Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekly Webcast Recap

Service Animals in Libraries

July 7, 9:00am Pacific Time
Responding to patron concerns about an animal in the library can be a difficult scenario for library professionals. But what if the animal in question is a service animal? How do library professionals best respond to patron concerns while respecting the rights of an individual with a disability and their service animal? This webinar will provide an overview of how Western Washington University Libraries developed a Best Practices document for its personnel in order to consistently address concerns about service animals including tailored recommendations for specific service points. Upon completion of this webinar, attendees will have new knowledge, and some resources, to begin this conversation within their own library. Register

No Job Seeker Left Behind

July 9, 2:00pm EDT
Every day, libraries around the country are filled with people seeking help with jobs and careers. How do library staff find time and resources to assist them all? Learn a variety of practical ways to deliver career development services in your library from two certified ALA Career Development Facilitators. They have strategies and resources to help you cover the spectrum from a quick "on the fly" toolbox of forms and templates to ideas for one-time classes, workshop series, and even one-on-one personalized career sessions for patrons. You really can support those job-seekers! Register

2015 ALA Annual Conference Wrap-Up, live webcast

Introducing a new episode of American Libraries Live — a one-hour wrap-up of the 2015 ALA Annual Conference, which airs live at 2 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, July 2. Brought to you by American Libraries, this free, streaming video broadcast can be viewed from your home, library or on-the-go.
Whether you're planning to attend conference and may not get a chance to see everything you want to see or you're unable to attend in person, this webcast will help summarize and give perspective on this year's conference.
During this interactive webcast, our expert panel will offer their highlights and insights. This year's panel includes:
  • Jason Griffey, consultant, writer and library technology expert
  • Amanda Goodman, user experience librarian at the Darien (Connecticut) Public Library
You can pre-register for this free 60-minute event at http://goo.gl/dzPKWZ (pre-registration assures you a reminder before the event), or go to www.americanlibrarieslive.org at 2 p.m. (Eastern) on Thursday, July 2 to view.
AL Live is the popular free streaming video broadcast from American Libraries, covering library issues and trends in real time as you interact with hosts via a live chat and get immediate answers to your questions. With the help of real-time technology, it’s like having your own experts on hand. Find out more, including how to catch upcoming episodes and view archives athttp://www.americanlibrarieslive.org.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekly Webcast Recap

Brainfuse Webinars for ALS Member Libraries

90-minute, interactive webinar will focus on the two databases available to ALS patrons and students - HelpNow and JobNow - and will be offered on the following dates:

  • Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 1-2:30 p.m.
To register for one of these online webinars, please click on the following link and mark the date of the session you wish to attend: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V3M7BV3 You will receive a log-in link to the webinar the business day before the webinar you have signed up for. If you or your staff are interested in attending a webinar and the dates and times don't work for you schedule, please contact Mollie Stanford.

Can't Make it to ALA? Watch Millennials in Transition" Live Via Streaming Video

June 26, 1:30-4:00pm
The panel for the OCLC Symposium “Millennials in Transition” promises a lively discussion on how this generation will reshape libraries. The largest single generational cohort in America (15-35 years old) is moving fully into adulthood, the workforce and positions of responsibility. In fact, Millennials have exited childhood and are experiencing all of the major transitions of early life: college, first jobs, first management positions, building a family. And, like every other generation, they are dealing with these challenges in ways that are sometimes puzzling to their older counterparts. This is the first generation to face life’s changes having grown up entirely in a highly technological, connected, multiscreen world. And this impacts their expectations of how libraries should help them navigate these transitions. Register today to watch the symposium live.

