School Library System

Week of February 3-7, 2020

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ALA Libraries Ready to Code Opens Call for Applications

ALA Libraries Ready to Code Opens Call for Applications: Mini-Grants for Digital Skills Programs

In advance of Digital Learning Day<>, ALA is opening a call for applications for $700 mini-grants to school, tribal, public, and academic libraries to design and implement programs using Google's Applied Digital Skills<> resources. Applications are due February 14, and up to 290 eligible libraries will be selected to deliver at least 4 sessions throughout the programming they develop (e.g., drop in, multiple sessions, a spring break camp, or weekend workshop) that prepares learners of all ages to use technology tools.

Digital Learning Day, to be held February 27, 2020, is an annual event that promotes the effective use of technology tools to enhance learning experiences for youth. Since 2012, Digital Learning Day has served as a platform for showcasing innovative and impactful approaches to incorporating technology to enhance learning and opportunity for all.

How do I apply for the $700 Digital Skills mini-grant?
Visit the Libraries Ready to Code website<> for more information. Applications will be accepted until February 14. Up to 290 eligible libraries will be awarded mini-grants. Recipients will implement at least 4 sessions in multi-day or multiple sessions between Digital Learning Day and May 31. The mini-grants will be disbursed after selected libraries successfully submit a brief report on their activities to confirm they were conducted. Funds may be used for resources necessary for the participating library to enhance or expand its digital skills programming. General operating or overhead expenses and other indirect costs are not funded through this grant (e.g., utilities, equipment depreciation, etc.).

Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest

The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest has begun and will run through February 29. It is open to high school students, who write an essay, poem, or thank-you letter (500 words or less, in English) sharing how a teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire them. Entries can be submitted online or at their local Barnes & Noble store. The winning teacher is awarded $5,000, and the school also is awarded $5,000.

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· Events ·

#ColorOurCollections 2020

The New York State Library is once again participating in #ColorOurCollections by offering a coloring books (actually, a downloadable PDF file) with images from our collections that are suitable for coloring.

Download the coloring book to take a look at the collections from a different perspective – you might see some things you hadn’t realized could be found at the NYS Library! The nine images in this year’s coloring book come from:

  • illustrations from magazines from the late 1800s and early 1900s, part of our extensive collection of periodicals;
  • an illustration from an early-20th century children’s book; and
  • bookplates from a collection in Manuscripts and Special Collections that was assembled by the NYS Library in the early 20th century, when exchanging and collecting bookplates was a popular pastime.

Fair Use Fundamentals for Libraries & Researchers

Join us for a program on the principles and limitations of fair use that researchers need to consider when making use of copyrighted works.

This workshop, led by Ann Kearney, Emily Kilcer, and Karen Kiorpes, University at Albany Libraries, is designed for all authors, researchers, scholars, and academics who want to know more about using copyrighted materials, and for librarians who help guide their community members in making sound use decisions. The workshop will help attendees determine how to do things such as:

  • Include song lyrics in an academic paper discussing musical trends;
  • Quote from a novel to analyze the author’s use of metaphors in a work of literary criticism;
  • Incorporate a photograph in an article about the photographer’s use of light and shadow;
  • Use a chart in a scientific paper critiquing a researcher’s methodology and findings; or
  • Quote from unpublished letters in a memoir.

The workshop is free, but registration is requested.

For more information and registration, visit:

· Reminders ·

Library Advocacy Day

Each year library advocates from across New York State converge on Albany to voice their support for funding and policies that benefit libraries. Their efforts have resulted in over $11M in additional library aid since 2011.

When: Tuesday, February 25th

Where: NYS Capitol

Agenda & Details:


· Articles ·

A Word on Showing Movies in School...

School Fined for Showing The Lion King

Diverse Books List

A great list of worthy diverse books to consider

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· Librarian of the Week ·

Each week we will showcase a librarian from our region.

Who: Heather Jenner

What: Secondary School Librarian

Where: Rensselaer Jr/Sr High School

Hobby: One of my favorite hobbies is to organize! Marie Kondo and I would be great friends! Haha! I'm not sure when this really became a "hobby" per se, probably after I had kids, but I've always loved to organize. I'm not saying that I'm a neat freak, walk into my house on any given day and that will be proven wrong instantly, but I could easily get there if I had the time, space, and no toddlers and Great Danes running amuck. I just enjoy taking a chaotic mess and organizing it so that everything has a place and purpose. It brings me a sense of calm and peace. So, if you need anything organized just let me know!

