Become an Activist of Kindness!

The U.S. National Holiday of Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17th, but February is a long ways away. And now, more than ever, we need some acts of kindness to brighten our day. So instead of waiting for February, let’s make everyday kindness day!

Random Acts of Kindness | About Us

Random Acts of Kindness bring joy to the receiver and spread positive vibes throughout the community. There are even some good health benefits to being kind! (Science says so!) Spreading kindness can decrease our stress levels along with our anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. It can boost our energy level, make us happier, and prolong our lifespan by 44%! One of the most important things about kindness is that kindness is CONTAGIOUS! Doing just one random act of kindness can create a domino effect and reach thousands.

So get out there and challenge yourself to perform 1 random act of kindness EVERYDAY! You’ll be amazed by the results.

Check out some of these great books and resources that are sure to motivate and inspire:

https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ : The official website of Random Acts of Kindness. This site has everything you need to get inspired do spread some kindness at home, school, or work.

Pete the Cat's Groovy Guide to Kindness: Dean, James, Dean, Kimberly, Dean,  James: 9780062974020: Amazon.com: Books
As an ebook, Pete the Cat has a lot to offer in the ways of spreading kindness. From sharing, to lending a hand, to showing compassion, Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Kindness is sure to get you groovin’ to the beat of kindness.

Check out the day-to-day kindness suggestions for the month of September. Then, click to find the rest of the months.

Amazon.com: Esther the Kindness Fairy (Friendship Fairies #1): A Rainbow  Magic Book (1) (The Friendship Fairies): 9781338157673: Meadows, Daisy:  Books
Read how Esther, Kirstie, Rachel, and all the other Friendship Fairies come together to show a bit of kindness to the coldest person out there….Jack Frost.

https://kindness.org/ : This site brings kindness to you and shows you the benefits. It can help educate and inspire you to always be kind.

Best Kindness Books for Kids, as Chosen by Educators - WeAreTeachers
This moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference or at least help a friend.

Let’s Fly a Kite

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman? No, it’s a Kite!

Kites – Earth Toys

Kites come in all shapes and sizes and dance through the sky to a music all their own. They are a childhood favorite that leaves a sense of nostalgia in us. But, as we get older we tend to forget how it feels to have the wind on our face, the string between our fingers, and the sense of joy we get as we dare our kite to go higher and higher in the sky.

Kite flying can be fun, relaxing, and benefit your health. In a 2015 article written for the Health Fitness Revolution magazine, kites are said to promote exercise, improve your mental well-being, help with your eye and neck muscles, and boost creativity. So, grab a kite or try your hand at making one with library staff, August 4th. Registration is already in progress. And, don’t forget to check out our some of these great eBooks on kites below. They are a great way to boost your brain power and earn prizes for the Summer Reading Challenge. And who knows, you might find your next favorite!

Eric Carle & Lois Ehlert

On May 23rd and 25th we lost two great authors, Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert. Each with their own talents, touched the lives of so many over countless years.

Lois Ehlert entered the hearts of so many preschoolers with her cut-and-paste shape collages that formed beautiful, eye-popping illustrations. Join us in remembering her through the many books she illustrated and authored through the years.

Eric Carle used vibrant colors and familiar things from nature such as a Very Hungry Caterpillar who ate it’s way through our hearts, as well as, 1 apple, 2 pears, 3 plums, 4 strawberries… He will be remembered through the years with the many books he has left us.

Bugs!

Summer is here and so are the bugs! All 983 of them or at least that’s how many live in the state of New York. But in the whole world, there are roughly 10 quintillion bugs!! Here’s what that number looks like in case you were wondering: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000. And, to put that into perspective there are 200 million bugs for every ONE of us!

Carpenter bees drilling holes in our decks and houses, spider crickets hopping into our houses, butterflies flying from flower to flower, ants forming trails to our crumbs, and flies as big as birds are buzzing around our heads. But, as much of a nuisance bugs can be, humans wouldn’t be able to survive on this planet without their help. They do everything from pollinating our crops to cleaning up waste to generating $57 billion in revenue for the U.S. economy. What bugs do for us and the health of the planet is pretty amazing.

