SLS Newsletter

November 8, 2021

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We had a wonderful day together on October 28th learning best practices for assisting ELL students as well as learning about the SLP Rubric. See the pictures below for a glimpse into our day. If you were unable to join us, you can find the presentation and documents for the day here. Our next Communication Coordinator meeting is January 27th at the Ballard Road Conference Center. You can register here.

Sora Summer Reads Contest Winners


First Place - Lake George Elementary

Second Place - Hartford Elementary

Third Place - Gordon Creek Elementary, Ballston Spa


First Place - Ballston Spa Middle School

Second Place - Mechanicville MS/HS

Third Place - Glens Falls Middle School

professional news

Public Domain Gone Wrong?

Why is BJ Novak's face on so many products?

Copyright Teaching Tool Available

There is a wonderful website called Copyright and Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens: Resources for teaching copyright and fair use. It includes a free online, self-paced PD course for teachers.

Upcoming Professional Development

Navigating Purchasing, NY Reads, and more in Sora

Thursday, Nov. 18th, 12-2pm

This is an online event.

Join us as we help librarians understand the ins and outs of purchasing in Sora, adding the NY Reads platform, and other tools within Sora. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how to navigate various parts of Sora in order to help students and teachers.


Providing Support in the School Library (2nd Date Due to Popular Demand)

Wednesday, Dec. 15th, 8:30am-3pm

267 Ballard Road

Gansevoort, NY

This workshop is open to aides and assistants who work in the school library to support the library program. Our agenda will include items such as working with students, interlibrary loans, best practices, cataloging, and book repairs. Participants will leave with strategies to ensure successful implementation of the library program.

This is the same workshop as is being held on December 2nd. Register:

Library Policies: Creating Equity through Action (SERIES)

It is good practice to examine the policies and procedures for collection development and challenged materials periodically. Join us for this four part series that will examine the process for policy making/adopting within the school, look at current policies, and give librarians time to develop policies that can be advocated for use within their schools. Specifically, we will look at collection development and challenged materials policies. Sessions will not be recorded. The Zoom link will be shared with participants the day before the event.

This is a four part series that will take place from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm each date:

January 5th

January 12th

January 19th

January 26th


Teaching for Truth - Librarians as Leaders for Media Literacy (Communication Coordinator Meeting #3)

Tuesday, March 22nd 2022 at 8:30am-3pm

900 Watervliet Shaker Road

Albany, NY

Given our already overloaded curriculum, how do we realistically teach all of our students to develop habits of critical thinking about the media messages they see, read and hear? This interactive conference will give librarians the inspiration, theory, models, resources - and some time - for planning how to integrate media analysis into your work with students and teachers. Cyndy Scheibe and Chris Sperry, the directors of Project Look Sharp, and authors of the upcoming book, Teaching Students to Decode the World, will engage participants in a practical model for media decoding that can be integrated at all grade levels and subjects. This question-based approach uses rich media documents 1/4 from blogs to books and films to Facebook 1/4 to motivate all students for life-long learning while addressing IFC and subject area standards. In the afternoon participants will review free classroom-ready lessons and PD materials, and work individually or in small groups to create plans for implementing this work.



Sora "Big Library Read" Going on now (middle school on up)

Five Total Strangers is an always-available title available until November 15, if you want to check it out!


SLS is running Mitinet updates right now and updating the union catalog

SLS is going through all of the local catalogs, running updates through Mitinet, and re-uploading all local catalogs (OPALS and Follett) to the union catalog. While the majority of new items from OPALS catalogs filter up to the union automatically, weeded items don't always come out. (Follett users: if you don't see new items reflected in the union catalog soon, just give us a nudge. Destiny records are updated manually.)

Professional Book Collection

The Encyclopedia of Misinformation

From Amazon: "How have the media, government, technology, and history deceived us? Have fake and real become indistinguishable? Were we ever unburdened of disinformation, or is deception bound to the human experience? Are we being manipulated right now, or worse yet, are we deceiving ourselves? These are the provocative questions within The Encyclopedia of Misinformation, a compendium of deception and delusion throughout history. In a frolicking series of vignettes, author Rex Sorgatz saunters through propaganda and subterfuge in eclectic contexts, including science and religion, comedy and law, sports and video games. Slingshotting through conspiracy theories, internet and popular culture, and perplexing psychological phenomena, this compendium illuminates deliriously diverse subjects: Artificial Intelligence, Auto-Tune, Chilean Sea Bass, Claques, Clickbait, Cognitive Dissonance, Cryptids, Dark Matter, False Flag Operations, Gaslighting, Gerrymandering, Kayfabe, Laugh Tracks, Milli Vanilli, Phantom Time Hypothesis, Photoshopping, Potemkin Villages, Rachel Dolezal, Strategery, Truthiness, and the Uncanny Valley. Encyclopedic in scope, but with an incisive voice tuned to these bedeviling times, this is the modern reference book to engage a world rife with artifice and deception."

