Fizz, Boom, Read…online

Are you a secret science junkie, bubbling over with excitement about this year’s kid’s summer reading theme? If so, you probably already know that Gale’s Science in Context offers access to articles from The Science Teacher and Popular Science as well as information from a variety of other sources on hundreds of science-related topics.

The intended audience for this database is high school and above, so you probably won’t find material suited specifically for children but if you’re looking to brush up your own knowledge it’s a great resource.

BookFlix, on the other hand includes books and videos just right for an early elementary audience. By combining engaging stories (like Scaredy Squirrel) with informative texts (Backyard Wildlife: Squirrels) BookFlix offers the best of both worlds and makes learning painless. Sections on Animals and Nature







and Earth and Sky fit most obviously with the theme, but don’t overlook People and Places or even ABCs and 123s. Basic skills, after all, are the foundation of many different kinds of literacy.

Then there are TumbleBooks and OverDrive. Both offer a wide variety of children’s titles to read for information or for pleasure—and to log for summer reading. The TumbleBooks homepage highlights a variety of offerings:








In OverDrive, use the drop-down subject guide on the kids’ OverDrive page to find books on Science & Nature, or locate Sci-Fi & Fantasy titles.

Finally, if you have a CLP card but haven’t yet spent much time browsing through Facts on File’s Science Online this summer is the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with this resource. Whether you’d like to plan a program that features a science experiment on a popular topic like Forensic Science, browse a timeline that offers a glimpse of scientific discovery through the ages or view a brief video on a science-related topic, this easy to use database offers lots of different ways to explore this year’s summer reading theme.

Are there other great summer reading resources lurking online? Share them in the comments.

Lisa (CLP)



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Top 7 Reasons to Use the Library Instead of Pirating Media

Woman on laptop computer with man reading bookMedia consumers prefer to get their content quick, free, and easy.  It is no secret that many of these consumers are turning to illegally downloading media through sites like The Pirate Bay.  The Institute of Policy Innovation estimated the damage piracy has done to the music industry alone at $12.5 billion.  There are a number of reasons why we should remind people that using the public library digital resources are a smarter option than downloading media illegally.

1. The Copyright Alert system is working with Internet Service Providers (including Comcast and Verizon) to identify violations.  These violations may generate alerts that could lead to the ISP slowing down a user’s connection speed. Source

2. More than 200,000 law suits against pirates have been filed since 2010. Source

3. Using library media, although free, still supports the artists and producers who are creating the content.

4. The stream of new media will dry up if its creators aren’t compensated for their work.  The quality and quantity of what is produced will shrink without a way to get paid.

5. Most of the media the library offers through OverDrive, Hoopla, Zinio, and Freegal is available just as quickly, in the convenience of your own home, as obtaining it illegally.  Although there could be a wait time if the media is checked out.

6. Piracy is illegal.

7. Library resources are free!

Dustin, Sewickley

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TFIOS – they’ve read the book, seen the movie – NOW WHAT?!

As most parents and librarians know, The Fault in Our Stars and John Green have a devoted following. What could you possibly suggest they read next?

 The NoveList database K-8 and its Read-alikes recommend several titles that may be the next big “TFIOS”. From the e-resources landing page which connects staff and public alike to all our electronic resources:

             Click on e-Articles (databases)

            In the gray box, click on Books & Reading – and then find

            NoveList K-8

 Along the very bottom of this page, click on ‘Working with Youth’ under Professional Toolbox.

 There is a terrific amount of information here, from More Like this (read-alikes), Books to Movies (see top right side of page under NoveList Resources), book lists based on subjects kids might have to read (eventually) for summer reading ‘My kids have to read for school… and Matching readers with books (a great list of “skinny books” listed!).

 Clicking on any of the book titles provides professional reviews and there will be this icon Check the catalogCheck the catalog for a direct link to the catalog for availability at your library or any in Allegheny County.

Debi Ryder




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Big Library Read is BACK!

OverDrive’s global ebook club, the Big Library Read, is back. This program is designed to demonstrate the power of e-lending in libraries. This season’s pick is Laurien Berenson’s A Pedigree to Die For.

pedigreePedigree is Berenson’s first title in her Melanie Travis series. These cozy mysteries are perfect for lovers of thrillers and dogs alike. Readers will be kept on the edge of their seats as they discover a world of intrigue, foul play and deception.   Book clubbers may share their thoughts on the title with other readers around the world through OverDrive’s Big Library Read Discussion board.   They can also use the hashtag #BigLibraryRead on Twitter to tell OverDrive what they think.

Next week look for a recorded video interview with the author where she shares her sources of inspiration for her entertaining ‘tails’!

As with previous Big Library Read titles,Pedigree (available as an ebook only) will be available for two weeks (June 3 – 18) for all patrons to read at the same time without waitlists or holds. Checked out copies will expire at the end of the lending period and not at the end of the program.

Based on our previous experience, the program’s success doesn’t necessarily depend on any in-house advertising. But libraries interested in highlighting this program may wish to check out the marketing kit available from OverDrive.

Happy Reading!

Charmaine (CLP)

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