School Library System

March 27, 2015

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A Note From Jen and Jane

This newsletter has quite a bit of information about the new Social Studies framework and tool kit. Many changes will be implemented at all grade levels next year. Please make sure you are ready - contact the SLS, attend the summer institute listed below, partner with your social studies department, etc. This is an exiting time and you want to be a part of it all!

Please be sure to visit the LibGuide often to make sure that you know about all of the upcoming events taking place. Our calendar page has been updated with information.

eBook Open House - April 16th

School librarians are invited to stop by as part of the Council and Liaison meetings on Thursday, April 16th. Please register for credit through MyLearninPlan.
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Update From the New York State Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference

Congratulations to our local librarians who presented at the New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS) annual conference:

  • Jill Leinung: The Hudson River: an Interactive Journey into Inquiry and the Common Core
  • Stacey Rattner with Karen Harris: Using the NYS Archives' Student Research Awards Competition in the Social Studies Curriculum
  • Maureen Squire with Jennifer Allard and Brooke Dickson: Using Inquiry to Create Museum Exhibits
  • Jen Cannell with J'aime Pfieffer: Student Success Through the Information Fluency Continuum

The NYSCSS partnered with several organizations, including NYLA's Section of School Librarians (SSL), to create presentation strands. The new social studies framework and the soon to be released tool kit were the highlights of the 3 day conference.

Things to note:

  • 84 Inquiries are being developed as part of the toolkit - 6 at each grade level, 12 at grade 12.
  • Inquiry!!!! The process demands that teachers begin with a compelling question (similar to an essential question).
  • Shifts for Social Studies teachers are highlighted in the C3 Framework (see pictures below).
  • The existing Social Studies Standards have not changed.
  • Grade level content has not change - although we are moving from memorizing facts to deeper conceptual understanding.
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Inquiry InfoGraphic

There are many different Inquiry models that are currently being used: C3, Odell, and Stripling. While you do not need to choose one over the other, you may wish to use the terminology that fits with the subject area you are working with. For example, if you are collaborating with your social studies teachers use the words from their C3 Inquiry Design Model. The link below will help you identify the terms being used.

The NYS Social Studies Resource Toolkit - Summer Fun!

If you were not at the Social Studies Conference, don't worry. Another great opportunity has come our way. The New York State Council for the Social Studies will be holding their first Summer Institute from Monday, July 20th - Wednesday, July 22nd right here in Albany, NY.

The School Library System has funds available for those wishing to attend. Please contact Jen if you are interested.

More information about the conference, schedule of events, and speakers can be found at

The Civil Rights Movement: Teaching with Common Core and Social Studies Framework

On Friday, April 17th the Rensselaer County Historical Society will be hosting a daylong event on The Civil Rights Movement. Visit for more details and to register. Stacey Rattner and Karen Harris (both from Castleton Elementary School) will be participating in a panel discussion.
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Columbia County Librarians

Our school librarians from Columbia County gathered for a day of learning on Friday, March 20th at Chatham Middle School. Many thanks to Jeff Selby and Donna Eager for hosting.

If you are looking for someone to help you in your professional learning, we suggest you reach out to one of the experts:

  • Jennifer Two-Axe: Using 3D Printers in School Libraries
  • Judy Roehr: Smore - An Engaging Presentation Tool
  • Donna Eager and Jeff Selby: Rolling out Chatham's K-12 Research Rubric

AASL School Librarian Showcase

AASL wants to highlight you and the work you are doing for the 30th Anniversary of School Library Month. Please visit

School Library Month is about YOU, the School Librarian. For the 30th Anniversary of School Library Month, we want to celebrate school librarians and share your programs. We’ll be showcasing – based on your submissions – the exciting work you are doing to support student achievement and literacy.

Submitting your idea is quick and easy! Here is what we are looking for:

  1. A picture of you and your program (examples: a selfie in front of a great display, a photo of the program "live and in action," etc.
  2. A brief description (50 words or less) of your program and how it supports one of or more of the areas outlined in the Declaration for the Right to School Libraries<>. If you have a website, blog or narrative that relates to your program please include that information as well. You’ll be added to our Pinterest gallery.
  3. Please include contact information or byline. Please include any social media handles, too.

Your hard work deserves recognition!

SLS Database Reminder

If you or your teachers would like to learn more about a database, please ask us for a trail.

Castleton Elementary Students Welcome Chris Grabenstein

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Kwame Alexander - Visiting May 13th

We are still finalizing details, but please be sure to mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 13th. Kwame Alexander will be visiting Castleton Elementary School and there will be an opportunity for all librarians to meet Kwame in an after school session. The video below makes it easy to see why we adore Kwame!