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Small Library, BIG on Relationships June 18, 2012

Posted by metzgerd in Community, Van Etten.
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Alyssa and pet chick at Van Etten LibraryI accidentally locked myself out of the Van Etten Library a few weeks ago. I walked to the neighbor’s house and tried calling all the town officers to see if anyone could let me back into the municipal building. It was a Saturday, so no one was home. The neighbor realized that everyone in town was probably at a memorial service at the church. Feeling rather embarrassed, I followed the neighbor over to the church where the memorial service was ending. We found the Town clerk, who cheerfully announced to everyone as she made her way through the crowd, “the librarian has locked herself out of the library; I have to go let her in!” Now practically the whole town knew I was in a silly predicament!  It was embarrassing, but also very funny. And this is why I love rural librarianship in a small village. Getting to know everyone, building relationships, and helping patrons, is integral to being a good librarian. That’s true of librarianship in every setting, but it is especially noticeable and vital in a small community.

More reasons I love rural librarianship: I feel needed, and I get to know almost everyone. Re: feeling needed:  One woman called in a panic on Friday evening, “You’re the only one that’s open in the village! My water pipe burst & I don’t know who in the village to call!! Do you have the number of the person in charge of village water???!  (I didn’t, but I knew someone who knew who WAS in charge of water and they passed on the SOS call.)

I get to know almost everyone (who walks in the library door). And they know me! Alyssa raised a fluffy black chick in school (pictured above); she brought it to the library in a hot pink bag to show me. I was thrilled. Jacie regaled me with tales of riding the zipline at the Girl Scout’s camping weekend. Cathy overheard me saying that I wished I had an old wooden ladder for my container garden. She showed up at the library next week to surprise me w/ a rummage sale wooden ladder poking out of the back of her car!

All of this reminds me how important, and reciprocal, relationships are. I’m very fond of my library patrons because I got to know them over time. Knowing who they are, their likes, dislikes and needs help me provide programs, services, and information tailored specifically to them.  Whether it is a burst water pipe, a school project, rewriting a resume, (see JobNow ) how to prune old apple trees, or surviving a zombie attack, I’m here to help this community who in turn, helps me by creating meaning, hilarity, and joy in my life.

Doris Jean Metzger, MLIS
Van Etten Library

Student Artwork Displayed at Steele and West March 9, 2011

Posted by CCLD in Community, Steele, West Elmira.
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The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes (The ARTS), sponsor of National Youth Art Month in Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties, announced Monday that 29 classrooms and 26 businesses, libraries and art venues have joined together to display area student artwork throughout the three-county region. The student artwork will be on view for the rest of the month.

National Youth Art Month emphasizes the value of art education for all children and encourages support for quality art programs. The ARTS and the local businesses and organizations listed below are honored to provide a forum for acknowledging the skills that are fostered by visual arts programs in our schools.

A reception for students, parents and teachers will be held at The Gallery @ The ARTS, 32 West Market Street, Corning, on Saturday, March 19, from 12 noon – 2pm.

The reception will feature a Teacher Exhibition in The Spotlight Gallery @ The ARTS with artwork by:

  • Christine Adams, Northside Blodgett Middle School
  • Shawn Farwell, Northside Blodgett Middle School
  • Lisa Gillis, Corning Christian Academy
  • Cynthia Harrington, Horseheads High School
  • Susan Pabody, Elmira Free Academy
  • Gina Pfleegor, Hammondsport Junior/Senior High School
  • Emily Solometo, Broadway Elementary
  • Julie Thurber, Notre Dame High School
  • Dale Witkowski, Ernie Davis Middle School
  • Birgitt Wolf-King, Corning-Painted Post West High School

Business locations, schools and teacher names follow:

Chemung County


Cappy’s, 205 West Clinton Street: Elmira Free Academy, Allison Newkirk

Clemens Center, 207 Clemens Center Parkway: Ernie Davis Middle School, Dale Witkowski and Michelle Priniciotto

