06/23/14 7:00am
06/23/2014 7:00 AM
Gail Horton. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

Gail Horton. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

The Mattituck Historical Society is presenting “Mermaids: Tales of Greenport” on Wednesday at Mattituck-Laurel Library.

Gail Horton will also share a PowerPoint presentation of hand-hooked rugs.

Refreshments will be served. The event starts at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Lauren at 631-298-8431.

03/21/14 7:00am
03/21/2014 7:00 AM

Mattituck-Laurel Library

The Mattituck-Laurel Library is hosting a cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course and an automated external defibrillator (AED) class at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 21.

Individuals completing the course receive one-year certification from American Heart Association. Fee: $65; $50 Mattituck and Laurel residents. For more information, contact the library at 631-298-4134.

07/21/13 12:00pm
07/21/2013 12:00 PM

CLAIRE LEADEN PHOTO | Southold Free Library employee David VanPopering with one of the fishing poles residents can check out.

In recent years, libraries have become much more than just places to borrow books. Patrons have also become accustomed to checking out music and movies and attending classes at their local library.

Still, there are a few things you might not even know your library offers. For example, all Suffolk County libraries accept cards from any library in the county, so feel free to visit the other book lenders if you’re interested. Keep in mind, though, that each library may have its own restrictions about lending items to non-residents.

Here are some unique possibilities available to you at libraries across the North Fork. Some of these features are available in multiple locations, so call ahead to your own local library to see if they offer a similar program or service.

Floyd Memorial Library, Greenport, 477-0660

If you want to exercise your mind, Floyd Memorial allows patrons to take out jigsaw puzzles. It also has a slide projector for rental and a large graphic novel collection in its book section.

Recently, the library established a digital magazine collection so cardholders can read a variety of magazines for free right on their computers. Also, for Orient residents who don’t want to travel to Greenport to check out books, the reference librarian sets up a “pop up” library at the Orient Country Store twice a month with a selection of books to choose from.

Southold Free Library, 765-2077

Patrons of Southold Free Library can use their library cards to borrow Kindles, iPads and Nooks and enjoy reading in a more modern way. Another option that’s uncommon among libraries is that Southold offers fishing poles to take out.

“It’s an idea I came up with last summer,” library director Caroline MacArthur said. “We live in a summer community so it’s perfect for out here.”

The tablets and fishing poles, however, are available only to Southold library cardholders.

The library’s computers are loaded with the Ancestry Plus program, which allows patrons to look up their family history and trace their genealogy for free.

Patrons can also purchase tickets to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead at a discounted $14. And for anyone in Southold or Peconic who is unable to make it to the library in person, there are volunteers who will deliver books to them.

Cutchogue New Suffolk Free Library, 734-6360

The Cutchogue library also has a homebound program, but rather than deliver books in person it does so by mail to anyone who cannot visit the library. Through “live-brary,” the cooperative website of all Suffolk County libraries, Cutchogue also offers the Mango language-learning program. There is a wide variety of choices on the website, but if you’d rather not learn online, Cutchogue also holds an Italian conversation class every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. during July.

There is also a new service on the library’s website called Indieflix, which allows patrons to stream films from independent festivals. There are also iPads available for use within the library.

Mattituck-Laurel Library, 298-4134

The Mattituck library is a designated Family Place Library, offering many services for both children and adults. When school starts again, children going into preschool and kindergarten can borrow backpacks filled with DVDs, books and other materials to help them prepare for the new school experience. Educational toys are also available for children to check out and there are laptops and iPads that can be used in the library’s children’s room. New parents can pick up an Infant Kit filled with materials and information for parents of newborns.

Adult services include a library card smartphone app, which has the patron’s library barcode on it so there is no need to have a library card anymore. The library also offers free passes to nine different museums, including many in New York City.

Patrons can gain access to the program Freegal, which downloads songs, for no charge, and Zinio, which provides free online subscriptions to magazines.

Riverhead Free Library, 727-3228

There is a whole section of the Riverhead library’s website dedicated just to the services it offers. In the library building itself there is a book and magazine magnifier for the sight-impaired, a self-checkout machine for checking materials out quickly, and multiple rooms that can be reserved for no charge by any non-profit organization or group.

