Library Links

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


FictFact - read fiction book series in order

Get notified when books are released

So you love reading serial fiction, but you find to hard to keep track of what books are coming along next. What to do? FictFact will email when new books come out from authors or series you are following:

"FictFact will keep track of the books you're reading and give you a list of the books you need to read next. You'll be able to find users with similar tastes, tag books and series, and get recommendations on other book series."


Aeon Audio - Spoken Essays

A digital magazine of ideas and culture

Explore longer-form essays on a variety of topics. You can also download audio readings of the essays. (Some of the topics would work well for high school. Preview before assigning.)

"Aeon is a new digital magazine of ideas and culture, publishing an original essay every weekday. We set out to invigorate conversations about worldviews, commissioning fine writers in a range of genres, including memoir, science and social reportage. We have a high regard for science and other empirical knowledge, but also for imagination and personal experience.


Ban the Book Report!

Assign interesting, relevant reading response activities

"Wise teachers assign reading responses that are interesting, relevant, and encourage further reading. Ban the Book Report presents 20 assignments - classroom tested in middle schools - for personal response to independent reading, each with a reproducible rubric, response form, and two exemplars.

(Preview the entire book online! or request from DRC Bookings on Richnet.)



Reader Rocket - Compare eReaders

All the specs and reviews in one place
You know how fussy it can be comparing features and sizes and memory etc. on competing ereader devices? ReaderRocket lets you put competitors (or even different models from the same vendor) in a head to head contest that allows you quickly browse the comparable features and make up your mind.


When Writing with Technology Matters - (Preview online)

How to integrate technology into the Language Arts curriculum

by Carol Bedard and Charles Fuhrken (Preview title online)

Students today can't imagine a time before Facebook, Tumblr, IMs and the web. Most of the text they encounter in everyday life is on a screen. But where is their writing happening?

This book provides strategies on how to integrate technology into the English Language Arts curriculum addressing 21st-century themes—critical thinking, collaboration, engagement and empowerment—and targets current educational foci—genre knowledge, research, the importance of process, and the need to make learning relevant. It also provides detailed descriptions of elementary and middle school literacy projects that teachers can follow step-by-step or use as a guide when planning their own technology-based projects.



Teachers' Guides to Orca Digital Books

Short Snappy Novels for all Readers

Whether you use the print or the online version of the Orca Currents and Soundings novels, you will find useful resources to explore in the links below. For each title, Orca has provided an overview, an author bio, some suggested "big idea" questions and a number of activities that you can integrate into many subject areas.  (To access Orca Digital, visit your library catalog, under the Visual Tab, You will need your school ID and password.)

Middle School Collection (Currents)
Stories better suited to Grades 6,7,8. Preview before assigning as a class novel. Also good for ESL and text challenged kids.

Teen Collection (Soundings)
Stories are aimed at a teen interest level. Some topics may be challenging for all-class study. Preview before assigning titles.

Books for Reluctant Readers (Webinars)


Can I see the Space Station from my back yard?

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's the ISS.

"Can I see the Space Station from my back yard?"
Yes, you can. Use the ISS Tracker to see if the Space Station is over your area; you can find out all the Space Station sighting opportunities: dates and times!

See also the "heavens-above" link to find other orbiting sightings that are possible for your area. (Currently set for Vancouver, but you can change this easily.) Pick from a list of satellites


Churnalism or Journalism?

Is it real news or just publicity?

See if the text of a news article has been lifted from somewhere else or taken out of context. Is it just a repackaged PR release or is it substantially taken from a Wikipedia article? To find out, enter the text or URL on the Churnalism homepage (or install a browser extension.)

"Churnalism searches the text you enter against a large corpus of press releases and determines the best matches. Sometimes, exact fragments will match that are clearly not plagiarism ... [but may be] boilerplate copy about a particular company that is usually appended to the end a press release. In order to filter out uninteresting matches and provide the best user experience, we use a relevancy ranking ....

Video tutorial here.


Random House Newbery Winner Interviews

Authors' reactions to winning

Random House Newbery authors discuss their reactions to winning the award and give insights into the craft of writing. Featuring: Jerry Spinelli, Christopher Paul Curtis, Louis Sachar, Jennifer L. Holm, Kirby Larson,  Rebecca Stead,Clare Vanderpool.



Technology In The Classroom: Tips For New Teachers

How can tech be incorporated?

Watch a new teacher plan and execute a lesson that incorporates technology (16 min). Don't start with the tool - start with the learning.  What is the power of technology? How does it aid in students' retention of material and their engagement? What is the impact of technology on a lesson?


Brazil Project: Beginning the Journey

An example of Project Pased Learning

Wanting to see what a PBL project might look like? Here's a short video that follows children in K-1 from Auburn Education Center as they take an imaginary trip to Brazil. See how this goal starts the Need to Know process. See also how they use other PBL projects to incorporate all or most curricular content in one activity. [Time: 9:01]


The Most Playful Libraries in the World

Considering a library reno?

While it is unlikely your school library will ever copy the ones featured here, the use of colour and playful design elements make these spaces delightful to look at. And who knows, there may be some inspiration to be found in these pictures.
These are "lighthearted libraries that emphasize imagination, fun, and bookish wonder. The most well-read, creative people know that adventure and play can be a wonderful tonic for the soul."


30 seconds of fame -

Record yourself!
Tammy offers some tips on using, a free web-based recording app for the iPad (and Android) that generates a URL for the recording. No login required, but you are limited to 30 seconds per recording. Check out her post for some ideas on how to use it.

The website also allows you to record in your browser, and even add a bookmarklet to your menu bar. (Watch the short how-to video clip)


Flashmob Collection Musical/Singing

Sing along everybody!

If you like watching "flashmob" singing, then you'll find some gems in this collection on Youtube. The audio quality varies from clip to clip, but I always like to watch the general public's reaction to beautiful singing.