Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Madison County Reads Ahead Student Passes GED Test

CANASTOTA, November 18, 2009 – When Jeffrey Huss was fifteen years old, he quit school. It is a decision he says he has regretted every day since the day he left school. Huss, a Canastota village native, knew he had to get his G.E.D. Certificate if he wanted to get a job.

“I’ve got a son and daughter and knew I needed to do something to help myself.” Huss said.

He met Kathy Stagnitti, coordinator for the Madison County Reads Ahead program at the Canastota Public Library. He wasn’t sure if he’d need additional help to prepare for the upcoming test or not. After taking a pre-test and spending some time with Stagnitti, he decided to take the test.

“I passed. I’m just trying to make a better life for myself and my family,” Huss said.

Huss is hoping to go to college and further his education during the next few years. A football and basketball enthusiast, Huss also enjoys working with computers and would like to eventually find a job where he can do that.

General Educational Development (or GED) tests are a group of five subject tests which, when passed, certify that the taker has American high school-level academic skills. The GED is sometimes referred to as a General Equivalency Diploma or General Education Diploma. To pass the GED Tests and earn a GED credential, test takers must score higher than 60 percent of graduating high school seniors nationwide.

The Madison County Reads Ahead program is a free program which assists individuals needing help with reading skills, English as a second language and with GED Preparation. Madison County Reads Ahead tutors are volunteers who provide one on one lessons with flexible scheduling. All materials are provided at no charge and the service is completely confidential. For more information, call Kathy Stagnitti at the Canastota Public Library at 697-7030.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hello from the Stacks!

Hello from the Stacks!

The library is quiet this week as we recover from our best ever Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale. Friends Representatives tell us that they raised nearly $3,000 in this three day event! The library welcomed many new people to the library during the sale as well! Our thanks go out to everyone who made this a memorable Annual Book Sale. There were many new volunteers and buyers who stopped by the circulation desk to visit and we had an increase in patrons who filled out applications for their library cards.

This week, I always find myself borrowing more magazines than usual. The November and December issues have great ideas for the holidays. My favorites seem to be Martha Stewart’s LIVING, Woman’s Day, Family Circle and any of the cooking magazines. I have found some wonderful side dishes and desserts to try out on the family as we celebrate Thanksgiving.

My family is planning a quiet time at home during Thanksgiving this year. The library is going to be the greatest resource for us! Traditionally, we make cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning. I found a new recipe for those, as well and am very excited about trying them! Cinnamon rolls are especially delicious as we sip cocoa or coffee and wait for Santa to make his appearance at the end of the Macy’s Parade.

I’m looking for new ways to make the celebration special and plan to create a centerpiece from different materials that I have at home. The craft books, holiday books and magazine articles have offered unique ideas that look fun and easy. The china dishes that my mother handed down to me last month will set a beautiful backdrop for our meal of turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, acorn squash and homemade dinner rolls. We’ll begin the meal by talking about what we’ve been thankful for in the past year.

After dinner, we will all gather around the living room as we watch one or two movies that we have borrowed from the Canastota Public Library! This is a tradition for us as well and we always try to find something that everyone will like. A comedy like “The Proposal” or an older action flick will be sure to be showing at our house on Thanksgiving night.

The Pumpkin Pie comes right after the movies with another cup of coffee or cocoa! I will probably be reading a book, borrowed from the library while my husband puts on a CD borrowed from the library to entertain us. As night nears, we’ll all head for bed, drifting asleep with visions of Thanksgiving still in our hearts!

My special thanks this year will be for the Canastota Public Library. I work here with fantastic people on our staff. The patrons who visit us are such great folks that my job here is very easy. And, I save tons of money by using the library’s vast resources…on Thanksgiving and every day of the year!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Food for Fines

Recent months have seen area residents laid off or out of work as companies struggle with losses and impending closures. The Canastota Public Library does offer help in the way of researching job options, providing entertainment by borrowing books, movies and magazines. The library also has many books on different topics that may help in times of financial crisis including books on financial planning and saving money!

