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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Category Archives for Research

Groupthink

Groupthink

Definition of Groupthink: a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/groupthink

Groupthink, a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment” (p. 9). Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups. A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.”

http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm

Groupthink occurs when a group with a particular agenda makes irrational or problematic decisions because its members value harmony and coherence over accurate analysis and critical evaluation. Individual members of the group are strongly discouraged from any disagreement with the consensus and set aside their own thoughts and feelings to unquestioningly follow the word of the leader and other group members. In a groupthink situation, group members refrain from expressing doubts, judgments or disagreement with the consensus and ignore any ethical or moral consequences of any group decision that furthers their cause. Risk-taking is common, and the lack of creativity and independent thinking have negative personal and political implications for both group members and outsiders. Groupthink decisions rarely have successful outcomes.”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/groupthink

Groupthink -  you’ve probably heard this term before - it gets bandied about in the media with some frequency - but have you thought about what it really means?

Groupthink is not the same thing as collaborating with others in a group to form a consensus. Groupthink is characterized by conformity and blind obedience due to coercion and pressure from the group’s leadership. When individual opinions and creative thought are suppressed by a group, poor - even dangerous, decisions are often the result. When members of a group seem fearful of sharing an alternative idea or disagreeing with others in the group it is not a healthy group.

History teaches us that Groupthink and blind obedience can produce disastrous results: slavery and ‘Jim Crow’ laws, the Holocaust, the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, McCarthyism, the massacre in the Jonestown Cult, the massacre in Tiananmen Square, and recent massive separations of children from their parents by the U.S. government are just a few examples that come to mind.

We humans have the power to think – to reason, analyze, weigh evidence, consult various sources, and to logically evaluate facts in order to make decisions. It can be an enlightening exercise to consult various news sources, especially ones that offer viewpoints that seem different from what you usually hear.  If you generally only read one newspaper, or listen to one radio station, or watch one TV network it’s quite possible that you are getting a biased presentation. Try listening to what multiple sources are saying about the same event, then do some fact checking* and form your own opinion!  Be prepared to express your viewpoint and make your case. Support your opinion with solid arguments and examples from multiple and varied sources. Then, the next time you find yourself in a group in which everyone is agreeing but you feel differently, speak up! If we do not exercise the power of our minds, we risk becoming “sheeple” – no better than a sheep who would follow the one in front of him straight off a cliff or into the clutches of a hungry wolf. It can be scary to express an idea that is unpopular with your group, or “tribe” – but it’s necessary for all of us to hear other ideas and to expand our minds. Respectful civil discourse, varied ideas, and thinking voters are the necessary ingredients of a healthy democracy.

As Albert Einstein once said,
“When we all think alike, no one thinks very much!”

Listed below are some interesting books in our collection at the Islip Public Library on becoming a more logical, individual thinker. Check one out today – exercise your mind by reading, analyzing, and thinking for yourself!

  • The Art of Thinking Clearly.  By Rolf Dobelli
  • Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking.  By D. Q. McInerny
  • Crimes Against Logic: Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists and Other Serial Offenders.  By Jamie Whyte
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    How to Think.  By Alan Jacobs
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    Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.  By Adam Grant
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    Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations.  By Amy Chua
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    Post-Truth.  By Lee C. McIntyre
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    Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.  By John J. Ratey
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    Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.  By Ori Brafman
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    Thinking Fast and Slow.  By Daniel Kahneman
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    You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself.  By David McRaney

Get the Facts!

Fact Checking Sources:

Library Resources Can Help Find the Right Job For You

Are you employed but looking, underemployed or unemployed? Be sure to stop by the library on Friday, October 13 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm for our 10th annual job fair presented by the Suffolk County One Stop Employment Center.

Do you know how to apply for jobs online? Sign up here for a workshop on Wednesday, October 4th at 7 pm.

Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen potential job candidates, and many résumés never make it through these systems. This workshop, led by career counselor Karen McKenna, will provide specific strategies job seekers can use to strengthen their résumés and make use of networking connections to get that interview.

Take a look below at these job related websites. These websites are great if you are looking for a job, and for writing or revising your resume and cover letter.

