School Library System

June 8-12, 2020

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Another Year has Come to a Close...

This is our last newsletter for the 2019-2020 school year and what a year it has been! As you reflect on this year, please take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back. You did what no other school librarian has done before. You managed to shift gears from a completely in-person library program to a virtual one in the course of only a few days. Were you perfect at it? No. Nobody did this perfectly. Nobody. Did you give it your all? Yes, because that's what we do as educators. Was it emotional and hard? Yes. We laughed and we cried. Was it rewarding too? Absolutely. Think about those students and teachers you did connect with during this time.

You did it! You made it to the end of another year! Congratulations and thank you for all you did this year! Take a well deserved rest so you can come back ready to take on the new challenges of a new school year in September, whatever those challenges may be. When you are ready, we at SLS will be here to support you and help you through the next phase of this new world. We hope you have a wonderful summer and thank you for all you do for your students, faculty, and communities.

With Gratitude,


School Library System Annual Survey

We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to answer the questions in the annual survey by June 15th. It is linked below for ease of access. Thank you for your feedback!
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June is Rainbow Book Month

Rainbow Book Month™ is an initiative of the American Library Association and is coordinated through its Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, and the Rainbow Round Table.

Get the word out in your community about Rainbow Book Month™ and your library's celebrations! ALA has developed these free, customizable publicity templates that are ready for your library to adapt and submit to your local media:

School Library Journal Virtual Events Calendar

SLJ’s Eclectic Roundup of Weekly Book-ish Things

New events and hashtags daily, geared toward literacy and social change. Daily stops for you, your students, and your families on the quarantine route, and ideas for new routines to replace the old “normal.”

View all event here:

TeachingBooks Stands with Black Lives Matter

With this special edition, we focus on amplifying Black voices and African American experiences through literary words and artistic expressions in children's and young adult books.

As author Kwame Alexander said at last week's KidLit Rally for Black Lives: "There is a knee on the neck of Black America." Today and every day, TeachingBooks stands in solidarity with Black Americans who face prejudice, injustice, violence, and even death.

We respond to the intolerable systemic racism in our society, and the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor, with the most relevant action that TeachingBooks can — access to resources that personalize and deepen everyone's connections to anti-racist books and authors. We commit to offering materials that model representation and diversity in the curriculum. We want every student to have a safe space to celebrate differences and have meaningful conversations about racism and humanity.

In that light, we offer the following: Jason Reynolds' 2017 post where he poignantly writes about the silencing of Black dialects and culture. We have over 4,800 materials on the 313 books that have been recognized by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. And, we recognize the multiplicity of African American experiences with interviews and booklists that support anti-racism to further your awareness and contemplation of exceptional children's and young adult books.

View the Special Edition here:

Kidcasts: Black Voices

Check out this podcast playlist for librarians to share with kids, families & teachers:

· Reminders ·

Project READY: Reimagining Equity & Access for Diverse Youth

Sandra Hughs Hassell has developed an online curriculum of professional development about racism and cultural competence for librarians. The professional development is free and focuses on the topics of race and racism, race equity, and culturally sustaining pedagogy. Its primary focus is on improving relationships with, services to and resources for youth of color and Native youth.

Learn more about Project READY here:

· Articles ·

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One of our first SLS Daily Chats!
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Linda Fecura's author visit with Eric Litwin!
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Student's in Jane Platania's library working with features of nonfiction!

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Rebecca Ekstrom's awesome virtual library!
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Judy Roehr, working with PE teachers to promote PE lessons in her library!
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Wishing you all the love in the world and congratulations!
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Britt Buckeroth's kiddos working on a sticker puzzle in her library!
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One of Nancy Pine's high school peeps building her book tree!
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Michelle Furlong teaching information literacy and website evaluation in Health class (great handwriting, Michelle)!
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Can we please "paws" to congratulate my mommy, Maureen King? She received tenure this year!

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So did my Mommy, Ellen Kelley-Scalzi! Let's raise the "woof"!

Congratulations on your retirement, Nancy & Laura! You will be missed!

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Thank you, Kerrie, for a great school year and for all of your support!

<3 All of your Questar III SLS Librarians

· Books of the Week ·

Recommended by member librarians
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Daily Library Chat

Monday, June 15th at 10 am - Regional SLS Meeting - a Zoom link will be sent to the listserv each week before the meeting. This will be out last daily chat for this school year.


