Thankful for Music, Comedy, and Ability to Access Albums From the World Wide?

Having trouble accessing your happy place? We’ve got you covered. Go to our homepage, click on the Music tab, go down to Freegal, put in your library card number and password (usually the last 4 digits of your phone number), and find the right album to turn your mood around.  Listen to an album of comedy, or choose from countries accross the globe. Particularly, on Thanksgiving, you’ll want to download their Thanksgiving playlist so you’ve got some happy tunes in the kitchen.

Are you alone this Thanksgiving? Or do you have a family that doesn’t appreciate Football? In that case, enjoy a free concert of your favorite artist, right from home. Go to the same place where you found Freegal, and just below it you’ll see Quello. It’s a wonderful way to see a concert! Connect your computer to your T.V. and you’re all set!

Call the Reference Desk if you have any questions.






North Castle library card holders are fortunate to have access to a great number of magazines, and are able to quickly zoom in on what they want.  We may do this in two ways, right from our homepage. Just go to the right hand column, under E-magazines and Newspapers, scroll down to 1) Flipster; and 2) Pressreader.  Both of these methods give you the ability to page through the magazines. Pressreader gives you the ability to search through a number of local news sources, keyword search, or browse.

Let us know what you think of it!


Major Matters

Recently, the New York Times published, “6 Myths About Choosing a College Major,” including the following: 1) For the big money, STEM always delivers. 2) Women want to have it all. 3) Choice of major matters more than choice of college. 4) Liberal arts majors are unemployable. 5) It’s important to choose a major early. 6) You need a major.

Get your library card to see this and other NYT articles for free.

In addition, publishes lists of types of majors, linked to schools with the best Return On Investment.

How to Keep Kids Excited About School

Now that the excitement of being back in school is starting to settle down, how can you keep kids excited about learning?  Read on.

Gallup, Inc. “How to Keep Kids Excited About School.”, 8 June 2017,

Six Ways to Keep Kids Excited About School

Recently, there have been gains in the U.S. high school graduation rate. Still, more can be done to help students feel involved and enthusiastic at school. Here are six ideas to address the school engagement cliff:

  1. Create hope. Hope is rooted in the ideas and energy that students have for the future. Hope expert Shane Lopez once said hopeful students envision a future that is better than the present and believe they have the power to make that future a reality.Gallup Student Poll results show that hopeful students are more likely to say they get excellent grades at school and are over four times more likely than their least hopeful peers to be engaged with school. A great way to help build students’ engagement with school is to find ways to help them build a positive relationship with their future and give them chances to test-drive that future today. Students have better days at school when caring adults encourage them in their quest for clarity about the future.
  2. Foster talent. When my daughter, Ella, was a kindergartner, a paraprofessional wrote her a kind note at the end of the school year, thanking her for helping to love and support her friend with special needs. That paraprofessional encouraged my daughter’s passion for developing others at a very young age. It was meaningful to have another adult at school recognize the strengths that I as a parent get to build each day.Ella is now a middle-schooler and dreams of becoming a special education teacher. It is important to identify what students do best and what they enjoy doing. A little personalized recognition, coupled with opportunities to identify and develop their strengths, can have big long-term school engagement returns for students.
  3. Care a lot. Teachers work hard to learn the names of students each school year, but it might be just as important for students to be able to name at least one adult at school who cares about them. While two-thirds of fifth graders surveyed in 2016 strongly agree that adults at school care about them, only about one in four high school students say the same. Each student needs someone who is their cheerleader. Many student-facing adults at school can fill this important role.
  4. Recognize creative teachers and teaching. Recently, I was privileged to honor teachers who had reached tremendous tenure milestones in our district. This kind of recognition is special, but insufficient. It is important to recognize teachers who boost engagement and help address the school engagement cliff by designing and implementing lessons that boost students’ ability to learn difficult material, while leveraging their talents, skills and interests to get work done.Gallup Student Poll results show that older students are less likely than younger students to strongly agree that their teachers make them feel their schoolwork is important. Leaders should take every chance to recognize teachers who help students feel that the content they are learning and projects they are completing are relevant. This could help blunt the effects of boredom and increase students’ desire to expend discretionary effort that can help facilitate their readiness for the future.
  5. Have fun. Last year, I snapped a picture of a group of high school students standing outside the school doors, waiting anxiously to get into a Friday night dance. It was fun to see how excited they were to get inside the building. I wondered what could be done to help students feel just as excited to come to school on random Tuesday mornings. Finding ways to make school days more fun can increase students’ positive emotions, and those good feelings can serve as a platform for building engagement that leads to learning growth.
  6. Model engagement. Teachers and school leaders have the unique opportunity to model engagement. Engaged staff members show students every day what it is like to live, learn and work together.Gallup research suggests there is a link between teacher engagement and student engagement.One way to help battle the school engagement cliff is to prioritize and model teacher and staff engagement. Teachers’ excitement and enthusiasm for learning, their support and care for one another, and their strong commitment to excellence will inspire students to commit to becoming their best selves at school each day.