At the library, there is now more that we can do to help local families and individuals in need. During the months of November and December, the Canastota Public Library will be accepting non-perishable food items in place of regular library fines. If you return an item to the library which has a late fee attached to it, please feel free to offer a food donation commensurate with the fine charged. For example, if a patron owes $2.00 for a late DVD charge, an acceptable food donation might be a $2.00 box of rice. If several books are overdue, an acceptable donation might be a can of soup or vegetables. The library can only accept Food for Fines for Canastota Public Library items and not for items that have been borrowed from other area libraries!

This Food For Fines program will not only help patrons who might be a bit late returning items to the library, but it will help those in need in our community. The non-perishable food items will be donated to The Opportunity Shop in Canastota to help keep their shelves stocked during this coming holiday season.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Canastota Library Gears Up For Annual Book Sale in November

The Friends of the Canastota Library will be holding their Annual Book Sale on November 5, 6 and 7 in the entire lower level at the library. This year, the group is offering some exceptional titles and prices on hard cover and paperback books as well as VHS Tapes. Gently used paperbacks and hard cover books, VHS tapes, audio tapes and CDs are all available at the sale. Raffle baskets will also be available and will go home with lucky winners after the sale.

Although the library has an ongoing book sale, this annual book sale offers shoppers a chance to meet with old friends and purchase from a great selection of items. Library commemorative items will also be on sale. Raffle baskets, designed by Friends of the Library, will be donated and sold. Ralston Supply Company will provide the tables that are needed to make this sale happen.

Hours of the Annual Book Sale are Nov. 5: 9 am until 8:30 pm; Nov. 6: 9 am until 5 pm; and Nov. 7: 10 am until 4 pm.

The Friends of the Library group is a great help to the library, offering volunteer services, fundraising events and assistance at community programs. Annual memberships are available year-round at $3 for adults and $10 for the entire family. Membership dues for Friends of the Library, and profits from the annual book sale go toward the purchase of special library supplies and programs. The money raised through this sale is always used to benefit the library’s programs, collection or to enhance the building and services that the library offers. Last year’s book sale revenues were used as a matching funds donation towards the four Gates Foundation laptop computers that the library received this past summer. Those computers are now part of the library’s larger bank of community accessible computers and will be used in group training programs. A portion of the funds raised during last year’s book sale was also donated by the Friends of the Library to the library’s endowment fund.
The event is operated and fully staffed by volunteers of the Friends of the Canastota Public Library. Volunteers make this event a special one for the library. The group is currently looking for volunteers to help with set-up for the event on Wednesday, November 4th and throughout the entire sale period. If you are interested in helping, please call the library at 697-7030.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Increase Use to Learn How to Reduce

By Liz Metzger, Director; Canastota Public Library

Aldous Huxley once said, "Most human beings have an infinite capacity for taking things for granted."  I am ashamed to admit this is sometimes true of me but my eyes were opened once again during my summer vacation.

At the beginning of August, I visited my college aged daughter in Spain after she had finished classes at the University of Barcelona.  We had a whirlwind week of 18 hour days, trying to cram in as much sightseeing as humanly possible in 95 degree heat.  We were surrounded by history, fabulous art and architecture, the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea, delicious food, great music and scads of people  (and their pet dogs!).  But, you couldn't drink the water!  Even the locals buy ALL their water in giant sized plastic bottles.  We found no working public drinking fountains and there were no water glasses at restaurants because you have to buy bottled water there, too!  And 16 ounces of water could cost as much as 3 Euros (about $4.50 in American money).

My daughter's host family asked her to limit shower length, not to shower daily and to reduce her dirty laundry and toilet flushes to conserve water.  Hotels and hostels had signage about doing the same.  I realized that I took fresh, potable water for granted.  I bet many of us in the United States do not consider water to be a scarce resource.  But, less than 1% of the world's fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.  An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country's slum uses in a whole day.

