SLS Weekly update

February 5, 2021

IMPORTANT- Cuomo's Proposed Budget

As a part of his annual budget proposal, Governor Cuomo has included his typical cuts to library systems aid. NYLA is already pushing back on these cuts, and the Legislature often includes additional library aid in their budgets. This year, though, school libraries are facing an additional concern in the Governor’s proposal, the elimination of Library Materials Aid through consolidation with other types of school aid. This would likely mean the end to any funding for library book purchases in many districts.

Knowing that many of you rely on the $6.25 in Library Materials Aid as your only library funding, the School Library Systems Association is collaborating with NYLA and SSL (the NYLA Section of School Librarians) to rally support for Library Materials Aid. Please consider joining us in supporting the continuation of specific aid for school library materials by signing this petition.

The petition has just been posted here:

Join us in letting the Legislature know how critical Library Materials Aid is to our students, teachers, and library programs.

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Discovery Ed training recording and Resources

  • Session Recording
  • To find Support by Role, look here.
  • Here is our list of Hot Topics, from SPED, SEL, STEM, and more
  • Our Immersive Reader is one of the newest additions to Studio! You can learn more here.
  • Here is our guide that dives deeper into Studio.
  • You can learn more about creating classrooms here.

All recorded trainings can be found here:

LevelUp trial with Rosen

LevelUp, our new foundational literacy platform for Grades PreK-3. LevelUp was created to give our youngest students, educators, parents, a way to overcome the greatest challenges learning to read and address the inequities of the "Learn to Read" gap.

We have loaded the platform with 2400 Rosen Publishing Group titles, providing an authentic literature experience not found in the snippets served by other reading platforms.

See below for 60-day trial credentials to the second-grade teacher and student experience, as well as links to additional information about LevelUp.


60-day trial.

Grade 2:

Teacher un: sweeney.teacher

Teacher pw: read

Student un: sweeney.student

Student pw: read


Rosen LevelUp Overview: Brochure

Rosen LevelUp Brief Overview Video

Rosen Level Up Testimonials

Rosen Level Up Video Testimonial

Please feel free to share with your staff as appropriate.

Also, if you are intested in a webinar, please let me know and I will set something up.

TeachingBooks usage stats

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Chrome Extension for TeachingBooks

Location. Location. Location. We know the value of making high-quality information easily accessible to our readers. Our New York City Department of Education Library Services Department provides access to TeachingBooks and their new Chrome Extension gives readers the ability to instantly see connections between their search and books. Then they can effortlessly explore author interviews, book trailers, and reader’s advisory tools like Discover Like Books and Google Preview. Imagine their joy as they discover new books and authors — right at their fingertips!

To get started, simply download the free TeachingBooks Chrome Extension found in the Chrome Web Store. Add the extension to any device that you use for Google Chrome searching. Your IT department can also push it out to your district-owned devices!

To use the Chrome Extension, type a search topic into Google. Your results will generate a TeachingBooks search box on the right. Learn more about these books and other related titles by selecting ‘See All Results.’ You’ll see fiction and nonfiction titles, subjects, series, authors, and more. Confidently strengthen Google searches with vetted, primary source content that keeps books upfront — no management needed.

Each search includes ready-to-use reliable resources. Easy to install and use, resulting in safe searching for students to become more connected with the books they are discovering. Here are a few testimonials for the Chrome extension:

“My students learn about paired fiction and nonfiction titles, can explore author interviews, and learn more about books and authors.”

“I can instantly loop resources about books and authors into the prime location where students and staff are most likely to look for information.”

“Resources about titles are self-discoverable, the extension removes any barrier of access to resources that enliven reading.”

To learn more about this tool, come to a session on February 3 at 10 am. You can register here. - Nick Glass,

NEW BrainPOP Science for Middle School

BrainPOP has created a Science for Middle School and it is quite different than what you are used to. It walks students through the scientific process and a lesson includes:

  1. Lesson Intro
  2. Check it out/Observe
  3. Investigate multiple readings and videos
  4. Check for Understanding
  5. Explain/Make a claim
  6. Reflection

New parts of the modules include

  • Data Manipulatives
  • Simulations
  • 3D Worlds

A video showing the new product can be found here.

Also, you can sign up to get an email each time they release a new lesson between now and fall. The first lesson explores natural selection versus breeding and is available now. The next will be comparing coronavirus to influenza.

