All posts by Sonia

Have You Heard About Our Podcast?

Hey podcast fans! You may not know this but Syosset Public Library has been podcasting for about two years.   The podcast episodes feature interesting conversation on a wide variety of subjects – not just about books and reading.  Listen to our librarians interview authors, Syosset citizens and celebrities, and experts on all sorts of topics.   Here is a sampling of episodes that also happen to be our most listened to offerings:

Episode Thirty Eight: Syosset Stories, It’s SUE BIRD! 

Four time Olympic gold medal winner! Voted one of the WNBA’s top players of all time! Professional basketball player, Sue Bird took the time to talk with us about her childhood right here in Syosset.


Episode Eighty: Jon Lovett

Lovett, podcaster supreme (Pod Save America), former speech-writer for President Obama, and Syosset alum lends us his voice and humor! Lovett joins us to share his favorite memories of Syosset and how he went from mathematics major to a political speech writer.

Episode One: An Introduction to Us!

Give us our Gatsby! An interview featuring Dr. Charles Riley, Director of the Nassau County Museum of Art.



Special Episode: One

In the wake of COVID-19 libraries, educators, authors, and publishers are coming together to find new ways to reach the public. Skip Dye of Penguin Random House graciously agreed to chat with us about the recent policy released by his company which will allow us to use remote services and social media to provide Storytimes and beyond to our communities as we practice responsible social distancing.

Episode Three: We LUG NY

Sy-Con Presents Bricks Rock was a fun filled event at our library! In this episode, we sat down with three members of I LUG NY, the NY Tri-State LEGO Users group to chat about growing up and holding on to what were once considered “childish things” as a way to make connections with others — and where libraries can fit into this philosophy.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services



Things You Can Do with an SPL Library Card…That Do Not Involve Reading!

If you are self quarantining or even if you are not, you might have some time on your hands these days. Feel like trying something new?  Here are just some of the choices you have and all you need is a Syosset Public Library card:

Learn a language with Pronunciator

Pronunciator is a fun and free way to learn any of 80 languages.  Learn online and get the app for your mobile device.  There are lessons for early learners, young learners and adult learners as well as different levels of courses.

Learn a new office skill or get a refresher on an old one with has an expansive library of over 200,000 instructional videos covering over 5,900 courses.  There are a variety of levels covering technical skills, creative techniques, business strategies and more.  There are curated playlists in all subjects to help you decide what videos to watch first.

Create some art or learn a new craft on Creativebug

More than 1,000 award-winning art and craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists. Learn how to paint, draw, knit, crochet, sew, make jewelry and more.

Do some research on your family tree with Ancestry Library Edition

A comprehensive genealogy resource center including census, vital, church, court and immigration records.  Now available from home during the quarantine.

Get help with home schooling with

Free online homework help with real tutors for students in grades K–12, college introductory courses, adult learners and job seekers.  The SkillsCenter Resource Library provides lessons, study guides and other Homework Resources, Test Prep Resources for SAT, ACT, GED and other standardized tests.

Learn about topics you never had time for with The Great Courses

The Great Courses Library Collection is the leading global media brand for lifelong learning and personal enrichment, with hundreds of courses spanning thousands of in-depth video lectures on subjects like Science, Health & Wellness, and much more.

Need to replace a household item? Do some research on Consumer Reports

The exclusive online source for Consumer Reports magazine. View and print articles, complete with photos, charts and ratings.


All you need to access the services above is a Syosset Public Library card.  Our library cards are available to Syosset Central School District residents. Don’t have one?  Get a digital library card here.

Not a Syosset/Woodbury resident?  Check your library’s website for their database menu.

posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Film Review: Patrick

Starring : Beattie Edmondson

Setting: London’s Richmond and Chiswick areas

Rating: NR

Available on Hoopla

Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes



Are you looking for a very light, cute comedy that your entire family can watch together? Patrick might be your answer. Although it is rated NR in the United States, this British comedy is rated PG in the UK. Is there foul language? No. Is there violence? Not unless you consider a spoiled pug to be a violent creature. The reason behind the PG rating is due to the sensitive issue that a character faces because of her parents’ divorce.