So, now I am much more conscious of how I use water in my personal effort to waste less and appreciate more.  You can learn more about this and similar issues from books and from the internet. 

Visit us at the library.  We can help you find the resources to reduce your capacity for taking our resources for granted.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Loomis Gang

As we get older, the past seems to become so important to us.  On a recent visit to my parent's home in West Virginia, I had the opportunity to talk to my cousin who has been working on the geneology of our family.  He told me that my father's maternal ancestors hailed from Holland.  My father's paternal ancestors can't be traced back much further than my great-grandfather.  On my mother's side, everyone was Irish!

On the wall in my bedroom hangs a Marriage License for Louis Loomis and Carrie Mumpton.  This beautiful piece of art was given to me from my grandmother-in-law soon after my husband and I married.  Louis and Carrie were her parents.  I always wondered if the surname Loomis was any relation to those famous horse theives who ruled Central New York in the early 1800s.  Gram never said.  If the subject came up, she would tactfully change gears to talk about something that happened at church or in the neighborhood.  Several years ago, when Gram went into a nursing home, I found a letter and application to the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Gram could trace her family back to Joseph Loomis of Hartford, CT.  When I found that letter, I quickly searched the internet for information on the CNY Loomis Gang.  My quick search told me that Gram was indeed a relative of the renown clan.

At the Canastota Public Library, we are pleased to present a talk on the Wednesday, October 21 at 7pm, the library will hold a special presentation on "The Loomis Gang." Learn about this notorius family of outlaws and horse thieves that operated in Central New York from local descendent, Robert Loomis. This event will be held on the second floor of the library.  I'm planning to be there to learn more about my husband's ancestors.  I hope that you will be able to attend as well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

October is Busy at the Library!

October is a busy month at the Canastota Public Library.  As we fall into the autumn and winter routine, we begin to schedule concerts, regular children and teen activities and various workshops for the community.

Children and Teen Activities: 
Our Baby & Me Lapsit with Miss Angela returns to the library on Wednesday mornings at 10am on October 7.  The program is an early literacy program involving babies up to age 24 months and their parents/caregivers.  Our staff provides songs, stories, rhymes and fingerplays to help you work with your baby!  This is also an excellent way for babies to learn to interact with other babies!  Baby & Me will be held every Tuesday morning through December 16 in the Children's Area on the second floor of the library.

Pre-School Storytime with Mrs. Liz begins on Thursday mornings at 10 am .  Beginning on October 1 and runs through December 17, this program is for children aged 3 and older.  The program includes stories, songs, games, crafts and a snack.  The program is held in the Children's area on the second floor of the library.

With the return of school comes the return of the Librateens to the library!  Our librateen group is a teen program for students in grades 6 and higher.  The group meets every Wednesday afternoon that school is in session.  The librateens first organizational meeting for the school year will be held on Wednesday, October 7.  Various activities such as game days, movie days, speakers, books and crafts are scheduled for the fall sessions.  Meetings are open to every student from grades 6 through grade 12 from 3pm until 4:15pm.   This group has been diligently working to redecorate the teen space on the second floor of the library.  An open house reception for the newly decorated room will be held on Monday, October 19th at 3pm.  The reception is open to the public!

Workshops & Concerts:
The month will begin with an October 4 concert by "The Excelsior Cornet Band."  "The Excelsior Cornet Band" is New York State's only authentic Civil War brass band.  Founded in 2001, the band consisrts of a group of upstate New York musicians who are dedicated to the performance of original Civil War music on actual antique brass band instruments of the 1860's period. The band will be performing their Abraham Licoln Program on Sunday, Oct 4 on the second floor of the library.

The Canal Town Quilters quilts will be featured on display at the library during the month of October.  The Lawson Community on the library's lower level will feature wall hangings as well as traditional quilts and table runners.  A reception for the Canal Town Quilters will be held on Saturday, October 3 from 1 - 3 pm in the Lawson Community Room.

