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Library Media Skills Syllabus

Library Media Skills
Melissa Prater-Library Media Specialist/Related Arts Teacher
melissa.prater@boyd.kyschools.us        606-928-9547, ext.114
Course Description
 In the library skills unit, students will learn about the Dewey Decimal system of organization, and how to use library reference materials such as almanacs, atlases, encyclopedias, and dictionaries.   The purpose of this unit is to equip students with the library skills and knowledge necessary to be able to effectively use these skills to conduct research.

Student Material
*Each student needs a folder to leave in class; this folder will collect daily assignments

Student Expectations
Students are expected to complete work on time and with their absolute best effort. Students should treat themselves, their classmates, and their teacher with great respect so that all students feel comfortable to sharing their answers and opinions. Students will also be expected to fully follow the Boyd County Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) regarding use of technology and network resources. Failure to follow these rules and guidelines may result in disciplinary action including but not limited to immediate degradation of privileges and possible grade-reduction.

Parent Expectations
*Call the Counselor’s office to schedule a conference, as needed
*Require high performance from your child
*Emphasize to your child the importance of carefully following Boyd County’s AUP
Outline of Library Media Skills Class
Introduction to the Library
A library is filled with books and materials on almost every subject you can imagine.  Without a system of organization, one would have to look through piles of books to locate information on a given topic.  No one would be able to easily locate books.  In order to more easily locate materials in a library, a method of arranging books in the library was created.  Although libraries may differ in appearance and content, most libraries use similar arrangements for the books and materials.   

Using an Atlas
Although basically a book of maps, an atlas is a book that provides much more information such as population, climate, resources, rainfall, cities, and some historical information.  
One of the main reasons for using an atlas is to locate specific places on a map. Every map has an alphabetical index of the cities, counties, states, and countries shown on the maps.  Some atlases also list physical features such as mountains, lakes and rivers. 
There are two major types of maps in an atlas--physical maps and political maps.  Physical maps show the physical characteristics of the earth's surface such as mountains, rivers, deserts, and lakes.  Political maps show the man-made boundaries between countries, states, and continents.  The political divisions are shown using different colors on the maps.  Many atlases also include specialized maps that show the climate, population, agriculture, industry, and resources of specific states or countries. 

Using the Almanac
 An almanac includes brief factual information about a broad range of subjects.  They contain interesting facts about almost anything:  population statistics, entertainment, sports, geographical data, political and historical data.  Almanacs also include a summary of the year's notable events.  If you have questions about specific dates, facts, times, amounts, etc, the best source to find information quickly is an almanac.  They are like a lot of resources combined into one book. 
Look at the first page and notice the types of topics covered.  Also notice that there is a very specific index at the front of the book and a "Quick Reference Index" (very general) at the very back.   It is very important to use the index in an almanac. 
 You can find the name of who won the best actor Oscar in 1982, the name of the largest city in the world, the names of presidential cabinet members, or who won the World Series in 1995?  . 
 **Be careful!!!  Almanacs are published yearly with the most up-to-date information.  A 2002 almanac would contain statistics from 2001.    If you are looking for the current Secretary of State, be sure to use the most recent edition of the almanac.  For historical type information (Who was Secretary of State during the Carter administration?), older books are acceptable sources. 

Using the Dictionary
 Dictionaries contain a wealth of information.  You can find out almost anything you might want to know about a word in a dictionary.  Dictionaries may be either abridged or unabridged.  An unabridged dictionary is one which has the most complete listing of words of any dictionary.  An abridged one does not have a complete listing of words.  
Guide Words 
Words are arranged or listed in alphabetical order in a dictionary.  Some dictionaries have a thumb index to help you find the word more quickly.  Guide words at the tops of the pages also help you find quickly the words you're looking for.  By looking at these two words, you can decide whether the word would come between these words and would be on that page. 
Common Uses of the Dictionary 
The most common uses of the dictionary are for the following: 
  1. Pronunciation of words (Diacritical markings are those which show how a word is pronounced.
  2. Meaning of words
  3. Spelling
  4. Syllabication (dividing words into syllables)
  5. Synonyms and antonyms (words that mean the same and words that mean the opposite)
  6. Derivation of words (where words originated)
  7. Inflection (plurals of nouns and part of verbs)
  8. Parts of Speech
Using the Encyclopedia
When we want to know more about a subject than our dictionary tells us or find something that isn't in the dictionary, we use our encyclopedias.  Encyclopedias contain general information and are arranged in alphabetical order.  They are divided into many volumes.  Each volume is marked with letters and a number.   
When we want to find information about a person like Abraham Lincoln, we look up the last name, Lincoln.  If the person is royalty, like King Henry VIII, we would look under Henry.  Look up the first word of proper nouns like Niagara Falls.   
Cross references use the words See also. If you wanted to find out about ponies, your encyclopedia might tell you to look under horses instead:  "See also horses."  This is called a cross-reference.   
Using an encyclopedia's index can help you find information quickly.  The index is usually the first or last book in a set of encyclopedias.  Like other indexes, information in an encyclopedia's index is arranged alphabetically.  An encyclopedia's index will tell you in what volume and on what pages to find the information on the main topic.  It also lists related articles.  Related articles can give you more information about the main topic.  By using the index, you can quickly see every volume and page number in the entire set of encyclopedias that contains information about your topic.   

Using the On Line Catalog
The on-line card catalog (Follett Destiny) provides an alphabetical index to all the books in the library.   Fiction and nonfiction books may be listed at least three times in the catalog:  (1) by the title of the book, (2) by the subject of the book, and (3) by the author of the book.   Each listing has similar information.  Each listing includes information such as the author's name, the title of the book, the place of publication, the publisher, the copyright date, the number of pages, and the types of illustrations, among other things. 
Parts of a Book
The main part of a book is the text, and this includes the information or the story written by the author.  But there are many other important parts of a book that can be very useful to the reader.  A book of fiction does not contain all the different parts usually found in a book of nonfiction. Here is what you may find in most books of fiction and nonfiction.    
Parts of A Non-Fiction Book
 Title Page
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Body or Text
Parts of A Fiction Book
Title Page
Table of Contents
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