Kingsbury’s Cyclery, 228 West Water Street: T.K. Beecher Elementary, Megan Hugg

Steele Memorial Library, 101 East Church Street: Broadway Elementary, Emily Solometo

Steele Memorial Library, West Elmira Branch, 1231 West Water Street: Elmira Free Academy, Susan Pabody; Hendy Elementary, Jessica Brown

Steve Seaberg State Farm Insurance, Langdon Plaza, 303 North Main Street:

Elmira Free Academy, June Gordon; Notre Dame High School, Julie Thurber

Tough Pups & Pampered Princesses, 220 West Water Street: Parley Coburn Elementary, Korey French


On-A-Roll Sandwich Shop, 8 Hanover Square: Horseheads High School (2D work), Cynthia Harrington

Silverbird Espresso, 119 West Franklin Street: Horseheads High School (3D work), Cynthia Harrington


Schuyler County

Watkins Glen

HSBC Bank, 712 North Franklin Street: Watkins Glen Middle School, Karen Hansen

Watkins Glen Public Library, 610 South Decatur Street: Watkins Glen High School, Elaine Wojtus

Montour Falls

Montour Coffee House, 401 West Main Street: Watkins Glen High School (paintings on stretched canvas), Elaine Wojtus

The Harvest Cafe, 224 West Main Street: Watkins Glen Elementary School, Susan Comstock


Steuben County


171 Cedar Arts Center, 171 Cedar Street:  Jasper-Troupsburg Central School, Darryl Mallanda

Berger’s Ski Shop, 72 West Market Street: Corning-Painted Post West High School, Birgitt Wolf-King

Connors Mercantile, 16 East Market Street: Jasper-Troupsburg Junior-Senior High, Wendi Wagner

Glassworld, 1 West Market Street, Suite 8: Corning Christian Academy, Lisa Gillis

Imagine That!, 86 West Market Street: William Severn Elementary, Catherine Miller, and Calvin U. Smith Elementary, Marie Herow

Market Street Coffee and Tea, 61 East Market Street: Hugh Gregg Elementary, Megan Wukovitz

Poppleton’s Pastries, 23 West Market Street: Corning-Painted Post West High School, Joni Kehoe

Pure Design, 39 East Market Street: Corning-Painted Post East High School, Lisa Rossi-Sullivan, and Northside Blodgett Middle School, Megan Wukovitz

YMCA, 127 Center Way: Corning-Painted Post West High School, Erin O’Leary


Five Star Bank, 25 Shethar Street: Hammondsport Junior/Senior High School, Gina Pfleegor

Painted Post

Heavenly Cup Coffee Roasters, 323 South Hamilton Street: Northside Blodgett Middle School, Christine Adams and Shawn Farwell

Jelly Beans Restaurant, 319 South Hamilton Street: Corning Free Academy (Names and Birds), Shari Holland

Treu Office Supply, 106 Victory Highway: Corning Free Academy (Self-Portraits and Butterflies), Shari Holland

For information on NYAM installations in the Hornell area, please contact the Hornell Area Arts Council.


Contact: Emily Marino
607-962-5871 x226

The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes is the region’s arts services organization, serving artists, arts/cultural organizations, schools and the public in Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties of New York State. For more information, please visit www.eARTS.org.

Annual Book Sale Returns to the Arnot Mall (Feb 10-19) January 19, 2011

Posted by CCLD in Community, District News, Friends, Steele.
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Elmira, N.Y. — Calling all book lovers! The Arnot Mall will host a massive book sale over two weekends in February: Feb. 10-13 and Feb. 17-19, 2011. The annual sale, a favorite community tradition for nearly 40 years, is sponsored by the Friends of the Steele Memorial Library. All proceeds from the sale will go toward library materials and programs, as well as community literacy initiatives.

Dates and times of the sale are:


Thursday, Feb. 10: 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 11 10 a.m.- 9;30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 12: 10 a.m.- 9;30 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 13: 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.


Thursday, Feb. 17: 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 18: 10 a.m.- 9;30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 19: 10 a.m.- 9;30 p.m.

