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Newsletter Fall 2020: Welcome


Contact Information


131 N. Midland Avenue, Nyack, New York   10960     (845) 348-3500 ext. 3596   fax  348-3559

Welcome back to a most unusual school year 2020-2021. Use this link to access the 2019-2020 annual evaluation on survey monkey

HyFlex Teaching and Learning

System directors had the opportunity in August to participate in a leadership retreat with Dr. Jen Cannell, Director of the Graduate School Library Media Program at St. John Fisher College and President of NYLA.  One component of the retreat focused on "HyFlex" (hybrid flexible ) Teaching and Learning.  This model combines face-to-face, synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning, a challenge which most of you are now facing.  Among the pros of this model of teaching are all students participate, flexibility, equity and engagement.  The cons are the need to re-conceptualize learning and consistent technology is required.  She also provided a template for an instructional plan (see link below) which you may find useful.  It enables you to plan one lesson and see the resources you will need in that lesson for your face to face, synchronous and asynchronous students. But what supports do you need as you move towards a HyFlex teaching model?  She identified three broad categories, technology needs, resources and logistics.  Technology considerations must include the best structure for the lesson, that is, full group, small group or individual work.  When selecting resources, equitable access for face to face and online learners is a must.  Librarians may find it helpful to assign a student to monitor the chat so that you can focus on teaching.  As a final note with the many challenges that the coming year will bring, she  suggested focusing on section 4 of the ESIFC, the Priority Benchmark Skills.


"The Digital Public Library of America empowers people to learn, grow, and contribute to a diverse and better-functioning society. We do this by maximizing public access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge."

DPLA offers photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents,ebooks and  more,  free and available in digital format. It offers primary source sets which include teaching resources. To explore the ebook content, from the main DP.LA page select the tab "DPLA PRO" and then scroll down to ebooks.  You can browse the open book shelf.   Continue to learn more.



The New York State Library has announced that the current collection of NOVELNY statewide e-resources will continue through June 30, 2021.  NOVELNY is an online virtual library connecting New Yorkers to 21st century information via libraries and library systems.  It is funded with federal Library Services and Technology Act funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The resources include an encyclopedia, strong general reference and periodicals content, issues, business, news and health concentrations, content for secondary school students and an interface and content for children.  The specific databases include:  Business - Business Insights Essentials (Gale ), Education - Educators Reference Complete (Gale), General Periodicals - Academic OneFile with InfoTrac Collections (Gale), Expanded Academic ASAP with InfoTrac Collections(Gale), General OneFile with InfoTrac Collections (Gale), General Reference Center Gold with InfoTrac Collections (Gale), Informe Academico (Gale), Elementary Level General Periodicals - Kids InfoBits (Gale), Secondary Level General Periodicals - Research in Context (Gale), Encyclopedia - Encyclopedia Britannica (Britannica Digital Learning) includes Britannica School, Britannica Academic and Britannica Escolar, Health - Health Reference Center Academic (Gale), Issues - Opposing Viewpoints in Context (Gale), Newspapers - InfoTrac Newstand including New York State Newspapers (Gale), Technology - Computer Database.  These resources are available at no cost to schools and provide an excellent foundation for libraries with limited funds.


Covid Precautions to Safely Re-Open Your Library

As schools begin the process of reopening and bringing students back on site, librarians are rightly concerned about circulating materials.  Dr. Christopher Harris, director of the Genesee Valley School Library System has developed a one page guide for reopening libraries.  The PDF below will open his one page summary to safely open your library.  The link to School Library Journal will take you to an article which  references Project REALM.  This project funded by IMLS, allowed library leaders to work with scientists to test the viability of the COVID virus on the surface of resources (books, CD cases etc.) typically found in libraries.This project is still releasing information to keep us well informed.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Rockland BOCES School Library System is to serve the school libraries by supporting all library-related services.  The school library system fosters the professional growth of county librarians and facilitates the progress of staff and students towards achieving the educational goals defined by New York State.

Professional Development


The school library system provides access to all libraries to TeachingBooks.  TeachingBooks is a database of resources about children's and young adult books and their authors and illustrators. Librarians and teachers can use this resource to search titles, authors and illustrators, and find resources to engage readers. The TeachingBooks collection includes short movies, audio book readings, book discussion guides, and other resources. TeachingBooks can be accessed from the union catalog or the school library's OPAC.  It is password protected.  The website includes short video tutorials in the educator section.  Please share with your staff.



Fall Into Books 2020

The 22nd annual Fall Into Books Children's and Teen Literature Conference scheduled for October 2020 has been postponed due to the COVID restrictions on large group gatherings.  It is rescheduled for October 26, 2021.  It will take place at the Crestview Conference Center in West Nyack.  Our keynote author is Raul Colon author and illustrator.  Registration materials will be available in May 2021.

Fall Into Books 2021 Keynote Author: Raul Colon

Although it was necessary to postpone Fall Into Books 2020, we are pleased that  Raul Colon will still be our keynote author in 2021.  He is the author/illustrator of many books including  Imagine and Tomas and the Library Lady.  This link will bring you to a short presentation of Imagine.

