Library Links

"Content that might be of interest to Teacher-Librarians..."


A "circulation booster" idea

Here's a great way to boost the circulation of titles that are not "moving". This suggestion comes from Liz Frame, courtesy of LM-NET.



The past two weeks I have decided to see if I could boost circulation of some of our books that are "invisible": you know the ones, hidden by a shadow, in a tight corner, or just not close enough to Garfield comics and snake books. In my first attempt I used books between Dewey 570 - 590, which totaled about 150 books. I placed ten - twelve  books on tables, and told the students (1st - 5th) that they could check out one extra book, if it came from the table.

By the end of the week, 119 of the 150 invisible books were in the arms of students. WOW! I was overwhelmed! Some of these excellent books had never been checked out and looked to be in brand new shape. But was this just an anomaly? I had to try it again this week.

This time the Dewey collection was a somewhat tougher "sell": I chose Dewey 270 - 360, which included 211 titles and copies. Once again, an amazing 149 books found their ways into the arms and lives of students, but only if the student had returned at least one of their extra books.

Now, my students are eager to see what kind of interesting books I will have on the tables for them to choose. Many have asked if they can check all of their book limit out from the tables. Yes! Any books you want!

From my experience, I realize that my books need better exposure and I need to allow students to check out books that interest them, even if it means taking more than the "allowed" two books home.

Hoping you can learn from my lessons,

Liz Frame
San Antonio Christian Elementary School


WorldMapper - The World as you've never seen it before.

Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. There are now nearly 700 maps. Maps 1-366 are also available as PDF posters, which include graphs and data tables to give further explanation.
Explore interesting topics such as: Youth Literacy, Adult Literacy, Primary Education, Secondary Education, etc.


Reviews of Current YA fiction from a TL

Passionate Pages
This site, put together by Janice Robertson, (Teacher-Librarian at the Peel District School Board) is a good place to read about current titles in the YA fiction field. (She also has begun a series of Booktalk podcasts.)



Looking for Alternatives to Book Reports?

10 Technology Enhanced Alternatives to Book Reports

Kelly Tenkely is a technology teacher in a private school. Kelly also trains teaching staff on integrating and implementing technology into the classroom.

Read complete article here.

"The most dreaded word in school reading for students: book reports. Teachers assign them, viewing them as a necessary component of assessing reading comprehension. Book reports can be a contributing factor to ‘readicide’. “Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools.” ( So, how can we as teachers continue to monitor our students understanding of reading material without killing the love of reading?"

1. Let students create a cartoon version of the book they have just finished.
2. Let students create a short video clip about the book.
3. Create a virtual poster advertising the book.
4. Encourage students to create their own virtual bookshelves (Use a Book site like Shelfari
5. Book Adventure is an online reading motivation program.
6. Bookcasting is a recorded audio podcast about a book.
7. Allow students to create a timeline of events in the story they just read in an online timeliner
8. Wikis are an excellent place for students to share book reviews.
9. Try Book Wink http://bookwink.topi
10. Use Voice Thread

"Technology brings interest back into reading and helps students continue to find reading that they enjoy while providing the teacher with feedback about student reading comprehension. These are great alternatives to book reports that will keep your students from ‘readicide’. Most of the above tools have the added benefit of being able to be embedded into a classroom blog, website, or wiki. All student projects can be collected, organized, and viewed in one place."


Simon & Schuster downloadable Teaching Guides

Simon & Schuster Publishing has a number of downloadable Teaching Guides for titles that they sell.
Titles come with links to many resources. Title List

Here's a sample of resources for the title:
Out of My Mind, By Sharon M. Draper


Speakaboos Stories site

Speakaboos brings "classic children's entertainment into a digital world. Beloved characters and treasured stories are given new life through amazing celebrity performances, beautiful illustrations, and original music."
While membership gives access to all the features (worksheets, lesson plans, etc) and stories, there are a number of titles available for free (Notably the "Arthur" series.) Fun to try with a Smartboard, or a reading corner.


National Geographic for Kids

This site was selected as a Parent's Choice Recommended Winner for 2009.

