71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751

T: 631-581-5933

F: 631.277.8429

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751
T: 631-581-5933
F: 631-581-8429

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751

T: 631-581-5933 

F: 631-581-8429


Archive Monthly Archives: March 2016

Young woman holding stack of books

Not All Teen Books Are The Same: Sometimes They Are Overlooked

There are so many Teen books to choose from, books are sometimes overlooked for various reasons because they are labeled as being the same old teen literature. Teen Angst, Quick, Dystopian, Fantasy series etc…

They sometimes stay on the shelves, just ready to be discovered. Some books that are really good that you may never have heard of are titles that you will make you laugh, cry, become open minded, imagine, learn something new, be empathetic, or just go on a journey to another place and time.

Some titles I recommend that are different than the typical genre are titles that have a lot of flare and touch on so many subjects.

We should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly a True Story, by Josh Sunquist. Twenty-five years old and still single why? Never having had a girlfriend, Josh was actually under his impression that he had been in relationships. Why was [Paralympic ski racer and cancer survivor] Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girls he had tried to date since middle school and asked them straight up: what went wrong?

The results of Josh's semi scientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured from a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided 'grand gesture' at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love--or at least a girlfriend--in all the wrong places.

Another often overlooked book is The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin.

It’s written like a piece of journalism. After Addison Stone, a talented street artist, mysteriously drowns, her former teacher investigates her death. The book itself is a compilation of the teacher’s findings, relaying what happened to Addison through interviews with Addison’s friends, which are interwoven with pictures of both Addison and her art.

It gives the impression that something bad is going to happen because all of the characters are fictional, it is a rare glimpse into New York art scene, fame and mental illness. This book is just not about what happened to Addison Stone it is also about who Addison Stone really was.

It's not just a Historical Novel , but Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, is about Missouri in 1849 and life on the Oregon Trail. This is Part Adventure, about friendship and overcoming odds and forging friendships in the least expected places. Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician -- not an easy thing if you're a girl, and harder still if you're Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hope of fulfilling her dream and, instead, leaves her fearing for her life.

With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. Life is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the lighthearted crew turns out to be unexpected allies.

Some other titles you may never heard of that are great reads:

2016 Academy Awards Debate

Movies & More: The Academy Award Category Debate

Should the Academy Awards keep the best male and female acting awards separate or combine them into one best acting category?

As the host, Chris Rock skewered the Academy Awards for the lack of black nominees but it was one particular comment that opened my eyes to this very question. Chris Rock implied that the Academy Awards could create an award for the best black actors because they already have separate awards for the best male and female actors.

He went on to say that there is no justification to separate the awards by sex, explaining that acting is not a sporting event and that men and women have the same acting abilities, therefore there could be an award for black actors all the same.

I do not believe that Chris Rock really wants to create a separate award for black actors, he had another strong monologue about having more opportunities for black actors, which I think was his main point. But he has a valid argument about the irrationality of having separate awards for men and women.

So my question is, should we have separate awards for men and women?

In a discussion with my colleagues opinions varied but most of them believed the awards should be kept separate. Many of them said that the tradition of the Academy Awards should triumph the proposed changes but this excuse is always used to keep the status quo, when there are worthy changes they should be made. The next reason given was that women wouldn’t win as much, I should mention that my colleagues in this discussion were all female and I do not share this notion.

Also, it’s important to mention that this is the exact reason why Chris Rock said the Oscars should create more categories, to ensure diversity amongst the winners.

Should we create more awards to ensure that we have a diverse group of winners? Or should we make sure that prejudices do not change the outcome? Perhaps, we should ensure a diverse group of judges.

Another point that was mentioned to keep the status quo was that the Oscars need the excitement of a broader array of awards. I actually believe the Oscars would be more exciting by narrowing it down to just one actor or actress. The buzz around such an award will only grow with more competition.

Just think, who had the best performance, Leonardo DiCaprio in the Revenant or Brie Larson in Room? Even better, who would win from the 2013 Academy Awards, Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln or Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook? By narrowing down the award to one person you create more excitement.

If I still have not convinced you that there is no justification to having separate awards, I would ask you this, do you believe there should be separate awards for the best male and female directors, or is that just silly?

