Beyond the Stacks

Park Tudor Library News by Sara Rogers & Suzanne Russell

March 2014 Issue

  • Bits & Bytes
  • Featured Database
  • Upper School Update
  • In the Middle (Middle School, That Is)

Bits & Bytes

Mike Mullin Visit

Who is Mike Mullin?
  • son of Shirley, owner of Kids Ink Bookstore
  • author of the Ashfall trilogy
  • out special visitor on April 11th
Mike will present "How is Taekwondo Like Writing?" where he will teach participants how to break things with a hammer-fist, how to become a better writer, and a little bit about the Yellowstone supervolcano.
The Library will be closed that day as we host Mr. Mullin. Please let Sara know if you would like your classes to attend.

Crash Course

Crash Course is a phenomenal educational resource that truly highlights how educational material can organically emerge online. Started by John Green, New York Times Bestselling Author of books like The Fault in Our Stars and Looking For Alaska, and his brother Hank Green, an entrepreneurial musician and ‘vlogger,’ Crash Course is a YouTube channel with tons of instructional videos on subjects as varied as biology, world history, US history, chemistry, English literature, and ecology.

John and Hank Green have a knack for explaining complex ideas in simple, comprehensible terms. With over 1 million subscribers and over 45 million views across the channel, Crash Course has developed an avid following largely because of John and Hank’s lively approach to subject material, which keeps viewers interested and engaged. If you want to understand why Crash Course has developed such a huge following online, you need look no further than the videos themselves; here are a few of our favorites:

Young, Robyn. "Crash Course by John and Hank Green." Media Minute (Feb. 2014): n. pag. Print.

EasyBib Now Integrated with Several PT Databases

EasyBib announced last week that it is now fully integrated with all Gale In Context databases, as well as the Gale Virtual Reference Library, Gale Literature Resource Center, and InfoTrac. It is also integrated with ProQuest's SIRS Knowledge Source.

Be sure to instruct your students to check their exported citations for accuracy. Each database includes a disclaimer similar to the one below with good reason.

Citation export disclaimer:

While the data elements for the following citations have been formatted to meet the latest citation standards set forth by the respective agencies, these citations provide the available publication data for the document cited and should only serve as a guide and not as a replacement for the latest guidebooks -- or those required by your instructor. Please refer to the provided examples for proper formatting.

It was discovered that not all of the required information was included in a few of our test citations, mostly missing article titles. Also, MLA 7 does not required URLs (and they really aren't useful anyway for databases), but EasyBib includes them. Students need to be aware that they may need to edit the citations.

For those of you who dislike the citation placeholders, N.p, n.p. and n. pag., EasyBib gives students the opportunity to select whether or not to include this information.

Featured Database

SIRS Knowledge Source

Great news! We subscribe to SIRS, the easy-to-use, Internet-based teaching and learning solution for students and teachers. Best of all, it’s available at school or from home

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Updated daily, SKS provides relevant, credible across the curriculum information on social issues, science, history, government, the arts and humanities. Full-text articles and Internet resources are carefully selected from thousands of domestic and international publications and respected organizations.

A few other features include:

BookCarts allow teachers and librarians to customize

learning resources into digital lesson plans for focused

research activities for students.

Publication browsing of curriculum content area

and professional journals benefits teachers who

need to stay current in their subject and profession.

Support for Students include resources that walk students step-by-step through the research process such as, the Research Guide for the Critical Thinker and My Analysis, a Guide to Academic Writitng and a free, online, exportable Note Organizer to name a few.

Click here to watch a two minute introductory video. But to really see the power of this database, contact Suzanne or Sara for a personalized tutorial session.

Google Presentation for Notecards

Watch the short video below to see how your students can use Google Presentation ( the PowerPoint-like feature in Google Drive) to create notecards that will not be lost. :-)
Organize Research With Google Slides

Upper School Update

RAOK Rocks in the US Library!!

The Upper School Library treated its patrons to special events during Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Monday--M&M Guesstimation

Students guessed the number of M&Ms in a glass container. We were impressed by the students who grabbed a ruler and used their Mathematical prowess. Alex Kortepeter won with his guess (no mathematics involved) of 899.

Tuesday-Hot Chocolate Bar and Match the Famous Literary Couples

Students were eager to partake in the hot chocolate bar! While they sipped their beverages, they matched famous literary couples in the day's contest. Winner was Fariya Shamrin.

Wednesday--Candy Quiz

What happy person takes care of animals? A Jolly Rancher! Hagar Weinstein knew the answer to that and other candy-related questions. She emerged as the Candy Quiz winner.

Thursday-Blind Date with a Book

Students were asked to take a "blind date with a book". Books of varying genres were wrapped up to disguise their title and author. Based only on a plot summary, students were asked to select a book and start reading! If it was not a love match, students were not obligated to keep reading.

We were thrilled at the student response to each day's contest! We've already begun to plan for a week of fun around St. Patrick's Day.

In the Middle ( Middle School, that is)

March Reading Challenge - Reading BINGO!

The goal of this month's Reading Bingo activity is to encourage students to step out of their normal reading preferences and to discover some new titles and authors. Each participating student received a bingo card with squares directing them to different types of books. Some sample squares include: "read a book that was published the year your were born", "a book that has a character with special needs", "read a book from the rainbow display in the library", "read a book with a green cover", or "read a book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe". Just like regular Bingo, the goal is to complete a row of five squares, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. One square in each row requires students to write a brief, GoodReads-style book review for one of the four books they have read. The plan is to then add the reviews to our library management system, Alexandria, for others to view or to post them as advertisements for each featured title. All students (and teachers) who complete the challenge will be invited to a Breakfast with Books event upon our return from spring break. I don't know what the menu will be just yet, but I promised the kids it would not be donuts!

What's New on the Shelf

After Eli by Rebecca Rupp

Here Lies Linc by Delia Ray

One for the Murphy's by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Four Mile by Wyatt Key

Jump into the Sky by Shelley Pearsall

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

The Extra by Kathryn Lasky

Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Burns

"Sorry, can't."

Gone by Michael Grant proved to be a very exciting book for the students who participated in last month's book club. We celebrated reading the over 500 page book with a pizza lunch. I also shared with the students a request that I had made back in January to the author asking him to Skype with us. We were all disappointed with his response. "Sorry can't. No time for anything except writing."

Although most of the students were disappointed by Michael Grant's response, it hasn't discouraged them from picking up and reading the remaining FIVE books in the series.

***Images taken from Amazon and and