Howard County Library
Teacher Notes From Howard County Library - Resources Category
  • SAT Practice Makes Perfect

    cartoon image of frustrated student taking test

    Know anyone scared of the SAT?

    Your students can get a glimpse of the SAT test before taking it “for real.” The first session will include a version of the real test, complete with timed portions and tests given by a Princeton Review staff member. The second session offers a follow-up where the students receive their scores from the test, and learn some tips and strategies to improve their scores in the future. What a perfect stress-free way to ease into the test-taking mode!

    This event is in two parts, with the test-taking session being held on Saturday, March 26 from 1-5 pm, and the results and strategy session being on Saturday, April 9 from 2-4 pm. Both sessions will be at the Glenwood Branch, and
    students are encouraged to register for these free sessions as they fill up fast!

    Amy Stephens -  Glenwood Branch

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  • How to Conquer the College Essay

    image of student trying to climb up a stack of filesHoward County Library presented Conquer the College Essay last Thursday.  Topics covered included:

    • What do those questions really mean?
    • What are admissions officers looking for?
    • How do I even start writing this thing?

    We thought we’d post those details, right here!

    The College Board’s web site has lots of succinct, well-organized information on decoding the questions, what answers admissions officers want to see, three easy steps to starting that essay, and time management. There are even two sample essays, with comments included, so students can see what recruiters are really thinking.

    For those students who want to read more samples, there are plenty of successful college essays out there. Teen Ink publishes real college essays written by real high school students. Connecticut College has posted quite a few essays written by students who have been accepted to that school…and graduated.

    Students can have a tutor review their work. Just log onto the Library’s Online Homework Assistance to upload an essay. A tutor will read the essay and return it with comments on how to make it a stronger, more organized argument, as well as corrections to spelling and grammar.

    And books. Don’t forget the books! We have tons of books on writing the essay and completing that college application.

    Good luck…and don’t forget to write!


    Katie George – Administration Offices

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  • Research e-book collection

    question mark key on keyboard

    Imagine this (it won’t be too hard):

    You assign a long term research project. You also give your students the usual spiel about reliable sources, and set them loose with warnings against wikipedia and other easy online answers ringing in their ears. (Don’t forget about Assignment Alerts!)

    It can make you wonder where your students are actually finding their sources. Want to be sure they have access to authoritative information, while still staying up to date technology-wise? Howard County Library can point you and your students in the right direction.

    Check out the e-book resource, ABC-CLIO, in our database collection. With thousands of titles, this collection can be a virtual resource for your students that you can trust. From daily life of the ancient Greeks, to term paper research guides, this database is a wealth of information for your high school student.

    Amy Stephens – Howard County Library, Glenwood Branch


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  • Assignment Alert!

    image of explanation mark inside a red triangle

    So what, exactly, is an Assignment Alert?

    Is it broadcast on the police band radio? (nope)

    Is it a submarine command?  (A-OOGAH!  A-OOGAH!) (that’s just silly)

    It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with homework, could it? well …

    YES! It has everything to do with homework!  And our ability to ensure your students have everything they need to complete it successfully!

    When you assign a research project, book report, or any work that you suspect may land your students in the Library, you’re invited to visit our web site and complete an Assignment Alert. This online form is sent directly to the Research Specialist assigned to your school.

    In response, we may put related materials on display, call in additional resources from other branches, or prepare to offer instruction in the use of our electronic resources. We may contact you to confirm the assignment details or offer to visit your class to provide additional research instruction to your students.We may even be able to assist that one student who arrives at the Library remembering he had to research an African nation…but not which one or the questions he was supposed to answer.

    Every little bit helps – we love to help!  Visit –> Students and Teachers –> Teachers to assist us, so we can assist your students.

    Katie George – Administration Offices

    This Week’s Hi-Lights: Research E-Books

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  • Second time around!

    Just to double-check…

    Did your students love the Arthur Slade: Author Study?

    Couldn’t get enough of the Chinese Jewelry Workshop?

    They are going to be excited to hear that they have another chance to be part of these great events (among others)! We have a little something for everyone. Here are some HCL events for teens that are occurring in the month of November:

    Tech Chicks

    Robotic engineering for the tech-savvy girl, held at Central Branch.

    Arthur Slade: Author Study

    November 29 will focus on The Hunchback Assignments, held at Elkridge Branch.

    Chinese Jewelry Workshop

    This last session will be on cross knots and prosperity knots, held at East Columbia Branch.

    First Look Comittee

    Be among the first to read exciting new books before they are published, and get service learning hours! Held at Central Branch.

