Allegheny County public library users now have access to Novelist Plus and Novelist Plus K-8. Novelist Plus has the same interface as users are accustomed to but it now includes Nonfiction and Audio-book titles and authors not previously available.
Novelist Plus is a more powerful way to find Title, Author, or Series readalikes. There are about 70,000 of them! It’s great for readers advisory by helping to find titles that appeal to a reader’s favorite things they like to read about.
Many people don’t know that Novelist Plus can also be used to find topical reading lists, book group discussion guides, curriculum guides, and more.
If you haven’t had a chance, give Novelist Plus a try and start telling you patrons what it has to offer. And you can boost usage at your library by using some of Ebsco’s Novelist promotional materials.
Where did the summer go? Your children and teen patrons can soak up the sun guilt-free a little longer, but those of you who serve teachers and other classroom support staff know that plans and preparations for fall learning are already in full swing. Did you know that some of our electronic resources contain materials that can help them prepare great lessons and classroom activities? Read on to see what you can find, and where to find it.
Teacher Reference Center
Let’s not overlook the obvious: this resource has “teacher” right in its title, and yet your users might not know it exists. Educators looking for new ideas can consult abstracts of 260 periodicals for articles about topics such as:
Science & mathematics
plus a whole lot more!
Although Teacher Reference Center is not full-text, you can often get to the full-text by
adding other EBSCO databases to your search.
searching the article title in other county/POWER resources.
submitting an ILL request.
For more immediate needs in the social sciences, Gale’s got you covered.
History in Context (U.S & World), Opposing Viewpoints
These three databases feature a taxonomy of content linked to current educational standards. When you enter each of these databases, you’ll see a link to “Curriculum Standards” at the top. Clicking this brings up a drop-down menu of national and state standards (World History in Context also includes international standards–neat, eh?).
Once you’ve selected your state, you can choose to see the social sciences standards for either middle school or high school. Subdivisions within each standard are linked to specific database content. So, for example, teachers preparing a lesson for 9th graders on the rule of law could access U.S. History in Context and, using the taxonomy, jump directly to materials on that topic, as well as on civil rights and the common good.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context contains curriculum standards for both the social sciences and the hard/applied sciences. There is also a “Maps” feature that provides not just maps, but all sorts of graphics teachers can use to share statistics or present key information visually.
Speaking of science…
Science Reference Center
This resource is a gold mine of information for the science teacher who could use support. The reference shelf, on the right-hand side of the landing page, contains links to:
More than 2000 lesson plans on a wide variety of topics.
Science experiments (full projects and support articles).
Research and citation guides to share with students.
Worksheets for chemistry, physics, biology, scientific math, and more.
Like the social science databases, Science Reference Center also contains curriculum standards organized by state, grade level, subject, and subtopic. However, instead of linking the user directly to the material, EBSCO provides suggested search strings.
Novelist / Novelist K-8
English teachers will love the support materials they’ll find in Novelist and Novelist K-8. If they’re in a hurry, you can very quickly show your patrons how to search by lexile and Accelerated reader. If they’ve got time to spare, though, there are more materials to show off.
If you select the “Quick Links” tab in either database, then click “Curriculum Connections,” you’ll find tons of book lists on common classroom themes. “Books to Reinforce the Alphabet,” for example, suggests books for teaching individual letters. Results can be limited by age, subject, and a variety of other ways. These include curriculum standards for those seeking specific lesson plans to illustrate a particular point.
“Picture Book Extenders,” the last option under “Quick Links,” also contains curriculum standards-aligned activities that can be used in conjunction with specific picture books. This option, like “Curricular Connections,” is available in both Novelist and Novelist K-8, and results have the same set of limiters mentioned above. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will find these especially helpful as they pave the road to independent reading.
Novelist‘s book discussion guides are a good resource for high school English teachers looking for additional questions to get students thinking about assigned texts. Also located in the “Quick Links” section, these searches can be limited to teen audiences for best results. Each discussion guide contains a list of questions and answers, as well as recommended read-alikes that can help teachers get a curious child to their next book. Please note: this option is not available in Novelist K-8.
Although classroom teachers are the primary audience, these resources might also be helpful for homeschooling parents, child care center workers, or volunteer tutors. With a little help from you and a database, your patrons prepping for back-to-school time might just breathe a little more easily this year.
As a librarian, NoveList is a resource that I would definitely have a hard time living without. As everyone knows it is a great readers’ advisory tool; especially for genres you have little interest in reading. I am not a reader of science fiction, and I will readily admit that I have a hard time suggesting titles for steampunk and space opera readers! Another gem in NoveList that I recently started using is the Book Discussion Guides. Our community has many book discussion groups, so at least monthly I have a book discussion leader stop by the reference desk and ask for some help in finding author info and a few good discussion questions to help their group along.
NoveList Book Discussion Guides are accessible from Lists & Articles and Professional Toolbox in the orange menu bar and under the Quick Links lower down the main page. The guides are categorized as Adult or Teens, and each guide has author info, book summary, several discussion questions, and further reading. You can browse the 800+ guides by author or title, or use the Advanced Search to look for specific titles or authors and limit by Document type –Book Discussion Guides. You can further limit by Audience (adult/young adult), publication date, number of pages, author’s gender, author’s nationality, award winners, etc.
If you don’t find what you are looking for on NoveList, try Lit Lovers, they too have a great amount of discussion guides. Lit Lovers was started by a former college English instructor who currently resides in Pittsburgh!
I thought of writing this post after a patron sent an email to me asking if the library would consider training library patrons on the features of the Goodreads site. I reacted instinctively. Goodreads? what about Novelist, does she not know about that wonderful database? So now I can happily have a training session that combines the two because…. the Novelist database now includes links to Goodreads, the largest reader’s social network which contains reader reviews and ratings. If you haven’t used Novelist, this database is a great resource for finding information about fiction titles for all ages. Two Novelist databases are currently available, Novelist and Novelist K-8.
Links to Goodreads can be found in your Novelist search results and on the title detail page
Clicking on the link to Goodreads in Novelist takes you to the Goodreads review section for that book. If you have a Goodreads account, you can add a review, or if you don’t have one, you can create one from this page. The link to Goodreads opens in a separate window so you can easily return to Novelist.