Inside the New World Book Online Article Page

June 23, 2:00pm CDT
We’re got a brand-new look! Join us for a 30-minute in-depth look at our newly redesigned online article pages. You’ll get a look inside to see what’s new, what’s changed, and why the improvement will be beneficial to you and your students and patrons. Register

Beyond Books Sales: Practical Ideas for Raising Funds for Your Library

June 23, 2:00pm EDT
It's time to take a fresh look at ideas for raising funds for your library. Although book sales have been a standard library fundraiser, they take a lot of time and effort, with dwindling returns on investment in recent years. Whether considering new types of events or tried-and-true activities, you’ll learn the "12 Must-Know Facts About Fundraising." Find out how to assess your library’s capacity for fundraising, enlist the right volunteers, engage the community, and create a sustainable plan to boost your library’s bottom line and raise visibility. With this strong foundation, libraries of any size can move into new directions to grow support for their libraries. Register

Nuts and Bolts of Social Media

July 14, 2:00pm
This session will cover basics of creating and sustaining community via social media tools. Rather than theory, participants will walk away with an understanding of how to implement and utilize these applications. Briefly we will look at several popular social media tools, such as blogs, wikis, Facebook and Twitter, then basics of using these tools for: Creating Community & Community Management; Fostering Communities of Practice; Knowledge Transfer and Management. Register

Healthy Teachers=Healthy Classrooms (could be considered for libraries/librarians as well)

We know that teachers have a great impact on developing healthy relationships and attitudes in young children. We also know that everyone encounters challenges when trying to apply healthy living to their busy lives. Register

Friday, June 12, 2015

Grand Marais Public Art Project

Getting ready for the Dedication Ceremony

Grand Marais Public Library held the dedication for their Public Art Project on Friday, June 5th. While the sculpture has been installed plans are still in the works to create a poetry walk from the main street around the sculpture and to the front door of the library.  This month they are accepting suggestions for a name for the new art sculpture so if you have an idea contact Steve Harsin at the Library to get your idea in for consideration.  More pictures are available at: Grand Marais Public Art Project

Weekly Webcast Recap

A request has been given to me to place a list of upcoming free webcasts on the blog. So, every Friday I will post the list and let it be sent out across the web to all the expectant inboxes.

License to Till
June 18, 2015, 11am CST
Just like books, seeds are a public resource and shared legacy that must be managed in a manner that benefits the public good. The Duluth Seed Library, one of the first public seed libraries in the state, opened at the Duluth Public Library on February 22, 2014. The idea came from a member of the community, was moved forward with help from several partner organizations, and has generated a high level of enthusiasm in the Duluth area and beyond. The mission of the seed library is to empower people to grow their own food and to encourage seed saving as a way to developed a locally adapted, shared seed stock. Already the seed library is having a positive ripple effect by engaging groups that don’t always interact with the public library. The library has also worked with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to be compliant with state law regarding the distribution of seeds.Register


Take Your Message Online: Digital Advocacy for Rural & Small Libraries
June 17, 2015, 11am PDT
How can your library leverage digital tools and social media for an effective advocacy or public awareness campaign? With limited time and funding, how do you get the most out of your messaging? How can you help strengthen your library’s relationship with your community? Advocacy relies on public awareness, community engagement, and organized library supporters in order to be effective. 
 
Join us at the free webinar to learn how your library can leverage the power of email, social media, and other online tools to create a successful advocacy or awareness campaign. We will have a panel of experts from small libraries and library advocacy organizations who will discuss best practices, challenges, and advice for taking your library message online. Register


Engaging Your Writing Community
June 17, 2015, 3pm EST
Author events strengthen the existing bonds between readers and books, but what about the bond between authors and libraries?
Join LJ Reviews editor Henrietta Verma for an insightful free webcast that will focus on successful programming ideas for engaging the authors, published and aspiring, in your local community. Hearing about projects from Topeka & Shawnee County's Community Novel Project to Cuyahoga County's "Indie Ohio" collection of self-published ebooks, you'll learn how public libraries are engaging with their local authors to provide unique services that draw in local readers and authors and help uncover the best of local creativity. Register

A Strong Foundation: Library Master Planning, from Campus or Community Vision to Broad-Based Support
June 16, 2015, 3pm EST
From first surveying the terrain to (literal or metaphorical) groundbreaking, planning for an exceptional academic or public library is a journey. In this webcast, Margaret Sullivan, David Moore, and Peter Pearson will guide libraries through the process of charting their own unique territory and determining the best possible step by step directions to arrive at where they need to be. Sullivan will address the initial community engagement & broad scale visioning that must underlie a successful master plan, built on user experience rather than historical formulas. Moore will address creating the road map for a master plan, and the costs connected with each phase, so that libraries can achieve buy in and immediately start stepping towards the overarching goal in manageable increments, instead of waiting for the entire budget to arrive. Finally, Peter Pearson will focus on how libraries, once they know their costs thanks to smart master planning, can inspire public and private donors to commit to a project they believe in. Register

