Library Links

"Content that might be of interest to Teacher-Librarians..."


BeginningReads » TextProject

Connect students' oral language knowledge with written language

Print them, read on a screen or via an iPad (as a PDF)

"The BeginningReads program supports teachers, parents, and tutors in bringing children into reading. Before children learn about written language, they have developed a substantial oral language word bank. The goal of BeginningReads is to connect a student's oral language knowledge with written language. The texts do this by placing a premium on words that are both highly concrete and phonetically regular—words such dog, cat, pet, and big.

Each level has twelve 4-page books that share a set of concepts, which allows young readers to see the same words in many different texts. Each book is provided as a double-sided PDF ready to print.


Aboriginal and BC Books Catalogues

2012-13 ABPBC Selection Catalogues

"These catalogues have been selected from publisher submissions by teacher-librarians. The titles have been chosen for their relevance to school curricula and are annotated by professional evaluators.

See the "Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools":

See the titles in "BC Books for BC Schools":


Some new music apps

Discover new music

955 Dreams is the company responsible for developing apps such as Band of the Day , History of Jazz, and On the Way to Woodstock. History of Jazz and On the Way to Woodstock were designed specifically for the iPad. They take the user through a musical timeline of these periods. Band of the Day was the 2011 runner up for Best App of the Year (second only to Instagram).


A Private Universe - Science Misconceptions

Grasping basic science concepts

"This video brings into sharp focus the dilemma facing all educators: Why don't even the brightest students truly grasp basic science concepts? Interviews are held with high school students and Ivy League graduates asking them to explain what causes the seasons and the phases of the moon. Even the brightest students in the class have false ideas based on enduring misconceptions that traditional instructional methods cannot overcome."

Learn more at the "Private Universe Project"

Explore Ancient Egypt - interactive

A multi-layered, highly visual interactive

"Want to walk around the Sphinx? Clamber inside the Great Pyramid of Giza and seek out the pharaoh's burial chamber? Visit the magnificent tombs and temples of ancient Thebes? In this multi-layered, highly visual interactive, view 360° panoramas, "walkaround" photos, and other imagery shot throughout the Giza Plateau and ancient Thebes (modern-day Luxor). You'll see Old and New Kingdom tombs and temples, pyramids and statues, and a 140-foot-long wooden boat that is 4,600 years old.


2041 Journey to Antarctica

Coolest curriculum in the world

"This website is a flexible resource containing lesson plans and a wide range of activities to develop the knowledge, skills and most importantly the values needed to preserve Antarctica and create positive change to protect the future of our planet."


Adventures In Space | Lowell Observatory

Explore the Solar System

Explore the Solar System: click on the Sun, a planet, or the Moon to begin exploring!

"Check out a brief overview of a planet and then generate questions that still need exploring. The teacher can then help direct students to the resources they need to discover the answers."


We Scare Hunger: Halloween for hunger campaign

Trick-or-treating for non-perishable food items

"We Scare Hunger", formerly Halloween for Hunger, is "Free The Children's annual campaign to mobilize youth around local hunger issues.   By trick-or-treating for non-perishable food items instead of just candy, or collecting canned goods at school and in their community, young people help support their local food bank and raise awareness about the hunger issue.

Check out the website for a promotional video, and other ready-to-use resources (e.g. posters, notice cards and lesson plans)  Additional lesson plans on the local hunger issue are available on the website.  Here are links to elementary lesson plan and secondary lesson plan.

(Thanks Janet)

Travis’s Excellent (Ereader) Adventure - The Digital Shift

An ereader lending program

Travis shares his journey to use eReaders in his school library...

"Last year, we rolled out an ereader lending program in my fifth and sixth grade school library, and I plan to share here the ups, downs, and what-to-look-out-fors we encountered along the way. We'll talk planning and implementation of the program—but first, a bit of background. Let's hop into the librarian time machine (fashioned from an old card catalog I found on Etsy) and go back to August 2011….