Jackson's Commack Review

The Daily Pickle: Dine In Or Eat Out – Comfort Food from Jackson’s In Commack

What do you do when you’re stuck in the house during a blizzard? You cook! But you don’t just cook any meal. You make warm dishes that warm your heart, body and soul.

I’m talking about comfort food. This type of weather gets you a free pass on your diet, right? Do you know anyone that stocks up on kale right before a storm? Warm and delicious comfort food is the essential pick me up meal when things get frigid.

Here is my pick for one of the best restaurants on Long Island that makes unforgettable comfort food and a few of our best comfort food cookbooks.

Jacksons, located on Jericho Turnpike in Commack is a delicious gastropub with superb food and a vast beer selection. They have a bar area with its own seating for small groups and a separate dining area that has comfy booths and tables to accommodate larger groups.

There are chalkboards throughout the restaurant that proudly display their extensive beer selection along with stats for each beer such as the type and alcohol content. Jacksons always has a 3-course price fix for $26.95 that includes almost everything on their menu, it’s a smart way to sample the menu and save a few bucks.

My personal comfort food favorites from Jacksons are the Hawaiian BBQ Spare Ribs (served with roasted sweet potatoes, coleslaw and a pineapple relish), Pearl's Southern Fried Chicken (served with cheese fries 'n gravy, coleslaw, buttermilk biscuit), and Nashville Hot Chicken (a spicy-fried half chicken, served with hot sauce, fries, coleslaw and pickle chips).

For a warm and savory appetizer I’d suggest the Pan Crisped Dumplings, French Onion Soup or the Fried Pickles. A few other notable items on the menu are the Korean Steak Tacos (served with pickled veg, cilantro, sriracha), and Pecan Crusted Chicken (served with brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes and bourbon gravy), and Bourbon Street Jambalaya (chicken, shrimp and andouille sausages served with plantains, peppers, onions and creole rice). If you want to pair your meal with a beer their wait staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

Want to tackle comfort food in your own kitchen? Try some of these cookbooks from three of my favorite tv chefs:

  • Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food by Jamie Oliver
  • Carla's Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World by Carla Hall (co-star on The Chew)
  • Emeril's Potluck: Comfort Food with a Kicked-Up Attitude by Emeril Lagasse

​All of these books and more can be found in our collection.

What are your favorite comfort food dishes? What restaurants do you think hit the comfort food mark? Let us know in the comments below.

Our Brand Is Books

Our Brand Is Books

In the February 15, 2016 issue of Publishers Weekly, I read a short piece entitled, “Librarians: Stop the Book Shaming.” The author, Brian Kenney, maintains that librarians have increasingly become “like shame filled smokers standing outside of office buildings – apart, a little embarrassed and slightly defensive.” In a time when the media tells us more technology is better, and that traditional print books will be replaced by downloads in the form of ebooks and audiobooks, some librarians may feel it’s become old fashioned to sing the praises of traditional paper books. Yet, I find that most of our patrons still prefer the traditional book. This is not to say that ebooks and audiobooks are not popular – they are, especially for those who are frequent travelers. No one can dismiss the convenience of having multiple books, magazines, and newspapers loaded onto one small device. Still, most of our patrons seem happy to leave with several books in their book bags. Maybe they’ve got a fully loaded Kindle as well, but they still love traditional books.

Recent statistics show that there is a growing trend back to printed materials - even independent bookstores are making a comeback! According to the American Booksellers Association, the number of member independent bookstores has increased more than 20 percent since the depths of the recession, from 1,651 in 2009, to 2,094 in 2014. A report in February 2015 showed that the number of ABA member independent bookstores had increased 27% since 2009. E-book sales are actually now on the decline, while the sale of physical books is on the rise. To what do we attribute this trend? While many readers love the feel, convenience, and dare I say, the scent, of printed books, another reason for the uptick in the popularity of independent bookstores, appears to be the need for human connection. In an age when so many interactions have become automated, people crave more face to face interaction with other people. Many of our patrons enjoy the library as a destination place – a place to go and be with other people - have a chat, sit in our café area with a cup of coffee, and check out a book (or few) that’s been recommended by a live person! Independent bookstores and public libraries have much in common, the big difference being that at the library, the only reason to open your wallet is to take out your library card!

