Friday, August 31, 2007

End of the First Month

September is Library Card Sign Up Month so get those library cards if you don't have one. The public libraries in Marin are very good and with a library account you have access to the resources of the entire county (and beyond).

As the first month of school winds down we have had four 9th grade Cultures and Geography classes go through orientation in the library.
The orientations went very well thanks to attention from students and active participation by their teacher (Thanks, Ms. Ernst!)
Seven classes will be in next week and the final five the following week. I'd like to thank all the 9th grade social studies teachers for promptly signing up their classes this year. It is essential that new students have an orientation to the library as soon as possible since they will be using the library regularly from the first weeks of school.

One addition to orientation this year is an assignment which gives students the opportunity to explore at least a couple search engines they may not have used before. When asked, students say that their most popular search engine is Google, but there are several other which have features students may find helpful including Ask and Clusty. The nice thing about both of these is that they allow the user to narrow the focus of the search by providing suggested topics which Google does not do. I'd also like students to take a look at Yahoo's Directory (Google has one as well) and a metasearch engine, too. The directory sites can teach kids how things can be arranged hierarchically, and how that can help focus their search, and a metasearch engine (like Vivisimo) allows them to search across several search engines at the same time.
I will keep working on improving the orientation to make it as fun and useful as I can for students and teachers alike.

Open House will be next Thursday and the library will be open for visiting. Come on by if you get the chance.

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