EdTech Companies Expand Offerings To Help Educators; ALA Midwinter Registration Open; and More | News Bites

OverDrive and TeachingBooks add resources, while Nearpod launches a November giveaway; ALA opens registration for virtual Midwinter conference in January; and more industry news.

TeachingBooks and OverDrive add resources for educators, while Nearpod launches a November giveaway; ALA opens registration for virtual Midwinter conference in January; and more industry news in this edition of News Bites.

TeachingBooks launches new Chrome extension

TeachingBooks has launched the Book Connections Chrome Extension. The free extension enhances Google searches on subjects, topics, book titles, favorite series, authors, or awards, by yielding TeachingBooks’s recommended book titles and immediate access to resources. 

The TeachingBooks Book Connections results appear in the upper right of the Google search page, and take users directly to:

  • Book and author resources
  • Read-along audiobook performances
  • Discussion questions
  • Author interviews
  • Video book trailers
  • Vocabulary lists and more.

The Chrome Extension is one of multiple new TeachingBooks tools designed to help all readers connect to children’s and young adult books.

Also launched recently are:

  • Hands-free Book Browsing to help students select books by reading passages of the text while listening to a read-along audiobook;
  • Virtual Teaching Ideas, offering educators jumping-off points for deeper discussions, to inspire reading interest, and support virtual connections to books and authors.

Educators can get free access to TeachingBooks.

Nearpod's month of giving offers more than $50,000 in prizes

During November, Nearpod will host a Month of Giving Gold Contest that will award Gold access to its platform. Nearpod is also hosting a Month of Giving Sweepstakes, in which the company will give away gift cards and more to honor teachers "on the frontlines during the pandemic." Educators can earn a chance to win by following Nearpod across social media channels.

The Month of Giving Gold Contest is free to enter. Each week, 140 active Nearpod Silver users will have an opportunity to receive an upgrade to Nearpod's Gold license based on their usage of the platform. The Silver users that teach the most lessons through the platform in the week leading up to the selection will have a chance of winning. In total, Nearpod plans to give more than 400 educators upgraded access for one year. 

For a complete set of the Official Rules of the Nearpod Month of Giving Gold Contest, click here.

The Month of Giving Sweepstakes for all US-based Nearpod users will giveaway $5 Starbucks gift cards, $50 Uber Eats gift cards, and $100 Amex gift cards to teachers engaging across Nearpod’s social channels. More than 30 educators will have a chance to win these prizes each week. Any educator based in the United States is eligible to enter the free sweepstakes. Winners will be chosen at random from those who qualify. To enter the sweepstakes, follow Nearpod on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and join the Educator Facebook Group.

OverDrive adds Spanish titles

To supplement remote and hybrid learning for Spanish-language readers, OverDrive Education has donated 100 Spanish-language titles free for young readers to more than 38,000 schools around the world. The bundle includes high-interest Spanish-language ebooks, audiobooks, and Read-Alongs with unlimited access for students of participating schools through September 30, 2021.

Ebooks and audiobooks in the collection are from Britannica Digital Learning, Lerner Publishing Group, Rosen Publishing, and Triangle Interactive. A full list of titles can be found here.

Registration open for ALA Midwinter Virtual

Registration is now open for ALA Midwinter Virtual, which begins Friday, January 22. 

Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain are scheduled as the Opening Session speakers. Joy Harjo will be the ALA President’s Program speaker. Other presenters on the program so far include actors Ethan Hawke, Cicely Tyson, and musician Ziggy Marley, as well as Ruby Bridges, Stan Sakai, Max Brooks, Mina Starsiak, Emmanuel Acho, Natalie Baszile, Matt de la Peña, and Christian Robinson.

The conference will include "New Urgencies for Change" sessions from the Symposium on the Future of Libraries, a "News You Can Use" series, author events, a virtual Exhibit Hall, the Youth Media Awards, the I Love My Librarian Award Ceremony, live-chat presentations, and networking opportunities.

Nominations out for the 2021 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals

A total of 152 books have been nominated for the 2021 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded to a book written in English for children and young people "that creates an outstanding reading experience through writing," and 77 books have been nominated for the medal. The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal recognizes a book that "creates an outstanding reading experience through illustration." There are 75 titles nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Four books have been nominated for both awards.

All nominations needed to meet the criteria reflected the spirit of the Awards mission: "To inspire and empower the next generation to create a better world through books and reading."

For the first time, titles originally published in Ireland were eligible for the Medals, and two titles made the nominations list from Irish publishers Little Island (Carnegie) and O’Brien Press (Kate Greenaway).

The nominations list also has first-time nominations for independent publishers Pokey Hat and ZunTold, as well as crowdfunding publisher Unbound.

Each nominated book will be read by members of the 2021 judging panel, which this year includes 14 children’s and youth librarians from CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group. A longlist will be released in February, a shortlist in March, and winners will be announced in June.

YALSA's Teens' Top Ten

After two months of voting, the YALSA Teens' Top Ten  "teen choice" list has been revealed, and author Rainbow Rowell has the top two titles. Below is the full list.

2020 Teens' Top Ten 

  1. Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2) by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, illus. by Faith Erin Hicks
  3. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
  4. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  5. Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection by Victoria Aveyard
  6. #MurderFunding (#MurderTrending #2) by Gretchen McNeil
  7. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya) by Hafsah Faizal
  8. Lovely War by Julie Berry 
  9. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
  10. The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

Klassen, Libro.fm collaborate for local bookstores

Author and illustrator Jon Klassen (This Is Not My Hat, I Want My Hat Back, We Found A Hat) is collaborating with Libro.fm to help independent bookstores during the holiday season.

Klassen created artwork inspired by #shoplocalbookstores, Libro.fm’s rallying cry for the 2020 holiday season and beyond. A custom poster will arrive at bookstores via  in December. There will also be a limited-edition collection featuring Klassen’s design to benefit the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.

Tote bags, pillows, stickers, mugs, and posters will be available through the end of the year in the Libro.fm Merch Shop.

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