National Geographic for Kids -

Content is added and changed frequently so students can go back time and time again. Featured in March 2009 is a story about PlayPumps: an amazing merry-go-round that helps kids in poor African Villages provide clean water to their communities. 

The People and Places section lets you choose easy to read slide shows highlighting the beauty of each country! 
Collector cards from each country can be downloaded and printed!
The photos and photo collections are stunning.


"Time Magazine for kids with news and interactive projects"

Time for Kids
(Found at

"Time Magazine for kids with news and interactive projects"

Founded in 1995, TIME For Kids is an informative guide for kids to what is happening in the worlds of health and science, politics, business, society and entertainment.

Check out the section called "Faraway Places at Your Fingertips"
Each eight-page magazine (free online) and companion website (subscription) celebrates the culture, people, landmarks and geography of places around the world through photographs, maps, diagrams, charts, folktales, language and activities. (A must see for teachers teaching Social Studies!)
Includes a great section of teaching Resources K-6.

Current and Past Issues include the cover story in English and Spanish (Spanish teachers will appreciate easy-to-understand articles), mini lessons and comprehension guides. Worksheets are based on themes and skills and include charts, diagrams, maps, graphs, timelines.  Word study skills include story maps, word study boxes for vocabulary and story boards. You could use the graphic organizers and templates with learners of all ages.

                Go to


YA girl-friendly fiction titles

A selection of YA girl-friendly fiction titles from Naomi Bates, Northwest High School Library in Justin, Texas.



How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age

Students still need the help with the basic skills that teacher-librarians have always taught: defining the topic, narrowing the search, and filtering the results.

"For over three-fourths (84%) of the students surveyed, the most difficult step of the course-related research process was getting started. Defining a topic (66%), narrowing it down (62%), and filtering through irrelevant results (61%) frequently hampered students in the sample, too. Follow-up interviews suggest students lacked the research acumen for framing an inquiry in the digital age where information abounds and intellectual discovery was paradoxically overwhelming for them." (Head and Eisenberg 2010)

Read the full report here:
(Recommendations start on p. 37, with suggestions for college librarians. Many suggestions can reasily be adapted to elementary and high school levels.)



Passages to Canada Digital Archive

"The project offers an unprecedented opportunity for students, educators and interested Canadians to view hundreds of personal artefacts of Canadian immigrants and refugees from across the country. Explore the memorabilia, regions, and languages of the archive through our search tool option or navigate the collection through themes such as The Journey to Canada and Adjusting to Life in Canada. Each "Speaker profile" consists of a number of artefacts provided by the participant, an audio clip of an immigrant telling their story, and a print version of the interview."


Canadian Children's Book Centre announces Awards for 2010

"This year’s winning titles will captivate the hearts and imaginations of children and adults everywhere. Readers will be introduced to a hunchback child who has the ability to transform himself and who is a trained secret agent; to an alluring story of mystery, perception and friendship with a surprise ending; and to an exquisite, informative and delightful account of the history of China’s famed Silk Road."


Word Clouds and how to use them

Conference Session with handouts: Word Cloud: The $6 Million Word Wall Terry Cavanaugh teaches how to move beyond the wall, creating word clouds for interdisciplinary purposes. (Download documents from conference page or view below in Google Docs viewer.)


Google Docs online Viewer

Use Google Docs to quickly view documents online (without leaving your browser.)
Create a link to an existing "download" address so your viewers see the content in their browser window.
Enter a document URL to generate a link that you can email or even embed on your page or blog.


Integrating Web 2.0 Technologies in the Classroom

Conference Session with website: Creating a Google-Enhanced Classroom  Jared Covilli and Tim Stack share how to create a technology-enriched classroom using free tools from Google. From productivity to creativity, these tools will strengthen any curriculum.

Link to Powerpoint:


A great Cataloging tool: OCLC

Doing your own cataloging? Try, a great cataloging tool and experimental classification web service.


Great set of Tools and Templates

Here's a great collection of templates from
Most of these are in Word format so they can be adapted to an individual classroom or situation.

