Howard County Library
Teacher Notes From Howard County Library - Life Skills Category
  • Your Best College Application Essay

    image of 4 green apples and 1 red apple with a hand reaching for the red appleThe college application essay doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore. Students can learn tips and tricks Monday, September 17 at 7 pm as Howard County Library System’s Central Branch hosts Jill Kasprzak, director of college counseling at a private high school and former assistant director of admissions at Loyola University Maryland. The discussion focuses on the art of writing a good college application essay. The class provides helpful information about what college admissions officers are seeking, what makes an essay successful, how to brainstorm, and how to complete the essays without stressing out.

    Please encourage interested students to register for this class.

     

     

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  • College: Let’s Make It Make Cents!

    painting of mortarboard as a bank with money falling into itThe decisions surrounding going to college can have a great impact on a person’s life. Choices start with the most fundamental ones about whether to pursue a degree and when – immediately after high school or wait a year. From there, prospective students consider to which college(s) they wish to apply and what course of study (majors, minors, other classes) to pursue. Last but not least, there is the question of how to afford tuition, room and board, and books.

    Students (and their parents) need to consider these questions and others carefully, and (as needed) seek expert assistance. As your students make these crucial college decisions, encourage them to attend College: Let’s Make It Make Cents! to learn about the application process and how to secure financial aid.

    This college readiness and financial literacy event happens at Howard County Library System Savage Branch on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3 pm. The event features presentations and a panel discussion with representatives from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, The University of Maryland’s Academic Achievement Program and Howard Community College‘s admissions and financial aid departments.

    Your students should gain information to succeed in high school, after high school, and beyond!

    Brian Hart – Howard County Library System Savage Branch

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  • A First-Rate Second Opinion

    live homework help - free online help from real tutors logoHave you already assigned the first of many research papers or essays to your students?  Would you now like to point them in the direction of FREE writing review and suggestions? If so, take a moment to encourage them to use Howard County Library System’s online homework assistance.

    This service features, among other useful aspects, a writing lab where students can actually upload versions of their original papers to receive a “second opinion” from the experts.  These experts check the students’ submissions for grammar and content, then reply to the students with suggestions and tips to consider while drafting the final versions of their assignments!

    In addition to writing assistance, Online Homework Assistance experts also offer your students confidential access to additional assistance/tutoring in the following areas:

    • Math
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Foreign Languages
    • Test Preparation

    Remember, this service is FREE!  Encourage your students to take advantage of this and other services offered by the Howard County Library System via hclibrary.org/students.

    Brian Hart – Howard County Library System, Savage Branch

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  • E-Books for Secondary Students

    cartoon image of student sitting at computerHoward 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

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  • Chess Club

    image of chess pieces on chess boardAre your students interested in honing their ability to think strategically? Do they like playing games? If so, they may enjoy the Miller Branch’s Chess Club. The Chess Club provides an opportunity for students to meet and compete with others who share their enthusiasm for this classic game in an informal setting. All skill levels are welcome, but players must have a basic understanding of the rules of the game.  Tuesday, September 27 from 7 – 8 pm.  No registration required.  Ages 9-17.

    Courtney Gardinier – Howard County Library System, Miller Branch

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  • Polaris Power-Tip for Teachers: Set It and Forget It!

    image of card catalog drawerDo 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!

    Sarah Russo
    Howard County Library System, Elkridge Branch

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  • Calling all Volunteers

    teen talking to kidsDo your students need volunteer opportunities this summer?  Maybe they need hours for a service organization or just a little something extra for their resumes.  Maybe they want to make a difference in their community.  If so, encourage them to become a Summer Reading Volunteer at Howard County Library!

    Our Summer Reading Volunteers register children for One World, Many Stories, distribute prizes to those young summer readers, and assist Library Instructors with various tasks throughout the summer. Summer Reading Volunteers spend their summer in air conditioning, surrounded by books and readers. What could be better?

    Summer Reading Volunteers need to be at least 13 years old and enjoy working with children. Interested students should complete a volunteer application.  Accepted applicants will be contacted to schedule orientation and training.

    We wouldn’t be able to make it through the summer without our amazing Summer Reading Volunteers!

    Katie George – Administration Office

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  • College Bound: Finding the Money

    file folder tabs with words loans, scholarships, grants, work studyChoosing that dream school was tough enough.  Now comes the really difficult part…figuring out how to pay the tuition bill!

    On Thursday, April 28 from 7 – 8 pm at Howard County Library, Miller Branch, a financial aid counselor from Howard Community College demystifies the college financial aid process.  Families can expect to learn about completing the FAFSA, searching for scholarships, and other sources of college tuition financial aid. A must for any future college student planning to attend any college.

    Register online.

    Katie George – Administrative Office

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  • Chess Tournament

    image of chess pieces on chess boardChess Tournament

    The Howard County Library Chess Tournament provides an opportunity for students to meet and compete with other students who share their enthusiasm for this classic board game. All participants will receive fabulous prizes.

    The Howard County Library Chess Tournament happens at the Miller Branch on April 16th, 2011 at 1 pm. It is open to ages 9-17; register online or call 410-313-1950.

    Courtney Gardinier – Howard County Library Miller Branch

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  • College Fair

    dice with yes, no, maybe words on itThere are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States. Even more outside of our borders. How’s a student supposed to choose?

    On Tuesday, April 12 come to Centennial High School from 6:30 – 8:30 pm and meet with representatives from colleges and universities from across the country and around the corner. Discover what different schools can offer, such as class sizes, extracurricular activities, and academic specialties. Speak with admissions counselors and school alumni. Learn what it takes to be accepted to the school of your choice.

    A complete list of participating colleges is available at hclibrary.org.

    Co-sponsored by the Columbia Association.

    Katie George – Administrative Offices

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