Howard County Library

  • 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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  • Pass the Book Honored as 2011 Best Literacy Program for Teens

    pass the book 2011 logoHave 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

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  • Teen Trivia Night

    image of green question marks

    Do your students have what it takes to be Howard County Library’s Teen Trivia Master? Do they know the exact date of Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington’s death, or which god or goddess was owed the first offering at every household sacrifice?

    Starting in December, Howard County Library’s Miller Branch is going to find out at its monthly Teen Trivia Night that challenges students to answer trivia questions about their favorite YA books and series. Each month’s winning teen will receive the title of Teen Trivia Master and a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

    Harry Potter Trivia – Wednesday December 8, 7-8 pm

    Rick Riordan Mythology Trivia – Wednesday January 12, 7-8 pm

    Hunger Games Trivia – Wednesday February 9, 7-8 pm

    Courtney GardinierMiller Branch

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  • Battle of the Bands – Pass the Book

    pas the book 2011 logoDo you have students who really love music?

    This event is perfect for them to listen as local bands compete for the title of
    fan
    favorite!

    The band with the most fans in attendance receives two hours of studio time with Omni1productions! Best of all, your students will be able to pick up a copy of the new
    Pass the Book, Pay the Piper.

    Battle of the Bands will be held at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center on
    Friday, October 22 from 7-9 pm
    for students ages 14-17.

    Co-Sponsored by the Gary J. Arthur Community Center and The Western Horizon Council.


    Amy Stephens – Glenwood 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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  • Russian Revolution and Animal Farm

    Tenth graders at Hammond High School are researching Russian Revolution figures who are the allegorical equivalents of characters from the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell. Wow!

    To gather information on Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm, students may want to search in Literature Resource Center. LRC contains reviews and criticism of literary works, biographies of the authors, and primary source material related to the works. Many of the items in LRC have been previously published in reference books and periodicals. Some items are original to LRC. All items have been reviewed for accuracy.

    For background information on the Russian Revolution, students might turn to the History Reference Center for articles and primary sources. For figures from the Russian Revolution, students can use Biography Resource Center to find biographical essays, pictures, and other information. Just as with Literature Resource Center, History Reference Center and Biography Resource Center contain items that have all been reviewed for accuracy.

    All three databases can be accessed via our web site. All you’ll need is your library card!

    And of course…we have some great books, too, like The Story Behind George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Red Princess: a revolutionary life.

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  • Famous Detectives

    cartoon image of Inspector Clouseau

    Folly Quarter Middle School GT students need to choose an above grade level detective novel to read for an individual project. Agatha Christie and Sir Aruthur Conan Doyle were two suggestions made by their teacher.

    This is a tricky assignment. While there are many detective stories that contain challenging, above grade level reading, many of these stories also contain sophisticated content. How can students make the best choice?

    Talking to a Library staff member is a great place to start! We love to make reading suggestions…like the Eyre Affair. You can see more of our suggestions at Highly Recommended.

    More independent readers might want to try Novelist. Novelist contains reviews and summaries of thousands and thousands of books. You can search by author, title, or subject. If you find an author you like, Novelist will even choose authors that write similar books. For example, Novelist suggests M.C. Beaton as an author similar to Agatha Christie.

    And now’s a great time for a reminder about the Sherlock Holmes Essay Contest. Read the classic Holmes short story, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, then write an essay related to the story. Full contest details, including essay suggestions and prizes, are available on our web site.

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  • Search for Self

    Students at Reservoir High School will read a young adult novel with a “search for self” theme. The student will identify three search for self issues that occur in the book, relate how the book’s characters dealt with the issue, and research what Howard County or State of Maryland resources a local student with the same problem would have at his/her disposal to handle a similar problem. The purpose of this research is to demonstrate that most problems can be solved and that local sources exist to help all of us with our problems.

    Howard County Library staff are ready to assist your students with selecting the perfect book, and direct them to the appropriate local resources. Come on in…or invite us to visit your classroom!

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  • Teen Read Week

    teen read week logo - books with biteBooks with Bite is the theme for Teen Read Week 2008.

    Each year the Howard County Library and the Young Adult Library Services Association encourage busy teens to Read for the Fun of It.

    This year, we invite teens to participate in our Teen Read Week Read-a-thon. For each hour Howard County teens spend reading, our sponsors will make a donation to Room to Read. Teens can register to participate (starting October 1), then from October 12 to October 16 record the time they spend reading. Teens who record at least five hours of reading, are invited to attend one of six celebrations at a Howard County Library location near them.

    Howard County Library staff can visit your classroom to recommend great teen reads and register students for the Read-a-thon. Contact your Library liaison to schedule a visit!

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