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Newsletter June 2017: Welcome


Contact Information


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

Thank You!

It's been a very busy year.  Thank you to all who made a special effort to participate in school library system activities and initiatives in 2016-2017.  Before leaving on your summer break, please be sure to return your directory update, ILL stats and complete the annual evaluation.  Access the annual evaluation here.

News for School Library System Members

Communications coordinators are district representatives who assist with SLS planning and keep member librarians informed of school library system initiatives.  They meet 4 times per year.  All system members are welcome to attend the meetings.  The communications coordinators are:  Clarkstown-Susan Raul, East Ramapo-Emily Hernandez, Nanuet-Dana DeVita, North Rockland-Laura Grant, Nyack-Carolyn Travers, Pearl River-Pamela Simboli, Ramapo-Dominick Martiniello, South Orangetown-Lois Parker-Hennion and Albertus Magnus-Doreen McAvoy.  Do not hesitate to contact your communications coordinators if you have information or a great idea to share with other members of the system.

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 progress of staff and students towards achieving the educational goals defined by New York State.

Professional Development

Continuing Education Opportunities

Fall Into Books 19th Annual Children's and Teen Literature Conference, October 25, 2017

Marketing Your Library Collection and Book Look, November 7, 2017

Shared Stories, Open Minds, November 7, 2017

Coding and Robotics Part 3 October 3, 2017

Coding and Robotics Part 4 November 16, 2017

Serving ESL Students - A cosponsored workshop of the 5 Southeastern School Library Systems December 2017

ESIFC (Empire State Information Fluency Continuum) Moodle  (Developed by the Rockland and Ulster School Library Systems, multiple strands each offering 6 contact hours.  If interested contact the system office.)


Fall Into Books 2017

Celebrating its 19th year, the annual Fall Into Books Conference is set to take place on October  252017 at the newly renovated Best Western in Kingston, New York.  Be sure to register early if you plan to attend, and read your assigned books! 

Registration materials were sent to all member libraries.  Our author speaker is  Kwame Alexander.  Read about Kwame below and then enjoy listening to him read from one of his books.

Registration materials can also be accessed here.

Fall into Books 2017 Keynote Author:Kwame Alexander

How Kwame Alexander Gets Teens Reading and Writing Poetry

Kwame Alexander (front) with students from the Singapore American School.  Photo by of Singapore American School.

Kwame Alexander (front) with students from the Singapore American School.
Photo by of Singapore American School.

“When I go to high schools the thing I tell the young men is you start writing poetry and you will always win. Write poems and learn how to slow dance.” —Sherman Alexie

The world is hungry for words of hope, change, humor, and love, and the writing workshop has the ability to conjure up the kind of meaningful and creative energy that we all crave. The writing workshop is a gathering of passionate ideas and opinions. It is the birthplace of creative inspiration and illumination.

It is the room where our students can go to imagine and re-imagine the world for themselves, and for us. Even the most reluctant and recalcitrant of literary learners can be empowered. Want to create an immediate, vibrant, powerful writing workshop? Try poetry.


Professional Development at SENYLRC

Southeastern presents: “Educator Lab”, Three days of Professional Development classes on Library Media Literacies for Teachers

On August 14-16, 2017, Southeastern NY Library Resources Council (SENYLRC) is producing three classes to teach educators how to use library resources in the classroom. These classes will help teachers prepare high school students for college-level research and will cover topics such as information literacy, research proficiency, 21st Century research skills, and effective library use. Regional college librarians, archivists, and high school librarians will be teaching modules within the workshop series.

The inspiration for these workshops came from a special interest group that met at Southeastern to talk about the high school to college transition. These conversations between college and high school librarians revealed the need to get classroom teachers more information about what librarians have to offer. The conversations led to the librarians developing a curriculum for this workshop series so they could share what they know and have learned with classroom teachers and educators.  

The curriculum developed into a three-day series, and attendees can come to one, two, or all three of the classes. Day 1 is focused on information literacy online, and students will learn how to use Google and Wikipedia for deeper scholarly search. They will also learn how to teach students to evaluate their resources, avoid plagiarism, cite sources correctly, and understand how information gets onto the web.

Day 2 will be held at the Mount Saint Mary College Library, and will focus on what it takes to craft a good research assignment using library resources. This day will feature a scavenger hunt through the library and attendees will learn how resources like the library catalog, databases, and inter-library loan can be used by students to conduct effective research.

