Give these Digital Escape Rooms a try!

Think outside the box to solve a series of puzzles and complete the story!

Ketterdam Heist: A Six of Crows Digital Escape Room

Created by Abigail Hsu, Young Adult Librarian at Morristown & Morris Township Library

You have been given the task of stealing three items from a wealthy merchant in the city of Ketterdam. Do you have what it takes to pull off this heist?

 

Into the Spirit World: A Studio Ghibli-inspired Digital Escape Room

Created by Abigail Hsu, Young Adult Librarian at Morristown & Morris Township Library

You are a human who has accidentally stumbled into the Spirit World. Night has fallen and you are unable to return to the Human World…

 

K-Pop Trivia Escape Room

Created by Abigail Hsu, Young Adult Librarian at Morristown & Morris Township Library

It’s your first time at a K-Pop convention and you have the chance to win a ticket to the convention concert! All you need to do is complete an immersive trivia game…

 

Hogwarts Digital Escape Room

Created by Sydney Krawiec, Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA

It is your first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and you could not be more excited. As you head into the cozy common room, the house prefect announces that you have a fun team building activity to complete before you get too settled into your new digs…

 

Mandalorian Digital Escape Room 

Created by the Manchester Community College Library in Manchester, NH

An old bounty hunter friend needs your help to rescue someone…

 

The Minotaur’s Labyrinth Digital Escape Room

Created by by Karen Liu (Salt Lake County), a Teen Librarian at The County Library’s Riverton Branch

The Minotaur lies in the heart of a labyrinth and you must make your way to it. You are the demigod Theseus, son of Poseidon and heir to Aegeus. You offered yourself as a tribute, in hopes of killing the monster within…

 

The 74th Hunger Games Escape Room

Created by Amy German, a Youth Services Librarian at Round Rock Public Library

Your name is Katniss Everdeen and you have volunteered as tribute for the 74th Hunger Games…

 

Cabin Fever Virtual Escape Room

Created by Celeste Trottier, Teen Services Librarian at the St. Albert Public Library

You are a Level 4 Junior Forest Scout. While gathering wood for a fire, you discover an empty cabin in the woods…

 

The Library of Alexandria Escape Room

Created by Portia Carryer for San Leandro Public Library’s Staycation 2020

As you’re clicking through the library website to borrow an e-book, your phone screen flickers, goes black, and then flashes bright white light. When your eyes adjust, you’re no longer in your house…

 

Star Wars Digital Escape Room

Created by Jenny Hansen of the Dover Area Community Library

You, Finn, Rey, and BB-8 are on a special mission from General Leia Organa when a First Order Star Destroyer captures your ship. You resist but the next thing you see is a bright light from a blaster and then darkness. You wake up hours later in a small dark cell…

 

Journey Through Oakwald Forest: A Throne of Glass Digital Escape Room

Created by Youth Services Staff at Rita and Truett Smith Public Library

General Aedion has given you the the task of a simple delivery mission through Oakwald Forest to Allsbrook castle…

 

 

[More activities to come soon!]

Happy International Children’s Book Day!

International Children’s Book Day was founded in 1967 on Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, April 2. The holiday celebrates a love of reading and promotes youth literacy around the world.

The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI) has announced the winners for the organization’s Translated YA Book Prize to coincide with the observance of International Children’s Book Day. This year’s award winners are Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi, translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano, and Maresi Red Mantle by Maria Turtschaninoff, translated from Swedish by A. A. Prime.

Below is an excerpt from the press release:

The Beast Player takes elements that frequently appear in conventional YA novels–an orphan, a school, magical beasts, and warring factions—but creates something totally fresh and unexpected, amidst a spectacularly developed world all its own,” said Committee Chair Annette Y. Goldsmith. 

“Maresi Red Mantle is a stirring epistolary novel that presents a young woman caught between two homes, cultures, and communities,” Goldsmith commented. “It is the concluding title in the Red Abbey Chronicles trilogy, but we were very impressed with how beautifully it works as a stand-alone title.” Its U.S. edition, published by Abrams Books, is titled Red Mantle

The announcement of the prize is timed to coincide with International Children’s Book Day, which falls on April 2, the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen. Fewer young adult (YA) books are translated into English than any other category of children’s literature, and the prize aims to bring attention to gems of world literature for teens. 

“The worldwide spread of the Covid-19 pandemic shows just how interconnected we have become,” said GLLI Director Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds, “There couldn’t be a better time for teens to develop a global perspective on issues of concern to them, and reading is a great way to do that, especially when everyone is spending so much time indoors right now.” 

