Library Links

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



Internet in a can?

What is Librarybox? It's a low-powered wifi router that can be run from a solar panel, battery or even a bicycle charger. It sounds like an interesting "work around" for lots of applications - it can be purchased for $150 and the source code is available for free - great was to create a private LAN.



Bookish webinar archive from Booklist Online

Pro-D when you want it!

Booklist offers a number of archived webinars on a range of topics - some in conjunction with vendors or digital platforms. These are a great way to get some free, just-in-time Pro-D.

A sample of some of the topics (more on the site!)
  • Adventures of an Information Sleuth   (October 13, 2015)
  • Reaching Reluctant Readers:   (September 24, 2015)
  • Marvelous Middle-Grade Books   (August 25, 2015)  
  • YA Announcements: Fall 2015 Titles to Know    (August 18, 2015)
  • Discovering Great Historical Fiction    (July 21, 2015)   
  • Reading Initiatives & Celebrations  (June 2, 2015)   
  • We've Got Diverse Books:  (May 14, 2015)
  • Makerspaces, Hacking Fashion, and e-Textiles  (April 30, 2015)
  • Let's Hear It for Middle-Grade    (April 21, 2015)


ReaLITy Reads - Real books for real teens

Memorable voices and important themes
This program features titles that shine a light on realistic YA fiction. Strong writing, important themes and memorable voices are all part of these offerings.


'C'est l'Halloween': the story behind the greatest French Halloween song ever

"J'ai peur de cette citrouille."
Find out about the song writer Matt Maxwell, get a link to a Youtube version with words, and bonus, an audio link to the 2012 version (a bit more polished & top 10 sounding, complete with backup singers.)

"Every October for the past three decades, thousands of French students across Canada have sung the same spooky song: "C'est l'Halloween," a perfect tune for kids learning the language. If you're not familiar with it, it's basically a list of spooky Halloween imagery — a witch, a ghost, a gloomy night — but it never crosses over into actual terror. On top of that, the simple two-word chorus is "C'est l'Halloween," which just means "It's Halloween." Plus, it offers kids an opportunity to yell "HEY!" at the top of their lungs."


"Oversharing" - Digital Citizenship Musical Video clip

"...I think before I'm postin'... "
Catchy little tune paired with animation that highlights the 10 things kids (-> anyone really) should think about before posting online. This clip could be an exemplar for students to use in creating a cybersafety PSA of their own. (Thanks CW for the heads up.)

(NB: the complete library of hip-hop/rap animations are available by subscription from Flocabulary, but they offer a couple of dozen to peruse for free on their Youtube channel:


Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

"Libraries are about freedom, education, entertainment, safe spaces, and access to information."
Neil Gaiman gave "The Reading Agency" annual lecture in 2013 on the future of reading and libraries with a focus on young people.

"I am going to be talking to you about reading. I'm going to tell you that libraries are important. I'm going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I'm going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things."

(Thanks KE for reminding me about this article!)

30 Holiday Dishes - Historica Canada Blog

Dishes with a distinctly Canadian flavour
Here are 30 recipes, in English and in French, to warm up the festive season:

"For most of us, Thanksgiving marks the real arrival of autumn. With leaves already bright on the trees, it's the beginning of a holiday season running straight through to the New Year. And holidays of any kind are all about the food. Here are 30 dishes, many of them with a distinctly Canadian flavour, to help you make the most of the holiday season."


Contests, content and canadiana

October/Octobre 2015 Newsletter - Historica

Consult the latest e-newsletter from Historica to see what's new this month. (Among the features is the "What's New" section from the Canadian Encyclopedia.)



Books-to-Games: Transforming Classic Novels Into Role Playing Adventures

What if a completed book was just the beginning of the story?

Ki Sung discusses how students can explore the world of a novel via a tabletop role-playing game, deeping their understanding of characters, themes and setting.

"Through tabletop role-playing games, educators are beginning to tinker with traditional works of literature and, in the process, reimagine how writing and character development are taught. [...] The use of tabletop RPGs in the classroom is still rare, but teachers investing time and energy into turning traditional activities into games are seeing rewarding results. Students who had previously been uninterested in school are engaged, and the experience of making the game includes lessons applicable in students' lives."



Creating Videos for Instruction

Short videos that really work
Alice Keeler  works at California State University Fresno as Teacher and Technology Coach. Attends Boise State University.

"When I create my videos in one shot I pause, I think about what I am going to say, I ramble. I have a lot of seconds that could be edited out. Record yourself saying the information you are trying to get across. Now do it again in 30 second or less segments (Mine are usually about 12 seconds.) Put together in a playlist. Compare the total run time. Same content. My 20-minute video went down to 7 minutes!"


Rory's Story Cubes iOS & Android Apps

Scaffold story telling with these prompts
Plug in or Airplay your iPhone or iPad and quickly generate storytelling ideas for your English, ELL, FSL or other second language class. Realistic physics - shake to roll the cubes. Move and rotate them as you tell your story. The app comes with both the Original and Action sets. Other sets are available as in-app purchases. (Here's a video of the actual cubes - app works the same way.)


Using Close Reading to Analyze Propaganda

"How is propaganda designed?"
"I wanted my students to think about how propaganda works. What word choices are used? What connotations do these word choices convey? .... How is propaganda designed? My students were reading dystopian literature because of its highly entertaining action and courageous protagonists, but did they understand the systematic ways the antagonists were controlling their people? ... I thought we'd start with a more mild form of propaganda that is in front of my students every day: advertising."


30 Music Apps in 60 Minutes

Apps you can use for your music program
"Christopher J. Russell, Ph.D., is the author of the Technology in Music Education Blog and author of several books on the topic.  He is the Director of Choirs at Oltman Middle School in St. Paul Park, Minnesota, a school that went 1:1 iPad in the fall of 2013.   He was featured for his work in the area of technology integration in music education in the October 2014 issue of Choral Director Magazine."