Start Moving to Get Smarter: Help Children Learn Using Their Bodies
June 16, 2015, 2pm EST
Movement is essential for human development and starts even before birth. From birth to age six, children constantly learn through movement. Each new experience creates neural pathways that grow and are strengthened by further movement. Join Dr. Feinberg as she recommends including movement in every curriculum area. She will help teachers learn how to:
  • provide preschoolers with numerous sensory-motor experiences (emphasizing visual-motor activities, including those integrating visual information with fine-motor and gross-motor movements).
  • integrate gross-motor activities into the curriculum (including coordination of movements, postural control and locomotion).
  • combine music with movement; providing many learning opportunities, while enhancing the auditory system, developing a sense of rhythm, and eliciting communication within a social environment.
  • offer directed outdoor movement activities (equally important as non-directed outdoor playing).
  • incorporate opportunities for social awareness and self-expression by encouraging freedom of expression within a wide range of abilities.
Dr. Feinberg introduces the “Move to Learn” curriculum that incorporates movement into all learning, including language and literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, creative representation, and social skills. While teachers might be aware of the importance of movement in students’ development, they do not always recognize opportunities to present such activities in the classroom and outside, and in every curriculum area. Register

Engaging the Volunteer of the Future
June 17, 2015, 1pm PST
The age of one-size fits all volunteer engagement is coming to an end. This webinar will start with a review of some of the things that we know about what volunteers are looking for in an opportunity. It will then help you use this information to start designing volunteer opportunities and determining who is the “right” volunteer for your program.
What You'll Learn:
  • The trends that are influencing volunteer engagement and what that means for your program.
  • How to create volunteer opportunities that match what volunteers are looking for now.
  • How to take advantage of "word of mouth" recruitment by understanding what types of volunteers are right for your program.
  • The role that social media can play in engaging the volunteer of the future. Register

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

June Legacy Events at Your Library


Climb Theater presents Anansi the Spider

Brian Laidlaw presents a songwriting workshop for young adults!


Climb Theater presents
Anansi the Spider

The Climb Theater is returning to the Arrowhead Library System to present Anansi the Spider, a free interactive children’s play at the following locations:

Monday, June 8, 2015
10:30 a.m. Carlton Public Library, 1:00 p.m. Two Harbors Public Library,6:30 p.m. Mount Royal Branch Library

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
10:30 a.m. Hibbing Public Library, 1:00 p.m. Babbitt Public Library
3:30 p.m. Hoyt Lakes Public Library

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
10:00 a.m. Cook Public, 1:00 p.m. Buhl Public Library
3:30 p.m. Gilbert Public Library

Thursday, June 11, 2015
10:30 a.m. International Falls Public Library
3:30 p.m. Baudette Public Library

Friday, June 12, 2015
10:30 a.m. Taconite School (sponsored by the Coleraine Public Library)
1:00 p.m. Grand Rapids Area Library

Monday, June 29, 2015
10:30 a.m. Calumet Public Library, 1:30 p.m. Mountain Iron Public Library
6:30 p.m. Duluth Public Library

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
10:30 a.m. Grand Marais Public Library, 1:00 p.m. Silver Bay Public Library
6:00 p.m. West Duluth Branch Library

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
10:30 a.m. Moose Lake Public Library,1:00 p.m. Cloquet Public Library
4:30 p.m. Eveleth Public Library

Thursday, July 2, 2015
10:30 a.m. Virginia Public Library, 1:00 p.m. Ely Public Library
3:30 p.m. Aurora Public Library

Friday, July 3, 2015
3:30 p.m. Keewatin Community Pavilion (Keewatin Public Library)

Anansi the Spider is a master of trickery! Using a rock that has magical powers,Anansi tricks all the animals in the forest out of their suppers. But when Anansi tries to trick the clever Spotted Deer, the tables are turned and Anansi is left with no supper.

