Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Celebrate Astronomy

I'm a little behind the times here, as I just learned (from the Farmers' Almanac) that Astronomy Week was April 19-25, with this past Saturday, 4/24, being National Astronomy Day. And 2010 is the first year that the entire month of April is recognized as Global Astronomy Month.

Watch the award-winning series, Planet Earth on your computer. Scroll down to see the list of individual videos (you'll see a little yellow-ish icon with the letters VoD that note that you can view for free via Video on Demand). You'll need to allow popups from the Annenberg Media site to access the videos. After clicking on the VoD icon, you'll get a popup with the video player and the video will begin playing (you'll get a message first to call a toll-free number if you want to purchase the DVD or need more information).

With dedicated areas of online resources for students and teachers, NASA.gov is chock full of spectacular images, facts and multimedia for the space enthusiast.

You'll also find educational materials courtesy of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

Check out Sky & Telescope for articles, an interactive sky chart and lots of other astronomy-related information.
Astronomy.com is another online edition of a magazine and includes photos, videos and online forums for the enthusiast.

And remember that your local library has plenty of materials related to astronomy for all ages!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Salem Press Library Blog Awards

Do you enjoy this blog? Salem Press is sponsoring the Library Blog Awards and is looking for nominations. If you like this blog or any of the other library blogs (see Kiddosphere and Library News), please nominate us! Nominations are open until May 15.

Salem Press Library Blog Awards

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Monday, April 5, 2010

April Celebrations

April 13 - Thomas Jefferson's Birthday (April 13, 1743) - Explore the house, gardens, and plantation of Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the . Much more than an online brochure of the estate, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Web site includes a number of reference resources.

April 15 - Leonardo da Vinci's Birthday (April 15, 1452) - A true Renaissance man, da Vinci is considered by many to be one of the greatest painters of all time, but was also a gifted scientist and inventor.

April 22 - Earth Day - 2010 is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. The Environmental Protection Agency's Earth Day site features in-person and virtual opportunities for getting involved in protecting the environment. Earth Day TV allows you to watch online videos related to environmental topics. For more online resources, see my post Earth-Wise from April 2009.

April 23 - William Shakespeare's Birthday (April 23, 1564). Unfortunately, Shakespeare celebrated his birth AND his death on April 23, 1616. View his works online or visit the library to check out books and videos on the "Bard of Avon."

April 30 - Arbor Day - This nationally-celebrated observance encourages tree planting and care. Learn about trees, access educational activities, suggested activities for the classroom, and even give trees as a gift.

Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. Celebrate the written and spoken word with the following resources...

On the Web

  • Library of Congress Poetry Resources - Covers resources at the Library of Congress, including webcasts, digital collections, exhibitions, learning materials, and other features. Also provides links to guides to finding a poem, locating poetry criticism, official state poems, poets laureate, and more. History buffs will want to look at the section on Civil War poetry, which features poets like Walt Whitman, Henry Timrod (a/k/a the "Laureate of the Confederacy") and Herman Melville.

  • Writing About Poetry - Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL) covers the basics on how to write a clear, confident, well-supported essay about poetry.

  • Poetry Lesson Plans - EDSITEment, a website of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), has put together a variety of lesson plans covering various types of poetry, including epic poems, haiku, sonnets, modernist poetry, limericks and nonsense poems.

  • Scholastic.com's Teacher Site - Features an interactive poetry-making machine and inspirational activities for the budding poets in your classroom.

  • Poets.org - The host of this site, the Academy of American Poets, administers a wide variety of programs, including National Poetry Month (April), the largest literary celebration in the world; online educational resources providing free poetry lesson plans for high school teachers; and the Poetry Audio Archive, a collection of over 700 recordings dating back to the 1960s. The Poets.org website provides a wealth of content on contemporary American poetry.

  • The Poetry Foundation - Publisher of Poetry magazine, the Poetry Foundation "works to raise poetry to a more visible and influential position in American culture." Use their Poetry Tool to look up poems by poet, category, occassion, title, first line or by glossary term. Listen to the poem of the day, peruse the reading guides and check out the poetry programs for children (recommended reads, activities and tips on introducing poetry to children).
  • PBS NewsHour Extra: Poetry - Along with in-depth profiles of contemporary poets and poetry, features short video documentaries of Americans reading their favorite poems.

Online Library Resources Available 24X7 With Your Library Card

  • Bloom's Literary Reference Online - Find literary criticism resources, primary sources, biographies and reviews on specific poets, poems and/or types of poetry.

  • Contemporary Literary Criticism Select - Search the subject guide for poetry for critical essays on contemporary poets and authors.

  • The Oxford Premium Collection - Under Subject Reference, click on Literature. There you'll find The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English, "the most comprehensive guide to modern poetry in English. Celebrated poets offer intriguing views on their fellow poets, such as Tom Paulin on Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney on Robert Lowell, and Anne Stevenson on Sylvia Plath. 1,500 poets are covered from W.H. Auden to Benjamin Zephaniah. There is worldwide coverage, including America, Britain and Ireland, New Zealand, Trinidad and Zimbabwe. There are also entries on magazines, movements, and critical terms."

Visit Your Library

If you're looking for resources at the library, check out our resources under the subject headings poetry and poets or simply browse through the 800s (Literature), particularly the section 808.1. For children, there are hundreds of titles that will help introduce the younger set to the joys of poetry.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

E-Resource of the Month: Computer Database

For patrons who need to keep pace with the fast changing world of high technology, Computer Database is their Internet-accessible reference solution. With Computer Database, library users can access today's most well-read and influential periodicals on the computer, telecommunications and electronics industries -- all in one seamless search. Find computer-related product introductions, news and reviews in areas such as hardware, software, electronics, engineering, communications and the application of technology. Coverage spans 1980-2010/current. Computerworld, Information Week, Macworld and Technology Teacher are just some of the thousands of journals/publications available to researchers.

To access Computer Database for FREE with your library card, visit the library's Web site at library.fauquiercounty.gov and click on Search For Articles & More (under Find Information on the left-hand menu). Computer Database is listed under Subject Research.