Tag Archives: reference

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 Public 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 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 the beginning of this adventure!  You might find that you are hooked. Happy ancestor hunting!

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Need Something To Do? Help Index the 1940 US Census

Do you have some spare time this summer? Do you want to be involved with a worthwhile, interesting project? You can do this at your own pace, on your personal schedule, right from home!

I am talking about being a volunteer indexer for the 1940 US Census. You might have heard that the census was released in April after the legal wait of 72 years. But when it was first released, you could search the records only if you knew the address of the person. There was no name index. So the call went out for volunteers to compile a name index.

I gulped and figured I would give indexing a try. It is not hard at all!  The tutorials are plentiful and straightforward and there is additional help through email or phone. First you have to download some software and then you can choose the state you want to index. I have been doing Ohio since that is where most of my family lived. Each batch is only 40 names and it does not take long. That is if you stick to the simple task of indexing. But I get curious and look at the relationships, the occupations and even salaries. I imagine the person interviewed smiling in pride as he or she discusses the new baby or detailing where the family lived five years ago. And I wonder if the Great Depression played a role in the family’s lifestyle or marriage plans.

Go ahead and try it out! If you are not yet interested in genealogy, this might be the introduction you have been waiting for.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services



The Syosset Public Library has acquired Global Road Warrior, a world-class e-content database offering country-by-country information on 175 nations and territories, as a free service to patrons.

The database features information segregated into over 90 categories from business to travel essentials, embassies/consulates and health and medical, and includes over 6,500 color photos and 1,575 maps. Topics include country facts, society and culture, money and banking, business culture, communications and more. Created by an international team of researchers, cartographers and writers, the database is continually updated.

Global Road Warrior is proving valuable to multiple educational disciplines and promotes cross-cultural understanding through comparative studies. Business people engaged in international trade, students researching country reports and patrons planning international travel all will find what they need within this site.

With Global Road Warrior, you can find accurate world data and become a roving globetrotter without leaving your desk. Using this database is like getting a ticket for a trip around the world. Our library is proud to offer this rich, colorful content.  To grab your boarding pass, visit the library website  or contact the Reference Services Department at 516-921-7161 x217.

– posted by Marianne, Reference Services

Genealogy 101

Wednesday September 22, 2:00 PM

Please join the Syosset Library Reference Department for “Genealogy 101” a program on getting started with genealogy research. Learn how to begin to record your family history, and learn about the many resources available through the library to help you build your family tree.

This program is free:  All are Welcome!

– posted by Barney, Reference Services

Learn a New Language

The Syosset Public Library just subscribed to a fun, fast and easy language learning program called Mango Languages.  Mango is an easy and effective way to learn to speak a foreign language. The best part it is FREE for Syosset Public Library patrons and you can access it anywhere there is an internet connection.  Mango is available in two versions, to suit users with different needs:

Mango Basic is perfect for a foreign language beginner. It teaches everyday greetings and helpful phrases.  The courses, which require only two to five hours to complete, are currently available in 22 languages (including Hindi, Hebrew, Italian, and Korean) and 14 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses (including Chinese, Korean and Polish).

Mango Complete offers a 100-lesson course that is designed to provide a more complete understanding of the entire language and culture. It is available in nine foreign language and three ESL courses. Foreign language courses include Chinese, French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.  ESL courses include Polish and Spanish.

To learn more about Mango contact the Reference Department by email (splreference@syossetlibrary.org), phone (516-921-7161 x217) or just drop by.  Or get started by going to http://www.syossetlibrary.org/worldlanguages.php and click on the Mango Languages link.  You’ll be asked for your library card barcode.  Then choose your language and start!  You’ll learn a new phrase before you even know it!

– posted by Marianne, Reference Services

Seniors and the Internet

Recent research has shown that using the Internet is good for you! This is especially true for seniors. A study by the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies has shown that seniors who use the internet are less likely to suffer from depression. The internet allows them to continue to connect with others even when they cannot easily meet in person.  And this recent study by scientists at UCLA indicates that surfing the Internet increases brain function.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project regularly examines and reports on Internet usage. Their recent findings indicate that 43% of people over the age of 65 use the Internet.

Here at  the Syosset Public Library we would like to help everyone get familiar with the online world! Come to the third floor and sign up for a class or sign up online. We tailor one-on-one classes to your needs and interests.  Whether you need to learn how to use a mouse or how to use our databases, we can help you.

~ posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Keeping up with changing credit card laws…

On WalletPop, a blog found on AOL’s finance pages, Kimberly Lankford of Kiplingers.com had a very timely blog post about the new credit card law, and how it affects you. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 was signed in May. Some changes will not take effect until February 22, 2010, but some are effective on August 20, 2009.

Credit card statements must be mailed now 21 days before your due date, and companies must notify you 45 days before they can raise your rate. But these rules are also causing creditors to change their policies. Read those disclosure statements that come in the mail. Interest rates, balance transfer offers, and minimum payment levels are all being changed at a rapid pace. If you hold balances on your credit cards, this is a good time to take a hard look at your accounts.

WalletPop is one of many blogs with financial information that you can read online.  If you need help finding information from trustworthy sources on the Internet, contact the Reference Department.

Posted by Marianne, Reference Department