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


All posts by Mark Irish

Email Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts to Follow Before You Hit Send

In this constantly changing, fast-paced tech world, we can sometimes forget how important proper email etiquette is. Technology has engaged teens especially, with positive fast-paced interactions. Unfortunately, many negative effects can result from not using proper email etiquette. What is appropriate with friends in emails and on social networking sites may not be appropriate when looking for a job, applying to college, or conversing with someone in authority. Being correct in your email correspondence is key to standing out.

Here are some tips for crafting appropriate email messages:

  • In an email, all caps is the same as shouting at someone. WILL YOU in caps means something different than will you in lowercase letters.
  • Use a clear and interesting subject line.
  • Check and proofread your message for grammar and spelling.
  • Be especially sure to check for correct spelling of personal names.
  • Always remember to say thank you in your emails, especially when asking for something.
  • Be specific in your email, details count.
  • Keep private material confidential.
  • Limit e-mail to one topic.
  • Don’t put anything in an e-mail that you would be uncomfortable sharing with the entire world.
  • Write the most important part of your message in the first sentence. Recipients often do not read the entire e-mail.
  • Limit the use of exclamation points.
  • Be careful when you hit ‘Reply All’ – you may not want to include everyone in the reply.
  • Use acronyms sparingly. Not everybody knows every acronym.
  • Use an e-mail signature and provide the best means of contact; too much contact information can be overwhelming to the recipient.

Check out the links provided below for more information:

Teen Read Week: Unleash Your Story

Teen Read Week: October 8-14, 2017

Teen books can change the way you see your surroundings and the world, and can help to open your mind to other people’s points of view. Sometimes you have set ideas about issues because you haven’t experienced them first hand. Characters in books can open you up to new experiences and challenges.

Teen books often explore difficult circumstances like bullying, depression, and challenging relationships or family circumstances, as well as the challenge of fitting in when you feel “different”.

Reading about other people and their stories helps you to be more understanding, empathetic, and compassionate. Want to be a better human? Yes! Who wouldn’t?!

Here are some great books to explore:
  • The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. (Alexie)
  • Speak. (Anderson)
  • Split. (Avasthi)
  • Hate List. (Brown)
  • North of Beautiful. (Chen)
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post. (Danforth)
  • Reality Boy. (King)
  • Saving Francesca. (Marchetta)
  • Say What You Will. (McGovern)
  • Darius and Twig. (Myers)
  • The Sky is Everywhere. (Nelson)
  • Before I Fall. (Oliver)
  • Winger. (Smith)
  • It’s kind of a Funny Story. (Vizzini)
  • Elsewhere. (Zevin)
  • The Book Thief. (Zusak)

Here Are Some Ways to Rediscover Your Library at Islip Public Library

Do you know that there are many other services the Library offers in addition to being a place to find books? If you think there’s no reason to go to the Library because you get your books/ebooks and answers from Amazon and Google you’re in for a surprise! Do you know how to find validated facts from respected authoritative sources? Do you want to borrow books for free instead of paying for them? There are so many services that the Library offers that are fun, enjoyable, and free of charge. Rediscover your Library! We are more than books - we are the hub of our community.

Here are some ways to Rediscover your Library

  • Learn something new by perusing our vast nonfiction book collection
  • Read a magazine, in paper, or through our online Flipster subscription
  • Read the newspaper
  • Get help with current technology
    (like downloading ebooks or audio books) or help with your smartphone with our Book a Librarian service)
  • Participate in a book club
  • Take in a concert or interesting presentation
  • Watch a free movie on our big screen and state of the art sound system
  • Research your family genealogy
  • Learn a new language with our free subscription database, Pronunciator
  • Check out travel books and dvds to plan your next vacation
  • See original works of art in our Gallery Hallway and in our Display Cases
  • Share your artwork or collection with us for others to view
  • Enjoy a comfy seat and some good reading in the cool a/c!
  • Enjoy a beverage in our café seating area
  • Update your resume by using one of our online resources and our computers
  • Print out your boarding pass, tickets, documents on our public computers
  • Print to the print station in the library from your phone or laptop even when you’re not in the Library
  • Get suggestions for your next book to read
  • Meet new people
  • Get discounted LIRR tickets through our bi-monthly group trip to NYC
  • Teens – check out group volunteer activities to earn community service credit
  • Take a computer class
  • Read for relaxation and escape
  • Attend a cooking or exercise class
  • Attend our Spanish/English conversation group
  • Borrow a museum pass or purchase a discounted ticket to a museum
  • Use the Brainfuse database to get help with homework from real live tutors
  • Play chess
  • Take a bus trip
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle
  • Watch the fish in our huge saltwater aquarium
  • Check out an audio book cd or music cd for your next road trip
  • Try out our new iPad
  • Check out a laptop to use in the Library
  • See how a 3D Printer works
  • Try out the Virtual Reality Equipment

There’s always something happening at the Islip Public Library. Be sure to check out our print newsletter. If you live in the Islip School District you should be receiving it in the mail every other month. You can always also access our newsletter and a description of our services online at www.isliplibrary.org. You can even get an advance copy of the newsletter by sharing your email address with us. Follow and like us on Facebook too!