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SLS Summer Weekly Meetings


7/15 - Social and Emotional Learning and Mental Health Part 1

7/29 - Resource Sharing Day (bring an idea, resource, tech tool, collaboration story, lesson, book, or something else to share)

8/5 - Social and Emotional Learning and Mental Health Part 2

8/12 - Leveraging Reading at All Levels and for All Students (Sora for Fall, Using Children's books in the secondary environment, Addressing Social Justice)

8/19 - Integrating Technology in the Library

8/26 - Back to School Final Prep (Discussion about plans for school in September).

Participants will receive credit for the sessions they attend only.


Gearing Up for Learning: Adjusting to a Post-COVID Learning Environment

When schools closed in March our world was changed forever. We went into crisis mode and did the best we could with the resources we had available. They were unprecedented times for sure! With the new school year starting, many things are still uncertain. What will teaching look like? Will we be in school, following a hybrid model, or be completely online? How can I best help my students and teachers? In this workshop we will help you prepare for multiple scenarios for the upcoming year so that you are prepared and so that you can support your teachers and students with any transitions that may take place. A focus will be placed on making transitions from in-person learning to other types of learning (hybrid/online) and doing so as seamlessly as possible. Join us as we start planning for the new school year.

Date: August 6, 2020

Time: 9:00 am - Noon


Summer Regional Workshops

We are collaborating with Capital Region BOCES, HFM BOCES, and WSWHE BOCES to bring you three two hour sessions designed to help you create an instructional plan for returning to school in the fall, in whatever capacity that may be.

Dates and times are to be determined. When finalized, an email will be sent to the listserv with registration information.

Diversity Series Kickoff for School Librarians

Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, do better", and that is what we intend to do. Please join us for a kickoff to our 20-21 Diversity Series. We are going to discuss plans for the year ahead regarding the why and how of conducting diversity audits of your collections.

As school librarians, we strive to help students build understanding and to make unbiased, educated opinions, and judgments. We already know, such goals do not begin and end with teaching research skills and information literacy. Programming and collection development can make a significant impact as well. And so, we will also discuss plans for what steps to take once your audit is complete.
Please bring with you your concerns, questions, ideas, successes, goals, and excitement about making your collections more diverse.
A Zoom link will be sent to you on the morning of the meeting.

Date: August 26. 2020

Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Register here:

Follett Refresher AM Session - For Staff New to Follett

This session is for new members and will include an overview of the system and service, as well as the latest product updates to Follett Destiny and Discover. There will be time available to work with your fellow librarians, as well as time for customized support. Participants must be from districts participating in the library automation CoSer at Questar III. A zoom link will be sent to you on the morning of the meeting.

Date: August 27. 2020

Time: 9:00 am - Noon

Register here:

Follett Refresher PM Session - Product Updates and Support

This session will include the latest product updates to Follett Destiny and Discover. There will be time available to work with your fellow librarians, as well as time for customized support. Participants must be from districts participating in the library automation CoSer at Questar III. A zoom link will be sent to you on the morning of the meeting.

Date: August 27. 2020

Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Register here:

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Model Schools Specialist - Questar III BOCES

Job ID:QTBN0173539-0000

Job Type:Full Time (11 Month)

Application Deadline:06/17/2020

Start Date:07/01/2020

Job Description:

Starting 7/1/20 - Questar III BOCES has a full-time probationary vacancy (10-month plus 20 day schedule) for a Model Schools Specialist based out of our Central Office in Castleton, NY. This position will provide high quality integration and support of instructional technology for Questar III component school districts. Responsibilities will include: providing professional development in-district, online, and region-wide on a variety of topics related to integrating technology, curriculum, and instruction; model best practices for instructional strategies in district; provide support to districts in the areas of curriculum, assessment, and aligning standards to practice as it relates to instructional technology; prepare and present dynamic presentations to audiences of all sizes; develop and implement online courses and webinars; support districts in their implementation of educational technology initiatives, including Google and Microsoft; working in various computing platforms and with a wide variety of educational technology devices. Must have NYS Teacher certification and a minimum five years of successful teaching experience.

Questar III BOCES offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits package, including enrollment in the NYS Teacher's Retirement Pension System. For more information on the Questar III Model School program, please visit


Questar III School Library System

Kerrie Burch, Director of School Library System, Model Schools, and Arts

Amanda Karian, School Library System Specialist

Photo by Kumiko SHIMIZU on Unsplash