Library Links

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


The Question Game: A Playful Way To Teach Critical Thinking

Encourage the exploration of alternative responses and creativity
Using a "print-out" question die, and a picture book, you can work on critical thinking!

"The Question Game focuses on teaching children a kind of thinking which is particularly useful in creative problem-solving–a focused approach to get from a problem to the most effective solution. It is most effective when combined with regular repetition, which solidifies the thought pattern, and with groups, which encourages contributory exploration of alternative responses and creativity."


FNMI - First Nations, Métis, Inuit books for kids

Looking for some ideas for Aboriginal titles?
Here are some places to explore titles and authors.

Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools

Saskatoon Library - Teen Book List

American Indian Library Association

American Indians in Children's Literature

Strong Nations Book Store


YA Booklists to peruse

Best YA Books of all time?
This is a time when booklists abound, and the world of TeenLit is no exception. Take a look at these three lists and see if you agree with the selections. Some of the "tired-old" titles are to be expected, but there are also a few surprises. Are your favourites listed?

NPR: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels

YALSA: Best 2014 fiction for YA

Flavorwire: YA Novels adults should read

Complex: 25 Best YA Novels of all time

You are a musical expert

We know more than we think!

"[T]he more psychologists investigate musicality, the more it seems that nearly all of us are musical experts, in quite a startling sense. The difference between a virtuoso performer and an ordinary music fan is much smaller than the gulf between that fan and someone with no musical knowledge at all. What's more, a lot of the most interesting and substantial elements of musicality are things that we (nearly) all share. We aren't talking about instinctive, inborn universals here. Our musical knowledge is learned, the product of long experience; maybe not years spent over an instrument, but a lifetime spent absorbing music from the open window of every passing car...."



What is the most cited resource by EasyBib users?

Wikipedia infographic

"How can you get an overall understanding of the online encyclopedia that has over 265 million readers worldwide?" Here's an infographic created by EasyBib. Use it to open up a conversation about sources, reliability, and purpose.


Video Tour of Monticello High School Learning Commons

One vision of a Learning Commons

Joan Ackroyd writes about her library's transformation in an article for Teacher-Librarian. It's a big beautiful space with many repurposed nooks and crannies. The video is a quick walk-through of the finished facility.

"Growing into a learning commons that has had a positive impact on our diverse school community has certainly brought me the spontaneity and engagement I was seeking. I have witnessed our students' evolution from having a "recess" mindset to becoming young adults that are learning to think critically and manage their time independently. We still have a long way to go, for the challenge of filling each space with relevant projects that engage students as learners and lead them to become competent digital citizens is an ongoing task."


5 Tips for Helping a Student Find the Right Book

Helping kids fall in love with reading.
Rebecca Alber offers her 5 tips for helping teachers (and TLs) guide students to that "just right" book: Connection, Experiment, Exposure, Permission, Time.

Read her complete post for the details!

"When I was a high school English language arts teacher, there was really no greater feeling than helping a kid find the book. [...] Once found, the book has a profound affect on them -- their emerging sense of understanding of life; it is often tragic yet hopeful and sparks empathy and speaks to the universality of the human experience. Franz Kafka's famous quote comes to mind, "A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us."


The Double Helix - Teaching Video & resources

An Engaging 17min Film about DNA

"What a great excuse to throw out my old PowerPoint on the discovery of the DNA structure, I thought, after I viewed The Double Helix short film. Olivia Judson is a captivating narrator and storyteller and the clips of James Watson walking us through his thought process while figuring out how to line up the bases is fascinating for my students. The In-Depth Film Guide is better than a textbook and answers all the major questions students have about the discovery of the structure of DNA. Before watching the film, I have students answer as many questions on the quiz as they can, then we use the quiz questions as our discussion guide after the film." –Paul Strode (Fairview High School, CO)

The video is also downloadable, so you can avoid streaming difficulties.
Link to teacher's guide:



Giving Data Some Soul - Project Advocacy for SLRCs

The power of using data persuasively
Carolyn Foote talks about ways we can present data meaningfully for maximum impact and accessibility:

"At the conference, Ken Haycock, research professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, acknowledged that the way librarians present data often doesn't resonate with decision-makers. Qualitative sorts of stories do. "Data with a soul," as keynote speaker Brendan Howley, chief strategy officer at Yup! media group, called it, quoting University of Houston professor and TED Talk sensation Brené Brown...."


DIY Library Bulletin Boards: Tips, Resources, and Ideas

A roundup of fun tips
SLJ offers ideas and links galore for spicing up your Bulletin Boards!

"If keeping bulletin boards fresh and enticing doesn't come naturally to you, you're not alone. Bulletin boards can be important communication opportunities in your library. If you're feeling stuck, think about how you can align bulletin boards with interesting instructional activities, and take a look at how they can inspire as well as inform."


Stats in the Stacks

Be a poster-child for library reports

The TL at a secondary school in the Interior does a "Stats Collage" as a way of highlighting the good numbers from the past year's program. There is no required list of figures - circulation, visits, acquisitions, classes taught, digital resources - anything at all can be "grist for the mill." His poster format is a great way to draw attention to the successes, without turning it into a mind-numbing spreadsheet of figures and dates! (Thanks for sharing Al! I've added some others too!)

Think about using Word, Powerpoint, Canva, ComicLife, PicCollage or Piktochart to create your poster masterpieces. A quick trip to Staples can give you a nice poster to display!


Bookmaking 101 - some resources to consult

Making books with your students?
While you can make ebooks with BookCreator and iBook Author, sometimes it can be fun to produce the ink and paper versions too.


Blind Date - book borrowing

Get those books moving in February!
Robert Shuck, Librarian at  Harvest Christian Academy in Guam, wrote recently on LM-Net about a great February promotion: "It is called Blind Date With a Book. You wrap the book with plain paper.  Draw and design and put catchy words.  You only expose the Barcode of the book so you can check it out."

I googled around and found a number of libraries planning on doing something similar. (See the "Infowhelm" blog link above.) Paired with a flashy poster and some heart stickers, this could be a lot of fun. Get students to wrap and "label" their favourite books in the lead up to Feb 14th. You could also tie it in to "love your library day".


The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation – The Snowy Day – Animated Read-aloud

Winter fun - narration and music with images

While we may not have snow at the moment, this is a fun book to do with your students. You can click through to the end or replay individual scenes as many times as you want.

The site has a number of other goodies including an educator's corner with resources and book activities.


Library Learning Commons: A Secondary Perspective (VSB)

Jann Marie Forgeron, Joan Muir, Moira Ekdahl, Pat Parungao, Susan Pearson and Virginia Lam (Vancouver School Board Secondary Teacher-Librarians) have drafted a comprehensive document that grapples with issues facing TLs and schools as they transition from "School Library" to "Library Learning Commons."

There is an extensive "Works Cited" section. (Thanks Tom for the heads-up!)



Raconte-moi une histoire | Espace Jeunes | BAnQ

"Tell me a story" - in French and more
The Youth Portal on the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) offers a number of audio titles in French (and other languages.)