Howard County Library
Teacher Notes From Howard County Library - Archive for November, 2010
  • Teen Advisory Board

    image of a can of tab (soda)

    Do you enjoy getting together with your friends to gossip on the latest new thing? Guess what…kids do, too! Each Howard County Library branch hosts an HCL Teen Advisory Board, where students have the opportunity to recommend books, music, and movies; develop and plan events for teens; and work with Library instructors on projects they create. Service learning hours available for some projects. No registration required.

    Central Branch

    Mondays; 3:30 – 4:30 pm    Dec 13, Jan 10, Feb 1

    East Columbia Branch

    First Tuesdays; 4:30 – 5:30 pm   Dec 7, Jan 4, Feb 8

    Elkridge Branch

    Thursdays; 4 – 5 pm    Jan 27, Feb 24

    Glenwood Branch

    Fourth Tuesdays; 7 – 8 pm    Jan 25, Feb 22

    Miller Branch

    Mondays; 4 – 5 pm    Dec 6, Jan 10, Feb 7

    Savage Branch

    First Thursdays; 4 – 5 pm    Dec 2, Jan 6, Feb 3

    Amy Stephens – Howard County Library, Glenwood Branch

    This Week’s Hi-Lights: The Great Scavenger Hunt! and Holiday Crafts

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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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  • Bandana Bags

    image of bandana bags

    Crafty and creative students can join us at Savage Branch on Thursday, November 18 at 7 pm to turn a colorful bandana into a cool bag. Register online or call 410-880-5980.

    According to the 40 Developmental Assets for healthy young people, building blocks that encourage constructive use of time include creative activities and youth programs in the community. Library classes – creative, literary, and otherwise – work to meet these goals.

    John Jewitt – Savage Branch

    This Week’s Hi-Lights: Islamic Calligraphy and events you won’t want to miss…the second time around!

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  • Spelling Bee

    spelling bee logoHoward County Library invites students in grades 4 – 8 to participate in its seventh annual Spelling Bee, the winner of which advances to the National Bee in Washington, DC. All public, private and homeschool associations with students in appropriate grade levels can hold classroom and/or school bees between November 1 and January 31. Winners of those contests advance to the Howard County Library Spelling Bee held in March.

    Participation in a spelling bee fosters many skills:

    • Students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English. As a result, they read and write more effectively and score higher on standardized test and college prep tests and beyond. The impact lasts a lifetime.
    • Children learn the etymology of words, the country of origin, meanings of prefixes and suffixes, and spelling rules.
    • By studying words grouped in thematic categories, spellers not only acquire knowledge but also develop cognitive skills and increased understanding of ideas and values.
    • Students develop cultural and intellectual literacy.
    • Children of all ages, creeds, and races can participate on an equal, competitive basis.
    • Spelling bees improve spelling and spark interest among the students.
    • Spelling bees create friendly, sportsmanlike rivalry among the schools.


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  • Locker L.E.D.

    image of LED lights

    Science can be fun! Decorating lockers can be fun! Here’s a way to combine the two…

    Students are invited to create a fun locker decoration while learning all about the science behind semiconductors. Join us at the Miller Branch on Wednesday, November 10 from
    7 – 8 pm as we make science just a little bit brighter with our homemade L.E.D. throwies.

    Registration required.

    Courtney Gardinier – Miller Branch

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  • Red Planet Robots

    image of satellite over mars

    Did you know that Mars has the largest mountain in the solar system? Turns out there is a lot of fascinating information about the Red Planet that Martian spacecraft explorers are learning each year, through the stationary science platform called Spirit.

    Join Solar System Ambassador Becca Sepan to learn more about the planet named after the Roman god of war. Learn about Martian spacecraft explorers: orbiters, landers, and rovers that reveal fascinating details about Earth’s neighbor while raising exciting new questions for future explorers. For ages 9 – 12; 45 minutes. Registration required.

    Saturday, November 6

    Central Branch at 10:30 am

    Savage Branch at 1 pm


    Saturday, November 13

    Miller Branch at 11 am (Tickets available 30 minutes before class begins, instead of registration)

    Glenwood Branch at 2 pm


    Amy Stephens - Howard County Library Glenwood Branch

    This Week’s Hi-Lights: look for information on Locker L.E.D. as well as the seventh annual Howard County Library Spelling Bee!


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