Friday, July 30, 2010

Help with School Work Online

It's that time again. Everybody is busy with back to school shopping, retraining the alarm clock to wake you up at 6 am, and dreading all the research papers that will be due all too soon.

Never fear! The Armstrong Library has been working all summer on building up our collection, so we can better help this year's students with their homework and research. Here are some helpful online resources for all students from elementary to college level.

Learning Express Library is an interactive online learning platform featuring over 770 practice tests, tutorials, and ebooks related to job search and workplace skills improvement, career certification and licensing exam preparation, college entrance and graduate school admissions exam preparation, GED exam preparation, and basic skills improvement in reading, writing, and math, for all ages. You'll get immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and an individualized analysis of your results.

World Book Online is the premier online reference source, with thousands of articles, state of the art multimedia, editor reviewed Web sites, periodical content, and more. Plus, there are more than 1.3 million pages of primary source documents – books, documents, selections – fully integrated with the encyclopedia content. Research and teaching tools include timelines, citation builder, and saved research.

MAGNOLIA, provided courtesy of the Mississippi State Legislature, is the most extensive online research tool. Close to a hundred different databases can be searched for reliable information. It includes searches in magazines, newspapers, journals, business information, biographies, literary criticism, and much more.

New Online Reference Resources.This past summer we purchased new printed reference materials from Salem Press, which includes online access. So you have a choice of print or online.

All these online resources are currently available to our patrons and can be accessed using Library computers or on your home computer. (You need to call the Library first regarding how to do this from home.) Let us help you or your student make this a successful school year! We will be presenting an informational talk and demonstration on how to use our online resources this fall. Details coming soon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New York Times Best Sellers

Here's this week's best selling books, according to the New York Times, that we have available in your Library. We print this list every week - look for it next to the New Books Section.


THE SEARCH, by Nora Roberts. The only survivor of a serial killer has found peace in the Pacific Northwest, but her life is shaken by the appearance of a new man and a copycat murderer.

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, by Stieg Larsson. The third volume of a trilogy about a Swedish hacker and a journalist. Excerpt

PRIVATE, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. The head of an investigation company pursues the murderer of his best friend’s wife.

SIZZLING SIXTEEN, by Janet Evanovich. The bounty hunter Stephanie Plum comes to the aid of a cousin with gambling debts.

THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett. A young white woman and two black maids in 1960s ¬Mississippi.

THE PASSAGE, by Justin Cronin. More than a hundred years in the future, a small group resists the vampires who have taken over North America. Excerpt

FOREIGN INFLUENCE, by Brad Thor. The covert operative Scott Harvath joins a new spy agency and investigates a bombing in Rome that killed American students.

THE LION, by Nelson DeMille. John Corey, now a federal agent, pursues a Libyan terrorist.

THE ISLAND, by Elin Hilderbrand. A woman, her daughters and her sister take refuge from life’s complications on a tiny island near Nantucket, but their time there is far from quiet.

THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET, by David Mitchell. Forbidden love in Edo-era Japan. Excerpt

ICE COLD, by Tess Gerritsen. A group of friends are murdered when they take refuge in a remote abandoned village in Wyoming.

FAMILY TIES, by Danielle Steel. A woman who raised her deceased sister’s three children must juggle their needs, her business and the new man in her life.

DEAD IN THE FAMILY, by Charlaine Harris. Sookie Stackhouse is exhausted in the aftermath of a Fae war.

UNDEAD AND UNFINISHED, by MaryJanice Davidson. Betsy Taylor, a suburban vampire queen, makes a deal with the Devil that involves traveling to hell with her kid sister.


OUTLIERS, by Malcolm Gladwell. Why some people succeed, from the author of “Blink.” Excerpt

SPOKEN FROM THE HEART, by Laura Bush. A memoir from the former first lady.
THE LAST STAND, by Nathaniel Philbrick. Custer, Sitting Bull and the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Excerpt

FIFTH AVENUE, 5 A.M., by Sam Wasson. The making of the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s" and its cultural influence.

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS, by Rebecca Skloot. The the story of the woman whose cancer cells were cultured without her permission in 1951. Excerpt

BORN TO RUN, by Christopher McDougall. Secrets of distance running from a Mexican Indian tribe.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

FREE Practice Tests and More

You might have noticed public service announcements recently on Mississippi Public Television and Radio about Learn A Test from Learning Express Library. Learn A Test is a valuable service which has grown more comprehensive in scope, offering skill development at every academic level and beyond. Here are just a few of the services offered absolutely FREE, thanks to the Mississippi Library Commission.

Elementary and Middle School Level
  • Math Skills Improvement
  • Reading Skills Improvement
  • High School entrance exams preparation
High School Level
  • Math skills improvement
  • Reading comprehension skills improvement
  • Vocabulary and spelling skills improvement
  • Writing and grammar skills improvement
  • AP preparation (Advance Placement)
  • GED study guides and practice exams
College Level:
  • CLEP testing preparation
  • Graduate school entrance exams preparation
  • Math and reasoning skills improvement
  • Reading comprehension skills improvement
  • Vocabulary and spelling skills improvement
  • Writing and grammar skills improvement
  • Technical and career college skills
  • Practice tests for careers in Electrical, Plumbing, Air Traffic Control, Military Aviation, and more
  • Job search and resume writing skills
  • Business writing
Skill Building for Adults:
  • Math and reasoning skills
  • Reading skills improvement
  • Writing and grammar skills improvement
Computer Skills
  • Adobe Flash and Illustrator courses
  • Adobe Photoshop courses
  • Corel WordPerfect courses
  • Microsoft Access, Excel, Outlook, and Powerpoint courses
All of this PLUS study guides and practice tests for virtually every standardized test out there. Many of the study guides are also available in Spanish. Recently, 24 eBooks have been added including titles to help prepare for careers in Civil Service, Education, Allied Healthcare, and more.

Learn A Test is a free service. To begin your journey, go to Learning Express Library and register. (There is also a link on our website - go to Practice Tests under Resources.) Your user name can be your library card number OR our library code (090) plus your phone number without the "1" or dashes. Then you will create your password. Once you are registered, you can choose what areas you would like to work on, and your work may be saved and returned to when you log in again. You work at your own pace, and correction and guidance is offered all along the way. If you encounter any difficulty logging in, call the Library for assistance (601.445.8862.)

Learn A Test can open up an unlimited world of learning and achievement!