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.