PPS Secondary Library Newsletter

Issue #2 November 2014

Technology as Your Personal Librarian

by Alicia Gladwell

As a librarian, I often am asked for book recommendations. I love to offer suggestions based on what someone has enjoyed reading. But when I am building my own personal reading list, I have several websites that are quite helpful in keeping track of my books, rating them and even offering suggestions on what to read next. If you are an avid reader, these sites may guide you as your own personal virtual librarians.

A great place to start is by joining one of the several websites that offer users the ability to keep track of which books you are reading. Sites like Goodreads.com, Shelfari.com, and LibraryThing.com not only allow users to keep track of reading lists and reviews, but also be able to see what your friends are reading. These sites are similar but users may find that one is better suited to their style. I like the simplicity and ease of Goodreads. The site also has some features that I enjoy such as recommendations based on the trends on my reading history and the ability for me to recommend a book to a friend.

If you like having someone recommend titles to you, there are other websites that specialize in doing just that. WhatShouldIReadNext.com, Noverly.com, and Whichbook.com offer unique ways to find your next book. WhatShouldIReadNext, has been around for quite a while and seems to get better results every time I use it. Its premise is simple. Type in a book you enjoyed reading and it will offer similar books that you may enjoy as well. With Noverly and Whichbook you plug in search criteria and the search engine limits results to offer you suggestions. Noverly will offer suggestions based on simple search criteria (i.e. if you want a zombie apocalypse book, search in Noverly). Whichbook has several preselected categories but you determine how much of each you want in a sliding scale. You can decide how long or short, sad or funny, expected or unpredictable you want your story to be and search for results.

These are just a small selection of great websites for readers to help you find your next great read. There are plenty more to explore. And if you friend your librarian on these sites like Goodreads, we will extend our book recommendations to you – virtually!

There is more to CHROME than “Search” and “Gmail”

by Rosemary Bakhktiari

Last year Portsmouth Public Schools installed Google Chrome as a web browsing option. Have you had the opportunity to go beyond “search” and “gmail” and check out your Google Drive. If you have been putting it off, wait no longer! Check out “Brett J. Moore’s Guide To Becoming A Google Drive Master”. It is a comprehensive resource for teachers and students. Whether you are a novice or a frequent user of your drive, Moore’s guide (which is actually a Google Doc) offers helpful tutorials and activities for each of Google Drive’s applications: Google Doc, Google Forms, Presentations and Drawing.

The tutorials and activities will soon have you on your way to becoming a Google Drive Master!

Give it a spin.


Creating an Online Professional Identity

by Susan Catlett

As 21st century educators, it is imperative to maintain an online professional identity. Some teachers have decided to have a single online identity that blends their personal and professional interests while others create two distinct identities. In either instance, the number of online tools that exists to help create a professional identity is mind boggling. I have divided some selected tools into three categories in the included graphic: communication(C), organization (O), and presentation (P) but many of these tools fit into all three categories.

If you are new to creating an online identity, you might want to begin by selecting one or two tools from each category or just one tool that does multiple jobs. The Google suite of applications can be used in any of the three categories while Prezi is primarily a presentation tool. The first step is to select the tool or tools that interest you and create your account.

Once you have created your selected online tools, you must consistently use them if you want to develop an online identity. Concurrently, you must be very judicious in what you put online. I know you are aware that once something is in cyberspace, it is always discoverable and will be integrated into your online identity.

Once you have begun creating your online professional identity, there are utilities like http://klout.com that can help you measure your success. Also, remember that your librarian can identify many more tools that will enable you to create an exceptional professional online presence.

Motion Picture Copyright and Licensing/Fair Use in Classrooms

by Lauri Newell

While the majority of teachers are well aware of Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines, the “Educational Exemption” that is applied to using motion pictures in classes and schools is often misunderstood. Ownership of movies and the right to use them are two separate issues.

Copyright compliance applies to schools, public libraries, daycare facilities, parks, recreation departments, summer camps, churches, private clubs, prisons, lodges, businesses, etc.:

· Regardless of how the movies are obtained.

· Whether or not an admission fee is charged.

· Whether the facility or organization is commercial or non-profit.

· Whether a federal, state or local agency is involved.

The “Educational Exemption,” often called the “face to face teaching exemption,” is a precise activity, allowing the legal use of movies in certain types of teaching, in a nonprofit environment.

This exemption applies for a feature film only if the use of the movie meets all of the following criteria:

· A teacher or instructor is present.

· The showing takes place in a classroom setting with only the enrolled students attending.

· The movie used is an essential part of the core, required curriculum being taught. (The instructor should be able to show how the use of the motion picture contributes to the overall required course study and syllabus.)

· The movie shown is a legitimate copy, not recorded from a legitimate copy or recorded from TV.

A Movie License is required when showing feature films for reward, entertainment, or in situations that do not meet the criteria above. This requirement applies during school hours or after school in the school building.


Harper, Georgia. "The Teach Act." The Crash Course in Copyright. University of Texas Libraries, 1 Jan. 2007. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

"Understanding Copyright." Http://k12.movlic.com/. Movie Licensing USA - K-12 Schools Movies - A Division of Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

Making Reading "Pop" with E-books

By Jennifer M. Rascoe, LMS

When it comes to reading books, there is no "one size fits all." Today, readers can enjoy traditional printed books, or, interact with online, digital formats, known as eBooks. Both have their own unique characteristics and benefits, while providing different ways for readers to enjoy literature.

For some, the printed medium is still the best fit. There is just something about a printed book that excites the senses while tantalizing the mind. Maybe it's the smell, or the crispness of the pages, or the cracking sound of the spine that draws them to this medium. Perhaps it's availability, given that printed books are easily obtained from any library or book store. Or maybe, it's the portability feature that attracts them. Whatever the attraction, for many, the printed book is a medium that still fits just fine.

For others, digital is the only way to go. There are so many benefits with digital eBooks that popularity for the medium is rapidly increasing. Accessing via computer or tablets seems to be noticeable draw. For many, eBooks make reading "pop". Often a digital eBook is interactive, including additional, beneficial features not found in printed versions that provide the reader with additional experiences, resources and activities, such as links to websites, audible pronunciation, definitions, video and more. Depending on licensing, multiple users can even access the same eBook online at the same time, which can be a tremendous advantage for students that need to access the same book for the class assignment. One clear advantage with digital ebooks is that they do not sustain physical damages and losses like their paper counterparts; they always appear neat, clean and ready-to-use. An ever increasing number of readers are quickly discovering the benefits of digital eBooks and find that this is the perfect fit for their reading habits.