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K-8 School Librarians - Invited to Apply for $5,000 Humanities Programming Prize

authorSchool Library System October 24, 2014

A message from ALA Public Programs Office:

The American Library Association is now accepting applications for the 2015 Sara Jaffarian Award. School libraries, public or private, that served children in grades K-8 and conducted humanities programs during the 2013-14 school year are eligible. The winning library will receive $5,000.

More information go to The deadline is Dec. 15, 2014.

The winners of the American Library Association’s 2014 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award were announced last week.  The presentation is now archived and available for viewing any time.

The speakers are Leslie Preddy, school librarian at Perry Meridian Middle School and president-elect of the American Association of School Librarians, and Suzanne Walker, children’s services consultant at the Indiana State Library.

Leslie and Suzanne discuss the collaborations and process that went into creating “ROAD I Travel,” their successful genealogy program for eighth-graders.

People applying for the 2015 Jaffarian Award are especially encouraged to watch the webinar. For information on applying, visit

2014-15 Letters About Literature

authorSchool Library System October 23, 2014

The Empire State Center for the Book is a participant in the national Letters About Literature program sponsored by the Library of Congress National Center for the Book. New York State students in grades 4-12 are eligible to participate in the program.  The state winners in the three age categories go on to represent New York at the national level.

The program has student readers write to an author living or dead describing how that author’s work somehow changed the reader’s view of the world or himself/herself. Readers respond to the book they read by exploring the personal relationship between themselves, the author, and the book’s characters or themes.

There are three competition levels:

  • Level 1 for grades 4-6
  • Level 2 for grades 7-8
  • Level 3 for grades 9-12

Submission deadlines to the Library of Congress national program are:

Level 3 - December 15, 2014

Levels 1 & 2 - January 15, 2015

The Empire State Center for the Book’s Letters About Literature program will select a state winner and 1-2 finalists in each of the three age categories. The winners and finalists will receive cash awards. The winners will be recognized at the New York State Writers Hall of Fame Gala on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at the Princeton Club in New York City. The NYS Writers Hall of Fame is also a program of the Empire State Center for the Book.

National winners, announced in late April, receive additional cash prizes. For more information and guidelines, please visit the national web site at:

Please contact Ellen Rubin, NYS Letters About Literature Coordinator, with any questions at:

Webinar - Spotlight on New York (SoNY) Interactive eBooks for Social Studies

authorSchool Library System October 22, 2014

Join us on November 13th for a 1-hour after school webinar  to learn more about the Spotlight on New York (SoNY) Interactive eBooks that are available to all SLS members, students and staff.  Participants will become familiar with a selection of interactive eBooks to support grades 3-7.

Designed to support New York’s local history, culture and government units, the Spotlight on New York series includes instruction and assessments addressing:  essential questions, NYS Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and inquiry and project based learning.

The five eBooks titles were purchased by the Dutchess BOCES School Library System: Leaders in Colonial NYThe First Peoples of New YorkNew York’s European ExplorersNew York in the American Revolution, and The Peoples and Cultures of New York. Read more »

SSL 2015 Spring Conference — Call for Proposals

authorSchool Library System October 21, 2014

The 2015 New York Library Association SSL Spring Conference is now accepting proposals for presentations. Technology use/tools should be embedded in one of the strands, not as a stand alone session.


  • Inquiry
  • Management
  • Programming
  • Advocacy
  • Collaboration

Click here for the online application.

The RFP will close on December 1.

For more information about the conference, please visit:

Follow us:  @slmsseny

Contact information:

Co-chairs:  Nina Levine and Tara Thibault-Edmonds

AASL Seeks Awards Nominations

authorSchool Library System October 20, 2014

Applications for the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) 2015 awards season are now available using AASL’s online awards application.

  • the National School Library Program of the Year Award, $10,000 and a crystal obelisk, sponsored by Follett, recognizes a school library program that meets the needs of the changing school and library environment and are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum;
  • the Distinguished Service Award, $3,000, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, which recognizes an individual member of the library profession who has, over a significant period of time, made an outstanding national contribution to school librarianship and school library development;
  • the ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant, up to $1,750, sponsored by ABC-CLIO, which is given to school library associations that are AASL affiliates for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional or local levels;

Read more »

Cool Tools for School - 2014/15

authorSchool Library System October 17, 2014

The Cool Tools for School online professional development program for school librarians is back!  For more details about the course click on the icon below.  Look for the the workshop description and registration in the Dutchess BOCES  Click here to check out what past participants have to say about this online course.

Position Paper on Elementary School Librarians

authorSchool Library System October 16, 2014

The New York Library Association Section of School Librarians published a position paper strongly recommending that certified school librarians be required in all

elementary schools.  The essay includes several compelling reasons and exa

mples about the positive educational impact on students when an school librarian is present and actively engaged with

This was begun at the Ed Leadership Institute in Cornell this past August.  Many librarians have contributed information, edited and corrected this paper.

This is one outcome of the 2014 School Library Summit, July 7-8 in Albany, initiated by NYLA President, Sara Kelly Johns.

“School Libraries Make the Difference” and “School Libraries Transform Learning”

authorSchool Library System October 15, 2014

From ALA and the Advocacy Office: The ALA Office for Library Advocacy has just published“School Libraries Make the Difference,” a new addition to I Love Libraries, ALA’s website for the public. It’s available at

Written specifically with parents in mind, it focuses on the importance of quality school libraries and certified school librarians for student success at all education levels. Facts about student success, lifelong learning and college and career readiness, as well as infographics, and videos produced by state school library associations help to illustrate the importance of quality school library programs. Tips for getting involved range from visiting a school library to writing op-eds for local publications.

Created in consultation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), this resource complements AASL’s new, “School Libraries Transform Learning,” a digital supplement produced by American Libraries magazine. It’s available at and

A Message from NYLA/SSL

authorSchool Library System October 14, 2014

A message from Karen Sperrazza, President, NYLA/SSL:

Greetings All,

Our SSL web site is newly updated; please take a look.

Read the  Latest Issue of the Newsletter on the SSL web site.

New York Library Association Annual Conference and Trade Show

November 5-8, 2014 in Saratoga

NYLA President, Sara Kelly Johns

Complete Conference information and REGISTRATION:

Here are the SSL sponsored programs -

Pre-Conference Continuing Education Workshop (SSL)

Wednesday, 11/5, 2-5 pm

  • Dr. Barbara Stripling - Teaching Strategies for Active, Inquiry-Based Learning

Thursday, 11/6, 4-5:15 pm Program slot 2 (SSL, LAMS)

  • Sue Kowalski - Empowering Innovative Leadership through the Library

National Cyber Security Awareness Month K-12 Poster Contest

authorSchool Library System October 13, 2014

The NYS Office of Information Technology Services’ Enterprise Information Security Office is hosting the “NYS K-12 Kids Safe Online Poster Contest” during the month of October in conjunction with “National Cyber Security Awareness Month” activities. Information can be distributed to all parents, teachers and students in NYS public, private and home-schools, inviting students to participate in the contest.

This is a great opportunity for teachers to talk to students about being safe while on the Internet and when using computers and mobile devices. This year the contest has four entry categories: Kindergarten - Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12. New York State winners will be entered into the MS-ISAC National Computer Security Poster Contest which is held in the spring. National contest winning posters will be included in the 2016 Annual MS-ISAC calendar distributed in the fall of 2015. Read more »