CLIMB Theater’s mission is to create and perform plays, classes, and other creative works that inspire and propel people - especially young people. Anansi the Spider is an imaginative, and kid friendly opportunity for children to experience live theatre, while building literacy and reading readiness. 

Join us for an interactive play geared for children ages 3-8 followed by a fun activity session.

Teen Songwriting Workshops

Listen, Learn, Write!

Mountain Iron, MN, May 27, 2015 - Twin Cities poet-songwriter Brian Laidlaw will present free songwriting workshops for young adults at the following Arrowhead Library System libraries:

Monday, June 8, 2015
6:00 p.m. 
Grand Rapids Area Library

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
1:00 p.m. 
International Falls Public Library & 6:00 p.m. Baudette Public Library

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
1:00 p.m. Mt. Iron Public Library & 3:30 p.m. Hoyt Lakes Public Library

Thursday, June 11, 2015
1:00 p.m. Buhl Public Library & 3:30 p.m. Gilbert Public Library

Friday, June 12, 2015
1:00 p.m. Silver Bay Public Library

Monday, June 15, 2015
1:00 p.m. Cloquet Public Library & 6:00 p.m. Two Harbors Public Library

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
1:00 p.m. Moose Lake Public Library & 6:00 p.m. Eveleth Public Library

Thursday, June 18, 2015
1:00 p.m. Hibbing Public Library & 3:30 p.m. at the Virginia Public Library

Friday, June 19, 2015
10:30 a.m. Grand Marais Public Library & 3:30 p.m. Duluth Public Library Green Room

Brian Laidlaw is a poet, songwriter and educator from San Francisco, currently living in Minneapolis. He studied Creative Writing as an undergraduate at Stanford University, where he first began setting his poems to music. Laidlaw is currently a member of the Composition and Songwriting Faculty at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul and is a frequent guest professor at the St Paul School of Rock.
A dedicated wordsmith and instrumentalist, Laidlaw collaborates and co-writes with ensembles from coast to coast, and performs regularly in the Twin Cities and greater Midwest. He also had poems in the Arcadia Project anthology, song lyrics in American Songwriter Magazine, and has a Songwriting Consultant credit on the Grammy Award-Winning album Can You Canoe? by the Okee Dokee Brothers.
In this lyric-writing workshop, Brian will begin to answer the question "Where do songs come from?" and continue with the different ways to gather musical inspiration from our day-to-day lives. The workshop will include time for supervised writing of new material, feedback on students’ existing work, and a Q&A about songwriting practice and craft.
Listen to Brian perform his own music as an introduction to the workshop and experience the excitement and challenge of developing a fledgling song idea into a fully formed song! This will be fun workshop for high school age poets and songwriters who are just starting out or would like to build on their writing skills.
This program, sponsored by Arrowhead Library System, was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. 

Monday, June 01, 2015

Library Sculpture Ribbon-Cutting

Grand Marais Public Library
Library Sculpture Ribbon-Cutting

All members of the public are invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held in front of the Grand Marais Public Library on Friday, June 5 at 4:30 PM. Besides the ribbon cutting, there will be other activities, including an appearance by the artist, local sculptor Tom Christiansen, other local and regional dignitaries, and an announcement in regard to the naming of the sculpture. Refreshments will be available courtesy of the Library Friends of Cook County.
Christiansen was selected from a group of fourteen submissions to the initial request for proposal from the library board. There were four finalists, the other three being Nancy Seaton of Grand Marais, Sharon Frykman, also of Grand Marais, and Ann Klefstad of Duluth. The sculpture as installed is to be situated on the lawn between the library and Highway 61. Constructed of spun aluminum, the sculpture will be a tower standing approximately 17 feet tall. Arranged around the top of the sculpture are a number of large puzzle pieces colored red, blue or yellow.
This new addition to the public art presence in our community has been paid for by the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment through funds made available to the Arrowhead Library System.


