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Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Reference Sites March 12, 2016

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Reference.
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Listed below are a small sampling of freely accessible reference sites that provide information about very popular topics. As you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will find important links that can assist you on which presidential candidate you wish to vote for in the New York State primary and November general election.

USDA’s Local Food Directory

Looking find locally grown produce with this site, you can find the nearest farmer’s market, farmers who sell locally grown produce to consumers? The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services Local Foods Directory is fantastic Free resources.


Ever wondered what the all those counter-intuitive abbreviations people type in text messages such as ROFLOL? Net Lingo is a concise dictionary that will solve the seemingly unsolvable.

Smithsonian Onlinehttp://sova.si.edu/

A digital collection of 7,171 items from the renowned Smithsonian Institution.


A site dedicated to investigating rumors propagated by fake news sites or urban legends. This site created by David Mikkelson, who has over 20 years’ experience as a professional researcher and writer.


As we march towards electing a new president, members of congress and other elected officials, Project vote smart aspires to, “to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to ALL Americans.”


Ever wonder if claims from presidential candidates that seem unbelievable are true or not? This site may satisfy your curiosity. FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.


Open Secrets provides details of financial contributions to political campaigns and the net worth of office holders and candidates. This site enables all who visit to, “follow the money.”

Owen Frank, Branch Supervisor
Chemung County Library District

Find your next favorite book with Novelist April 1, 2013

Posted by roganp in Recommendations, Reference, Technology.
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(click to enlarge)

One of the lovely parts of the traditional librarian’s job was what we call “Readers Advisory”. We would read (not at work but at home) a variety of fiction and nonfiction books so we could suggest books to our patrons. We used to make up lists of books in different genres such as thrillers, cozy mysteries, recent biographies, etc. and have the lists available in the fiction section and at the reference desk. We no longer have the staff to do that and we read reviews at night, instead of books. Technology has taken over every part of our lives and we now have a database called Novelist that we use at the reference desk to find a book for a patron who says they have read everything by a certain author and want a suggestion for a similar book or author to read next.

You can find your next good read by using Novelist too!  It is available, with your library card, from home or wherever you access the Internet.  Start by visiting our website: http://ccld.lib.ny.us.  Near the top of the page, you will see a ribbon that starts with “about us”, “find materials”, and then “online research”.  If you hold your mouse over “online research”, another menu will open.  Click on the first option, “databases”.  From the databases page, under the “literature” heading, you will find Novelist.  Click on the link for Novelist, enter your library card number on the page that appears, and you will be in the database.  To find books or authors similar to others you like, start by typing the name of a book or author into the search box at the top of the page.  From the search results, click on the desired author or title.  On the right hand side of the screen you should see a list of “read-alikes from Novelist”.  For authors, if you read the description Novelist provides of the writer, it even suggests what book to try first.  Under the list of “read-alikes” on the right side, Novelist describes genre, pace, tone, storyline, etc. of the selected author or book and will allow you to search for additional read-alike authors or titles, by selecting the box next to what you like about that author or book and clicking the nearby “search” button.

I use Novelist to find more books for my husband as well as patrons at the reference desk. He thinks it’s because I’m a librarian that I can always find him something good to read. But anyone can now do it by going to Novelist. Try it and let me know what you think.

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

Tips to get started in genealogy! May 24, 2011

Posted by CCLD in Genealogy / Local History, Reference, Steele.
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Did you know that the Steele Memorial Library has a genealogy collection? Have you ever wanted to research your family’s history? Below are some tips to get started in genealogy. If you are interested in beginning or continuing genealogical research, visit the Steele Memorial Library and check out our collection. You can also access some of our resources online via our website: http://ccld.lib.ny.us/genealogy.htm