The Islip Library also has an online database called “Career Cruising” as well as books, ebooks and audiobooks on job and career information.

Career Info. Websites

Resume/Cover Letter Websites

Library Services

Try Career Cruising for exploring careers.Career Cruising is an interactive career guidance and pathways planning tool designed for people of all ages. The tool can help students to explore different career options, manage course selections online--and plan various pathways to meet the requirements for their desired career path.

Alternative Facts: How to Discover What’s Really True

What Do These Three Statements Have in Common?
Why They are Alternative Facts, Of course!

  • February has 31 days
  • 2+2=5
  • It never rains on Wednesdays

We seem to be bombarded with information at every moment. In addition to radio, television, and newspapers, the Internet feeds us information all day, and because we often choose sites that validate our own personal preferences, the news that is fed to us is increasingly one-sided! That’s why it’s so important to consult a wide variety of sources for news. Be on the alert for stories that “go viral” on social media like Facebook and Twitter. It’s easy to make a post look like the real thing, but it may be a complete fake.

It’s never smart to believe everything you read or hear. You need to check and see whether or not it is actually a verifiable fact.

Librarians always verify the truth of information - so should you. When librarians do research we choose authoritative (credible) sources and if we do enter something into Google, we never assume that whatever it turns up is accurate. In order to determine validity we go to the source. What is this website? Where is it coming from? Who is contributing to it? Is it maintained by people who can submit whatever they like? Is it a for-profit/commercial sight? If it is for-profit then obviously a profit is being made from what appears on the site, and the agenda and motives of the site’s contributors will surely be influenced by how much money they stand to make. When searching for definitive, reliable information on the Internet always look for a domain name that does not end in .com. Instead, look for .org (a nonprofit organization) / .edu. (an educational institution) / or .gov (a governmental institution) sites. Then, be sure to compare the information you find on the various sites in order to confirm accuracy.

Rather than searching the Internet, librarians often use sources such as subscription databases of newspapers, periodicals, journals, and reference books whose contributors are professionals and experts in their fields. Their work is reviewed by their peers for accuracy. When you see that a source is “peer reviewed” you know that accuracy has been verified, and verified again by trained professionals.

Becoming “information literate” requires applying these practices when consuming information. Information Literacy is comprised of: reviewing information in multiple authoritative sources; using your critical thinking skills to study the context and history of the issue; and in areas of controversy, reading a variety of opinions on both sides of the issue in order to draw your own informed conclusion.

Once upon a time in this country there was something called the Fairness Doctrine - a former federal policy requiring television and radio broadcasters to present contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance. The policy was challenged and ultimately revoked in 1987, after Congress passed a resolution instructing the FCC to study the issue. The explosion of talk radio in the late 1980s and early 1990s is largely a result of the end of the Fairness Doctrine. There are pros and cons surrounding the doctrine and its revocation, but the fact that it is now permissible for only one side of an issue to be presented as fact on radio and on television has certainly escalated the political rhetoric in our country.

One Internet source to use when verifying what you hear is www.factcheck.org Note that this site is a .org site indicating that it is not for profit. “Factcheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” That information is taken verbatim from their mission statement. The site is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The fact checkers themselves are all trained and experienced journalists. Journalists and librarians have something very important in common – we check and re-check multiple sources in order to verify information.

When a politician or a candidate makes a statement and presents it as fact, you should always check to see if it is really true. Don’t believe everything you hear! Be a critical thinker and learn to question everything.

A democratic society relies on educated voters who make informed decisions for the common good of the people. Libraries are the backbone of a democratic society because we provide free access to reliable information for everyone.

The catchy sound bites that are presented on newsy talk shows are designed to grab your attention and to tap into the basest of human emotions - fear and anger. Instead, use your brain to investigate and learn the facts.

The Library has many resources that are available in the building as well as from your mobile device or home computer. If you’d like help in accessing these resources call us at 631-581-5933 or stop by the Adult Reference Desk to speak with a librarian.

Be an informed citizen and voter – check the facts!

Land of the Lost Url Part 2

Land of the Lost Url! Part 2

Once again let me introduce you to a few non-profit, educational, and government websites dedicated to entertaining and informing kids. I am still focusing on websites created by federal agencies this month, but I will move on in the next installment to the many available educational websites. So enjoy these websites and remember it is truly incredible that there are so many great sites out there nobody knows about! Hey, you can actually learn about something on the internet!