Career Planning or/and College Majors

Before you plunk down your spare change on college, you might just want to have an idea what you want to study, if it requires a degree. It can only help to know what direction you’re taking. Here are some places to look for help.

BLSThe United States Bureau of Labor statistics provides the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  The Handbook looks at highest paying jobs, jobs with high growth rate, level of education required, types of training, and job projections, and gives you all the relevant information.


Gail Virtual Reference Library  (library card is necessary), provides 14 titles that are geared towards preparing for careers that do not require a college degree, and help to discern if those careers are right for you. These careers range from clerical exams to public safety dispatcher. In addition, there’s help for those trying to get through school, such as Boarding School Survival and Teen Guide to College and Career Planning.  For grown women, they have Learn, Work, Lead: Things Your Mother Won’t Tell You.  In addition, have in your mind that you want to attend Graduate School, there are test prep guides that may help you decide if that’s in your future.

college boardCollege Board has a great search engine for exploring what careers you can have by doing what you love, and helps to determine your major.

loyola What’s My Major? Quiz If you must go to college, and you must know your major, you must take this quiz. I like this one because it visually represents where each question it taking you, and in the end there is one answer, but many other paths that show what your capabilities.


College Bound High School Guidance

Take charge of your destiny, and take some work of the desk of your Guidance Counselor. Chances are that your Guidance Counselor is looking at these sites to help keep you on track with the right classes, and the right help for your classes when you need it.

NYC dept of ed

NY Department of Education gives all the requirements you need to graduate from a public school in New York, explains the three types of diplomas and also contains some helpful links to help you through High School. First, Credit and Graduation Requirements, . Second, Diploma Requirements Worksheet, which is a good check-list to make sure you’re not scrambling your senior year to finish what’s required. Third,  How to Read a High School Transcript.




Gale Virtual Reference Libarary has ebooks. (Get your library card for this one). Search for these titles:


major decisionMaking Your Major Decision Albany, NY: Peterson’s,      2013. 408 pp. This book explores various personality types and helps determine which college majors are best for each. It covers hundreds of college majors and careers best fit with each personality and shares how insights from the Myers-Briggs(r) assessment, the world’s most widely used personality tool, can help to succeed in college and life.

ahead of the curveAhead of the Curve: What Parents Need to Know to Get Their Kids Into College Amber C. Saunders. Lawrenceville, NJ: Peterson’s, 2014. 205 pp. This book offers parents a comprehensive and fun guide to help them prepare their high school students for college. In-depth descriptions of available resources for those getting ready for college and checklists of tasks to perform, questions to ask, and tests to take so that students can keep track of application requirements are also included.

eggheadEgghead guides to Vocabulary, Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus


another book.pngNovels for Students Sara Constantakis, ed. Vol. 1-45. Detroit: Gale, 2014. 355 pp. Provides critical overviews of novels from various cultures and time periods. Includes discussions of plot, characters, themes and structure as well as the work’s cultural and historical significance.


