NOPL’s librarians, clerks, assistants, interns, and patrons, talk.

Careers and Financial Literacy at NOPL

 Posted by pete on June 13, 2013
Jun 132013

AARP Tax Preparation

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 12 to 5pm
February 3rd – April 14th
NOPL @ N. Syracuse

Three times a week an AARP representative will help you prepare your 2012 tax forms this tax season. Sign up at the NOPL @ N. Syracuse information desk at or call 458-6184. (No program on Presidents Day.) Click to see all times in our calendar.

Forty Above: Workers in Transition

Fridays from 9:30am – 11:30am
NOPL @ N. Syracuse

40 Above is a networking group for unemployed professionals. Get job search advice, learn how to improve your resume, prep for job interviews and share contacts and resources with others seeking new career opportunities. New members welcome each week. Click to see all times.

Online databases

LearningExpress Library

An interactive online practice for academic and licensing tests including civil service, ACT, ASVAB, GED, SAT and more. It also contains dozens of career related eBooks and software tutorials.

Job & Career Accelerator

Combines everything you need for a successful job search. Explore occupations, search national job postings, create resumes and cover letters, and improve your work skills with software tutorials.

In our catalog

Here are twenty recent personal finance, money, and invenstments books available at the NOPL Libraries: Money-Smart-Books-at-NOPL.pdf

Free financial literacy web resources

The U.S. government’s website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on can help you maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.

Money Matters: Federal Trade Commission
Money Matters is a comprehensive personal finance website sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.) The FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, created this website to help you tackle some money issues head-on. Educational categories include: Scam Watch, Credit Cards, Managing Your Money, Dealing with Debt, Your Home, and Jobs.

Money As You Grow
The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability has developed Money as You Grow, a website creatively highlighting the 20 essential lessons kids need to learn about money. It divides up the lessons per age group and includes a downloadable poster.

National Endowment for Financial Education
Smart About Money, or SAM, is one of the many resources of the National Endowment for Financial Education(NEFE). NEFE is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping you make sound financial decisions throughout life’s ups and downs. At SAM, you’ll find practical articles, worksheets, tips and valuable resources from across the Web to help you understand and manage your money.

WaysHome: Fannie Mae
WaysHome™ from Fannie Mae is an innovative new tool in mortgage education. If you are struggling with your mortgage payments or facing foreclosure, Fannie Mae has created; so you can find the information you need, and get help before it’s too late.

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy
360 degrees of financial literacy is a free program of the nation’s certified public accountants to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stage of life.

Junior Gardeners

 Posted by pete on June 4, 2013
Jun 042013

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by Alyssa Newton, Summer 2013

Have you had the chance to visit the two raised garden beds outside of the NOPL at Cicero Library? This new community garden is under the care of the library’s Junior Gardeners – a summer reading club that meets once a week to plant and tend the two beds. They have been hard at work pulling weeds and planting an assortment of vegetables, including four types of tomatoes, beans, squash, zucchini, radishes and carrots. Their favorite plant is a mammoth “volunteer” sunflower that has made the garden it’s home this summer.

Inspired by this year’s summer reading theme “Dig into Reading,” children’s librarian Nicole Hershberger launched this club for children ages 8 to 12 at the Cicero Library Farm. In addition to learning about how to maintain a garden, children are learning about other garden related topics including habitats for beneficial insect pollinators, seed saving and science activities such as soil testing and analysis. Her favorite activity this year was the worm-composting project – “The Junior Gardeners had fun digging in the dirt and playing with live worms. It is great to see how motivated and excited they are each week to work in their garden. It is also wonderful that the parents are very involved in this project.” Nicole hopes the enthusiasm continues this summer and would love to bring the program back next year.

Interested in starting your own family gardening project at home? Check out these children’s gardening books to inspire your next project:

Kids in the Garden: Growing Plants for Food and Fun by Elizabeth McCorquodale
With over fifty projects to choose from, this fully illustrated book is a fun and accessible guide to kick start any home gardening project. Kids in the Garden encourages children to learn about gardening, healthy eating and caring for the environment. With easy to follow step-by-step instructions and fun illustrations, this book is perfect for children ages five and up.

First Garden: The White House Garden and How it Grew by Robbin Gourley
Children’s author and illustrator Robbin Gourley teaches students in Grades 1 through 5 about the White House garden and nutrition through beautiful watercolor illustrations. As part of Michelle Obama’s healthy eating campaign, this book tells the story of her garden and healthy kitchen, along with other famous gardens on the White House grounds.

The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons
Children will learn about vegetables and gardening in this colorful text by the popular children’s author Gail Gibbons. Colorful illustrations teach children different types of vegetables, how vegetables grow and fun trivia that support healthy eating habits and an understanding of where food comes from.

Butterfly Rescue Project

 Posted by pete on May 4, 2013
May 042013

By Alyssa Newton, May 2013

The NOPL @ Cicero Library Farm is excited to support Malerie Belles of Local Girl Scout Troop 10272 this summer, as she works to earn her Silver Award – the highest award a Cadette Scout can earn!

