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Corning's Public Library

- 2/12/2014

Corning Incorporated retirees heard a program about the Southeast Steuben County Library at their CIRG coffee program Feb. 12 in the Riverfront Café. Around 30 retirees and guests were brought up to date on the local library's program offerings, its funding, and its outlook.

For openers, library staff members laid out an impressive array of electronic communications devices that seem to be everywhere today. There were devices large and small – iPads, iPods, iPhones, Nooks, Kindles, Androids – you name it, it was there. They're the tools library staff uses to help people, especially seniors, get comfortable with using through one-on-one sessions.

Not only is this a valuable service for those considering purchase of such equipment, it's a great way to 'try before you buy'," our audience was told. Area residents seeking help in using these devices and other library services can schedule appointments for these Library services. To make an appointment for a free One-on-One session to learn how to use a personal technology device, contact the Digital Literacy Services Department of the library at 936-3713.

The library provides space for literacy volunteers to help non-readers with specially designed literacy programs. It has programs and services for tracing the family tree or for learning about local history. The library takes pride in providing simple access to almost any subject in which people are interested. It offers a search engine to access historical societies, newsletters, and even headstone registries.

Seniors already comfortable with communications devices are more than welcome as volunteer tutors not just for digital devices, but for an of the many tasks involved in keeping the Library operating and useful to all who need it. Pamphlets and flyers describing the library's services and volunteer needs were distributed. The library has about 100 volunteers, but that number is "flexible" through any year. Some volunteers are "Snow Birds", others are "Lakers" and still others have preferred times for visiting distant family and friends. The library's volunteer service schedules are they have to be. Persons interested in volunteering can also contact the library at 936-3713. 

Retirees were updated on the local library's funding, especially after the referendum to raise funds through taxes on properly within the Corning-Painted Post School District was defeated. While the district encompasses most of the library's charter area, some properties lie in other political jurisdictions and for them, a library-based tax through the district would represent double taxation. 

The defeat of that referendum will not lead to closing the library. Instead, it will continue operating with a curtailed program offering and with some necessary staff cuts. Meanwhile the Library Board continues to work with the School District and its chartered municipalities to find the equitable way to fund the full-service library that the residents of our area deserve.

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