Khan Academy


Well known the free online video tutoring of academics, which will help you through all of your academics from elementary school on up, Khan also has a series of videos that will help you discern your options, including whether or not college is right for you. For purposes of this tutorial, however, I’d like to present their article, “Selecting high school classes in preparation for college”, which will help you pick the classes for any college, including the more selective ones. Khan is rich with all types of information, which you can watch to your heart’s content, including much overlap with the next two sections of this guide (Test prep, and beginning material for Exploring College Options 

college board

College Board  gives you a plan, so that you’re not overwhelmed. Figure out your tests, understand who you are and why you belong in (fill in the blank).  Identify your future career, by looking at yourself, your past and present. Figure out what High School classes you need to take, and what classes you’ve taken that you can use at what schools. Answer some easy questions, and get some idea of where you want to go, using their College finder search engine.  Then go on to the next step. (Don’t worry, I know there’s more, you can come back later).


10 Study Skills That Lead to Success

I wish I could say I wrote this.  I wish I could say I followed this.  Here’s where it came from :

teen guideMuchnick, Justin Ross. “Planning Your Education While in High School.” Teens’ Guide to College & Career Planning: Your High School Roadmap to College & Career Success, 12th ed., Peterson’s, 2016, pp. 49-63. Gale Virtual Reference Library,


  1. SET A REGULAR STUDY SCHEDULE. In college, you are solely responsible for remembering to do your homework. Develop the study patterns in high school that will lead to success in college. Anyone who has ever pulled an all-nighter knows how difficult it is to function at a high level in school the next day.
  2. SAVE EVERYTHING. Develop an organized system for storing your papers. Stay on top of your materials, and be sure to save quizzes and tests. It is amazing how questions from a test you took earlier in the year can miraculously reappear on your final exam.
  3. LISTEN. Teachers give away what will be on the test by repeating themselves. If you pay attention to what the teacher is saying, you will probably notice what is being emphasized. If what the teacher says in class repeats itself in your notes and in review sessions, chances are that material will be on the test. So really listen.
  4. TAKE NOTES. If the teacher has taken the time to prepare a lecture, then what he or she says is important enough for you to write down. Develop a system for reviewing your notes. After each class, rewrite them, review them, or reread them. Try highlighting the important points or making notes in the margins to jog your memory.
  5. SET UP A DISTRATION-FREE STUDY SPACE. Now more than ever, a teen’s life is full of distractions. Unfortunately, if you allow yourself to be distracted while studying, chances are you will perform poorly at school. It’s critical that you study and do your homework in a well-lit, distraction-free space. That means no phones, TVs, loud music, or social networking, to name a few common distractions.
  6. CREATE YOUR OWN “REWARD SYSTEM.” Studying is hard work, and it’s even harder when it seems like one endless, mundane task. Make your study experience more enjoyable by giving yourself small rewards after completing smaller chunks of your homework. For example, treat yourself to a handful of M&Ms after you knock off your history homework, or give yourself a short break to go for a jog after finishing your English essay.
  7. DO YOUR HARDEST HOMEWORK FIRST. If you put off your most dreaded, difficult subject of homework until the end of the night, you will be mentally drained by the time you start it. Even though it’s tough to confront your most challenging homework at the very beginning of your study time, you will feel so much better after you finish that subject. You can even use this to gain some positive momentum and feel good as you start the rest if your homework, instead of having a real challenge hanging over your head for the whole evening.
  8. MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY. Devise a system that works for you to note your short- and long-term assignments, projects, and tests. An old-fashioned paper study planner still works wonders for your time management skills! Be sure to write everything down in this notebook even if your teachers post your assignment online. Having your week planned out all in one place can help you find openings in your schedule and be more productive.