A four week workshop, Job Hunting 101, will be offered on Tuesday mornings during the month of October.  In this program our staff will show you library and online resources available as well as help participants create a resume, search for jobs online and apply for online opportunities.  The program will begin on Tuesday, October 6 and end on October 27.  Particpants should contact the library to sign up as spaces are limited!  The program will be held in the Lawson Community Room beginning at 9:30am until 11 am

On Wednesday, October 21 at 7pm, the library will hold a special presentation on "The Loomis Gang."  Learn about this notorius family of outlaws and horse thieves that operated in Central New York from local descendent, Robert Loomis. This event will be held on the second floor of the library.

Thursday Theatre Returns this autumn!  Continuing with our theme of showing an Oscar Winning Film for Best Picture, the library will be showing movies on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month beginning at 6pm in our Lawson Community Room.  We will alternate between recent winners and early winners.  Join us on Thursday, October 1 to view, "Chicago."  This 2002 Oscar Best Picture features Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart.  The pair find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920's Chicago.  This is a musical starring Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones.  On Thursday, October 15, we will show the 1934 Best Picture, "It Happened One Night."  A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who is actually a reporter looking for a story.  But then, he falls for her!  Starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.

We hope that you will join us for one or all of these great programs at the library!  See you between the stacks soon!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Ninth Annual Rebecca Eddy Memorial Contest

Entries are now being accepted at the Canastota Public Library for the 9th Annual Rebecca Eddy Memorial Writing Contest. Short stories and poems may be any style and/or subject and should be submitted to the library by October 31, 2009.

Entry requirements indicate that original poems should be 20 lines or fewer and original short stories should be between 500 – 5,000 words. Submissions should be made in only one category (poetry or short story) and will be judged by a panel of judges from the community. The following age divisions will be used in determining awards:

• Ages 10 and under

• Ages 11 – 14

• Ages 15 – 18

• Over Age 18

The contest was organized by Joan and Doug Eddy of Canastota as a memorial to their daughter, Rebecca Eddy. Ms. Eddy was a graduate of Canastota High School as well as a graduate of John Hopkins University. She was an athlete, an artist, a thespian and a scholar. Eddy felt a passion towards writing and also towards her community. Joan and Doug Eddy read each entry that is received into the contest.

The contest is free to enter and there are no residential requirements or limits. Entry Forms, available at the library, should be submitted with each entry.

An awards ceremony will be held Wed, Nov 18th at 7pm on the second floor of the library for all participants. All participants will receive a certificate for entering the competition. First and second place award winners in each age category will also receive a cash prize of $25 and $10, respectively.

The contest is coordinated each year by the Canastota Public Library at 102 W. Center Street in Canastota. For additional information, please contact the library at (315) 697-7030.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Puppy Love

I work at the Canastota Library and am always amazed at the resources that are available to the community here. Those resources proved to be invaluable to me several weeks ago.

It has always been my dream to breed small dogs and when I received a female Cairn Terrier for a birthday a few years ago, I was delighted. I named her Maggie and soon we were also the owners of her mate, Argus. Gus and Maggie were getting along well and before we knew it, Maggie was expecting. As we left the vet’s office after confirming her pregnancy, I knew I was going to need to prepare for the upcoming blessed event.

I had already used the library to find books on the Cairn Terrier breed when I was deciding what kind of dog I would like to own. Some of the best books I found were “Cairn Terriers” by Patricia Lehman and “The Complete Dog Book” by the American Kennel Club. Online resources were also helpful during this research! As well, we found local breeders and talked to them about the breed including health issues, training, feeding and more. Our vet was a wealth of information and offered suggestions along the way. And, so, now knowing that Maggie was expecting, I stopped at the library to search for books on birthing puppies.

