Monthly Archives: November 2014

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Citing Times: Creating a Bibliography in the Library

Bibliographies are important, they show what sources have been used to put an assignment together!

This is what I tell my students when they come in to the library for lessons when I introduce them to The Harvard Method of Bibliographic citation, you know the one:

[Author Surname], [Initial]. [Year of publication]. [Title of book]. [City]: [Publisher], pp.[Pages used]

The World Wide Web has made research easier and harder, easier because you can access so much more information (through school site subscriptions or everything that you can get through your public library service).

I had no idea how many sources could be referenced until I started researching what i needed to know to impart to my students.

Fortunately there are a plethora of online tools that one can use. My current personal favourite is a website that you can use on any computer that has an internet connection.

The list of sources it will help you to cite for you is huge:
bibliography cite for me

The site allows you to scan a books ISBN, and using WorldCat will find and create a bibliography for you in the style that you prefer. You can create a free account to store your bibliographies online or you can use it casually which allows you to keep your bibliography for up to seven days.

A second tool that I discovered today is called RefMe,
bib refme
it has a web-based component as well as a smartphone app that connects to a free online account. You can scan an ISBN with your smartphone and it will store the record and you can access it through your account. It is not as powerful as Cite This For Me and could not locate the information for several books that I tried scanning but it allows you to add the information manually and does have potential for further development. As with Cite this for Me it also offers bibliography creation for a variety of sources.

Library A to Z

The launch of the Library A to Z will happen during the week 17th – 22nd November. Packs including copies of books and other materials will be sent to local, national and international politicians.

The aim of this action is to highlight the continued importance and value of library services, to encourage continued investment.

What is the Library A to Z you may ask… well it is a campaign created by librarian Gary Green, researcher Andrew Walsh and artist Jose Filhol to highlight the breadth of services, resources and facilities available, and celebrate the importance, value and relevance of well-funded and professionally-run public libraries.

It is this A to Z that has turned into the illustrations and promotional and advocacy material that is freely available for use on this site. The services, along with the words that have been turned into the illustrated letters, aren’t comprehensive, but are just a representative sample.


is for access; advice; answers; archives; art (view public art and sometimes borrow it too!); astronomy (some libraries loan out telescopes for stargazing); audio books; author events.
white barrier

is for ‘zines (magazines); zzzzz (child sleeping after being read bedtime story).

white barrier
Find out all about the project here:

Dyslexia, Dictionaries, Fonts & Learning

There is a new dictionary coming out at some point in 2015, many people may not think that this news is particularly earth-shattering as dictionaries are printed and published all over the world. The thing that makes this one special is that it is aimed squarely at people with dyslexia.

Known as the Maple Mayes Dictionary after the school where the idea has been in development for quite some time.

Father and son duo Dr Neville and Dr Daryl Brown have dedicated their lives to developing new methods that can help children to overcome dyslexia – a pursuit that led them to open specialist Staffordshire-based teaching and research centre, Maple Hayes Dyslexia School, in 1982.

Now, after almost 25 years analysing the way dyslexics learn, the Browns have decided to rewrite the dictionary after identifying that its layout, which is biased towards phonetic language, proves to be a huge stumbling block for youngsters with dyslexia. The traditional dictionary – as its name indicates – was originally a tool primarily to promote the correct pronunciation of words.

This is fantastic news; I work with a number of dyslexic students and am excited at the thought of being able to offer a new resource to help them learn.

I found out about the dictionary while reading an article on the NPR website about dyslexic fonts and their development.

The Dyslexie font has been around for quite some time, but reading about it and how it works has given me a new appreciation for the amount of work that has gone into its development, I was also not properly aware of how it worked, apart from the font being weighted – but that is only a part of how it makes words easier to read.

How the font works:


Further information:

Lichfield father and son re-write dictionary to help dyslexic children

Christian Boer Designs Typeface for Students with Dyslexia

Dyslexia Typeface

Maple Hayes School

Specialist Dyslexia School Rewrites the Dictionary

Spotting Dyslexia May Be Possible Even Before Kids Learn To Read

Project ReMix

The competition is open to UK residents age 13-19: to enter, teenagers are asked to make their own creative work in response to a selection of books, stories, poems and graphic novels from some of the best-selling contemporary and classic authors, including: John Green, Suzanne Collins, Philip Pullman, Benjamin Zephaniah, Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker.

Entries can be submitted in five categories:

Book cover design
Book trailer
Creative writing
Comic strip

The aim of Project Remix is to engage young people with literature, using it as a creative springboard into other storytelling mediums, and to open doors to the arts and the creative industries. The competition was inspired by the growth of online fandom, including fan-fiction and fan art and the surge in related digital communities.

Find out more about the competition, including how to enter, at

Red House Children’s Book Award blog tour: Stuart Hill

princeoftheicemarkI enjoyed writing The Prince of the Icemark enormously; and in fact it was inspired by several readers who sent fan letters asking to know more about Redrought as a character. He was killed quite early in The Cry of the Icemark but obviously the huge bear of a man who was the King of his country, a doting father and loved cats with a passion, made quite an impression on the readers, and so the scene was set for a revisit. But this time I wanted to study Redrought as a boy just before he settled into the throne of the Icemark. And then when he was finally forced to become King after his brother was killed, I wanted to show him growing into the job.

I actually based part of Redrought’s character on every awkward, stumbling and shy teenage boy I’ve ever known – including me! As a grown-up he was a like a cross between a friendly Viking and a grizzly bear; the type of bear that would deliberately break wind loudly in quiet exam rooms or tell vicars dirty jokes and then roar with laughter, not noticing the silence that had settled around him. But as a boy he was very different. He’d blush if a girl so much as looked at him, and he’d definitely fall over his own feet if he had to do something terrifying like actually go for a walk with one of the strange creatures that he found so fascinating.

Stuart HillI also wanted to go back and tell the stories of some my other favourite characters, especially the Vampire King and Queen. I absolutely loved writing about them; I particularly enjoyed their snobbery, their refined manners and their sarcasm – and all of that, coupled with their ferocity, made me think of some of my old teachers (not all of them – I had some great teachers). I could just imagine His Vampiric Majesty as an old-style headmaster who’d sweep through the corridors in a long gown, on the hunt for prey or for any pupil who’d forgotten their homework! And Her Vampiric Majesty would just have to be a maths teacher … precise, professional, petrifying!

I think there are more stories to be told involving the young King Redrought, his fighting, farting cat Cadwalader, and his future wife Athena, the warrior princess of the mighty Hypolitan. Perhaps one day, I’ll tell them.