The Nine-Spotted Ladybug

This rare spotted beauty is the official New York State bug and can be found on the endangered species list. If you do get to see one, it is probably on its way to its next meal of tiny plant damaging insects like aphids, mites, and leaf hopper larvae. Did you know that a ladybug can eat up to 60 aphids in a day? Add that to all the other bugs it eats over its 2 year lifetime and that’s almost 5,000 “yummy” bugs. No wonder gardeners love these guys!
Do you want to help this species of ladybug get off the endangered species list? Then head over to The Lost Ladybug Project website to find out how YOU can “Save the Day!”

Ladybugs are definitely a sight to see and their story is pretty cool too! To discover more fun facts about ladybugs check out these books on Hoopla or check out the MyLibby app or any Suffolk County Library while we are closed for construction.

The Carpenter Bee

Ever hear that loud buzzing noise above your head? That’s the sound of a carpenter bee looking for its next home. They can be a huge nuisance to your house and your trees by drilling holes for their nests, but that’s it. They are actually great pollinators for our flowers, veggies, fruit, and other plants. Carpenter bees do a better job at pollinating then the other bees. Their special buzz pollination benefits plants by getting them to produce greater quantities and larger fruit and/or veggies.

To get to know more about bees in general, fly over to Hoopla, the MyLibby app, or another Suffolk County Library for these fun books:

For all those other creepy crawlers and the people that study them (entomologists), the shelves of any Suffolk County Library are crawling with them….books that is! Discover the amazing world of bugs with us today!

How Do Things Work?

Have you ever looked at a car and wondered how it works? Or maybe how your toilet works? How about your body? And just how does a plane stay in the air? The world is an interesting place and the things that occupy it are even more interesting. Lucky for you, we have lots of books that explain and describe just how things work! You name it, we’ve got it.  To get you started, here are a few interesting titles for you to choose from.  But there are plenty more on the shelves to satisfy your curiosity.

Take a ride through the toilet,
the plumbing, and the sewer system
to find our just how
everything works.
Take a look at all the incredible and diverse things your body can do! With cut-away illustrations and hands-on diagrams, you are sure to have a good time learning just how your body works.
From true stories and biographies of real
scientists and engineers to exciting diagrams 
and illustrations, accessible explanations, 
trivia, and fun features, 
this book explains it all!
From the engine that provides the power and
wings that lift the plane off the ground to the
cockpit controls and passenger cabin, see how
these modern marvels work and what makes a
plane stay in the air.
Detailed drawings that show mechanical parts and cut-away illustrations that show how the parts are assembled and work together. This book is sure to reveal just how a car moves.

A Tribute to Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary was the most beloved children’s author in the United States and all over the world. Her books have been published in 29 different languages, so children everywhere could enjoy her relatable, humorous, and inspiring stories.

She started out as a children’s librarian and after years of struggling to find books her young patrons could identify with and hearing her young patrons ask: “where are all the books about us?” Beverly Cleary decided she would write children’s books with characters that children could relate to. Characters such as Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, Beezus and Ramona Quimby, Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse have delighted children for generations and hopefully more to come. She believed that “kids deserved books of literary quality” and that is exactly what she set out to do when she wrote her first book in 1950, Henry Huggins. Henry Huggins is about an ordinary boy, living an ordinary life with his friends, family, and his dog Rigsby. Based off of Beverly Cleary’s own life as a child and the neighborhood kids she grew up with, Henry Huggins is a delightful story with humorous adventures that any child can relate to.

As a child, I was enamored with Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby books…as was everyone else I knew. She was the first Junie B. Jones! Ramona and her big sister Beezus were first introduced in Henry Huggins in 1950, but by 1955 the two Quimby sisters had their own book and the children were loving it. Then, by 1968 Ramona Quimby debuted in her own book series and Beverly Cleary has been receiving critical acclaim and awards ever since. Another series I enjoyed greatly by Beverly Cleary was The Mouse and the Motorcycle and when it was adapted into a movie…oh boy was I ever excited! I remember watching it over and over again at home and in school. Teachers loved showing this movie in class and they still do!