  • Assessments
  • Award Certificates
  • Back to School
  • Bookmarks and Book Plates
  • Bulletin Board Resources
  • Calendars
  • Classroom Organizers
  • Election Templates
  • Flyers, Posters, and Signs
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Holiday Gift Coupons
  • Holiday Work Sheet Templates
  • Icebreakers
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Miscellaneous
  • Newsletters
  • Parent-Teacher Communications
  • Setting Goals
  • Student Resources
  • Teacher-Quote Notepads
  • Traffic Signs


Assignment calculator - simpler version

Still falling behind with projects?
Here is an "assignment calculator" that is based on the University of Minnesota version I posted earlier.
Even easier to use, with step-by-step instructions.
(Could work from upper intermediate to high school.)


Six fundamental components of writing workshop - preview book online

Day by Day
Refining Writing Workshop Through 180 Days of Reflective Practice
by Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz

Preview entire book online:

"Day by Day is organized around six fundamental components of writing workshop -- routines, mini-lessons, choice, mentors, conferring, and assessment. Each component is broken down into ten-day sections. Each section includes a detailed discussion, a challenge that teachers can apply immediately, and questions to help teachers assess the process to see what went right, what went wrong, and, most importantly, why."

Assignment calculator

Falling behind with projects?
Here is an "assignment calculator" from the University of Minnesota library site that gives students a study/writing schedule for completing  an assignment: simply type in a due date, choose a subject area related to the assignment and follow the steps provided. Students can even print up the schedule if they like. (More appropriate for high school.)

______________________________ - Multicultural Literature

Found on the website: 

"Elizabeth Coelho has published a list of Multicultural Literature in Four Themes. Included in this listing are books on Celebrations, Family, Journeys and Transitions, and Struggles and Peace. Coelho lists the Author, title, ISBN and short summary of each book. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. -"

========================= - all about Adolescent Literacy

" is a national multimedia project offering information and resources to the parents and educators of struggling adolescent readers and writers. is an educational initiative of WETA, the flagship public television and radio station in the nation's capital, and is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and by the Ann B. and Thomas L. Friedman Family Foundation."

Classroom strategies/organizers

A great series of author interviews

Pro-D webcasts



The Internet Detective - online research tutorial

Develop your students' Internet research skills

"Internet Detective is a free online tutorial designed to help students develop their Internet research skills. The tutorial looks at the critical thinking required when using the Internet for research and offers practical advice on evaluating the quality of web sites."

"The tutorial is specifically designed to help university and college students to develop skills that will help them use the Internet more effectively to support their research for coursework and assignments."

Good for High School, and with modification, parts could be used at the Intermediate level.

Best of "The Westcoast Reader "

Favourite stories from The Westcoast Reader

Take a look at "Best of The Reader", a series of e-books/articles for adult literacy and ESL learners. This site offers 13 e-books, a Teachers’ Guide, and a 2010 calendar of special days and holidays.

Each of the e-books has six to eight stories, and each story has exercises and activities to go with it. There is also an answer key in each e-book. The material is organized by topics: People and Jobs, Special Days and Holidays, Many Ways to Help, Families, Keeping Safe, Sports, Amazing Stories, Canada’s Aboriginal People, Word Games and Puzzles, Recipes, Canada, and Your Health.  Photographs, maps and illustrations are also included.

Most of the stories, recipes, puzzles, and other material are from past issues of The Westcoast Reader (1982-2009), a newspaper for adults who are improving their English reading skills. The stories are written at three levels of reading ability.

The articles are nicely laid out and would even be good for SmartBoard use (ie "Your Health") and could be used at a variety of levels, depending on the topic.

Children's Book-a-day Almanac

Daily children's book recommendations from Anita Silvey.
"Discover the stories behind children's book classics and the new books good enough to become classics. Anita Silvey has been the editor of The Horn Book review journal and the publisher of children's books at Houghton Mifflin. She estimates that she's read about 125,000 kids books over the past 40 years. When she's not reading, she teaches courses in children's literature, writes nonfiction, and travels all over the country talking to parents, teachers, and librarians about the best books for kids."