Newsbank February Special Reports


February 2021

NewsBank’s Special Reports are news articles, images, maps and other useful content grouped for convenience under specific topics and themes. They enable users to quickly locate information while helping them gain better insight into current global issues and events.

Following is a listing of ones that may be of particular interest at this time.

February Topics
Black History Month
Issues in the News - LGBTQ History Month (UK)
World Health - Covid and National Heart Month
Film and TV Awards
U.S. Presidential Election - 2020

Additional featured Reports covering current issues and events
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Year in Review - 2020
World Politics and Government
World Economics
World Environment

Each Special Report features current and retrospective coverage with new articles added daily. They constitute a unique value to your users and are included with your NewsBank subscription. There are over 60 Reports to be sure the information you need is always available.

Special Reports are easily accessible from the left side bar on your online resource menu page, on search screens and the Other NewsBank Products link in full-text newspaper products.

Please view and share this video with others. It shows you how to find Special Reports, what they are and how they can be used.

As always, we welcome suggestions for new topics of interest to you and your users for additional Special Reports, as well as the names of other people that should receive these message each month.


Phyllis Comrie

Vice President, Analytical Marketing

NewsBank, inc.

Teen Health and Wellness Real World Uses

One of you asked so we delivered...

  • Educator How-To’s: Ruth Kuzmanic—a HS health educator for over 30 years in Naperville, IL, technology guru, and longtime customer—provides a quick, approachable tutorial on THW and how to get your students hands-on with it. Ruth has been a Teen Health and Wellness user for 10+ years.
  • Complete case studies here:

Appleton (WI) School District
Naperville (IL) Central High School
San Diego (CA) School District
St. Joseph (MO) School District

  • Ruth Thoreson is also a power user and has integrated the IYC project into her collaboration with ELA and Technology. Download the It’s Your Voice PSA lesson plan for tips on implementing this project with your students. Created by Ruth Thoreson, Information Literacy Specialist/Teacher Librarian at Johnston High School; Johnston, Iowa.

Apply this lesson plan on Editing and Writing for Publication to our Personal Story Project, so students can learn how to write and edit material for publication, based on specific submission requirements. Created by Melissa Harrison, Shelton School. All 9th graders participate.

From Lafayette JR Senior High in 2011:

Interactivity is certainly one of the great and dynamic points of departure from the printed book. Our research has shown that site features can build community in a network of users. With the Personal Story Project, students are able to submit and post (first-name only) compelling personal life experiences, and with our calculators, students can get personalized health information. The ability to write to our staff psychologist, to cast one’s vote in online polls, and to submit student-made PSAs to our video section, all contribute to participation and empowerment in a safe environment that could not be similarly guaranteed with a general web search.

Marcie Mann, library/media specialist and Heather Amidon, health teacher at LaFayette Junior Senior High School in LaFayette, New York attest to this effectiveness:

LaFayette JSHS has embraced the move from traditional print resources to online resources. But it presents many challenges, particularly in the field of health where many sites in school are blocked because they are about things like “breast” cancer, marijuana or addiction. Vetted online sources are often written for an adult audience, far above what students in grades 7-12 can handle. Also, many other online options are just not authoritative, trusted sources.

LaFayette JSHS purchased Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness two years ago. The first thing we noticed about it was that it was written for its intended audience: teens. This has made the research process in health class a lot easier and more successful. Prior to THW, students googled information on their topics and we checked it for authority, since most of the health databases were written for professionals. This is unwieldy and frustrating for students. Now searches are simple and successful, by keyword or subject, and everything is in one place. The personalization of resources in our community has also been a great addition. Most importantly, the quality of finished research projects has improved. Our health class is adding a new dimension to the research project on illegal drugs that they do each semester. This year, at the end of the project, they will script and produce PSAs using the information from THW and a flip camera. This combination research using an authoritative database, creativity and a national audience has taken a good research project and made it a great one. (Marcie Mann and Heather Amidon, LaFayette Junior Senior High School) 6

Free ebook from Capstone For Black History Month

Learn 360 Additions

New titles were added to your Learn360 subscription over the past month, including:

  • Many K-2 level on various illnesses diseases from the series L'il Doc
  • Exploring Science questions from the series That's Cool (Prek-2)
  • Language Function and Construction (grades 6-12)
  • American School Cultures (ELL)
  • ✔ View your newly added titles: Click here to view a full list of the new titles just added to your collection.

