Why did you come to the library today?

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A post from our interactive display at the Steele Memorial Library where we asked you the question,

“During the 76 hours we are open each week, people come to the library for countless different reasons, so please tell us–Why did you come to the library today?”

Here are your answers.

To find the answer to a New York Times Crossword puzzle clue. Yes! We have loads of resources for people to look into to find all sorts of information. Did you know that we also keep the latest copy of the NYT magazine and book review at the 2nd floor information desk as well?

Get the new Sherlock DVD!  We have many new TV shows and movies on DVD. If we don’t have a show you’d like to watch, please come in and request it for purchase.

For a place to study. We have many quiet desks and tables near electrical plugs for people to come in and work. Many people find they are more productive when they leave the house to be able to concentrate on their work at hand.

To forget… We are a public building and you are welcome in here at any time.

Get tax forms. Many people use the library as a resource to collect tax forms and instruction booklets. If the state or federal government doesn’t send us the form, we can print out the forms you need at $0.10 per page. We can’t give you tax adive, but we can connect you to area services that can.

Find books on mindfulness. We have so many resources on mindfulness!  Feel free to search them all on STARCAT, our library catalog. You can look at items from other libraries, and place a hold on them to be sent to the library of your choice so you can check them out. Give it a try, see what mindfulness resources we have by clicking on the link (STARCAT) and entering mindfulness in the search bar! 

Hang with my friends. From our free public programs, chess club, and lounge area, the public library constitutes and important third place in the community. The third place (or third space) is an important part of community building, giving people a place to go and to intermingle away from home (1st place) and the office (2nd place).  Examples of third places are environments such as cafes, clubs, public libraries, and parks.

For more information on the importance of the third place, check out  The Great Good Place and Celebrating the third place : inspiring stories about the “great good places” at the heart of our communities both by Ray Oldenburg.  “Third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.”*

(These books are both available through STLS, your public library system)

To get music. We have thousands of CDs in all genres of music. We also take requests, so if we don’t have a CD you’re interested in, please ask us to buy it for the library. We also host a music database called Freegal. It is a free service to all of our cardholding patrons. Signing up for this service is easy and you can download three songs per week to your device or flash drive. You then own these songs. There are current hits plus a lot of deep cuts available on this site. Check out Freegal and other featured services by clicking on this link: CCLD Featured Services

Teen night. Teen nights are Tuesday nights and our Teen Librarian, Doris Jean, always has something great going on for the teens! Check out teen and other events on our events calendar: http://ccld.mhsoftware.com/ViewCal.html?calendar_id=2

To work on PhD proposal and research my genealogy.   If you are studying, we have loads of study space and we as librarians love to watch people learn and succeed right before our eyes.  We also have an amazing genealogy and local history section with dedicated staff that want to you to be able to find your ancestors.  We have many databases you can use right from home, or come in to use ancestry.com for free or peruse our many books on genealogy and local history.  Here is a link to our genealogy database page: https://ccld.lib.ny.us/genealogy-links/

A library program. We try to always have programs that are of interest to a wide variety of people. From art classes, book talks, game night, tech classes and out tinker lab, there truly is something for everyone. Keep track of what’s going on by checking our events calendar and signing up for our monthly event email.  Go to our homepage, scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for our email list, and click on the events calendar to see what is going on in your community.

To look up ZebraTown. Book available at the Steele Memorial–364.8 D676.

Eight years in the making, this edgy, in-depth account follows a black felon’s attempt to find a new life for himself with a white woman in a small-town neighborhood where—as the book’s title implies—such relationships are common. A remarkably intense read, Zebratown reveals a rhythm of life spiked with violence, betrayal, sex, and the emotional dangers created by passionate love.

Greg Donaldson’s Zebratown follows the life of Kevin Davis, an ex-con from Brownsville, Brooklyn, who, after his release from prison, moves to Elmira, New York, and takes up with Karen, a young woman with a six-year-old daughter.

