All posts by susanta2heads


Got a health question?

Ask a Health Reference Librarian

 Come visit our


Consumer oriented Health Reference Center

located on the 3d floor


The consumer health reference librarian can research any health topic and send you a packet of information that is personalized just for you. Books, articles, databases, can be provided for you.

Our new service is designed to meet the growing need of the Syosset community for simplified, quality health information.

For the latest news on Health topics visit the NEW Health Reference blog at

-posted by Susan, Health Reference Services

SAT Prep on Your Cell Phone??

SAT Prep, once the domain of boring study guides, is now available as apps on your cellphone, according to an article in The New York Times.  What will they think of next?  Click here to read the article.

-posted by Ed G., Reference Services

Sneezing? Itchy, Watery Eyes?

Yes, it’s that time of year- allergy season!

For those of us with seasonal allergies this is the best of times and the worst of times.  We have a love/hate relationship with spring. After a long hard winter it’s wonderful to see buds on the trees, the grass turning green, the magnolia blossoms gently swaying in the breeze.  We want to get outside and garden, take long walks and enjoy the weather, but our bodies betray us.  Instead of enjoying the greening we cough, sneeze, suffer with headaches, feel tired all of the time, and just generally feel awful.

Some resources to help get you outside:

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation has information on seasonal allergies including general information, Gardening with Allergies, Over the Counter Medicines, Pollen & Mold Counts, Rhinitis & Sinusitus, Sinus Problems, Alternative Treatment and so much more.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology has information on pollen counts and current research.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology is yet another resource for seasonal allergy sufferers.  A section of its website is dedicated to hay fever which provides links to treatment options.

Visit MedlinePlus for information regarding seasonal allergies symptoms and treatment.  There’s an interesting article Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies.

Need more information?  Visit the Syosset Public Library.  We have books and databases with allergy resources.  Browse the collection in person or online.  For articles about seasonal allergies, see Syosset Public Library’s Online Databases.  Here you can access magazine and journal articles, newspapers, and reference books 24 hours a day using your Syosset Public Library library card.

For the latest news on Health topics visit the NEW Health Reference blog at

-posted by Susan, Health Reference Services

April is National Poetry Month

I know, I know the month is nearing its end, but I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that poetry does matter. Everyone is in such a hurry and the world seems at times to be a terrible place that we should all take a few moments just to enjoy the succinct beauty of a poem.

One of my favorite poets wrote:

Doesn’t Every Poet Write a Poem about Unrequited Love?

The flowers
I wanted to bring to you,
wild and wet
from the pale dunes

and still smelling
of the summer night
and still holding a moment or two
of the night crickets

humble prayer,
would have been
so handsome
in your hands–

so happy–I dare to say it–
in your hands–
yet your smile
would have been nowhere

and maybe you would have tossed them
onto the ground,
or maybe, for tenderness,
you would have taken them

into your house
and given them water
and put them in a dark corner
out of reach.

In matters of love
of this kind
there are things we long to do
but must not do.

I would not want to see
your smile diminished.
And the flowers, anyway,
are happy just where they are,

on the pale dunes,
above the cricket’s humble nest,
under the blue sky
that loves us all.

Mary Oliver

From Thirst published 2006

Beacon Press

-posted by Susan-Health Reference Services

Book Review- The Last Brother

I’ve been in quite a reading slump lately. Every book that I’ve read has been just so-so. That is until I picked up The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah.

It’s the story of Raj, a nine year old local boy whose life is filled with the violence of an alcoholic abusive father. Raj and his family have been destroyed by a horrible event that turned a family of five into three. Father, mother, and Raj move when the father finds work at a prison, Beau-Bassin. A prison that Raj is told is full of “dAngerous ones, the rUnaways, the rObbers, and the bAd mEn.” Raj travels each day to the prison to bring his father lunch, but endlessly curious about the inmates finds a hiding place and observes. What does he see? David, a young boy around the same age walking towards the barbed wire of Beau-Bassin.

“What I saw first was his hair, that magnificent mop of it, which floated around his head but which was certainly his and his alone, in a way that nothing has ever belonged to me, those curls hiding his brow and his way of advancing stiffly, not limping, for all the world as if he were made of wood and iron and his machinery had not been oiled for quite some while.”

David sits and observes the internees as Raj lies in the dirt observing David.

“Suddenly David’s curls began to shake, his shoulders too, and he buried his face between his knees, which he had brought up against his chest as he sat down. Then I heard him crying, I knew it only too well, this sobbing that racks you, that makes you softly murmur oh, oh, as if someone were slowly, very slowly, plunging a knife into your heart.”

The two form a friendship that is doomed from the start, but one that will haunt Raj for sixty years filling him with guilt for what was done, and what should have been done.

The Last Brother takes place during 1944-1945 on Mauritius, an island off the South African Coast. An island seemingly far removed from the horror and violence of World War II, but even this remote area cannot escape . Beau-Bassin was a camp for Jewish refugees from East Europe (Poland in particular) who had tried to reach Palestine in the early 1940s to escape the Nazi persecution. They travelled down the west coast of Africa, passed the Cape of Good Hope, and entered the Indian Ocean. They were taken by the British at this point, brought to Mauritius, and made to stay there until the end of the war. 128 of them died and were buried in Mauritius.

Nathach Appanah has done a beautiful job of taking this bit of history and allowing us to view it through the eyes of these young boys. The writing is lyrical and beautifully translated. This is a short novel that will hopefully mark the beginning of a very long writing career.

-posted by Susan, Health Reference Librarian

Meet the Author – Ghita Schwarz


Tuesday, January 11


2 PM

As she discusses her debut novel,


Displaced Persons

A group of Polish Jews rebuilds their lives after the Holocaust. Recently liberated, Pavel Mandl befriends a woman, Fela, and the young teenage boy, Chaim, with whom she is traveling. When the three decide to live together as a temporary, makeshift family, the ties they create last a lifetime. In her warm portrayal of the postwar highs and lows experienced by Pavel and his family, Schwarz aptly evokes the emotions of those who survived.The author will be available to sign books at the end of the program.

The book will be sold by the Friends of the Library at the event.

posted by Susan, Reference Services


I’m sitting at the Readers’ Services desk taking reserves for the 10 Hottest Books of the Week (you’ll find them listed to the right) and looking at the myriad of new fiction and non-fiction that’s just sitting here waiting for someone to discover.  One of my favorite things to do is pass by the James Patterson, Fern Michaels, and Danielle Steel novels and find that hidden gem.  Well, I’ve found one and it’s waiting for you.

The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian

I read it months ago and was entranced with the writing and the characters.  It’s a powerful story that deals with memories.  The ones we hold on to, and the ones we choose to bury.

Don’t want to take my word for it?  Mike Peed of The New York Times writes, “…Mustian appears to confront an enormous subject: the Turkish deportation of Armenians during World War I, when hundreds of thousands died amid a hellish march into Syria—an expulsion that has, outside Turkey, often been labeled as genocide. But in truth, Mustian…tells a story that probes a timeless array of life’s general adversities: the tricks of memory that enable us to carry on with our daily existence; the brash decisions and subsequent regrets of the young; the ever present need for forgiveness; the way a single event can be subject to many interpretations. Mustian embodies the intractability of these difficulties in the image of an Armenian girl with mismatched eyes…She sees the past and the present, the good and the bad, our side and theirs. Her mystery is life’s mystery.”

The Gendarme is here waiting.

Not your cup of tea?  Come to the Readers’ Services desk-we’ve got more gems to recommend.

– posted by Susan, Readers Services’