Curbside/Telephone Hours:
Mon-Thu: 11-7 / Fri: 11-5 / Sat: 11-3
71 Monell Ave., Islip, NY
631-581-5933

​Curbside/Telephone Hours:
Mon-Thu: 11-7 / Fri: 11-5 / Sat: 11-3​
71 Monell Ave., Islip, NY
631-581-5933

Curbside/Telephone Hours:
Mon-Thu: 11-7 / Fri: 11-5 / Sat: 11-3
71 Monell Ave., Islip, NY
631-581-5933

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All posts by Gregory Klein

Waiting for the next Game of Thrones Book and Season to be Released?

Fans of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series (aka Game of Thrones) have been waiting for over five years for the sixth book The Winds of Winter. Season 7 on HBO has just come to a close. The bad news is, there’s still no expected release date for the sixth book and season 8 (like season 7) will be another shortened season; leaving fans of the series anxiously waiting for more. The good news is, the Islip Library provides fantastic titles to fill the void while we all wait for the next book and season to be released.

Recommended Books:

The Defenders of Shannara series by Terry Brooks

The Demon Cycle series by Peter V. Brett

Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

Middle-Earth Universe by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • 1. Beren and Luthien

Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan

The Queens of Renthia series by Sarah Beth Durst

Recommended TV Series:

  • Black Sails (4 Seasons)
  • Vikings (4 Seasons)

Got New Devices?

Did you receive a new device this holiday season but you don’t know how to use it? Don’t worry, the Islip Library has you covered! We offer services to help beginners get started, and for experienced users to continue to explore and enjoy their devices. Take a look at what we can provide for you.

Book A Librarian

For computer and device help, we encourage you to schedule a ‘Book A Librarian’ appointment. You must have an Islip Library card. These 30-minute one-on-one appointments with a librarian will help you get started with your new device. This service also provides help for learning how to use a particular program or app, creating an email account, attaching files to an email, file management, library apps (see below), transferring photos, social media, uploading files, and more.

Computer Classes

We offer computer classes throughout the year. Listed below are several that we have coming up in January. In-person registration begins on Saturday January 7 at 9 am. Online and telephone registration begins at 12 pm on January 7. Space is limited. Classes are for Islip Library cardholders only.

Google Calendar, Wednesday, January 11 at 6:30 pm

Learn how this free time management web application can help keep track of your daily and monthly schedules and sync your calendar to your portable devices.

Tech Care, Wednesday, January 18 at 6:30 pm

A presentation on how to keep your smartphones and tablets running quickly and smoothly. Androids, iPads, and iPhones will be covered in this class.

Windows 10, Wednesday, January 25 at 6:30 pm

A demonstration on the new features of Windows 10 and how to use this new operating system from Microsoft. If you have a Windows 10 laptop, you are welcome to bring it with you for a hands-on experience.

Library Apps

Overdrive: Can’t get to the library? No problem, download an eBook or eAudiobook no matter where you are. All you need is an internet connection and your library card. Book a Librarian appointment if you need help getting started.

Overdrive

Can’t get to the library? No problem, download an eBook or eAudiobook no matter where you are. All you need is an internet connection and your library card. Book a Librarian appointment if you need help getting started.

Libby

The new eBook and eAudiobook app from Overdrive. This app is currently in a beta stage and is not yet a replacement for Overdrive. However, you can use it to access available eBooks and eAudiobooks. Libby was inspired by user feedback and is designed for a better overall experience. Some features such as accessibility, localization, and recommending titles are still under development. During this beta stage you can send feedback to Overdrive for possible enhancements in the future. Book a Librarian appointment if you need help getting started.

Flipster

Not looking for an eBook? How about a eMagazine? Flipster provides popular magazine titles you can download from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection and your library card. Book a Librarian appointment if you need help getting started.

Pronunciator

Want to learn a new language? Sign up to access our online subscription to Pronunciator with your library card and download the app to your device, or use it on your computer. Pronunciator provides online learning to over 80 different languages including English as a Second Language. Book a Librarian appointment if you need help getting started.

The History of the Islip Village Cemetery

At one time there was a small cemetery in Islip Hamlet known as the Islip Village Cemetery. The earliest date that we can verify for the cemetery is 1873, on our historic map. The cemetery is also marked on our 1902 and 1915 historic maps. According to the library’s historical maps, the cemetery was located on the west side of what we now call Pardee Avenue. Using map measurements, the cemetery started approximately 500-600 feet north of Main Street and stretched about 250 feet north. The measurement north of Main Street conflicts with an undated note by former Islip Town historian Carl Starace. He notes, the Islip cemetery was approximately 100 yards north of Main Street. A few long time Islip residents believe the cemetery would begin just south of Dwight Court, along Pardee Avenue for about 250 feet. This would locate the cemetery closer to Mr. Starace’s measurement from Main Street. However, the cemetery no longer exists and we are left to wonder what happened? When and why was the cemetery moved?

