PPS Secondary Library Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 3: February 2015

Alexandria: Not Just a City in Egypt

by Susan Catlett

Understanding how to access and search a library’s catalog is crucial to finding the exact library resource you need to supplement your instruction. All Portsmouth Public Schools use library cataloging software named Alexandria to manage their resources. While you may obviously access the library catalog within your school library, the catalog is online so it is available wherever and whenever you have Internet access. Please see your librarian for the Alexandria catalog website address as it is school specific. Additionally, while you can always get assistance from your librarian, Alexandria offers researcher how-to video tutorials http://www.goalexandria.com/support/tech_notes/videos/researcher/index.html.

Read It, Before You Watch It

by Alicia Gladwell

The next two years have a lot of great movies heading to theaters. A lot of these titles are based on novels, and many of them are young adult novels. Here’s a list of movies that are coming out or are in the works. Before these characters come to life on screen, head to your local school or public library to find out what all the fuss is about.

2015 Movies

2/6/15 - The Seventh Son (The Last Apprentice) by Joseph Delaney

3/13/15- In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

3/20/15 - Insurgent by Veronica Roth

5/1/15 - Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

6/5/15 - Paper Towns by John Green

6/5/15 - Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

10/2/15 - Victor Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

11/20/15 - Mockingjay: Part Two by Suzanne Collins

11/24/15 - Inferno by Dante

2016 Movies

1/29/16 The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

3/4/16 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

3/18/16 Allegiant: Part One by Veronica Roth

5/27/16 Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

8/8/16 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

Movies still in Development – Release Dates TBD

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Legend by Marie Lu

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Matched by Allyson Condie

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

PPS Provided Databases = Tools for Research Success

by Lauri Newell

Have you used our databases or subscription services lately? Have your students used our databases or subscription services lately?

If your students are determined to use Wikipedia or Google for all of their research information, you should share the following information regarding tools and features of some of the PPS provided services (accessed through PPS.k12.va.us, Student tab, then Library Media Services):

Britannica School

Students may browse different articles from the home page, read current New York Times articles or search by a specific term. The following tools are offered once an article is opened:

Citation in MLA, APA, Harvard and Chicago Manual Style.

Change font size.

Choose between articles written on three different reading levels.

Translate article.

Country Reports

Students may search facts and cultural information for countries worldwide. The following tools are offered once information is accessed:

Citation in MLA and APA.

Currency converter.

Translation through Bing Translator.


World Book Online

Students may search by specific terms or explore suggested topics featured on the home page. The following tools are offered once an article is opened:

Citation in MLA, APA, Harvard.

Hear text read aloud.

Translate articles.


Students have access to research tools including eLibrary, SIRS Researcher, numerous databases, newspapers, books and more. The following tools are available in eLibrary and SIRS Knowledge Source:

Citation in MLA and APA.

“Listen” option.

Translate article.


Students may access research databases and resources including encyclopedias, biographies, magazines, atlases, scholarly journals, newspapers and more by providing a single search term

It is important to teach students how to limit the number of results they receive by choosing specific databases or resources that relate to their topic, instead of searching using the default setting or choosing all options. After students receive their initial results, they may choose filters in the left side column to limit results by document type, publication titles, publication dates and more.

The following tools are available once an article is opened:

Citation in MLA and APA.

Download article.

Download MP3.

Translate article.

Challenge your students to use the PPS provided resources to discover additional tools, features and more.

Need Extra Practice for ACT? SAT? ASVAB?

by Rosemary Bakhtiari

The Portsmouth Public Library has a FREE resource for extra test prep! It is titled LEARNING EXPRESS LIBRARY!

After creating a logon and password for Learning Express Library, you will find “ practice for career and educational tests and access practice guide eBooks for hundreds of tests including:

ACT, Advanced Placement, ASVAB, Civil Service, Cosmetology, EMT/Paramedic, ESL (Spanish) Skills Improvement Courses, Firefighter, GED, GMAT, GRE, Law Enforcement, LSAT, Nurse Aide, Postal Worker, SAT, Teacher Certification, TOEFL, US Citizenship.”

No library card is needed! Just be sure to log in/register via the Portsmouth Public Library Website.


1. Once you are at the site, click on the link labeled “Online Resources” (in the left sidebar).

2. Scroll down to “Education and Testing” and select “Learning Express Library”.

3. If you are a “new user”, create a logon and password. (Be sure to write it down!)

4. Be sure to enter via Portsmouth Public Library website when you return for more practice.

Please note, this test practice center has numerous practice tests for multiple career areas and school levels.

Edited by Lauri Newell

Librarian, Churchland Middle School