February Breakout Games

Get love-struck by our NEW Breakout EDU games! Have some math fun with the

5 Curious Mathematicians

Celebrate President's Day with the White House pets

Spread a little love this Valentine’s Day with Keyla.


STEM Webinar

ViewSpace Question & Answer Session

Wednesday, February 10 | 2:30 pm ET, 1:30 pm CT, 12:30 pm MT, 11:30 am PT

This Q&A session gives libraries a chance to learn about and find creative ways to utilize ViewSpace in their spaces, on their websites, and combine with programming. ViewSpace is a web-based collection of digital interactives and videos highlighting the latest developments in astronomy and Earth science. ViewSpace gives you the opportunity to explore our planet, solar system, galaxy, and universe through videos that can be played on demand or as a looping exhibit and through digital interactives that allow you to explore objects and materials from different perspectives. Provided free with the support of NASA, ViewSpace is developed by a team of scientists, educators, and communication specialists who collaborate to ensure that content is accurate, up-to-date, engaging, relevant, and accessible to a wide audience.

Register Now!

News Lit Nation

Are you ready to be part of a movement to bring news literacy education to schools nationwide? Then join NewsLit Nation, NLP's News Literacy Educator Network. It officially launches today!

What is NewsLit Nation all about?

  • It trains teachers, librarians and school administrators across the country to advocate on behalf of a news literacy curriculum.
  • It helps you find opportunities for local partnerships and build channels of communication for your communities as local news literacy champions.
  • It gives you access to exclusive professional development opportunities, webinars, other training and additional support through online forums and message boards.

NewsLit Nation also includes a network of ambassadors — educators working to create a sense of community in their local and regional school districts. (We already have 13 news literacy ambassadors working in 10 cities across the country.)

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to grow and thrive with your peers. Joining is easy.

Register here

For a future founded on facts,

Library Journal Equity in Action Course Group rate

** Please let me know if you are interested!!

Course Overview

Library staff at all levels within their organizations have the power—and the responsibility—to help cultivate an antiracist culture, from evaluating spaces, programs, services, and collections to examining policies and practices to reflecting on one’s own implicit biases. Creating an internal culture founded on principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion is essential to building a community-centered library that meets the needs and expectations of its users.

In this course, you will learn about the concrete actions library leaders are taking to make their libraries antiracist today and in the future, and the tools that make it possible. Practical coursework, along with targeted support, will take you from theory to application, helping you to transform your library services to better meet the needs of all your users—and bring in new ones.

Certificate of Completion Provided
15 PD credits available

When you attend this interactive online course, you’ll come away with:

  • The tools necessary to audit current library collections and programs through a culturally competent lens

  • The ability to assess the inclusiveness of current collection development and RA practices, acquisitions, marketing, plus assessing scheduling practices, branch hours, and staff hiring and retention

  • The ability to recognize common problematic stereotypes, tropes, and microaggressions in media

  • A refresher on key diversity and cultural literacy concepts such as white privilege, unconscious bias, cultural appropriation, and intersectionality

Digital Literacy Survey for New York State

My name is Nuha Saho and I work at Schmidt Futures, helping to staff Governor Cuomo's Reimagine New York Commission to develop ideas for how to build back better from COVID-19. Schmidt Futures is focusing initially on increasing opportunity for New Yorkers in three essential ways: reducing the digital divide, improving access to healthcare, and creating more and better employment in an increasingly digital economy.

Through our partners at the New York Library Association, Schmidt Futures is conducting a Digital Literacy Survey of public libraries throughout the State. The survey will include an opportunity for librarians to describe the current state of their digital literacy offerings, give feedback on new digital inclusion initiatives being developed at the state level, and to submit recommendations to the State for what resources they would like to see libraries have in order to support digital inclusion and literacy in their broader communities. The goal of the Survey is to give the library community an opportunity to deliver their ideas for important digital inclusion resources to the State.

Please take a moment to complete this brief five-minute survey by Sunday, February 7th. Your feedback will help shape the goals and trajectory of the Commission’s work.

Thank you in advance for having you and your library's voice heard by participating in this survey!