being that a book will be the first thing opened up by a child on Christmas morning, with adventures and stories waiting to be discovered! So, taking from these great list compilations, I recommend the following books, all available at a CCLD library:

For younger readers:

A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems

Here Comes Destructosaurus by Aaron Reynolds

Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Little Santa by Jon Agee

Gravity by Jason Chin

For middle readers:

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond between a Soldier and his Service Dog by Luis Carlos Montalvan

The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryant

Happy Holiday Reading Everyone!

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library, CCLD

‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas at Horseheads Library December 10, 2012

Posted by ackermanj in Horseheads.
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‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas, and all through Horseheads Library
were heard sounds from staff, patrons and volunteers (mostly merry!)

Carts of books and videos were put on the shelves with care,
In hopes that our patrons could find what they want there.

The staff was busy planning programs for the New Year,
storytimes, game days and performers that would bring all some cheer.

And I at my desk, gave pause to ponder,
My first year here, and lots of things full of wonder…

eReaders, iPads, a tornado and construction did appear,
but the staff handled it all (and lots more) throughout the year.

With strong support from our Foundation and Friends,
(upon whom we really depend!) soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread…

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
lots of community volunteers to help out here…

On Interact Club, on Youth Bureau, on Cheerleaders and Able 2!
On Crafters, and Book Club and Conversation Group, to name a few

and lots of others who willingly came,
movie viewers, storytime families and shelvers, too many to name.

To those who help us out, Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall
I want to thank-you, thank-you, thank-you all!

But I want to exclaim, in this season so merry,
Happy Christmas to all from the Horseheads Library!

Janet Ackerman
Supervisor of the Horseheads Library

Is It Just Me?: Or is it nuts out there? December 6, 2011

Posted by roganp in Recommendations.
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Is it Just Me?:  Or is it Nuts Out There?The article in the Star Gazette titled Black Friday Increasingly Frenzied really made me worry about our society with its talk about pepper sprayed customers, smash and grab looters and bloody scenes in the the shopping aisles. Has the whole meaning of Christmas changed when I wasn’t looking? Is it truly all about greed, selfishness, and THINGS! Whatever happened to peace and good will to men? Whatever happened to love thy neighbor as thyself? Wish Andy Rooney was still around to comment on this with just the right words so people would laugh and pay attention. But we do have the comedian/actress Whoopi Goldberg who wrote Is It Just Me?: Or is it nuts out there?, taking on the idea that the loss of civility is affecting the quality of life for all of us.  I’ve noticed a lot of books written about civility lately but will the uncivil read them? Maybe if we change the atmosphere, the culture will change. So here are a few more recent books extolling civility.

Saving Civility: 52 Ways to Tame Rude, Crude & Attitude for a Polite Planet by Sara Hacala

The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude by P. M. Forni

Civility: Manners, Morals and the Etiquette of Democracy by Stephen Carter

Miss Manners Rescues Civilization: from Sexual Harrassment, Frivolous Lawsuits, Dissing and Other Lapses in Civility by Judith Martin

A World Waiting to be born: Civility Rediscovered by M. Scott Peck

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

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