ZooBurst - a digital storytelling tool - iPad

Easy to create Digital books

"ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books. ZooBurst books can be experienced on your desktop or laptop computer, or on your iPad via the free ZooBurst mobile app. Authors can arrange props within a 3D world that can be customized using uploaded artwork or items found in a database of over 10,000 free images.

ZooBurst authors can share books with readers using a simple hyperlink, and books can easily be embedded in any website or blog.

"Readers who have a camera installed on their computer can also experience any ZooBurst book in Augmented Reality by holding up a special symbol to the webcam to watch as a 3D pop-up book "jumps" out of the paper and into 3D. "


21st Century skills - webliography (BCTF)

Webliography on 21st Century Skills

A collection of articles, videos and webinars on the topic of 21st Century Learning and Skills.

Some examples:
  • Voice of the Active Learner [LINK]
  • I teach, therefore you learn..or do you? [LINK]
  • New Learners of the 21st Century (PBS) [LINK]

Internment of Italian Canadians during WWII - epub

Beyond Barbed Wire: Essays on the Internment of Italian Canadians

Featuring essays ranging from oral history and case studies to philosophical reflections and literary analysis, this volume is a thorough examination of the internment of Italian Canadians during World War II. Twenty essays by contributors from across Canada shine a light on events that profoundly affected the Italian Canadian community. This volume marks the passage of Italian Canadians from former victims of state authority to engaged agents of social change."Beyond Barbed Wire" looks back so that we can all move forward.

Download the ebook: ePub File  Mobi File
View the online exhibition here:


Interactive Starry Night

An animated version of Van Gogh's Starry Night

This could be a fun animation project idea for Art or Graphic Design or Animation students. (Pick and animate a painting by a Master.)

There is also an iPad app that lets you play with the Van Gogh piece.


Aboriginal Spirituality and Creation Stories Edukit

Aboriginal Youth Identity Series:
(the importance of oral history, storytelling, and legends)

"These lessons introduce general concepts to students. The lessons focus on the importance of oral history, storytelling, and legends as well as exploring the role of Elders in the Aboriginal community. We have developed an excellent resource base that will allow students to examine alternate ways of recording history such as through rock art and medicine wheels."


Creating a Text-Rich School

Build a literary-rich school environment.

Heather Wolpert-Gawron (Middle School teacher) has some ideas for spreading a culture of bibliophilia and literacy awareness throughout her school building.

"I'm a literature addict. And as a teacher, my mission is to spread this addiction to my own students. But I have a greater, more sinister, goal than that this year. I want to spread it to my entire school. And to do that, I have to allow literature to leak out of my classroom and into my school at large.

"I've talked in a past post about the importance of building a literary rich classroom environment, but I'm moving up in the world. I want to build a literary rich school environment....(visit her post to read more)


Intimidation à l'école - book suggestions

I've had a request for some French language books that deal with bullying. While this issue is addressed in a number of English picture books, and is often woven into YA novels, it can be hard to find equivalents in French. Here are some book suggestions I've come across. (Disclosure: I haven't read any of these titles.)

Booklist (+ video booktalks) on the topic of bullying

Bibliographie thématique sur l'intimidation (PDF)

Children's book suggestions

"Tous compagnons, foi de dragon." de Jean E. Pendziwol
Illustrations de Martine Gourbault [Scholastic]

"Tyranono : une préhistoire d'intimidation" (par Gilles Chouinard | Rogé) [Editions de la Bagnole]

A series of readers from Scholastic on this theme.
La série: "Attention! Intimidation"


Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits | Pew Internet Libraries

Explore the world of reading, with a focus on younger Americans.

I imagine many of the findings would be mirrored in Canada. The focus is on public libraries, but I wonder what habits and attitudes would be regarding school libraries?

"This report explores the world of e-books and libraries, where libraries fit into these book-consumption patterns of Americans, when people choose to borrow their books and when they choose to buy books—with a particular focus on the habits and patterns of younger Americans. It examines the potential frustrations e-book borrowers can encounter when checking out digital titles, such as long wait lists and compatibility issues. Finally, it looks at non-e-book-borrower interest in various library services, such as preloaded e-readers or instruction on downloading e-books."