NASA - http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/index.html

NASA has some amazing websites. Not only do they have the content to make their sites exceptional, they really went out of their way to make their public sites accessible and easily understandable for the public. This one for kids is magnificent.

NASA Space Place - http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this site! If you are a child and are interested in astronomy and human spaceflight, this is a great site for you. This is what I would call “high interest” site, with bright colors, easy to navigate sections and enjoyable activities for children. NASA did their homework with this site.

Train like an Astronaut - http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/trainlikeanastronaut/home/index.html

Another entertaining, enlightening site from our space agency.

Library of Congress - http://www.loc.gov/education/

The Library of Congress is our Nation’s library, the largest in the world, with millions of items in its collection. Online it has many impressive resources for a kid (or an adult!) researching and also for amusement. Here are a few that stand out!

Local history mapping - http://www.loc.gov/maps/?q=long+island&st=gallery

I picked this one because it searches the LOC collection for your local history maps, in this case Long Island, NY. Some of them are really fascinating!

Everyday Mysteries - http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/

This site deals with trivia that a child will find amusing.

The Exquisite Corpse - http://read.gov/exquisite-corpse/

An excellent audio book mystery, written by some of today’s hottest writers.

America’s Story - http://www.americaslibrary.gov/index.html

This has a nice interface and is another “high interest” site with many terrific topics.

Here are some Federal Agency websites that are interesting and fun for kids!

F.B.I. for Kids - https://www.fbi.gov/fun-games/kids/kids

With games for kids, and information about the FBI, this is an awesome site.

F.E.M.A. for Kids - http://www.ready.gov/kids

The focus on this site is disaster preparedness, always important!

C.I.A. World Fact book - https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

Not really a kid’s website, this is more of an up-to-date information guide for citizens and government insiders, with data for most of the countries in the world. Another super resource for kids doing a report.

Government Printing Office (GPO)
Ben’s Guide - http://bensguide.gpo.gov/

This really well-designed site is all about our nation, its government and people!

A few choice children sites about our government!

Kids.gov- https://kids.usa.gov/

Government information for kids, with posters and facts. Also useful for teachers!

US CONGRESS - https://www.congress.gov/

This is not a children’s site, but it does contain wealth of information.

Kids in the House - http://kids.clerk.house.gov/

This site shows kids how the legislative branch is run and how the house of representatives does its job. There are sections for different age groups and has a neat layout.

The Dirksen Center, Congress for Kids - http://www.congressforkids.net/index.htm

This site has information on the different branches of our government and how laws are created. It also explains the electoral process and how we elect our leaders.

NY State Government Links

Here are two standout sites from New York State for kids. They are instructive and educational!

NY Department of State - http://www.dos.ny.gov/kids_room/

State Assembly Kids Page - http://assembly.state.ny.us/kids/

All these sites need to be visited in order to see how superb they are. I hope you enjoy them. In the meantime, if you come across a website that you think I should feature leave a comment below!

Better You

Write Your Way to a Better You

Did you know that writing can have a number of benefits to you both physically and mentally? Below are a list of ways writing has been proven to benefit your body and mind:

1. Writing can help you recover from a traumatic event:

Writing expressively can help injuries heal faster. Expressive writing, according to a study from New Zealand researchers, involves writing about your most personal, deep-rooted feelings, desires, and fears. An article from Harvard Health discussed how stress, trauma, and unexpected life developments — such as a cancer diagnosis, a car accident, or a layoff — can throw people off stride emotionally and mentally. Writing about thoughts and feelings that arise from a traumatic or stressful life experience — called expressive writing — may help some people cope with the emotional fallout of such events.

2. Writing can help improve your memory:

Write it, don't type it, if you want knowledge to stick. Writing can help you better retain the information you are writing, according to research. That’s because in the physical act of writing, signals are being sent from your hands to your brain to build motor memory.

3. Writing can help you sleep better:

Spending just 15 minutes a night writing down what you’re thankful for could do wonders for your sleep, according to an Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being study. Researchers found that study participants who wrote down a list of things they were grateful for before bed experienced longer — and better — sleep.