Before being named Pardee Avenue, this road was unlabeled on our 1873, 1902, and 1915 historic maps. According to an article on Thursday July 13, 1967 from Your Islip Bulletin, this road was formerly known as Whitman Lane. The Whitman family owned large parcels of land on the east and west side of Whitman Lane, which is marked on the 1873 through 1915 maps. According to real estate transfers listed in the Suffolk County News, it appears Whitman Lane becomes known as Pardee Lane (now Avenue) around June 1931.

Islip Town Historian, George Munkenbeck, found some previous efforts to determine when this cemetery was moved. A letter addressed to former Town Historian, Robert Finnegan, from Oakwood Cemetery stated “we know that some of the gravestones were moved from Islip to this location, but we do not believe that any remains were moved, and we do not know when this took place.” In a note dated April 26, 1994 from then Islip Town Historian Carl Starace, replying to a person inquiring about what happened to the remains of a family member who was buried at the old cemetery located on the west side of Pardee Avenue. Mr. Starace replied, he was not sure that bodies were removed to Oakwood Cemetery. A letter to the New York State Division of Cemeteries on May 18, 1993 from Richard D. Silverthorn (former president of the Historical Society of Islip Hamlet) noted, “Our Town Hall has no records concerning this move due to a fire which destroyed some records.” In a reminiscence memoir by Edward Milton Van Sicklen covering Islip the approximate years between 1907 – 1930, he states, “it would seem no one died for such a long time in these parts that after a while, this burial ground was abandoned. The location was on Pardee Lane. A few years back, the bodies were taken up and reburied in another cemetery.” Unfortunately, his note was not dated, so his referral to a few years back, is not clear as to a date of the cemetery removal.

Documentation provided by Mr. Munkenbeck lists some names of the people who were buried at the Islip Village Cemetery:

  • Brown, Theodore, son of Joseph & Mary Brown, d. 30 Sept. 1848, age 1y 3m 22d.
  • Brown, David Linns, son of Joseph & Mary Brown, d. 18 Feb. 1850, age 5y 3m 25d.
  • Brown, Lucy Emma, daughter of Joseph & Mary Brown, d. 22 Aug. 1854, age 3y 16d.
  • Dougherty, Horace F., b. 25 May 1826, d. 7 Jan. 1875.
  • Fielder, Eliza, wife of Chas. L., d. 30 June 1859, age 39y.
  • Fielder, Eliza-Bell, daughter of Chas. L. & Eliza, d. 1 May 1859, age 3y 8m 2d.
  • Fielder, Mary, daughter of Chas. L. & Eliza, d. 6 May 1859, age 10y 3m 7d.
  • Fielder, Ralph Glyndon, son of Chas. L. & Eliza, d. 27 April 1850, age 5y 5m 15d.
  • Green, Emily, wife of Caleb N Green, d. 21 Feb. 1812, age 21y.
  • Howell, Ardelissa R., daughter of Joseph B. & Mary Howell, d. 4 Oct. 1859, age 8y.
  • Howell, Amanda D., daughter of Joseph B. & Mary Howell, d. 24 Oct. 1859, age 5y 28d.
  • Jones, Richard, d. 2 Jan 1865, age 77y.
  • Jones, Jane, wife of Richard Jones, d. 24 Jan. 1855, age 50y 4m 12d.
  • Saunders, Joel, d. 4 Aug. 1857, age 68y 2m 28d.
  • Shepard, Joseph H., d. 7 Nov. 1868, age 65y 11m 5d.
  • Shepard, Mary M.B., wife of Joseph H. Shepard, d. 22 June 1856, age 56y.
  • Smith, Caroline, wife of Eliphalet Smith, d. 5 Feb. 1865, age 40y.
  • Smith, Eliphalet, d. 18 Oct. 1878, age 81y 7m 21d.
  • Smith, Elsey, d. 23 Sept. 1822, age 21y 3m.
  • Smith, Frederick N., 1861 – 1882.
  • Smith, Henry, (no date), age 85y.
  • Smith, Josiah R. Smith, d. 27, Nov. 1854, age 66y 9m.
  • Smith, Maria, wife of Eliphalet Smith, d. 22 May 1819.
  • Smith, Mary M., wife of Josiah R. Smith, d. 8 Oct. 1834, age 40y 8m.
  • Smith, Medad, d. 14 March 1825, age 27y.
  • Smith, Ruth, d. 11 Aug. 1824, age 66y.
  • Walter, Annie C., daughter of Thos. J. & Anne C. Walters (sic), d. 15 Oct. 1870, age 3y 8m 17d.

