Category Archives: I-brarian

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Google Whoodle

Released early on some international Google sites, I was alerted to the existence of this doodle by some author friends on Twitter. It is not teh first game doodle Google has released but it is now my favourite (sorry PacMan).

Good for competitions, talking about computer games and good old-fashioned fun!

Education Technology Tools

Click on each of these icons to find out more about these great programs

Raspberry Pi

I first mentioned the Raspberry Pi back in November

I was fortunate to be one of the early bookers and received my Pi in the week before half-term. As advertised it is about the size of a credit card and unless you have a love of all things techy it is not much to look at.

To prevent damage I bought a case from the Shropshire Linux Users Group and turned what looked like a piece of leftover circuit board into a sexy piece of kit! Ok maybe not sexy but pretty damn awesome!

The Raspberry Pi will not replace desktop computing, and that is not its function. I have started speaking to the IT department in my school and have made overtures to the Design & technology department as they have a laser cutter and I have the beginnings of an idea that may end up in the students crafting their own Pi cases as well as running a programming group at school.

I am hoping to launch it at a talk about open source computing that I have been asked to give to the IT classes here next year.

I have high hopes for the Raspberry Pi, and do not think that I will be disappointed.

Raspberry Pi

The first question most people ask whenever I mention Raspberry Pi is:

What’s a Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.

The second question is is usually so what has that got to do with libraries?

Well not much, unless you want to… I don’t know – set up a library-based technology group.

So why the Pi? Well they are low cost, they are cool in a geeky, tech kind of way and they can help libraries (both school & public) engage with young people by giving them hands-on experience with small, shiny bits of tech.

The Raspberry Pi will be out sometime between now and December. I fully intend to purchase several and create a tech group that will look at the different ways in which these tiny computers can be utilised. From standard TV computing to integrating them into clothes with small possibly touch-capable screens and micro-keyboards in the sleeves as well as possibly powering them with solar panels in clothing and possibly jamming them into small powered gliders to create self-guided aeroplanes.

There are so many possibilities! To start thinking about what you can accomplish with a slice of pi take a look here: Raspberry Pi

TED: Ideas worth Spreading




TED or Technology Entertainment and Design to give it it’s full name, is a global set of conferences formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading. Since June 2006, the talks have been offered for free viewing online, under a Creative Commons license, through

There are over 900 free talks available online. If your library or resource centre has a television or bank of computers it may be worth thinking about holding a TED day and running their freely available video talks in the library or in conjunction with school lessons.

The TED Mission statement:
We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

Some of the talks follow

Brewster Kahle builds a free digital library

Handspring Puppet Co.: The genius puppetry behind War Horse

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter …

Those were just three of the 900+ talks available free at The videos are subtitled so are accessible for the hearing impaired.  Thanks to volunteer translators taking part in TED’s Open Translation Project, subtitles in a variety of languages are available for nearly every video in the TEDTalks series.

Alien Ink

Trinity and Ryder arrive in Camden, London, curiously at the same time as UFO sightings on Primrose Hill. They open Alien Ink, a tattoo shop on Camden High Street, which quickly becomes a hangout for local teens, thanks to its unusually welcoming vibe.

Trinity and Ryder are fantastic tattoo artists and word quickly spreads about their beautiful designs. Eyebrows are raised – can two 19 year-olds really run a successful own business? How did they get started – where did they come from?

Meet Trinity, Ryder and their network of friends at Alien Ink and experience their lives and the Pressures they face.

Channel 4 Education are proud to introduce Alien Ink, the graphic novel that deals with real life teen issues.

Alien Ink is the first in a series of online graphic novels designed to tackle everyday teen issues, and provides a great resource of PSHE/ citizenship and media studies teachers keystage 3, 4 and higher. It is based around the lives of Trinity and Ryder, who curiously arrive in Camden at the same More…time as UFO sightings on Primrose Hill, and subsequently open a tattoo parlour that becomes a hang-out for local teens.

Are you a fan of Goth Froth?!

THE RAVEN MYSTERIES website launches on October 1st to coincide with the publication of GHOSTS AND GADGETS, the second book in Marcus Sedgwick’s THE RAVEN MYSTERIES series. Guided by Edgar the raven, the unofficial guardian of Castle Otherhand, visitors to the new site can take a tour of the castle, meet the spooky and strange Valevine family and download all sorts of goodies!

Designed by Hyperlaunchdmg, the website is full of brand new images of the Castle and its inhabitants drawn exclusively for the website by Pete Williamson: each visit allows something new to be discovered.

Play the Feathers game (where Fellah the monkey tries to pull out Edgar’s feathers).
Gain access to all the extras such as posters, wallpapers and ringtones.
Read the blog from Edgar the raven, (regularly updated by Marcus Sedgwick!)

bordersOrion Children’s Books has joined forces with Borders for the launch of this new website: a bespoke Raven Mysteries page will become a part of the Borders site and will host an exclusive competition which will run until 31 December 2009.

The answer to the Borders competition question is also the secret code that opens the RED ROOM on the RAVEN MYSTERIES website for all who guess correctly, while the prize-winner will receive an invitation to the next recording of a Raven Mysteries audiobook, meeting author Marcus Sedgwick and actor Martin Jarvis, and having the opportunity to take an active role in the recording studio.

Martin’s lively reading of FLOOD AND FANG, the first book in the series, brings the goings-on of the oddballs and fruitcakes who live at Castle Otherhand to life. The recording has been used to great effect in the new website, as has the music by audiobook producer Peter Rinne.

Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga

The brilliant Barry Lyga is running a competition ahead of the release of his new book Goth Girl Rising. You have to create a video trailer for one of his books, upload it onto Youtube, Myspace Video or anywhere you can host a video and send him the link.

Full competition details are here

This is worth promoting to any Teens who frequent the Library where you work, it could even be good for a Teen Group Library Project! Be quick you only have until the end of August!

It is easy – and to prove this I have entered the competition. My trailer is below!

BBC Audiobooks: Playaways

Frequently Asked Questions about Playaways
Playaway: Grab and go audio by Mary Burkey
The Future of Audio Formats by Mary Burkey
Find out more about BBC Audiobooks services to libraries here

Contact the BBC Audiobooks Customer Service team with any questions here:

Teen Librarian Monthly: February

The February edition of Teen Librarian Monthly is available to download here: TLM: February