Coding

What is coding? Coding is another term for computer programming or software programming. Coding is the method of giving instructions to a computer to perform a certain task. The instructions that you give your computer are communicated using a language that only computers can understand. These languages include visual blocks, Java, Python and C Learning.

Did you know that learning how to code can improve in your problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills? Did you also know that if you learn how to code it can give you more career opportunities in the future?

Here are some awesome websites that you can use that can help you learn how to code.

Scratch Ages 8-16 Free

Scratch is a free block coding website for kids, developed by the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is its own programming language and consists of graphical blocks that snap together. 

Code.org Studio Ages 4-14 Free

This website is a non-profit organization that has a series of four courses that teach computer science fundamentals. Each course is made up of a series of puzzles, videos, and activities that teach the principles behind computer science.

Blockly Ages 8+ Free

Blockly teaches programming principles and introduces JavaScript using a block-based programming approach.

GameBlox 13+ Free

GameBlox is a block-based programming site for making games online for web and mobile devices. It allows anyone to develop games that you can play online and on your mobile phone. 

Codecademy 13+ Free. A PRO track is available for a monthly subscription.

Codecademy offers a comprehensive set of text-based courses on web development and related programming languages. Codecademy courses cover how to build a website and a whole slew of related coding languages, including HTML & CSS, Ruby on Rails, Python, JavaScript, jQuery, SQL, PHP, and more. General access to Codecademy courses is free. The paid PRO track adds a personalized learning plan, quizzes, projects, and access to live advisors. 

Khan Academy 13+ Free

Khan Academy offers expert-created content and resources for free online courses and practice. For computer programming, Khan Academy has courses in JavaScript, Processing JS, HTML & CSS, HTML & JavaScript and SQL

VidCode 11+  Limited free access. Tiered annual subscriptions.

Vidcode is a coding website for kids that offers research-backed computer science courses focused on open-ended projects. Their courses teach computer science, object oriented programming, web programming, design, & JavaScript.

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.

Family Friendly Winter Activities

There are many fun outdoor family activities that you could do in the Fall, Spring, or Summer. However, during the winter months, it can be a little more challenging coming up with fun outdoor activities to keep your family physically active.

Here are some fun winter activities that you could do outside with your family if the weather isn’t too cold.

  1. Build a snowman building.
  2. Paint pictures in the snow using paint in spray bottles.
  3. Build a snow fort.
  4. Go sledding at Belmont Lake State Park or Heckscher Park.
  5. Make snow angels.

No snow? No worries. Take a hike or go on a nature scavenger hunt. Go to the beach. It may not be quite as fun as swimming in the summertime, but the beach is still worth a visit during winter! Fly a kite along the shoreline, climb rocks or dunes, explore tide pools, check out a lighthouse, watch the waves, or go rock/shell hunting.

When those winter temperatures do drop below freezing and the wind is relentless, bring the outside, inside! Try an indoor Family Game Night. It’s so much fun to get together with family and laugh the night away. Play board games, create an indoor obstacle course, play an old fashioned round of cards. The options are endless. You could even try your hand at cooking or baking. Whip up a batch of cookies or make a meal together. For some cooking ideas, check out our YouTube Channel.

Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, make sure you take time this winter for some quality fun with your family. Winter can seem never ending, but being active and sharing some laughs will certainly make the season seem cheery and bright. The start of a new year is the perfect time to try new things and start the year spending time with those you care about.

Novelist

Have you found yourself reading more lately? Have you tackled your to-be-read pile but now you don’t know what to read next? Don’t worry the library can help you find your next great read! Novelist is a comprehensive reader’s advisory database that helps you find exactly the kind of book you’re looking for!

Novelist works by tagging each book in its database with story elements. Story elements are the aspects of a book that may catch your attention. This could include appeal terms, themes, and genres. Besides liking a genre such as fantasy or thriller there are other things you might like about books too. Do you like when the book’s location takes place in a small town or busy city? Do you like when the characters are cynical or kind? Do you like to laugh when you read, or cry? 

Some of these story elements are key in helping you find your next read. Novelist allows you to search all of these things. You can even type in the search bar the last book you liked and find a list of books just like it! Below is a picture guide on how to get to Novelist.

School Resources for You and Your Child

This year, school looks very different. We are facing new challenges as parents to make sure our children receive the best education possible. Whether your child is doing homeschooling, virtual, hybrid, or in class learning, here are some great resources to keep handy.