Located within the Smith plot at Oakwood cemetery, these names/initials are located on some of the stones. The markers may have been mostly illegible to complete names:

  • Georgie and her babe . . . Little Mary Emma . . .
  • G.S., E.S., E.G., R.S., J.H.S., M.M.S., & J.S.

We have a couple of possible answers to our questions. Mr. Van Sicklen’s notes covered Islip from 1907 – 1930 and the cemetery was marked on a 1915 map. It’s possible the cemetery was removed sometime during 1915 – 1930 but, we can’t say for sure since we do not know when Mr. Van Sicklen wrote his memoir. According to Mr. Van Sicklen, the cemetery was abandoned, leading us to a possible reasoning on the removal of the cemetery but, that reason isn’t clearly stated. We still can’t pinpoint when or why the cemetery was removed but, we do have some possibilities.

The unsolved mystery of the Islip Village Cemetery continues. If you have any information that may be useful in solving the mystery, please leave a comment and/or contact reference librarian Greg Klein at (631) 581-5933.

Let’s discover local history together!

Fantasy Football

Get Ready For Your Fantasy Football Draft

Summer is here and for fantasy football players, it’s time to do your homework. Fantasy football is a challenging game based around constant evaluation and all or nothing decisions. Week to week your lineup changes due to injuries and bye weeks. When it comes to injuries plan for the worst, evaluate players carefully and draft the best team possible. Try to make good late round sleeper picks for bench depth, these picks can save your season.

Offensive Lines

A vital and sometimes ignored key to drafting running backs and quarterbacks is the offensive line. In most fantasy football leagues you’re not drafting offensive lines or offense lineman however; this line can make or break a running backs/quarterbacks season. The offensive line is responsible for opening up holes for running backs to run through and protecting the quarterback long enough so he can read the field and make a play. Although this isn’t the only key to success for your RB & QB but, when debating between a few players to draft, considering the skill of the o-line can certainly help make a decision.

For ranking the offensive line I am using a grouping system instead of specific order as unforeseen personnel and injuries can change before the start of the season.

Elite: Arizona, Carolina, Dallas, New York Jets & Pittsburgh.

Above Average: Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles, Minnesota & New England.

Average: Baltimore, Denver, Green Bay, Kansas City, New York Giants, Seattle, Tampa Bay & Washington.

Below Average: Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, New Orleans, Oakland & Philadelphia.

Poor: Cleveland, Detroit, San Diego, San Francisco & Tennessee.

Operation Relocation

Here are a few big names that relocated to a new team this offseason. Let’s see how well they fit into their new teams.

DeMarco Murray – Tennessee Titans - RB

After leaving the Cowboys for the Eagles last season, Murray had a terrible season to follow up his league leading 2014 performance. This is a perfect example of a talented player shifting teams and laying a goose egg for a season. However, Murray is onto his third team and he seems to have a bright future. The Titans o-line is poor but has a chance to improve and with some offensive weapons, the Titans might just have enough tools to get some defenders to pay attention to other targets while Murray carries the ball. Murray should be able to bounce back from last year and to his advantage, head coach Mike Mularkey runs the ball a lot.

Matt Forte – New York Jets – RB

Forte has had over 800 rushing yards and 300 receiving yards for eight seasons straight. That’s amazing! He’s one of very few to achieve such success; however, at age 30 and with a new team for the first time in his career, he can be hard to judge. The Jets o-line will be an upgrade for Forte and the Jets have weapons with Marshall and Decker. The Jets will have Forte split some carries with Bilal Powell and Khiry Robinson which should keep him fresh throughout the year. While splitting the workload, I believe Forte will continue to be a productive player. However, I see him more as a RB2 at age 30 with potential to reach a top 10 spot as Chris Ivory did last season for the Jets.

Chris Ivory – Jacksonville Jaguars – RB

Last season Ivory was a top 10 running back playing for the Jets; a team that totaled the 10th highest rushing attempts last season. Now with the Jaguars, Ivory will be splitting time with last year rookie T. J. Yeldon and joins a team with the 3rd lowest rushing attempts in 2015. The Jaguars investment in Ivory would seem to mean he’ll be the starter but, Yeldon is expected to get a decent amount of playing time as well. Given the Jags are a pass heavy team, I’m not so sure Ivory will make a return to the top 10 and I’m looking at Ivory as a low RB2/RB3 option, leaning more towards RB3.

