School Library System

May 8, 2015

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End of Year?!?!

It is hard to believe, but the end of the school year is quickly approaching. The four School Library Systems in the Capital District invite you to celebrate another wonderful year. We will be hosting the End-of-Year Dinner at WSWHE BOCES on Monday, June 8th from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Please email Jen if you plan to attend. Several activities are planned as well as a great meal. We will also be honoring the librarians from each system who will be retiring.
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SSL/NYLA Spring Conference

More than 250 school librarians gathered in beautiful Tarrytown, NY from April 30th - May 2nd for the SSL/NYLA Spring Conference. Highlights from the conference include:

  • Jill Leinung, librarian in the East Greenbush Central School District, provides leadership to school librarians across New York State as NYLA/SSL President
  • Jason Chevrier, Principal at Castleton Elementary School, received the Beatrice E. Griggs Elementary Administrator's Award
  • Stacey Rattner, Librarian at Castleton Elementary School, attended the conference as this year's SSL/Gale Conference Fellow
  • Jen Cannell participated on the panel "Playing Your Part in the 2014 School Library Summit"
  • Library Girl, Jennifer LaGarde, inspired us all with her keynote "Brainz! How to Survive the Librarian Apocalypse." Are you a zombie or a zombie fighter? See the link below for Library Girl's presentation.

Scenes from the 2015 SSL/NYLA Spring Conference

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Kwame Alexander

Wednesday, May 13th, 3:30pm

80 Scott Avenue

Castleton-on-Hudson, NY

Join us for a reception with this year's Newbery Award winning author, Kwame Alexander. Mr. Alexander is a poet and author of eighteen books, most recently THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children. His other works include Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band (The 2014 Michigan Reads One Book Selection), and the YA novel He Said, She Said (a Junior Library Guild Selection). He is the founder of Book-in-a-Day, a student-run publishing program that has created more than 3000 student authors in 72 schools; and LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy project that builds libraries, trains teachers, and empowers children through literature. He visits schools and libraries, has owned several publishing companies, written for stage and television (TLC's "Hip Hop Harry"), produced jazz and book festivals, and taught in a high school. In 2015, Kwame will serve as Bank Street College of Education’s first writer-in-residence. Visit him at
(From: KWAME ALEXANDER 150-word BIO at

Algonquin Middle School Celebrates Its 12th Annual Ms. Richtol’s Read All Day With Special Guest, Author Coleen Paratore!

Read All Day is a special day set aside to celebrate books, literacy and reading at Algonquin. This year, Read All Day was renamed Richtol’s Read All Day (RRAD) to honor and remember Ms. Richtol, a beloved literacy teacher who passed away in December of 2014. Ms. Richtol started Read All Day 12 years ago and passed on her love of reading and infectious enthusiasm to her students. Algonquin celebrated RRAD on Friday, May 1.

Homeroom teachers kicked off Richtol's Read All Day by passing out a special bookmark that honored Mrs. Richtol and listed her favorite books. Students filled it out with their own favorite books. Then homeroom teachers read short stories, picture books or novels aloud to their students.

Students also had a chance to create their own “dreamsleeve." In the book Dreamsleeves, Aislinn decides if people put their dreams on their sleeves, other people would see their dream, and maybe be able to make it come true. Students wrote a fun dream or a happy wish on a label, and stuck it to their sleeve. Our author loved that students, faculty and staff joined in in the Dreamsleeves idea.

Special guest readers generously volunteered their time to read to large groups in the auditorium. Readers included Mrs. LaChapelle, grade 6 ELA teacher, Mr. Gela, grade 6 Social Studies teacher, Mike Speirs, New York City comedian and former grade 7 Social Studies teacher and Mrs. Magill, Literacy Coach.

"They did an awesome job reading funny stories, scary stories and adventure/survival stories," said Mrs. Ekstrom, AMS library media specialist. "Teachers also had the opportunity to take a portion of their instructional class time to read aloud to their students".

Award winning author Coleen Paratore was Algonquin’s special guest for Richtol's Read All Day. Ms. Paratore lives in Troy and is the author of 19 books. Support for this author visit was provided by Student Council and the AMS Library.