In her 49 years of writing books, Beverly Cleary has won numerous awards and honors for her books. Awards such as the John Newbery Medal in 1978, ’82, and ’84, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in 1975, the National Medal of Arts in 2003, and the 35+ state-wide awards based on votes from her young readers. And in the year 2000, Beverly Cleary was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. You can also find tribute to her at, formerly named, Fernwood Grammar School, where she attended as a girl, who officially changed the name in 2008 to Beverly Cleary School. There is a sculpture garden at Multnomah County Library that features statues of her beloved book characters and a Resident’s Hall at University of California named after her.

Although her passing on March 25th of this year was heartbreaking, Beverly Cleary lived a long and plentiful life. She filled the lives of so many children with books about them! She made reading exciting and touched so many. Her stories will live on for generations to come.

April is Poetry Month

Inspired by the success of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, the Academy of American Poets came together to form Poetry Month in 1996 to celebrate the art of poetry in all its forms. Appreciating the history behind it and the lives of poets that inspired it, Poetry Month helps cultivate a new generation of poets.

Poetry provides children an opportunity to develop crucial reading and comprehension skills. Chanting a poem over and over again can be fun, especially when you add some moves to it. What moves can you add to this fun poem?

For the full poem check out My Shadow on Hoopla.

Over the years, Poetry Month has become one of the biggest literary celebrations in the world. Schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets all take time to teach, discuss, learn, read, and write this wonderful literary art form. If you want to join in on the celebration then take a look at this list of things to do.

  1. Check out our poetry section, 811, in the library and look for books like the ones below:

2. Join a virtual Poetry Program at the New York Public Library They are celebrating with poetry discussion groups, open mic hours, trivia, poetry writing workshops, poetry readings, and so much more. There is something for adults, kids, and teens.

3. Write some of your own poetry and share it with family and friends. If you need help getting started…the library has an e-book for that!

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. Now, more than ever, girls need inspiration to help build up and motive themselves. Women’s History Month commemorates all those who have contributed and made a difference in American History and every year since 1987, we have been celebrating all that they’ve done and continue to do. The National Women’s History Project recognizes and promotes these women by providing information, educational materials, programs, and choosing themes each year to mark the beginning of Women’s History Month. Themes like 2020’s when we honored Women who fought for voting rights or in 2009 when we honored Women for taking the lead to save our planet. You can find a full list of themes for Women’s History Month here.

This year the theme is being extended from last year, “Women for Vote,” since the Pandemic put a stop to many of the celebrations. The organization is determined to recognize and celebrate the important roles of multicultural suffragists and voting rights activists…their voices will not be silenced! The honorees are:

Here, at the library, we can help you recognize and learn more about these ladies and the Women’s Suffrage Movement both past and present. “Ask a Librarian” on our website, peruse our catalog online, or come in and we’ll direct you to the books you need.

Click for books, e-books, & audio books!
Infobase Publishing - American Women Leaders and Activists, Second Edition

It’s Time to Read!

The cold weather is upon us and the Pandemic is still here. Now, is a great time to be reading to our children. There are so many wonderful stories to share and your library has them all. Whether it be on the shelf or an eBook, you’ll be sure to find one that sparks their imagination and transports them to a world of their own.

If you need some help looking for read-alouds then check out our Reading Recommendations link on the Kids and Teen page. There, you will find a list for Children and Young Adults.

The Children’s list has links that will lead you to clickable book graphics on various topics such as Books for 1st graders, Dinosaur, Kick Butt Princesses, Science Fiction, and so many more.

The Young Adults list has topics like Horror Reads, Travel Fiction, LGBTQIA YA Fiction, and more.

Another great place to look is the TumbleBook library site. TumbleBook Library is a database of children’s e-books. It includes unique animated, talking picture books, read-along chapter books, national geographic videos, non-fiction books, playlists, books in Spanish and French, and even Graphic Novels!

And, if all else fails you can Ask a Librarian! We will be more than happy to suggest a book or two.

My current favorites are:

The Ultimate Survival Guide to Bedtime Monsters: Frost, Mitch, Parton,  Daron: 0760789294365: Amazon.com: Books
We Don't Eat Our Classmates: Higgins, Ryan T., Higgins, Ryan T.:  9781368003551: Amazon.com: Books
Amazon.com: Bink and Gollie (9780763659547): DiCamillo, Kate, McGhee,  Alison, Fucile, Tony: Books

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.