• Beth Roberts

Shelf Talk 10: MCLS School Resources


It may be only mid-July, but we are already thinking about school. Teachers and administrators across the county are working hard to prepare their schools and classrooms for students. Usually, this involves making schedules, developing lesson plans, cleaning desks, polishing floors, and decorating spaces. This year, teachers must do all that and more. Some students will attend physical classes. Others will attend school virtually. Educators will have to stretch already limited resources to provide for both types of classrooms. They will have to be even more creative with the ways they engage students in learning.


Within the next month, families will have to make hard choices about where and how their students will learn, whether in a typical classroom or a virtual. Some parents will choose to become teachers themselves and dive headfirst into homeschooling. No matter the choice, students will have to adapt to a learning environment different than what they have known before. Families will need new resources to keep their kids learning.


The Mississippi County Library System (MCLS) is here to help. With our robust online databases, juvenile nonfiction selection, online catalog, and special policies for teachers, MCLS is ready to support every educational need.


Do you remember spending hours in the library, researching for a paper or project, books and notes spread thick across the table? Many of the encyclopedias and research journals that used to be too expensive to keep at home are now only available online. In partnership with the Arkansas State Library, MCLS has subscriptions to hundreds of databases covering a variety of subjects. From WorldBook Kids to Mango Languages to peer-reviewed medical journals, there is a database with reliable and up-to-date information for every educational need and level. These databases are free for any MCLS cardholder: visit the “Use Your Library” tab at mclibrary.net for more information.


The fantastic thing about modern science is that we are constantly learning new and more accurate information about how the world works. The downside is that book publishers have a hard time keeping up with the most current information. Libraries and schools with limited budgets often find themselves using outdated materials. Over the last few years, MCLS has worked hard to update our juvenile nonfiction section. We now have hundreds of new books with vibrant illustrations, representing a range of topics and reading levels. Some of our favorites include Media Enhanced and Quicklinks books. Scan the QR codes hidden throughout the books for more content, videos, interactive games, comprehension quizzes and more! The websites have to meet strict safety and content criteria to be featured. Search “AV2” or “Usborne” in our online catalog for a list of internet-ready books!


Speaking of our catalog, have you tried it out yet? Login with your library card and PIN at bit.ly/MCLSearch to browse all the books in our six-branch system, not just those in your local library. If you’d like to borrow a book from a different branch, click “Reserve” by the title’s name and our weekly courier will bring it to your branch. We’ll give you a call when it’s available for pickup. You can also build bookbags, set a watchlist, write book reviews, and create community events. Watch how-to videos under the “Use Your Library” tab at mclibrary.net to learn more.


Did you know that teachers have special privileges at MCLS? A teacher’s library card allows for a higher checkout limit, the ability to publicly publish book lists, and priority when requesting books. Teachers can also checkout classroom kits: tell us about your next teaching unit, and we’ll put together books (and Library of Things items, if available) perfect to supplement your lesson plan. If you need books to cover a subject we’re lacking, just let us know and we’ll try to build our collection to suit your teaching needs!


As we move into the 2020-2021 School Year, MCLS wants to support teachers and students at every level. If you are teaching in a typical classroom, running virtual learning, or wrangling a brand-new homeschool, let us know how we can help make this school year great. Stop by or call any MCLS branch, or email broberts@mclibrary.net with questions or ideas.

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