Which do you prefer? Books, ebooks, audio books? Do you like downloads or do you prefer the physical object? Do you like coming to the library just to be among other humans? All of these choices are yours at the library. Come in and check out some materials, or go online from our website and download materials onto your device. Whatever you choose – keep reading! An educated and informed populace engaged in civil discourse (even when we disagree) is the backbone of our democratic society. The public library, with its free access to both, is still the best place to continue your lifelong learning!

Our brand is books!

Star Wars audiobooks

Explore the Galaxy of Star Wars Audiobooks, Library Force Users!

Are you sick of it yet? Are you done hearing, reading, and dreaming about Star Wars? The Movie? The T. V. shows? The books?

Well, just to heighten your insanity, let me introduce you to the Star Wars Audiobooks and two fantastic voice actors, Marc Thompson and Jonathan Davis. (Mr. Thompson and Mr. Davis did not pay for this review; we like to be transparent!)

At one point in time there was something called the Star Wars Expanded Universe (or EU for short). These were books and other media, like comics, that were officially licensed by Lucas film and presented a larger picture of the Star Wars Universe that to most of the uninitiated public was just seen in the Original and the Prequel trilogies. This history went back 40,000 years and forward 10,000 years. Many famous (to Star Wars fans) Jedi and Sith came from the EU including Ulic-Qel Droma, Exar Kun, Darth Revan, Darth Bane, Darth Malgus, Nomi Sunrider and more recently Darth Plagueis and Quinlan Vos.

Then, in 2014, Lucas film was purchased by Disney and the EU was relegated to Star Wars “Legends” status, which may or may not mean that those stories never happened. Anyway we are supposed to ignore them if anything that does not agree with them is now published or filmed.

So far most of the novels, comic books and audiobooks that take place before the seven movies don’t really conflict in storyline, but much of the material that followed Return of the Jedi does not use the timelines or characters established in The Force Awakens. If you are a purist, this may or may not bother you.

However, some of the released audiobooks are still amazingly exciting and are worth a listen. And of course, if they were released after 2014, they are considered canon, meaning they take place in the universe created in the movies. Sorry, original trilogy fans, midiclorians still exist.

Most of the Star Wars audiobook productions are lavish when compared to other audiobooks in that they use sound effects, voice effects and the music written by John Williams for the movies. They also have some of the best voice actors I have ever heard in audiobooks. Marc Thompson and Jonathan Davis are standouts. Both are incredibly talented in mimicking the many voices of Star Wars; Obi-Wan, Yoda, Darth Vader, the Emperor and others. They display great talent in their portrayal of a character’s emotions from one scene to the next. You feel as if you are watching a movie when listening to their performances and they really add a sense of adventure to the stories that is missing from many audiobook productions. In my own personal opinion, Marc Thompson is a master of voices. He is able to switch dialects between characters in dialog, and he presents the established voices of heroes convincingly. He also is good at playing young characters. Jonathan Davis can really instill a sense of menace in the evil dark lords and Sith lords he portrays in many books. Check out Marc Thompson reading the Jedi Council meeting in “Dark Disciple” and Jonathan Davis relaying the menace of Snoke's voice in “The Force Awakens”.

Here are some links to our catalog Listings for Star Wars Audiobooks. Enjoy and may the Force be with ya!

Read by Marc Thompson

Read by Jonathan Davis:

Other Fine Readers:

Full Cast Productions:

Why is my computer so slow

My Computer Used To Be So Much Faster!

All I’ve heard from my dad since he upgraded to Windows 10 is “my computer used to be so much faster.” He said the same for the previous upgrade, Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Computers are a great tool when they perform to our expectations and we’re all a little too familiar with the frustrations of technology. Well Dad, you’re not alone. If your computer seems to be running slower since installing Windows 10 or just generally running slowly, take a look at these simple steps to enhance your computer’s performance.

1. Startup Programs

Your computer has programs that will start running automatically as soon as the computer boots up. Each program will slow down your computer’s startup time and may continue to slow down your computer after startup. When you review these programs, think about what really needs to run at startup. You should notice your antivirus software listed here; that is an acceptable program to have running on startup.

To review startup programs, right-click the start button and select ‘Task Manager’ or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. On the Task Manager window, select the tab labeled Startup. This will provide you with a list of all the programs that start automatically when you turn on your computer. The startup impact column will give you an idea of how each program affects your startup speed. To disable a program on startup, right-click on the program and select ‘Disable’. If you’re not sure what the program is, right-click on it and select ‘Search online’ to figure out what it is. You can always go back and re-enable the program. This will not remove the program from your computer; this just stops the program from running when your computer starts up.