Lamar Miller – Houston Texans – RB

Adrian Foster is no longer a Texan and Houston turned to Lamar Miller to fill the massive void Foster left behind. Miller is only 24 years old and had success over his four seasons in Miami, especially his last two. Houston’s defense is among the best and should keep points of the board giving the ball to the offense. Houston has wide receiver threat DeAndre Hopkins, rookie WR Will Fuller to stretch the field and new arrival QB Brock Osweiler to round out the offense. Miller should get plenty of carries and it’s smart to invest in a young capable running back. I see Miller as a low RB1 with potential to rise.

Brock Osweiler – Houston Texans - QB

Starting 7 games for Denver in Peyton Manning’s absence, Osweiler won 5 games with a QB rating of 86.2, 61.8% pass completion, 10 touchdowns, 6 interceptions and just shy of 2,000 passing yards last season. Not bad numbers but, those seven games were fairly easy matchups and with such a limited sample size it’s hard to figure out Osweiler. It’s also hard to draft him as your starting QB when there are so many established QBs available. If he’s available later on, he’s worth a bench spot as your backup QB; this will give you a few weeks to see how he handles his first full time gig.

Robert Griffin III - Cleveland Browns – QB

RG3’s long injury history is a major concern however, the potential for a dual threat QB working with Hue Jackson is very appealing. Griffin has Gary Barnidge at TE who broke out in his first full season as a starter and there is a very low chance he’ll have an opportunity to throw to Josh Gordon. RG3’s name is nothing more than eye candy at this point. Although he has potential to be very successful as a starter, his injury risk is just as high.

Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions – WR

First off, let me just say there is no replacing Calvin Johnson in Detroit. Stafford has always been a slinger but, I find him to be very inconsistent week to week. Jones was paid as a number 1 option but, I see him more as a number 2. The lions seem to be lining up with two number 2 options (Jones and Golden Tate) and are missing that elite number 1 wide receiver. Stafford has relied on Calvin his entire career and with him retired, it’s up to Jones, Tate, Kerley (WR), Ebron (TE) and Abdullah (RB) to create some chemistry with Stafford and make this work. Until proven otherwise, look at Jones as a WR3 or bench depth.

Travis Benjamin – San Diego Chargers – WR

Benjamin’s move from Cleveland to San Diego this offseason got him the upgrade at quarterback he was looking for. However, Benjamin slides in-between Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson. Allen and TE Antonio Gates figure to continue as the top targets for QB Phillip Rivers and Johnson is a solid third receiver to have. Benjamin won’t be relied on as he was in Cleveland but, he has potential to put up some numbers. We’ll have to wait and see how the Chargers utilize Benjamin in this offense.

Coby Fleener – New Orleans Saints – TE

Fleener has always been a guy with potential and at times was able to flash how good he can be. Ultimately, he was hot and cold in the Colts offense and split time with Dwayne Allen never reaching his true potential. Now a member of the Saints, a team low on offensive weapons, Fleener should be able to put some fantasy points to be a solid starter as QB Brees likes to sling it and connect with his TE. Just don’t expect Jimmy Graham numbers, I’d say around 800 yards and 5 TDs is within reach here.

Benjamin Watson – Baltimore Ravens – TE

Watson leaves the Saints and joins the Ravens at age 35. Last year he had a career year and it would be a bad idea to expect that again. His age is a risk and Flacco is no Brees but, Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman looks to the tight end more so than most. Watson would be a good backup to stash on your bench to see how things turn out.

Jared Cook – Green Bay Packers – TE

Give Aaron Rodgers any tight end and he’ll find a way to get him the ball and give him some fantasy value. Jared Cook is a guy who never reached his potential with the Titans and Rams but, his situation in Green Bay could change things. Time will tell and for now Cook is a backup consideration.

Sleeper Picks

Here are some players you may be able to get a few rounds later than normal that can have a big year. In some cases these picks could be starters from the get go, others may be bench depth with potential.

QB Matt Ryan – Atlanta [Starter]
QB David Carr – Oakland [Bench]
QB Marcus Mariota – Tennessee [Bench]
RB Eddie Lacy – Green Bay [Starter]
RB Carlos Hyde – San Francisco [Bench]
RB Jonathan Stewart – Carolina [Starter]
RB Frank Gore – Indianapolis [Bench]
WR Allen Hurns – Jacksonville [Starter/Bench]
WR Michael Crabtree – Oakland [Bench]
WR Dorial Green-Beckham – Tennessee [Bench]
WR Marvin Jones – Detroit [Starter/Bench]
WR Travis Benjamin – San Diego [Bench]
TE Coby Fleener – New Orleans [Starter]
TE Antoni Gates – San Diego [Starter/Bench]
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Tampa Bay [Bench]
TE Benjamin Watson – Baltimore [Bench]
TE Jared Cook – Green Bay [Bench]
TE Jordan Cameron – Miami [Bench]
TE Will Tye – NY Giants [Bench]