“Breeding A Litter” by J.M. Evans seemed to be the most comprehensive book on the subject of doggie pregnancy and delivery and I left the library prepared to read every page! I thought I would be prepared for just about anything we encountered during Maggie’s pregnancy and delivery. Our vet indicated that Maggie would probably deliver four to six puppies and indicated that the breed were very good “whelpers” so we shouldn’t have many problems. The book, I thought, would do just the trick. While I skimmed the books on a couple of occations, I never did get around to reading it before the puppies came.

Early one Saturday morning, I went to Maggie’s kennel to take her out for her morning constitution. As I opened the crate, I noticed something wasn’t quite right. Maggie had her back to me and wouldn’t come out of her crate. As I reached in to get her, I quickly realized that puppy number two was on her way into the world and puppy one was already here! I grabbed the book and started reading…I figured better late than never! As it turned out, Maggie instinctively knew what to do but the book helped me to understand what to look for, what would come next and how to help if Maggie had any problems with delivery. Three hours later, Maggie and Gus were parents to four healthy Cairn Terrier pups—two baby boys and two baby girls.

Today, I am looking for books on puppies and their nutritional needs during the first few weeks of life! This is so much fun and the library is able to offer help at every turn. From books on housetraining, to medical needs, natural health tips and obedience training tips, the library can assist anyone who has questions about owning a dog.

The Bark is a new magazine that the library carries. I’ve been reading this monthly since the library purchased it. This month, we’ve received two new books that dog owners will find helpful. They are:

• “Green Dog, Good Dog. Reducing your Dog’s Carbon Footprint” by Dominique DeVito

• “The Everything New Puppy Book” by Carlo DeVito

I don’t know if the DeVitos are related but both books are great!

I've posted two pictures here.  The first picture shows the puppies during their first week and the second is a picture of the first born last Saturday at 3 weeks old! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Job Hunting 101

Here in Canastota, we have been helping patrons to use the internet for many things. Most recently, we have found an increase in requests to help people find and apply for jobs on line. In light of those requests, the Canastota Public Library will begin a four week workshop, Job Hunting 101 in October. In this program, our staff will show participants resources that are available through the library and online to help them create a resume, search for jobs online and apply for on-line opportunities. The program will be held Tuesday mornings in October from 9:30am until 11am, beginning Oct. 6th and ending Oct. 27.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports efforts to supply and sustain free  public access computers and the internet through local public libraries.  In the past several years, the Canastota Public Library has been able to upgrade and increase the number of public access computers to six due to the generosity of the foundation and matching funds made available by our local Friends of the Library group.   This past summer, the library received four laptop computers to add to the bank of public use computers from the Friends support and the Gates Foundation. Those computers are now a part of the library’s larger bank of community accessible computers and will be used in the Job Hunting 101 group training workshop.

According to the Gate's Foundation website, more than 70% of folks who use public library computers to access the internet indicate that the library is their primary and often only source for internet services.  The internet gives these patrons access to valuable information like health facts, financial planning and online banking, job services and job banks, research information and it also provides people with the ability to keep in touch with family and friends across the state or across the world.  The Gates foundation notes that "in the United States, where Internet access has been more widely available, going online also enables people to participate more fully in the social and economic fabric of their communities and make meaningful contributions to society."

Due to the number of laptop computers on hand, we will need to limit the number of folks participating in Job Hunting 101.  Computer skills, while helpful, are not necessary for this workshop.  You can sign-up by calling the library at 315-697-7030.  If enough interest is generated from Job Hunting 101, a second session will be offered in November.

Thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this and other laptop workshops will be available at the Canastota Public Library in the coming months and years!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You Can Download Audio Books to your iPod/iPhone/MP3

The Canastota Public Library has great news for iPod© and iPhone© users who love audio books. With the free OverDrive Media Console v3.2© for Windows, most audio books including Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight," Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers," and John Grisham's "The Appeal" are compatible with the Windows formatted iPod and iPhone. These and hundreds of other titles can be downloaded free and transferred to these and other popular players.

