School Library System

Week of March 9-13, 2020

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A Word About Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Certainly you have heard a lot fo information lately regarding the Coronavirus. Some public libraries have created statements that outline what they will do to help stop its spread. We wanted to take this moment to share some resources that you might find useful in the event you are being asked what steps you are taking.

The CDC has created guidance for schools regarding the outbreak and what is expected of schools during this time. Overall, schools should work with their local health officials to determine if closures are needed.

Questar III BOCES has information on their website which you can access here:

The School Library Systems Association (SLSA) has created a page on their site with helpful information for school librarians as well. You can access it here: In addition to linked resources, you can find information from other SLS Directors in the state. Take a look at what Chris Harris says about the Coronavirus on books.

For student resources, take a look at BrainPOP. BrainPop has made available two resources regarding the Coronavirus.

  1. What is the coronavirus:
  2. Hand washing (BrainPop JR):

All in all, if people practice good hand washing and etiquette when sneezing or coughing, that can go a long way to avoid the spread of the disease. If people stay home when they are ill, that will help too. Hopefully these resources are helpful to you and your schools as we all navigate a way forward. if you have any questions, please reach out to Kerrie.

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· Database Trials ·

All Current Database Trial Access Information

*NEW this week: Cavendish Square Digital Trial

· Events ·

2020 Summer Reading Teen Video Challenge

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·Census 2020·

Census Now Available Online!

The 2020 Census is now available online at!

Some resources and answers to recently and frequently asked questions:

1) Will the Census Bureau provide staff at my organization to help my community complete the census? We are staffing Census Response Representatives (CRR) mostly in areas predicted to have a low response rate from March 23 through March 30th. After March 30th, we will deploy CRRs only in areas of low self-response for Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (please see attached flyer regarding MQA). IF YOU CAN OFFER YOUR LOCATION OR CAN SUGGEST A GREAT LOCATION NEAR YOU AS A POSSIBLE MQA SITE AFTER 3/31, PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP!!

2) What does the Invitation to Respond envelope look like?

See visuals of our Census 2020 mailings here:

3) Can I answer the questionnaire without the code in the Invitation to Respond? Yes! Visit

to complete the questionnaire with or without a code.

4) Will my geographic area receive the paper form first or only the invitation to respond?

Take a look at the Mail Contact Strategies Viewer -- if your census tracts are in green then your area will receive the invitation to respond and the paper questionnaire in the first mailing. Remember, anyone who does not respond by phone or online will receive a paper questionnaire as part of their 4th mailing.

5) I like the paper questionnaire. Will I need to pay to mail it back? No, it has postage on the return envelope and is ready to mail.

6) What if more than 10 people are in my household? It is best to answer online or by phone for a larger household as you may include up to 99 people in your response.

7) Where can I find language assistance for the census? See print guides in 59 languages here:

8) When will I be able to see how well my community is responding? As of March 20th you will be able to Census Self-Response Rates here:

With respect to COVID-19, Census 2020 is moving ahead according to plan. The Census Bureau will follow the guidance of Federal, State, and local health authorities.

· Reminders ·


Just a friendly reminder that your SLS provided resource, NewsBank, is an excellent secondary level resource that holds a lot of value. If you have not used it yet, it's a great time to start!
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· Articles ·

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· Librarian of the Week ·

Special Edition: Donors Choose with Heather Jenner

Librarian: Heather Jenner

Library: Rensselaer Jr. Sr. High School

Do you have an awesome idea for your library, but aren’t sure where you could find funding? I’m sure you do! There are many resources that can help you make this idea come to life and one of them is called Donors Choose. Donors Choose was created by an educator who understood that public school educators need more materials and experiences. There are sometimes major limitations if school provided funding is all you have to use. Donors Choose has now become the #1 classroom funding site for educators and for good reason.

At the end of the 2018 - 2019 school year I came to the conclusion that my students needed more from their library than what my school budget (and my personal budget) could provide. I decided to start out small and see how far I could go. Before I went to Donors Choose my initial plan was to give my students a space to read, relax, and regroup while they are in the library. We have a great space, but all the furniture is very traditional; hard wooden tables and chairs that take a lot of effort to move and rearrange. I wanted to give them a comfortable space.

I first conducted a survey asking my students what items they would like for this space because, after all, this space was for them. Once I reviewed the data, I conducted research to find items that would fit their needs and wants. I found the best prices then went to pitch the idea to my superintendent. While he loved the ideas and items, I was turned down because the school budget just couldn’t support them. I was discouraged, but knew there must be a way to get my students what they asked for. I had heard about Donors Choose from a colleague and thought I would give it a shot. After getting permission from my administrators I started the process (I highly recommend seeking admin approval before you take any steps).

Using Donors Choose was very simple. I created an account for my library then began creating my project. I thought creating the project was going to be difficult, but the site walked me through everything. It gave examples and advice about how to best promote my ideas. After the project was created that is when the shopping fun began! While I was excited to shop, I did experience my first downside to this resource. I found that one can only shop through certain vendors, even more, not all of them had the items I was looking for at a decent price. I was looking for comfortable seating for my students, as well as, low to the ground tables. This limited my options. Luckily, you can shop on Amazon (as long as it is an Amazon Prime product).

I ordered several Big Joe bean bag chairs (for teens/adults) and a couple end tables. At that point my project was finished, approved, and published. The total for the items was a few hundred dollars (there were a few fees that made the price a little higher). Then, I waited and waited; only two people donated ( my mother and my aunt). I was again discouraged because the rule is that if your project is not fully funded by a specific date, you do not receive any items.I began to think about what I could do to get a project fully funded. Maybe the few hundred dollar price tag was scaring people away?

I regrouped then created a new project with less items resulting in a lower price. This change helped because it got fully funded! The materials were shipped to the school and my students love them. Of course I then created another project for the rest of the items which got fully funded too! Currently, I have 5 Big Joe bean bag chairs, a coffee table, and an end table. My students use the space just about every period and so much happens there.

There is still a lot more I want to add as time goes by, but I am so pleased that the space is started and without tapping into the library budget or additional funds from the school. I will definitely use Donors Choose again. I highly recommended it to others looking to bring their ideas to life.

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· Books of the Week ·

Recommended by member librarians

Send us your display --we love showing you off!

Another pure gold St. Patrick's Day display! Thank you, Heather, for sharing.

Librarian: Heather Jenner

Library: Rensselaer Jr. Sr. High School

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Communication Coordinator/Council Meeting

Our join Communication Coordinator and Council Meeting will be held here at Questar III on March 25th beginning at 8:30 am. Please register by March 18th so we can order enough lunch for everyone. If we need to cancel due to the coronavirus, we will email registrants as soon as we know.

Register by March 18th:

Google & Pear Deck with Stacey Rattner

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2020 NYLA-SSL Leadership Institute

Dates: Monday, August 3rd and Tuesday, August 4th

Location: Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center


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Sharon Springs CSD

Job ID: SHSN0170159-0063

Application Deadline: 03/30/2020

Start Date: 04/20/2020

Job Description:

Long term leave position for K -12 school library-media specialist. Position to run April 20 - June 10, 2020. NYS Certification and Fingerprint Clearance Required.


Questar III School Library System

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

Amanda Karian, School Library System Specialist