Category Archives: General

June is Great Outdoors Month!

After the days of social isolation and self quarantine, perhaps no celebration would be more appreciated. Of course, we still need to wear masks and maintain six feet of separation but places like Sagamore Hill, Planting Fields Arboretum and Bayard Cutting Arboretum have their grounds open for us to enjoy.

Travel by train or plane is still in the future. But this might be a good time to think about where you’d like to experience the Great Outdoors. May I suggest the Ken Burns’ documentary about the National Parks?  David Duncan’s companion book, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea*, is also an informative and enjoyable read. The library also has many travel books by Fodor, Frommer, and Moon handbooks about the various national parks and other fascinating places just waiting to be explored.

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Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey* by Conor Knighton and The Hour of the Land* by Terry Tempest Williams offer thoughtful appreciations of the National Park System.

Some of my favorite armchair reading would include Florence Williams’ The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative*. Combining an appreciation of nature and an interesting look at U.S. history is Andrea Wulf’s Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation: Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation*. Or travel to Alaska with Jon Krakuer in Into the Wild. Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods* is a delightful hike along the Appalachian Train.

Now that the library has curbside pickup you can get these books in print. *Many of these titles are also available as ebooks or audio books on Overdrive or Hoopla. Try searching the catalog for “national parks” or “natural history” or “outdoor recreation.”

But after you have chosen your book: take a hike, ride a bike, catch a fish (or try), smell the fresh air!

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

The Library of Congress & its Book Festival

The Library of Congress is simply one of my favorite places. President John Adams signed a bill in 1800 establishing a reference library in the new capital city of Washington, DC. The legislation provided that it contain “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress — and for putting up a suitable apartment for containing them therein…”

Photo by Shawn Miller.

Originally, it was housed in the Capitol. During the War of 1812 the British invaded and set fire to the Capitol Building burning most of the collection. Retired President Thomas Jefferson offered his personal collection which he had amassed over 50 years, and which was considered to be one of the finest in America.

I will try to curtail my enthusiasm for the architecture and my personal fondness for the building! However, a little information seems to be in order. The Library is comprised of three buildings, The Thomas Jefferson Building, the john Adams building and the James Madison Building. The Jefferson Building (1897), located next to the Supreme Court and across from the U.S. Capitol, is impressive. If you are interested, take a virtual tour of the building.

But on to books and reading. You have probably heard of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. It was started by then First Lady Laura Bush and the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington with the inaugural event in 2001. This year’s event is scheduled for August.

The Library has been sponsoring an ongoing .. and online!…celebration of the Festival with daily features of videos of the thousands of authors who have appeared at the Festival over the past nearly 20 years. Mondays focus on topical nonfiction; Tuesday: poetry or literature; Wednesday: history, biography, memoir, Thursday: popular fiction and Friday: authors who write for children and teens.

Check out the fascinating talks with such authors as Neil Patrick Harris, Colson Whitehead, Patricia Cornwell, Tara Westover, Edmund Morris, and Jacqueline Woodson to name a few of the thousands who have participated.

-posted by Brenda, Reference  Services

Facebook Fridays: Online Book Discussions

Welcome to Syosset Library’s Facebook Fridays: a low-key book discussion you can participate in on your own time. How does it work? Visit the Library’s Facebook page: Syosset Public Library, search for the post, read the provided background information, and participate in questions in the comments below. A great opportunity to read and engage with your community! No registration required. Led by Jackie Ranaldo, Head of Readers’ Services. 


All titles are available for instant download using your library card on Hoopla here. Hoopla books can be read on your computer or smart device.


A new discussion of Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict will be posted on Friday, June 5, at 2:30 p.m. 


Previously posted discussions are ready for your input and can be located using the post search option: 


The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson 

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict 

Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins by Katarina Bivald 


-posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

Do you Miss Performing Arts?

Do you miss performing arts? There are a a number of possibilities to see wonderful performers from home:

“The Shows Must Go On” on the YouTube platform  offers a new Broadway show every Friday. The show is only available for 48 hours. So have your snacks ready! So far the offerings have included “Cats” and “Hairspray.”

Love Shakespeare? The Globe Theatre has been releasing a new show every two weeks. The current production is The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The Vienna State Opera has been streaming operas and ballets from its archive. The performances are available for 24 hours.

Like all other performing arts programs, American Ballet Theater is moving to a virtual season May 11-July 4. Daily programming include converatsions, ballet classes, concerts, artist profiles and spotlights, hair and makeup tutorials, and historical review.

