Compiled by Helga Vissscher, head McLure Education Library


Electronic Books come from many resources.  Most people regard the e-Book as an electronic copy of the traditional book published in paper.  Other items that populate the e-Book collection include published reports by research organizations and government entities.  Some ERIC Documents in microfiche are e-books; some reside in other databases, such as Lexis-Nexis, and Gale Virtual Reference Library. The largest general e-book resource is the database  ebrary: Academic Complete    Other agencies provide their books and reports within such agencies as the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Items from databases such as Dissertations and Theses  also show up as e-Books. 

E-books are easily divided by chapters, and can be downloaded as a complete book, or selected parts. This makes them ideal for linking to RESERVES for courses.  Please let the McLure Education Library staff know if you plan to do this, so additional access can be acquired. Most e-books allow for one user at a time.

Ebooks allow you to open the item at your computer for immediate viewing. Like e-journals, e-books are produced by a variety of publishers and vendors, so the platforms vary; they can be searched and accessed alongside the print books in SCOUT, then set the Source Type to ebooks. They can also be searched on the E-Resources search page, the same location where you search for electronic journals. Databases such as Gale Virtual Reference Library, Oxford Reference Online and Springer Link also offer books in electronic format.

12-minute video on how to use ebrary

2-page Quick Guide on how to use ebrary 

Here are some titles relating to Education Research for your perusal, which come from a variety of resources:

Education: Meeting America’s Needs? Gale Virtual Reference Library (database)   

Education: Meeting America's Needs?

Education: Meeting America’s Needs?





Higher Education in the 21st Century

Higher Education in the 21st Century

Higher Education in the 21st Century, NBER   







Online Learning and Teaching inthe 21st Century

Online Learning and Teaching inthe 21st Century

Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education  e-brary





Learning in Communities

Learning in Communities

Learning in communities.  Springer 







 Reading First implementation evaluation. U.S. Dept. of Education .  online Gov. Doc. ED 1.2:R 22/14 

Reading: first implementation Evaluation

Reading: first implementation Evaluation






50th Anniversaries: Children’s Literature Classics

50th Anniversaries

Wrinkle in Time: By Madeleine L’Engle

Wolves of Willoughby Chase: By Joan Aiken

To Kill A Mockingbird: By Harper Lee

Blogpost by Benita Strnad, Curriculum Materials Librarian,  McLure Education Library


The book world celebrated the Golden Anniversaries of three very important works of Young Adult Literature in 2012.  In February the publishing firm of Farrar Straus & Giroux threw a big 50th birthday party for “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle.  This fall Doubleday celebrated the publication of “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” by Joan Aiken.  Here in Alabama the 50th anniversary of the coming out of “To Kill a Mockingbird” passed without much fanfare.  All three of these books were landmark publications and brought fame, if not fortune, to their authors, and hours of pleasure to millions of readers over the years.  Each of them was iconic in their own way.  If you are looking for books to give to children and young adults in your lives in the next few weeks consider giving one of these three books. 


PZ7 .L5385 Wr 1962 Education School Library – Newbery

“A Wrinkle in Time” was a book that couldn’t find a publisher because it was so different.  L’Engle was studying, what was then, the revolutionary field of quantum physics while she was taking a ten week camping trip across the U. S. with her family in 1959.  She states that she saw landscapes that were totally alien to her and combined with the material she was reading she began to imagine a who new world.  The genre of science fiction was only in its infancy when L’Engle completed the book and started sending it to publishers.  They weren’t sure how this genre was going to be accepted by the public and so were leery of the manuscript when it arrived on their desks for several reasons.  It featured a female protagonist in an area that in the early 60’s was considered a male profession, it dealt with sophisticated scientific concepts that weren’t yet widely known, it dealt with evil in a very real way, which was not part of children’s literature, making it difficult for publishers to decide if it was a book for children or adults.   As a result, the book was rejected by 26 publishers before Farrar Straus & Giroux accepted it.  The year it was published it was awarded the Newbery award from the American Library Association, an edgy and somewhat radical departure from more mainstream titles that had won past awards.  The novel has stood the test of time and is still widely read and has been in continuous print since its publication.  Eventually, L’Engle published four other books about the Murry family that are known as the Time Quintet.


PZ7. A2695 Wo2 Education School Library Book

“Wolves of Willoughby Chase” was first published in Great Britian in 1963 and subsequently in the U. S.  The author, Joan Aiken, was the daughter of famed American poet Conrad Aiken, and was born and raised in Great Britain.  Like “Wrinkle in Time” this was book that had a hard time finding a publisher.  It defies genre categorization and sometimes is classed as supernatural fiction, alternative fiction, and fantasy fiction.  When it was published it was one of the first works for children that featured alternative history and geography.  Ultimately the book was the first in a series of 12 books that have come to be known as the “Wolves Chronicles.”  These books vary in length from 150 pages to 250 pages and fit into that nitch of readers in grades 4 through 6 or 7, who are past introductory chapter books and yet might not want to read a novel of greater length than 250 pages.  With time the “Wolves of Willoughby Chase” sort of faded from the view of teachers, parents, librarians, and readers, but with the renewed interest in fantasy and series books for children the book is back in the limelight.


