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NYS Summer Reading – YA Books Widget

One of the many fun projects that I have the privilege of working on is the New York State Summer Reading program website. We’ve been working on some redesigning, which is always a work in progress, and also lots of updates for this summer (not done yet)

I was checking stats today to see what pages were getting hits and was pleased to see the Teen Booklists (boring name I know) was the top hit getter. teenreads

Since I’m in no way an expert on YA titles, I wanted an easy way to add titles that appear on the many booklists available from different sources.  But also wanted something that had some graphic appeal. Since it’s a statewide site, I couldn’t pull a list of covers from a library catalog and link directly back to the titles.

Enter LibraryThing. I added titles from lots of different lists and used their widget building tool to create a widget that randomly displays 15 titles at a time.   There’s also a YouTube playlist of book trailers (again, that needs updating)

It’s easy enough to build your own widget, but if you want to use ours, here’s the code you can use to embed it on your own website.

<div id="w3ea6ee67fbfdc058028747e08628acc8"></div><script 
type="text/javascript" charset="UTF-8" 
href="">My Library</a> 
at <a href="">LibraryThing</a></noscript>

If you have suggestions for the booklist or the booktrailers widgets, let me know.   Maybe I’ll spend my summer vacation reading YA lit? What do you suggest?

(post was originally published on June 3 2014, republished for 2015 summer reading program)

Terrific “The Fault in our Stars” Readalikes Thinglink

Terese Brennan put together a terrific “The Fault in Our Stars” readalikes resource making clever use of  two free tools – SoundCloud and Thinglink.

Terese used SoundCloud to record short book teasers for readalike books that were in the school library collection. Then linked the audio files to book cover images in a Thinglink thing.  (What are thinglink things really called??)

From there she embedded it on the Cambridge (NY) school library’s LibGuides page.   And it was easy-peasy for me to copy the embed code to include it below. Nice work Terese!



Sight Words Fun and Games

Sight Words Bingo Board

Lots of fun printable games from the Sight Words website. Customizable Bingo boards, matching games, dominoes and more. Use the provided vocabularly lists for Pre-K through 3rd grade. Or use your own words to customize. is a comprehensive sequence of teaching activities, techniques, and materials for one of the building blocks of early child literacy. This collection of resources is designed to help teachers, parents, and caregivers teach a child how to read. We combine the latest literacy research with decades of teaching experience to bring you the best methods of instruction to make teaching easier, more effective, and more fun.”

(via: 6 New Educational Web Tools for Teachers)


Books selected by your neighbors

What a fun idea from Half Hollow Hills Community Library.

“We invite our patrons to display their favorite books, authors, music, or movies to share with their neighbors.”

More info: Read Like Larry

What your neighbor Larry selected
Originally uploaded by HHHCL

Free audiobook short stories, kids songs and Kahuna Reef video game!

kahunareefThanks to Rachel Singer Gordon’s Mashup Mom, I scored some fun freebies today. And you can too!

From  Freebies on Friday, 4/24/09

  • Free Big Kahuna Reef game download from
  • Get the Walking Oliver Sampler — 5 free kids songs — from

From Thematic Thursday, 4/23/09 — Boooooooks

  • Get 9 free short story audiobook MP3s from Barnes & Noble.

And while you’re there, check out the tons of other great bargains and coupons.  Thanks Rachel!

Awesome Teen Read Week Video

Teen Read week was last month, but you could make this kind of great book teasers video anytime. From readergirlz. Created with Microsoft Movie Maker. What fun.