Thousands of hardcover and paperback books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, LPs, and audiobooks — all donated by members of the community — will be offered for sale. Items will be available in a huge range of categories including fiction, biography, cooking, children’s, home repair, sports, antiques, poetry, religion, self-improvement, and much, much more.

The best part is that everything will be sold for $3 or less! Saturday, Feb. 19, will close out the sale with a special “bag sale”, where $3 buys all that you can fit into a shopping bag. Cash and checks will be accepted as payment on all days of the sale.

The full schedule and more information may be found at:


Donations of used books may be dropped off at the Steele Memorial Library, located at 101 East Church Street in downtown Elmira. Please note: books should be in good condition; textbooks, magazines, Reader’s Digest condensed books, and encyclopedias will NOT be accepted.

The Friends of the Steele Memorial Library have hosted an annual book sale for nearly 40 years. Though it came from humble beginnings — books were once stored in volunteers’ garages between sales — the sale now has its own dedicated storage area and books are transported by the tractor-trailer load.

The Friends of the Steele Memorial Library is a group of over 350 committed local volunteers who help stimulate public support and use of the Steele Memorial Library and its branches. In addition to the annual book sales, the Friends also sponsor a variety of activities — including read-aloud programs, book review events, and the Kinderbook program — and host an annual poetry festival.

The Arnot Mall is located at 3300 Chambers Road South between Horseheads and Big Flats. Visitors can take I-86/Route 17 to exit 51A. For a map of the mall, please visit http://www.arnotmall.com.

For more information on the book sale, the public may contact the Steele Memorial Library business office at 607-733-8607 or visit the library’s website at http://www.ccld.lib.ny.us.

Visiting the Libraries August 19, 2010

Posted by cclddirector in Community, Director's Comments.
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One of the occupational hazards we librarians have is the obsession to visit a library no matter where we go. I look forward to trips as visiting other libraries will remind me to read a book or listen to a record I meant to years ago but never did. However, since I’ve been a director, my visits have become more important as they also give me new ideas to work with.

I admit that most of the time, my visits are uneventful, but a few have been inspiring. I recently visited my daughter and went to the San Francisco Public Library. I have to admit I was awestruck as the main library is a six floor building. In response to changing demographics, their website is available in Spanish and Chinese.

Obviously the New York Public Library has to be a highlight; you’re not a real librarian if you don’t get your picture taken in front of Patience and Fortitude, the world famous pair of lion statues that have guarded the entrance since the building was opened in 1911.

And no visit to our nation’s capital is complete without a trip to the Library of Congress. It’s the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. I think it has to be the world’s greatest library. According to their website its collections hold 29 million cataloged books and other print materials in 460 languages. It has more than 58 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world’s largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings.

Traveling for the military has allowed me to see world class collections held in the West Point Library, the Nimitz Library at Annapolis, and the Army War College library at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Everyone knows the military has long understood the need for information, but I don’t know if the public realizes the hard work that the staffs of the Armed Forces Libraries put in to help keep our soldiers informed and our nation safe.

Going to libraries in other countries such as Korea, Germany, or any of the 20 or so other countries I’ve been to made me appreciate even more what we have here in the States. In many of the outlying areas they were still using paper card catalogs, had no cooperative lending agreements, and the collections were minimal at best. Still, these small libraries impressed me. They were there to offer a glimpse into a world of ideas that otherwise may have been unavailable.

Anyways, back to the original purpose of this column. First of all, I’ve changed the way I look at the collection. Instead of simply going to the catalog to find if a particular item is in, I now find that I spend much of my time browsing the aisles. It seems to give me a better feel for the community I’m visiting. More importantly, it helps me sometimes find a gem of an item that we’ve missed here in Chemung County. The second thing is that I now find myself browsing the collections at each of the branches. It gives a better sense of what our community likes, what the dislike, and helps our purchasing decisions.

So I’d like to invite all patrons to come in and walk around. Browse the shelves or the media bins. You may find a book you never thought you’d read, or an old book you have always wanted to but just never got around to. In other words, come in and discover some hidden gems.

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