From December 1st 2011 to February 29th 2012 we’re offering Middle and High School students the chance to chill out with a book as part of Teen Winter Reading. Howard County Library System’s Teen Instructors have selected 46 titles for the 2011-12 Winter Reading List and prepared a three-question quiz about each selected title. The list includes materials for ages 11-17 from collections throughout the library, so there’s something available for everyone.
Between December 1st, 2011 and February 29, 2012, teen readers are invited to select and read (or listen to) a book from the list, and answer the three-question quiz about that book. Teen readers who read three books and answer three quizzes will be entered into a prize draw to win a book bundle. Prizes will be drawn in March, after Teen Winter Reading concludes. Your students can read as many books off the list as they want to, and enter the draw each time they read three new books and complete three new quizzes.
There are printed copies of the book list in your closest branch. You can also view the list and questions at hclibrary.org/winterreading/. Please share this information with your students and encourage them to take part!
The Maryland Library Association, Children’s Services Division has announced the 2011 winners of the Maryland Blue Crab Awards. Blue Crabs are awarded to authors of books for beginning or transitional readers. This year’s winners are:
- For Beginning Fiction: We Are In A Book, by Mo Willems
- For Beginning Non-Fiction: Just One Bite, by Lola Schaefer
- For Transitional Fiction: Lulu and the Brontosaurus, by Judith Viorst
- For Transitional Non-Fiction: Pika: Life on the Rocks, by Tannis Bill.
A complete list of honor books, and winners and honors from previous years, as well a description of the criteria for the award, can be found on the MLA website.
Do you have students who already have a sincere love of reading? Or maybe some in whom you’d like to instill a greater appreciation of books and their many delights? Howard County Library System hosts many monthly book clubs to encourage students to read for fun.
Book – N – Chat meets on one Tuesday evening each month, for ages 6 – 8, and discusses a picture book and presents other activities.
Classics Club Jr gets together on the last Wednesday of the month, for ages 7 – 9, to take a look at some classic children’s novels.
Classics Club has a similar focus for students ages 9 & up.
Pageturners, for ages 8 – 11, examines a theme each quarter. For this fall, they’ve been reading about rats. The November 15 meeting is about Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynn Jonell.
Elks Starters offers a monthly celebration of reading with a fun, fast-paced discussion of stories for young readers (ages 7 – 8), designed to inspire reading. In November, the group is reading Jake Drake, Bully Buster by Andrew Clements.
Elks Comics Club is the right place for those ages 9 – 11 who love comics, graphic novels, and comic inspired books. It also has activities to inspire students to create their own comic books. In November, the club is looking at How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Scott Seegart.
Tween Book Club, for ages 10 – 13, is a place for those “in between” other groups to get together, discuss great book, and participate in fun activities. In November, this club is discussing No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman.
For more details about these and other opportunities to foster good reading skills, visit hclibrary.org and look up the individual session in the classes and events calendar, pick up a copy of source, or visit one of the branches listed above. All specific titles listed are available for borrowing.
Greg Heffley visited Burleigh Manor Middle School for quite a while!
After making an appearance on their morning news show, their fantastic media specialist Barb Randolph kept Greg busy entertaining a guest, author Gordon Korman who was visiting the school!
Are your students Wimpy Kid fans?
You can request a visit from our cardboard Greg (sorry, we do not have a cardboard Mr. Korman) by contacting your A+ Liason.
His latest adventure Cabin Fever comes out on November 15, but you can reserve a copy today!
Howard County Library System subscribes to a number of e-book collections that contain great information for secondary students. You can access these collections using a Howard County Library System card. The full text of the included books can be read on the screen, and can often be printed or e-mailed to an address you select. In addition, citation tools built in to these collections provide accurate citation information in your preferred format.
We subscribe to multiple research e-book collections to provide your students with access to the widest range of available resources. Take a look at these collections by visiting our electronic resources page and scrolling down to the list of research e-books. Here are some highlights:
- ABC-Clio: This e-book collection contains the full text of titles in science, history, and social science, as well as a small collection of guides to understanding particular titles in literature. If you’re looking for information about social issues, historical events, or scientific discoveries, look in this collection.
- Ebsco e-books contains a wide range of non-fiction titles in multiple subject areas, including 164 works of literary criticism, many of which are Cliffs Notes.
- Gale Virtual Reference also contains a wide range of non-fiction titles, with a particular concentration in science, medicine, and literary criticism. Your students could look in this collection for a book about an author they are researching. Look here for multi-volume encyclopedias in history, social science, science, and medicine.
- InfoBase e-books presents a smaller collection, containing 116 works of literary criticism in the “Blooms Notes” series about particular authors and titles, as well as 22 titles in the “Careers in Focus” series. Also search here for titles in U.S. history, science, and the arts.