What book would you recommend: Currently the book that has been sticking with me for quite a while now is "The Librarian of Auschwitz" by Antonio G. Iturbe. It is such a powerful historical fiction book that will shock and awe you. It will have you laughing, crying, angry and bewildered all at the same time. It is rich in factual detail about Auschwitz and WWII that you almost cannot believe that this is a fiction book. This is because Iturbe did all the research himself for this novel. "The Librarian of Auschwitz" follows the life of a true Auschwitz survivor, Dita Kraus. Who, at the age of 14, found herself trapped in the Auschwitz concentration camp. She risked her life day in and day out as the Librarian of Auschwitz for the few precious books that have been painstakingly snuck past guards and hidden in the "schoolhouse". The book not only follows her experiences as the librarian but also her life in general as she tries to survive in such a place. She, and other prisoners in this camp, face so many horrors and tragedies. The violence is extreme and the heartbreak is severe. It is not an easy book to read (due to the content) but it is definitely one that should end up on everyone's must-read list.

Share something that you are proud of that has recently happened in your library/school: One of my goals for this school year was to create a space for my students to feel relaxed and welcome. I have a large library space with sturdy tables, chairs, and shelving, but it is all very stiff and traditional. My students needed a space wherein they could relax, recoup, and read. In order to do this, I first needed to create the space. So at the beginning of this year, I weeded our entire fiction section and removed books based on M.U.S.T.I.E. The goal was to remove enough books to empty an entire bookshelf - and boy did that happen. Once the shelf was empty it was then moved to a different classroom and one of the remaining fiction shelves was turned so now our fiction section is in the shape of a "U". I then set up a couple of Donors Choose projects in order to purchase some comfortable seating and lower tables for the space. It's far from complete but my students are already loving the space. There's at least one student in the area per period. We plan on adding things like adult coloring books, 2 player games, etc. But for now, it's serving its purpose wonderfully and will only grow from what it is now.

What drew you to a career in school librarianship: I went to college after graduating high school knowing that I wanted to be an English teacher because I wanted to teach kids and I loved English! I did all the courses and loved them. That is until student teaching and then substitute teaching. While I enjoyed both of those I found myself truly disliking telling students that tried so hard on a test or essay that they failed. I hated seeing students that were never going to be able to do the work that was assigned to them, due to academic or outside reasons, struggle in class only to tell them that they failed. Now, by and large, this was just a few students in my experience but it touched me all the same. Plus, I didn't like all the grading, uck! So, after a year or so of not knowing what to do with my English 7-12 Education degree and certification, I went to my old high school librarian and basically said to her, "I loved coming to the library when I was in school and it always looked like you were doing something, but I don't think I ever knew what you really did when I was here. What do you do?" And she explained everything to me! I immediately fell in love with the profession. No longer would I have to tell students they failed. I would be the one that would help them, that would try and instill a love or reading, and so much more! That wonderful librarian that drew me to my career is none other than Sharon Davis!

· Books of the Week ·

Recommended by member librarians

· Send Us Your Displays ·

We love showing you off!

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Thank you, Ellen, for sharing your funny and on-theme Conversation Hearts display!

Librarian: Ellen Kelley-Scalzi

Library: Troy High School

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Book Buzz with Britt Buckenroth

It's so hard to keep up with all the new books being published! This book club will give you the opportunity to expand your repertoire of NEW books, whether you are a school librarian or a teacher, as participants share the new books they have read. Participants will select and read NEW books (published in the last two years), from any genre, K-12 and write a book review. A review form will be provided. For each meeting, participants are expected to read either 1-2 chapter books, or 3-4 picture books and complete a review form for each book. ***PLEASE COME TO THE FIRST MEETING WITH COMPLETED BOOK REVIEWS AND READY TO DISCUSS YOUR FIRST SET OF CHOSEN BOOKS.*** The in-person one-hour meetings will be held at Questar III Conference Center. Participants will earn a total of six credit hours for attending the three meetings and completing the required book reviews. This opportunity is open to school librarians and teachers at all grade levels.

All meeting are 4:00-5:00 PM

Wednesday, 2/26

Wednesday, 3/25

Wednesday, 4/22

Cavendish Square Digital Webinar

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Model Schools Workshops

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Library Teacher - Short Term Leave Replacement

Job ID:NCLN0168600-7020

Job Description:

Forts Ferry Elementary School

Library Media Specialist preferred or Childhood Education 1-6 certification

Provide instruction and support to students

$105/day - certified, after 10 days in assignment $150/day

Position available 4/20/2020 (est) - 6/30/2020

Application Deadline:02/24/2020

Start Date:04/20/2020

Librarian - Elementary School

Job ID:LKPN0168876-7020

Job Description:

Library media specialist for our elementary school grades K-5

Application Deadline:03/02/2020

Start Date:09/01/2020

Questar III School Library System

Kerrie Burch, Director of School Library System, Model Schools, and Arts

Amanda Karian, School Library System Specialist

Photo by Ren Ran on Unsplash