October is National Book Month and fall break is a great time to snuggle up with a good read. Here are a few favorites from our Episcopal staff:
These are just some of our favorites. Do you also love to read? Share your favorites in the Comments section.
Libraries are hubs for information and ideas. Aldrich library is such a hub for Episcopal students and faculty in both its physical and digital space. While our physical space is well used and loved by community members, our digital resources aren’t always placed in the spotlight. February is Love Your Library Month, and I’m excited to share some of our digital resources that deserve lots of love!
Being new to Episcopal this year, one of my priorities in the library has been to get to know the resources we have available, so I can be poised to best connect them with appropriate students and faculty. Upon diving into the vast digital resources available through Aldrich Library, I decided to organize them within a new and improved library website.
When introducing our digital library resources to students, we discuss the importance of using reliable academic sources when conducting scholarly research. This is why we provide students with access to a variety of databases. Subscriptions to Gale Cengage, EBSCO, and JSTOR databases, as well as numerous other content specific options, grant our students access to academic publications that are not freely available through a typical web search engine. I love to share this video created by Ronald Williams Library at Northeastern Illinois University when students ask, “Should I use Google or library resources for a paper?”
Should I be using Google or the Library resources for paper?
Students don’t just have access to these amazing resources on campus. They are available 24/7 to Episcopal students via our library website. To gain access to databases from home, students must access the Google document linked on the main page using their Episcopal email login. This document gives them the various credentials needed to login to each database from home.
The Aldrich Library site also provides access to NoodleTools, a research service that helps students properly cite sources, take notes, create an outline, and format the works cited. This powerful tool provides support for students throughout the entire research process.
Presentation skills are essential to bring the research process full circle, where students share their findings with an audience. The Presentation Tools page provides students with a variety of tools to create digital products, as well as helpful tips for creating strong visual presentations.
All of these resources are neatly structured on the Aldrich Library page so they are easily accessible at all times. Making use of this wealth of information to establish strong research habits is important as we prepare students for life in college and beyond.
Tiffany has been an educator for nine years and joins the Episcopal faculty this year as the Upper and Middle School Librarian. A lifelong resident of Baton Rouge, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University and her Masters in Educational Technology Leadership from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. She has served as the President for ISTE’s Librarians Network and was recognized as one of ISTE’s 2014 Emerging Leaders. Tiffany is National Board Certified in Library Media and was named one of the 2014 Library Journal Movers & Shakers. She was the 2016 recipient of the Louisiana Library Media Specialist Award. Tiffany speaks regularly at state, national, and international conferences on school library and technology topics.
HELLO, MY NAME IS CATHERINE AND I AM A BOOK ADDICT.
Seriously, I have a problem with wanting to read TOO much. In fact, it used to be a problem for my budget. I would spend massive amounts of money buying books...I would read them once, let them sit on a bookshelf for a while, and eventually give them away. But now, thanks to our amazing public libraries, I DO NOT BUY BOOKS. The library has a massive collection of digital books. There are classics, bestsellers, newly released books and just about anything that you would find on the shelves of a bookstore. You can download a book to your phone, ipad, Kindle or other device in under 10 seconds! This has been life-changing for me! All you need is a free library card and you have access to millions of books for everyone in the family! There are so many advantages of checking out digital books: First, there are no overdue fees. After your loan period is over, the book goes directly back to the library. You can return the book early, but if you forget, then it disappears from your device. (I find this so freaky!) Secondly, digital books can be borrowed in an ebook version or an audio version. Long car trips are now enjoyable because you can download an audiobook to listen to along the way. I have also found that struggling readers can benefit from listening to an audiobook, while holding a print copy of the book. My 14 year old uses this method for his summer reading every year. It motivates him to keep reading. Lastly, you do not even have to get out of your pajamas on a Saturday morning to get a new book! Need I say more?
I’m going to give you simple, step by step instructions of how you can take advantage of your tax dollars and gain access to all of the free books from our public library. It is fairly intuitive, and you may not even need all of the following instructions, but I have provided pictures to help if you need them.
If you do not have a library card or can’t remember where yours is, simply go to any public library, fill out an application, and receive a free card. You will need your library card number to check out books online. Next, download OverDrive- it is a free app. You can get it from iTunes or Amazon- this will be the place where you are going to “store” all of your books. If you have a Kindle and already have the Kindle app, you can also choose to store your books there. (If you do not have a Kindle, disregard the last sentence.)
Once you have the OverDrive app, open it and search for the name of your library. If you live in East Baton Rouge Parish, you will search for East Baton Rouge Parish Library. If you live in another parish, search for the name of the library where you received your library card.
Once you have the name of your library saved in Overdrive, click on it, and it will send you to the library webpage. It will look something like this:
Search for the name of a book or author. I searched Because of Winn-Dixie. Below are my results
You can see one is an ebook and one is an audiobook. They are both available because it says ”Borrow.” If they were not available it would say “Place a hold” where you could choose to have the book check out to you as soon as it is available. If you place a hold on a book, you will receive an email when the book is available. It will just automatically show up on your “bookshelf” in OverDrive (again, very freaky.) But in my case above, the book is available and I want to check out the ebook version... so I click on the first book, and then select “Borrow.”
This is when your handy dandy library card comes into play. You will enter your library card number; just be sure to check the box “Remember my card number on this device” so your ipad or Kindle or phone or computer will remember your card number- then you won’t ever have to enter it again! Very convenient!
