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Geography – Or – Where in the World is Malawi? November 13, 2012

Posted by poppendeckc in Uncategorized.
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Maps of the WorldSo you haven’t looked at a map of the world since 5th grade, what’s the big deal, right? Well, did you know that generally, Americans of all ages have some of the worst geographical awareness of the world? Perhaps because we are isolated from the numerous regions/countries/hotspots on the planet, and because most of us are not international travelers, geography takes a back seat to our attention.

But how embarrassing when we are in a social situation, and a question comes up about current events, or history, or someone’s recent trip to Israel or Guatemala, and we are stumped by our lack of knowledge! It’s pretty easy to get back in the game, and have at least a general awareness of how the world is laid out.

Families can tack up an inexpensive world map, or pull up a virtual map on the internet, or get a shower curtain with a map of the world on it (my favorite), and pose a challenge to each other to locate a spot. Take turns and see if you can stump each other. Madagascar? Baffin Bay? Reykjavik? The winner gets bragging rights; but really, everybody wins when everyone learns something new.

No family handy to bounce off your geography smarts?  Challenge a buddy to a game. Give each other a name on the map to find, and see how long it takes (cheating is okay; use an atlas or the internet). Before you know it, you will have increased your geographical IQ substantially learned how to use an atlas, or increased your online skills!

I once knew a couple who boasted that they had been to every country on the African continent. That sounds geographically savvy, right? Because someone in the party was geographically savvier, they were asked, “Have you been to Cabinda?” They immediately ran for their Atlas, alarmed they had missed one, and you know what? They had! Geography presents challenges and surprises literally, everywhere!

Challenge yourself to learn more about a geographical region; it helps the world layout make more sense. And, by the way, Malawi is a tiny country on the southeast part of the African continent.

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library

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!

Reference USA Business Directory September 28, 2010

Posted by CCLD in Reference.
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Reference USA Business Directory is a database of businesses across the United States.  If you need to find information about a specific company, Reference USA Business Directory is a convenient, up-to-date tool.  For example, if you want to find out the name and contact information for a company president or manager, you can use this resource to search by company name or product (to narrow your results, you can also enter a location).  Similarly, if you know the name of a company executive but do not know the precise name of the company, you can search by executive name; you can also search by company phone number.

Company listings include information such as:  business demographics, management directory, nearby businesses, stock data, historical data, competitors report, and more.  There is also the option to display a “corporate tree” that allows you to view the hierarchical relationships within the corporation; if viewing a local subsidiary, you can see where it falls within the overall corporation.

This resource includes quick and custom search options.  Custom search allows you to search more specifically.  For example, you can limit your search by the gender of the company executive, the number of employees, the street address, etc.  On the results page, there is a button labeled “map” that will allow you to view the company locations on an adjustable map (you can zoom in and out and choose between different views).

To access this tool, visit the electronic databases page on our website: http://www.ccld.lib.ny.us/db.htm and select “Reference USA Business Directory” from the list.

Learning Express Library September 20, 2010

Posted by CCLD in Reference.
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LearningExpress library is a useful tool for people of all ages.  A variety of both study tools and skill building exercises, designed to prepare individuals for a number of tests and career paths, are available to Chemung County Library District patrons, free of charge, via this electronic resource.

School-aged children can access tools designed to improve their reading, writing, and math skills.  For students preparing for college, the site has a variety of practice tests including (but not limited to):  ACT, AP, and SAT.  Individuals interested in getting their GED can access practice tests and study guides on the site.

If you’re looking to start a new career, you might benefit from checking out the “Job Search & Workplace Skills” section of the site.  This section includes information that will assist you in creating resumes and tips for successful job interviews.

Another career-related section of this resource includes practice versions of tests required for licensing and certification for a variety of occupations.  For example, if you are preparing for the Corrections Officer Exam, click the “Jobs & Careers” option from the menu on the left hand side of the Learning Express main-page.  From the new menu that appears, click on “Law Enforcement” to expand the menu choices.  Next, click on “Corrections Officer Exam Preparation”.  You now have access to the Corrections Officer Exam study tools.

Other sections of this site include:  resources for adults who are looking to brush up on general skills (such as math, reading, and grammar), U.S. Citizenship preparation tools, and skill building resources for Spanish speakers (including GED preparation in Spanish).

To access this resource from our website, click on the “reference” link on the menu bar and select “electronic databases”.  From here, the link to Learning Express can be found in the center of the page.  You will need your library card number to register for a free user account at Learning Express Library (type your library card number in the space for user name when registering for an account).

Education is Fatal to Prejudice September 13, 2010

Posted by roganp in Recommendations, Steele.
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I am writing this on 9/11 when there has been so much in the news about the controversy of building  a Muslim Cultural Center and Mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center and even talk about burning the Koran. There have  been letters to the editor in our local paper about what the Koran says and what various religious beliefs and practices are. I want to encourage everyone who has questions about  the Koran to come to the Steele Library and select a book on Islam or the Koran itself.

Mark Twain said “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness” but so is education! A good factual book can make you a life long learner, someone who knows the facts and issues and whose opinions reflect that knowledge. Some books on display on the second floor ready to be checked out are:

Understanding Muhammad and the Koran: Islam for the Western Mind by Richard Henry Drummond
Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam by John L. Esposito

There are more in the Nonfiction section under Dewey Number 297. And if you have questions about any other religion, please stop at the reference desk so we can direct you to the appropriate area.

Phyllis Rogan
, Reference Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

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