- The Oxford Digital Reference Shelf provides access to the electronic editions of 21 multi-volume reference works from Oxford University Press. Look here for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, for example, or the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 and 1896-Present.
A wealth of information is contained in this collection of e-books. As you make your students aware of available resources, show them these collections, or invite a research specialist from Howard County Library System to present these resources to your class.
John Jewitt – Administration Office
Do you currently place holds on materials for you and your students through hclibrary.org?
You may have noticed a new feature of placing your requests online with an advance activation date. For educators who know the wisdom of planning, this new feature is life-changing. Some examples of how to use this Polaris Power-Tip include:
- You are an elementary school teacher and want to plan your read-alouds. You can now find and request your favorite books for the entire year! Requesting a copy of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything now so you can read it at Halloween is entirely possible. If you want it at the end of October, I recommend requesting it to activate in mid-September if you are using your A+ card, so you have it in plenty of time for a spooky read-aloud. Remember: Your A+ Educator Card checks out items for six weeks, so you have some wiggle room!
- You are a middle or high school teacher who prepares a unit every February on careers, and you want to make sure you have a good variety of print and nonfiction video resources for your students. You can locate items at any time with a subject search, request them, then set your activation date for mid-January. If for some reason, your schedule changes (snow days?), you can always use your account to adjust the activation dates. The only caveat is that once the items have been shipped, the activation date is no longer adjustable. You can always request them again.
- If you have trouble finding time to read for personal education or enjoyment during the school year. Maybe you’ve been wanting to read The Help, but you know you probably won’t have time until winter break. You can set the activation for early-December. Even though in August almost 300 people are on hold for it, you will continue to move up the queue until you reach the top spot, where you stay until you activate the request. You will easily have your book in time for vacation.
I hope this feature helps you as much as it helped me! I use this feature extensively for planning my book clubs, personal reading, and for upcoming HCLS classes. Stay tuned for another great Polaris Power-Tip for Teachers soon. In the meantime check out some other exciting features of the new HCLS catalog!
Howard County Library System, Elkridge Branch
Spring is here , and with it come some exciting new resources at the Howard County Library System! We have four new resources available for you to use with your students. Check out hclibrary.org/ebooksforkids
The new resources include:
TumbleBookLibrary has more than 200 children’s books. Favorites like “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch, as well as fairy tales come to life in an educational and interactive way. Other titles include: “Diary of a Worm,” “How I Became a Pirate,” “Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10,” and “Tops and Bottoms. More accomplished readers can read read-along chapter books, featuring narration, sentence highlighting, and automatic page turning. Spanish and French titles are also available!
BookFLIX , an online program for children, pairs 95 classic video storybooks with nonfiction e-books. BookFLIX builds a love of reading while reinforcing early reading skills.
TrueFlix™ leverages 47 award-winning True Books content to help students hone reading skills, build knowledge of subject-area content, and cultivate 21st century skills.
The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) operates like a bookmobile for the global age. The ICDL collection includes more than 4,000 books in 55 languages.
Take a look around our digital collection. This is just the beginning!
Shirley O’Neill, Administration Office
Do you have students that like to read and are looking for a new way to express their appreciation for favorite titles? They can decorate a cake to look like a book cover!
They can help us celebrate the International Edible Book Festival and Howard County Library’s Fourth Annual Edible Books Contest at the Miller Branch on Wednesday, March 30 at 7 pm. The contest is simple: bake and decorate a cake to look like your favorite book. All decorations must be edible, and all cakes must be made and decorated by you.
Courtney Gardinier – Miller Branch
Have your students passed the book?
If so…they are among the 469 world-wide teen readers who have made Pass the Book this year’s YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) MAE Best Literacy Program for Teens, an award honoring an outstanding reading or literature program that brings young adults and books together to encourage the development of life-long reading habits.
If not…contact your Library liaison to get your students involved in this award-winning project! Teens can visit any HCL branch to pick up a copy of this year’s Pass the Book, Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple. (Or, we can bring copies right to your classroom!) Once the book is in-hand, teens register the book’s unique number at hclibrary.org/passthebook; read the book; and pass the book on to another teen who will repeat the process.
Thanks to all of our teen readers who registered, read, and passed…as well as to all of our teachers who introduced the project to their students. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Katie George – Administration Office
It is always said that you should never judge a book from its cover, but what about naming a book by its cover?
In this battle of supreme book knowledge, your students will be challenged to come up with the names of books from puzzle-pieces of book covers. Whoever answers first with the correct title gets a point; the one with the most points at the end of the night wins the prize!
Name That Book will be on Tuesday, March 15 at the Glenwood Branch from 7 – 8 pm, and you can register here.
Whose knowledge will reign supreme?
Amy Stephens – Howard County Library, Glenwood Branch
Teacher Notes From Howard County Library - Reading Category