Best of the Scout Report for 2015



The Scout Report
An Internet Scout Publication.

May 29, 2015Best of The Scout Report

Every week, the Internet Scout staff scours the web for mind-opening, perspective-widening, and just plain interesting resources in the sciences, humanities, and other fields - information that we hope will be edifying and useful to our readership of librarians, educators, academics, and lifelong learners. In this year's “Best of” issue, we've selected a colorful compendium of the resources we feel best represent what the Scout Report has to offer. Whether it is the design of the site, the fascinating subject area and content, the site's ease of use, or its usability in the classroom,Scout staffers have developed a wide array of rationales for preferring one online resource over another. Nevertheless, we were able to produce a top ten list that we could all agree on and that also features some reader favorites as well.

We hope you enjoy the assortment, and take a few minutes to revisit some of our favorite sites from 2014–2015. As always, we look forward to providing new batches of fantastic resources throughout the upcoming year.

In This Issue


Copyright and subscription information appear at the end of The Scout Report. TheScout Report is also available on the Web:
Current issue: https://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/Current/
This issue: https://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/2015/scout-0529

Feedback is always welcome: scout@scout.wisc.edu

In This Issue

Teaching History with 100 Objects
·http://www.teachinghistory100.org

As William Faulkner wrote in his experimental novel, Requiem for a Nun, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” This site makes compelling links to the present through an amazing array of historical artifacts. In addition to being one of our most shared resources from the past year, the Scout staff seemed to come back to the website again and again. Not just for history teachers, Teaching History with 100 Objects has a mesmerizing way of bringing to life tales from ancient Egypt, Qing Dynasty China, revolutionary Russia, and many other places and times.

Teaching History with 100 Objects may be funded by the United Kingdom's Department of Education, but the resources available on the website will be useful to educators the world over. The 100 objects in question consist of historically significant Irish posters, English canons, Chinese tea pots, Viking scales, and many other fascinating objects. The site can be scouted in a number of convenient ways. Readers can search by topics, dates, places, or themes, or simply select an image from the homepage to get started. Each object is accompanied by a brief annotation, as well as additional categories, such as About the object, A bigger picture, Teaching ideas, and For the Classroom. Each category is packed with information, ideas, and suggestions for bringing history to life. 
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Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions
·http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/pickyourpoison/

It’s not hard to see why our readers loved this thought-provoking expose of America’s long history with mind-altering substances. In fact, the ad for Cocaine Toothache Drops (contemporarily priced at 15 cents) alone is worth a trip to this colorful and well curated site. Lesson plans and online activities help educators illustrate how the United States has handled the thin and shifting line between useful medical prescriptions and harmful, illicit substances.

Over a century ago, it was not uncommon to find cocaine in treatments for asthma, cannabis offered up as a cure for colds, and other contentious substances offered as medical prescriptions. This engaging collection from the U.S. National Library of Medicine brings together sections on tobacco, alcohol, opium, and marijuana. Visitors can learn about how these substances were marketed and also view a selection of digitized items culled from its voluminous holdings, including advertisements, doctor's prescriptions, and early government documents. In the Education section, educators can look over lesson plans, check out online activities, and explore online resources from the National Institutes of Health, such as, "A Guide to Safe Use of Pain Medicine" and "College Drinking: Changing the Culture.”
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Interactives: Oceanus Magazine
·http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/

Many scientists consider the Earth’s oceans to hold some of the last real mysteries on the planet, with new species still being discovered every year and the depths of the deepest seas yet unexplored. These engaging interactives from the Woods Hole Oceanagraphic Institution were a clear reader favorite, bringing blue water and sundry sea life onto our monitors and into our conversations. Of course, educators will find plenty of resources for their classroom use; but the lifelong learners among us will be just as excited to discover the high-tech dive suits, arctic explorations, and other wonders in store on this excellent site.

