Niskayuna HS Library Newsletter

Fall 2015


Donna McAndrews, Library Media Specialist, ext 21744

Library Assistants:

Julie Lohre

Betty Ferencik

Carol Venezio

Kelly Kress

Coming in September!

The Niskayuna High School Library Academic Resource Center (ARC) will be up and running as of September 15. Student-tutors have engaged in a 2 hour training session where they considered the do's and don'ts of good tutoring and practiced their skills tutoring in math, science and writing. We also have tutors who will assist learners with foreign languages and social studies. Special thanks to teachers Meagan Hughes, Dan Mattoon, Nancy Gort, Kelly Moore and Kelly Millet, and students Rose Parisi and for their help with the training sessions.

The ARC has a special location inside the library, and it will be staffed by at least 2 tutors from 7:15 - 3:45 Monday - Thursday, and 7:15 - 3:00 on Fridays. We will try to always have at least one Math/Science and one Humanities tutor on site at all times. Students in need of academic assistance can stop in the library any time. We will keep track of the students who use the ARC, so we can provide that information to teachers should you want it.

Students will also be able to submit academic questions online using the ARC Website. If you would like your students to receive writing feedback before handing in papers to you, please encourage them to submit their papers online and one of our tutors will send them feedback. Instructions for online submissions are on the ARC Website.

As part of the training, tutors all signed a Code of Ethics. Click here to view the Code of Ethics.

Tech Tools Update

Featured Databases


This year our library is subscribing to Gale's exclusive Literature Resource Center, which features rich critical, biographical and contextual content that supports interdisciplinary approaches, information literacy and the development of critical-thinking skills. Full-text articles from scholarly journals and literary magazines are combined with critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, biographies, and more to provide a wealth of information on authors, their works, and literary movements.

Password: empirelink


This year we are subscribing to six excellent history databases from ABC-CLIO: American Government, American History, Daily Life Through History, Modern Genocide, World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras, and World History: The Modern Era. These databases offer in-depth resources for students as well as teachers.

Username: nisklibrary

Password: niskayuna

Why should I encourage my students to use DATABASES rather than THE INTERNET?

Library Databases:

  • are paid for by your school district and offer free access to scholarly information
  • content is evaluated for accuracy and authority
  • the information is stable
  • offer options to quickly limit or expand searches so you can find the articles you need.

The Internet:

  • some resources are free, but others require payment (Note: not all articles accessed via Google Scholar are free)
  • Information is not evaluated for accuracy and may be incorrect, biased or misleading.
  • Websites come and go, and the information found there may change without notice.
  • The Internet is a vast sea of information with very little organization.
  • Search engines often return an overwhelming number of results, and students need training on how to choose the best sources within these results.


It's never to early to sign up to use the Library spaces. Or better yet, plan to work with Donna on research or other curriculum-related work. The library offers a wealth of useful resources, and it's a great place for students to develop information literacy skills that will be useful throughout their lives. If you'd like your class to receive a refresher course on how to use the Library's resources, please consider planning a mod or block of orientation time in the fall. These orientation sessions can be customized to suit the needs of your curriculum and your students' learning styles. Stop in or send an email if you'd like to work with Donna and/or use any of the following Library spaces:

  • Media Classroom
  • Chromebook Classroom
  • Nonfiction Classroom
  • Library Conference Room