The Patchogue-Medford Library is your source for preventing the summer slide from happening. Did you know that teachers spend an average of 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material that students have lost due to the summer slide? Reading 4 to 5 books during the summer can help students prevent low reading scores in the fall. Reading throughout the summer helps to keep reading skills fresh. The Library has summer reading clubs for all ages, from babies and toddlers through adulthood. Students who participate in summer reading return to school ready to learn, improve their reading skills, enjoy reading more, and become more confident in their reading skills. The key to having fun with summer reading is for students to select materials that they are interested in. Books, magazines, audio books, and e-books all count as READING. Another way for students to get the most out of summer reading is to talk about the stories they are reading. They can share stories they like with their friends and family. These people can support students by helping them to make sense of anything that seems unclear.
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
And we present this prestigious degree to…
Johannes Brahms, one of the most famous composers of the Romantic period, had a great body of famous and successful work, and it was only a matter of time before academia took notice and awarded him honorary credentials. But, caring little for such things, his academic credentials and awards were often shunted into a desk drawer and all but forgotten.
This attitude was to change slightly in 1880.
That year, he was offered the prestigious degree, Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Breslau. However, still sticking to his attitude, and true to form, he acknowledged this prestigious honor by mailing a penny postcard. But, it was gently hinted to him by a friend that Breslau deserved better; in fact, this friend urged him to compose a piece of music for the occasion.
So, amidst speculation and anticipation as to the form of the work he would eventually produce, Brahms set to work.
When the University finally heard the work, they were amazed. Brahms had tackled the task in a brilliantly obvious, ingenious way by putting together nothing less than a potpourri of old student songs, appropriately titled “The Academic Festival Overture”.
More, at the Library, about Brahms
- Electronically – Credo Reference
- Electronically – Biography Reference Bank
- Electronically – History Reference Center
Here’s our latest dispatch from the basement of the library. We have heard rumors that snow has recently fallen. This can’t be true can it? Obviously at this time of year the calendar says it’s Spring, so temperatures must be balmy and the spring flowers are in full bloom. We would love to smell the flowers with you, but as you know our contract prevents us from venturing upstairs to the outside world. We can only rely on our childhood memories of the outdoors.
We write today of a series of picture books from one of our favorite publishers, DK, short for Dorling Kindersley. They do publish a good number of picture books for children, as well as richly illustrated travel guides, but here we focus on their picture books series aimed at adults. DK in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution publishes a number of single volume works focusing on history, nature, science, travel and more. They tell us that in the days before Wikipedia and the Google, that there used to be printed books called encyclopedias that would tell you a little bit of facts and figures about a lot of things. That’s what these DK books are, an encyclopedic view of a topic. They don’t pretend to give you all the answers, but they do help you to broaden your knowledge of the world we live in and its history.
One of our most recent arrivals in the series is Natural Wonders of the World. In this book you can read about everything from Niagara Falls and the Everglades to the Kalahari Desert and the Siberian taiga. The total book is 438 pages long and each individual entry is a page or two long with a capsule description of the wonder in question with many National Geographic quality photographs and high quality drawings to accompany the text. This book emphasizes what a diverse natural world we reside in and illustrates not only wondrous places, but also the natural processes and phenomena that help shape the world we live in.
Another recent acquisition is Journey: An Illustrated History of Travel. We find this book to be right up our alley. Over 5,000 years of the recorded history of travel can be found in this volume. Here you can read all about the planes, trains, automobiles, boats, bicycles, balloons, stagecoaches, rocket ships and more that people have used to get from point A to point B. The earliest travelers with written records of their journeys were the Mesopotamians and the Minoans, but the Persians, Phoenicians and Polynesians were not far behind. Today, people are planning trips to asteroids and to Mars. In Journey you can also read about famous travel paths from the Northwest Passage to Route 66. Our favorite entry is the one for the “Hippie Trail.” Apparently in the 1960s lots of hippies hitchhiked their way from Europe to India to seek enlightenment. We remember that the Beatles did this to meet with the Maharishi. We think that the Beatles probably had a better travel agent than your everyday hippie.
