April 18th, 2016

SAT Resources

SAT prep booksAfter seeing my son’s PSAT scores, I realize he needs to do some studying before taking the SAT in the fall. I knew the library had traditional study guides in paper form, but I was surprised and excited by the depth of digital options now available.

With your library card already (if you don’t have one it’s free for Maryland residents), fire up the laptop or tablet right now and access our online practice tests. With a choice of two different products (Learning Express Library and Testing and Education Reference Center), try both to see which fits your student’s learning style best. Once you have created a login, choose to take part of the practice test or power through from math to reading. Full text study guides are also available as part of these products if things just aren’t going well.

With months to go before the fall SAT, sign up for a free SAT/ACT Prep Course from Gale Courses. This two part, instructor led online course provides lessons, interaction and content quizzes and would be perfect to keep skills fresh over summer break. Maybe while you are there, check out out all the career introduction courses on offer, if you are still undecided about a direction after high school.

Then, once you ace the SAT, come back and explore the college and scholarship information the library offers to take your next step. With so many free options, we hope all students can find the help they need to take their first steps toward achieving college and a successful career.

Late registration for the May 7 test closes April 26. For the June 4 test, regular registration ends May 5 and late registration closes May 25. Fall test dates have not yet been announced.

Where’s your favorite place to study?


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April 11th, 2016

Why Read?

Read a book           Read an ebook!

It’s National Library Week, April 10-16! To celebrate, I challenged a friend and her family to read more. When asked why, I pulled together a quick list of the many benefits of reading for adults and children:

1. Exercise your mind by reading – your brain is a muscle and it needs exercise.

2. Discover new things; educate yourself; expose yourself to other people’s opinions and travel anywhere in this or another world.

3. Develop imagination and creativity by thinking about what you read and seeing perspectives and lives different from yours.

4. Improve spelling and verbal proficiency by reading higher level vocabulary used in different contexts.

5. Prevent Summer Learning Loss – continued reading over summer months helps prevent learning loss when students are out of school.

6. Research: interpretation of ideas can create collaboration and change.

7. Find and keep a well-paying job. Reading and writing are vital to effective communication, which is so critical in business and relationships.

8. Enjoy the arts and volunteer. A study by the National Education Association revealed people who read for pleasure are more likely to visit museums and attend concerts, they are three times more likely to volunteer and perform charity work than non-readers.

9. Read for your health. Reading for just six minutes slows down your heart rate and eases tension in your muscles according to a study by Mindlab International at the University of Sussex.

10. Socialize – “what are you reading” is a great conversation starter!

For reading recommendations and suggestions, visit the staff recommendations section or favorites lists of our website or join one of our book discussions. Not sure what to read next? fill out a Book Mate survey and we’ll give you personalized recommendations.

What’s your favorite thing to read?


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