Encyclopedias at your fingertips for kids, big and small!

Encyclopedias are huge resources of information on all topics A to Z.  Some are online and some in print.  They are major starting points for curious learners or those needing homework help.  Before school starts, here are a few:

  • Wikipedia is often a quick online resource, but not necessarily the best one for you.  It is a free online encyclopedia written by volunteers some of whom may be more knowledgeable than others.  CAUTION: Documentation and sources are very important.     caution
  • Research tools provided by the North Castle  Library  https://www.westchesterlibraries.org/ include online encyclopedias in both English and Spanish targeted for specific ages. They are current and all written by experts:
    • Britannica Academic or the combined Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for the collegiate level research;
    • Britannica High or quick facts/in-depth information for the high school level;
    • Britannica Middle for information for the middle school level;
    • Britannica Elementary for information at the elementary school level;
    • Kids InfoBits designed especially for students in kindergarten to grade 5.
  • World Book Discovery Encyclopedia (J Reference) a 13 volume print encyclopedia including an atlas and index to all volumes that is easy to understand and use if you are just curious or need to better understand and research a new topic.

Bottom line:  All of us are here to help you with your homework or information needs, and we have so many ways to help you!  



August Celebrations, and some great books!

Continue reading “August Celebrations, and some great books!”

Happy Birthday, Henry David Thoreau!

Yes, the author of Walden was born on this day in 1817. Of course, we have Walden for you to borrow, and several other titles as well!

Expect Great things

Kevin Dann’s new biography examines Thoreau’s spiritual life. It’s been called  “A refreshing new perspective on an American icon” (Booklist),  and “A graceful, attentive inquiry into the mind of Henry David Thoreau”  (Publisher’s Weekly).

thoreau in our season

Published on the 100th anniversary of Thoreau’s death, this unusual book includes both poetry and essays by some of the great thinkers of the mid-twentieth century. Both Buber and Martin Luther King, Jr. contributed.

Thoreau at Walden

Finally, if you’re looking for a quick and excellent introduction to Thoreau,  you could try John Porcellino’s  graphic novel. Thoreau at Walden combines Thoreau’s own words and Porcellino’s drawings. Booklist says, “Marrying his minimalist line work to Thoreau’s minimalist philosophy, Porcellino manages a striking unity of words and art that works as an effective ode to simplicity.”

Just click on the pictures of the covers to find these books in our catalog!

Today is International Refugee Day

…and refugees are in the news! The library has many sources to help you sort out fact from fiction and understand what’s happening. But sometimes first hand accounts from refugees are real eye-openers. Here are a few that are accessible for both older children and adults.

of beetles and angels

The full title (it’s a bit hard to read in the image) is Of Beetles and Angels: a Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard. Mawi Asgedom survived civil war in East Africa and came to the United States at the age of seven. His autobiography tells his story of love, courage, discipline, and hope.

learning to die

Carlos Eire was just 11 years old when his parents sent him and his brother from Cuba to the U.S. as part of operation Pedro Pan. His parents hoped for safety and a better life for their boys. Blond, blue-eyed, and from a well-to-do family, Carlos didn’t face the level of prejudice some other Latino refugees had to cope with, but living without his parents in a strange country was still a challenge for the sensitive boy. Like Mr. Asgedom, Mr. Eire has achieved a great deal in his new country, and his story is gripping and beautifully written. The prequel is Waiting for Snow in Havana. 


You may remember this story from news reports. Yusra, a young woman from Syria, was fleeing the war with her sister. While approaching Greece, their boat’s engine died. Yusra jumped overboard, grabbed a rope, and began to swim, pulling the boat to safety.  In 2016, she fulfilled a lifelong dream and swam as an Olympian. Bestselling author Khaled Hosseini says, ” It is impossible not to be won over by Yusra, who once swam for her life at sea and is now fighting for the dignity and wellbeing of countless refugees like her whose lives have been upturned by war.”

Did you know June 14 is World Environment Day?

It is! and we’ve got lots of ways to help you celebrate!

  • Seed Library!purple-flower-flower-border-lawn-garden-design_11848Yes, it’s summer now, but we still have seeds for you to borrow. Some can be planted in the fall. Come to the information desk to learn more.
  • Movies!

Jane's Journey

A look at the life and work of the famous primatologist.


Pale Male

The famous red-tailed hawk who moved to New York City and raised his family there.


Continue reading “Did you know June 14 is World Environment Day?”

Got Vines?


IMG_8278Spring rains have brought out flowers, new growth on shrubs and all those invasive vines that ripple near and far over our plantings and beckon from trees like something out of a Tarzan movie.

I have a suggestion that will not only clear your property of these invasives, BUT it will:   1)solve your gift-giving dilemmas  2) fulfill your urge to craft  and 3) enable you to add greenery to your compost pile without worry of having the woody stems taking time to break down



Here is all you need to do:  1) Review your property and cut the invasive vine as far to the ground as possible, or pull it out completely if you are able.

2) Denude the leaves off the stem and add them to your compost pile or throw them back into the garden as mulch.


3) Start to twist the flexible stems around into a circle, an oval or whatever shape you desire to work with. At this point the vines are able to be manipulated to the point you can even weave them into a basket, but…that is another craft …

Twist as many stems around and intertwine them so they interlockIMG_8275. No clips or ties necessary.  Make sure that all leaves are removed, They may look pretty at the moment but this is a craft that is made to dry.

Use the thinner thread-like stems to “tie” or bind the uncooperative stems to conform to the shape. When all is to your liking, set it aside and let it dry! Decorate according to season, or occasion. It looks lovely as a plain undecorated rustic wreath !


Just a note of Caution: Make sure the vine is NOT poison ivy LEAVES OF THREE: Stay clear of ME 

American Heroes

50 years ago today, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. This was just over two months after the murder of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. If you’d like to learn about these heroes, the library can help!

Bobby Kennedy

An in-depth biography that ” brings Bobby Kennedy to life like never before and is destined to become a political classic.” (amazon)

Last campaign

Publisher’s Weekly says this book is “an iconic portrait of the passionate, turbulent zeitgeist of the 1960s. 8 pages of b&w photos. (June) ” It is also a portrait of a passionate and driven young man who believed he could make a difference.


As The Last Campaign examines the final days of Kennedy’s life, Redemption examines King’s. Reviewing the book for the New York Times, Charles Blow says, “… this slender volume is immersive, humanizing, and demystifying.”

testament of hope

Finally, here are Martin Luther King, Jr’s own writings, including his famous Letter from the Birmingham City Jail and his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Of course, these are just a start! You can find much more on both these men and their times in our library and the Westchester Library System. We’ve also got lots of materials on American heroes. Just visit us or contact us, and we’ll be glad to help you find just the right book for you!