C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter
When our students begin a semester of classes, they generally start off with a number of school supplies. Whether they purchase new notebooks, pens and pencils or just dig through desk drawers to find a sharp pencil, most students know the importance of arriving prepared with the tools they need to learn.
The stores may have aisles filled with the products we’ve come to expect at the start of the school season, but one essential tool for students in not available at the supermarket, drug store or even Amazon.com– the Library card.
A Library card is as essential a learning tool as a calculator or a textbook– often it becomes invaluable when those items can’t be obtained when necessary. Did you know that students can borrow calculators for in-Library use with their Library cards? Did you know that you can put a copy of your course textbook on reserve for students who have to wait for financial aid awards before they can afford to purchase their own? These are just two of the out-of-the-ordinary things you and your students can do with a Library card.
These days, when money is tight for everyone, a Library card can provide students, faculty and staff with many money-saving options– from inexpensive entertainment options (DVD rentals for $1) to free access to newspapers, magazines and learning tools.
September was Library Card Sign-up Month, but it’s never to late to encourage your students to get a card. All they need is a photo ID, proof of present address (a drivers license will cover both) and a copy of their current class schedule. Students with C.O.D. IDs can have their IDs activated as Library cards at the Circulation Desk.
Students at Westmont, Addison, Naperville, and Bloomingdale can get their cards directly from the front desks at these off-campus centers.
You can also get cards for your entire class by having your students fill out a Library Card application– contact me directly and I will email you the form. Simply return the completed applications to me with a copy of your class roster via campus mail– we’ll send your students’ cards back to at your mailbox location or mail the cards directly to your students.
I hope that you will encourage your students to get and use a C.O.D. Library card. In addition to the materials that can help support their studies, students will have access to a wide range of books, periodicals, films and music
Free (or Cheap) Fun for your Students
- The Library’s Feature Film Catalog has thousands of titles including movies of every genre, international films, TV shows and more. Popular films rent for $1 for 1 week. DVDs are excellent tools for English language learners.
- The Library has a sizable collection streaming media, too– online educational films and documentaries. Also, take a look at the database “Theater in Video” for drama fans.
- Students can borrow CDs from the Library and enjoy classical, jazz, movie soundtracks, world music and more.
- Real audiophiles can come into the Library and explore our record collection. Nearby turntables with comfortable couches provide a relaxing atmosphere for easy listening.
- Music Online is a fantastic database for music lovers, featuring streaming audio, video, reference, and even musical scores. Many genres are represented in the following collections: Classical Music Library Smithsonian Global Sound American Song African American Music and Contemporary World Music. There are even weekly free downloads!
Magazines and Newspapers
- Students can keep up to date with local and national news through the Library’s many newspaper databases. In addition to the scholarly journals you may already use, the Library also has America’s News Magazines– a database that includes Time, U.S. News and World Report, Parenting, Sports Illustrated, Real Simple and more!
Resource of the Month
Although high school teacher Larry Ferlazzo has created his website for ESL teaching and learning, his Best Of series is a great directory of tools for instructors and students of any subject.
Organized by subject, the Best Of series presents links to Ferlazzo’s favorite websites. His reviews and recommendations are quick by thorough. For example, The Best Websites To Teach & Learn Life Skills is a top ten list of websites with one or two sentences describing each.
Hyperlinks, while subtle and easy to miss, take you directly to the recommended sites. Ferlazzo is also very good at providing links to related Best Of lists. His Life Skills list refers readers to The Best Websites For Students Exploring Jobs & Careers and The Best Sites For Learning Economics & Practical Money Skills.
Websites cover both a wide range of topics and a wide range of interests– you and your students can use these tools to enhance learning, to explore resources, express creativity, as well as sharpen computer literacy skills.
One word of warning: Ferlazzo has been reviewing sites since 2007, so some older lists (and certainly some newer ones, as well) may refer to extinct sites or contain dead links. With many recommendations in each subject, however, you’re almost sure to find a gem that sparkles.