January is National Braille Literature Month

Braille is a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who can not see. Some people may think that braille is another language, but it is not. The American Foundation for the Blind, state that braille is a universal code that is written for many languages. Letters, numbers, and even punctuation marks are represented by raised dots that are arranged in a cell or rectangular block with only 6 dots allowed in each cell. Sixty-four combinations of dots are possible.

Since its development in France by Louis Braille in the nineteenth century, braille has become an essential part of communication for those who are blind. And, thanks to technology its development in literacy has opened up many avenues for braille users. There is the slate and stylus, which is the equivalent to paper and pencil; the braillewriter; and portable electronic braille devices that have braille embossers for hard copy prints.

The library offers 15 different braille printed children’s books as well as nonfiction books on Louis Braille, Helen Keller, and How to Read braille (for the sighted). The Blindness Resource Center for the New York Institute for Special Education contains various resources for braille literacy and the blind, if you are interested in learning more about braille, or if you have a friend or family member that is blind and wish to know more on how you can further assist them. The New York Public Library houses a number of books in braille, as well as various resources that will enrich, assist in learning, and empower the blind of all ages. Another great resource for blind children is Braille Bug. Braille Bug is a website developed by the American Federation for the Blind for children learning to read Braille. The website has information about the Braille language for children, parents and teachers. It provides information about Louis Braille and Helen Keller. And it has free games and puzzles to help children learn to read Braille.

If you’d like to learn more about Braille, visit us at the Library or start a chat on our website. We’ll be more than happy to provide you with online resources and books.

Read Local, Explore Local!

Local authors are popping up all over and Long Island is no stranger to these promising authors. Many of their books can be found on the shelves right here in the Lindenhurst Memorial Library, especially in the Children’s Department. These books inspire so much more than your imagination… they spark a need for adventure. And lucky for us, Long Island can accommodate that need. Here, I will pair local children’s authors and their books with local outings that you can enjoy every day of the week.

Long Island Authors Group (LIAG)

In this book, local author Dorothy P. McPartland introduces the reader to the simple joy of wishing on stars and all the questions one might have when making those wishes. Each page is adorned with beautiful, hand-painted illustrations done by the author. This book will certainly get you in the mood for some star gazing and wishing. Montauk Point State Park is a perfect place to lay out a blanket, enjoy the sound of the waves, and gaze up at the stars for some night-time wishing. If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at the stars then head over to the Vanderbilt Planetarium in Centerport. There, you can watch a scripted show about the stars and the Galaxy they reside in or enjoy the rooftop observatory where you can get a closer look at the stars through their telescopes. *Due to Covid-19 restrictions, please check their website for showtimes or call before going.

The Tree I See by Robert J Mascarelli, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

This is a great book on teaching the importance of friendship, sharing, and awareness to others emotions. With life experiences in treating and caring for patients, author Robert J. Mascarelli was inspired to write this story of a tree who represents all who feel scared, isolated, or without hope. The story is a great reminder that no matter how tough life can be, there are so many loved ones that are there for us. So reach out to someone you care about and reserve some time for them by enjoying the simple beauty of nature. Long Island has so many great spots where you can go to take walk or bike through without the hustle and bustle of life. Massapequa Preserve is just one of those spots which offers 432 acres of quiet forests where you can walk or bike the trails. With flowing streams, active wild life, and a lake with beautiful vegetation and waterfowl, you are sure to find your peace with your inner self.

Amazon.com: Trouble Times Three (9780972257640): Krapp, JoAnn Vergona,  Blair, June H.: Books

This book is the ultimate local book. It is set on Fire Island and features the Lighthouse, the Ocean Beach Historical Society, and all the history and life that makes Fire Island. Trouble Times Three3 brings the reader on a wild treasure hunt with three friends at the Fire Island Lighthouse. It also leads the reader into a mysterious case of who stole the gold medal from the Ocean Beach Historical Society. Can you solve the mystery before it’s too late? Fire Island is only a ferry ride away and with restrictions to cars it makes it the perfect place to get those steps in. It’s also a great way to spend the day immersed in the Islands rich history thanks to the Ocean Beach Historical Society, enjoying the coastal foods at local eateries, shopping at unique shops, and enjoying the many beaches. Don’t forget to stop at the Lighthouse while you’re there and walk the steps to the top for an amazing view of the island and who knows…maybe there really is a hidden treasure.

The Iceberg Sea - Children's Picture Book - Best of 2017: Rob Mascarelli,  Frank Grau Jr.: 9780998412504: Amazon.com: Books

Here, is another book by local author Robert J. Mascarelli that emphasizes the importance of friendship and family. The journey begins when a young penguin finds a lonely iceberg desperate to find his family whom he was separated from. Thanks to an unlikely friendship between the penguin and the iceberg, along with several other arctic animal friends, the two set off into the Arctic waters to find Iceberg’s family. Although there are no icebergs around here and the Arctic is a bit far to travel to, you can visit the Long Island Aquarium for a fully immersed encounter with their penguins. There you can get a behind-the-scenes experience and learn as much as you can about how those adorable penguins live. You even get to see the penguins up close…perfect for a quick photo opportunity. * Covid-19 restrictions do apply so check online or call the Aquarium before going.

Gifting during a Pandemic

Gift giving is a big part of our lives especially during the holiday season. We get together with friends and family for holidays and special occasions to celebrate and exchange gifts. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, gift giving needs to look a bit different. Precautions need to be taken to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Social distancing and mask wearing is a must and with so many people still without work, gifts look a bit different… they have become more meaningful and from the heart.

