Join as a “Viewer” in our Live Webinar or Friend Requests today!

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting our first student produced webinar today!  Our 11th grade students worked to develop a webinar about Friend Requests for 4th Grade students at Arrowhead Elementary.  Dr. Nicole Yetter, our cyber safety expert, will be joining us to follow up our presentation with question and answer session for the students at Arrowhead.  Please join our live webinar as a viewer!  Login at and sign in as a guest.


LibGuides Trial for this Academic School Year for PA Libraries!

We are pleased to announce that we have made available a two-hour webinar on Digital Collection Development.  Please note that this webinar differs from hands-on workshops in that it will be a demonstration of how to collect and share resources on LibGuides.  The beauty of the webinar is that you can pause at each segment and try it out before moving on.  Following the webinar, participants from the state of Pennsylvania will receive 2 ACT 48 hours and will have access to their own LibGuide account.  

Please note: The Commonwealth Libraries mandate that this trial is strictly for demo use and only 3-4 guides should be created.  This offer is only available to individuals who did not access a trial subscription during the 2011-2012 free trial offer.  Users cannot change the PDE header on the trial version of the LibGuide or make any changes to the basic format.  It changes for everyone. Custom header’s are available only to subscribers who purchase their own license.

What:  Curation is using a digital platform to make both print and electronic resources available 24/7.  This allows for asynchronous learning and can serve as a supplemental enhancement to a unit or program or an integral tool for your program.  For students in your building, can you build a selection of materials that serve as a portal for their specific needs?  Also, consider what curation could provide to your patrons who never enter your building.  If you have cyber students or teachers, then you have cyber patrons.  How can you serve their needs?  

Who:  Aligned with the district collection development policy, librarian, teachers, students, etc. contribute to building digital collections of information which support learning.

Why:  Curation allows the curator to identify every single tool that can be resourced to support a particular topic and house multiple resources in one spot for users to find.  Not only is it quality control, but it is a time saver.

When:  Maintenance still needs to be considered in the digital world.  You will need to weed out of date or dead links, etc.  You will also need to keep watch on your topic  to see if there are great additions!

How:  You can use many platforms.  LibGuides is excellent and used at many Universities – Google Sites is a free option, etc.

For more on curation

To access the webinar (please note:  if you have difficulty accessing this webinar, there is an alternative below): 


Click on the Recordings Tab.

Use the calendar to navigate toNovember 16, 2011

Click on the session title “LibGuide for Librarians”

Select “Guest”

Enter your email address and your full name.  We cannot give credit if we do not have a full name to refer back to.

Hit Play

The recording will start in a new window.  Please notice the player features at the bottom left of the screen, which allow you to pause, fast forward, and play the recording.

After watching the recording in its entirety, please follow the instructions provided in the webinar to request an account.

Alternate webinar:

The Skills Higher Ed. Professionals Wish High School Students would Acquire


Years ago, our faculty was sent out to various local colleges.  The goal was to generate discussion between our  staff and higher education professionals to learn which skills higher ed. wished high school graduates would enter college with.  This professional development experience inspired me to begin to teach our students how to access and interact with peer reviewed articles from scholarly journals.

Years later, my husband was working on his nursing degree.  He was asked to create an annotated bibliography and needed assistance.  I did a little research and learned that a common mistake with annotated bibliographies is to solely summarize the resource used versus provide discussion on the unique value of the resource, especially in relationship to the other resources selected.

I have since taught each lesson passionately, believing that I was preparing students for future academic endeavors while hopefully lessening the stress that they would be destined to experience just in making the huge transition from high school to college.

Both events have prompted me to want to, again, ask higher education librarians, “Which skills do you wish incoming freshmen had learned during their high school years?”

I posed the question to Librarians at Penn State University, Northampton Community College, and Lehigh University.   Each responded quickly and have granted permission to me to share their responses in order for secondary educators to learn from.  I, personally, look forward to looking through the responses in order to drive future education and hope you do, too!

“Which skills do you wish incoming freshmen had learned during their high school years?”

Collection of responses received from Penn State University:
How to evaluate information, especially web sites for suitability, i.e. when it’s ok/not ok to use Wikipedia…how to find credible sources online. Librarian, Emily Rimland

The ability to tell the difference between types of sources (newspaper, book, blog post, journal article, etc.) and know what appropriate uses might be.  Librarian, Anne Behler

Being able to tell who authored a source, when they wrote it, and “why” they wrote it. Librarian, Amanda Clossen

Knowing to check for databases available to them and searching them first, when appropriate. Librarian, Loanne Snavely

Courtney Eger: Information Services Librarian at Northampton Community College:
1) My immediate first answer is: Google and the Internet are not the keys to good research information! We see many of our college students go immediately to the Internet, Google Wikipedia, etc. when they begin looking for research to use in papers and assignments. It makes the NCC librarians very upset that students do not first use the library’s books or online databases! We try to teach our students that college-level research needs to be academic, so the free Internet isn’t the best place to go for peer-reviewed, credible sources. Once students understand what the databases are (places where one can search for articles on any number of subjects published in newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals) and how they work, they are very happy with the amount of good information that they can find on them.

2) I wish incoming students knew how to structure their database searches. So many students treat our databases like they would Google, and type in questions like, “What are the causes of media violence?” The databases work differently and require some advance planning. A better search would be: “violence” and “video games” and “aggression” to answer a research question of, Does violence in video games cause aggression?