PS 3562 .E353 T6 Hoole Special Collections and Gorgas

2012 is the Fiftieth anniversary of the film version of the book.  The movie is readily available in Netflix if you want to watch the film, but it might be a good idea to revisit the novel during this anniversary year.   Alabamians are mostly aware of Harper Lee’s masterpiece of a civil rights novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” as it has certainly become one of the pillars of American literature and its place as a classic is assured.  The myth and legend of the book has only been enhanced by the reclusive nature of the author and the fact that no other book by her has ever been published leaving her with a perfect record in the bestseller category.  Lee was well connected in the New York publishing literati of the era and so unlike the previous mentioned titles, she did not have much of a problem finding a publisher for her book.  After it was published it was well received by the critics and became an immediate bestseller.  It also won the Pulitzer Prize in the same year.  Unlike the other two titles this one was not a children’s novel.  It was published, and remains, an adult novel.  However, it is now required reading in many high schools and so has found a place in young adult literature.


All three of these novels, once published, were successful titles, winning an immediate following and with the passing of time each of these titles has become an accepted classic in children’s and young adult literature.  With the cooling temperatures outside, it is a good time to read, or in some cases reread, these 50th Anniversary titles.  All of them can be found in McLure Library and in Gorgas Library.  There are also copies at the Tuscaloosa Public Library.  They can be purchased at either Books-A-Million or Barnes & Noble.  (They would make great stocking stuffers!)



The Olympic Games

The London Olympics begin July 27th.  There are many ways to look at the Olympic movement as a media, social and cultural phenomenon, as well as the largest world-wide athletic event.  Most books about an olympiad are written after it takes place.  At the McLure Education Library, we offer some reading to prepare you for watching the 2012 Olympics.

Helga Visscher, McLure Education Library



A Century of Olympic Posters

A Century of Olympic Posters

A century of Olympic posters, Margaret Timmers.

London : V&A, 2008

GV721.75 .T55 2008 Education Library  (book stacks)

Published in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and amid the increasing hype of London 2012, this book displays the evolving iconography of the modern Olympics, from the 1900 Paris Games to the present day.



 Swifter, higher, stronger: a photographic history of the Summer Olympics,  by Sue Macy ; foreword by Bob Costas. Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, c2008.

Macy, a seasoned writer of sports history for children, opens with background on the games, then turns to broader themes, such as controversies and sportsmanship. Though her approach isn’t strictly chronological, one comes away with a strong sense of how defining Olympian moments can provide a springboard to world history. Macy concludes with almanac-like features, a general note on her research methods, and titles for further reading.

GV721.5 .M25 2008  Education School Library




 Berlin Games : how the Nazis stole the Olympic dream , Guy Walters.

New York : William Morrow, c2006

GV722 1936 .W35 2006  Education Library (book stacks)

In 1936, the Nazis hosted both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games in Germany. The Nazis used the politics of the Olympic Games to glorify the new Germany. Walters depicts how the Nazis hid the discrimination of the Jews, the political oppression of its opponents, the economic misery, and the military domination to give the world a false picture of the new Germany. Walters summarizes the complete details of these Olympics with all the world politics thrown in.



 Beyond the final score : the politics of sport in Asia,  Victor D. Cha

New York : Columbia University Press, c2009

GV649 .C43 2009  Education Library (book stacks)

Beyond the Final Score takes an original look at the 2008 Beijing games within the context of the politics of sport in Asia. Asian athletics are bound up with notions of national identity and nationalism.  For China, the Beijing Games introduced a liberalizing ethos that its authoritative regime could ignore only at its peril.




 Olympic dreams: China and sports, 1895-2008, Guogi Xu

This book is available full-text in ebrary Academic Complete. On Campus or Off Campus Access, CLICK HERE.

Drawing on newly available archival sources to analyze a hundred-year perspective on sports in China, Olympic Dreams explores why the country became obsessed with Western sports at the turn of the twentieth century, and how it relates to China’s search for a national and international identity.



Olympic media : inside the biggest show on television,  Andrew C. Billings.

London; New York : Routledge, 2008.

GV742.3 .B55 2008  Education Library (book stacks)

What Billings has accomplished in his examination of NBCs telecast of the Olympics is remarkable. He offers in-depth observations and analyses of the telecast by focusing on organizational processes, production influences, and viewer perceptions of this cultural (and often political) mega-event.




Watching  the Olympics:  politics, power and representation.  Edited by John Sugden and Alan Tomlinson.

London; New York: Routledge, 2012.

GV721.5 .W33 2012      (book stacks)

With particular focus on the London Games in 2012, the book casts a critical eye over the bidding process, Olympic finance, promises of legacy and development, and the consequences of hosting the Games for the civil rights and liberties of those living in their shadow.

Books on Bullying

Books on Bullying


On April 15, 2012, the Tuscaloosa News informed its readers that the Tuscaloosa City School System has extended its efforts to prevent bullying.  In 2010 the system had already expanded its jurisdiction over students to any location off school property involving interference in a student’s educational opportunities.  Now, the system is taking further measures against bullying once again.  The director of student services for the Tuscaloosa City Schools has created a 35-40 member task force to address bullying consistently and systematically.  The anti-bullying task force will develop a system where bullying is treated the same at every school in the system with regard to disciplinary measures and how teachers and administrators should respond to such instances.