    1. Talk to your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of the family,  etc
      1. Find out their birthdates, where they were born
      2. Find out marriage dates and details (who was the witness)
      3. Ask for death dates of deceased relatives and where they are buried
    2.  Talk to your oldest relatives ( Have a tape recorder ready)
      1. Ask if any family members have done any genealogy
      2. Ask questions about any stories family members may have
    3. Try to get copies of any birth, marriage or death certificates
    4.  Ask to see any family Bibles and make copies of family pages. Look at the hand writing and ink see if it looks like just one person filled in the info.
    5. Gather pictures of older relatives and deceased relatives and label them (Very Important)
    6. Fill out a family tree sheet with all the info you have collected to see where you need to start.
    7. Visit your local library to see what research aids they have available to help you.
      1. Ask what genealogy databases they have—Ancestry & Heritage Quest
      2. What census records they have on microfilm (1790-1880) (1790-1930 NY & PA)1940 released in 2012
      3. Local newspapers for birth, marriage or death records -abt 1835-2010 (many indexed)
      4. Cemetery records
      5. Family histories
      6. Local history books
      7. Check out How-To-Do- Genealogy books
      8. City directories
      9. Poorhouse records (Allegany, Chemung, Steuben, Tioga, Yates)(parts of Albany, Chautauqua, Chenango, Kingston, Seneca, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tompkins, Wyoming)
    8. Visit cemeteries and take pictures of gravestones and record info found on the stones. Talk to whoever is in charge of the cemetery and look at their records. (flowers with name tags)     
      1. Funeral Homes
      2. Church Records
    9.  Visit the courthouse & county clerks office
      1. Real estate records ( will tell you where they lived, moved & possible relatives)
      2. Marriage records (1906-1936)—Chemung county courthouse
      3. Naturalization records
      4. State census records
      5. Probate records ( are at surrogate court not at county court)
      6. Miscellaneous records—Civil and criminal cases
    10.   Find out what relatives have served in the military and try to get their service records (pension records) 
    11.  Document everything and keep records of every search to keep from repeating searches
    12.  Learn how to do research on the internet—Don’t believe everything you find, use it as a place to start looking and to verify
      1. Join online groups to put out query’s on your family
    13.  Be considerate of others and their privacy and treat them with respect
    14.  Be willing to share information and volunteer to help others with their research
    15.  Join local Genealogy or Historical Society’s ( talk to the historian for the town)
    16.  Save the information you have gathered in a way to preserve it. ( On the computer with a program like Family Tree)
    17.  Have fun with it and don’t be discouraged and give up. Genealogy is a great way to meet new relatives and make new friends.

Click here to download a printable, PDF version of “Tips to get started in genealogy”.

Click here to download a list of free genealogy internet resources.

Wilson Biographies Plus Illustrated November 5, 2010

Posted by CCLD in Reference.
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Wilson Biographies ScreencapWilson Biographies Plus Illustrated is a useful tool for beginning biographic research.  This database, accessible to CCLD patrons from our website, provides full-text profiles of many famous people throughout history (including prominent individuals from today).  A profile includes images as well as links to recent articles about the individual (some full-text articles are available).  Additional information is often available including:  awards, reviews and criticisms, and books by and about the individual.

To access this database, visit our website’s electronic databases section (located under “Reference”) and click on the link for “Wilson Biographies Plus Illustrated”.  Be prepared to enter your library card number to access this tool.

Global Road Warrior October 19, 2010

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Global Road WarriorGlobal Road Warrior is a useful tool that contains profiles for 175 different countries in one convenient location.  Each country profile includes cultural information as well as demographics.  This tool is especially useful for people traveling for business, as it provides specific information about business culture.  Other information provided is equally useful to business and non-business travelers alike, such as information pertaining to travel documents and immunizations required for entrance.   Each profile contains points of interest, city views, maps, essential terms (language), transportation information, and other pertinent information for travelers.  This resource is also useful for children required to research the culture of a specific country for school.

Global Road Warrior is accessible to library patrons from any computer connected to the internet.  To access this database, visit the Chemung County Library District’s website, click on the link for “Reference”, “Electronic Databases”, and select “Global Road Warrior” from the list of databases.  You will be asked to enter the first 5 digits of your library card number before you will be allowed access to this resource.

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).

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