Tag Archives: travel

The 4th of July

The Fourth of July. Normally, the words just slip out of my mouth with little thought. But recently I was at the Fire Island National Seashore. Did you know that the home of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence is right here? The house is operated by the National Park Service as part of the Fire Island National Seashore.

The Floyd family was on Long Island in the 1600s. By 1724 Nicoll Floyd had begun construction of the “Old Mastic House”. Nicoll’s son, William, who inherited the house, was active in local politics representing New York in both the First and Second Continental Congress. On August 2, 1776 the 41-year-old William Floyd was the first NY delegate to sign the Declaration of Independence. Of course, this caused his family to go into exile in Connecticut while he served in the Continental Congress. When the war ended and he returned to Long Island, he found his estate ruined and his house unlivable. William Floyd soon handed over the Long Island estate to his son, Nicholl, and moved to Oneida County. The house has been expanded over the years and has welcomed such luminaries as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The family continued to own the property until 1976 when it was given to the NPS.

The house itself is open for guided tours….but the grounds can be explored for free. There are several outbuildings to be seen and the family cemetery which includes the graves of several family slaves.

On this celebration of our 231th birthday there are many locations where you can experience and celebrate the early founders of our country from John Adams’ home in Quincy, Massachusetts to Washington’s Mount Vernon and Jefferson’s Monticello to James Madison’s Montpelier. But you don’t need to travel to far off Massachusetts or Virginia (or other places). Just drive to Mastic Beach!

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services


Reading Your Destination

Before we know it, summertime will be here and some of us will be taking off to other places on our vacations.  Maybe to another continent , maybe to somewhere else in the United States or maybe  to a beach closer to home.  Wherever you might be going –  why not get in the mood with a book whose setting is the place to where you are headed?

Here are some suggestions for books that take place in a few destinations far and wide.  If your vacation spot isn’t mentioned here, come into the library and ask a librarian to suggest some books especially for wherever your fancy is taking you.  And if you’re staying home, come in anyway and find a book that can take you anywhere you wish!

If you’re going to …Italy

The Food of Love by Anthony Capella

Enchanted by Italy’s rich culture, first-time American visitor Laura finds herself falling for the handsome Tomasso, who woos her with magnificent meals and hides the fact that shy, enamored Bruno is actually the chef.


If you’re going to… Australia

The Dry by Jane Harper

Receiving a sinister anonymous note after his best friend’s suspicious death, federal agent Aaron Falk is forced to confront the fallout of a twenty-year-old false alibi against a backdrop of the worst drought Melbourne has seen in a century


If you’re going to …Alaska

Every Body on Deck by G. A. McKevett

Eagerly accepting a security detail job on a luxurious Alaskan cruise to protect a famed mystery writer, Savannah Reid tackles a particularly dramatic case when her charge inexplicably flees the ship and is killed in a suspicious accident

If you’re going to …Japan

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

In early 1900s Korea, prized daughter Sunja finds herself pregnant and alone, bringing shame on her family until a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and move with her to Japan, in the saga of one family bound together as their faith and identity are called into question.

If you’re going to …Scotland

The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine

Leaving a strained marriage to return to her ancestral home in Scotland, Hetty discovers human remains beneath a basement floorboard and uncovers the century-old story of an unfaithful painter and a wife who went missing under mysterious circumstances.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services




Lake Reads

canandaiqua lakeI just got back from a week at Canandaigua Lake. While reading and enjoying the beautiful scenery, I started thinking of all the wonderful books that take place on a lake.  Here are some of my favorite books that are great lake reads:

Crow Lake Crow Lake * –  Mary Lawson   In the rural farm country of northern Ontario, the lives of two families–the farming Pye family, and zoologist Kate Morrison and her three brothers–are brought together and torn apart by misunderstanding, resentment, family love, and tragedy.

Inn at Lake DevineThe Inn at Lake Devine  –  Elinor Lipman   When her mother receives a notice about a Vermont inn that caters especially to non-Jewish guests, Natalie Marx becomes obsessed with the once-restricted, family-owned resort and wangles an invitation to join a friend on a vacation there.

Lake ComoLake Como –  Anita Hughes   After walking in on her fiancé cheating on her with her boss, Hallie Elliot escapes to Lake Como in Italy where she becomes involved with a mysterious estate caretaker with a dark and secretive past.

Lake of Dead LanguagesThe Lake of Dead Languages  – Carol Goodman   Returning to the Heart Lake School for Girls as a Latin teacher to start a new life with her daughter, Jane is haunted by past tragedy and terrifying memories when she begins receiving menacing messages.


