Champs in our Midst

Our congratulation goes out to a very talented (and smart) robotics team, the Martin Mechanics, and their coach, Martin Library Youth Services Librarian Laura O’Grady!  The team recently won the Research Award at the Downington Area Robotics Official Qualifying Tournament. This year’s competitive challenge was “Learning Unleashed”.  The team researched and identified content and features for an envisioned website; one that could help students with learning disabilities complete homework. They also wanted it to serve as a portal for parents, teachers, and therapists to work together to make learning accessible to kids with ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, and vision problems.  Our special thanks goes to the York County Community Foundation for making this opportunity available for this award-winning team!

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What to Read Next

What to Read Next

If your child loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series try these books:

  1. Big Nate: In a Class By Himself by Lincoln Peirce
  2. Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous-Life by Rachel Renee Russell
  3.  The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
  4. The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
  5. NERDS : National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley
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Picture Book Must Reads

Picture Book Must Reads

It can be hard to choose books for toddler and pre-school age kids.   And with so many new authors and stories available, some parents don’t know where to start.  Our advice; try these classic picture books:

  1. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  2. George and Martha by James Marshall
  3. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  4. Curious George by H.A. Rey
  5. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  6. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
  7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  8. The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant by Jean de Burnhoff
  9. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  10. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

By Domi Miller

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No Sweat School Assignments

No Sweat School Assignments

With school right around the corner, it is only a matter of time before the assignments for book reports, history and science projects begin.  Some kids work way ahead and others wait until the last minute.  Regardless of your child’s homework style, York County Libraries have online resources that can be of help.

Lots of students start their searches online.  They query a topic and hundreds, sometimes thousands of results come back.  The problem is how to know which ones are credible sources.  That’s where the library comes in; librarians know how to find vetted, quality resources.  That’s what they studied in school after all!   Besides being available at our physical locations, our librarians make sure we offer access to quality resources on our website so that when it comes school project time, kids and parents can find reliable information 24/7. 

One of the best overall resources is POWER Library. Librarian Laura O’Grady points to AP Images as a safe way for students to browse images that appeared in the news.  Kids can access sound bites, graphics, State of the Union speeches and more; enabling them to add multimedia to their projects.  And at science project time, she suggests the SIRS Discoverer Science Fair Explorer databaseUsing the interactive graphics, students click on the pictures representing different types of science, such as chemistry in the kitchen and water science in the bathroom.  The resource includes supply lists, directions, and how-to graphics; everything your child needs to get started towards snagging that A!  

By Deb Sullivan

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Minecraft Builds Skills & Imagination

You may have heard of it before. This wildly popular game is taking the world by storm- and has been for a few years now. Minecraft is a sandbox game, meaning the player has free reign to interact with the world around them. This important feature makes every player the creator of their own game. Users can play in survival mode, meaning they need to gather resources and build structures to survive, or creative mode, where unlimited resources allow them to build and create to their heart’s desire.

York County Libraries had a traveling Minecraft program this summer. We visited each library with Minecraft challenges to test even the most advanced player. So far we’ve had participants build sky-high roller coasters, tree houses made of diamonds, and compete in a survival mode scavenger hunt. While the game may look out dated to the untrained eye, the simple block-like graphics are what makes the game so easy to manipulate. With a few simple controls you can be on your way to re-creating the Empire State Building, building a sustainable farm, or searching the ocean floor for a portal to another world.

If you’ve ever heard Minecraft players passionately discuss the game then you’d never guess that it is just as educational as it is recreational.  Minecraft challenges users to plan, follow recipes, manage their time, barter and trade with other users, and most of all stretch their imagination as far as it can go.

Martin Library will resume Minecraft Club on Saturday mornings this fall. If you have any questions about Minecraft or our Minecraft programs please contact Laura O’Grady at logrady@yorklibraires.org.

By Laura O’Grady

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