To further awareness of this topic, the McLure Education Library has created a bullying booklist focusing on how to prevent bullying in schools, including two books which focus on cyberbullying.


Banishing Bullying Behavior : Transforming the Culture of Pain, Rage, and Revenge

Authors: SuEllen Fried and Blanche Sosland

Publication Information: Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Education, c2009.

Location: Education Library

Call Number: LB3013.3 .F748 2009

Fried and Sosland bring their combined experiences together to present a blueprint to reduce the pain, rage and revenge cycle of bullying. Their strategies have been captured from hands-on interaction with educators, parents and students. Their premise comes from the apocryphal village that is being ravaged by dysentery. Do you treat each person for their intestinal disorders or do you put in a sewer system? Do you work with each individual student or do you change a culture that hosts cruelty. Can you do both? The core of the book is the Student Empowerment Session that has been crafted and refined over fifteen years. This carefully organized, powerful system of questions has effected dramatic changes in children’s insights about their behavior. The book also explores topics which include cyberbullying, children with disabilities, ‘mean girls,’ teachers who are bullies, parents who refuse to accept that their children are bullies, and academic vs. social emotional learning concerns to help readers change the culture and banish bully behavior.

-Publisher’s Description


Bullies, Targets & Witnesses: Helping Children Break the Pain Chain

Authors: SuEllen Fried and Paula Fried.

Publication Information: New York: M. Evans and Co., c2003.

Location: Education Library

Call Number: LB3013.32 .F74 2003

In this timely and thought provoking book, the authors explore the effects of bullying on children and provide suggestions to end the cycle of child-to-child violence. Filled with personal stories from children and packed with practical ideas for parents, teachers and students.

-Publisher’s Description


Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying

Authors: Sameer Hinduja, Justin W. Patchin.

Publication Information: Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press, c2009.

Location: Education Library

Call Number: LB3013.3 .H566 2009

“An important contribution to the burgeoning literature on cyberbullying and a valuable tool for concerned adults that will enhance the safety and well-being of young people as they navigate their increasingly technological worlds. Backed by years of research and enhanced by the authors’ perspectives from the worlds of criminology, juvenile justice, and computer science, this book offers educators, families, and youth service providers an array of useful information, ranging from the social and legal context to concrete strategies for responding to cyberbullying.”

Review by Scott Hirschfeld, Director of Curriculum, Anti-Defamation League


Bullying in Schools: And What to Do About It

Authors: Ken Rigby

Publication Information: Melbourne, Victoria: ACER, 1996.

Location: Education Library

Call Number: LB3013.3 .R53 1996x

Offering ways in which to tackle bullying within a school context, this study provides: strategies to identify both bullies and victims; ways to diffuse potentially troublesome situations; methods of dealing with bullies that are not punitive and damaging but can help make the abuser more aware of how the victim feels; and ways to enhance the self-esteem of the victims. The book is based on Professor Rigby’s research at the University of South Australia on the responses of over 20,000 students to bullying in their schools.

-Publisher’s Description


Bullying, Peer Harassment, and Victimization in the Schools: The Next Generation of Prevention

Authors: Maurice J. Elias, Joseph E. Zins, editors.

Publication Information: New York: Haworth Press, c2003.

Location: Education Library

Call Number: LB3013.3 .B82 2003

The problem of bullying, peer harassment, and victimization is a serious one in our schools. It greatly affects the climate for learning and productivity and the emotional health of students and staff. This book presents empirical data and theoretical and legal case reviews to show how pervasive and serious these problems are and how they threaten both academic achievement and mental health within many of our schools. Taking a longitudinal and developmental perspective, the authors begin to outline the next generation of research in this field that will shape knowledge and practice for the next few decades. For practitioners, the book is a call to action, particularly at the school-wide level, focusing on reducing the substantial social/emotional harm done to perpetrators, bystanders, and especially, victims.

-From the Editors


Bullying, Victimization, and Peer Harassment: A Handbook of Prevention and Intervention

Authors: Joseph E. Zins, Maurice J. Elias, Charles A. Maher, editors.

Publication Information: New York: Haworth Press, c2007.

Location: Education Library

Call Number: LB3013.3 .B83 2007

Teasing, shunning, and bullying can have serious detrimental effects on both victim and perpetrator. Bullying, Victimization, and Peer Harassment: A Handbook of Prevention and Intervention comprehensively gathers emerging research, theory, and effective practice on this subject into one invaluable source. This thorough review of a wide spectrum of innovative, evidence-based practices targets the complex problems of victimization, peer harassment, and bullying in our schools. Interventions range from individuals and their peers to broad, systems-level change within schools and communities. The challenge of prevention is also explored, using the latest studies as a practical foundation. Suggestions are provided detailing effective strategies to make changes in the culture within schools while offering directions for future research and practice.

-Publisher’s Description


Cyber Bullying : Protecting Kids and Adults from Online Bullies

Authors: Samuel C. McQuade III, James P. Colt, Nancy B.B. Meyer.

Publication Information: Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2009.

