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?