Library Links

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


Building a Digital Public Library of America

A new library platform for our digitally-mediated age

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a project to establish a new library platform for this digitally-mediated age. The planning began in October, 2010 and the goal is to bring together libraries, archives, museums, technology companies, private foundations, and public agencies.



New copyright legislation - implications for movie use in schools

The Copyright Modernization Act (CMA) - Implications for using movies in schools

As many of you know, the CMA was enacted on Nov 7th, 2012.

For the complete text of the CMA, click here. For the list of educational exemptions, click here. (Download a complete PDF here.)

Here is my take on the "new" landscape:

Under the old provisions, teachers, teacher-librarians, schools or district resource centres were required to obtain licensing (public performance rights) to show movies to students. Either the PPR was purchased when the movie was originally bought (ie all the educational movies at DRC come with PPR), or a yearly blanket licence was purchased by the district from two agencies (ACF & VEC) to cover any "hollywood-type" movies used in class.

Because the Copyright Modernization Act has now been officially enacted, the rules have changed. The ACF/VEC licences are no longer needed for classroom use. The result is that any cinematographic work (ie. movie) that is not an infringing copy (ie. not a pirated version) can be used in educational setting for educational purposes.

Essentially, if a movie is used in class, under a teacher's direction, targeting some kind of learning outcome, then there is no problem. Even as an assembly presentation, if used in the service of a learning outcome, under the direction of a teacher, in an educational setting, then it would seem to meet the test. (ie. something related to Bullying or Self-esteem as part of the Personal Planning curriculum would be legitimate, if framed in an educational context.)

To paraphrase from the CMA:
(b) Expanded Educational Exceptions
(i)  An educational institution or a person acting under its authority, for education or training purposes on its premises, can:
  • perform a film or other cinematographic work in the classroom, as long as such work is not an infringing copy and was legally obtained; and
  • reproduce, communicate by telecommunication and perform for students, legitimately posted works that are available through the Internet, provided that the source and author are attributed.
The only additional issue schools need to be aware of (related to movies), is that if a movie is used for fundraising purposes, or for "entertainment" outside of an instructional setting, then in that case PPR would have to be purchased (either from ACF or VEC depending on the movie producer.) The cost would be in the range of 55¢ per student for each of the licensing agencies.

BBC podcast - Open Book

Open Book Podcast: Children's literature special
Sun, 25 Nov 12 - 28 mins

  • Richard Curtis explains why he wrote "The Empty Stocking", his first children's book.
  • Jeff Kinney explains the key to the success of his bestseller "Diary of a Wimpy Kid".
  • Lauren Child and Charlie Higson - (who between them have brought us Ruby Redfort, the young James Bond, Charlie and Lola and zombies) - and children's book critic Amanda Craig discuss literature in new digital world.


Reading 2012 - Skills needed for online literacy

Digital literacies & reading from the screen

"Reading from the screen is different. Current forms of digital media behave nothing like 'books' or 'libraries,' and cause users to swing between two kinds of bad reading."

View Barbara Combe's slide presention from the 2012 ISLA conference. She speaks about the differences and similarities between reading hard-copy vs screen versions of info text. Her findings are that different skills are required, that the behaviours can be different and that for on-screen reading to be successful, students need a strong foundation of traditional literacy skills built on print materials. She also defends the use and value of fiction reading to build up a student's text competency.


American Memory from the Library of Congress - Historical Video clips

Vintage Film Clips from the US

The Library of Congress has a number of virtual film collections that are available for browsing and downloading. These could be quite interesting for History classes, Film programs or Art students looking for primary source material to mash-up.

Among the various subjects are topics such as:

  • Inventing Entertainment: the Early Motion Pictures of the Edison Companies
  • Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904
  • Origins of American Animation
  • The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906
  • Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: San Francisco, 1897-1916
  • The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920
  • America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894-1915

eBooks - Overdrive and in-browser reading

Overdrive Read: Platform agnostic and download free

If you are curious about new developments in eBook delivery, you'll want to see what Overdrive is working on. Overdrive is rolling out a new browser-based reading platform with no downloads required - similar to what Follett has done with FollettShelf.
(Just remember than none of these solutions is inexpensive!)

"Read eBooks instantly on almost any device - no apps, no software. Just you and your book with a single click.

Overdrive has also posted a handful of ebook previews (Book cover, Table of Contents and a chapter or so) on the open web. You can search their epub samples by using the "site:" command in Google.

For example, +young adult

This will bring up several Overdrive titles to preview in your browser window.

Samples like:
Genius Squad

Freddy and the French Fries

Teen Queens

All the Stars in the Sky


Compassion Books - difficult topics

Materials to help cope with losses of all kinds

Sometimes you need a book that addresses a difficult issue. You may find some helpful titles here.

"A resource list of more than 400 books, videos, and audios to help children and adults through serious illness, death and dying, grief, bereavement, and losses of all kinds, including divorce, suicide, trauma, sudden loss, and violence. All our resources are reviewed and selected by knowledgeable professionals.    



Dinosaurs Explained -

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about dinosaurs - video series

In the video series, "Dinosaurs Explained," Museum paleontologists Mark Norell, Michael Novacek and Lowell Dingus answer the most frequently asked questions about dinosaurs. Ever since the first dinosaur fossil was identified almost 200 years ago, people have wondered how these fascinating animals lived, moved and behaved. Equally as captivating as the bones themselves are the methods paleontologists use to find, collect and study dinosaurs.

In the playlist, start with the first question and play each video consecutively for a mini-course in dinosaur fossils.


Saving Face - Be a Savvy Facebook User

A few tips to ensure for a safe experience

"When socializing or communicating with Facebook here are some resources to support your understanding of the environment, a few tips to ensure for a safe experience, and some links to keep up you up to date on changes and privacy settings. The concept to be aware of is that anything online is not private. So be cautious and thoughtful about what you say, share and post. It will be associated with you on the internet and you may never be able to get rid of it. Think before you post!


Ouverture: French - iPod/iPhone video

Ouverture: by The Open University

iTunesU has many courses that could be useful at the high school level. Many of the materials included in these courses offer a supplemental bank of resources for students to access. While some "require" an iOS device to access (ie iBooks), video, audio and PDF files can viewed by anyone. This sample course offers 3 videos and supporting material.

"This course revises and consolidates your knowledge of French and teaches more advanced language skills whilst offering insights into many aspects of every day life in modern France. The course materials are carefully designed to develop the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. They also contain activities focusing on practicing language structures, grammatical explanations and learning strategies. This material is taken from The Open University Course L120 Ouverture: Intermediate French.


What Wellesley's Reading

Wellesley College faculty introduce you to books they're reading

"Listen as Wellesley College faculty introduce you each week during the fall and spring semesters to a book that they're passionate about in their field, and then read a brief passage to whet your appetite. The books might be little-known literary gems, beloved classics, scenes from plays, recent provocative essays, poems, thought-provoking analyses of current social issues, biographies, or many other literary forms. Take a few minutes to explore the books that captivate Wellesley faculty."



Canada's magazine of book news and reviews - Quill & Quire

The magazine of the Canadian book trade

"Quill & Quire is the magazine of the Canadian book trade and includes author profiles, news about upcoming books and developments in the Canadian industry, and reviews of new adult and children's titles. (The magazine reviews around 400 new titles each year, offering the most comprehensive look at Canadian-authored books in the country.)

"Q&Q also posts regular online updates, regular listings of new book deals, award nominations and wins, personnel changes, and more. The daily blog, Quillblog, spotlights book-related news in other media.