These educational interactives from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution provide excellent supports for dozens of ocean-related classroom activities. From the effects of Fukushima's Fallout on Marine Life to Measuring River Chemistry, a variety of well designed, instructional tools are offered here. The visual and audio materials (slideshows, multi-step presentations, whale calls, etc.) are quite detailed and a number of them also link to the articles from Oceanus Magazine in which they were first featured. If these articles pique your interest, hundreds more can be found in the Archives as well as a select number of Digital Editions in the Print Issues section.
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The Upshot
·http://www.nytimes.com/upshot/?_r=2

Since The Upshot opened its virtual doors on April 22, 2014, it has published over 1,500 articles, charts, tables, interactive calculators, maps, and photo essays. Since we covered the site in September, the Upshot has celebrated its first anniversary. In commemoration, it published a must-read list of its most popular pieces, including a map of migration in the U.S., a photo essay of what 2,000 calories looks like, and many other unusually alluring tidbits. The material here provides an innovative platform for staying abreast of the most interesting, and sometimes unusual, current events circulating the Internet.

Launched this past spring, The Upshot is an analytical blog from The New York Times that focuses on politics, policy, and economics. The brain child of Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator David Leonhardt, the site is awash with interactive graphics and gripping narrative. The blog is continually updated, so you can start anywhere and find clear-headed, hard-hitting analysis on everything from the hardest places to live in the U.S. to the history of baseball. This first item can be found amongst the site’s “best and most popular interactive work,” located in the middle of the page. Just make sure you set aside a few hours, because one amazing interactive leads to another fascinating graph, which leads to a colorful thought experiment, and... well, you’ll see.
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Open Culture
·http://www.openculture.com

Readers raved when we published our coverage of Open Culture, the artsy information hub that features “the best free cultural & educational media on the web.” The website contains reviews and links to hundreds of open educational resources. Whether readers are interested in learning Arabic, would like to hear Patti Smith read Virginia Woolf, or are eager to explore a collection of Gabriel Garcia Marquez stories, Open Culture truly has something for everyone. Including ebooks, movies, audio books, online courses, language classes, and textbooks, the fact that Open Culture is accessible across multiple devices doesn’t hurt, either.

Perhaps the best way to describe Open Culture is to list what's available: 1,100 free online courses, 700 free movies, 550 free audio books, 700 free eBooks, 1,000 free MOOCs, free educational material for 46 languages, and 200 free educational resources for kids. Founded in 2006 by Stanford University's Dan Coleman, the site also contains great lectures by Toni Morrison and Bertrand Russell (among others) and great readings by notables such as T.S. Eliot and Anne Sexton. If readers are looking for art and images, the Met, the Getty, the British Library, and other museums and galleries are featured here. In essence, Open Culture gathers together all of the wonderful, disparate content from around the web, curates it, and presents it in an easily navigable and enchanting format.
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Neuropod Podcasts
·http://www.nature.com/neurosci/neuropod/index.html

The 1990s may have been the “Decade of the Brain,” but the groundbreaking research and paradigm shifting discoveries of neuroscience have only accelerated since then. In fact, our readers shared this phenomenal series of brain-related podcasts more than any other resource this year. What got them so excited? Maybe it was the charisma of Kerri Smith, or perhaps it was the sheer range and depth of the programming. There’s only one way to find out: explore the Neuropod Podcasts for yourself. 

If you are looking for the newest in neuroscience, and you'd like it in the form of punchy, approachable podcasts, look no further than Neuropod, a series of podcasts by "self-confessed neurogeek," Kerri Smith. Smith, who holds a master's degree in science communication from Imperial College London, provides an upbeat look at topics that run the gamut from psychosis to education to how the brain keeps time. Hosted by the Nature Publishing Group, podcasts have been published monthly since 2006 and the archives contain a host of wonderful material. 
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40 maps that explain the Roman Empire
·http://www.vox.com/2014/8/19/5942585/40-maps-that-explain-the-roman-empire

Since Scout’s founding in 1994, our staff has included a steady stream of map lovers. The Scout Report has featured maps of small townships in the south of England, maps of uncolonized territories in the American West, maps of ancient Indian dynasties - and with this resource, 40 maps that explain the Roman Empire. This fascinating collection brings the political, social, and economic realities of one of the world’s great ancient empires to vivid life, using colorful, vivid images that our staff and readers loved. In addition to maps, there are also fascinating architectural representations, paintings, and one particularly wonderful effigy of a Roman warship included here.