Online Resources

The world wide web can be a tricky place to navigate. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what is best for your child. Here are a few websites that might help enrich your child’s learning process.

https://wideopenschool.org/

“Wide Open School helps families and educators find trusted resources to enrich and support distance learning. Every day students can access free, high-quality learning activities across subjects, all in one place. More than 75 partners and supporters have come together to meet the change in learning needs of students, teachers, and families due to the coronavirus pandemic”. -Wide Open School

https://www.khanacademy.org/

“Khan Academy is an American non-profit educational organization created in 2008 by Sal Khan, with the goal of creating a set of online tools that help educate students. The organization produces short lessons in the form of videos. Its website also includes supplementary practice exercises and materials for educators”. – Khan Academy

https://www.discoveryeducation.com/

“Discovery Education Experience provides engaging high-quality content, grab-and-go digital lessons, creative collaboration tools, and practical professional learning resources to give educators everything they need to engage all learners and create a lasting educational impact in any learning environment”. -Discovery Education

https://childmind.org/

“The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most”. – Child Mind Institute

Library Resources

Your public library is a great place to look for resources for your child. It can be a one stop shop for learning materials. Here are some great online databases that are available thru the Lindenhurst Memorial Library. All you need to access these materials is your library card.

On demand, anytime, anywhere eLearning includes: homework help, 24-Hour Writing Lab, and live tutors in math, science, reading/writing, social studies, PSAT/SAT, ACT, AP and state standardized tests.

Fosters understanding and appreciation of the world’s countries and peoples by creating and publishing concise, reliable, and up-to-date cultural content. Today the CultureGrams series is one of the most trusted and widely used cultural reference and curriculum products in the education, government, and non-profit arenas. In Library Link.

World Book Online Reference is your source for electronic encyclopedia, dictionary and atlas entries; as well as educator tools and resources.

Looking for help can be a daunting task. We here at the Lindenhurst Memorial Public Library are always here to help you. Contact us via phone, email, or chat with your questions or concerns.

https://lindenhurstlibrary.org/

Real Life 101: Car Repair

A million years ago when my Aunt was a teen, they used to offer auto shop in high school. Then it shifted to Boces and only kids who were really interested could apply for the class. But, you had to give up all of your specials like art, music, home & careers and specialty science classes. You were told if you didn’t take the classes at Boces your dad would teach you how to take care of your car. My dad definitely taught me useful skills. I can tape, plaster and paint an entire apartment and if hard pressed could rent one of those giant sanders and refinish hardwood floors with help, but he definitely didn’t teach me how to check my oil or change a tire.

A friend taught me how to jump start my first car (a nifty corolla sort of like the one in the pic), check my oil, check my tire pressure and change my windshield wipers. He also taught me never to buy a car the first year they change their electrical systems or the first year of a new make and model because there will always be glitches.

I really wish I had been better prepared to take care of my car when I first started driving, but if my Dad had tried to show me; I’m not sure I would have given him the time of day. Sometimes teens just don’t want to hear things from their parents; so to that end I wanted to share a couple of resources you and your teen can look at to figure out how to take care of their car.

For beginners there is the How to’s….Car Edition playlist from the Dad How Do I? Youtube channel. A man who grew up without a father created all these repair and tool guides for other kids who don’t have someone that can teach them these skills and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Those that are already comfortable with the basics and want to figure out how to do more advanced repairs should definitely check out our Auto Repair Source Database. It has all kinds of information including step by step repairs. Check out our tutorial on how to use the database here.

If you want to be really fancy you can check out ProDemand next time you’re in the library. Prodemand is in libary use only: with it you can use the database that pros use to estimate and figure out jobs.

What other skills do you wish your teen was learning to prepare them for living on their own or going off to college? Let us know in the comments so we can help you help them prepare!

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.

Diversity in Picture Books

Hi everyone! This is Miss Jeanna. As a children’s librarian and mother of two little ones, I see a lot of picture books and stories created to transform the lives of small children. Stories that explore concepts or creativity. Stories that delve into fairy tale and folk lore. I see illuminating stories of fantasy and serious slice of life tales.  

With such a rich variety of stories to choose from, why then is there less variety when it comes to children’s book characters? I look at the children who visit the library, and the children who attend my programs, and even my own children, and I think of the value of seeing themselves in these stories. Representation matters. 

Thankfully there are many authors who introduce diverse characters into their magical worlds. Below are some of the best picture books featuring diverse characters. Stop by the Lindenhurst Memorial Library to pick up some of these books or ask a librarian about other diverse titles to enjoy.

Parenting Resources at the Library

Even the best parents in the world need a little help sometimes. Did you know that your local library can help you out with everything from adventurous activities to homework assistance? Below are a few resources you can find at Lindenhurst Memorial Library to help keep everyone entertained and educated. 

  1. Books, movies, DVDs, and more: While you likely already know what type of material the library has to offer, you may not realize the extent of it. We have books for babies, early readers, and chapter books. We have graphic novels and audio books. We also offer a huge collection of DVDs, video games, as well as devices like Hotspots, Starlings, and Launchpads. Additionally, we have a large Parenting Collection of current Parenting books. 
  1. Adventures Await: Looking to get out of the house? Why not explore Long Island by reserving a Museum Pass from us? Follow this link to learn more: Museum Pass Program 
  1. Homework Help: When homework piles up it can be tough on everyone. Let the library help you! We have FREE and LIVE tutors ready to help your child learn. Users can get free tutoring for math, science, reading/writing, social studies, and PSAT/SATs/ACT/AP and standardized tests. You can also submit homework questions, request essay feedback, and much more! Interested? Check it out here: Brainfuse eLearning