    Amy Stephens – Howard County Library Glenwood Branch


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  • Islamic Calligraphy

    Art and history come together seamlessly in Arabic calligraphy. Students of both can benefit by learning how the beauty and form of the Arabic letter transcends culture.  As a court-sponsored enterprise and a cottage industry in Islamic societies, calligraphy has long been a highly traditional Islamic art form. It was supported by many related trades and crafts, like paper and ink making.

    Elinor A. Holland, of Harmony of Line in New York, offers a fun-filled introduction to this ancient art. Includes slide show and hands-on workshop. Held at the East Columbia Branch (50+ Center) on Tuesday, November 16 from 6 – 8 pm.

    Registration is required. Refreshments provided.

    Sponsored by Howard County Muslim Council.

    Amy Stephens, Howard County Library Glenwood Branch

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  • Where’s the Help: Locating Support for your Student

    image of help key

    Is it interim progress report time already?

    Do you have a student who needs some extra academic or emotional support?

    What can you offer during conferences for parents of struggling students?

    Where is the help?

    Howard County offers many resources for students who need that extra boost, or who have additional needs to be met. Parents can meet many of these experts at Where’s the Help: Locating Support for your Student.  Representatives from Howard County Public School System, Howard County Autism Society, Individual Differences in Learning, Learning Disability Association of Howard County, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and Stressless Tests describe the types of students they support. After having a chance to introduce themselves, our experts remain for one-on-one conversations with parents. If an organization describes familiar difficulties, a parent will have an opportunity to speak individually with that expert in a comfortable environment.

    Register to ensure a seat at Where’s the Help: Locating Support for your Student on Tuesday, October 19 at 7 pm at Howard County Library’s East Columbia Branch (in the 50+ Center).

    Katie George – Administration Office

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  • Career and Technology Education Expo: Health and Bio Sciences

    image of medical icons

    Do you have students interested in pursuing a biotechnology or health care career? Advances in medical knowledge, biosciences, and technology is leading to innovation in patient care and biomedical research. The growing public awareness of health issues and their treatment or prevention and promotion of wellness is opening the doors to creating new career opportunities in the health care and biotechnology fields.

    Visit the Elkridge Branch on Monday, February 1; 7:00 pm to hear knowledgeable HCPSS Career and Technology Education staff and students present information about the CTE Career Academies and demonstrate skills they have learned.

    Registration is not required.

    Amy Stephens – Howard County Library, Glenwood Branch

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  • Novelist K-8

    novel list kindergarten through grade eight logo

    Having trouble finding the right book for class discussion? Are you hoping to find a book in a specific lexile level?  One of the most valuable electronic resources available at the Library is Novelist K-8! While state budgets tightened, and e-resources dwindled, this resource was one that we fought hard to keep. Why?

    NoveList K-8 is a powerful and creative online educational tool, that maximizes the instructional value and pleasure of fiction resources.

    Here’s a snapshot of what’s included in NoveList K-8 :

    • 97,000 fiction titles for Teens, Older Kids and Younger Kids.

    • 36,000+ subject headings.

    • Full-text, searchable reviews from authoritative sources including Library Journal, School Library Journal and Booklist.

    • Superlative series information in reading order—find the latest, fast!

    Plus, additional content features for you and your students:

    • Curricular Connections and other articles featuring ideas for integrating reading into content areas at multiple grade levels.

    • BookTalks on just-right reads for older kids and teens.

    • Recommended Reads book lists on high-interest topics.

    • Book Discussion Guides for lively after-school book clubs or classroom discussions.

    • Ability to search using the Find Similar Books feature, Lexile level and popularity.

    You can get started right away by taking a tour of NoveList K-8. Just click on the “Tour NoveList” link located on the right-hand side of the NoveList K-8 homepage. They also offer resources like slide presentations and scavenger hunts to help students better acquaint themselves.

    You can also register for their free webinars for searching strategies, sign up for their email newsletters, or follow them on twitter.

    For access to Novelist K-8, simply go to our web site, click on the New & Hot Items tab, and scroll to the bottom. You may be prompted to enter a library card number.

    Happy browsing!

    Sarah Russo – Howard County Library Elkridge Branch

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  • Book Reports

    Are your students reading for a book report? We love to support them! Howard County Library staff can visit your classroom to promote the best books for your assignment – or let us know what books you have assigned and we can make sure they are available. Send your students into the Library to pick up their books – or invite us to your class and we can bring them to you!

    To begin, complete an Assignment Alert or contact your school’s Library liaison. The more information you provide, the better we can match your students with the right materials!


    Amy Stephens – Glenwood Branch Howard County Library

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