Librarians Connecting

WSWHE BOCES SLS - April 26, 2021

Recognizing Those Who Go Above and Beyond

The SLS Council is pleased to announce our (new) Annual Award to recognize one outstanding School Librarian of the Year, and an exceptional Administrator (or Administrative Team) of the Year. At our May 25 meeting, we will have both the Council and Communications Coordinators meetings on the same day, and invite the people selected to be honored this year to present them with what we hope will be an accolade that people look forward to every year. While this event will be virtual this year, in future we anticipate having a nice in-person ceremony.


You can nominate a school librarian or district/building administrator(s) by clicking on one of those links. Information has been shared with administrators, so I'm hoping they, along with teachers, will recommend librarians as well. I hope you'll join us in honoring one of our own, as well as an administrator who is doing great things in support of school libraries and librarians!! (If you have any issues with the form, please let me know asap).


"Heads high. Hearts open. You've got this!" (Pluto)

Featured WSWHE Rock Star School Librarian - Terese Brennan - Cambridge Jr/Sr HS

I’ve been a school librarian for thirty years, well almost! I’ve been at the Cambridge Jr/Sr high library for twenty years and I was an elementary librarian for ten years in another district. As I reflect back on my career and life in general, I realize that libraries have always been a part of my life. I’ve had a love for libraries long before I understood the role of a librarian. My inspiration for becoming a librarian was this love of libraries. As a child I lived very close to our town’s public library, so I spent a great deal of time there. As our family expanded, we moved down the street to a bigger house. At the same time, the library was expanding and moving to a new location. A very cool, very modern library was built and guess what, it was close to my new home. As a result I continued to spend time at the library. As a teenager it might have been more for hanging out with friends than reading, but it was still my happy place. At college there was no better place for a Sunday nap than the library!


One of the things that makes me happy to come to work is to walk into my library and get that same feeling of “this is home” that I did as a kid. I feel fortunate to have a nice new library where I can offer a safe, comfortable, and inviting environment for my students and staff. My goal is to have them share my love for libraries and all they offer.

It’s not my “ah ha” moments that make me most proud, but my students “ah ha” moments that do. This recent email, from a former student, is one such moment:

“Ms.Brennan,

Just wanted to say a quick thank you for all the time you took teaching us

how to cite everything and even just how to research the right way! With

two research papers (and little instruction given by the professors) this

semester I'm extremely grateful! Also so glad I still somehow have access

to Noodle Tools! It's saving my life! Haha

Thank You Again”


We have our students do at least one research project in each grade 7-12, so it’s nice to see that a former student appreciates our effort.


Another experience I’m proud of is a recent collaboration with our local bookstore, the Book Fairy program, where bookstore gift cards were given to our students in need. Here’s a response from one of the recipients:

“Hi Mrs.Brennan! Thank you so much for the Battenkill Books gift card. I have been trying to find a new book to read, so this came at the perfect time. I'm going to get The Mermaid The Witch and The Sea and I'm very excited to read it. I just wanted to say thank you so much!”


A program I’m proud of creating is the morning announcements, named CCS Live!. We use the library’s green room and equipment to produce the announcements that are broadcast each morning during homeroom. This provides our students with real-world experiences, including scripting, anchoring, filming, and editing. This has been a challenging experience for me and the students, but it has been so rewarding.


What gets me excited about the future of libraries and their librarians is the flexibility and adaptive nature of them both. Our profession is always evolving and working to provide for the needs of our patrons, whatever they may be. I’d like to finish with a heartfelt thank you to WSWHE SLS and all of its members for always being a source of inspiration and professional support! I’ve learned a great deal from all of you!

Ms. Brennan and Students - Mr. Mooney's Latin 7 War with Troy movies!

Big picture

Summer Reading - New York State

The 2021 Summer Reading at New York Libraries theme is "Tails and Tales." More information will be forthcoming soon, so check their website and encourage your students to participate if they're able. As soon as I hear more, we'll let you know.

We are updating our professional collection

If you haven't taken a look lately at our WSWHE SLS professional collection, now is the time to check it out and watch for further updates! There's a link to a Google Form right on the home page if you wish to request items to be sent to you (or you can email us).


We have really cleaned it up so that it's sparkling clean...completed inventory, pruned extraneous items that no longer belonged in there, and added our Sora/Overdrive Professional ebooks and audiobooks to the catalog as well, for greater discoverability (and the links in the records work!). We are about to order new items as well (both physical and Sora-related), and will add those to the catalog as well. Here's a quick screencast to give you an idea of the improvements.

Sora Sweet Reads, and SYNC teen audiobooks

SYNC by Audiofile (audiobooks for teens) will be back this year. It's an annual program that gives individuals 13+ who register two complete audiobook downloads per week, each week, for 14 weeks during the summer. More information and the link to register are here.


***Sora Sweet Reads*** is coming in May!

Overdrive announced the titles that will be available with simultaneous access, from May 5 to August 20. There will be 38 titles total, with 25 Juvenile access and 13 YA access, and there is a mix of ebooks and audiobooks as there was last year (and at least one read-aloud). Feel free to share this information with your teachers to plan ahead. The link is a Google Doc with descriptions, links to TeachingBooks, and the book covers will eventually be links that will go directly to Sora once the titles are live.

Interlibrary Loans

We know that some of you have resumed ILLs when and where you can, and others have asked about doing some in these last couple of months. We'll say what we did at the start of the year - it's up to you, and your circumstances. If you want to borrow something, we recommend reaching out personally to the lending library to see if they can loan.


The courier is running weekly for districts. (See PDF for schedule below). The recommended "quarantine" for physical materials is still 7 days, and we adhere to that here at BOCES, so know that the time for loaning and returning has been increased.


We're hoping that in the fall we can resume a "normal" schedule for ILLs. Meantime, if you inventory, please check for books that might have been returned that you need to send back to the lending library. Thanks!

Links and Other Info


Noggin the Sled Dog

Providing the libraries are open and it is safe for patrons of all ages, Karen and Noggin will be on the road his summer. Karen and Noggin can do their presentation OUTDOORS or INDOORS. If you think you might be interested, drop Karen a line and she can get you on the planning list. With "TAILS AND TALES" as the 2021 Summer Reading Slogan, Noggin is ready to share her tail-wagging tales-from-the-trail with you! Email Karen for more details.


3 Apples Awards

Voting is open through April 30, 2021 for the annual "3 Apples Award." You and your students are eligible to vote. Click here for more information, including the list of current nominees, and how to vote.


ARPA Funding

The American Rescue Plan has funding specifically libraries. Click here for more information from ALA to see if you can be part of it.


NYSED DLD Summer Reading "Lunch and Learn" April 29

The online session for April 29 (12:30 - 1:15pm) will focus on 4H and STEM. If you want learn more about how to connect with local 4-H offices and take advantage of 4-H resources and program materials for "Tails and Tales" and Summer Reading, register here.


Rural Engagement to Advance Learning In STEM Digitally (REALISD) in School Libraries

This is an online professional development workshop for school librarians working in rural areas across the United States. Workshops will provide school librarians the knowledge, skills, and abilities to support STEM education efforts in their school through digital tools and resources. They will be held in late July followed by an online module in the Fall. If you are selected, there is no cost and you earn 3 graduate credit hours. Click here for more information, and to apply.


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WSWHE BOCES School Library Services

J’aimé Pfeiffer - SLS Director

Karin Howansky - SLS School Librarian

Amy Brennan-Strack - SLS IPS (Databases, Purchasing)

Deb Massa - SLS IPS (ILLs, Purchasing)