Riverhead also offers museum passes at their reference desk and has volunteers that deliver materials to those who need it.

North Shore Public Library, Wading River, 929-4488

North Shore Public Library offers tons of fun for kids — there are Nooks for checkout, iPads for library use and even video games that kids can borrow for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox.

For older audiences, the library offers discounted subscriptions to the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic, with transportation available to and from the library. Museum passes are also available for borrowing.

Patrons at each of these libraries can manage their library account online. After opening an account you can reserve and renew books, pay fines and view the history of books checked out.

Visit live-brary.com for access to all the information and services from libraries in Suffolk County, and check out each library’s own website for newsletters featuring the many programs for children, teens and adults that are hosted all summer long.

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07/08/13 10:00am
07/08/2013 10:00 AM

Did you know that there are two Mattituck-Laurel Libraries?

There’s one in the real world, but also an exact replica in the virtual world of Minecraft, an online video game that has grown tremendously in popularity over the last few years. On June 20, the library launched its own server for the game, on which an exact digital version of the building exists for the Minecraft world.

The idea was sparked by an article in the monthly magazine School Library Journal, said Karen Letteriello, the library’s co-manager of children’s services. The article encouraged libraries to start Minecraft clubs and use the game as a learning tool.

“I read the article and thought, ‘Wow, a virtual 3-D world that’s similar to Legos. We have to have it.’ ”

Still, Ms. Letteriello wanted to ensure that game was a viable learning tool. As she researched Minecraft, she came across the studies of Dr. Susan Ambrose, director of Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Ambrose found that game-based learning in virtual environments makes learning more fun for kids, motivates them, immerses them in material so they learn more effectively and encourages them to learn from their mistakes.

The library then enlisted the help of Elizabeth Grohoski, who processes all materials for its children’s room collection, to bring the Minecraft library world to life.

Ms. Grohoski, an avid player of the game since it launched in 2009, painstakingly photographed every part of the library to create the virtual version online.

Players enter through the library doors, which look just as they do in real life, and “walk” up to the circulation desk. They can turn right to go into the children’s room or left to go downstairs. Everything appears exactly as it does outside the game.

Ms. Grohoski has created scavenger hunts and quests throughout the virtual library that introduce young players to literature without their even realizing it.

Throughout the virtual library, she placed “treasure chests” full of books — the same books found in the library’s real collections. One of the books in each chest holds a clue to the location of the next chest.

“It’s cool looking through all of the books,” 13-year-old Minecraft fan Collin Kaminsky said while gaming. “It still has descriptions of all of the real books in the library even if you don’t need them for the quest.”

Library director Kay Zegel said the digital library is the first of its kind. Although other players have created general libraries in the game, this is the first representation of an actual public library designed exactly like the real thing.

The library did a test round to see how children played and the response was said to be overwhelming. During one of the test rounds, four boys with their faces glued to their computer screens were asked what they thought about the game and the virtual library.

“Awesome!” they all screamed.

“I’m just glad they enjoy it,” Ms. Grohoski said. “I was rather surprised by the amount of enthusiasm. I was not expecting that intensity.”

Children who already own the online game (Minecraft costs $26.95) can download the library world and play at home. Those who don’t own it are welcome to play for free at the library, which has four gaming computers and an iPad.

Every Friday throughout the summer there will be four one-hour gaming sessions — but be sure to call and reserve a spot; the computers fill up fast.

“The librarians are always on the cutting-edge of resources and they’ve done a great job of bringing them to the kids,” said Lori Connolly, whose son, Ian, is a big fan of Minecraft and plays at the library.

“My son loves it,” she said, “and I’m told it’s a great teaching tool as well, even though it might not appear to be. I’d love for the library to have a ‘Minecraft for Parents’ seminar now.”

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05/18/13 12:00pm
05/18/2013 12:00 PM

PETER KREN COURTESY PHOTO | The Mattituck Yacht Club Regatta was a popular annual event in Southold Town, with most of the stores closing as they would for a major holiday.

The popular “Images of America” book series has captured the history of small towns across the nation, telling each one’s story using black-and-white photographs.

Three local history curators have teamed up, tracking down over 230 images, to create the publication’s newest edition, “Mattituck and Laurel.”

The new 128-page paperback from Arcadia Publishing will hit store shelves next Monday.

