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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  • 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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  • Welcome Back!

    image of kids spelling out back to school Welcome back to school!  Welcome back to Teacher Notes.

    If you’re new to Teacher Notes, this is the place to receive the latest updates on Howard County Library’s curriculum enhancements and instructional materials.  You’ll receive details on support we can offer as you plan your lessons and assignments, as well as tidbits to share with your colleagues and students.  Learn how we can support science fair students.  Discover details about Word Up!, our annual poetry contest.  Receive reminders about relevant classes at the Library.  And be in the know about hidden gems, like online Cliff’s Notes.

    Visit us regularly or subscribe to the RSS feed and have the information delivered to you!

    Katie George – Howard County Library Administration

     

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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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  • 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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