The last of the three classes will focus on how archival resources that are unique to the Hudson Valley such as the website Hudson River Valley Heritage, the FDR Presidential Library and local government documents can be incorporated into research projects.

Southeastern is an accredited CTLE sponsor through New York State, and each class is 6 credit hours. Any 9-12 grade educator who assigns research projects and will be teaching in the 2017-2018 school year is welcome to join. The cost is $75 for the 3-day series or $60 per class.

More information and registration can be found on Southeastern’s website here:

(submitted by Carolyn Bennett Glauda)

Professional Development

Planning for professional development in 2017-2018 is underway and system members will have many exciting opportunities for professional development in the new year.  "Fall Into Books",  the premier event for the 8 library systems in the Southeastern region,  is scheduled for October 25, 2017.  Library Development Day is scheduled for Superintendent's Conference Day on November 7, 2017.  Already confirmed is a workshop on "Marketing Your Library Collection" with presenter Regina Yeager Drouse.  "Shared Stories, Open Minds" a workshop on serving transgendered students is also scheduled.  The five school library systems in the region are finalizing plans for a workshop on serving the ESL population.  It is tentatively scheduled for December 4, 2017 and will take place at Ulster BOCES.  Further details on this program will be available in September.  Teachingbooks offers ongoing training via webinar for all libraries that are included in our subscription for Rockland County.  Emails will be sent as these webinars are announced.  If you have an idea for a workshop, please be sure to use our survey link included in this newletter to share your ideas.


Coding and Robotics in the Library

Following a maker space program in March 2016, a coding and robotics cohort formed in September.  Cohort members attended a workshop at the Crestview Conference center where they were introduced to coding and robotics for the library.  They were invited to participate in the national "Day of Coding" in November 2016.  Some accepted the challenge.  The cohort met again in May 2017, to further refine their coding and robotics skills and began programming Edison robots.  It was a day well spent by all.  The day following the workshop one librarian reported back, "I was able to order TEN Edisons for my library so my students can get started using them before the school year ends.  I had a girl, who normally doesn't play around with coding, using the program and playing with it".  Another librarian had this to say about the reaction of her elementary students to the Edison robots, "Students are so excited to use them and build on our coding skills!"  Next on tap for the cohort are sessions for more advanced coding for the Edison robot and then use of Arduino to build robots.

Coding and Robotics Workshop Participants


Pam McCluskey, Public Librarian & Coding proponent, got school & public librarians to try coding, & then to try a "practical" application using their nascent programming skills by running a Lego Mindstorm robot, that they built during the workshop. 

(Photos & text courtesy of Nora Quinn) 

Coding and Robotics Part 2 - Librarians Programming Edison Robots

Professional Development Survey

Please use the link below to share your ideas for professional development workshops in 2017-2018.  Thank you.


Plan of Service/Resource Sharing

Electronic Resources for 2017-2018

School Library System members will have a wealth of electronic resources available to them in 2017-2018.  Be sure to share information on these materials with students and staff.

NOVEL databases will again be offered by the New York State Library.  Be sure to clearly identify and brand the NOVEL databases to show that they are provided (paid for) by the New York State Library.  The NOVEL helpdesk provides branding information.  NOVEL databases for 2017-2018 include Business Insights Essentials (Gale), Academic OneFile (Gale), General OneFile (Gale), KidsInfoBits (Gale), Research In Context (Gale), Encyclopedia Britannica which includes Britannica School, Britannica Academic and Britannica Escolar, Health Reference Center Academic (Gale), Opposing Viewpoints in Context (Gale), InfoTrac Newsstand (Gale), Computer Database (Gale), Educators Reference Complete, Expanded Academic ASAP, General Reference Center Gold (Gale), Informe Academico, InfoTrac Collections, New York State Newspapers and Research in Context.


Classroom Resources from the SLS

The school library system has a collection of Science Screen Reports and Science Screen Reports for Kids available for loan.  These are cataloged and included in the union catalog.  There is also a print catalog available.  Formats available include video, DVD and streaming video.  Three most recent years content is available in streaming video which is password protected.  Each episode includes a teacher guide with background information, vocabulary, study guide and reference material.