The Random Reader- blog posts about reading

Resources from journals & other blogs that target reluctant readers

Interesting set of musings, resources, links and book suggestions.

"I created this blog for parents of reluctant readers to be the kind of resource that I would have enjoyed when I was struggling with my reluctant reader. (In fact, my son did not read until he was in the 3rd grade.) ... The goal of this blog is to compile resources from journals and other blogs that target reluctant readers to provide a single resource to support parents. I hope this will be a place of suggestions, positive support and a format to share concerns with other parents."


PBS LearningMedia - digital content for schools

Love to Teach with video? Then use PBS LearningMedia!

PBS LearningMedia™ is a free digital media content library that builds on the strength of public media and is the destination for relevant, educational resources for PreK-12 teachers.


Adrienne Gear Reading Power Recommended Book Lists

Looking for Book Titles to use with Reading Power?

See this page for current and past reading lists!


Striking slide presentations on your iPad

Create Stunningly Effective Slideshows

Haiku Deck, (an iPad app) lets you to create striking slide presentations. There are a number of simple templates, with premium designs you can purchase.  Because the app limits how much text a user can put on each slide, the focus is on the image or idea - not on lines and lines of cramped text.

Haiku Deck lets the user choose from Creative Commons images for each presentation. Type a few words on a slide, and Haiku Deck searches for pics large enough to fill the slide. (Users can also upload images from their iPad or import images from a number of sites: Flickr, Picasa, Instagram or Facebook.) Sign in with Twitter, Facebook or create your own account.


Intel Education: The Journey Inside: Introduction to Computers

Interactive resources to answer questions about technology

Text, videos and other resources to give students the background they need to understand the tools they use everyday.

"The technology behind computers and the Internet raises many questions on the part of students and teachers alike. How does the Internet work? What are microprocessors? How is electricity transformed into the images on the computer screen? These questions are all fundamental to understanding the Information Age we live in. The Journey InsideSM is a collection of interactive resources to answer commonly asked questions about technology."

Teacher Resources:


Online Pro-D for your Library Skills

IUPUI School of Library and Information Science - Online Courses

"The SLIS graduate program currently offers many web-based courses. These graduate courses are taught entirely online including web-based readings and resources, threaded discussions, plus online presentations, audio/video, and activities."

Some courses offer access to their lesson materials right on the site, without enrolling. Scroll through the offerings to see which ones have a "learn more" link.


Chris Kennedy - Keynote at 2012 BCTLA Conference

Leading from the Library
[slideshow link: the visual is a bit washed out in the video]

Great BCTLA PSA conference in Coquitlam this year. We were fortunate to have Chris Kennedy, Superintendent of Schools with the West Vancouver School District present his take on the role and importance of libraries and teacher librarians. Watch this Ustream video: it's almost like being there!

Note: The keynote itself begins at 3:16min. (The clip starts with a discussion question Chris asked us to respond to.) There is also 30 sec ad at the beginning courtesy of Ustream, and occasion ads midstream.


School Library Learning 2.0

The 23 Things Library Tutorial

Self-paced Web 2.0 learning for teacher-librarians

"This tutorial is brought to you by the California School Library Association (CSLA) 2.0 Team. You will learn the tools of the new Internet: Web 2.0 tools that are bringing our kids in touch with the entire world through social networking, wikis, video, podcasting, and gaming sites. The CSLA 2.0 team encourages you to take time to explore and enjoy."


San Diego Zoo Animals Website

A source for facts, articles, photos, videos, sounds, and more

Not only will you find great info on specific animals, if you scroll to the bottom of the page, there are links to Habitat collections and World regions as well.

"San Diego Zoo Animals (formerly Animal Bytes) is the source for facts, articles, photos, videos, sounds, and more about the wildlife that you can find at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, as well as animals and habitats that San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is working to help through conservation and research projects."

Here's a sample:



Virtual Summer Camp: The Newest Tools on the Web

Learning Tools for the 21st Century (Michael Fisher Webinars)
Virtual Summer Camp: The Newest Tools on the Web to Explore for Instruction (July 24, 2012)

Presented this past summer, scroll down to view the webinar archive, along with downloadable notes.

