Tag Archives: databases

Celebrate Your Family! October is Family History Month

This would be a good time to gather the family and celebrate your ancestors. You might try something simple like making a favorite family recipe.  This could be the beginning of creating a family recipe book. Or celebrate an ancestor’s birthday by cooking special foods and playing games that he/she played as a child. Maybe you could visit a cemetery and make a rubbing of a tombstone (if the tombstone is in good condition if the cemetery allows rubbings).

Why not encourage the young people in the family to interview relatives? Find out what their lives were like. What kinds of music did they like? What did they do for fun? Did they have pets?And do your part by writing down your own special memories. Then you could make a family scrapbook of the stories you collect.

You can gather all the photos that are shoved in old shoeboxes. You could scan the fragile ones. And then organize all of them into albums, adding as much identification as possible. And what about those old 16-mm and 8-mm home movies and the video cassettes? Maybe this is a good time to convert them to DVDs.

If this gets you excited and you really want to pursue your family’s genealogy, check out the book display on the Syosset Library’s third floor. There are books for the beginner as well as the more advanced researcher. There is material for specific heritage groups and material to help organize and preserve your data. Be sure to consult the recommended websites on the Syosset library’s site and, of course, the Library provides access to the well known Ancestry.com database (in-library use only).

This is just be the beginning of this adventure!  You might find that you are hooked. Happy ancestor hunting!

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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Explore Poetry: April is National Poetry Month

PoetryMonthGraphicMost states have a state flower, a state bird, state insect (lots of bees and butterflies). But did you know some states have a state poem? Indiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee all have state poems which you can read here.

The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature  at the Library of Congress offers a chance to listen to poets reading their own works. Sample Allen Ginsburg, Ray Bradbury,  Anne Sexton, Maxine Kumin and Joyce Carol Oates. One of the gems in the collection is a 1959 interview with Robert Frost in which he recites some of his poems.

Do you want to find a copy of particular poem you remember? Check Litfinder in the library’s collection of databases. You can search by poem or by poet’s name.

Today there is a position at the Library of Congress called the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Until 1986 there was a similar position called the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. On the Syosset Library’s third floor is a display of books of some of the American poets who have held these positions. Perhaps you will discover a new poet to enjoy or rekindle interest in an old favorite.

walt-whitman-birthplaceWouldn’t this month be an appropriate time to visit the birthpace of Long Island’s own Walt Whitman? The library has a museum pass to let you explore the site for free. Reserve the pass online or call 516-921-7161 ext. 239.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Librarian

Fight Cabin Fever!

winter twilightUh-oh…we knew it was going to happen. The cold of winter has arrived. And that accompanies the afternoons that too quickly darken into night.

So what to do? Why not take advantage of the cold, dark days and learn something new? On the third floor of the library we have a display of books for learning new skills. Maybe you have always wanted to learn to sew or knit. Do you want to improve your skills in investing? What about honing your ability to use all of those new holiday gifts: your iPad or iPhone or Surface? Or you could learn to build a deck or a plan a better garden.

lynda-com-logomango-logoThe library also has two terrific instructional databases. Try Mango.com to learn a language before your next trip. And if you are interested in learning about animation or business skills or photography, there’s a high probability that Lynda.com has an instructional video among its library of nearly 3000 courses. (You will need a valid Syosset Public Library card to access both of these databases from home.)

Don’t just hibernate! Have fun learning something new and soon Spring will come!

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Anniversary of The Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history. He was invited to speak at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg.  Not only is the speech famous, it is also very brief. Generations of schoolchildren have memorized the 272 words.

Gettysburg-AddressThe small town of Gettysburg had witnessed the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. The three day battle (July 1-3) with Robert E. Lee commanding the Army of Northern Virginia and George Meade commanding the Army of the Potomac resulted in about 50,000 troops killed or wounded. The battle ended Lee’s attempts to invade the North. The area still had unburied bodies when the day of the ceremony arrived.

The orator of the day was Edward Everett whose speech lasted about two hours. The day after the event Everett wrote to Lincoln commenting, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” Lincoln didn’t dwell on the Union victory. He emphasized the principles of the Declaration of Independence as the reason the war was being fought.