4. Writing can make you feel happier:

Keeping a gratitude journal may help you feel happier. An article from The New York Times reported that people in the study who kept a gratitude journal that they wrote in once a week for two months were more optimistic about life compared with people who did not keep a journal.

5. Writing can reduce stress:

Articles from Everyday Health and Healthy Women say that keeping a journal or diary is an effective stress relief exercise, and people who write in a diary or other notebook reap both physical and emotional benefits. You can use journaling to help you deal with stressors you don't feel comfortable sharing with others. Stress psychologists have shown that journaling enhances immune function and can alter the course of chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

Come and tone up your writing muscles at the Islip Public Library during a two-part workshop in August, Writing to Exercise Your Mind: Mondays, August 15 & 20 from 2- 4 pm. Your writing coach, Anne Kelly-Edmunds, will lead stimulating writing exercises, group discussion, and offer constructive feedback that will help you to hone your talent.



Check the Facts: How to Discover What’s Really True

In this season of political primaries and conventions, when we are being bombarded by sound bites, how do we know that what we are being told is actually true?

It’s never smart to believe everything you read or hear. You need to check and see whether or not it is actually a verifiable fact.

Librarians always verify the truth of information - so should you. When librarians do research we choose authoritative (credible) sources and if we do enter something into Google, we never assume that whatever it turns up is accurate. In order to determine validity we go to the source. What is this website? Where is it coming from? Who is contributing to it? Is it maintained by people who can submit whatever they like? Is it a for-profit/commercial sight? If it is for-profit then obviously a profit is being made from what appears on the site, and the agenda and motives of the site’s contributors will surely be influenced by how much money they stand to make. When searching for definitive, reliable information on the Internet always look for a domain name that does not end in .com. Instead, look for .org (a nonprofit organization) / .edu. (an educational institution) / or .gov (a governmental institution) sites. Then, be sure to compare the information you find on the various sites in order to confirm accuracy.

Rather than searching the Internet, librarians often use sources such as subscription databases of newspapers, periodicals, journals, and reference books whose contributors are professionals and experts in their fields. Their work is reviewed by their peers for accuracy. When you see that a source is “peer reviewed” you know that accuracy has been verified, and verified again by trained professionals.

Becoming “information literate” requires applying these practices when consuming information. Information Literacy is comprised of: reviewing information in multiple authoritative sources; using your critical thinking skills to study the context and history of the issue; and in areas of controversy, reading a variety of opinions on both sides of the issue in order to draw your own informed conclusion.

Once upon a time in this country there was something called the Fairness Doctrine - a former federal policy requiring television and radio broadcasters to present contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance. The policy was challenged and ultimately revoked in 1987, after Congress passed a resolution instructing the FCC to study the issue. The explosion of talk radio in the late 1980s and early 1990s is largely a result of the end of the Fairness Doctrine. There are pros and cons surrounding the doctrine and its revocation, but the fact that it is now permissible for only one side of an issue to be presented as fact on radio and on television has certainly escalated the political rhetoric in our country.

One Internet source to use when verifying what you hear is www.factcheck.org Note that this site is a .org site indicating that it is not for profit. “Factcheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” That information is taken verbatim from their mission statement. The site is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The fact checkers themselves are all trained and experienced journalists. Journalists and librarians have something very important in common – we check and re-check multiple sources in order to verify information.

When a politician or a candidate makes a statement and presents it as fact, you should always check to see if it is really true. Don’t believe everything you hear! Be a critical thinker and learn to question everything.

A democratic society relies on educated voters who make informed decisions for the common good of the people. Libraries are the backbone of a democratic society because we provide free access to reliable information for everyone.

The catchy sound bites that are presented on newsy talk shows are designed to grab your attention and to tap into the basest of human emotions - fear and anger. Instead, use your brain to investigate and learn the facts.

The Library has many resources that are available in the building as well as from your mobile device or home computer. If you’d like help in accessing these resources call us at 631-581-5933 or stop by the Adult Reference Desk to speak with a librarian.

Be an informed citizen and voter – check the facts!

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