The 2020 Shortlist 

  • Almost Autumn* by Marianne Kaurin, translated from the Norwegian by Rosie Hedger 
  • The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi, by translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano 
  • The Book of Pearl by Timothée de Fombelle, translated from the French by Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon
  • The Casket of Time by Andri Snær Magnason, translated from the Icelandic by Björg Arnadóttir and Andrew Cauthery 
  • Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro, translated from the Japanese by Takami Nieda 
  • Luisa: Now and Then* by Carole Maurel, translated from the French by Nanette McGuinness
  • Maresi Red Mantle, Book 3 of the Red Abbey Chronicles by Maria Turtschaninoff, translated from the Swedish by A. A. Prime 
  • The Mirror Visitor Quartet: A Winter’s Promise (Book 1) and The Missing of Clairdelune (Book 2) by Christelle Dabos, translated from the French by Hildegarde Serle 
  • Tamba: Child Soldier by Marion Achard, translated from the French by Montana Kane 
  • Tortot, the Cold Fish who Lost His World and Found His Heart by Benny Lindelauf, translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson
  • Trees for the Absentees by Ahlam Bsharat, translated from the Arabic by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Sue Copeland 
  • Winter in Wartime by Jan Terlouw, translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson 

* = Honor Book

Resources for Educators

Dog in glasses in front of magazine

Updated 5/7/20

 

We will be updating this post regularly as new resources become available that may be of use to educators, including those parents who have recently had to take on the role of educator in their own home. We will be posting only those resources offered for free during this crisis. However, these resources are provided by sources outside of the library, and may change according to the providers wishes. We hope that this list will be helpful to educators and parents during these difficult times. You may also like to check out our post on resources geared towards kids, or this one geared towards adults, both of which include more educational as well as entertainment resources.

 

Our History & Genealogy Center collects primary and secondary sources that document New Jersey and American history, including photographs, postcards, maps, archival material, rare books, and prints. Thousands of items are available online for use by educators, students, and others. Those researching their family histories can also access many genealogical databases from home; some require a current library card, which Morristown & Morris Township residents may apply for here.  


Brightly

From Brightly: “Life is full of new and unexpected changes right now—and if you’re a parent or caregiver, those changes can include suddenly having to homeschool and provide childcare. To help you navigate your day-to-day, our friends at Brightly have put together educational resources and engaging activities so there’s always something to keep your kids occupied. Whether you’re looking to keep them focused on learning, just need some peace and quiet, or a little of both, we’re here for you. And together, we’ll get through this.” Outside Provider.


Infobase

Infobase is currently offering free access to its products for our patrons through 6/30/20. These include a wide range of educational resources, including Mailbox School & District, which is described as: “With The Mailbox® School & District, your entire institution has unlimited, simultaneous access to this trusted classroom and activity resource. Make learning fun while teaching core skills with thousands of worksheets, crafts, forms, songs, games, graphic organizers, patterns, clip art, cards, and more for prekindergarten to grade 6. All content is created by teachers for teachers and is editor-reviewed, and new content is added regularly.” 

You can access all of these resources through 6/30/20 by logging in: the Username and Password to log in are both MAINlib.


Khan Academy is a nonprofit, with a digital library created by experts which provides trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons that cover math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP®, SAT®, and more. It’s all free for learners and teachers. Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Outside Provider.

 


Learning Revolution is hosting a series of webinars running through April and May that are free to attend, and focus on the changing aspects of online learning. You do need to register for a free account with them to attend. You can read more about their goals and interests on their home page, and see if their webinars could help you out in this world of rapidly changing education techniques. From their website: “The technologies of the Internet and the Web are reshaping when, where, and from whom we learn–and even how we think about learning. As the boundaries of these learning worlds increasingly overlap, we believe these conversations will be critical to framing and preparing for the learning revolution starting to take place.” Outside Provider.

 


MacKids for Schools & Library

MacKids is working to help you and your readers transition to working and learning from home. Their website includes teacher guides and a plethora of resources, such as activity and discussion guides, book recommendations and presentations, author interviews, and more!

Macmillan also released this statement: “Want to read-aloud to your readers over video on social media? Please do! Macmillan wants to support teachers, librarians, and parents as they work to keep their students and children engaged with reading and learning via virtual classrooms and other forms of remote learning. During this emergency and when their schools are closed, we have no objection to: (1) teachers and librarians live streaming or posting videos reading our children’s books to their students, provided it is done on a noncommercial basis and (2) authors live streaming or posting videos reading their children’s books, provided it is done on a noncommercial basis. We ask that all educators, librarians and booksellers please notify us when you post or stream a story time or read-aloud video or live event. Please follow the official guidelines for using Macmillan content in media here.” Outside Provider.


NCFL logo The National Center for Families Learning has “developed a collection of free online learning resources for families to engage with together at home.” You can view their free resources here. Outside Provider.

 

 


New York City School Library Services LogoThe New York City School Library System has created a libguide focusing on Children’s eBooks that discuss and teach about the COVID-19 virus. There are books in both English and Spanish. You can view their libguide here. Outside Provider.

