Howard County Library

  • 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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  • E-Books for kids!

    stack of books with mouse attachedSpring is here , and with it come some exciting new resources at the Howard County Library System! We have four new resources available for you to use with your students.  Check out  hclibrary.org/ebooksforkids

    The new resources include:

    TumbleBookLibrary has more than 200 children’s  books. Favorites like “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch, as well as fairy tales come to life in an educational and interactive way. Other titles include: “Diary of a Worm,” “How I Became a Pirate,” “Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10,”  and “Tops and Bottoms. More accomplished readers can read read-along chapter books, featuring narration, sentence highlighting, and automatic page turning. Spanish and French titles are also available!

    BookFLIX , an online program for children, pairs 95  classic video storybooks with nonfiction e-books. BookFLIX builds a love of reading while reinforcing early reading skills.
    TrueFlix™ leverages 47 award-winning True Books content to help students hone reading skills, build knowledge of subject-area content, and cultivate 21st century skills.

    The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) operates like a bookmobile for the global age. The ICDL collection includes more than 4,000 books in 55 languages.

    Take a look around our digital collection. This is just the beginning!

    Shirley O’Neill, Administration Office

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • National History Day

    howard county library system logo

    Are your students working on projects for National History Day? Information Specialists at Howard County Library can help. As part of our A+ Partnership, Howard County Library offers a class that focuses on our history resources, connecting your students with both primary and secondary materials, and encouraging them to think critically about the information they discover. This year, our class is tailored to match the 2010 National History Day theme of Innovation in History.

    With a particular focus on electronic resources including American Periodicals, the Historical New York Times, History Resource Center, and the Gale Virtual Reference Library, the class equips your students to formulate appropriate historical questions, and to critically evaluate both primary and secondary source materials. Instructors also focus on information literacy, encouraging students to consider the authority of their sources and to identify the author or source of a historical document or narrative.

    Contact the Teen Specialist at your local Howard County Library branch to schedule a class.

    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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