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: February 2017

Social Media: What You Need To Know

There are many good reasons to be involved with social media. We can be connected to endless possibilities to learn, share, discover, and interact that weren’t possible in the past, but there are some downsides as well.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about social media and the effect it has on you:
  • Does it seem like social media is taking over your life, your job, your grades, your friendships?
  • Are you spending more time connecting online than interacting in person?
  • Are you seeing online bullying?
  • Are you a victim of online bullying?

There is a seemingly never-ending flood of emerging technologies, apps, and devices! Below are some links to explore. They may be helpful in learning how people of all ages are affected by social media. Check them out and tell us what you think!

Alternative Facts: How to Discover What’s Really True

What Do These Three Statements Have in Common?
Why They are Alternative Facts, Of course!

  • February has 31 days
  • 2+2=5
  • It never rains on Wednesdays

We seem to be bombarded with information at every moment. In addition to radio, television, and newspapers, the Internet feeds us information all day, and because we often choose sites that validate our own personal preferences, the news that is fed to us is increasingly one-sided! That’s why it’s so important to consult a wide variety of sources for news. Be on the alert for stories that “go viral” on social media like Facebook and Twitter. It’s easy to make a post look like the real thing, but it may be a complete fake.

It’s never smart to believe everything you read or hear. You need to check and see whether or not it is actually a verifiable fact.

Librarians always verify the truth of information - so should you. When librarians do research we choose authoritative (credible) sources and if we do enter something into Google, we never assume that whatever it turns up is accurate. In order to determine validity we go to the source. What is this website? Where is it coming from? Who is contributing to it? Is it maintained by people who can submit whatever they like? Is it a for-profit/commercial sight? If it is for-profit then obviously a profit is being made from what appears on the site, and the agenda and motives of the site’s contributors will surely be influenced by how much money they stand to make. When searching for definitive, reliable information on the Internet always look for a domain name that does not end in .com. Instead, look for .org (a nonprofit organization) / .edu. (an educational institution) / or .gov (a governmental institution) sites. Then, be sure to compare the information you find on the various sites in order to confirm accuracy.

Rather than searching the Internet, librarians often use sources such as subscription databases of newspapers, periodicals, journals, and reference books whose contributors are professionals and experts in their fields. Their work is reviewed by their peers for accuracy. When you see that a source is “peer reviewed” you know that accuracy has been verified, and verified again by trained professionals.

Becoming “information literate” requires applying these practices when consuming information. Information Literacy is comprised of: reviewing information in multiple authoritative sources; using your critical thinking skills to study the context and history of the issue; and in areas of controversy, reading a variety of opinions on both sides of the issue in order to draw your own informed conclusion.

Once upon a time in this country there was something called the Fairness Doctrine - a former federal policy requiring television and radio broadcasters to present contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance. The policy was challenged and ultimately revoked in 1987, after Congress passed a resolution instructing the FCC to study the issue. The explosion of talk radio in the late 1980s and early 1990s is largely a result of the end of the Fairness Doctrine. There are pros and cons surrounding the doctrine and its revocation, but the fact that it is now permissible for only one side of an issue to be presented as fact on radio and on television has certainly escalated the political rhetoric in our country.

One Internet source to use when verifying what you hear is www.factcheck.org Note that this site is a .org site indicating that it is not for profit. “Factcheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” That information is taken verbatim from their mission statement. The site is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The fact checkers themselves are all trained and experienced journalists. Journalists and librarians have something very important in common – we check and re-check multiple sources in order to verify information.

When a politician or a candidate makes a statement and presents it as fact, you should always check to see if it is really true. Don’t believe everything you hear! Be a critical thinker and learn to question everything.

A democratic society relies on educated voters who make informed decisions for the common good of the people. Libraries are the backbone of a democratic society because we provide free access to reliable information for everyone.

The catchy sound bites that are presented on newsy talk shows are designed to grab your attention and to tap into the basest of human emotions - fear and anger. Instead, use your brain to investigate and learn the facts.

The Library has many resources that are available in the building as well as from your mobile device or home computer. If you’d like help in accessing these resources call us at 631-581-5933 or stop by the Adult Reference Desk to speak with a librarian.

Be an informed citizen and voter – check the facts!

Islip Library’s Second Annual Volunteer Fair

Islip Library’s Second Annual Volunteer Fair
Monday, March 27, 2017 from 4 pm – 7 pm

On Monday, March 27, 2017 from 4 pm – 7 pm the Islip Public Library will host a second Volunteer Fair in the Library’s community room. Many local volunteer organizations will be in attendance - please join us! No registration is required. Last year over 100 patrons attended and 17 organizations participated.

If you are an organization and would like a table at our volunteer fair, you must complete an application. Please come into the Library and ask at the Adult Reference Desk, contact us by mail with information about your organization, or complete the application online now.

Social, Health, and Career Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering helps you make new friends and contacts:
One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.

Volunteering increases your social and relationship skills:
While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, since you are meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts.

Volunteering increases self-confidence:
Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose:
Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and purpose in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.

Volunteering combats depression:
A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy:
The physical activity involved in certain forms of volunteering—such as environmental projects in parks, nature reserves, or beaches—can be good for your health at any age, but it’s especially beneficial for older adults. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering has also been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease.

Volunteering can provide career experience:
Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. In some fields, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you’re interested in. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could be of benefit in your career.

Volunteering can teach you valuable job skills:
Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteer opportunities provide extensive training. Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community.

Open-Ended Play, A Necessary Part of Playtime

Large and small cardboard boxes, fabric scraps, bottle caps…although these items may appear to be destined for the trash, wait up! Children can utilize these items and engage their imagination in an experience called open-ended play.

Open-ended play includes utilizing simple items such as paint, water, blocks, clay, twigs, leaves, acorns and more. If you can create a different outcome with each play session, then it’s an open-ended experience. When there are no rules to follow, no problems to solve, and no expectations, your child learns to express patience, creativity, visualization, cooperation, and self-regulation.

Close-ended toys can only be used in one way, have a specific outcome, and have a correct answer. The Islip Library has puzzles and board games which engage closed-ended play. Many toys found in toy stores are close-ended. These are also important to your child’s development but remember to balance it out with open-ended play.

The train table in the Children’s Atrium has many individual train tracks, bridges and other parts in which your child can build a new set-up. Using her imagination she can build a new city each time she comes to play. Markers, chalk, crayons and paper are always available for your child to utilize and create a unique masterpiece during each visit. A container including cotton balls, socks, pipe cleaners and more can be found on the window seat in the Children’s Atrium. Encourage your child to use their imagination and create something with all of the items. You can assist your child by playing with them a bit to model the idea but be sure to pull back so your child can have his own playtime. Be an interested bystander and motivate your child to explore. You can even play alongside of your child. Be prepared to watch your child’s imagination blossom before your eyes!

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