 


OpenCulture has compiled a wide variety of free online resources. They have a collection of free audiobooks, ebooks, and educational lessons ranging across the spectrum including language learning. Their resources span a wide variety of interests, from entertaining to educational, from indie movies to art and image resources.  Whether you are a student looking for online resources, or just looking for free content you can watch or read from home, check them out! Outside Provider.

 


Quirkbooks

Quirkbooks has released guidelines for using their books to read to children via online platforms during this crisis. Outside Provider.

 


Scholastic

Scholastic is providing many resources for free during this time, some are perpetually free and others are currently free, with free access set to expire on April 20th, 2020. For a full list of their resources and login credentials, please see this PDF released by Scholastic. Outside Provider.

 


Simon Kids

From Simon Kids: “As you navigate learning at home with your children, we are pleased to share our resources with you. Simon & Schuster has many curriculum guides and reading group guides for educators, as well as kid-friendly activities, that may prove useful to you at this time.” Outside Provider.

Teen Resources to Use From Home

Updated 4/15

The Library subscribes to many resources you can use from the comfort of your own home, and many of them are also working with us to bring you more remote resources during these difficult times. Below are some of our resources to help keep you and your family entertained and informed while the Library is closed to the public. We will be updating this list as necessary. You can also always check out our Research Database page and Teen Recommended Websites for more resources available to you from the comfort of your home.

 

Entertainment

Cloud Library

Cloud Library is a platform for reading ebooks and listening to digital audiobooks. Our collection is always growing, and though our physical location is closed we are doing our best to keep up with your reading needs remotely! Visit the Cloud Library page for information on how to download the app to a variety of devices, and then check out this blog post to help us grow our collection to suit your reading wish list.


Infobase Video on Demand

Infobase is currently offering free access to its products for our patrons through 6/30/20. These include a wide range of educational resources, as well as a Writer’s Reference Center and the aforementioned Video on Demand which also has a portal Just for Kids.

You can access all of these resources through 6/30/20 by logging in: the Username and Password to log in are both MAINlib.


Kanopy

Kanopy is a digital streaming service that includes feature films, TV shows, documentaries, and collections for kids. You can sign up with your library card and get started right from home. Our patrons usually receive 6 “play credits” a month, but right now, to help us all stay entertained during these difficult times, Kanopy is offering a playlist with a variety of videos that will not deduct from your play credits.


TumbleBooks

Many of TumbleBooks resources are both educational and entertaining! TumbleBooks has something for all ages. TumbleBooks Library is an online collection of ebooks for children. They are a great way to encourage tech-savvy kids to enjoy reading! Access is unlimited – you can read 24/7, from the comfort and safety of your home! There are over 1100 titles, including 350 animated, talking picture books! The site also features graphic novels, read-along chapter books, and non-fiction books. TumbleBooks resources are easy to use, and feature unlimited access from home! You can read as many books as you want, when you want, on any device. There are no check-outs, holds, or bulky downloads. Books are available instantly. TumbleBooks also offers the following resources, free to our patrons through 8/31/2020:


Junior Library Guild eBooks

Junior Library Guild (JLG) is now offering their Elementary, Middle School and High school ebooks free for your use. Your home-bound students can click to their hearts’ content! Titles enter and exit the digital stream regularly, so there are always new picks available. To use this resource, visit this login screen, and enter one of the following login credentials, based on the reading level you would like to view.

Middle Grade Level
Username: JLGMID
Password: JLGFREE

High School Level
Username: JLGHI
Password: JLGFREE


Sebco Books graphic Sebco Books

Sebco Books is helping to bridge the school-home & library-home gap during this challenging time by offering 450 FREE ebooks! These are newly released titles which support state curriculum, available until 6/30/2020.

Login: keepreading | Password: sebco | ID#: 1


Quaran-teen Webcast graphic

Aiden Tyler, Quaran-teen Webcast

There’s a lot going on these days, what with school closures, and social distancing, and toilet-paper conundrums. It’s heavy stuff. It’s worrisome stuff. And it’s stuff that we’re all experiencing right along with Aiden Tyler, the title character in author Rex Ogle’s new & original story, AIDEN TYLER, QUARAN-TEEN.

Rex is writing this creative new middle-grade offering in real-time, about our real-world predicament, and will be reading each week’s newest chapter aloud on this one-of-a-kind webcast “serial”!

Tune in every Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET to catch the latest in Aiden’s quaran-teen’ed story—and stick around after the reading for a weekly Q&A with Rex.


RBDigital

RBDigital is a browser and app-based platform that includes both a large selection of current magazines on many topics, and a large collection of digital Marvel comics (strange bedfellows, you may say, but at least we’ve got variety!).