2. Power Options

Take a look at your computer’s power options, especially if, you have a Windows laptop. Windows computers typically come preset to some sort of energy-saving mode. Microsoft seems to think that you will prefer an energy-saving mode over a speedy computer. Energy-saving modes do have their benefits but, if your computer’s performance is poor, try setting your computer to high performance. This will use up your laptop’s battery faster but, there’s nothing more frustrating than watching the loading icon spin and spin and spin to no end.

To check your power options, right-click the start button and select ‘Power options’ or use the taskbar search and type in ‘Power options’. Change your power plan to ‘High performance’. You may have to click on the drop down arrow to the right of ‘show additional plans’ to see the high performance option.

3. Performance Options

Windows 10 comes loaded with a bunch of visual effects that can hinder performance on older/slower computers. Newer computers shouldn’t be affected by this, however, if performance is poor, try turning off visual effects to increase your computer’s performance.

To turn off visual effects, right-click the start button and select ‘System’ or use the taskbar search and type in ‘System’. In the windows left pane, select ‘Advanced system settings’. On the System Properties window, select ‘Settings…’ under performance (first option). On the Performance Options windows, select ‘Adjust for best performance’ to turn all visual effects off. Select ‘Apply’, then ‘OK’ to save settings.

4. Remove Adware, Bloatware, & Malware

Windows 10 may not be the cause of your computer’s poor performance. Your computer may be affected by adware, bloatware, and/or malware. You may have picked up some of this while on the Internet and some of it (adware & bloatware) may have been installed by your computer’s manufacturer. Removing this software can have a huge impact on your computer’s performance as it will free up your system resources.

To begin, start with running your security software such as Norton Security, Bitdefender, TrendMicro, AVG, Avast, etc… to scan your computer for viruses, malware, and adware. It’s recommended to use a second program such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free version will scan and remove threats) to see if anything was missed by the first security software.

Once that is completed, you can move onto removing bloatware. First, let’s understand what bloatware is. Any program that came with your computer can be considered bloatware if you don’t use it. It’s mainly there as an advertisement from companies hoping you will subscribe to their service after a free trial period. Removing software you don’t use can increase your computer’s performance. For example, your computer may have come with programs and apps such as, Hulu, Netflix, Skype, Blio, Snapfish, Sprint Mobile broadband, etc. If you use these - no problem. If you don’t, you need to remove them. Just because you don’t use it, doesn’t mean it’s not going to affect your computer’s performance.

There are a bunch of free programs available to assist you with removing bloatware from your computer. Highly recommended software from multiple computer/technology magazines are ‘PC Decrapifier’, ‘Should I Remove It?’, ‘Decrap’ and ‘Slim Computer’. Just as it was with the adware & malware scanning, it’s recommended to run more than one of these programs to make sure some bloatware wasn’t missed by the first scanning program.

Have any questions? Did you try this?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

SAT Tips

Tips for Taking the S.A.T.

  • Gather Materials- The night before the test make sure to have all materials that will be needed on test day including admission ticket, photo ID, #2 pencils, a calculator, and a healthy snack.
  • Locate the Test Center- Make sure to check out the location of the test center before the big day. On the big day, give yourself plenty of time so you can arrive early.
  • Don't Cram- The best thing to do the night before the SAT is to get a good night's rest. Don't stay up late trying to cram more information into your brain.
  • Eliminate and Guess - If you don't know an answer, don't leave the answer blank. It is better to eliminate answer choices that you know are wrong and then take your best guess from the remaining answer choices.
  • Look for wrong answers instead of right answers.
  • Plan your essay; outline main points
  • Make your essay at least two pages long
  • Always write an introduction and conclusion
  • Vary your language and style
  • Check out some materials we have at the Islip Library: SAT study books and DVDs.
SAT prep classes begin at the Library in April. Sign up begins on Saturday March 5!
teen tech week

Celebrate Teen Tech Week With Us!

Teen Tech Week is when libraries make the time to showcase all of the great digital resources and services that are available to help teens succeed in school and prepare for college and 21st century careers.

Celebrate Teen Tech Week with us, March 6-12, 2016, with the theme "Create it at Your Library.”

