Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sue Scheff: Ask a Librarian - FREE Virtual Reference Service

Ask a Librarian provides Florida residents with live virtual reference services via local library customized web sites from 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday (EST), and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday (EST).

Getting back into the swing of homework and studies can sometimes be difficult.  Florida has created a live virtual reference services with many libraries including St. John's County, Broward and Palm Beach.

Take time before school opens to introduce your kids to Ask a Librarian.  It is a fantastic point of reference for many projects, homework and essays.
Ask a Librarian offers real people, real help, real fast!

What is  Ask a Librarian:

Ask a Librarian is a free online service that allows Floridians to chat live with a librarian for immediate assistance. A trained information professional can guide you to the answers you need in minutes rather than your wasting hours navigating hundreds of unhelpful and irrelevant web sites. More than 100 libraries statewide collaborate to provide this service to their patrons and the patrons of other participating libraries.

What is Ask a Librarian Mobile?
Ask a Librarian’s email service is optimized for your handheld device. Visit our mobile interface at, then choose your local library from the list. E-mail your question anytime, and a librarian from your library will answer you via e-mail.

How does Ask a Librarian work?
When you click on the chat button, your question enters a queue for the on-duty librarians. Librarians answer questions in the order they receive them. Typically, depending on the expected traffic, between two and six librarians staff the Ask a Librarian desk during the hours we are available for live chat. When the librarian accepts your question, you are able to chat one-on-one with that librarian while he or she helps you find what you need by guiding you through the myriad of resources available. The librarian might screen-share these resources with you. Screen-sharing allows the librarian to co-navigate resources on your PC.  Read more and watch demo.

Check to see if your library is listed.  Click here.

Be an educated and prepared parent, your teens will have a better school year!

Read more.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sue Scheff: HacKid Conference


Kids are our future, why not give them that spark that will set them on a journey that only “hacking” can inspire?

HacKid was created to educate, stimulate and develop children and adults in a variety of educational areas in order to raise awareness and understanding of technology, mathematics and engineering and the impact on society and culture.

HacKid is a 501.3c Non-Profit organization.

The idea really revolves around providing an interactive, hands-on experience for kids and their parents which includes things like:

  1. Online safety (kids and parents!)
  2. Make a podcast/vodcast
  3. How to deal with CyberBullies
  4. Physical Security
  5. Gaming competitions
  6. Interactive robot building
  7. How the Internet works
  8. Food Hacking
  9. Basic to advanced network/application security
  10. Website design/introduction to blogging
  11. Manipulating hardware and software for fun
  12. Meeting & interacting with law enforcement
  13. Building a netbook
  14. Low-impact martial arts/self-defense training

The format of our conference is really interesting -- we mix advisory board recommendations with a crowd-sourced concept based on submissions via our Wiki...

If you have additional ideas for cool things to do, let us know via @HacKidCon (Twitter) or better yet, PLEASE go to the Wiki and contribute there!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sue Scheff: The Children's Trust - Parent Help Line

During National Make a Difference to Children Month it is a time to recognize and learn more about local resources to assist families that may be struggling or need help parenting their children.

The Children’s Trust Helpline 2-1-1 was established to assist families by educating and bringing awareness to health issues and children that may be having difficulties at home.

As The Children’s Trust moves ahead launching new programs and initiatives, it’s ever more critical to raise awareness – to keep parents and caregivers informed. They are committed to changing the lives of children and families, and are utilizing new and traditional media to communicate our message to those who need to know.
From toddlers to teenagers, The Children’s Trust Helpline has answers and resources for you. Simply dial/press 2-1-1 from any phone and you will have resources to call on.

As more families face losing their homes, loss of jobs, financial difficulties, etc… South Florida is working diligently to help children that need a little extra help.  Whether it is finding appropriate daycare or experiencing a teen that is out-of-control, call 2-1-1 for help.

Learn more about The Children’s Trust Helpline by visiting

Being an educated parent leads to having safer and healthier children.