And the esteemed Metropolitan Opera is offering a different encore presentation from its Live in HD series. Each performance begins at 7:30 and is available for 23 hours. At their homepage you can  link to additional information about the operas.

The Folger Shakespeare Library is presenting its 2008 production of Macbeth on Facebook.

And Port Jefferson’s Theatre Three has original short plays on its YouTube channel.

Theaters may be dark but there is a way for us to enjoy cultural events.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

There’s always a silver lining…

credit: North Heights Church of Christ

While working from home, I have on occasion been assigned a list of patrons to contact by phone, along with a suggested script.

As I looked over this list I got right to the task at hand dialing and reading from the script.   However, after the first few calls I found myself going “rogue”.  While I rattled off the information that I was assigned to convey, I realized the conversation had taken an unexpected turn.  I found that we eased into a relaxed chat.  No longer was it “my job”.  I started to enjoy it and take an honest interest in their well being.
 As I sat alone in my home making these calls, at the other end of the line was another person possibly also sitting alone at home. But while I was on the phone talking I no longer felt alone and I hoped that was how they felt as well.
And that I believe was the real point of my calling, not just to update and inform, but to let our patrons realize we are not alone.
-posted by Marie V., Circulation Services

Anyone for a Crossword Puzzle?

My family and I have always been crossword puzzle fans. When time allowed , we would try to work on them as often as we could. Not only they help to sharpen the brain but also increase your knowledge of the meaning of many words and also learn new words.

Newsday has two puzzles in the paper each day (except on Sunday – only one) so my daughter and I each have one to work on now that we have a little extra spare time. We try to do as much as we can on our own puzzle . We then switch and work on each other’s puzzle trying to fill in the missing words. After all , two brains are better then one. If puzzles are not completely solved, when my son in law comes home, he is the closer and finishes them if he can. After all, three brains are better than two !!!

There is a good feeling when puzzle is solved and we’ve all had a hand in this project and have accomplished something and enjoyed ourselves.  Try it!

-posted by Dona, Acquisitions Services


Books to Films

credit: S.Grgas

Who doesn’t love a good story? Whether it’s a book or film. Books such as Gone With The Wind** or Game Of Thrones* were not only literary successes but were blockbuster films. During this time of staying at home I’ve been binge watching some TV series.

Some of my recommendations are:

· My Brilliant Friend** is an HBO series based on the novel of the same name by the author Elena Ferrante. Set in the 1950’s in a small town on the outskirts of Naples. It’s a tale of friendship between 2 young girls, Lila and Elena, that spans a lifetime. We watch how the girls grow and change as they confront life and a changing culture.

· The Last Kingdom, a Netflix series based the book The Last Kingdom** by Bernard Cornwell. It’s an epic tale of courage, treachery, duty, politics, religion and love. Set in the late 9th century as Saxons, Britons and Danes fight for control of the land. The story revolves around King Alfred’s dream of uniting kingdoms to form England.

· I Know This Much Is True,* an HBO series released in May. Also based on the novel of the same name by Wally Lamb. The main character is Dominick Birdsey, a man full of anger and hate. He has an identical twin, Thomas who is a paranoid schizophrenic. Dominick both loves his brother deeply and resents him. The story tells a tale of how Dominick finds his roots and eventually learns to accept his fate in life.

Stay safe. Looking forward to the day we’ll see each other at SPL.

-posted by Betty P., Reference Services

Books available on **Overdrive and Hoopla or *Overdrive only.  Overdrive and Hoopla can be accessed through the Syosset Public Library website – all you need is a library card!

Anyone For Some Binge-Watching?

credit: Cleveland Clinic

Lately, I’ve been bingeing a variety of movies, documentaries and TV shows of various genres.

For action comedy, I watched the Bad Boys trilogy starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, who play two Miami detectives who encounter various crime situations.

For comedy series, I stream The Office starring Steve Carell, which is a humorous documentary-style look into the everyday lives of office workers. For a romantic comedy, I watched Always Be My Maybe and Disney’s Enchanted, a fantasy romantic comedy about true love.

For sports drama, I watched the movie Ford vs. Ferrari staring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, which is based on a true story about two men working on a race car for the Ford Motor Co. I’m also continuing to watch the sports documentary, Last Dance, about the career of Michael Jordan.

For historical drama, I continued my love for the series, Downton Abbey, by watching the film.

And yes, I did watch Tiger King, which falls into many genres!

-posted by Rosalia, Acquisitions Services

Let us help you find your own binge watches by browsing through Hoopla, Kanopy, AcornTV or Qello available through our website – all you need is a library card!