Posted by pete on October 5, 2013
Oct 052013

Podcasting Opportunities for Teens at the Library

Last Monday, NOPL @ N. Syracuse hosted a Teen Podcasting Workshop to assist teens who’d like to record audio programs to the Internet. For those who missed it, there are two more podcasting classes.

NOPL @ Brewerton: Monday, November 18, at 4pm

NOPL @ Cicero: Monday, December 9, at 4pm

Podcasts are free audio shows, similar to radio shows, but available to listen to anytime. In fact, some radio shows, like This American Life and All Things Considered, have podcasts that feature previous episodes. There are podcasts that focus on news, music, film, and comedy. There are tons of educational podcasts, where hosts teach a new language or a missed part of history.

The NOPL libraries, thanks to a New York State 2013 Library Cultural Programming Grant (made possible by Senator John DeFrancisco), have been given podcasting equipment for patrons to use. This includes a laptop computer and a professional microphone. Patrons at all three libraries (Brewerton, Cicero, and North Syracuse) will be able to check-out the podcasting equipment (as well as a study room to record) beginning in early 2014.

Chris Suppa, a patron of NOPL @ North Syracuse and member of the Teen Advisory Board, attended the first podcasting workshop. He has friends who record You Tube videos and is interested in starting a Teen Advisory Board podcast.  During the workshop, he learned the basics of recording with Audacity (a free audio editing program) and publishing using SoundCloud.

The workshops offer plenty of advice on how to make a good podcast, here’s a few examples:

Start short – make your podcast short in length at first. Just like how a novelist might begin with short stories, or a director may start with short films, spend the first few episodes learning your craft. Once you become comfortable broadcasting, extend the length.

Wear headphones – this is a good way to figure out how you sound (too loud, too quiet), and assists mixing your voice with other sounds (other participants, sound effects, instruments, background noise).

Bring a notepad with you – before recording, create a general outline of your discussion (as well as questions, random thoughts, jokes, etc.) Use the notepad during recording to keep track of what you have recorded to make editing easier.

“Other”, Our Curious and Convenient Collections

 Posted by pete on September 25, 2013
Sep 252013

Our collections include over 50K fiction books, 39K non-fiction books, 11K DVDs, 8k audiobooks, and 3k magazines. The last 1.6K items are listed under “other”. They include:

  • Video games
    • We have hundreds of games for Wii, Nintendo DS,  XBox, PS3, and PSP
  • Book Club Kits
    • Looking for new titles for your book discussion group? Let NOPL help! We added nearly two dozen kits to this growing collection that will appeal to all types of reading groups, featuring romance novels, mysteries, popular non-fiction and many New-York Times best sellers. Each kit contains ten paperback copies of the same title and a discussion guide. The entire kit can be checked out for a six-week period on one person’s library card. Watch for new titles! Click here for our full collection.
  • Family History Video Kits
  • eReaders and Tablets
    • Sony Touch e-Reader - available at NOPL @ Cicero for a three week loan.
    • Barnes & Noble B&W Nook – available at NOPL @ Cicero for a three week loan.
    • iPad – you can use an in-house iPad at NOPL @ N. Syracuse
  • Scanners
    • Each library has a document/photo scanner available to loan.
  • Laptops
    • There are at-site-only laptops available to take out, for an hour at a time, at NOPL @ Brewerton and NOPL @ Cicero.
  • Umbrellas
    • There are currently umbrellas available for three week loans at each library. Yes, Umbrellas!
  • Farming Plots
    • No we haven’t forgotten our Library Farm where you can loan out a plot of land to garden on.
  • OCRRA Season Pass
    • You can take out one of two OCRRA Compost Site Season Passes at NOPL @ Cicero.
  • Headphones
    • Available to loan for a whole day, as long as they stay at the library
  • Piano
    • Yes,  a piano! We have a piano in the NOPL @ N. Syracuse Community Room. You can “borrow” it for an hour at a time, depending on the event schedule.
  • Civics and Citizenship Toolkit
    • Available for a three week loan in the Non-Fiction/Law section of the NOPL @ Cicero branch.
  • Portable Floppy Drives
    • Each location has at least two floppy drives with USB connectors, for those who have modern computers but old 3.5 floppy disks. In-library use only.
  • Online Collections


Find eBooks easily.

 Posted by pete on September 19, 2013
Sep 192013

Have a new eReader, smartphone, or tablet, and looking for eBooks to read? Or are you looking for a classic book for free? There are plenty of places to find them, including the Northern Onondaga Public Library. With 3M Cloud Library, Overdrive, and other online resources, you can find many great books online.