In addition, MP3 titles are being added to the site on a regular basis. MP3 titles can be downloaded to MACs and transferred to any Mac formatted iPods and iPhones . Even more good news: now that the collection has increased in size, customers may now check out up to 5 titles at a time!

This increasingly popular service is called MYaudio2go. You can access the service by clicking on the “Digital Audio” link from Mid York’s homepage. This new software provides access to Mid York’s collection of audio books for Windows formatted iPhone and iPod users. With a few clicks and using the built-in Transfer Wizard!, audio books can be sent to a iPod, a Zune, many smart phones, and most other portable players.

MYaudio2go allows you the freedom to enjoy audio books, anytime, anywhere. You can borrow audio books even when your library is closed and there is no need to worry about fines because the file becomes unplayable on the computer when the loan period ends. All you need is your Mid York Library System card.

“I travel for work and was happy to learn that I can download audio books to my IPod. It makes traveling a bit more enjoyable,” noted Jerry Mc Dowell, a patron of the Canastota Library.

The service is jointly funded by the Mid-York Library System and its forty-three member libraries. “This is a great example of how cooperation can expand the services available to every library customer in our service area”, said Darlene Ford, Mid York Library System Director.
For help or information, direct email to:
Enjoy listening!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Knitting at the Canastota Library

The Canastota Public Library is always bustling on Friday morning.  We have our regular patrons in and out of the library to select new books for the weekend ahead or to pick out a new video or two. In these late days of summer, we have children stopping in to get that last book to read before school starts!  We also have regulars who come to the library to read the local newspapers!

 But, Friday is busy for another reason also.  That's when about 15 - 20 area women meet in our Lawson Community Room to knit.  The Canastota Public Library knitters began meeting a little over a year ago at the library.  The group works on specific projects together and often bring in sweaters, socks or other items that they are knitting for themselves or to be given away as gifts.  The group is dedicated to helping each other learn new techniques and loves to teach others to knit.   The group is open to anyone each Friday from 10am until around noon.

With yarn, needles, breakfast goodies, coffee, tea and enthusiasm, the knitters arrive at the library in a boisterous, happy mood!  As well as having fun and good conversation, the knitters work tirelessly for the community.  They have knitted cat's blankets and donated them to the Wanderer's Rest Humane Society in Canastota.  Patients at the Veteran's Hospital in Syracuse and local shut-ins have received lap blankets made with love from the group.  The knitters have also made baby hats for the Oneida HealthCare Center for newborns and helmet inserts for soldiers serving in the military.

The Canastota Knitters would love to welcome you to the group---whether you are an accomplished knitter or someone who is interested in learning the craft!  No appointment is necessary if you are interested in joining, just grab your yarn, needles and enthusiasm and come to the library any Friday morning at 10am.  The knitters meet on the lower level of the library in the Lawson Community Room!   

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Canastota Public Library Bountiful Harvest Time

It's the end of the summer here at the library. The summer reading program has come to an end and we are gearing up for a wonderful autumn and back to school season.

Although it has been a wet summer, several patrons have started to stop by with gifts from their gardens. The staff at the library has been blessed with zucchini, tomatoes and cabbage. We're all looking for great recipes and new ways to use these fabulous harvest bounties. Angela recently took home a zucchini and came back with a mock apple pie using zucchini rather than apples. It was a wonderful apple pie!!!!

If you are looking for new ways to serve your garden favorites, check out our recipe book section on the main level of the library. We have a great selection of books on preserving your harvest including canning, smoking and freezing. Our recipe books also include different variations of recipes.

If you can't find anything you are looking for in that section, let your feet carry you to the periodical room where we have over 150 subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. We carry a wide range of cooking magazines including Cooking Light, Cooking for Two, Cook's Country and more!

We hope to see you this week....Among The the Canastota Public Library