Howard County Library

  • 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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  • Career Explorations

    howard county library system logo

    Are your students researching careers? Let us help with a workshop that introduces them to Howard County Library’s career resources.

    We’ll get them familiar with useful databases like Career Onestop and the Occupational Outlook Handbook, where they will learn about the necessary skills, knowledge, and training needed to prepare for their career of choice. They can also research the salary expectations and employment outlook, and see how these projections vary by region.

    For students who need help preparing for college or a career, we’ll show them valuable resources like the Learning Express Library and the Testing and Education Reference Center, where they can take practice tests for the SAT’s, ACT’s, and other vocational exams. We can also guide them through a feature that allows them to search for colleges based on factors such as tuition, selectivity,  and type of degree programs offered.

    Contact your Library liason to schedule a workshop for your class.

    Rachel Reznick – Howard County Library East Columbia Branch

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  • Sherlock Holmes Essay Contest

    silhouette of sherlock holmes

    Howard County Library, in partnership with Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City and Howard County Public Schools, announces the sixth annual Sherlock Holmes Essay Contest for all Howard County public, private, and home schooled 7th grade students.

    Students are asked to read the Sherlock Holmes short story, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, and write a five paragraph analytical essay according to the rules and guidelines of the contest. Students may download a booklet that includes the story, pre-reading activities, a glossary of British terms, specific essay questions, the rubric which will be used in judging the essays and a contest entry form.

    Teachers who choose to have their classes participate will forward to Watson’s Tin Box the top two essays from each of his/her classes. Home schooled students may send their essay to the Watson’s Tin Box address listed in the booklet.

    Essays must be received by Watson’s Tin Box by June 1, 2010. Prizes will be awarded for the best three essays. Winners will be announced at an awards presentation in June 2010 at Howard County Library.

    Special thanks to contest sponsor and creator, Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City.

    Please note that Howard County Library’s instructors can visit your class to discuss Holmes, Conan Doyle, the specifics of the contest, and some avenues for additional research. Contact your library liaison to schedule a class.

    John Jewitt – Howard County Library Savage Branch

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  • Researching with the Big 6

    image of the number 6

    Are your students starting a unit of research using the Big 6 model of information literacy? Howard County Library’s instructors can help. Call your Library liaison to schedule our Researching with the Big 6 class. We’ll walk your students through all six steps of the model, focusing in detail on the first three critical steps: Task Definition, Information Seeking Strategies, and Location & Access. By introducing the model step-by-step and exploring the purpose of each step, library staff will encourage your students to think about the research process systematically, and highlight the benefits of the Big 6 as a support to the development of information literacy.

    We will also highlight collection resources that your students may find helpful as they begin their research, and point them toward the information that they will need to gather in order to complete the assignment successfully. If your class or grade has already selected a subject area to investigate, we can tailor this presentation to demonstrate resources that are directly relevant to the students’ area of interest.

    Editors Note: The “Big6™” is copyright © (1987) Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz. For more information, visit: www.big6.com

    John Jewitt – Howard County Library Savage Branch

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  • About Teacher Notes

    Welcome Howard County educators! As it says on our web site, “Howard County Library is pleased to provide teachers with a myriad of resources as they plan their lessons and assignments.”

    Many Howard County Public School System faculty have asked for a convenient way to receive updates on these resources. This blog is one way to meet that need. It will be updated regularly with information you can share with your colleagues and students. Visit us regularly or subscribe to the RSS feed and have the information delivered to you!

    Amy Stephens – Howard County Library Glenwood Branch

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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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  • Access Research Materials Over the Long Winter Break

    image of computer keyboard lit up

    Will your students have long-term assignments over Winter Break?

    They can do their research in their pajamas…using Howard County Library’s e-resources.

    Read Anna Karenina…and the Cliff’s Notes.

    Follow United States territorial expansion.

    Watch a cell divide.

    Practice math skills.

    Now there’s one less excuse for missing homework!

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