Location: Education Library

Call Number: HV6773 .M395 2009

Because just about anyone can be the victim of cyber bullying, and because it often goes unreported, there are precious few resources available to victims, parents, teachers, and others interested in combating this new form of bullying. This book provides, however, a thoroughly developed, well-researched analysis of cyber bullying – what it is, how it is carried out, who is affected, and what can and should be done to prevent and control its occurrence in society. The book captures the sensational, technological, and horrific aspects of cyber bullying while balancing these with discussion from perspectives about social computing, various academic disciplines, possibilities for public policy and legislation formulation, education, and crime prevention strategies. Using case examples throughout, readers will come away with a new sense of indignation for the victims and a better understanding of the growing problem and how to combat it.

-Publisher’s Description


Preventing and Treating Bullying and Victimization

Authors: Eric M. Vernberg and Bridget K. Biggs, editors.

Publication Information: New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Location: Education Library

Call Number: BF637 .B85 P74 2010

Research evidence on bully-victim problems has accumulated rapidly in recent years. From this, there is little doubt that prolonged involvement in bullying, as a perpetrator, victim, or, not uncommonly, as both a perpetrator and target of bullying, conveys risk for many aspects of development. As in many emerging areas of psychological science, diverse research efforts evolved more or less independently, producing a very large and rich body of knowledge, but making it difficult to gain a comprehensive, integrated view of the overall evidence base. Preventing and Treating Bullying and Victimization looks across the sometimes disparate perspectives from school, clinical, and developmental researchers and professionals with an eye towards describing and integrating current knowledge into a guide for evidence-based practices and further research. The authors offer new directions for understanding this complex problem and for enhancing intervention approaches.

-Publisher’s Description

Recent Additions to the McLure Library Collection, March 2012

 These titles are some recent additions to the McLure Library.  Rebecca Tischler, SLIS Graduate Assistant has written these reviews.  These books will be on the New Book shelf in the Current Periodicals Room, and then will go to the regular book stacks at the end of March.

Through the Schoolhouse Door

Through the Schoolhouse Door, Paddy Bowman and Lynne Hamer, editors. Utah State University Press, 2011. Education Library: LB1583.8 .T47 2011

Classrooms can be some of the most diverse places in the United Sates with so many cultures and ethnicities that are thrown together.  For years, folklorists and educators have been trying to sustain learning beyond the school classrooms as well as better connect the students to their communities by expanding the curriculum through engagement with local knowledge and informal cultural arts.  This volume offers a collection of experiences from school programs and the analysis of an expert group of folklorists and educators sharing ideas and experiences on how to make this happen.  A must read for any future teacher or educator.



Enhancing Learning Through college Employment

Enhancing Student Learning through College Employment, Brett Perozzi, editor. Association of College Unions International, 2009. Education Library: LB3611 .E54 2009

College degrees are more important than ever, but unfortunately, they are also more expensive than ever.  More and more students have found that they need to have a job in order to go to college.  Most critics believe that this detracts from the college learning process, but this book provides examples of how working during college can enrich the undergraduate experience.  A student’s job can become part of the learning experience if handled right.  For teachers, it also offers helpful tips on the assessment of student learning in both the design of the student employment experience and in the evaluation of its end results.



Cyberbullying Prevention and Rsponse

Cyberbullying Prevention and Response: Expert Perspectives, Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja. Routledge, 2012. Education Library: LB3013.3 .C94 2012

For those who find, or will find themselves dealing with children, this book is an important resource.  As the incidence and severity of cyberbullying has risen in the past few years, the experts gathered to try and figure out how to diffuse these types of situations.  This book is a collection of essays from experts around the country offering an explanation of the concept of cyberbullying as well as what can be meaningfully done about it.  This exploration of the critical issues surrounding cyberbullying is written in an accessible manner even though it is informed by research.




Professors Behaving Badly

Professors Behaving Badly: Faculty Misconduct in Graduate Education, John M. Braxton, Eve Proper, and Alan E. Bayer. The John Hopkins University Press, 2011. Education Library: LB1778 .B74 2011

For those who have had experience with a difficult faculty member (everyone), they’ll find this book imminently relatable.  This book discusses examples of faculty misconduct (Ch.1, which contains the anecdotal examples the authors gathered), and how to avoid them. Using data collected through faculty surveys, the authors describe behaviors associated with graduate teaching which are considered inappropriate and in violation of good teaching practices, as well as behavior norms that should be followed.

Misery Memoirs and Teachers, by Benita Strnad, Curriculum Materials Librarian


Memoirs have become a hot genre in the last few years.  A recent article I read claimed that memoirs comprised the largest title list in the non-fiction area of publishing, and it is growing.  The reason:  people are reading them.

Celebrity memoirs have always been popular.  Recent memoirs written by Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews were well written and reached Best Seller status.  Even “tell all” memoirs like My Booky Wook:  A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up by Russell Brand and My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands by comedian and celebrity host Chelsea Handler are extremely popular.  (Both of those books were best sellers and helped to make their authors famous.)  In this type of memoir the author seems to be out to attract buyers with the use of the outrageously suggestive title.

Memoirs are not autobiographies.  Memoirs are how the author remembers his or her life.  They don’t have to be fact checked or footnoted with supporting documents.  In a memoir the facts don’t matter except in how they fit into the memories that the author is recording.   Since memoirs aren’t fact checked they tend to be vague and disputable.  It is for this reason that I don’t usually read memoirs.