Kind Words

In my daughters 2nd grade class, instead of grab bags with treats and toys, they are writing letters to their friends. Kind words to express how grateful you are to have someone as a friend can go a long way and mean more to them than any store-bought gift. So grab some paper, a pencil or pen, and some stamps and envelopes because this kind of letter is meant to be mailed. Don’t have stamps, then stop by the Post Office or its website where you can pick out stamps that fit your personality or one to match the holiday you are celebrating.

You can stop by the library and pick up a few calligraphy books to help make your letter look “fancy” or thumb through a thesaurus to find a word that’s just a bit more “exciting” then the one you were going to use. And, if you want to go even farther with your letter you can either personalize your envelope by adding swirls and various drawings or fold your own by using simple origami/paper folding.

Handmade Envelopes: 3 Ways - Welcome To Nana's | Recipe | Handmade envelopes,  Diy envelope, Cards handmade

Personalized Gift Boxes

Creating a gift box that is as unique as the person you are making it for, is the perfect way to celebrate this holiday season from a far. There are many different places online that will customize a box just for you and mail it off with no hassle. But, if you’re feeling a bit crafty or working on a budget then find a box and start filling it up. There are so many good ideas on Pinterest to help get you started on how you can personalize the box…inside and out. Use wrapping paper to cover the inside or scrapbook paper. Create little sayings that only you and your loved one would laugh about. Add stickers and pictures to personalize it even more. Then fill the box up with nicely wrapped gifts, colorful tins or jars filled with yummy homemade treats, and holiday candies that will delight their taste buds.

Celebrate Through Video

We’ve all become very familiar with the use of video calling these last few months thanks to the Pandemic. Video calls can be a great way to celebrate the holidays together. Invite friends and family to a virtual cookie bake where you all meet via video in the kitchen and bake your favorite cookie recipes with each other. Or snuggle up on the couch with a warm blanket, some hot chocolate, and a holiday movie with your friends and family via video. Not sure how to video chat. Call the library at 631-957-7755, to schedule a one on one appointment with a librarian to walk you through it.

A New Halloween

Halloween is upon us and with the continued lingering of Covid-19, many of us are unsure of what to do with our little ghouls and ghosts.  The risks of walking the neighborhood or going to Trunk or Treats are very real.  Social distancing, sanitizing, mask wearing, and even candy gathering are some of the challenges that this very social holiday brings. 

But I say, don’t get discouraged and let there be Halloween….just not like we’re used to.  You don’t need to walk the neighborhood and get pillowcases full of candy for it to be Halloween.  In fact, the very first Halloween didn’t even involve candy or costumes…well maybe not the kind of costumes that we think of.  Halloween wasn’t even called Halloween!  It was first known as Samhain, then All Hallows or All Saints Day.  Just like its name, the holiday went through several stages before it became what we know it as today.  

Halloween dates back almost 2,000 years ago, where Celtics celebrated the end of the harvest season and the dead.  They would build big bonfires and wear animal-like costumes to honor their dead.  When the Romans seized the Celtic lands, they combined the celebration with theirs adding Goddess’s to honor.  Then, the Christians adopted the holiday to honor and pray for the souls of the dead.  They walked in parades, built bonfires like the Celtics, and dressed up like angels, saints, and devils. When the tradition arrived in America,plays were added along with ghost stories. As time went on costumes changed and children started to dress up and go from house to house for treats. Halloween as we know it came into effect around the 20th Century.

If you need more facts about Halloween and its history check out these great books in the Children’s Library:

So, instead of trick or treating this year try something from the past like building a bon fire and telling ghost stories. Or, you can try one of the suggestions below to help you and your family get into the Halloween spirit.

Zoom Halloween

Why not “Zoom” into a Halloween party? Invite all your friends and family to join you for a very spooky party…virtually. Halloween backgrounds from Unsplash.com can easily be used to add an extra spooktacular touch to your party. Make sure you don’t forget the costumes so you can host a “Monster Fashion Show” for all to “ooooo & ahhhh” at. And what would a party be without music and games? You can stop by the library to pick up a copy of Kidz Bop: Halloween Hits! or Halloween Party cd to help get your Monster Groove on.

As for games, there are tons of Halloween themed Bingo sheets that you can print online along with ideas on what other types of games you can play virtually such as charades, Simon Says, a Haunted Scavenger Hunt, and Ghost Bowling.

“Boolicious” Dishes

For dinner time, make hot “mummy” dogs with ghost-tators or “eyeballs” and spaghetti with black lemonade. Then for dessert you can whip up some Spider-chip cookies or a Graveyard cake with marshmallow ghosts and skeleton bone candies. And if that’s not enough, you can stop by the library and check out one of our Halloween Cookbooks for more creepy dinner and snack ideas.

Halloween Movies

Halloween wouldn’t be the same without a “bone-chilling” movie feature and with Covid-19, this is a great way to spend the holiday. So grab some “bewitched” popcorn and bubbling witches brew and head to the couch or your favorite chair to enjoy a Halloween film-fest. Here at the library you can find many family-fun movies that are sure to bring a smile and maybe even a shiver down your spines.

Spooktacular Crafts

Making Halloween crafts at home is a great way to get the family together. One simple idea that can help spread some Halloween fun is making Ghost Greeting Cards. These cards can definitely bring a spooky surprise to all that you send them too. If you have an empty vegetable can or soup can you can add some paint and turn it into a Frank-Can-Stein. And with all those toilet paper rolls laying around, mummy’s can be made or even a Bat Mobile. For more spooky ideas come to the library and check out one of our many Halloween Craft books.