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Chemung County Library District thinking outside the box

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Chemung County Library District thinking outside the box
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As libraries across the nation are making the digital push, one Southern Tier library is leading by example. YNN's Crystal Cranmore shows us how the Chemung County Library District is looking to the future.

ELMIRA, N.Y. -- The Chemung County Library district has seen its fair share of challenges.

“A couple years back, we cut Sunday hours,” said Ronald Shaw, the director of the Chemung County Library System.

But the library is persevering.

“I think we are a leader in the Southern Tier Library System,” said Shaw.

In an age when libraries are crossing the digital divide to keep up with the times, the Chemung County's system is constantly thinking of creative ideas.

“We offered questionnaires online and on paper for our patrons to fill out. And they requested a wide variety of projects and programs,” said Shaw.

Like a computer training room, which will officially be opened next week. Visitors can take courses and learn various programs. But there is more.

“We are taking it further with a digital media center because we hope to attract young adults,” said Shaw.

It will feature a green screen, video and audio editing software as well as cameras. The library hopes to have this in place sometime next year. And if it does, they'll be the first library in the Southern Tier to offer these features. The Horseheads Branch is also thinking forward. Just by having a library card and showing your license you can check out an e-reader or an iPad.

“The Public Library Foundation of Chemung County thought it was a good launch into the future to have e-readers available for people who want popular material that isn't available in book form,” said Caroline Poppendeck, the manager of the CCLD Horseheads Branch.

There is also another value to this effort.

“For those families who can't afford it, students can take these out. It's the best,” said Susan Wales, a GST BOCES teacher.

The district director says the money for these projects primarily comes from grants and a technology reserve fund. He is encouraging his staff to constantly think of innovative ideas.

“Once the staff is enthused, I know the public is going to be enthused and I think our future is going to be very bright,” said Shaw.

The district is setting the stage for libraries across the region.

The Director of the Chemung County Library District says he also hopes to offer downloadable movies and music by early next year.

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