*available for Book Club in a Bag                        All summaries from the publishers.

This article appeared previously in The Book Club Insider, July 2016     

-posted by Evelyn, Readers’ Services

Special Collections of the Syosset Library

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In this large library we have numerous special collections. The first floor caters to the popular items and includes the “Stars” the hottest new dvd’s and books.  It also houses our “World Languages Collection”, “Large Print” and “Oversized Pictorial books”.  Cookbooks and Travels books are located on the main floor.  In the back by the elevators is my favorite, our Art Gallery, which changes monthly.

Our second floor fiction area has some interesting collections.  They include “New Adults” for the 18 to 25 crowd, “Crossovers” fiction enjoyed by teens and adults alike and “Adult Graphic Novels”.  And of course our “Staff Picks”, the favorite books of SPL staff.

On the third floor, home to non-fiction books, has “Health Reference Center”, “Business and Career Area” and books for computers and digital devices.  We also have a display for recent non-fiction, currently including some of the best non-fiction for 2015.  The third floor has the Teen Space and our new “Creation Station”.

-posted by Betty, 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


The Star Spangled Banner and the War of 1812

star spangled banner actual

This has been an incredible year for anniversary celebrations: 100 years since the start of World War I, D-Day’s 70th anniversary,  50 years since the Freedom Summer and  the signing of the Civil Rights Act (as well as the arrival of the Beatles in the United States) and 25 years since the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Somehow the War of 1812 and its significant events 200 years ago get lost in the shuffle. PBS has an informative video about the War of 1812.

WhiteHouseBurning 1812In April 1813 the Americans captured and burned the Canadian city of York. In August 1814 the British retaliated by burning Washington, DC. We all have heard of the tale of First Lady Dolley Madison saving the portrait of George Washington. A month later was the Battle of Baltimore. Perhaps the memory of that is Francis Scott Key and his composition of the Star Spangled Banner. (A quick history refresher: Key was an attorney sent to negotiate the release of a prisoner of war aboard a British ship in Baltimore Harbor. He was detained aboard ship when the bombardment started. He wrote the poem the following morning when he saw that the American flag was still flying over Fort McHenry. The poem was popular immediately but not recognized by Congress as the national anthem until 1931.)

fort mchenry under siegeThe flag has survived! It is housed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Before the museum acquired the flag it was kept by a private family. The family snipped pieces of the flag to give to dignitaries and relatives. If you visited the museum years ago, you might remember that each hour the flag was raised and lowered as patriot music played. Well, years of hanging and rubbing against an opaque screen made more holes in the flag. In recent years the flag has undergone intensive conservation and now is displayed in a specially designed dimly lit room. It is pretty impressive. Check the Smithsonian’s interactive flag display.

star spangled banner handwrittenYou could make a nice road trip to celebrate these historic events. Key’s original manuscript  is entrusted to the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore (it is sometimes on loan during this bicentennial).







fort mchenryThen visit Fort McHenry  to see where the flag inspired Key hung. And finally go to D.C. to view the recently preserved flag itself.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Go Wild!

national parks service logoThe National Park Service is the guardian of the nation’s historic sites and wilderness areas. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, wild and scenic rivers and trails. The Service is celebrating National Parks Week April 19- 27. This year’s theme is “Go Wild”

In 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant signed a law creating Yellowstone as the world’s first national park. This act set aside from development or settlement more than two million acres in the Montana and Wyoming territories  to be “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Then in 1906 Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act which  began as an effort  to protect the prehistoric cliff dwellings, pueblo ruins and early missions in the Southwest.  The National Park Service was formed by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

Even though our closest NPS site, Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill, is closed for major rehabilitation, the grounds and the Roosevelt Museum are open for visitors. Fire Island National Seashore provides wonderful outdoor opportunities. Or you can head into NYC and visit the African Burial Grounds, the Statue of Liberty or the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace.

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As you plan your summer travel, be sure to check out the suggested itineraries on the Service’s website. These road trips take you along routes to explore history, archaeology and culture.

If you are more of an armchair traveler, check out the series of DVDs the Syosset Public Library owns on the parks. And, of course, there are many books available.

If you are serious about traveling you might want to buy the annual pass for $80. The senior pass is a real bargain: for those over age 62 the cost is a one time fee of $10! Look at the other passes on the website before you travel.

The National Park Service now oversees more than 400 sites. You can check them here.  You can search by type of site or by location.    There is really something for everyone! So “Go Wild”!

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services