 

Education & Information

Many of TumbleBooks resources are educational and entertaining! Check their information in the “Entertainment” section.

 

Kelly Yang writing class graphic

New York Times best-selling author Kelly Yang is giving FREE writing classes online for teens on her Instagram Live @kellyyanghk from 12pm-12:30pm PST (3pm EST) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday starting March 20th. Topics include plot, characters, and how to write with power and emotion. Head over to her Instagram account and her website for these tips!

 

 

 

Khan Academy is a nonprofit, with a digital library created by experts which provides trusted,standards-aligned practice and lessons that cover math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP®, SAT®, and more. It’s all free for learners and teachers. Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.

 


JSTOR

JSTOR is an online database and has opened up it’s collection of over e-books and scholarly journals for free during this time of wide-spread closures to Universities and Libraries. JSTOR is working with publishers to make more of its content freely available, so if you don’t see what you need today, it might be worth trying again tomorrow!


Mometrix

Test-prep and study database.

 

 

 


Scholarly Content Free on Project Muse

In response to the challenges created by the global public health crisis of COVID-19, Project MUSE is pleased to support its participating publishers in making scholarly content temporarily available for free on our platform. With many higher education institutions moving into an exclusively online learning environment for the foreseeable future, we hope that easy access to vetted research in the humanities and social sciences, from a variety of distinguished university presses, societies, and related not-for-profit publishers, will help to support teaching, learning, and knowledge discovery for users worldwide.

 

Support your OTP in Epic Reads’ “Battle of the Ships”!

16 YA series. 16 couples. Which pair will reign supreme?

How to vote:

For the next few weeks, you can find us across social and make your voice heard—stan your fave ships as loud and proud as you can. Make sure to check out our Twitter, watch our Instagram Stories, and follow us on Facebook to vote. Each and every one matters, and we’ll be tallying the totals ourselves. Only one couple will emerge victorious from each showdown, so if you truly want to prove your ship is the ultimate ship, you best get out there and vote your heart out!”

And the Award Goes To…

Logo of ALA Youth Media Awards

The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced the 2020 Youth Media Award winners at its annual midwinter conference. These awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.

Awards specifically for young adult books include:

To find out more about each award presented and this year’s award winners, click here!

Add these YA titles to your holiday TBR list!

Looking for something to read this holiday season? The folks over at Fierce Reads have you covered! Click on each graphic to see the full list of books.

For readers on the go, bring along a book to help you pass the time in the car or on a plane.

If you’re more interested in a staycation, check out these read-alikes that pair perfectly with your favorite bingeworthy TV show.

Too many people around all the time? Take a break from socializing with one of these options.

Dreary weather got you down? Spend a while with the lovable protagonists of these titles.

Hold onto your dæmons – “His Dark Materials” premieres tonight!

Based on author Philip Pullman’s beloved fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials follows Lyra, a brave young woman from another world. Lyra’s quest to find her kidnapped friend leads her to uncover a sinister plot of a secret organization, encounter extraordinary beings and protect dangerous secrets. The show features a star-studded cast including Dafne Keen (“Logan”), James McAvoy (“Dark Phoenix”), and Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Mary Poppins Returns”). You can watch the trailer here.

Want to read the books before seeing the show? Check them out below:

The Golden Compass - book
The Subtle Knife - book
The Amber Spyglass - book
The Golden Compass - ebook
The Golden Compass - audiobook on CD
The Subtle Knife - audiobook on CD
The Amber Spyglass - audiobook on CD
The Golden Compass: the graphic novel, volume one
The Golden Compass: the graphic novel, volume two

 

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month!

Dyslexia is a learning difference that makes reading difficult. People with dyslexia may have trouble with spelling, recognizing words, solving word problems with math, and other reading-related activities. Dyslexia is not uncommon: some experts say that 5 – 10 percent of people have dyslexia.

Below are some helpful resources:

ATbar

The ATbar is a free cross-browser toolbar to help you customize the way they view and interact with web pages.  It allows you to increase and decrease font sizes, have text read aloud, use colored overlays, readability and a dictionary to aid reading.

OpenDyslexic Font

OpenDyslexic is a free typeface designed against some common symptoms of dyslexia. It is intended to address: contrast/blindness, letter confusion or rotation, and crowding.

Natural Reader

Natural Reader is a website that provides text to speech conversion for documents, web pages, emails etc. It can be run as a discrete toolbar within programs and is available for Windows and Mac.

Alternate Book Formats

Books in alternate formats can ease the reading experience for dyslexic learners. Audio books gives readers a personal freedom while also helping them develop both fluency and accuracy while reading. Digital media, such as e-books and e-audiobooks, allow readers to customize the text by adjusting font type, font size, and/or narration speed.

Screenshot of MAIN library catalog. The link to "eAudio, eBooks, and eMagazines" at the left sidebar of the page is circled in red.