Available on Sora

All Learning is Social and Emotional

From Amazon: While social and emotional learning (SEL) is most familiar as compartmentalized programs separate from academics, the truth is, all learning is social and emotional. What teachers say, the values we express, the materials and activities we choose, and the skills we prioritize all influence how students think, see themselves, and interact with content and with others.

If you teach kids rather than standards, and if you want all kids to get what they need to thrive, Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, and Dominique Smith offer a solution: a comprehensive, five-part model of SEL that's easy to integrate into everyday content instruction, no matter what subject or grade level you teach. You'll learn the hows and whys of

  • Building students' sense of identity and confidence in their ability to learn, overcome challenge, and influence the world around them.
  • Helping students identify, describe, and regulate their emotional responses.
  • Promoting the cognitive regulation skills critical to decision making and problem solving.
  • Fostering students' social skills, including teamwork and sharing, and their ability to establish and repair relationships.
  • Equipping students to becoming informed and involved citizens.

    Along with a toolbox of strategies for addressing 33 essential competencies, you'll find real-life examples highlighting the many opportunities for social and emotional learning within the K–12 academic curriculum. Children’s social and emotional development is too important to be an add-on or an afterthought, too important to be left to chance. Use this books integrated SEL approach to help your students build essential skills that will serve them in the classroom and throughout their lives.

  • Available from our Professional Collection
  • WSWHE "RISING STAR" School Librarian

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    Kelly Heath, Hudson Falls High School

    This month's Rising Star Librarian is Kelly Heath from Hudson Falls High School. She was chosen because she shows innovation, creativity, and leadership in her position. She is doing amazing things already! Read what she has to say about her journey to becoming a school librarian:

    After two decades as a Middle School Music teacher at Hudson Falls Middle School, I felt a calling to enroll in a Masters program to work on becoming certified in Library Media. I figured I would take my classes, and eventually, maybe, I might want to switch gears for a bit of a change. Little did I know that the stars would align for me to become an LMS much sooner than expected, and I couldn’t be happier with this life and career change, as the Library Media Specialist at Hudson Falls High School. After this semester, I have 2 classes plus my practicum left to complete my second Masters degree. I currently have my Supplementary certificate as I work towards receiving my Professional certificate.

    I truly love life in the library. Every day is different, with new challenges, successes, and opportunities to grow into this profession. Working with teachers to coordinate, cooperate, and collaborate has been an incredible experience. I am particularly proud of the work we are doing involving Book Clubs in Social Studies classes. Using historical fiction, graphic novel adaptations, and high interest texts, students are making connections to the curriculum through reading! The atmosphere in the room is electric. Students who typically don’t care to read books are, in fact, reading! We simply couldn’t have such successful book clubs without the assistance of all schools in our BOCES region. I am continuously amazed at the network of librarians in our area. From the strong ILL system, to the listservs, to the constant support offered by Kerrie Burch, Karin Howansky, Alicia Makenzie, and all the amazing folks at BOCES… I am so proud and grateful to work with so many incredibly helpful people.

    Another aspect of this job I love is connecting students with the perfect book for them. Nothing makes me happier than passing a student in the hall only to have them say, “Mrs. Heath, I am loving the book you recommended. It is soooooo good!” It’s particularly satisfying when a student professes they do NOT read and they’re sure I won’t be able to get them to read. Challenge accepted! Our English teachers are supportive of a strong library/classroom partnership, and a portion of every English class is devoted to Independent Reading. Given the opportunity to read anything they want, most students look forward to that time to continue reading a book that most interests them. I am happy to provide reading inspiration to all of our students.

    Perhaps the most exciting thing happening this spring/summer is a complete renovation of the High School library. From floor to ceiling, wall to wall, the space is being completely reimagined! We’ve gathered plenty of feedback from all stakeholders, have had multiple meetings with the architect and designers, and have a solid plan in place. We are all so excited for this next chapter in the Hudson Falls High School Library. I am proud and honored to be a part of it all.

    School Library System Staff

    Kerrie Burch, Coordinator for School Library Systems

    Karin Howansky, School Library Media Specialist

    Amy Brennan-Strack, Databases, Budgets, General Information

    Deb Massa, Information Processing Specialist