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!

Internet of Things

By definition, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.

We are in the beginning stage of a new technological revolution that will change the way we conduct our day-to-day activities, heat our homes, communicate with each other, go to the doctor, drive to work, go on vacation, etc… Everything is going to change - even how we use the public library.

I did some research, and came up with some interesting tidbits on how the Internet and smartphones are going to be an even bigger part of our lives in the coming decade.

It is Going to Keep Happening Fast!

  • In 1990, there were over 300,000 desktop computers connected to the Internet.
  • In 2000, there were over 300 million desktops connected to the Internet.
  • In 2016, there are now over 2 billion mobile phones connected to the Internet

In 2025:

  • There will be 13 billion kettles, fridges, TVs, thermostats, security cameras, lights, smoke detectors and other things in your home connected to the Internet.
  • There will be 3.5 billion navigation systems, in-car entertainment systems, and other devices in vehicles connected to the Internet.
  • There will be 411 million wrist bands, shoes, glasses, watches, sports socks, clothing, and other wearable items connected to the Internet.
  • There will be 646 million heart rate monitors, body implants, pill bottles, blood pressure monitors, skin patches, and other devices in the hospital connected to the Internet.
  • There will be 9.7 buildings, street lights, traffic lights, water pipes, parking meters, pollution monitors, and more in the city connected to the internet

Here Are Some Positive ( IoT) Outlooks:

  • A wearable monitor could check on a baby and send notifications to the parents.
  • Reminders to take medicine could be transmitted from a pill bottle.
  • Activities could be tracked, senior or infirm family members could be monitored.
  • Smart thermostats will allow us to heat our homes more efficiently.
  • Smart outlets could let us check whether an appliance is on or off.
  • Lost items (keys!) could be tracked.
  • Homes could be monitored remotely and checked for broken pipes, intruders, etc.
  • Gardens could be watered.
  • Information sharing over the Internet will be effortlessly interwoven into daily life.
  • Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, wearable devices, and big data will make people more aware of their world and their own behavior, and will especially aid in health care.
  • The spread of the Internet will enhance global connectivity that fosters more planetary relationships and less ignorance.
  • An Internet-enabled revolution in education will spread more opportunities, with less money spent on resources.

Here Are Some Negative Outlooks:

  • The realities of this data-drenched world raise substantial concerns about privacy and the ability of people to control their own lives. The level of profiling and targeting will grow and amplify social, economic, and political struggles.
  • Dangerous divides between haves and have-nots may expand, resulting in resentment and possible violence.
  • Abuses and abusers will ‘evolve and scale.’ Human nature isn’t changing; there’s laziness, bullying, stalking, stupidity, dirty tricks, crime, and those who practice them will have a new capacity to make life miserable for others.
  • Pressured by these changes, governments and corporations will try to assert power as they invoke security and cultural norms.
  • Humans and their organizations may not respond quickly enough to challenges presented by complex networks.
  • There will be complicated, unintended consequences: We will live in a world where many things won’t work and nobody will know how to fix them.


Becoming a better student

18 Incredible Resources & Tips for Becoming a Better Student

On this page, I’ll give you a bunch of extremely actionable tips for becoming a better student. Enjoy!

  • Set realistic goals for yourself and write them down
  • Stick to a routine schedule
  • Get plenty of rest. The more alert you are, the better you absorb and retain information you learn during class.
  • Take advantage of the services the Library offers.
  • Stay after school for extra help when you need it.
  • Manage your time. It’s always better to work in increments rather than procrastinating until the last minute.
  • Learn how to take better notes.
  • Use a calendar to keep track of your tests and activities.
  • Join a club or sports team. Physical exercise keeps you energized and motivated.
  • Study with your friends or start a study group. When you study in a group setting you will learn by teaching, and when you explain concepts to your group members you will absorb the information more easily.
  • Work to stay healthy: eat nutritious foods, exercise, and sleep well so that sicknesses don’t keep you out of school.
  • Participate in class, and pay attention to questions your classmates ask.
  • Read something that interests you for 20 minutes a day - just for fun!