If you like your history presented visually and in a popular, Internet style, this site is for you. The set of 40 maps begins with an animated map, that depicts the rise and fall of the Roman Empire by landmass, from 500 BC to 476 AD. Map #3 provides an interesting insight into the size of the Roman Empire, relative to the transportation technologies of the day. Plotted by researchers at Stanford University, readers can use this map to determine travel time from London to Rome - about 3 weeks. There's also a map on the route of Hannibal's famous invasion of Rome with elephants. Compiled by editorial staff and artists at Vox Media, this map collection includes a few errata listed at the end. Many of the maps and sources are linked to Wikipedia articles, which in turn cite published histories - so it appears that Vox has done due diligence. 
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Birds of North America
·https://www.audubon.org/field-guide

What could be better than a fully digitized, completely free, web-based Audubon Field Guide? The resources available on this site are as useful as they are beautiful. In addition to the Song and Calls section and the individual profiles of hundreds of birds (both listed below), environmentally conscious readers will likely find the coverage of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill extremely informative. The navigation of the site is both functional and fun, and components such as the 2015 Photography Awards, with its heart-stopping images of birds from around the world, will delight and amaze. 

The Audubon field guides have sold over 18 million copies since Alfred A. Knopf published the first illustrated and descriptive books in 1934. This informative website, which features beautiful drawings and photographs as well as extensive descriptions of birds from around North America, is intuitive and pleasing to the eye. Readers can start by selecting the Featured Bird, by typing the name of a specific species into the search function, or by sorting the guide into taxonomic family or region. Each record then opens to provide detailed information, including facts about Habitat, Migration, and Feeding Behavior. Perhaps best of all, the Songs and Calls section (stocked from over 2,500 sound files created by Lang Elliott) lets readers experience the song of the Acadian Flycatcher or the rhythms of the Acorn Woodpecker among others. 
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Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet
·http://climate.nasa.gov

While the Internet offers dozens of excellent sites dedicated to the science of climate change, few can compete with NASA’s Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. In addition to the walkthrough provided in the original writeup (see below), readers may want to explore the menu bar in the top right hand corner. From there, a page of resources opens up, including Facts, Articles, and Explore, among others. With special items for educators, including a link to the excellent website, Climate Kids, we are excited to see the many ways this resource can be integrated into classroom curriculum or activities.

This is one of those websites that might just stop you dead in your tracks. First off, it's beautiful with incredible images of Antarctica, Everest, and smog-clouded cities. Then there are the figures: global temperature has increased 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1980, Arctic ice has decreased by 13 percent per decade, and that's just the tip of the iceberg (so to speak). Check out News and Features for NASA's coverage of climate related science or browse the Earth Blog, a pithy, readable blog chock full of important facts on our changing planet. Then take a look at What is Climate Change? and scout its four sections: Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Solutions. 
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Made with Code
·http://www.madewithcode.com

What really excited us about this beautifully designed site was its appeal to engage more girls and women in computer science and STEM more broadly. As NPR reported in an October 2014 article, the number of women majoring in computer science climbed steadily between 1970 and 1985, until it looked like they would soon rival men for slots in computer labs around the country. Today, however, less than 20 percent of computer science majors are women. Resources like Made with Code provide engaging ways for girls and boys to learn and play with code, helping to catapult the next generation into this increasingly ubiquitous arena.

Google.org, the charitable arm of the tech giant, has committed over $100 million to investments and grants in the last five years. While Google.org's initial projects concerned plug-in vehicles, solar energy, and emergency response systems, the foundation has recently expanded into computer science education with its free Made with Code program. This program is designed to interest girls in the art and science of coding in order to develop a new generation of female programmers. Readers may like to start by watching the inspiring short video. Perhaps the most engaging aspect of the site is the Projects section, where beginning and intermediate coders will find engaging projects such as Music Mixer and Kaleidoscope. Uplifting stories of young women who have fallen in love with coding round out the site.
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