  • Download an ebook or audiobook from the libraryBlog about a library book or program.
  • Try out a book-focused website like GoodReads or LibraryThing.
  • Ask your librarian to recommend a nonfiction book on an area of technology that interests you.Add something to an article on Wikipedia.
  • Many young adult authors welcome email from their readers and many have their own websites, blogs, and Twitter/Facebook accounts. Send them a message in honor of Teen Tech Week!
  • Check out some video games, DVDs, or CDs from your library.
  • Create an avatar on Yahoo! Avatars.Come to a tech-related club at the library. Tech Club March 7; Tech Buddies March 11
  • Read and contribute to a blog about technology.
  • Watch some anime or start an anime club at your library.
  • Create a YouTube or Animoto video about your library or a favorite book.
  • Download a newspaper article from the day you were born from an electronic database.
  • Sign up for Tech Buddies
  • Learn how to DJ music or record music with a computer.
  • Search in a biography database for an article about your favorite musician.
  • Learn how to use some new software, and even create your own mobile app to submit for the Congressional App Challenge.
  • Create a database of something you want to organize.
  • Start a Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr account as a way to find and share content about a topic of interest to you.

​Visit the website: MakeItAtYourLibrary.org

Check out this magazine in the Teen section at Islip Library: Make: Technology on Your Time

music equals memory

Music = Memory

If someone should ask you to recite the alphabet, would you automatically sing it? Most English speakers in the United States were taught the names and order of the letters by the “ABC Song” (Honestly, don’t you find yourself singing snatches of it in your head when having to alphabetize something?). Words and music join together to imprint a lesson that is the basis for literacy. Just like pieces of Velcro, the music and the message become bonded.

The so-called “hooks” of songs are lyrics created for the purpose of insinuating themselves into our brain by being insistent, assertive, and having a catchy tune. Endless repetition is what creates “ear worms” and Top Ten Hits. In a darker vein, think of all the commercial jingles imprinted upon your mind by advertisers since childhood. Because the words are attached to a melody, the retention of information regarding a product becomes inevitable; think of Peyton Manning who can’t get that Nationwide jingle out of his head.

Many studies have been done regarding the use of music as a teaching tool. There are numerous websites that promote using music in the classroom as an aid to learning a variety of subjects and explain the rationale behind their methods (for instance, see www.songsforteaching.com). For generations, nursery rhyme songs have been used to teach children about the wonders of the natural world (“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”), along with cautionary tales about climbing hills and having an overlarge family (“Jack and Jill,” “There was an Old Lady”). At the same time, however, they are teaching phonological awareness by using rhyming words and stressing syllables, usually giving each a different note. This breaking down of language into discernable components aids in early literacy skills, such as sounding out written words, and building vocabulary. Best of all, this kind of teaching can take place in any setting, not requiring props or electricity. (Caregivers, who feel self-conscious about singing, take note: a child doesn’t care if you can carry a tune as long as you’re singing with them!) For a great sampling of songs beneficial and fun for young children, take advantage of programs given by the Children’s Department that implement music and movement.

At the other end of the spectrum, great strides have been made in helping people with Alzheimer’s regain a connection to the present world by listening to music from earlier times in their lives. Daniel Cohen, founder and Executive Director of Music and Memory (musicandmemory.org) has used iPods with personalized playlists to connect individuals suffering from memory loss to beloved tunes from their youth, creating a pathway by which individuals can regain a sense of identity. Just as a particular smell or taste can trigger a recollection, a song can bring back where you were and what you were doing at the time when you listened to it. By the way, you can learn more about this group via the Adult Reference Department here at the library.

Perhaps music aids in memory because it moves us emotionally. It can trigger a response that becomes indelibly linked with those words and melodies. It can recall a celebration or a tearful break up. It can remind us of friends and family. Music sets the tone for our various forms of entertainment, signaling the romantic kiss, alerting us to a frightening villain, or creating suspense for an inevitable denouement. We use it to soothe us, to rouse us into action (or a funky dance routine for us ex-disco queens), to stir our patriotism, to give praise, to clear our minds, to create bonds with others, to give us pure joy. With all that is still unknown about the brain and its relationship to our less tangible components (“soul,” “essence?”), music may be one key to unlocking the complexities of human cognition. It should be a memorable moment when and if it is found to be so.

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