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Librarycon Free Event

Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for the fourth annual LibraryCon Live! This day-long celebration of fandom-beloved stories and characters, features the creators behind mind-bending speculative fiction, innovative comics, and fan-favorite graphic novels.  Register here.


A Secret History - Interment of Italian-Americans During World War II

Una Storia Segreta Exhibit Now Online
The exhibit Una Storia Segreta: When Italian Americans Were “Enemy Aliens” opened at the Museo Italo Americano in San Francisco in 1994 and is now available online, providing access to facts about Italian American restriction, internment and evacuation during World War II. Visit:

OPALS Users Group Meetings

OPALS users will have an opportunity to learn more about the latest enhancements to the union catalog and OPACs including "Returned Items Quarantine Management", a union catalog devoted to ebooks only and an ability to search the specialized collections developed through the COSER. The users group for elementary librarians will take placed on October 13, 2020, 2:00-3:00 via zoom.  The users group for middle and high school librarians will take place on October 20, 2020, 2:00-3:00 via zoom.  An invitation to attend will be sent a few days before the event.  In the meantime, the pdf's below will give details on some of the latest enhancements from OPALS including library operation in the age of COVID.

Project Ready

The eight library systems in the Southeastern region, Dutchess, Orange-Ulster, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster School Library Systems, Ramapo-Catskill and Mid-Hudson Public Library Systems and SENYLRC,  are sponsoring Project Ready:  Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth.  This is an extensive professional development program that will span 15 weeks beginning in January 2021.  It will follow the Project Ready syllabus developed by the University of North Carolina.  This program is designed "for school and public youth services librarians, library administrators, and others interested in improving their knowledge about race and racism, racial equity, and culturally sustaining pedagogy. The primary focus of the Project READY curriculum is on improving relationships with, services to, and resources for youth of color and Native youth."  Participants will be expected to complete 30 hours of asynchronous learning and be required to attend 6 zoom discussion groups to receive CTLE credit.  Dr. Evangela Oates will be the facilitator/coordinator for this program.  The initial cohort will be limited to 100 participants drawn from school, public and academic libraries.  Registration information , along with fees,  will be forthcoming and posted to MLP.

NYS Reading Association - Charlotte Award Ballot

The Charlotte Award is named for the main character in E. B. White's Charlotte's Web. The purpose of the Charlotte Award is to encourage students to read outstanding literature and ultimately become lifelong readers. Students get to participate in selecting the winning titles by reading the books and then voting for their favorites.  The voting process is to have students or classes read the books and then give their vote either individually or by class.  Sharon Kelly is the Co-chair of the NYS Reading Association (NYSRA) Charlotte Award Ballot 2021.  She and 6 other NYSRA members read books from many publishers and came up with the 10 best in 4 categories, Primary, Intermediate, Middle School and High School.  These are listed in the PDF below and the google form address to vote on the favorites can be found on the last page.  The last day to vote is April 15, 2021.

SLJ Day of Dialog

Join SLJ on October 15 for the most anticipated librarian gathering of the year, back by popular demand and still fully virtual and free to attend, the SLJ Day of Dialog

New York State Library Announces Digital Divide Webinar Series

From the New York State Library:

An estimated 550,000 students in New York lack reliable Internet connectivity outside of the classroom. Identifying these unconnected students is the first step in addressing the digital equity gap and being able to deliver remote learning -- and that’s the topic that Grace Ting and Ellen Goldich of the EducationSuperHighway will address in the second webinar of the Digital Equity Webinar Series.

To learn more, please join us at 2 pm on September 24th for Digital Bridge K-12 Initiative: Assessing Home Access Needs. The presenters will introduce the Digital Bridge K-12 “Home Access Needs Assessment Playbook,” a free step-by-step guide to help identify students who lack home digital access.

 Please see the State Library’s Digital Equity Webinar Series page to register for the September 24th webinar, or any of the other webinars in the series. (If you missed the first webinar in the series, you can also access a recording of it there.)

 These webinars, intended for educators, librarians, and other stakeholders with an interest in digital equity, aim to establish a shared understanding of the challenges to digital equity so that we can begin to develop a vision of how we can work together to achieve digital equity in New York.  

 The webinars are sponsored by the NYS Library and the NYS Education Department, in partnership with the METRO Library Council and the Northern New York Library Network.


Databases Access

The School Library System now has an approved database COSER.  Please call the system office for details.

Sesame Street and Mask Wearing

The creators of Sesame Street have a video to encourage younger, reluctant children to wear masks.

Science Resources K-8,  is an online Science resource for K-8 teachers that may be helpful this school year.  It is  a collection of online science videos and lessons covering 98% of the Learning Standards in NY. The resource was made in partnership with the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) and can be used remotely, in the classroom or in a hybrid model. Teachers are able to send links to students giving them access from anywhere in 1-click. In addition to videos, GenerationGenius includes lesson plans, paper & online quizzes, reading material, discussion questions, and even DIY activities that use everyday items.  GenerationGenius is a Public Benefit Corporation.

Thank you


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