Kickers

As far as Kickers go, grab one, if he fails, drop and replace. Here’s my top 10:

Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots
Steven Hauschka – Seattle Seahawks
Graham Gano – Carolina Panther
Brandon McManus – Denver Broncos
Mason Crosby – Green Bay Packers
Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens
Dan Bailey – Dallas Cowboys
Chandler Catanzaro – Arizona Cardinals
Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts
Josh Brown – New York Giants

Defense

It is crucial to have a good defense. Your defense usually starts off with 10 points and that number can increase or decrease. A good defense can get you 10 – 20 points on average. A bad defense can get you less than five points on average and the last thing you want from your defense is negative points. If you end up with an ok but not great defense, I suggest drafting two and playing the match-ups or the hot quad from week to week.

Elite: Arizona & Seattle.

Above Average: Denver, Houston, Kansas City, & New York Jets

Average: Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New England, & Pittsburgh.

Best of the Rest: Baltimore, Chicago, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia, & Washington.

Who are your sleepers for this season? Leave a comment and let’s get a conversation started!

upgrade to windows 10 for free

Time Is Running Out to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free

Microsoft offered its newest operating system to Windows 7/8.1 users at no cost for an entire year. If you’re still running windows 7/8.1, your time is just about up to get the free upgrade to Windows 10. Once the free upgrade expires on July 29, 2016, Windows users will have to pay to get Windows 10.

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free

Click the button below to get started with your upgrade:

Click the button below for how-to information on scheduling and notifications, and other upgrade information:

4 Benefits of Upgrading to Windows 10 for Free

1. New Features

Brand new for Windows 10 comes virtual assistant Cortana, the new web browser Microsoft Edge (the long overdue replacement for Internet Explorer), better security, significantly increases boot up times (especially from Windows 7) and more. Although Microsoft Edge gets excellent speed ratings on reviews, I find it can freeze up a little bit upon loadingbusy/heavy webpage. However, with a few tweaks down the road, this web browser should be on top of the competition and the browser itself offers new features currently not available on the top two web browsers, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

2. Longevity

You might get a couple of chuckles seeing the title longevity when talking about technology. It sure feels like you’re totally cool, hip, and rad the day you buy a new piece of technology . . . until you wake up the next morning feeling like it’s out of date already! That feeling is mutual and the technology industry is to blame because they come out with new hardware or software every year. However, there is some longevity support for Windows, and Windows 10 will guarantee you the longest amount of support to date.

Microsoft has offered mainstream support for 5 years after an operating system is released and then an extended support for an addition 5 years. Mainstream support provides substantial updates, new features and of course security patches. The extended support provides security patches for the operating system.

The mainstream and extended service support is expected to expire in the following years for Windows operating systems:

  • Windows 10: Mainstream – 2020?/ Extended – October 2025
  • Windows 8: Mainstream – January 2018 / Extended – January 2023
  • Windows 7: Mainstream – Expired / Extended – January 2020

There has been no official word on Windows 10 mainstream support end date but the operating system was released in 2015. Windows 8/8.1 users only have another year and a half of mainstream support remaining.

3. The Start Menu Returns!

For Windows 8/8.1 users this was a warm welcome. Working with the Windows 8 start tile screen was a mess. Users found it difficult to navigate and the power button was hidden from the screen. Windows 8.1 updated this screen a little bit to make it a bit more manageable but, users still had some trouble using it. With Windows 10, users of Windows 8/8.1 can say watch out for the door on the way out! The new start menu does incorporate Windows 8 tiles. Live tiles were fairly popular by displaying current news for a given topic. Windows 7 users can experience this for the first time on Windows 10 however, if you don’t like it, don’t worry. All tiles can be removed from the start menu to appear as a menu you’re used to seeing in Windows 7 and previous versions.

4. It’s Free But, Not for Long

Windows 10 is free but, the offer ends on July 29, 2016.

After July 29, users upgrading to Windows 10 will have to pay $119 for the home edition and $199 for the pro edition. Of course, Microsoft could offer some sort of discount as well but, free sounds better to me.

Play Libraryopoly and Discover the Invisible Library!

By walking into the Library and exploring our collections, you might think you have a good idea of what the library has to offer. That’s partially true, however what you see is only a portion of the Library’s resources. How much do you know about the invisible Library collections?

The digital age is nothing new. Since the turn of the century, technology has rapidly evolved. Our digital resources do not occupy any physical space inside the Library, they are invisible.

