Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One Great Resource - HowStuffWorks

HowStuffWorks. If you haven't browsed this website, you're missing an incredible resource. Founded by North Carolina State University Professor Marshall Brain in 1998, HowStuffWorks has become a premier web location for explaining with easy to understand descriptions, graphics and videos, how everything in the world works. The site also features consumer ratings and reviews to assist with pre-purchase research. Among other awards, it was named in 2006 and 2007 one of Time Magazine's "25 Websites We Can't Live Without".

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Red Kayak

Author Priscilla Cumming's Red Kayak has been awarded the 2007 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award and the 2007 Oklahoma Sequoyah Award. The book was also included on the American Library Association's 2006 list of Best Books for Young Adults.

Three teen aged boys living on Maryland's Eastern shore face a tragedy with differing beliefs about right and wrong, and personal responsibility. The novel is popular with boys and girls, age 10 and up.

Priscilla Cummings also is an excellent speaker for school groups.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Author 411

Sponsored by Random House Children's Books, Author 411 connects youth, literature, and authors. Four teen book groups are chosen per month to read a selected work (or works) of that month's featured author. Later in the month, the teens meet with that author online to discuss the book(s).

I first learned of this program from the Rockingham Free Public Library and Museum in Bellows Falls, Vermont. Rockingham's youth services librarian had applied for her teen readers to participate, and they were chosen for the June 2008 feature with author Michael Scott.

The teens are reading Scott's soon-to-be released The Alchemist, book one in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series; followed by The Magician, book two, to be released June 24. After reading both books, the teens will meet to prepare questions for their later online meeting with Scott.

Previous authors featured in Author 411 include Jerry Spinelli, Louis Sachar, and Linda Newbery. Transcripts of previous author - teen discussions are available at Author 411.

Author Michael Scott, popular in his native Ireland, is considered an authority on mythology and folklore. His new book The Magician, will be released on June 24, 2008.

A special thank you to my friends at Rockingham for the introduction to this program and resource.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What's the Difference? Internet vs. WWW

What is the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web? Are they one and the same? No, they are not. The Web, or WWW, is a part of the Internet. The Internet is, "a worldwide network of networks."* So what is a network? A network is one or more computers connected together.

This is the basic information that should be included in elementary school library and information literacy classes.

One book that does a good job presenting this basic information is The Incredible Story of Computers and the Internet: A Kid's Guide to Incredible Technology* by Greg Roza.

Friday, April 18, 2008

British Children's Author Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton is an author I had never heard of until yesterday when a librarian friend introduced her to to a group of fifth-grade girls and me while we were sipping lemonade, eating biscuits (cookies) and writing poetry. Ms. Blyton's stories sounded so appealing that I had to know more. Although not well know in the United States (at least in my experience), Blyton's books are considered internationally renowned mystery and adventure stories. Some of the popular titles include The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Malory Towers, the Noddy stories for younger children.

On The Enid Blyton Society website, I read that:

"Several decades after her death, Enid Blyton is not forgotten. The best of her lives on in her books, many of which are still in print, and she continues to entertain, educate and inspire children around the globe through the words she wrote. She encourages her readers to look afresh at the world around them—to observe, explore, investigate, discover and learn. Long may that continue! To quote a few apt lines from Enid Blyton's "The Poet," published in The Poetry Review in 1919:

"Dear heart
And soul of a child,
Sing on!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ultimate Teen Reading List

It's that time of year when librarians are working with school faculty on summer reading lists. My goal is to encourage teachers to cease and desist with all the summer homework -- or at least greatly reduce it -- and give kids the opportunity to read for pleasure. I discovered an awesome website (teenreads.com) that supports my mission, and which features a cool reading list called Ultimate Teen Reading List. It's a great list for adults, too.


The Library and Resource Center of the National Museum of Women in the Arts has unveiled their new database of women artists. Named after the 17th-century Flemish still life painter Clara Peeters, Clara: Database of Women Artists "is a free, user-friendly online database providing access to authoritative information on women in the visual arts of all time periods and nationalities."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Moral vs. Immoral Books

"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written." Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

What do you think?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Best of Law and Technology

"The Zen Librarian searched for nothing on the web and received 27,987,384 hits." This is one of my favorite librarian related jokes from The Laughing Librarian-- and it illustrates the information overload of our online society.

Those who predicted the demise of librarians because of the World Wide Web are wrong. More than ever, librarians are needed to sift through all that is available to best meet the needs and requests of the end-users.

It is to that end that I am attending the 23rd annual Computers In Libraries conference. In just the first three-hour seminar titled Monitoring & Current Awareness: Leveraging Blogs, RSS, Email Alerts and News Sources by Law Librarian Sabrina I. Pacifici (founder, editor and publisher of LLRX.com and author of beSpacific -- providing law and technology resources and news, respectively) I have a plethora of resources to share here and use serving my customers in the library.

So to begin, check-out:

LLRX.com - "Law and technology resources for legal professionals"

beSpacific - "Accurate, focused law and technology news".