"Looking for new web tools to engage your students? Come to Virtual Summer Camp! In this webinar, Mike Fisher will explore some of the exciting web tools of the moment and explain how educators can use them for instruction. Fisher will discuss specific tasks and appropriate tool choices, as well as share helpful examples that have been implemented in real classrooms."

About the Presenter
Mike Fisher is a leader in education technologies, he has worked tirelessly for the advocacy of 21st century curriclum, and has presented on the topic at numerous conferences and institutes, including ASCD's annual conference in San Francisco and Summer Conference in Boston, as well at the National Curriculum Mapping Conference in New York in July 2011.

History of Libraries - Online Course

Libraries as portrayed on television and in movies

Here's a page from one of the lessons in the "History of Libraries" course offered via EduScapes. The entire website is very interesting, but the "Libraries in Television & Movies" section appeals to me! Watch clips from a variety of sources and spot the stereotypes!

The instructor asks:
  • How have libraries been portrayed on television and in movies?
  • How does the program reflect the time it was produced?
  • How does it reflect the time period of the story?
  • Is the program an accurate, stereotypical, or skewed view of libraries?

"Put a teacher-librarian on your team"

Lean on your teacher-librarian.

An article by Karen Lindsay, that appeared in the Sept 2005 issue of Teacher Newsmagazine,

"No one needs to tell you that the demands of teaching are constantly increasing. Our students have so many more needs, and need so many more skills than they once did to be successful. Curricular change seems like the only constant along with increasing class sizes. Nevertheless, it is important that students receive research assignments that teach them how to locate, evaluate, and use today's information, both in school and beyond. No one person can be expected to have the experience, knowledge, and time to teach information literacy and technology skills, while continuing to teach the child, and the curriculum. Teaching in today's school demands a team approach. Lean on your teacher-librarian."


D.E.A.R. October 2012 - send us your numbers!

How many are reading in your school this year?

DROP EVERYTHING AND READ 2012: Reading is a beautiful thing.
Let us know your school participation numbers using our Google form, whether you read on Monday, or any time over the next week! Help boost our participation numbers.

DEAR booth @ BCTLA Conference 2012
Thanks to everyone that dropped by to say "Hi!" at the BCTLA Conference yesterday in Port Coquitlam. We sold nearly 100 DEAR t-shirts and the bookmarks and posters went like hotcakes. Yee-haw! Here's a little taste of what you missed.



(Deadline for submissions is November 30, 2012.)

For many students and teachers across British Columbia, their school library plays an integral role in their learning--a place to work, get research assistance from trained teacher-librarians, check out the hottest new fiction, create digital media projects, collaborate and carry out inquiry-based projects--just to name a few!

STUDENTS, we want to hear from you:
  • What would your school be like without a library?
  • Why do you love your school library?
  • What does your school library mean to you?
  • What is the best thing about your school library?
CREATE A VIDEO TESTIMONIAL (under two minutes) and submit it to Jeff Yasinchuk, VP Advocacy, BCTLA at

We'll post your video on our YouTube channel and it will be voted on by teacher-librarians from across British Columbia.

First place prize includes a $150 Chapters/Coles/Indigo gift card for your school library. The student that submits the winning video will also receive a $50 gift card!

So, get creative and get that school library testimonial submitted!


Introduction to Physics Course (PH100) - Udacity -

Learn the basics of physics

"Study physics abroad in Europe -- virtually! Learn the basics of physics on location in Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, by answering some of the discipline's major questions from over the last 2000 years."

Click on the "Preview" button to watch the lessons and units from the course. Any of the units could be used as supplemental resources for a senior Physics class.


Udacity - Courses online- "Web Development" (CS253)

Start with the Basics

"Starting from the basics of how the web works, this class will walk you through everything you need to know to build your own blog application and scale it to support large numbers of users."

The first few lessons are a great primer to how the internet works - good review for IT students. (Click on "Preview" to watch course material without signing up for the whole thing.)