Otherwise, this is a very benign British comedy that centers around a newly hired female teacher who inherits Patrick, her grandmother’s pug. This is a dog who was raised as a human in a pristine home, ate only gourmet food and had a full doggie wardrobe. After the demise of his beloved owner, he finds himself in the hands of a young woman, Sarah Francis, who not only thinks he is hideous, but is also a true hater of all dogs. If you are guessing that this movie has a formulated, predicable plot, you are right. However, it’s really quite enjoyable and you will probably find yourself watching the entire movie.

Patrick has a difficult time adjusting to his new surroundings and eating real dog food. It isn’t easy for Sarah either. When she comes home from her first day of teaching, she finds her flat in shambles. After a few days, her landlord hands her an eviction notice. Fortunately, a colleague has a brother who needs someone to stay in his houseboat for a few years, while he’s away on business.

Her life changes for the better, and so does her relationship with Patrick. As stated, the movie does follow a formula. It includes romance and a bit of suspense. As in almost all other movies about dogs, you can expect Patrick to get lost, feel Sarah’s devastation, and watch Patrick miraculously find his way back.

The high school students and teachers that Sarah works with are quite typical, enjoyable characters.

In summary, this is the perfect movie to watch, when you want a light comedy.

Patrick is available to view on Hoopla, access available using your Syosset Public Library card.

-posted by Isabel, Readers’ Services

Re-reading Agatha

Comfort Read.  Means different things to different people.  Some like to re-read books, some turn to new books in a favorite genre, while still others might prefer an audiobook or short story.  My comfort read go to has been murder mysteries, usually those of the cozy variety.  And most especially those of the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie.

I have been reading Dame Christie’s books since my early teens and finished reading them all a long time ago.  Since then, other authors have filled this need for me. Authors such as Dorothy L. Sayers, Janet Evanovich, M. C. Beaton, Rex Stout and others have fit the bill adequately.  But while they are all very good, nothing beats, for me, Dame Agatha Christie.

Through the years since I finished her novels, I have now and then randomly re-read some of them.  Early this year though, I decided to read them all again in order of publication.  Here are some thoughts on the first three:

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)

Set in the summer of 1917, the story follows the war-wounded Hastings to the Styles St. Mary estate of his friend John Cavendish. The Cavendish household is wrought with tension due to the marriage of John’s widowed mother to a suspicious younger man. In the village, Hastings runs into his old friend Hercule Poirot and, when the estate’s trouble turns deadly, the friends unite to solve a most baffling case.

“Not only is this her first published novel but it also marks the debut of her most famous character, Hercule Poirot. The murder here occurs from one of Christie’s favorite methods, poisoning.  Her talent for plotting is evident, from the beginning, fully formed!”

The Secret Adversary (1922)

Investigating the case of a woman who has been missing for five years, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford uncover just enough information to solve the mystery and put their own lives in jeopardy.

“Because I figured out the “whodunnit” early on and the characterization and dialogue were very melodramatic, this was a less satisfying read. But I still enjoyed the story which introduces the sleuthing couple, Tommy and Tuppence. Looking forward to their next adventure”

The Murder on the Links (1923)

An urgent cry for help brings Hercule Poirot to France. But he arrives too late to save his client, whose brutally stabbed body now lies face down in a shallow grave on a golf course. But why is the dead man wearing an overcoat that is too big for him? And for whom was the impassioned love letter in the pocket? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse.…

“I like this one a lot; mainly because there is a lot of dialogue between Poirot and sidekick Hastings about the particulars of the case as it develops. It is also very nicely plotted.  Recommended to readers who enjoy the Holmes/Watson dynamic of Arthur Conan Doyle’s books.”

I had not realized , when I decided to do the re-read, but this year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Dame Christie’s first book.  To read more about her and all of her creations please visit

Hope you are finding your own comfort reads!