There is a sub class of memoirs that those in the book world call “misery memoirs”.  They never interested me because they seem to have been written by author’s who are having a contest to see who can write about the most miserable horrible life ever lived.  If the details of the life aren’t horrendous enough some authors have even gone so far as to make up details and get away with their lying because it is a memoir and not an autobiography.  (Remember the James Frey/Oprah Winfrey controversy?)  When a book starts out with “When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.” The reader knows what is coming is pure misery, and probably asks why they should spend time reading such a book?  It is with that irascible series of sentences that Frank McCourt begins the first of his three memoirs, Angela’s Ashes.

Two things happened that caused me to take a second look at McCourt and his books.  I had long had in my possession a recorded version of “Angela’s Ashes” on cassette tape.  (That should be some indication of how long I had that book in my possession and put off listening to it.)  Then I read a short article about late blooming literary figures and learned that the oldest person to receive a Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography was Frank McCourt.  He was 66 when Angela’s Ashes was published.  This piqued my interest and I began to wonder about the book and the author even though the first book was more than 15 years old when I read that article.  I remembered that the book had a big impact when it was published.  People talked about it and the author had been a guest on CSPANN2 programs more than once.  Finally, this summer, on one of my trips back to Kansas, an event for which I am inside a car for nineteen hours, I hauled that copy off my copious book shelves and listened to it.  To my surprise, I liked it.  I do admit that the author had a tendency to be melodramatic and crying about “poor, poor pitiful me and my family” far too much, which lead more than one critic to blame him for starting the epidemic of “misery memoirs.”  Given my prejudices were so inclined in the other direction, I soon found myself engulfed in McCourt’s world.  On that trip home I found myself anxious to get back in the car just so I could listen to more of the book.

The second event was a discussion I had with a graduate student who had returned to UA to learn to be a teacher and was enrolled in the “fifth year program” in the College of Education.  This group of students is required to participate in a book discussion group that meets once a month.  They read books about education and educational issues as well as biographies and memoirs.  He stated that he really enjoyed this discussion group and when I inquired about what had been his favorite book, he replied that he liked the teacher memoirs the best.  Maybe it was time for me to read one for myself?

The book works on several levels.  It is written in the voice of a child.  At first it consists of short choppy segments and as the author matures the length and quality of the writing improves.  Then there was the voice.  The recorded version was read by the author and I am sure that part of the charm of the book was found in that Irish brogue whose thickness was mitigated by fifty years of living in the U. S.   It leant a degree of freshness and authenticity to the book.  I was not the only person to like “Angela’s Ashes.”  It was so well received that it was a best seller and stayed on the New York Times list for almost two years, and in 1997 it won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Eventually McCourt wrote a series of three memoirs that chronicled his life.  I ended up reading, or listening to, all three of them.  They are tied together but each could be read alone.  The first was “Angela’s Ashes” published in 1996 and details his childhood in New York City where he was born in 1930 to Irish immigrant parents.  In 1936 the family moved back to Limerick, Ireland where he lived until 1949.  The second book is titled “’Tis: A Memoir” published in 2000, and tells about his life after his return and re-immigration to the land of his birth, the U. S. A.  In this book the reader learns about how McCourt came to be a teacher using the G.I. Bill and his wits.  Basically he talked his way into New York University where he earned his English degree and met the qualifications for a teaching certificate in New York State.  The third book is titled “Teacher Man” published in 2005 and recounts his career as a teacher.

In many ways I found “Teacher Man,” to be the most interesting of the three books.  It is not a memoir, but it is not pedagogy either.  It is about teaching – learning to teach, teaching, and what teaching meant to the author.  Teaching was who he was, and without it he was lessened.  For the author teaching was a noble profession and he stated so many times.  All he ever wanted to be was a teacher.  And a teacher he was.

McCourt taught in the New York City school system for 28 years and was named New York State Teacher of the Year and received the United Federation of Teachers John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education. All-in-all, it is quite a career for a man who never graduated from high school.  McCourt died in 2007 at the age of 78.

All three of the memoirs by Frank McCourt are in the UA libraries.  “Angela’s Ashes” and “Teacher Man” are at McLure Library and “’Tis” is at Gorgas Library.  All three of the books are also at Tuscaloosa Public Library and that library has “Angela’s Ashes” and “’Tis” in the recorded versions.  Both are read by the author and there is no doubt that his voice is an asset in the recorded versions.

Frank was not the only McCourt to write his memoirs.  All of his surviving brothers have written something and three out of the four of them have written a memoir.  That is lots of material coming from one family.  It is also interesting to note that for most of his life Frank was not the famous McCourt.  That was his brother Malachy.  Malachy was and still is a New York City celebrity, sometimes actor, and well known personality.  Malachy has also written two memoirs.  “A Monk Swimming” in 1998 and “Singing My Hymn Song” in 2000.  Both of these books are at Gorgas Library.

If you would like to check these books out just come to McLure library and get them or call 348-6055 let us put them on the hold shelf for you.  They should provide hours of pleasant reading and perhaps help those of us who are teachers to remember why we teach and how hard it was to get to be a good teacher.  It is interesting to note that McCourt never thought of himself as an outstanding teacher.  He said more than once that it took him five years in the classroom to learn the rudiments of teaching and that it took him the rest of his 30 year career to learn to teach.  Even at the end of his teaching career he was still learning and writing his memoirs was part of that learning.