It provides information dating back to the mid-1600s, documenting the community’s growth, which flourished thanks to the introduction of the railroad in 1844, connecting the hometown farming community to New York City distributors.

Mattituck-Laurel Historical Society president Norman Wamback, 77, of Mattituck began working on the publication in 2011, but had trouble gathering enough photographs.

Mr. Wamback then teamed up with Jeffrey Walden, 46, assistant director of Mattituck-Laurel Library and Gerard Matovcik, 65, the library’s reference librarian, and each curator brought personal strengths to bring the publication together.

Mr. Walden focused on tracking down photographs from heirs of early settlers.

“They require original photographs. So trying to track down originals was a challenge,” he said. “There were a good number of people that contributed from all over the country.”

Mr. Wamback authenticated the historical significance of each photo, contributing information to the captions — which Mr. Matovcik fashioned for each and every photo.

Each caption introduces a new story, bringing life and character to the corresponding photo printed above it.

“We like the idea of using the photographs because they bring the town to life,” Mr. Matovcik said. “We found we can enjoy what the townspeople did 100 years ago, whether it was clamming in Mattituck Creek or putting together a theater production at Mattituck Theater.”

MATTITUCK-LAUREL LIBRARY COURTESY PHOTO | Library Hall and the train depot, on the corner of Westphalia Avenue and Pike Street, as they stood in 1905. Library Hall later burned down.

“There are pictures in here we guarantee no one has ever seen before,” Mr. Walden said. “We hadn’t.”

A major theme of the book’s eight chapters is life on the water.

Highlighting that theme, the authors chose a 1910 photograph of people enjoying a day on Mattituck Creek as the book’s cover.

“People who live in Mattituck today still enjoy the Sound, they enjoy the bay, the lakes, so we really wanted to focus on that,” Mr. Wamback said.

A photograph dated 1916 shows Mattituck Oyster Company driver Henry Delaney transporting barrels of Mattituck Creek oysters by horseback through the snow on sleds. The barrels were brought to the railroad for delivery to restaurants and hotels in the city.

“People probably didn’t realize Mattituck Creek had oysters and that they were sought after in their day,” Mr. Matovcik said. “The creek was able to provide.”

One of his favorite photos shows contestants and spectators at the 1914 Mattituck Yacht Club Regatta, a popular community event that took place on the creek. It was considered a holiday in its time, and many of the stores in town closed down for the event.

A photo of the regatta years later in 1921 shows hundreds of people lining the waterfront to get a view of boats passing by.

What is known today as Love Lane was called Railroad Avenue in 1910, and it was the business district of the town.

“The railroad was able to bring the factories to the farmer,” Mr. Matovcik said.

The Hudson Canning Factory set up shop right next to the railroad. In 1910 workers canned asparagus, tomatoes and cauliflower, among other things.

“We had some photos of them packing railroad car after railroad car of cauliflower that was shipped all over the U.S.,” Mr. Matovcik said.

Photos of early community life feature the Mattituck Baseball Club in 1900 and the 1908 Mattituck Fire Department volunteers. A 1909 photo shows a “hairpin turn” in Mattituck that drivers in the Long Island Stock Car Derby had to maneuver their early-model cars around.

The book also features prominent families from Mattituck, including photos of the Tuthill clan, whose farm dates back before 1890.

Interesting facts, including where one might find a drink during the days of Prohibition, or where city visitors came to stay back in the 1900s, add to the many things one can learn after picking up the book.

Mr. Walden said the book is a great introduction to the town’s history.

“[Proceeds from the book] will be poured right back into the local history collection, giving us the chance to support more of the local history,” Mr. Walden said.

“Were hoping the people who live here, or even out of state, if they have a connection to Mattituck, they will be able to read up on it,” Mr. Matovcik said. “They can see what it was like out here.”

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04/08/13 3:47pm

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | A brave mom wears a skink like a hat at the Jungle Bob show at Mattituck-Laurel Library Saturday.

It was a wild afternoon at Mattituck-Laurel Library Saturday as exotic creatures from all over the world were welcomed for a hands-on visit.

Led by wildlife expert and conservationist Jungle Bob, the program introduced some of the most misunderstood animals to a standing-room only crowd of kids and parents.