Please tell us about them in the comments.

(All summaries from the publishers.  All titles are available for download in both ebook and audiobook format from Syosset Public Library through Hoopla, using your library card.)

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Librarian Adventures on the Internet

We roam the internet so you don’t have to, today I’m sharing some stuff to make your weekend more interesting:  a COVID-19 museum exhibit, The Bronte sisters, reading advice and more!

Need something to read and want to be surprised?  This bookstore has got you covered.

Been meaning to visit Washington D.C. but can’t right now? The Smithsonian Institute is offering this scholar-led tour which you can take from home.

If you are finding it hard to read during the pandemic, you are not alone.

Love the fiction of the Bronte sisters?  Let Google take you on a tour of the places that inspired their books.

If you have visited the Main Branch of The New York Public Library, you , of course, remember the lions out front.  Well, which one are you, Patience or Fortitude? Take this quiz and find out.

Feeling all alone?  You might feel better after you meet this guy.

Believe it or not: someone is already planning a COVID-19 Pandemic museum exhibition!



Well, that’s it for today…if you liked these,

there’s more on our Twitter feed, @syossetlibrary.

Have a great weekend!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Take me out to the Ball Game!

Take me out to the Ball game!Isn’t that the sound of spring? Not this year. But it is the sound of promise each year. “We will do better”. “We can’t lose!” “Just look at our lineup!”

Promise is what we need right now so let’s look at some armchair sites:

History…this is a fun place to spend some time. MLB site has a fact-filled history section. The Year in Review feature has mutimedia, team coverage and special features. Consider using the ‘fantasy’ feature: it helps pass the time until the real players can take the field.

Come back every day and see ‘Today in Baseball history’ Actually the site has so many options, just open it and take walks down memory lane. You can see famous players, historic feats, awards and honors, and team histories. This could truly make you the champ of any baseball trivia contest!

Mets vs Yankees…I don’t take a stand here! But I can suggest looking at each team’s website. The Mets site has all the information you would expect. But take a look at the Virtual Vault. It was begun to celebrate the Amazing Mets of 1969 and has memories from that season and other historic team moments. The Yankees site has a selection of video highlights  or you can take a video tour of Yankee stadium.

Every Mickey Mantle or Tom Seaver had to start with a small bat and a backyard (or playground) pitch. Maybe this is a good time to start mentoring the next superstar. Here are some ideas for teaching kids to play baseball. One step is to teach them how to bat. Since I was always terrified of being hit while at bat, I really love the reminder to start with a plastic bat and a SOFT ball!

This one is for the beginner. I really like it because it emphasizes the fun part of the sport  It includes practice plans for 8-12 year olds. More basic ideas are in the coaching tips section where the fundamentals of catching and throwing are presented with fun drills. Here are some basic tips for the older kids.

Remember to keep social distance -but have some fun!

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Librarian Adventures on the Internet

We roam the internet so you don’t have to, today I’m sharing some stuff to make your weekend more interesting:  jigsaw puzzles, tulips, singing barnyard animals and more!

It’s primetime for tulips in Holland, enjoy them here.

Why stop your virtual travel at the tulips gardens?  Here are 18 more interesting places that you can visit around the globe.

Doing jigsaw puzzles again?  Here are some well known crime writers talking about their recent jigsaw puzzle experiences.


File this under “strange but oddly hypnotic”, Erik Satie’s Gymopedie performed by cats and barnyard  animals.  Some people really do have a lot of time on their hands!


Explore some hobbies from the past via some TV show nostalgia: “Learn to draw, craft up a storm, or boogie like it’s 1979”


Want to avoid a trip to the grocery store? Find some recipes that use up the ingredients you already have on hand via Supercook!

At your wit’s end trying to find materials to help you home school your children. Here’s daily lesson help from the UK for all ages and levels!


Well, that’s it for today…if you liked these,

there’s more on our Twitter feed, @syossetlibrary.

Have a great weekend!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services