Even though these books are founding blocks in the “misery memoirs” genre and the first one is now more than fifteen years old, they might be just the thing for the teacher who is wondering if teaching is worth it.  For a series of “misery memoirs” I found these books surprisingly uplifting.  Perhaps you will as well.

Frank McCourt, 2007

Selected Reference Books Moved to Book Stacks

We are moving things around in the Education Library in order to update the study areas. The Reference Collection on the main floor will be compressed to  fit on the shelves in the north wall, behind the computer stations, and the microfiche reader printer will be on the main floor. The Reference Collection will focus on materials published after 2000.  The older Reference items will be sent to the book stacks, and anyone will be able to check them out for personal interest, or a research project.  Here are a few of the titles we have to offer:


Fundamentals of Educational Research, 2nd edition.  Thomas K. Crowl. McGraw Hill, 1996.  Education Library:  LB1028 .C77 1996x

According to the publisher’s review “Excellent writing and excerpts from current research articles enhance this book’s comprehensive look at the fundamental concepts of educational research and facilitate student understanding.”   Some details are out of date, such as how to do an ERIC search on CD Rom.  The basics on considerations in designing research still apply, but the chapter “The cutting edge, using technology in
educational research”  does not.






Handbook of Literacy and Technology:
Transformations in a Post-Typographic World
.  Edited by David Reinking, et.al.  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998. Education Library: LB1050.37. H36 1998.


The introduction states, “A printed book about electronic reading and writing is not a contradiction, but a testimony to the fact that we are in the midst of a transformation that is not yet fully consummated.” The authors in 1998 could not have known how far we have come with the World Wide Web, online articles and e-books.   It looks like they hit the mark.  The book is also available as an e-book.





Handbook of Research on School Supervision. edited by Gerald R. Firth, Edward F. Pajak. Macmillan, Library Reference, c1998.   Education Library: LB 2806.4 H 36 1998.


This book traces its lineage to the Handbook of Research on Teaching, edited by Nathaniel Gage in 1963. Its purpose is to assemble the major scholarship and research of the field in a single volume; identifying the boundaries, concepts, and methods of inquiry in the field of research on school supervision.  As in most research reviews, each chapter offers an historical overview.  These are still useful;  one has to keep the publication date in mind.





International Encyclopedia of Teaching and Teacher Education, 2nd edition Edited by Lorin W. Anderson, Pergamon, 1995.  Education Library:  LB 1025.3 I58 1995.

This volume is intended for those who wish to obtain an overview of a specific area of education in a relatively short period of time. Members of this audience include graduate students, university professors working outside of their area of expertise,  or elementary and secondary teachers searching for a body of knowledge to inform, guide and/or justify their teaching practices.   Computerized databases are more extensive and more readily accessed, but the encyclopedia’s
review articles are more selective, and their research summaries are set in aframework decided by distinguished contributors, all experts in their field.  This is their strength, and also the source for their potential weakness.  Examples of entries include:  Teachers as Researchers,by S. Hollingsworth  Class Size, by J.D. Finn.

Cover photo from Amazon.com Click to look inside.

Dystopian YA Series & Novels

This blog written by:

Benita Strnad

McLure Education Library

The University of Alabama Libraries

For Summer Reading, and a change of pace, Benita Strnad has compiled a list of popular Young Adult Fiction.  Many of these novels have been made into movies, and offer insight on the interests of YA readers.

One of the hot trends in Young Adult publishing is the dystopian youth novel.  Dystopia is the opposite of utopian and is defined as the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control systems, various forms of active and passive coercion.  Often they are set in post-apocalyptic worlds.  Ideas and works about dystopian societies often explore the concept of humans abusing technology and humans individually and collectively coping, or not being able to properly cope with technology that has progressed far more rapidly than humanity has been able to evolve. Dystopian societies are often imagined as police states, with those in authority having unlimited power over the citizens.

The dystopian novel has become almost a genre unto itself in the last couple of years due to its incredible popularity in both the adult and young adult trade books market.  It has proven so popular that many of the books are being made into movies, which only serves to feed the frenzy of publications available in the genre.  An example of this type of dystopian novel is “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by Phillip K. Dick.  This is the novel on which the movie “Blade Runner” was based and that film might be the most famous in the dystopian movie genre.

What is true for adult books is also true in the Young Adult book market where all things fantasy are incredibly popular at the moment.  However, dystopian novels for young adults are nothing new, and perhaps the most famous of them is “The Giver” by Lois Lowry.  First published in 1993 it went on to win the Newbury medal given by the American Library Association’s division of Association of Library Services to Children. Even with the success of that novel it took some time for the genre to catch on but once it did it has taken off.  Commonly dystopian novels feature dark, mysterious, and disturbing worlds that, like adult novels in the same genre, are post-apocalyptic and where adults are non-existent or are in positions of absolute authority.  These settings serve to present situations and questions to readers for which they have to think about solutions.  The greatest of these questions being “is that the kind of world in which I want to live?  If not how do I change it?”

