Category Archives: Online Resources

Resources mentioned during the April 10 “Tea with Nancy Silberkleit”

More to explore:

Items mentioned by participants on 4/10:

NY State test

In case you need this info….New York State test review sources

The Office of State Assessment (OSA) is responsible for the coordination, development, and implementation of the New York State Testing Program (NYSTP). You can go here to find resources for state tests given from Kindergarten through 12th grade, including ELA, Mathematics, and Regents exams.

I just heard about the site, a great writing resource geared toward parents, teachers, and kids. There are links to many pages with information on journaling, creative writing, writing prompts, and more. I don’t like the many ads on the page, but the text is very useful for anyone who wants to plan a writing program.

Here’s what the site has to say about itself:

Parents, Teachers, Kids and Journaling Extraordinaires …
Welcome to!

We are so glad you that found us. Our LOVE for children and for journaling is HUGE, and we are here to inspire a big love in everyone for journal keeping (especially kids!) because it has so many fabulous benefits.

Our motto is:

“Journaling Fun for Everyone!”

On the Journal Buddies® website you will find information, articles and resources about journaling, writing ideas, journal prompts, kids writing, girl diary keeping (and boy diary too!), building and strengthening self-esteem in children and other issues such as bullying, school success and character building that affect pre-teens. New articles are published all the time, so be sure to check back often!

We deliver the very best in journaling information that is practical, valuable and useful in everyday life.

SLJ Teen e-newsletter

SLJTeen provides librarians and educators with the latest news on books, graphic novels, anime, music, and games for teens, as well as monthly interviews of debut YA authors. Reviews by teens are offered regularly, along with technology for the classroom and library, as well as teen consumer information.

Sign up for this and other School Library Journal newsletters here.

Teen Librarian’s Toolbox

I just learned of a great site for Teen Librarians, called Teen Librarian’s Toolbox. It is self-described as “For Teen Librarians short on time, short on money, But Not short on passion!” TLT is a blog with book reviews, program ideas, and lots of other great information for working with teens. Check it out here, and then come back and comment on what you find most useful there.

NovelNY database spotlight: Grolier Online

I just attended a webinar on Grolier Online, a free resource available through NovelNY. The two included databases I’m most interested in are America the Beautiful, and Amazing Animals of the World. We know every year there are students coming in looking for information and color photos and maps and things like that. Well now we can help get this information online, so even when every book about squirrels or lions is checked out, we can still send kids away with all the data they need, plus printed photos.

In total there are currently eight databases in Grolier Online:

  • New Book of Knowledge – general reference, lowest reading level
  • Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia – general reference, middle and high school level
  • Encyclopedia Americana – general reference, high school through college level
  • Amazing Animals of the World – facts and photos of 1200+ animals
  • America the Beautiful – information on all 50 states
  • Lands and Peoples – middle and high school level, info on many different places and cultures
  • New Book of Popular Science – science information
  • La Nueva Enciclopedia Cumbre – a Spanish-language encyclopedia

You can access the recorded training webinar, plus lots of other helpful resources, online:

Mid-Hudson Library System weekly bulletin

Every Tuesday, the Mid-Hudson Library System, to our north, puts out a weekly bulletin to member libraries. This short newsletter has information about the system that doesn’t affect us, but they also post Marketing, Advocacy & Funding (such as grant opportunities), Professional Development (like conferences), and Job Openings. You must be affiliated with a library within MHLS to subscribe to the email list, but anyone can go to the web page (link above) to read the current bulletin and archived issues.

Juvenile Series and Sequels

This is perhaps the best website you’re not using… and if you are using it, then that’s awesome! How many times does someone come in asking for the nth book in a particular series? I know it happens to me all the time, and either I haven’t heard of the series or I just don’t know the order of the books in the series.

Juvenile Series and Sequels is a database on the Mid-Continent Public Library website. There are over 28,000 books listed in 3,700 series!

Each series can be accessed by series title, series subject, book title, or book author. You can look for the series, such as The Kane Chronicles. Or, if your patron has finished everything in that series and wants to see what else the author has written, go straight to Rick Riordan. In addition to seeing all of Riordan’s series books on one page, you can see that MCPL considers The Kane Chronicles to be Juvenile (grades 2-6), whereas they consider Percy Jackson and the Olympians to be Young Adult (grades 6-12). [Other books can be classified as Juvenile Easy, birth-2nd grade.]

Common Sense Media: parent-friendly reviews

Common Sense Media has a reputation for being a parent-friendly site with reviews on things like movies, games, and music – or what the site calls “media and digital activities.” Such media are rated on things like target age group, educational value, positive message, and the amount of drinking or drug use. CSM is great to check out when parents question, for example, if a movie is appropriate for their child. (For a great example of what reviews look like, click here to see the review of Brave:

What other sites do you check for reviews of books and media?