Now a cynic or a smartypants would ask, can you cover the natural world in 438 pages, the history of travel in 440 pages, or even remarkable books in 256? Probably not, but we think having a wide knowledge of the world, natural or otherwise, is a good thing to have. That is probably what we like best about the DK/Smithsonian books. We enjoy them because to us they present reading as armchair travel. We try to travel and see and experience as much of the world as is possible, but know that we have neither the time or money to go everywhere we want. Like the National Geographic magazines of old, the DK encyclopedias can help us see the whole world from our small corner of it. They offer a nice perspective on life.
Some of the DK/Smithsonian books we have in the library are:
- Natural Wonders of the World
- Wildlife of the World
- Car: the definitive visual history of the automobile
- Civil war: a visual history
- Design: the definitive visual history
- Fashion: the definitive history of costume and style
- Journey: an illustrated history of travel
- Aircraft: the definitive visual history
- Music: the definitive visual history
- Remarkable Books
New Year's Eve, 1899. The dawn of a new century. Four Victorian gentlemen assemble on a cold, snowy night to accept the invitation of their mutual friend, George, to dinner and a demonstration of his "time machine", as he explains to them the novel concept of the "fourth dimension".
What happens next challenges their "modern" perceptions and understanding of science, and George is plunged on a fantastic trip backwards and forwards over humanity's past and future, all the while observing it all through his learned, scientific and Victorian eyes.
Otherwise a relatively faithful adaption of H.G. Wells's original novel, the film eschews Wells's cynical observations about the British class system and about mankind's ultimately insignificant place in an indifferent cosmos, and features the young Australian actor, Rod Taylor in the lead role (giving the character youthful, optimistic and idealistic qualities) and an increased emphasis on heroic action and adventure. The other ingredients in the mix are the Academy Award-winning special effects of the day (blue-backed traveling mattes, double-printed background sets, time-lapse photography, and models and miniatures), and a story of love across time, not to mention a glimpse of the Victorian era as seen through the eyes of a 1960's design sensibility. And the idea of fantastic technology archaically wrapped and realized in brass, rivets, art nouveau arabesques, and crystal mechanisms can arguably be seen as an influence on today's steampunk genre.
And, as the final drop of celebratory champagne, one of the film's final lines presents the ultimate question for the avid bibliophile; consider…which three books would you have taken?
Winter is here and so are the holidays. Crafts are a great way to get creative, de-stress, and get into the holiday spirit. Are you looking for some DIY inspiration? We can help! Crafts can include anything you’re inspired to create to get you into the holiday spirit – homemade gifts, holiday decorations, and DIY wrapping paper, to name just a few. In our Holiday Collection we have many options to help you get started. Craft books such as Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Inspirations and Holiday Crafting and Baking with Kids could jump start your thinking.
Like to work with yarn? Check out Holiday Knits or KnitSimple magazine. We have other holiday themed magazines as well, such as Martha Stewart Living, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and Cook’s Illustrated.
There are more DIY craft ideas with tutorials that are available online. In this YouTube video, Elaine shows you step by step how to make several holiday crafts such as styrofoam trees, candy stick vases, and yarn hat ornaments, using things from the dollar store. Looking to repurpose things from around your house? Try this Wrapped Flannel Holiday Wreath to use up any old shirts or fabric scraps. If you have too many Mason jars lying around (as if there could ever be enough Mason jars), try upcycling them into Snowflake Mason Jars or giving them as gifts with hot chocolate mixes inside like this. Another great idea for Mason jars is making candles. Here’s a great tutorial for a pine-scented candle.
Homemade gift wrap and holiday cards are fun to make too. Here’s a simple video tutorial on how to turn wrapping paper into a gift bag. You could also use kraft paper and stamp it to create a unique design like this polka-dot wrapping paper. Lastly, feel free to bring your own materials into the library to make a holiday card or snowflake banner using our Cricut machine. Sign up for DIY time here. For more ideas and inspiration, check out Pinterest.
Our What Should I Read Next? list is now available for new bestselling and notable fiction titles being published from January through April 2018. A copy is available online, or you may pick up a print copy at the adult reference or Main desks. All titles on the list are available to reserve through our catalog, some in multiple formats such as large print and audiobook. Returning bestselling favorites include David Baldacci, Brad Meltzer, Jojo Moyes, J.D. Robb, and Lisa Scottoline. Several of our favorites even have two books coming out this fall, namely James Patterson (1, 2), and Danielle Steel (1, 2), and Stuart Woods (1, 2). Please keep in mind that since this list is published so far in advance, that some publication dates and titles may be subject to change.