The current spate of interest in the dystopian young adult novel has been propelled along by the popularity of the “Hunger Games” trilogy written by Suzanne Collins.  This series features sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where North America once was.  There is a powerful centralized government that has divided the nation into districts.  Once a year the Hunger Games are held for the entertainment of the populace.  The Games are a televised event in which one boy and one girl are selected by lottery from each district and have to fight to the death.  The author says that the idea for The Hunger Games came from channel surfing on television. On one channel she observed people competing on a reality show and on another she saw footage of the Iraq War. The two blended together and the idea of children fighting each other to the death was formed.  A movie version of the first book in the series is currently being filmed and scheduled for release in the spring of 2012.

If you are looking for some light summer reading that is trendy, hip, and happening, and will help you keep one foot firmly in the youth world, or you want to read something that is not demanding in terms of concentration or time invested, the following list of series and titles might be of interest.  I have included the series name and the location of the titles.  Most of the books are at McLure but we may have an incomplete run of the titles, so I have also included the Tuscaloosa Public Library (TPL) in the listing for your convenience.  If neither library has a copy I would encourage you to Inter-Library Loan the books through your on-line ILL account.  ILL is a free service to faculty and staff and there is generally a fast turn-around time on the ordered materials.  ILL books will need to be picked up at the Gorgas Library Circulation desk on the second floor of Gorgas library, but they can be returned here at McLure.

I have also included alternative versions of the work in the listing.  If it is available in an e-reader version (our library system has Kindle’s available for checking out*) or an audio version.  The UA Libraries does not, as a general rule, have audio versions of works available, but the Tuscaloosa Public Library has a good sized collection.  Audio versions of books are available for check out in many formats.  MP3, iPhone, iPad, or CD are the most common.  Books in these formats can be conveniently listened to in planes, trains, and automobiles.  Listening to recorded books while traveling can make the trip much more pleasant.  Check with TPL about how to make use of these alternative formats.

*The UA libraries system has Kindle’s at Gorgas, Bruno, and Rodgers.  These can be checked out by students, faculty, and staff for two weeks with a one-time renewal.  Be aware that not all Kindle’s have all of the Kindle books loaded.  Title lists are unique to each reader.  Please check the location in the catalog to find out what library has the book loaded onto a Kindle before you go to the library expecting to find it.

If you have any questions about any of these titles don’t hesitate to call us at 348-1508 or e-mail bstrnad@ua.edu .  You can also use the ask-a-librarian button on the libraries web site.

Series first then individual books

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

1.  Hunger Games – McLure (Print & Kindle at Rodgers) Tuscaloosa Public Library (print and audio)






2.  Catching Fire – McLure (Print & Kindle at Rodgers & Gorgas)  Tuscaloosa Public Library (print and audio)






3.  Mockingjay – McLure (Print & Kindle at Rodgers & Gorgas) Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)






Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner (this is a hot series right now)

1.  Maze Runner – first in trilogy – Tusaloosa Public Library in both print and audio.






2.  Scorch Trials – second in trilogy – Tuscaloosa Public Library in both print and audio.

Cover photo from Amazon.com . Click to look inside.


Seven Kingdoms Trilogy by Kristin Cashore (There has been talk about this series on Librarything this last month)

1. Graceling – first in the trilogy – McLure (print) and Tuscaloosa Public Library in both print and audio





Cover Photo from Amazon.com. Click to look inside.

2.  Fire – second in the series – McLure and Tuscaloosa Public Library in both print and audio





Cover photo from Amazon.com.  Click to look inside.

The Giver Trilogy by Lois Lowry

1.  The Giver – McLure (print) Tuscaloosa Public Library (print and audio)






2.  Gathering Blue – McLure (print) Tuscaloosa Public Library (print and audio)






3.  Messenger – McLure (print) and Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)






Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan (Zombie & dystopian story)

1.  Forest of Hands and Teeth – McLure (print) Tuscaloosa Public Library in both print and audio






2.  Dead-Tossed Waves – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)






3.  Dark and Hallow Places – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)





Cover photo from Amazon.com.  Click to look inside.

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld (dystopian)

1.  Uglies – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)




2.  Pretties – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)




3.  Specials – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)




4.  Extras – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)




Book of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau (dystopian)

1.  City of Ember – McLure (print) TPL (print and DVD of the movie version)





2.  People of Sparks – McLure (print) TPL (print)





3.  Prophet of Yonwood – McLure (print) TPL (print and audio)





4.  Diamond of Darkhold – McLure (print) TPL (print and audio)





Tripods series by John Christopher (dystopian)  This is an old series, published back in the 1960’s, but still good.

1.  When the Tripods Came – McLure (print) TPL (print)





2.  White Mountains – McLure (print) TPL (print)





3.  City of Gold and Lead – ILL this one.  Neither of us have it.





Cover photo from Amazon.com.  Click to look inside.

4.  Pool of Fire – ILL this one.  Neither of us have it.





Cover photo from Amazon.com. Click to look inside.


His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (dystopian & steampunk)

1.  Golden Compass – McLure (print) TPL (print and audio) the audio recording of this series is very good.  I listened to them all.