3) This answer relates to the above: Many students do not understand how to create a good research topic. Students approach me at the reference desk and say things like, “I want to write a paper about animal rights.” Okay, good (broad) topic, but your topic needs to be more focused in order to search for information and write a good paper! We spend a lot of time teaching students to break down topics and showing them how to brainstorm to get on the right research path.

4) The majority of our incoming students do not know what a scholarly journal is, yet these are sources that they will be required to use in various college courses like Biology, Psychology, Sociology, and so on. I spend many lessons teaching students the importance of journals (access to the most academic and current information available, written by experts), as well as how to identify a journal article (which varies according to subject).

5) While many students have some background knowledge of MLA citation, I find that they need a better emphasis on keeping track of sources. Every NCC student has to take English I, where they will write a major research paper, as well as other classes that require research assignments. I observe students struggling with missing sources or incomplete citation information. Students will use either MLA citation style or APA citation style while attending NCC, so knowing the basics of citation is an important skill.

6) Finally, many students do not understand that research is a process–you don’t just pick the first article you come across during your first search attempt. Once you identify a focused topic and write a thesis statement, it will take a few searches before you find the best keywords and most helpful material. I often see students writing an entire paper before they try to find sources–you should really be looking at sources before writing! Otherwise, how do you know which information to use to back up your arguments? There are specific steps to research and sometimes you have to try a few searches, supporting ideas or keywords before going down the right path.

Christine Roysdon, Director for Collections & Scholarly Communication Lehigh University:
We had a discussion of your question at a meeting this morning. Here are thoughts from the group:

Students should be able to interpret citations, for example, to distinguish between a citation for a book, a journal article, or an article In a book. Use Purdue’s OWL. School librarians might want to consider the EasyBib school edition and its tutorials. Learn an elementary citation management tool.

Understand the role of the University librarian in terms of in-depth disciplinary research help. Learn that the librarian can interact with you in both shaping the research topic and guiding you to the best resources. Understand what resources are available before embarking on a project (final selection of topic, e.g.)

Understand the difference between scholarly peer-reviewed journals and magazines. Learn what peer-reviewed mean. Know that scholarly literature is created by the very university faculty they are about to meet!

Get some original research experience, in preparation for building relationships with faculty early on. Work with primary sources.  Learn how to tie earlier findings to their own ideas and original work.

Learn how to evaluate resources — Web resources, particularly — for scholarly content, reliability, currency and source. Understand that most current scholarly material is on the Web, but may be available only to subscribers.

Understand the basics of copyright and intellectual property. Learn how to avoid plagiarism.

LibGuides is a tool that is very popular in University Libraries and it would be good for students to become familiar with and use such guides before entering college.

Teacher Feature: Mrs. Schlosser’s Literary Pinterest Project


1.      Please describe your Pinterest project.

Students read William Shakespeare’s , Julius Caesar.  In order for them to understand and analyze characterization, students chose one character to role-play and used the social networking website, Pinterest to complete this characterization assignment.  Students are able to connect with their character by using modern every day connections.

 2.       What was your favorite part of the project?

My favorite part of the project was observing student engagement.  A number of students were unaware of this website, and after they started using this resource, they found that they could utilize it both personally and educationally.

3.       What was your students’ favorite part of the project?

After having students complete a reflective analysis, I was able to receive opinions of this project.

Student thoughts:

 “Using Pinterest was almost like an online, more creative version of a character chart, allowing us the see what the characters may have liked, how they may have lived, etc. With this, we were then able to create the character analysis paper.”  

 ” I gained more knowledge on the characters individually but also how they interacted with the other characters which was more beneficial for my comprehension.”  

 ” I discovered that Pinterest is actually a really fun project! It was easier after I started and everybody started commenting on each other’s boards. It almost took me to another world while reading things others had posted, because it seemed so realistic, just with a modern day twist.”

4.       Are you able to share the student learning objectives, a rubric, or a model project?

Here is a link to the guidelines and rubric

What we have been up to…

After my last post, I closed WordPress and opened my email and learned of the tragic events in Newtown, CT.  As a mom of twin first grade daughters and a son in 5th grade, the emotional impact was huge.  I went home and wore the mommy/wife/daughter/sister/aunt hats over the holidays and came back ready to begin anew.  

While many “pots” are on the “stove” currently, there is one that aligns nicely with my mommy hat.

Students at Palisades High School are currently working to develop webinars on three different cyber safety topics which will be presented to fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students.  The areas of focus are: friend requests; texting; and online commenting.  Our students’ goal is to help children learn how to navigate and manage the cyber situations that they already are (or may soon be) encountering in safe and ethical ways.  The students at Palisades High School benefit by going through a research phase in which they research the topic plus make connections with students, guidance counselors, and professionals in the cyber safety field to learn what content they believe students should learn with regards to each topic.  After the research phase, our students will be learning about webinars as a form of communication.  The students will then, develop the content and prepare to present.  The final stage for our students will be the presentation of the webinar.  After the presentation of the webinar, we will publicize the archived webinar for others to view.

If you would like to help us develop our content, please respond to the following surveys by January 11, 2013.  Additionally, we would love if you passed them onto your guidance dept, or anyone else who would be helpful, we would appreciate that so much!!!!!!!

Texting survey:

Online commenting survey:

Friend request survey:
Dear School Administrator,