Use These Great Resources if You Want to Become a Better Student!

Listed below are some subscription Databases available to you (free) through the Islip Library. 

Access these through our homepage www.isliplibrary.org / click on Research

You can use these resources at the Library or at home (you’ll need your library card to access from home)

  • Homework Help: Interact with live tutors in math, science, reading/writing, social studies, PSAT/SAT, ACT, AP and state standardized tests.
  • Skills-Building: Brush up or catch up on a subject or skill with a live tutor
  • 24-Hour Writing Lab: Create a Brainfuse account and submit essays and other forms of writing for constructive feedback within one business day.
  • 24/7 Homework Question Center: Create a Brainfuse account and submit homework questions to be answered within one business day.
  • Foreign Language Center /Spanish-Speaking Support: Live help for your Spanish homework.

The Islip Library Teen Room provides a great place to study and do homework with your friends. There are 3 computers in the Teen Room for your use. If you prefer to use a laptop we have those too - for use in the Library. Our Mac laptops are available to run on a Windows operating system or the Mac operating system.

What to learn more?!

Attend this teen program: “Online Homework Help: Welcome Back to School” on Monday, September 12th, 7-8 pm at the Islip Library!

teen books

Why Parents of Teenagers Should Read Teen Books

More than 4,800 books are published each year to be marketed to a teen audience. Reading teen books is an opportunity to put yourself in your teenager’s shoes, and to learn more about challenging topics. Many of the stories are appealing and well written. Reading teen books may help you to remember being a teen yourself and so make you more empathetic to what your kids are going through. Teens are dealing with new adult challenges at the same time that they are striving to form their own identities. Teen books can help you start a conversation about a difficult topic, especially if you and your teen simultaneously read the same title – form your own mini book discussion! Though times have changed, many of the complexities are timeless. A famous quote by Socrates (469-399 B.C.) is a reminder of that:

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

Here are some suggestions of books to read – all are available at Islip Public Library:

Anderson, Laurie Halse


Bray, Libba

Going Bovine

Brown, Jennifer

Hate List

Chbosky, Stephen

Perks of Being a Wallflower

Forman, Gayle

If I Stay

Lynch, Chris


Myers, Walter Dean


Rowell, Rainbow

Eleanor and Park

Sepetys, Ruth

Out of the Easy

Woodson, Jacqueline

If You Come Softly

Bibliotherapy: angry teen

Bibliotherapy for Teens: Recommended Books

What is Bibliotherapy? It’s using books as a way of coping. In reading about others who are facing various issues, you can gain insight and understanding into your own challenges as well as into the challenges that your peers may be facing. Bibliotherapy can be helpful in understanding depression, substance abuse, anxiety, eating disorders, the death of a loved one, and many other issues.

Listed below are some books in our teen collection that might be of interest.


Anderson, Laurie Halse


Chaltas, Thalia

Because I am Furniture.

Flinn, Alex

Breathing Underwater

Anxiety/Mental Illness

Halpern, Julie

Have a Nice Day

Hautman, Pete


Viccini, Ned

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Body Image

Clayton, Colleen

What Happens Next

Crutcher, Chris

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

Friend, Natasha



Graham, Gardener

Inventing Elliot

Maciel, Amanda


Mathieu, Jennifer

The Truth About Alice


Christopher, Lucy

The Killing Woods

Hubbard, Jenny

And We Stay

Nelson, Jandy

I'll Give You the Sun


Marchetta, Melina

Saving Francesca

Schumacher, Julie

Black Box

Wittlinger, Ellen

Blind Faith


Burcaw, Shane

Laughing at My Nightmare

Steinbeck, John

Of Mice and Men

Sundquist, Josh

We Should Hang Out Sometime


Cohen, Rachel


Reinhardt, Dana

How to Build a House

Scott, Elizabeth



Burgess, Melvin

The Hit

Hopkins, Ellen


Koertge, Ronald

Stoner & Spaz


Green, John

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Johnson, Maureen

Bermudez Triangle

Levithan, David

Boy Meets Boy

Peer Pressure

Cormier, Robert

Chocolate War

Giles, Gail

Playing in Traffic

Flinn, Alex

Breaking Point

Self Esteem

Barson, K.A.

45 Pounds (more or less)


This Book Loves You

Rawl, Paige

Positive: A Memoir

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:

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!
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