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Summer Reading Club Kicks Off June 27th June 8, 2016

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On Your Mark_EL purple01The Summer Reading Club for kids will kick off the week of June 27th with the theme, “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ!”.  Activities for kids at our local CCLD branches, include:  Puppet, Magic and Outdoor Game Days, as well as CCC’s Planetarium, Science Tellers and a performance of “The Tortoise and the Hare” by the Merry-Go-Round Theatre. There’s so much more, and best of all…completely FREE! Signups start June 27th, either online at www.ccld.lib.ny.us or stop in at your local branch. Once you sign up and start reading, remember to stop in weekly at your local branch for prizes and the club event of the week. All readers who enter and report their progress online or let us know, will be invited to an ending party at Eldridge Park, sponsored by the Friends of CCLD. Parents, remember this is a great way to get your child to keep reading over the summer months, and avoiding the “summer slump” or loss of reading skills. For the tweens (8-13 years) out there, we will be offering a Theatre Camp and a Maker Camp, stay tuned to our website for more details on these!

To get ready for our Summer of Fun, Fitness and Games, check out some of these titles:

Amelia Bedelia Shapes Up by Herman Parish

Strong Man: The Story of Charles Atlas by Meghan McCarthy

The Busy Body Book by Lizzy Rockwell

Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja Series by Marcus Emerson

Extreme Babymouse by Jennifer Holm

Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in their Youth to Become Stars by Gregory Zuckerman

Watch Me Throw the Ball by Mo Willems

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services, Steele Library, CCLD

Fall Storytimes & 1000 Books Before Kindergarten September 2, 2015

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1000booksFall Storytimes at CCLD libraries are just around the corner, beginning the week of September 14 at all branches; check our website for dates and times. We offer storytimes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers and all are drop in, no registration is required. Storytimes are a wonderful way to introduce your child to the joys of reading and increase their vocabulary, as well as help them to learn social skills. Our storytimes are full of fun too…interactive songs, flannel stories, rhymes and props that enhance the experience and make it pleasurable for caregivers as well as kids…and while you’re at the library, sign up for our latest early literacy program: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. (Currently available at Steele, Horseheads and Big Flats Libraries and funded by the Friends of the Horseheads Library.) This free, self-paced program challenges parents and caregivers to read at least 1,000 books before the child enters school. Research has shown that reading to children helps them be better prepared for school as it builds their vocabulary and stimulates language and cognitive skills. Reading together is great for bonding too, and stories read in storytime or at daycare can count as well. Ask us about this exciting new offering and we’ll see you soon at Storytime!

Happy Reading!

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library, CCLD

The Kinderbook Campaign March 10, 2015

Posted by ackermanj in Community, Youth Services.
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BookerWe are gearing up in our Youth Department for our annual Kindergarten visits.  Chemung County Library District offers all county kindergarten students an opportunity to receive a free library card during these visits, and we are grateful for the Friends of CCLD’s Kinderbook Committee for sponsoring these visits.

In our partnership with this Committee and the area schools, we are able to reach children and their parents and make them aware of our library services for kids and families. Our goal, to promote the joy of reading, is highlighted at these visits by acting out favorite stories for the kids and giving them a tour of our Children’s area and all that it offers: tons of books, computers, audio books, music CDs and movies.  The children then receive their library cards as well as a bookmark.

The Kinderbook committee generously pays for the buses that bring the students, as well as incentives to bring the children and their families back to Friends of CCLDtheir local library. In observance of the 30th year of this initiative, we are offering a basket full of literacy goodies, the name will be drawn at each CCLD library at the end of the summer…entering is easy, any child who has come for a Kindergarten visit, and then returns with their family, to their local library will be allowed to enter their name in for this drawing.

We thank the Kinderbook committee for all of their hard work and their commitment to getting library cards into the hands of each kindergarten student. As a result of these campaigns, 80-85% of all Kindergarten children in Chemung County will become library card holders! We also couldn’t offer this without the cooperation from the Elmira, Elmira Heights, and the Horseheads School Districts Kindergarten teachers. We are fortunate to live in an area that values literacy and realizes the importance of public libraries in promoting literacy to our youngest patrons.

