November 17, 2015

Cool Tools for Schools is Back!!

Polly is bringing Cool Tools back to our area! If you would like to participate, please contact J'aime. Deadline for signing up with WSWHE is November 24. Once you let me know, I will send you official registration details.

Looking for New Titles?!

Some lists of the "Best(s) of 2015"

ALA Book, Print and Media (long list but includes almost everything!)

YALSA Book and Media Awards for Young Adults (also extensive)

ALSC's Most Notable Children's Books

NY Times Best Illustrated Children's Books

Between these lists, you can see all of the award winners!

DPLA Webinar

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to share a recording of our November 3 webinar, "Using DPLA for Teaching and Learning."

View the webinar:

This webinar provides useful information on the value of DPLA as a tool for teaching and learning and describes current DPLA education projects, including the recently released primary source sets<>. Presenters include DPLA staff and members of the DPLA’s Education Advisory Committee<>.

For additional information about DPLA and education, visit

Battle of the Books 2016!

The date and location are set: Monday March 14 at Skidmore College in Saratoga. We are extending the day to be 9am start and 2pm finish. So far we have 16 registrations (some with multiple grades). PLEASE sign up with our Survey Monkey as soon as possible so we can anticipate how many students will be attending and be able to reserve enough rooms. Remember - all the information is on our Battle of the Books wiki. If you requested bookmarks, they'll be coming soon!
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Library Visits

I'd love to get out and visit as many libraries as possible this year! Can I make it to every one in WSWHE BOCES?? That's my goal! Please email me or phone 581/746-3700 to schedule a time. If you have something specific in mind to discuss, let me know ahead of time. Want your administrator(s) to be part of the conversation? Ask them, or let me know to ask them. Are you looking for feedback on a lesson? Trying to figure out where to put your Makerspace? Still looking to "dig deep" into the ESIFC? I'm happy to bring along a binder to share, and walk you through it. Looking forward to seeing ALL of you this school year!
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Win $$ Through the Follett Challenge

Application Information available at

Deadline: January 29, 2016


K-12 schools (public/private) in the United States and Canada are invited to apply. Submissions are open to classroom teachers, special teachers (e.g., art teachers, music teachers), technology specialists, administrators, PTAs and librarians/media specialists.

Describe your program using the online application. Your entry will be judged according to the judges' rubric. In addition, upload a 3 to 5-minute video showcasing the program and positive impact it has had on your school.

Selection Process
  • People's Choice Winners: We'll take a People's Choice approach to the 10 videos that receive the most votes*. Semi-finalists and the Grand Prize Winner are not eligible for the People's Choice award of $8,000, even if they have the highest number of votes.
  • Semi-finalists: The Semi-finalist score will be 80% based on the judges' rubric and 20% based on the number of votes received.
  • Grand Prize Winner: The Grand Prize winner will be selected by the judging committee from the pool of three top-scoring semi-finalists based on the judges' rubric score alone.

Library Girl Was Here!

To see the agenda and presentations, go to Jennifer's Professional Development web page.

My Takeaways? 1) There are some great ideas out there for doing more with less, and involving students and classes to help. My personal favorite? The "portable" white board with duct tape edges. And the painted rulers to decorate the circ desk. 2) We live in a data-driven world and it is critical, but throwing numbers at a wall hoping some will stick isn't the answer. Find a way to make your data relevant, and for people to care about what you do. 3) Who doesn't want to rid the world of Zombie Librarians??

TeenReaderCon 2015

Thanks to everyone who volunteered, came, and especially to those who brought students! We had a lot of fun (and introspection) with our 9 authors this year. Who was your favorite author, or your favorite moment? Can't wait to see what YA authors are in our future!

NYLA 2015

NYLA was held at Lake Placid this year - a little past "peak" but the weather was lovely, and so was the venue. Although NYLA doesn't offer a large number of school library specific workshops, there are plenty of good things that can cross over. "Local History for a New Generation" offered a lot of ideas to get involved in a community's history; "Six Domains of Leadership" discussed leadership in a variety of roles in formal and informal ways; "Vision 20/20" for all of New York's libraries; a roundtable for discussion and feedback on novelny; and a presentation by John Brock (NYSED) created a lot of conversation about school library mandates and certification (more to come on that). And, of course, the highlight had to be the NYLA Awards Dinner where Mary Ratzer was given the "NYLA Outstanding Service to Libraries Award" for which she gave a wonderful acceptance speech! Ask her about radishes next time you see her.