Ms. Paratore presented to each grade and spoke about growing up in Troy, (her book Dreamsleeves is semi-autobiographical), how she gets her inspiration and the writing process, among many other things. She asked that students and teachers bring a notebook and pen to the assembly and had them writing about their favorite things and memories, which, she explained, could become the content for a book.

During a special Q and A session, Ms. Paratore answered many questions from our curious students. Students had an opportunity to meet Ms. Paratore and talk with her as she signed their books after school. She gave Algonquin students, faculty and staff a very special day!

Check out this animoto video to get an inside look at Richtol’s Read All Day:

President Obama Announces Open eBooks and ConnectED Library Challenge

IMLS facilitating initiatives to extend educational opportunities and digital content to nation’s students

President Obama and middle school student Osman Yahya at the Anacostia Library.

Washington, DC—Today, at the Anacostia Branch of the District of Columbia Public Library, President Obama announced two new efforts to strengthen student learning by improving access to digital content and to public libraries. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is supporting several library and non-profit partners to develop the Open eBooks initiative and the ConnectED Library Challenge. These efforts leverage the extensive resources of the nation’s 16,500 public libraries to help kids develop a love of reading and discovery by making e-books and library services broadly available, particularly to students from low-income families.

In his email message yesterday, President Obama said, “America's librarians, like our teachers, connect us to books and learning resources that help us dream big….I'll announce new efforts to provide popular books to millions of underprivileged children and young adults around the country and connect more students to their local libraries -- because we know that reading just 20 minutes a day can make a tremendous difference in a student's success.”

The Open eBooks initiative will make over $250 million in popular e-books from major publishers available, for free, to children from low-income families via an app. The Open eBooks app is being developed by the New York Public Library, which is partnering with the Digital Public Library of America and First Book to curate and deliver the e-books to students from low-income families.

IMLS is investing $5 million to support the development of the e-reader app, as well as tools and services to help the public more easily access e-books and other digital content.

Complementing that effort, the ConnectED Library Challenge is a commitment by more than 30 communities to work to put a library card into every student’s hand as soon as they enter school. Data analyzed by IMLS show that children who visited the library during kindergarten had higher achievement scores in reading and science in third grade, particularly for children in households with low income and low parental education. IMLS, in partnership with the American Library Association and the Urban Libraries Council, will host a national convening this year to identify and share best practices in reaching universal library card use among public school students.

"With this initiative President Obama acknowledges the powerful role libraries play in leveling the digital divide and empowering kids to dream big,” said Maura Marx, Acting Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We're thrilled to spotlight the work America's 16,500 public libraries do every day to inspire people of all ages to live better lives through learning and discovery.

This ground-breaking work came together through the dedicated efforts of our partners: the American Library Association, the Digital Public Library of America, First Book, the New York Public Library and the Urban Libraries Council. These organizations are passionate about providing learning opportunities for all kids, and IMLS is proud to help make these efforts a reality."

Click here more information about these initiatives.

How to UnMake Cyberbullying

WHAT: How to UnMake Cyberbullying, film premiere
WHEN: June 29th, Evening - onscreen by 6:30pm
WHERE: Albany Madison Theater, Albany NY - on 5 screens!

60-second TRAILER:

TICKETS: Door entry is $3 for unreserved or any member of the Public. This is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Will be showing on all five screens, but seating may become limited by the time the show date arrives - you may also preorder tickets through Mike or by writing to - all ticket sales go toward the theater and also completion costs for the series!

Computers in Libraries Keynote Address

Click on the link below to access the keynote address from last week's Computers in Libraries conference.

Creating a New Nostalgia

David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

John Palfrey, Head of School, Phillips Academy; Author of BiblioTech; President of the Board, Digital Public Library of America

Digital life is transforming the public’s expectations of libraries and archives. Is the internet making these institutions irrelevant? The “perfect storm” of reduced budgets, unprecedented increases in the amount and cost of information available, and the multiplicity of platforms at play call for new strategies for the future of libraries and archives. A lively glimpse into the crystal ball!

On May 19th go ahead and Listen in Your Browser!

Enjoy OverDrive audiobooks right from your browser starting on Tuesday, May 19th!

Similar to OverDrive Read for eBooks, OverDrive Listen offers the same ease of use; simply browse, borrow, and listen right in your browser with a single click. There are no downloads or software required; all you need is a compatible web browser. Using OverDrive Listen, you can add bookmarks, take notes, or make highlight.