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library, CCLD

Wrapping up Summer at the Central Library August 19, 2013

Posted by ackermanj in Steele, Youth Services.
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We are wrapping up a summer full of fun, here at the Central Library! We had 157 kids enter our Summer Reading Club, and around 500 total attendees at our weekly Reading Club programs…well done kids. Congratulations on your reading efforts and way to eliminate that “brain drain” that can occur over the summer months (your teachers will be so proud!!)

As we look forward to fall and the return of our regular story times (check our website for days and times), we will be welcoming new storytellers here at the Central Library, so please come down and meet them and join them for fun stories, songs and flannel board fun.  We will also be doing a story time at the Thursday Wisner Farmer’s Market from 11:00-11:45 through the end of August.

We are having a family movie day on Wed. Aug. 28 at 2:00!  Come and view “Oz, The Great and Powerful” while enjoying a snack.  On Friday, Aug. 30, local author Maureen Wright will be here reading her great stories and she’ll bring along a craft for the kids…especially suited for ages 2-8. No registration is required for either event and both are free!

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Central Library, Elmira (CCLD)

Dig into Historical Fiction for Youth July 15, 2013

Posted by ackermanj in Recommendations, Steele, Youth Services.
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It was with interest that I read CCLD’s blog entry regarding historical fiction by Caroline Poppendeck. I completely agree with her praise of this genre and would like to further “dig” into it, by including favorite historical fiction for Youth.

Recently, a family approached me at the desk and were headed to Gettysburg to view the Civil War re-enactments, honoring the 150th Anniversary of this famous battle (the young boy reminded me that it was the biggest and bloodiest battle fought on U.S soil).  We headed to our large juvenile non-fiction Civil War section where there is a wealth of material to educate children; the juvenile fiction section is full of stories of this time in our American history as seen through the eyes of a child.

Here are some recommendations for Civil War reads:

A great picture book for the 3rd-4th grade level is Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco, based on a true story of a friendship between a young white Union soldier and a young black Union soldier; it is powerful and heart wrenching.

Chapter book selections for those in Grades 3-6 include the following series:  My America, Dear America, and American Girl. Good choices for Grades 5 and up, include Will at the Battle of Gettysburg by Laurie Caokhoven in the Boys of Wartime series which includes an appendix at the end on children’s roles during the Civil War, and The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, both hold real reader appeal, with loads of suspenseful action, as the boy narrators of the stories are torn between their glorious expectations of war and the cold reality of its’ cruelty and harshness.

A book written with some humor (a la Mark Twain) about this dark period of history, is The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick. Another Newbury Award Winning book is  Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt, about a boy who comes of age during the war years.

Ann Rinaldi is the author of many books  about the Civil War with girls as the main characters and they include: the suspenseful, An Acquaintance with Darkness, Come Juneteenth , My Vicksburg,  and Leigh Ann’s Civil War.

An audio book that we have at Central that is great to listen to as you travel to Gettysburg, or anyplace on your summer travels, is Don’t Know Much About the Civil War, by Kenneth C. Davis, this tells the human side of this war with humor and tenderness, as well as describing  the battles and tactics of this war in a whole new light…informative and interesting listening for Grades 7 and up. All of these titles are available at the Central Branch (CCLD).

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Central Library, Elmira (CCLD)

Reading – Then and Now June 25, 2012

Posted by poppendeckc in Youth Services.
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The Youth Services staff enjoyed a lively conversation in regards to our favorite books as children. Some of the series we favored were: Donna Parker, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, The Dana Girls.  Once upon a time, parents dreaded the steady diet of what they considered unworthy volumes of “tripe” their children were enamored with, and preferred they would pick up literary classics like, Gulliver’s Travels, Treasure Island, or Little Women.

We, on the other hand, consumed our favorites with relish, some of us admitting to reading favorite volumes over and over. We couldn’t get enough of the mystery, humor, beloved or hated characters, and the overall familiarity these books presented to us. Classics? Not interested.

You know what? We had it right. The lure of our favorite “tripe” expanded our worlds, introduced us to language both written and spoken, sated our hunger for knowledge and at the same time, made us hungry for more. Book lovers were born of these disrespected volumes, paving the way of our lifelong love of learning.