Once you have checked out one or more books, you will need to go to your “bookshelf.” It’s the book icon below.
You can then choose which version of the ebook to use. I always choose EPUB ebook so that it will download the book to my OverDrive app and I don’t need wifi to read it. If you have a Kindle or the Kindle app on your ipad or iphone, you could also choose the Kindle book, and the book will be stored there.
My hope is that this step by step process will help you find many, many books that you would like to read. If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can help you.
Catherine Word is the Lower School Librarian. She received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alabama and her Masters of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University. Before coming to Episcopal, she taught First Grade, Eighth Grade English, and was a Middle School Librarian. Catherine not only loves to help students fall in love with reading, but also creates an environment of creativity and exploration through participation in Maker Space. Her passion motivates her to stay current with library science skills to enhance student creativity and exploration through participation in programs such as Worlds of Making Makerspace Admiral Program. Catherine works side by side with technology staff and teachers in professional and student development through trainings and on-hand, in-class modeling.
One of my favorite things about being the Lower School Librarian is to see kids fall in love with reading. By exposing students to all types of books, children will develop a sense of what genre they enjoy most and will develop a love of reading. Sometimes that comes easily.... "Mrs. Word, where are the mysteries?" These kids know what they like and devour every book in that genre. Others have a more difficult time.... "Mrs. Word, I want a book about time travel but without any fairies or weird characters!" These kids have an idea of what they like (science fiction), but need book suggestions from me or help narrowing down exactly what they want. And then there are these.... "I don't like reading... it's boring." These are the kids (and some adults, too) that have never found the "just right" book. They have either been told they have to read certain books (and didn't like them), or have just never discovered the magic of getting lost in a book. I LOVE helping these kids discover a book that truly makes them WANT to read. There is a quote on the wall of Pollard Library that reads, "I disappear into books. What's your superpower?" (By the way, my family will all tell you that I have this superpower, as I tend to ignore EVERYTHING around me while reading.) I hope that this new year there will be many, many students at Episcopal that will discover how to disappear.... In my efforts to help our students I have discovered some wonderful reading resources that might help everyone in their reading journey- whether just beginning to recognize sounds and words to falling in love with a good book. I hope you find them helpful!
EPIC! is an ebook app designed for kids 12 and under that provides access to thousands of popular children's books. It costs $4.99 in the Apple app store, but is well worth the cost... Kids can search books by topic, genre, age level, and eventually the app will recommend books based on what has previously been read. It also will keep track of the number of books read, hours spent reading, and allows kids to set preferences based on their age and things they like. For younger kids, there is a set of "Read to Me" books that give an audio version. If you are an educator, the app is free!
Apple app store
Epic! Google app
Epic! Amazon App
Is this book appropriate?
"Have you read every book in the library?" Crazy enough, I have had many kids ask me this question! There is no possible way for me to read every book- I have to rely on book reviews and websites to decide what to order for our library. As children get older and can read longer chapter books, the question I hear from parents is different: " Is this age appropriate?" The AR (Accelerated Reader) level is often confused with content level- just because a book has an AR level of 4.4 does not mean that the book was written for a 4th grade audience. It only means that the average 4th grader has the ability to read the words in the book without trouble. Every parent has a different idea of what they think is appropriate for their child to read. Story Snoops offers children's book reviews from a parent's perspective for readers ages 9-18. One of the goals is to offer unbiased summaries that will give you insight into the underlying themes and messages. I love the quote on their webpage: "Judge a book by more than its cover." http://www.storysnoops.com/
Books Read Aloud!
At http://www.justbooksreadaloud.com/ there are hundreds of books that are read aloud. Perfect for younger kids. Search by category or age.
Kids ask me everyday, "What should I read next?" My follow up question is always, "What have you read lately that you really enjoyed?" Book Seer is a website that follows the same method. Kids enter a title and author and the the Book Seer will give them a list of suggested books. This is a great resource for adults as well! http://bookseer.com/
The EdCamp movement began in Philadelphia in 2010, and since then over 700 events have been hosted around the world. An EdCamp is an “unconference” that provides educators with teacher-driven professional development and incredible opportunities to network with their peers.
There are no predetermined sessions or topics. Instead, participants show up on the day of the event with ideas they would like to explore and resources to share. A session board is created that morning with a variety of topic ideas, providing participants with several options to attend at a number different of time slots. Unlike a typical conference style of professional development, there are no formal presenters or presentations being made. Sessions consist of facilitated discussion among the participants, so everyone’s voice is heard and a variety of ideas are shared.
The EdCamp model embraces the rule of two feet, which encourages participants to move between available sessions as they wish. No one is offended if someone leaves one session and moves to another, because this event is about each participant getting the most out of their professional development time. It also means if there are two sessions that sound really interesting, then it’s okay to pop in to both.
Making professional connections and networking is at the core of EdCamp. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds, work at different schools, and have experience with a range of age-groups. These unique experiences of each educator in attendance makes for great discussions and resource sharing. There is something for every educator to learn at an EdCamp.
We are excited to host the third annual EdCamp Baton Rouge at Episcopal on Saturday, January 28th from 8AM until 12PM. All area educators are invited to attend and registration is free. Local educators do not want to miss this morning of fun and relaxed learning packed with innovative ideas, engaging conversation, and great door prizes.
For more information and registration, visit www.edcampbr.com