Take a moment and think about how much you know about our digital resources. What digital services can you think of? An easy answer is eBooks. You may have also thought about online databases. If so, great! Now for the follow up question, what kind of databases do we offer? Maybe you can think of a few and maybe not. You may have thought, “if I need to find something, I’ll just Google it.” Google is a great tool, however the information you find there is not always credible information. Our online databases provide credible information on various topics.

Libraryopoly

Digital resources can sometimes be forgotten about. So, as part of this year’s Adult Summer Reading Club, we’re offering an optional activity called Libraryopoly. Included in your reading club folder, you will find a Libraryopoly board, instructions, and an online database information sheet. The board is filled with online database and social media activities to be completed. These are short and simple. By completing the activities you’ll earn raffle tickets and gain knowledge of various digital resources provided by the Library. If you take the time to go through these short activities, you will be surprised and hopefully impressed by our digital resources.

Feel free to leave a comment about your experiences using our online databases. We would love to hear from you.

Oh, right! I mentioned something about raffle tickets. Well, if discovering excellent resources and information you were previously unaware of isn’t enough motivation, we’ve added an additional incentive.

Libraryopoly raffle tickets will be entered into a separate summer reading club prize drawing for one lucky winner to win a basket of gifts. The drawing will be held at the Adult Summer Reading Club Party!

Benefits of Gaming for ALL Ages

10 Benefits of Gaming for All Ages That You Didn’t Know About

Did you ever think you could benefit from playing video games? Video games have been a highly debatable topic over the last decade or so. Concerns arose over violent video games and the idea that they might encourage negative behaviors and make players more aggressive. There is much still to debate, but some research has shown that those claims are not true. Research has also shown that video games can have a variety of positive effects on gamers of all ages.

Playing video games requires high level thinking and hand-eye coordination skills. Playing games exercises these skills and gives your brain a workout. Some of these skills are not taught in school. Let’s take a look at how you can benefit:

  1. Reading skills are improved by reading and following instructions, game information, and clues to complete tasks and follow storylines.
  2. Math skills are developed by using quantitative analysis to manage resources. In games like Clash of Clans and SimCity, gamers need to manage limited resources and make decisions about how to spend those resources most efficiently. These skills can be applied to management of personal finance.
  3. Although shooting games are violent, they can be very efficient in teaching hand-eye coordination, motor, and spatial skills. In a shooter game (like Call of Duty and Halo), the gamer may be running and shooting at the same time. The gamer has to keep track of the enemy, (where they’re going and how fast they’re moving), focus the crosshairs on the enemy, and make sure gunfire is hitting the target. While interpreting all of this information the gamer has to coordinate proper reactions with their hands and fingers to move and shoot with certain buttons on the controller. Hand-eye coordination and spatial skills are required to be successful.
  4. Video games that simulate stressful situations found in action & adventure games (like Tomb Raider and Uncharted) and can be training tools for real-world situations. Action video games require gamers to think and analyze quickly, and make decisions based on the situation. These games can increase skill and speed for critical thinking and situational awareness.
  5. If you fall down, get back up! Games like Candy Crush provide what seem like an endless number of levels with each level getting a little more difficult as you progress. When a gamer starts to get out of the basic and intermediate levels, it is very common to lose on the first try at a harder level. Gamers continue trying to beat the level to be successful and move on. This teaches a valuable lesson in perseverance - if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, again!
  6. In many games, strategy and multitasking come into play. Whether the game is action/adventure (Batman Arkham Series), fighting (Mortal Kombat), platform (Super Mario), puzzle (Tetris), racing (Forza Motorsport), real-time strategy (StarCraft), role-playing (Dragon Age), shooter (Titanfall), turn base (Final Fantasy), or something else, there is always a strategy involved. Gamers need to plan for a long term goal, but also need multitasking skills when unexpected surprises (like new enemies arriving) take place. Gamers will need to alter their strategy to address the immediate problem while keeping their long term goal in reach. This helps gamers develop an ability to adapt and to prepare for unexpected challenges and changes in games, and in real life.
  7. Online gaming affords opportunities for socialization. Early in the history of gaming, there were concerns about gamers becoming socially isolated because they were playing games by themselves. However, online games are quite socially active. Communication with other players is available by vocal and/or text communication. In a lot of online game modes, gamers need to work together to achieve their goal. This develops teamwork skills and helps gamers become better collaborators when working in a group.
  8. Gaming can promote family bonding. Some games have multiplayer game modes for a night of fun with the whole family. I can remember game night “back in my day”, playing Mario Kart 64 and Mario Party with my parents and brother. Those nights were a ton of fun!
  9. You might be thinking you’re too old to play video games. Believe it or not doctors are telling patients of all ages to play video games. Studies show that playing games can improve attention, focus, memory, problem solving skills, and spatial recall. The Islip Library is offering a Brain Fitness Computer Games Course - Friday June 17, 2016 - 10:00 am → Register now to reserve your seat!
  10. Video games can help you lose weight! . . . What? Nintendo Wii U, Playstation 4 and Xbox One have the ability to monitor your motions for certain games. Additional accessories may be required. In a bowling game, you simulate the motion of throwing a bowling ball. Based on your mechanics, the ball will go down the lane or in a gutter. This also applies to exercising games, you can do a workout program on your console and the better your form is the more points you get in the game. Although this is a fun way to exercise, you should still get outside as well!

