WSWHE BOCES School Library System

September 27, 2021

We are Social Butterflies!

Recently, the SLS created social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We hope you will join our various social media platforms. You will see information on these platforms that promote librarianship, what the SLS is working on, and more. Click the link below to subscribe/like/follow.




Meeting Preferences 2021 - 2022

Getting to Know You!

In case you missed it in the first newsletter or were too busy to even take a look, below is a survey that we are asking everyone to respond to in order to get to know everyone a bit better and what your library situation is this year. While Kerrie knows many of the librarians in the region already, it has been a few years since she has seen many of you and things quite possibly have changed since then, not to mention anyone she does not yet know. Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to complete the survey. It will be very helpful!

BEDS Day - October 6, 2021

BEDS day is the "opening day" according to the State Ed web page, and this year it is October 6th. An email went out on September 23rd with information that you will need for the library portion of the BEDS forms. You can find more information on our BEDS LibGuide as well.


Sora News--lots to share

Lots of happenings around Sora! We also have a "choice board" of tutorials for OverDrive Marketplace for you to explore.

NY Reads--Please take advantage of this NEW always-available collection of hundreds of titles! You and your students & teachers have to manually add it, but you only have to set it once. SLS can assign these titles to students for you as well. This can be a total game changer for teachers getting class sets of books into students' hands! Make sure you browse the collection and get a sense of what is in there.

Look for the "No Waiting" banners in Sora. OverDrive recently gave us access to more simultaneous access titles that you'll find in these banners, blended with some other always-available titles we already own. You will likely see overlap with the new NY Reads collection; the more ways to get to titles, the better! (And both collections can be searched at the same time.)

There will be a "no waiting" title available November 1-15 for high schoolers called Five Total Strangers as part of OverDrive's Big Library Read.

There is also an always-available SEL collection in Sora until June 2022, as well as a collection of titles in Spanish. (This collection will be changing in October, titles TBD, but we will still have a batch of Spanish-translated titles in Sora.) And for MultiMedia users, Alicia has been building Sora collections as well. Basically, there's a lot to unpack in Sora! Feel free to email us with any questions.


OPALS catalogs have the capability of allowing students to browse and reserve titles on their own. Reach out to Karin if you have any questions about getting that going!

OPALS can help your district set up a "set it and forget it" option for automatically updating your students on a regular basis.

We will be sending out a refresher on ILLs, since many of us are rusty, and we can do webinars on this as well. You can also find information on our LibGuides.

Professional Book Collection

Did you know that the School Library System has a Professional Book Collection? We have many new acquisitions for you to check out. Some books are available through Sora (and are assignable!) and others are available through inter-library loan. This Google Slide deck shows you what we have, and has a Google form if you would like to request physical items to loan (or give us suggestions).

Managing the Successful School Library

"More than just a compendium of management theories, this book provides much food for thought that will help readers gain important insights into their own roles as school library managers and leaders"

Available in Sora and via ILL.

Your students, my students, our students: rethinking equitable and inclusive classrooms

"A thought-provoking and practical new vision for inclusion built on five disruptions to the status quo necessary to move inclusive schooling practices to the next level and realize the promise of meaningful educational experience for all students, including students with disabilities"

Available through ILL

WSWHE Rockstar School Librarian - Mike Davies - South Glens Falls High School

This is my sixth year as a librarian; I taught English at South High for fifteen years prior to that, so I am in my twenty-first year at South Glens Falls. Before that I taught elementary school at Saratoga Independent School from 1997-2001.

I would bring my English class to the library for research and independent book selections multiple times per year and saw how much Barb Zuccaro enjoyed the position. She would do a great job selecting books and providing quick synopses of them, and she was expert at using the databases and citing. I am drawn to those aspects of the job, and she was a great model. I also attended the SUNY Adirondack “bridge” conference for several years and started to get the feel that high school libraries were about to undergo a significant change, and librarians seemed to have significant autonomy vis a vis those changes.

At the risk of overusing a brutal cliche--it’s the kids who make me happy to come into work each day. Our numbers are way down due to Covid, but the library is filling back up, and it’s the daily interactions with the students that means the most to me.

Barb started a good weeding process before she left in order not to leave it for whoever followed her, and I have picked it up and thrown myself into it last year and this year. When I started going through the shelves, it was clear that a great deal was duplicated in databases, so I had to really look at why I was keeping it. I have also been trying to develop a strong digital literacy plan with a focus on vetting sources/discerning real from fake news and have worked with pretty much all of our ninth graders and twelfth graders. I used Common Sense Media as a launching point but also created my own lesson, and have had good reactions to it from students and teachers.

Tied into the last answer, I am most excited about being a librarian during such a paradigm shift as to how information is sought out and consumed. Maybe our most daunting and exciting challenge is convincing students that vetting news and sources is worthwhile and that we each have a responsibility in the dissemination of information and news.

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