Watch video and read more.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sue Scheff: Ellen DeGeneres Broadens 10 year-old Boy's Dream to Feed Homeless Pets

As many Floridians are facing foreclosures, losing their homes and struggling to feed their own families, there is one 10 year-old boy that is helping our four legged friends through his dedication and devotion to not let them go hungry.

Zach Wilson, at 9 years-old, decided he would make that difference.  Today the now 10 year-old has received the attention of comedian Ellen DeGeneres as her and her show, Ellen, arrived at Universal Studios in Orlando recently.

The Animal Pantry, along with the community sponsors and volunteers, provides pet food, supplies and low cost services to pet owners so that they’ll be able to keep their pets without financial burden.
Halo, Purely for Pets, a producer of holistic pet-care products, is donating 5,000 meals of its Spot’s Stew to the Central Florida Animal Pantry, courtesy of Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres on behalf of WESH-Channel 2.

This donation is part of Halo’s and Ellen’s initiative to donate 1 million meals in 2010 to shelter pets and raise awareness of the need for pet adoption.

Watch video of 10 year-old Zach Wilson. He is an inspiration!  Thank you Ellen, for giving so generously! Read more.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sue Scheff: Teens and Cussing

Generations ago many remember the threat or even use of a bar of soap if you back talked or used profanity.  Today whether it is verbal or in keystrokes, teens and kids are cussing like sailors and not thinking twice about it.  Why?  Is it our culture?  Is it peer pressure?  Do they think they are cool?

Cuss Control Academy has many answers for you.  They offer Ten Tips for Taming Your Tongue.

Teens will use their potty mouths and filthy language usually among their peers, maybe to be cool, maybe because they are hearing it at home.  Many have it on their social networking pages or even texting profanity.

Again, they need to be reminded of who may be reviewing their social networking pages.  Whether it is college admissions or potential employers, they need to learn to keep it clean!
Connect with Kids recently offered good advice for parents:
  • Experts agree that if offensive language is part of a pattern of aggressive behavior, there's a problem. But in most cases, it's just the way teens salt their language in a perceived desire to sound older.
  • Perhaps swearing is part of growing up. Yet another part of growing up knowing how to speak with adults and in formal situations. As most parents come to recognize, teaching good judgment is not a one-time event; it's a process.
  • Parents who want their teens to stop cursing must clean up their own language as well. It sends a mixed message if parents use profanity or seem to enjoy movies with foul language. Make a clear rule that certain words will not be allowed in the house. Set consequences in advance.
  • Talk with your children about what cursing says about them to the outside world (college admissions officers and possible employers, for example. Ask children how they believe others will view them if they use profanity. Explain that cursing can reflect a bad attitude. It can signify a person who lacks maturity, intelligence, manners or emotional control.
Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sue Scheff: Eat, Pray, Love and Parenting

Many are anxiously waiting for the new movie starring Julia Roberts, Eat, Pray, Love based on the best-selling book by Elizabeth Gilbert.

When you think about raising your children today, you can think about all these parts of your life.  Find your appetite in life, be a good parent and be kind to yourself too!

Eating is survival. If you diligently try to have at least one meal together as a family daily, chances are very good you will be able to increase your communication with your children, especially teenagers, and build a stronger family union.

Prayer is different to all people.  No matter what your religious beliefs are, to be passionate about your family, your children and your life is to bring positive affirmations into your day.  Whether it is considered praying or simply meditating, it is time for you to take for yourself to have a better life.

Love. What a simple yet complex four-letter word.  We all love our children, and yes, even our teenagers, however it doesn’t mean we have to like what they are doing or how they are acting.  In the old movie, Love Story, many remember that love is never having to say you are sorry. Is that still true?

Parenting includes eating, praying and lots of loving!  When you are having a really bad day and believe you are hitting your wit’s end, take the time to stop, breathe and remember, you are blessed.

Watch trailer and read more.