Concerned parents should monitor game play just like they would television viewing. Decide what games are acceptable for your child by considering your child’s maturity, and by the game rating located on the cover of the case. Explain to your child the reason if a game might not be appropriate for them.

Come on in and get a game! The Library offers video games available to check out for the following systems: Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

For more information on the pros and cons of video games and brain fitness, search our online magazine, newspaper, & journal databases for scholarly articles. A good place to start is MasterFile Elite which is accessible from our website; you will need your Library card to access the resources.

Beware Ransomware

Are you aware of malicious software known as ransomware? Since the beginning of this year ransomware attacks have been on the rise and they’re nasty. Ransomware will encrypt all of the files on your computer. You won’t be able to access any of them and you will be prompted to pay a ransom to unlock all of your data. The ransom varies but, it’s commonly in the range of $200 - $400. To top it off, if you pay these crooks, there is no guarantee they will unlock your computer. Paying them is not advised in any situation. Once your computer is infected, there is nothing you can do to unlock it. The only real choice you have is to wipe your hard drive clean and start over from scratch. Yes, in the process you will lose everything on your computer.

Recent attacks have been so nasty, that the United States and Canada issued a joint cyber alert on Thursday March 31, 2016. A link to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security cyber alert can be found at the end of this post for more information. For now, let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

How does Ransomware happen?

Ransomware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading. Drive-by downloading occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge.”

  • Department of Homeland Security

Ransomware may lock up your entire screen prompting you with a message to make you panic and give in to their demands. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provided these few examples:

  • “Your computer has been infected with a virus. Click here to resolve the issue.”

  • “Your computer was used to visit websites with illegal content. To unlock your computer, you must pay a $100 fine.”

  • “All files on your computer have been encrypted. You must pay this ransom within 72 hours to regain access to your data.”

Please remember, paying the ransom is not advised. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “paying the ransom does not guarantee the encrypted files will be released; it only guarantees that the malicious actors receive the victim’s money, and in some cases, their banking information. In addition, decrypting files does not mean the malware infection itself has been removed.”

How can I protect myself against Ransomware?

  • Backup all of your files onto an external hard drive. Once your backup has completed, safely disconnect the external hard drive from your computer. If the external hard drive is still connected to the computer, ransomware can infect and lock up the external hard drive as well.

  • Use application whitelisting to help prevent malicious software and unapproved programs from running. Interested in application whitelisting? Check out this article from howtogeek.com. The article explains the Family Safety feature in Windows 8. Instructions will be similar for Windows 10 and they note how to get this feature for Windows 7.

  • Update your operating system and software to the newest version. Staying current reduces your risk of an attack.

  • Have anti-virus software installed on your computer and make sure it is up to date. When downloading files from the Internet, scan the downloaded files before you open them to check for malware. In addition to anti-virus software, get anti-malware software such as Malwarebytes.

  • Restrict user permissions from installing and running unwanted software, and apply the principle of “Least Privilege” to all systems and services. This may prevent malware from running or limit its ability to spread through the network.

  • Avoid enabling macros from email attachments. Enabling macros will activate the malware installation coding to run.

  • Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails. Be careful when clicking on any links in an email, even from people and organizations you know. Crooks have gotten very good at making their email scams look very professional.

Take precautions to protect yourself from ransomware. Back up your files as soon as possible. Losing all of your data will be devastating. I highly recommend you look over the official cyber alert from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for more information by clicking the link below:

Click here to read the cyber alert
Why is my computer so slow

My Computer Used To Be So Much Faster!

All I’ve heard from my dad since he upgraded to Windows 10 is “my computer used to be so much faster.” He said the same for the previous upgrade, Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Computers are a great tool when they perform to our expectations and we’re all a little too familiar with the frustrations of technology. Well Dad, you’re not alone. If your computer seems to be running slower since installing Windows 10 or just generally running slowly, take a look at these simple steps to enhance your computer’s performance.

1. Startup Programs

Your computer has programs that will start running automatically as soon as the computer boots up. Each program will slow down your computer’s startup time and may continue to slow down your computer after startup. When you review these programs, think about what really needs to run at startup. You should notice your antivirus software listed here; that is an acceptable program to have running on startup.