Literacy experts now base great value on reading – anything – as long as the skill is developed, practiced, and strives for mastery. Comic books, cereal boxes, games of any kind which include vocabulary are encouraged for honing reading skills and interest in the written word. So much research has been done showing early literacy sets the tone for overall learning throughout life, that no path can be overlooked if it builds reading skills.

So, outlooks have changed, but the true barometer for promoting literacy is to locate what a child finds appealing, then let them loose on it, to develop a long-term relationship with books and reading. And if you are not sure what they may like, most of our libraries have some Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew series books on our shelves…

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library

Summer Reading Club Update July 26, 2011

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FaustworkThe Summer Reading Club is getting wonderful attendance from our patrons! We have had great programs, and all are being met with enthusiastic response.

Our Faustwork Mask program launched the SRC here at Steele and at West Elmira and Horseheads libraries. It was a one-man show, with lots of masks that tickled young and old funny bones.

Next we enjoyed a mini Epcot program, with representatives from countries around the world. There was food, dancing, and learning about world cultures. This program was so popular, we have been asked to repeat it next year!

Multicultural DayWe had a visit from Corning Community College’s portable planetarium. It looked like a big silver balloon, and inside the children were introduced to the summer constellations. Outside the planetarium, the children made crafts, envisioned what it is like to be an astronaut, and even sampled astronaut ice cream!

The latest event was a visit from the Binghamton’s Zoomobile, where the audience enjoyed visits from an owl and a ferret, among others. Audience members were invited to touch the ferret and the corn snake. Trivia quZoomobileestions were asked and prizes given.

Two more events are up and coming. Please check our schedule for dates and times. It is not too late to sign up for the Summer Reading Club, which keeps the kids in your life connected to their reading skills and is a very enjoyable way to spend some time!

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Head of Youth Services
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)

West Elmira – Check Your E-Mail & Check Out This Book! June 14, 2011

Posted by woodardr1 in Recommendations, West Elmira, Youth Services.
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West Elmira LibraryWest Elmira Library has been successfully set up to email notices.   We now send notification of patron holds to their email.  Also, we are sending courtesy notices to notify a patron that they have something coming due in three days.  Don’t forget to check your email!


How often are we looking for a meaningful way to explain death to our young children?

I believe I have found a wonderful resource:

Water Bugs and Dragonflies:  Explaining Death to Young Children   by Doris Stickney

Water Bugs and DragonfliesThe author has adapted a fable about a water bug that changes into a dragonfly.  The full color edition features delightful illustrations by artist Robyn Henderson Nordstrom of Cleveland, Ohio.

It begins with a colony of water bugs.  Every once in a while one seems to lose interest and clings to a pond lily, gradually moving out of sight and is seen no more.  Her friends wait, but she never returns.

The group would say “That’s funny!  Wasn’t she happy here?  Where do you suppose she went?”   No one had the answer.

The leader in the colony suggests that the next one who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell everyone where he/she went and why.   Everyone agrees.

The group leader then finds himself climbing up the lily stalk – and his body changes; he loves his new form for he is now able to fly, and yet still be close to his friends, for he is right above them! However, he finds he is unable to keep the promise of coming back.  His new form will not allow him to go underwater. He knows now that his friends will have to see for themselves what happens, and he will greet them at that time – and he flies away, filled with lightness and happiness!

This book is a beautiful gift for those experiencing loss.

Rose Woodard & Pamela Lee
West Elmira Library

Kids Can Read Down Their Fines! April 2, 2011

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In celebration of National Library Week, CCLD will be offering the opportunity for patrons under the age of 15 to read down their fines.

This means for every 15 minutes they spend reading in their local library (Big Flats, Horseheads, West Elmira, Steele, or Van Etten), they can deduct $0.50 from the total of their fines. This will apply only to their own library card; they may not read down fines for family members or friends.

This is a great chance for kids who have chalked up fines of any amount to lower or eliminate fines preventing them from borrowing materials.

The dates will be April 11 – 16.

Mark down the dates, and come in to the library and read down those fines!

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