According to Malerie, “My take action community project is to build a butterfly garden at the Cicero public library. I chose to build a butterfly garden to increase butterfly and other pollinator populations in this area, which will in turn, assist with the production of food in the nearby Library Farm. Butterflies are also fun and relaxing to watch. I’ve learned that their habitats are disappearing at a rate of 3,000 acres per day in the U.S due to urban sprawl, pesticides, and insecticides. I want to create a place where it is safe for them to live and flutter. I also learned that butterflies are one of nature’s top pollinators and they are responsible for pollinating one third or more of all the fruits and vegetables raised each year in the United States; another good reason to have them around.” Malerie’s new addition to the Library Farm will help support the community garden section of Library Farm, creating a sustainable habitat that will help produce a healthy vegetable garden that is harvested for local food pantries.

To create a butterfly garden at the NOPL @ Cicero Library Farm, Malerie is looking for help from the community. She is collecting donations and supplies to make her project a success, including:
• Nectar plants and flowers, such as purple cone flowers, poppies, daisies, lavender, and milkweed
• Host plants and flowers for caterpillars, such as Queen Anne’s lace, red clover, wild lupine, small sunflower, dill and parsley
• Compost
• Wood/boards for raised beds (4ft lengths, 4-6” wide)
• Live butterflies to release in area
• Cash donations (tax free donation forms are available for companies)


Boy Scout projects at NOPL @ Cicero

 Posted by pete on April 10, 2013
Apr 102013

On April 10, 2013, NOPL gave certificates of appreciation to three Eagle Scouts of local Troop 116 for their time and effort on projects for NOPL @ Cicero.

  • Jon DeWolf created a platform for the LibraryFarm.
  • Jacob Finsel created three ECO-style picnic benches that line the sides of the library.
  • Maxwell Trickey added four interior benches for patrons.

Here are photos of the scouts and their projects:

By Alyssa Newton, April 2013

On April 10, NOPL gave certificates of appreciation to three Eagle Scouts of local Troop 116 for their time and effort on projects for NOPL @ Cicero. Jon DeWolf created a platform for the Library Farm. The platform features benches and tables for farmers to meet and share or patrons to relax among plants and flowers. Maxwell Trickey added four interior benches for patrons, and Jacob Finsel created three ECO-style picnic tables that line the sides of the library.

The manager of the NOPL @ Cicero branch, Jill Youngs, was excited the library had an opportunity to work with the Boy Scouts, praising their projects and leadership – “Every project was decided upon and created with an overall benefit to the community in mind.  The Eagles Scouts who donate their community service projects to the library are fantastic examples of our local young people. We appreciate their time and effort, and when people ask ‘Where did that come from?,’ we are proud to tell them ‘Our Eagle Scouts, Troop 116!’

Jacob Finsel, a senior at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, shared his experience working on the project and discussed his goals for working with the library. “For my Eagle Scout project I built three picnic tables to be placed around the library.  The design I chose incorporated a recycled composite material for the table tops and benches. The most rewarding part of the project was being able to see the finished product, which I am very proud of, after putting in so much time from the very beginning to the end. I chose the library for a place to do my project because others in my troop had done projects there and I heard that they were still in need of things.  I also felt that the library was a very important facility for the public and I was glad to help them out.” Jacob also shared his thoughts on what it means to be an Eagle Scout – “Being an Eagle Scout is an important accomplishment to me because it was a large goal that I have been working on for a long time and I am so happy I was able to achieve it.  It also feels good to know that I am one of the few people that have made it through all of the ranks and achieved Eagle status. I will keep all of the things I have learned along the way with me for the rest of my life.  It is an accomplishment that I will always be proud of.”

Be sure to stop by the NOPL @ Cicero Library to check out the wonderful projects completed by all three Eagle Scouts. Enjoy the sunshine this summer at an outdoor picnic table, take part in a garden program on the outdoor platform in the Library Farm and curl up with a good book on a bench inside the library!




Drop-in Art-in-a-bag Craft Time

 Posted by pete on April 9, 2013
Apr 092013

On April 3, 2013, over 50 people attended the Art-in-a-Bag drop-in craft time!

Teen April Fools Cupcakes

 Posted by pete on April 9, 2013
Apr 092013

On April 1st, 2013, Children’s Librarian Nicole put on a “April Fools Cupcakes” program at NOPL @ Cicero. The event was at full capacity, as you can see from these photos:

If you missed out on the cupcake program, good news, here’s a how-to on some of the cupcakes they made:

Corn on the cob:
A how-to video hosted by Nicole.

Cupcake + yellow frosting + jelly beans + yellow starburst. View the full recipe (

Peas n’ carrots:
Cupcake + green frosting + runts & jellybeans + orange starburst. View the full recipe (

Mashed potatoes:
Cupcake + white frosting + caramel sause + yellow starburst. View the full recipe (

Chicken drumstick:
Cupcake + white frosting + donut hole + white “chicken bone” + more frosting + cornflake crumbs. View the full recipe (

Northern Onondaga Public Library 8686 Knowledge Ln.
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