Month by month and year by year, Donaldson follows Kevin and Karen’s attempt to make a home together, a quest made harder by Kevin’s difficulty finding legal employment. The dangerous lures of the street remain for him, both in New York City and in Zebratown, and he is not always successful at avoiding them. Meanwhile, as Kevin and Karen struggle, the reader comes to care for them, even as they act in ways that society may not condone. Theirs is a complex story with many moments of drama, suffering, desire, and revelation—a story that is frequently astonishing and unforgettable to the end.

Meanwhile, the difficulty that ex-cons have successfully reentering society is an ongoing problem—for them, their families, and the communities where they live. Zebratown makes this struggle real, as Kevin Davis confronts not only his criminal record and his poor formal education but the cruelties of the postindustrial economy. Both his and Karen’s stories resonate powerfully with twenty-first-century American reality, and in telling them, Greg Donaldson confirms his position as one of the most intrepid journalists at work today.


To go letterboxing.  The Steele Memorial Library hosts a hidden letterbox! Can you find it? Letterboxing is an intriguing “treasure hunt” style outdoor activity. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly-accessible places (like parks) and post clues to finding the box online on one of several Web sites. However, clues to finding some of the most highly-sought boxes are passed around by word of mouth. http://www.letterboxing.org/

P.S. We also have a geocache!  Learn more here:  https://www.geocaching.com/play

To find a biography for a school project. We have biographies for kids, teens, and adults.  They have their own labeling — look for B for biography.

To tutor. We have many students meet up with tutors here. It’s a great place to study and collaborate. Need a tutor? Check with your school, or contact The Literacy Volunteers, whose office is located in the EOP in Elmira, offer “one-on-one and small class tutoring in basic reading, writing, and English as a Second Language (ESL) for adults through a community based program in Chemung and Schuyler Counties. Their instructional services are free, confidential, and based on industry best practices.” To learn more, click here.

To grab things on hold. Through STLS, we are able to offer items from our 48 member libraries located across the southern tier of NY. If the system has a title, place it on hold, and let us deliver the book to your local library for easy pickup.


We offer computer and Internet access for up to 3 hours per day, per person. If you don’t have a library card, bring in ID and we can get you a guest pass. Printing is done with copy cards. The cards cost $1 and come with $0.60 in printing  on it to begin. After that, the cards are reloadable on our vending machines here at the library. Add a dollar to it any time you need to make more prints. Prints are $0.25 per page from the computers. Photocopiers also can be run with the copy cards, and photocopies are $0.10 per page.

Internet & email.

Play video games.

First time to use MS Word processor on computer–scraged: lost it all.

Sorry to here that! Since these are public computers, documents and photos on the computers are erased as soon as the computer shuts down. To save your work, bring in a USB flash drive and save your documents and pictures there. If you don’t have a flash drive, we sell them here for $5.25. They come with 3.8 GB of memory on them.

scrage. A wound part-way between a scratch and a graze. Locally used around the Midlands

Internet use & to file my state and federal income taxes

Internet–have a blessed day

Thank you and you as well!

Internet & drawing.


Volunteering (I love books).

I wanna adopt a shelf



We could not do all we do without the tireless efforts of many loyal and dedicated volunteers. For information on how to become a volunteer, check out our FAQ page and download our volunteer application. The library depends on volunteers in many ways–from keeping our shelves in order, genealogy indexing, and helping out at special events just to name a few. Every year we hold a special luncheon for our volunteers as one way to say thank-you and to express our appreciation for their support of the library.

For books

I love books and reading

To get books & play

To read books and listen to music.

I came to the library today to look at books.

check out books..

I love books and reading

To rent a big book!

I love books

So we could read lots of books…

I love books

to read lots of books

We love books, too!  If there is anything we’re curious about, we can find a book about it!  The best part is that it’s free. We can take home thousands of books, DVDs, and CDs throughout the year if we want to, all at no cost to us. We have a great return policy too.  If you don’t absolutely love a book, bring it back and find another one.

In Conclusion…

I love this

The library is my favorite spot in Elmira!

Thank you! We had a lot of fun hearing why you came to the library.   Please let us know other reasons why you come here, and other ideas you may have for new services we could provide.