Library Links

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


Wikipedia: Friend or Foe (Webinar archive)

The sum of all human knowledge: learning from Wikipedia

As part of the "Library 2.012 Worldwide virtual conference",  Anne Bingham presents her session: Wikipedia: Friend or Foe? Her presentation is available as a webarchive from Collaborate/Blackboard. (Click on the recording link, download the applet and once the session window opens, click the play button at the bottom of the window.) It may take a few moments before Blackboard launches.



DIgital Books - read online

We Give Books

I've mentioned this site before, but it's worth revisiting as there are new books being added all the time.  The books load in a Flash viewer which is fine for PCs but  iPads don't like it, so try the browser Puffin or Rover, to see content. (Slow bandwidth might make them run sluggishly.) You will find a mix of fiction and non-fiction materials. A nice addition is an "Educator Resources" section that offers a range of activities and lesson plan ideas. Note: You will need to create a free account to read online.

"We Give Books" is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online. (WBG was created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation.)


Wacky Web Tales

Create funny, strange or wacky stories

This site is geared for students in grades 3 and up. They create "wacky tales" by entering random words into the Wacky Web Tales template. Users are prompted to input verbs, nouns, adjectives which are then combined into a funny, strange or wacky story. Fun to do on a Smartboard or in teams on an iPad and then send to the screen with AppleTV. It's a good way to review parts of speech.


The Cheap | Kids ebooks

Finding ebooks on "the cheap"

"The Cheap" is another source of free or low cost offerings from Amazon, Nook (Kobo) and Apple. The titles change frequently so be sure to check in often. Always double-check the price on the seller site before downloading as some offers are time limited. You'll find a range of "official" and self-published works here. (Note: While the link above brings up kids' books, there are also other categories available by browsing the site, so I would suggest sharing the availability of a particular title with kids, but not the whole site!)


No Twiddle Twaddle: free kindle books for kids

Free? Really? Great!

Amazon occasionally has free-to-download Kindle titles for kids. But you have to remember to keep checking! Fortunately, Bethany Winston has created a children's lit blog called "No Twiddle Twaddle" where each day, she posts a list of the newest best free eBooks available for kids. All you need is a kindle app and account and you can read these great suggestions. (Your students can read them on any device that will run a kindle app, but they'll have to do individual downloads.)


"Children's Books Forever" - some French titles

Picture books by Hans Wilhelm

A small selection of picture books available in PDF format. Some titles are in a range of languages. Each title can be viewed online in Safari, or downloaded and viewed with Adobe or Preview. Great for projecting on a screen or SMARTboard and used as a "big book."


Increasing your "reading footprint"

Maximizing your impact.

How can we remind teachers and admin of the amazing potential school libraries can unlock in a school? Think about how you can support the creation a culture of reading in your building. The links below offer some ideas (some old, some new). Increasing cirulation in your library is one way to raise your profile. (We have thousands of books on our shelves; let's put them to work!) While circ stats don't tell the whole story, check Destiny to see what your numbers look like, and think about what you could do.

  • Creating a Culture of Reading (2 blog posts)

  • Book Clubs in High School (BCTLA member paper)
  • The secret cultural institution in your school: The school library

  • The National Reading Campaign (Canadian initiative)


"The Rights of the Reader" poster

10 rights for readers!
How empowering for readers of all ages -  the "Rights of the Reader" poster by Daniel Pennac, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Link to poster) is worth sharing.

"Walker Books" from the UK also has a number of other free downloadables for some of the titles they produce, as well as fun activities for teachers and/or TLs to promote books. ( )



"Information literacy" video tutorials

"Where do I find the best info?"

The Library Director at Pima Community College, Bob Baker, has produced a a series of video tutorials on information literacy. (bbaker48) While the material is aimed at a college audience, the content is quite appopriate for senior high students. Begin with the overview to get a sense of this series.

Topics include:

  • Types of Information Sources
  • Online Reference Databases
  • Online Periodical Databases
  • Browsing & searching the web
  • Evaluating Information Sources
  • Plagiarism & Citation Styles

100 Powerful Search Engines You May Not Know About | Edudemic

Searching for search engines?

Edudemic shares a list of 100 "awesome search engines and research resources".  Most of these are specialty tools that target law, or medicine or literature etc.  Check out this up-to-date collection to discover that "perfect" search engine for the academic results you're craving.


The Librarian's Locker @The JHSS Learning Commons | Life in the Learning Commons

Johnston Heights Secondary Library Page

Johnston Heights in Surrey is re-inventing itself as a Learning Commons. Check out their library site (built on a WordPress blog) to see some of the ideas the TL has been trying out. Lots of food for thought, links to resources and suggested Web 2.0 tools for teachers and students.



MAPfrappe - Move Outlines

How big is France ... really?

This site lets you create an outline of one part of the world and overlay it on another place. For example, you can sketch an outline of BC in the "Reference Map" section, and then overlay the outline on Japan in the "Comparison Map." (Whatever outline you draw in the top map stays centered in the bottom map.)

You can use this page to answer questions like these: How big is Vancouver compared to my home town? How big is BC compared to France? If I put the Lion's Gate Bridge in my neighborhood, what landmarks would it overlap?

Note: If you draw the outline at one latitude, and then view the outline at a different latitude in the Comparison map, the relative orientation of the marker positions will be distorted.


E-Content Digital Supplement, May/June 2012 | ALM

E-Content - The Digital Dialogue

American Libraries Magazine has posted a digital supplement (from May/June 2012) that covers many different aspects of the ebook revolution and what it means for public libraries. Many of the issues will be of interest to school librarians. Access, licensing, users' rights, and more. Very interesting reading - and in digital format too!


Love Your Library Month

I "Heart" my library, I "Heart" Reading

February is just around the corner, and is a perfect time to think about some kind of a "love library" or "love reading" campaign in your school library. This kind of activity can be fun, and it can generate a little more interest and circulation!

Here are just a few ideas:

  • 1) Display books with red covers, or the word "love" in the title, or arrange books in the shape of a heart. (Extra: Use hearts or "sweetheart" candies in the design)
  • 2) Offer a cinnamon heart with each book checked out on the 14th.
  • 3) Students fill in a "book I loved to read" slip and get entered in a contest to win an iTunes or Chapters card.
  • 4) Every week in February, run a "battle of the books" where 4 beloved titles are voted on by the students as the "best loved book of the week". Set up a display with the 4 titles, and a blurb about each. You could even create a short video clip that could be looped on a computer screen.
  • 5) Have students complete the phrase "What I love most about my library is..." and put the decorated slips up on a display outside the library.
  • 6) Invite parents to come in and do some read-alouds during Valentine's week.
  • 7) Print or have students create "I love Reading" bookmarks. If it's a contest, the winning few designs could be mass produced for the school. [Link] [Link] [Link] [Link] [Link] [Link]

Displays for February and more


"Awful Library Books"

Weeding in the Public Library...

Using a somewhat "tongue in cheek" approach, and their motto "Hoarding is not Collection Development", public librarians Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner offer up books that are currently residing in library collections, and give their take on why they should be weeded. They also provide some resources and perspective on the whole issue. (The winners of the "Worst of 2012" based on submitted titles.) Some humourous titles.

"Weeding is an essential component of library collection management.  Most libraries simply do not have unlimited space, and we must continually make room for new materials.  Weeding is necessary to remain relevant to our users and true to our missions.  Remember – unless your library exists to archive and preserve materials for the ages, we are not in the business of collecting physical things.  We collect information and provide access to information.  We love books as much as anyone else, and sometimes hard decisions have to be made. How many times have you said, "But I just bought that!" and then realized it was ten years ago?