Boosting STEM Achievement Through Visual-Spatial Learning

If you have ever taken a basic chemistry course, you probably remember making molecular models out of marshmallows and tooth-picks or whatever comparable substitute was lying around the science lab. This kind of molecular modeling is not only a great excuse to eat marshmallows in class; it also enhances spatial literacy, an essential part of … Read more

Tending the Academic Garden with CLiC

Posted on February 9, 2016

By Megan McCarthy

I love to garden, and over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at it. However, that wasn’t always the case. When I first started, every spring I’d run to Lowes, and pick out all the blooming plants I thought looked pretty. I’d bring them home, and plant them in my yard. Then, every year, I would watch in horror as they would wither and die. What was I doing wrong?  Well, as it turned out, almost everything. I finally consulted with a gardening expert, and found that plants had to be grown according to their needs. Some needed shade, some sun. Some needed dry soil, and others needed water. Most liked to be planted when they weren’t in bloom, probably the reason I was killing so many. I learned some important lessons, but the most valuable lesson I learned was, when you are in trouble, ask an expert.

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What’s your learning style?

Posted on February 4, 2016

Everyone has unique qualities, from hair and eye color to personal interests to ways of problem solving. I approach making cookies by searching for a perfect recipe, laying out all the ingredients before starting, and following the instructions step by step. Another baker might use the first recipe found online, locate each ingredient when needed, and regard a recipe merely as a guide. Still another baker might look up a segment from the Food Network online and follow along, while someone else may prefer to work in the kitchen with a more experienced baker who provides support through the process.

The method for making cookies doesn’t really matter, as long the result is yummy. Students learning in the classroom are no different. There are three generally recognized styles of learning. Visual learners process by reading and watching, while auditory learners prefer listening and reciting. Tactile, also known as kinesthetic, learners gain knowledge by doing or touching. Many learners thrive with one learning style, while some prefer using a combination of two or three styles. CLiC (Classroom in Context) can help teachers better address the learning styles of their students and ensure their success.

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Public Libraries Across the U.S. Find Reinvention and Value through Innovative Education Program

By Kristina Massari

Public libraries across the country are finding innovative ways to deliver value to their communities, including presenting high school diplomas to adult residents through Career Online High School, an accredited high school completion and career certificate program. Career Online High School is now available at more than a dozen libraries from coast to coast, with several launching this month, and has graduated its first library students.

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Shifting Perception: Libraries = Education

Frederick Road Howard County Library System

By Valerie J. Gross 

There’s a powerful movement afoot and it’s gaining momentum.

Hailed by Library Journal as “a 21st-century library model, with a position, doctrine, purpose, and curriculum worthy of study and consideration by every other library in America, if not the world,” [1] this effective strategy takes libraries back to their original purpose.

At the turn of the 20th century, libraries were established as educational institutions to deliver equal opportunity in education for everyone. Somehow, a century later, we find ourselves with a diluted purpose—so much so that fully one third of Americans do not know what we do.[2]

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Howard County Goes Big with STEM for Teens

Teen STEM public library

By Valerie Gross

Two years ago, when Howard County Library System (HCLS) began planning a 50 percent space increase for its Savage Branch, a team of HCLS visionaries proposed an opportunity: Why not design a cool, jazzy space to serve as headquarters for HiTech, HCLS’ cutting-edge STEM education initiative for teens?

This idea led to the HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center, opening this summer. The venue will boast an Einstein Classroom, George Washington Carver Science Lab, Oscar Micheaux audio/video room, Curie Café, Leonoardo DaVinci Conference Room, and Gallileo Laptop Bar — all perfect for HiTech!

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The Education Advantage in a Matter of Words

By Bethany Dotson

At the end of January, I had the unique pleasure to travel to snowy and frigid Chicago to interview Valerie Gross, President and CEO of Howard County Public Library (MD). We were there to discuss Valerie’s ideas, laid out most prominently in her book, Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage.

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Libraries: Critically important or critically endangered?

By Harmony Faust

Join us for a live Twitter Chat with Valerie Gross, president & CEO of the Howard County Library System in Maryland (Library of the Year 2013) and author of the provocative new title Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage.

Hear Valerie’s thoughts on how to keep your library essential, not optional, and chat with your colleagues about important issues like funding, branding and the perceived value of libraries today.

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5 Reasons We Started This Blog

By Harmony Faust

I’ve volunteered to author our inaugural blog post on behalf of Gale’s public library team. You know, the one where we introduce ourselves, what problem we aim to solve and the unique voice we think we’ll contribute to the already fully-loaded blogosphere. No pressure.

I’m a sucker for a good, easy-to-read list, so here it goes:

Top 5 Reasons Why This Blog Exists
Alternatively titled: Why Gale Is Talking To and About Public Libraries

1. We are truly passionate about public libraries.

We’re not just saying that to pander to our audience. For me personally, I can honestly say that the most recent six months of my thirteen years in publishing have been the most interesting and rewarding of my career—and these are the only months I’ve been solely focused on working for and with public libraries. We have massive amounts of respect for our wonderful colleagues in higher education, academic libraries and schools, but the individuals behind this blog are all public, all the time.

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