December 21, 2015

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Great Legislative News!

The most recent legislation on education passed easily this month - and it includes specific information for school libraries! ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) replaces the decades-old ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) and NCLB (No Child Left Behind) acts. Included are provisions to develop effective school library programs and how funds for instructional services may be used to provide effective school library programs. School librarians are also part of the literacy education grant funding and dedicated funding in low income communities to develop and enhance effective school library programs. Language for enrichment grants includes access to school libraries and funds for providing school librarians, among others. And the general provisions were updated to include school librarians under the definition of "specialized instructional support personnel."

This legislation is critical to future funding for school librarians and shows the importance of having our voices heard in local, state and national bills that impact school libraries and school librarians!

More information, including ALA's overview of the library provisions, is available on the Advocacy Page of our LibGuides.

Local Happenings - Hour of Code

Several school libraries spent several days teaching their students an "Hour of Code," part of a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries! For pictures, resources and informational links, go to our "Hour of Code" LibGuide page. Look for information on PD/workshops in future to have your school participate next year.

EduBlog Awards

The 2015 EduBlog Awards have been announced!

The Edublog Awards are a community-based incentive started in 2004 in response to community concerns relating to how schools, districts and educational institutions were blocking access of learner and teacher blog sites for educational purposes.

The purpose of the Edublog awards is to promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.

One of the best aspects is that it creates a fabulous resource for educators to use for ideas on how social media is used in different contexts, with a range of different learners.

It introduces us all to new sites that we might not have found if not for the awards process.

Offerings from WSWHE SLS

We have 14 people who signed up for this year's Cool Tools for Schools with Polly Farrington! Great turnout - looking forward to seeing the blogs!

We have filled our quota for NYLA-SSL's Spring 2016 Conference in Albany and currently have a waiting list. If you would like to attend, please let me know asap so I can take a close look at the list and see if we can bump it up to send more people. I will need a final count before I can do that!

April 8 - 10, we will have our 2nd Tech Retreat at Carey Conference Center. Last year only Questar and Cap Region participated, but this year it is opening to all 4 regions, to include WSWHE and HFM. SLS will pay for part of the fees; first choice will go to people who haven't gone to a conference recently, then we will take others. We will have an announcement right after the holidays so be on the lookout for more information!

And of course it's early, but hope you'll be part of the annual Cornell Leadership Conference this coming summer!


Each week we add more and more information to our LibGuides. We now have 2 Guides: School Library System (general information) and Best Practices.

In the Best Practices Guide, we are looking to feature what YOU, our local librarians, are doing - as well as having you share good ideas and resources with each other! We currently only have 2 tabs up (Tech Share and Weeding & Feeding) but are looking for contributions for others: Displays, Learning Commons, Lesson Plans, Library Programs, Reports & Statistics ... and any others you'd like to see.

First up - what should we have as our "Home" page for Best Practices?? As you can see, it's pretty sparse now. Send your ideas or pictures to J’aimé!