Khan Academy: Videos for Visual Learners

Are you a visual learner?

Are you studying to become a teacher?

Khan Academy is a website which currently has over 2,400 videos and 125 practice exercises in fields such as developmental math, arithmetic, algebra, calculus, history, sciences, physics, chemistry, finance, and more. They are a non-profit organization backed by Bill Gates with the motto of “providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere”. All you need is an Internet connection! Read more about the Khan Academy.

Students who are studying the material receive:

1) a self-paced learning tool

2) a dynamic help system

3) badges to see their own progress

Teachers receive:

1) individual student reports

2) class reports

It is also available on iTunes and Android.



60th anniversary of the Catcher in the Rye

Saturday, July 16th marked the 60th anniversary of the Catcher in the Rye by the reclusive JD Salinger, written in 1951. It has sold over 65 million copies.

We have two copies of the book available:

Catcher in the Rye copy #1 || copy #2

We also have additional materials available:

Studies in J. D. Salinger: reviews, essays, and critiques of The catcher in the rye, and other fiction

If you really want to know : a Catcher casebook
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If you are looking for online materials such as newspaper or journal articles, try one of these databases:
Literature Resource Center
EBSCOhost’s Academic Search Elite
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Recently some of JD Salinger’s letters have  gone on display at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City.

Google+ = Google Plus You

What is Google+? Also known as “Google Plus”, Google+ is a social networking site that is designed to help others connect with others, easily share information from across the web (via the +1 button you see at the bottom of this blog post), and manage their online identity.

When is Google+ out of beta testing? Rumor has it that the site will be out of beta testing by July 31; that date is when all private Google+ profiles will be deleted.

What features does Google+ have?

Circles: These are the “groups” you put the people you want to follow in. It comes with some defaults — family, friends, acquaintances, followers, and allows you to make your own. Two things of note: 1) Others can see that you put them in *a* circle, but not which circle. 2) You can put people into more than one circle — helpful if you consider someone both a friend and a gaming buddy.

Circles makes you think about who you want to post your status updates to. The process of picking which circles to post to is quite easy. Spending a few minutes deciding who goes in what circle (and creating circles unique to you) will be helpful in the long run.

Hangouts: This feature (group video chat)  is the most widely toted of Google+, and perhaps why Facebook issued a press release stating that they would now have video chat in Facebook, via Skypealthough Facebook chat is between one other person only, currently.

Huddle: A group instant messaging system that makes it easier to plan for get-togethers in real time as a group.

Sparks: This is a feature which allows you to find other items that you are interested in, across the Web.

Note: this is not a search engine to find other Google+ users based on the interests they state. However, try:

Stream: This is where you will see the status updates of the people in your circles. You can choose to see all status updates (by default) or to see the stream of only one circle at a time.

+1: Click these +1 buttons to show approval of a post or to share it to your circles. For example, the Sullivan Library blog posts have this button, viewable if you view the post on its own single page.

Useful posts regarding Google+:

Google+ Guide: What it is and how to use it [Julia Hatmaker, The Patriot-News, PA]

Google Plus; an overview [Phil Bradley’s Weblog]

Searching on Google Plus for Librarians [Phil Bradley’s Weblog]

25 Google+ Tips to Enhance Your Google Plus Experience []

And one edited-in-real-time guide:

Google Docs: a collaborative document (or how 120+ people wrote a book at the same time) preview link

The “Creative Uses for Circles” section is especially recommended, within the greater Tips section. Be warned, it might take a few minutes to load depending on how many people are viewing/editing it.

Free Books Online (and free audio books!)

Over at Gizmo’s Freeware site, user mr6n8 has compiled a list of websites to visit if you are looking for free electronic books.

Some of the genres include: Biography/Autobiography/Memoir || Business || Children’s || Comic Books || Computer & Internet || History || Horror/Ghost/Gothic || Mystery || Romance || Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

If you are looking for audio books, they have also compiled a list of free audio books (scroll down to the alphabetical listing).


A New Country Emerges this Weekend

On July 9th, South Sudan will become the newest country in the world, after its citizens voted for independence in January of this year. It will become the 193rd United Nations state on July 14 after UN approves its membership into the body. Up to 7,000 peacekeepers are expected to be deployed in the south.

If you would like more information about this fledgling country, please log into our CountryWatch database. You will see a “Quicklinks” option on the left-hand navigation menu. If you do not see Southern Sudan in this list — it has not been added yet — visit Sudan’s page and read the news stories for more information and viewpoints from across the world about this developing situation.