Writing the Gettysburg AddressLincoln at Gettysburg.The Syosset Library has two excellent books focusing on Lincoln at the ceremonies at Gettysburg: Martin Johnson’s Writing the Gettysburg Address and Garry Wills’ Lincoln at Gettysburg.

 

One of my favorite research sources is the Library of Congress which provides a wealth of information. The documents from the Library’s special 1995 exhibit on The Gettysburg Address are digitized. They include the invitation from David Wills to Lincoln to attend the ceremonies (and an invitation to the President to spend the night at the Wills’ family home), drafts of the Address, and the only known photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg, below.

lincoln at gettysburgLincoln is the hatless figure just to the left of center.

The Chronicling America database of digitized newspapers can be searched to see the press coverage in different states.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

 

Try Out Some Lynda.com Courses

lynda-com-logo

Knowledge when you need it 24/7.  Just use your Syosset library card and you can access over 2,900 courses. Try one of the new courses in Lynda.com.  Here are three interesting courses to choose from:

iTunes 10 Essential Training Course

iTunes 10 Essential Training takes an in-depth look into the popular music and media hub from Apple. Author Garrick Chow demonstrates how to perform the core functions in iTunes: playing, purchasing, sharing, and streaming content. The course also covers specialized features such as setting parental controls, syncing with iPods, subscribing to podcasts, listening to Internet radio, using the Genius feature, the Ping social network, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.

Productivity Tips for Web Designers Course

Productivity Tips for Web Designers is the weekly series for web designers who want to enhance their design, software, and freelance business skills and streamline their workflow. Whether you’re new to web design or working professionally as a seasoned designer, you’ll discover techniques that can help you become more proficient at your craft. Tune in every Thursday for a new tip on topics including typography; SEO; design software like Illustrator, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver; and web coding in HTML and CSS.

Up and Running with Constant Contact

Discover how to use Constant Contact’s email-marketing solution to design smart-looking emails and send them to just the right audience. John Arnold shows you how to set up a Constant Contact account and start adding and updating lists and contacts. Then he guides you through creating your first email with the built-in templates and adding your own design elements. Finally, you’ll learn how to schedule your first email mailing—and cancel scheduled emails before they’re sent.

– posted by Alisa, Reference Services

Try Out Some Lynda.com Courses

lynda-com-logoKnowledge when you need it 24/7.  Just use your Syosset library card and you can access over 2,900 courses. Try one of the new courses in Lynda.com.  Here are previews of three new courses to choose from:

Computer Literacy for Mac Course

Learn the ins and outs of your Mac.  Understand the terms and techniques in clear and easy language.  How to choose between a laptop and desktop computer, how to use your computer to open, create, edit and save files.  Learn how to connect printers, scanners, external storage devices and Bluetooth enabled speakers.  Connect to a network for Internet access, sending and receiving emails, and searching for content on the Internet.  Learn the basics.

Foundations of Acrylic Painting Course

You’ll follow a progressive step-by-step approach covering beginner and advanced acrylic painting methods, from underpainting and glazing to impasto and textural effects. This course will cover materials and set up, color mixing and pigment choice, brush handling and palette knife techniques, and gels and mediums, giving an essential introduction to the wide properties of acrylics.

Writing a Marketing Plan Course

This course will help business professionals write and leverage great marketing plans. Learn how to assemble a team to create the plan, analyze an existing market, and break down the plan’s components into focused sections (strategical, tactical, and budget sections of the plan).

– posted by Alisa, Reference Services

AtoZ World Travel Database

AtoZ world travel

The AtoZ World Travel database is now available on the Syosset Public Library’s website:

  • Contains Over 200 World City Travel Guides
  • 60+ Topics for Each City Including City Guides, Attractions, Travel Essentials, City & Regional Maps & Transportation
  • 56 World Travel Resources including World Dialing Guide, Emergency Resources, Living Abroad Information & Money Saving Tips

For access visit www.SyossetLibrary.org. The AtoZ World Travel database can be found under Research > Articles & Databases.  Type your library barcode in where it says Library Login and start planning your next vacation.

-posted by Alisa, Reference Services