2.  Subtle Knife – McLure (print) TPL (print and audio).






3.  Amber Spyglass – McLure (print) TPL (print and audio).






4.  Once Upon a Time in the North – McLure (print) TPL (print and audio)







Incarceron series by Catherine Fisher

1.  Incarceron – McLure (Print) Tuscaloosa Public Library (print only)






2.  Sapphique – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print and audio)






Boneshaker series by Cherie Priest (technically these are steampunk but also dystopian)

1.  Boneshaker – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)






2.  Clementine – ILL this one.  Neither of us have it.






3.  Dreadnought – Tuscaloosa Public Library






4.  Ganymede – ILL this one.  Neither of us have it.






Individual books

Delirium by Lauren Oliver – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print only)






Ship Breaker (won Printz award) by Paolo Bacigalupi – McLure (print) and Tuscaloosa Public Library (print) – this author also has an adult novel titled “Wind-Up Girl” that has received lots of buzz in the book world.  It has the same dystopian themes.  Rumor has it that there is a sequel to Ship Breaker in the works.





 Cover photo from Amazon.com.  Click to look inside.


House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer- McLure (print) Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)






The Eye, the Ear, the Arm  by Nancy Farmer – McLure (print) one of the few dystopian dystopian novels to feature minorities and set in post-apocalyptic Africa.

Feed by M. T. Anderson – McLure (print) Tuscaloosa Public Library (print and audio)  the audio version of this book is delightfully entertaining.

China Mieville books – these are adult books.  They aren’t fantasy, sic fi, dystopian, or steam punk, but are a mixture of all three genres.

Perdido Street Station – ILL this one as neither of us have it.






City and the City – Tuscaloosa Public Library (print)

Embassytown – just published.  TPL should get it soon as this guy is hot right now.





Cover photo from Amazon.com. Click to look inside.

African American Women Teachers

Teacher Biographies – African American



Memories of a Georgia Teacher

Memories of a Georgia Teacher

Martha Mizell Puckett

Athens : University of Georgia Press, c2002

Education Library   LA 2317 .P83 2002

Memories of a Georgia Teacher chronicles the personal and professional life of a principled, resourceful, and deeply religious woman whose career began at a time when state support for primary education was all but nonexistent. Martha Mizell started teaching in 1913 in a one-room, one-teacher school near the Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia. At the time she was barely fifteen, and her formal schooling amounted to seven years.

Martha Mizell Puckett’s career paralleled the transformation of small, informal community school systems into consolidated, government supported, bureaucratic structures. Through Puckett’s eyes our own are opened–to hard times, certainly, but also to a time of notable closeness and involvement between schools and their communities.

Hands of a Teacher

Hands of a Teacher: The Alfreda Drummond Story.  Alfreda Drummond.

Yorktown, VA : Publishing Connections, 1997

Education Library:  LA2317.D622 A3 1997

Hands of A Teacher: The Alfreda Drummond Story captures the triumphant spirit of a young girl determined to make her childhood dream of becoming a teacher a reality. Beginning with her early years as sharecropper’s daughter, this heartwarming story traces Alfreda Drummond’s 30+ year struggle through text and more than 60 black and white photographs.

Hints on Teaching

Reminiscences on School Life and Hints on Teaching

Reminiscences of school life and hints on teaching / Fanny Jackson Coppin ; introduction by Shelley P. Haley.

New York:  G.K. Hall & Co. An imprint of Simon & Schuster Mcmillan, 1995.

LD7501.P495 C67 1995

This reprint of the 1913 edition, offers a brief summary of her life, and philosophy of teaching.  She was born a slave, in 1837. She worked and furthered her education at the Rhode Island Normal School and graduated from Oberlin College. She went on to become a teacher and principal at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1866 to 1901.

Marva Collins Way

Marva Collin’s Way

Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin

Los Angeles : J.P. Tarcher ; Boston : Distributed by Houghton Mifflin, c1982

Education Library  LA2317.C2 A35 1982

This book vividly reflects on Mrs. Collins’ love of teaching, her family, and of her students. It describes her stamina and determination in getting kids to believe in themselves and to learn. This is not a how to book, but an inspiring insight of one person and how she did not give up when the odds were against her. Her philosophy is unabashedly Christian; her daily lessons with students show that she uses a multicultural approach which treats the Bible as one Great Book among many. In her classrooms Marva Collins organizes her lessons and her moral principals around a core of Emersonian self-reliance, specifically Getting Out of the Ghetto. While some find her writing style repetitive, she certainly has the knack to inspire.

A Class of Their Own

A class of their own : Black teachers in the segregated South / Adam Fairclough

LC2802.S9 F35 2007

Civil rights historian Adam Fairclough chronicles the odyssey of black teachers in the South from emancipation in 1865 to integration one hundred years later. No book until now has provided us with the full story of what African American teachers tried, achieved, and failed to do in educating the Southern black population over this critical century. Teachers were part of, but also apart from, the larger black population. Often ignored, and occasionally lambasted, by both whites and blacks, teachers were tireless foot soldiers in the long civil rights struggle.

The Dreamkeepers

The dreamkeepers: successful teachers of African American children /

Gloria Ladson-Billings.

San Francisco : Jossey-Bass Publishers, c1997

Education Library: LC2717 .L33 2009

The author concentrates on teachers who have been successful at helping African-American children to reach high levels of proficiency by working with the individual strengths of each student and maintaining a rigorous environment in the classroom. Appendices list the specific methodologies these successful educators employ, the historical context of culturally relevant teaching and a list of discussion questions for students and practitioners.