Stacked in Our Favor

Thoughts about libraries, education, children's literature, writing, art and being connected

Monday, December 7, 2015

Library Catalogs

It's been a while since I set my thoughts down on this blog. Now seems like the perfect time to revive this platform. 

This year I'm offering an opportunity for Professional Development for my colleagues. We will be looking deeper at the myriad free resources available through the library and digital sources. We will start with familiarizing ourselves with our library catalogs and catalogs beyond. So in thinking about the many different catalogs we can use I decided that I would should share them widely. 

1. The first catalog is our school library catalog. Currently that is available only on campus so I won't provide a link here. Starting locally is the way to go. 

2. CWMARS is our regional consortium. Their catalog can be found at: 

This is where we can go to see what is in our local library's collection or see about holdings in the region. If one of the member libraries has the book we can order it through Inter Library Loan (ILL for those in the know.) If you are not from Central Massachusetts check your resources. More than likely you have the same kind of system through your local area. 

3. In Massachusetts there is a digital archive of historical photographs from Massachusetts towns called Digital Commonwealth. I use this resource each year when Third Grade does their study of local history. We look at these photos to see what in our town is the same and what is different. We examine a variety of aspects of everyday life such as clothing, transportation, and architecture. Look up your town and prepare to be amazed.

4. The New York Public Library has an extensive digital collection which is broken down into topics. With almost 850,000 items, this sorting into collections is a helpful way to make searching more manageable.

5. The International Children's Digital Catalog features digitized children's books in many different languages. Click on the Read Books! button in the middle of the page to get to the search interface. You can search by length of book, age, language, subject and even color of cover.

6. From the National Archives Experience comes the Digital Vaults. You can search through the wide selection of primary source materials and even curate your own collection.

These are some of my most popular catalogs. I hope you will enjoy trying them. 

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