January 27, 2015

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Nutrition, Social Deviance, and Political Controversy | Reference


Reference reviews cover a variety of topics. Check out The Encyclopedia of Social Deviance for a breakdown of taboos, and dive into From Famine to Fast Food, for everything you ever wanted to know about nutrition.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Look Back and a Look Forward | Reference Online |October 2014


Recent online databases from Rosen and World Book introduce readers to the exciting world of science and the realm of reading, respectively.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Guide to the Bible, Career Info, the Ultimate Atlas | Reference Reviews


The latest SLJ Reference reviews include titles that cover the ins and outs of the Bible and some atlases you won’t want to miss.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

New Reference Titles on the Sixties, Food and Drink, and More; Continuing Series Updated |Reference Reviews


From Presidential history to world clothing and fashion, new reference books for the K-12 library are reviewed, while several titles in continuing series are listed.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Nominate Your Favorite Database


In SLJ’s April issue, we’d like to offer some help in choosing the biggest ticket items out there—databases—by running a librarian-nominated list of the best resources available. We’d love to hear from you with your nominations. Which database knocked your socks off lately? You can let me know at

How to Start through Creating Citations: ProQuest Research Companion | Online Reference | January 2014


ProQuest’s new Research Companion serves as an effective introduction for those making their first attempts at conducting original research. A convenient step-by-step guide shepherds users through the process, allowing students to avoid many of the pitfalls of this critical exercise.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Smithsonian Libraries Launches Three Courses on iTunes, More Courses Coming Soon


The Smithsonian Libraries has launched three courses of selected content on iTunes U about early aviation and space history. More courses will be rolled out during the first half of 2014, including one on “Women in Aviation.”

BiblioBoard Review | Online Reference | October 2013


Librarian Jennifer Prince reviews BiblioBoard, a database offering ebooks, primary sources, and that can store locally created materials.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Internet Archive Offers Access to Blacked Out Government Websites


Although the U.S. federal shutdown means many important government websites—such as those for the Library of Congress and NASA—have gone completely dark this week, the nonprofit Internet Archive is making those sites available to the public through archived captures, the organization has announced on its blog.

EBSCO Offers Free ERIC Database Access During Government Shutdown


EBSCO Information Services has announced that it is making the government database ERIC, the Education Resource Information Center, freely available during the government shutdown. Since the government site for ERIC is unavailable during the shutdown, EBSCO will temporarily open its version of ERIC for free access online.

Tech Tidbits: Testing, Testing, One, Two, Spring! ACT and SAT Prep Help

testing teens

It’s spring! Just like the narrator says in the 1947 educational film Body Care and Grooming, “Ah, spring. When birds are on the wing, when flowers bloom… Spring, when a young man’s fancy likely turns to….”—Author unknown. The answer has to be testing! High-stakes testing! Advanced Placement testing! American College Testing or even the SAT! Students feel pressured to work hard to prove themselves in this world of achievement.

An Alternative Search Tool for Your Tablet

An Alternative Search Tool for Your Tablet

A new app for the iPad and Android devices uses a highly visual format to provide a different search experience for the tablet user. More than just a pretty interface, Izik—which debuted last month as the top reference app in iTunes—is based on Blekko, the search engine that boasts higher quality results based on human curation.

Global Issues, Digital Perspectives

Image from 'Atlas by Collins'

Population growth, extreme weather, global warming—are all topics of interest to students and digital producers. Here’s a round-up of some recent apps that address these issues.

Teens Rock the World! Win a Free Copy Now

Boys who rocked the world

When it comes to changing the world, two titles—Girls Who Rocked the World and Boys Who Rocked the World—prove that it doesn’t matter how old you are. Now 20 lucky readers will have a chance to win signed hardcover copies of each title.

Beyond Barron’s: The College Maze

college grad

SLJTeen’s sister newsletter, Curriculum Connections, recently ran a terrific article that’s perfect for high school seniors who are thinking about college—and for those of us who work with them. “The College Maze: From Application to Admission (And Beyond) offers a comprehensive round-up of titles that college-bound students, as well as their parents, caregivers, and counselors, won’t want to miss.

The recommended list of books—which cover everything from choosing a major to guidance for students with disabilities—is bound to spark ideas for […]

World book’s print standard gets new life: Solid Scholarship Meets Navigational Ease | Digital Resources

When it comes to research, World Book has long held a special place in the hearts of librarians and teachers alike. In the rapidly evolving world of online resources and shrinking budgets, though, acquisitions can no longer be based on past reputation. Students need current, easily accessible information, while librarians must purchase products that meet ever-changing curriculum standards without breaking the bank, needs that World Book Advanced meets with flair.

World book Advanced

Grade Level: 9 […]

Why Offer Black Storytime? | First Steps

African American woman and child reading a book

Imagine that while interviewing for a library job you’re asked, “What would storytime specifically for African-American families look like to you?” That’s what happened to Kirby McCurtis. “I thought it was an especially interesting and challenging question,” says Kirby, who aced the interview and is now Multnomah County Library’s (MCL) newest African-American librarian. “It stayed with me even after the second interview. Now that I am working here, I have the opportunity to answer it every Saturday. It’s very exciting!”

Hot Topics for Teens and Tweens: Financial Literacy and CyberSmarts


Rosen Digital has just announced the launch of two new digital resources for middle school and high school students: Financial Literacy, an online database for economics and personal finance; and Teen CyberSmarts, an interactive ebook program that teaches kids about digital citizenship and cyber safety. Both programs have been specifically designed to support Common Core learning standards. And SLJTeen readers have a chance to evaluate both of these for free through October 5, 2012.

The College Maze | From Application to Admission (And Beyond)

admission possible

For the college-bound the pressure is on; there are essays to write, tests to ace, and applications to complete. With guides galore available to teens, this round-up offers a sampling of recent titles. Students (and their parents) will find useful information on the college-search and admission process, minus the hype. And, for those who have sealed the deal, there’s practical advice for “surviving and thriving” in class and on campus, guidance for teens with special needs, and some constructive assessments to aid “undeclared” applicants choose a field of study.

What Is the Future of Reference?

From the left (left image): Rocco Staino; Barbara Genco, Library Journal's manager of special projects; and Christopher Harris. From the left (right image):Jon Gregory, Matt Andros, Roger Rosen, Diana McDermott, and Geraldine Curran.  Photographs by Sean McGinty.

The world of reference is moving at warp speed these days. Public library patrons are used to Wikipedia and expect the same convenience when it comes to library resources. And in many school libraries, budget crunches, technology issues, and Common Core standards have made librarians’ jobs even more, shall we say, exciting. Wouldn’t you love to sit down with some of the world’s leading reference publishers and say, “Hey, wait a second! This is what we need you to do to make our libraries better”?