Election Day is upon us, calling us to head out to the polls and to exercise our democratic rights, perhaps to the accompaniment of some brass fanfares and beating drums.
As would, of course, be the case with anyone, the musical tastes of our past Presidents were dictated by the times in which they lived, constituting a mix of musical forms and styles ranging over several hundred years worth of music history. Indeed, some of them were musicians themselves – John Adams was a flutist; Woodrow Wilson was a singer and violinist; Richard Nixon was a pianist, memorably accompanying Pearl Bailey during a performance at the White House; and Bill Clinton was a saxophonist, a fact which was fodder for some satirical jabs at him during his administration.
The musical tastes of our first Chief Executive, George Washington himself, ran to dancing, especially the minuet, which he danced with great pleasure at his inaugural ball. His step-granddaughter, Nelly Custis, was a frequent performer in the Presidential house, and he purchased for her a five octave, two manual harpsichord from London, as well as one of the first pianos built in America. Among the musical scores owned by her were a keyboard arrangement of Gluck's overture to Iphigenie in Aulis, an excerpt from Handel's Water Music, and Haydn's Mermaid's Song.
Abraham Lincoln, President during arguably the most turbulent and trying time in our nation's history, was greatly enamored of music (especially grand opera) as a relief from stress, although he could neither read nor play music. He attended the opera about thirty times during his Presidency, including performances of Donizetti's La figlia del reggimento and Verdi's Un Ballo In Maschera. The United States Marine Band, under the baton of Francis Scala, performed operatic arrangements for him, including The Soldiers' Chorus from Gounod's Faust. Meda Blanchard, the first opera singer to perform in the White House, also sang for him, and, indeed, an inaugural opera was staged for him, Friedrich von Flotow's Martha.
Our Chief Executives' love of music continued into the Twentieth Century with Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, who were active supporters of the growing fraternity of American classical composers, and who hosted eight musicals every year, each attended by more than three hundred people. Their concerts featured the works of American composers, including Amy Beach, John Alden Carpenter, Arthur Foote and Edward MacDowell. Spanish cellist, Pablo Casals made his White House debut at the age of 28, playing a Boccherini sonata and Le Cygne by Camille Saint-Saëns.
By 1945, some great classical music had travelled across the Atlantic, and this was reflected in the musical tastes of Harry S. Truman, who had studied the piano as a young boy and had grown up on the music of many classical composers. He particularly loved Mozart's A Major Sonata, which he played for an audience of thirty million Americans during the first televised tour of the White House in 1952, as well as during a conference in Potsdam with Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and pianist, Eugene List in attendance.
So, as we approach Election Day, let us all join together in a hearty rendition of Hail To The Chief!
On the cliff tops of atmospheric Cornwall, while the sea rages and bursts over the rocks below, a happy-go-lucky brother & sister pair of urbanites stumble upon an isolated house, and they decide to pool their resources and purchase it. And the owner, much to their surprise, lets them have it for a relatively low price. But the ghosts of the past, quite literally, lurk within the house, and all is not as it seems…
Based on Dorothy Macardle's best-selling novel, The Uninvited was one of the first Hollywood films to treat the subject of ghosts and haunting in a serious way, a treatment which, today, seems commonplace. Prior to it, the subject had been treated and exploited by the storylines of Hollywood films as a scam or as an object of derision. And always, in the end, a rational and natural explanation was provided.
For fans of Daphne Du Maurier's book and Alfred Hitchcock's film, Rebecca, the Cornwall setting, the lingering and stifling worship and love of the departed, and the unraveling of a notorious and historied murder mystery will no doubt invite inevitable comparisons. Dedicated fans of the mistress of Manderley will, nevertheless, be in for an enjoyable coda returning to that same story territory.
The film's score, by Victor Young, also gave birth and rise to the American standard song, Stella By Starlight, revered for its haunting and rich harmonies, and recorded numerous times in both instrumental and vocal versions. And the visual experience of the moody, masterful, Academy Award-nominated black and white photography and lighting, the hallmark of a cinematographer at the height of his craft, alone is worth the price of admission.
Packed with judiciously paced and orchestrated jolts, shudders, chills, and tangles of romances, The Uninvited will lend some unique spice to the season’s Halloween festivities. All because of one simple, perhaps overused word: atmosphere.