To review startup programs, right-click the start button and select ‘Task Manager’ or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. On the Task Manager window, select the tab labeled Startup. This will provide you with a list of all the programs that start automatically when you turn on your computer. The startup impact column will give you an idea of how each program affects your startup speed. To disable a program on startup, right-click on the program and select ‘Disable’. If you’re not sure what the program is, right-click on it and select ‘Search online’ to figure out what it is. You can always go back and re-enable the program. This will not remove the program from your computer; this just stops the program from running when your computer starts up.

2. Power Options

Take a look at your computer’s power options, especially if, you have a Windows laptop. Windows computers typically come preset to some sort of energy-saving mode. Microsoft seems to think that you will prefer an energy-saving mode over a speedy computer. Energy-saving modes do have their benefits but, if your computer’s performance is poor, try setting your computer to high performance. This will use up your laptop’s battery faster but, there’s nothing more frustrating than watching the loading icon spin and spin and spin to no end.

To check your power options, right-click the start button and select ‘Power options’ or use the taskbar search and type in ‘Power options’. Change your power plan to ‘High performance’. You may have to click on the drop down arrow to the right of ‘show additional plans’ to see the high performance option.

3. Performance Options

Windows 10 comes loaded with a bunch of visual effects that can hinder performance on older/slower computers. Newer computers shouldn’t be affected by this, however, if performance is poor, try turning off visual effects to increase your computer’s performance.

To turn off visual effects, right-click the start button and select ‘System’ or use the taskbar search and type in ‘System’. In the windows left pane, select ‘Advanced system settings’. On the System Properties window, select ‘Settings…’ under performance (first option). On the Performance Options windows, select ‘Adjust for best performance’ to turn all visual effects off. Select ‘Apply’, then ‘OK’ to save settings.

4. Remove Adware, Bloatware, & Malware

Windows 10 may not be the cause of your computer’s poor performance. Your computer may be affected by adware, bloatware, and/or malware. You may have picked up some of this while on the Internet and some of it (adware & bloatware) may have been installed by your computer’s manufacturer. Removing this software can have a huge impact on your computer’s performance as it will free up your system resources.

To begin, start with running your security software such as Norton Security, Bitdefender, TrendMicro, AVG, Avast, etc… to scan your computer for viruses, malware, and adware. It’s recommended to use a second program such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free version will scan and remove threats) to see if anything was missed by the first security software.

Once that is completed, you can move onto removing bloatware. First, let’s understand what bloatware is. Any program that came with your computer can be considered bloatware if you don’t use it. It’s mainly there as an advertisement from companies hoping you will subscribe to their service after a free trial period. Removing software you don’t use can increase your computer’s performance. For example, your computer may have come with programs and apps such as, Hulu, Netflix, Skype, Blio, Snapfish, Sprint Mobile broadband, etc. If you use these - no problem. If you don’t, you need to remove them. Just because you don’t use it, doesn’t mean it’s not going to affect your computer’s performance.

There are a bunch of free programs available to assist you with removing bloatware from your computer. Highly recommended software from multiple computer/technology magazines are ‘PC Decrapifier’, ‘Should I Remove It?’, ‘Decrap’ and ‘Slim Computer’. Just as it was with the adware & malware scanning, it’s recommended to run more than one of these programs to make sure some bloatware wasn’t missed by the first scanning program.

Have any questions? Did you try this?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Memories of Islip Hamlet

“Memory is more than a dustbin of time, stuffed with yesterday’s trash. Rather, memory is a glorious grab bag of the past from which one can at leisure pluck bittersweet experiences of times gone by and relive them.”

Hal Boyle, 1971 

Do you have interesting tidbits, life changing experiences, or fond memories of Islip Hamlet? Join us in remembering the history of Islip Hamlet from the community’s perspective by sharing a memory. Tell us about big events in Islip, businesses and business owners on Main Street, interactions at Islip Schools,interesting happenings around town, evenings at the Islip Speedway, natural disaster experiences, or simply share some fun historical facts about our community.

Memories can be viewed and shared at the display case located across from the Circulation Desk starting in the beginning of March. Memories will be rotated in and out bi-weekly or monthly based on number of submissions we receive. If you have a photograph to go along with your memory, please submit that as well. We will scan and return the original photo to you. If you don’t have a photograph to share, we will include one from the Library’s collection.

Memories shared with the Library will be placed on display, preserved, and may be included in future projects as well. Submission forms can be found by the display case; leave forms in drop box or hand them in at the Reference Desk. For more information, please feel free to speak with me, or with another librarian at the Adult Reference Desk.

Help us remember and be remembered! Thanks!

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