Internet Public Library and my scope

One web resource that I’ve found over the years of doing workshops for teacher librarians in Australia and school librarians in the UK is The Internet Public Library (IPL). There are a wide variety of features on this ever changing site. Logging on today, for example, I saw highlighted some podcasts e.g. a children’s collection  plus a more general range of podcasts  on aspects such as health, politics, literature, sports and games. Another feature is the Librarians’ Internet Index which has the strapline “Websites you can trust” and this is organised by subject but you can search for topics also. As this is a mediated source of information, it might well be a more reliable site for TLs and students to use than most search engines, although this is not guaranteed. Another excellent source on the IPL is the Newspapers section where you can locate national and local newspapers from around the world. So if you want to know the local news in my part of the world, you can locate, via Europe, UK, Scotland and Haddington, the East Lothian Courier. Another great use for this source is newspapers in other languages than your own – “foreign” always seems a pejorative word to me. So your modern languages teachers may well be interested in Spanish, Italian, French etc newspapers as a source for their students and for themselves. Check it out.

I have bought myself a scope which is like a telescope but curves up at the viewing end. This scope has 25 magnification and, looking out of my window, I can not only read the names of various ships going by but can watch the wide variety of birds we have around Dunbar e.g. curlews, oystercatchers, dunlin and redshanks as well as gulls and passing gannets. The beauty of the scope is that, because of the magnification, you can watch close up e.g. watching a curlew eating small crabs in the rockpools. OK, this is pretty nerdy stuff and if you are a fan of little crabs in rockpools and want them protected, you probably won’t want to watch. However, there is a fascination here – of seeing close up what you can’t see with binoculars or the naked eye – natural voyeurism?

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