If you are looking to borrow a new best seller, 3M Cloud Library is the first place to look. The service is the newest addition to our library collection, and features the latest from Khaled Hosseini, Daniel Silva, Carl Hiaasen, and Neil Gaiman. You can borrow and read the books for three weeks using an app available for PCs, Macs, most smart phones or tablets, as well as the Kindle Fire. Simply download the app, pick out the Onondaga County Public Library system via the dropdown list, and then browse, check-out, and read books. The app allows you to add bookmarks and write notes. If a book is checked out, you can add it to your hold list immediately.


Overdrive also has thousands of eBooks to borrow. If the book you want to read is not in the 3M Cloud Library, it could be here. The program also lets you download into different formats (even readable for the Kindle) or read it off your web browser. Overdrive features books by E.L James and James Patterson, and many more, and the borrowing time is three weeks. For both the 3M Cloud Library and Overdrive, you need a NOPL or OCPL library card and pin number.


TumbleBooks have animated talking books, read-alongs, programmed playlists (organized by grade or reading level), games and more. The books are created by adding animation, sound, music and narration to existing picture books in order to produce an electronic picture book which you can read, or have read to you. Books can be read online or downloaded! Many items made for iPad.

There are numerous places you can find free eBooks to keep. One of most comprehensive free eBook sites is Project Gutenberg. The site has over 43,000 free public domain eBooks, which you can either download or read online. If there is a famous book that was published prior to the 1930s, like “Moby Dick”, “Sense and Sensibility”, or “Hamlet”, chances are you will find a free copy here. Wikisource (a sister site of Wikipedia) has many public domain books to read and download, and Google’s Play Store also features a large free eBook collection.

If you want to buy an eBook, Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store, and Amazon’s Kindle Store are the most popular places to go.  Prices fluctuate, but most sell for around $10.

The Onondaga County Public Library has a great list of more places to look, as well as instructions on how to use the library’s eBook programs.



NOPL Patron Reviews

 Posted by pete on September 13, 2013
Sep 132013

We’d like know what you’ve been reading!

Check out some of our favorite patron reviews on Pinterest!

Red Scarf Project

 Posted by pete on September 4, 2013
Sep 042013

redscarf-webThe Northern Onondaga Public Library and the NOPL Knitters are proud to participate in a community knit to benefit the Red Scarf Project. During the fall, learn how to knit (or crochet) a red scarf, then chose donate it or keep it.

The Red Scarf Project benefits Foster Care to Success. The scarves are delivered to foster youth in colleges across the country. They focus on post-high school youth, who have “aged out” of the social service system but still need assistance in moving towards an independent life. According to their website, the nonprofit has delivered over 20,000 scarves since 2005. Foster Care to Success also accepts donations to furnish foster students with the resources they need to stay in school.

Please donate scarf by November 2nd: Bring completed scarf to the Red Scarf Collection Party on November 2nd at 11:00am at the Cicero library. Tea and cookies will be served (sign up). If you can’t make it to the party, drop off your completed project to the Cicero Library during regular hours throughout September and October. We will be displaying some of our favorites around the library!

To learn how to knit a scarf, or learn new patterns and techniques, come to a weekly NOPL Knitters meeting in September and October:

Mondays at 10:00am: NOPL @ North Syracuse

Tuesdays at 11:00am: NOPL @ Cicero

Thursdays at 5:30pm: NOPL @ Cicero

We will have some knitting materials on hand, but if you are able to, we’d encourage you to purchase your own needles and yarn. For each scarf, you’ll need one skein of red yarn and a pair of knitting needles (size seven, eight, or nine).

If you have any questions, call NOPL @ Cicero at 699-2032.

Suggested yarn found at local craft stores:
Wool-Ease (worsted); Average Price: $3.79
Deborah Norville Everyday (worsted); Average Price: $3.99
Berant Soft boucle (bulky); Average Price: $5.49

Here’s one of many red scarf patterns available online.

2013 Adult Summer Reading Program

 Posted by pete on July 21, 2013
Jul 212013


NOPL Adult Summer Reading
Don’t let the kids have all the fun. Read books and win great prizes!
NOPL @ Cicero and NOPL @ North Syracuse

About Summer Reading:
Program Dates:
July 1st – August 31st

Program Details:

  • Anyone over 18 is eligible
  •  Read a book, ebook or listen to an audio book of your choice
  • For each book you read, fill out a raffle ticket with a brief book review using the online form (see below) or pick up a raffle ticket at the library: the more books you read, the more chances you have to win!
  • Drawings will be held once a month on 7/31 and 8/31 (Prizes will be on display at the library)

Free NOPL Tote Bag: Read 10 books between July 1st and August 31st and win a NOPL tote bag! Download a reading log, or pick one up from the library. Turn in completed reading log to the service desk at NOPL @ Cicero or NOPL @ North Syracuse to claim your tote bag.

For more information about the NOPL @ Brewerton Adult Summer Reading Program, please call 315-676-7484 or visit the Brewerton Library at 5437 Library Street.

Northern Onondaga Public Library 8686 Knowledge Ln.
Cicero, NY 13039. 315.699.2534
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