System members have access to the SLS Follett Shelf.  All EngageNY titles that are available in ebook format are included on the Follett Shelf.  TeachingBooks is another resource that has been purchased for member libraries.  Please be sure to include this resource on your library webpage and market it to your teachers.  Exploring Nature , funded by the school library system is available  to all elementary schools and those middle schools which request it.   Passwords will be made available to the libraries included in this subscription.  All the above resources are available to students and teachers from school and home.  Be sure to market them in your school community and provide links from the library webpage. Each of these resources includes a welcome screen clearly identifying them as provided by Rockland BOCES SLS.  Please notify the system if you are directed to the site of another system.

Looking for professional development material?  The system office has a small collection of professional development materials.  All are included in the union catalog.   Please call if you are looking for something special.

"Ganondagan's House of Peace, a Teaching Guide for Seneca Nation and Iroquois Confederacy History" is also available for loan.

Interactive Library Enrichment Programs

Jason Edwards offers two fast paced, interactive (with stress on active) programs for your library, "History Mystery, Skills-building Adventure" and "The Monster Hunt".  the "Monster Hunt" helps students develop research skills while tracking down a monster in the library.  In the "History Mystery Adventure" students build knowledge and research skills while looking for a historic treasure.  Here is the link to the "Monster Hunt" or contact the program director for both programs, Jan Silverman, at (914) 437-7628 or Programs


DP.LA, the Digital Public Library of America is a library.  It's public, and it's free.  All materials are in digital format.  The latest feature added to the site is theme sets for the K-12 school.   If you haven't visited DP.LA recently, why not try it today. Go to the main webpage of DP.LA.  Click on "Education" at the top of the page and then select "Primary Source Sets".   It is another great, free resource for students and teachers that is available from school or home,

Union Catalog

The Rockland SLS union catalog has over 500,000 titles and over 1,000,000 holdings.  It is an excellent resource for that hard to find book, or temporary collection for a class project.  The union catalog is located at  The union catalog also shows the shelf status of materials held by OPALS buildings.  Know what is on the shelf at an OPALS library across the County from the comfort of your desk.  The OPALS districts are Clarkstown, Nanuet, East Ramapo, Nyack and South Orangetown along with Albertus Magnus HS, and St. Paul's ES.  Search, locate and request an interlibrary loan easily.  The union catalog automatically routes ILL requests.  Please be kind and respond to ILL requests even if you are unable to supply the item.  The supplying library should call or e-mail the SLS office to arrange courier pick-up and delivery of the ILL item.  

The union catalog also serves as a resource for librarians.   It  provides a link to Education Week and other professional resources.  There are links to electronic resources for students and teachers.

The system will soon have a second union catalog that will be devoted exclusively to e-books regardless of vendor.


Interlibrary Loan

Easy as...



Click the title


Click the ILL Request button in the Record Information page

Select the libraries from which to request the loan

Send the request

Questions?  Call:  Rockland BOCES, School Library System,          

(845) 348-3500 ext. 3596

The Flying Classroom

Here's a great idea for a collaborative classroom project or library enrichment club!

What is The Flying Classroom?

The Flying Classroom is a K-8 integrative STEM+ supplemental curriculum. While Flying Classroom includes standards and principles aligned to STEM, it also includes correlated activities to geography, informational literacy, writing, art and social studies. Students work to develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity skills as they navigate through the expedition content. Each of the lessons within the Flying Classroom are based on the global expeditions of Captain Barrington Irving. Continue reading

The Flying Classroom

Focus on Member Libraries

A. MacArthur Barr M.S. Library - A New Look!

Image preview

Focus on...A. MacArthur Barr M.S. Library

During the past year, the A. MacArthur Barr School Library / Media Center (in Nanuet) was renovated to incorporate innovative learning spaces. The overarching plan for these renovations consisted of a number of goals, including improving student achievement, enhancing student engagement with the content, and promoting student collaboration.  The footprint of the library was expanded to include three small student workrooms, a collaborative workspace, and a separate digital learning classroom, all in addition to the more traditional library elements of bookshelves and reading areas. The result is a clean and beautiful new environment for our students! Students in grades five through eight are enthusiastic about working in this new space, whether they are choosing a great book to read, researching for a project, or exploring with technology. Since the library reopened in December, students and teachers have been making great use of the new space. The small student workrooms, with their writable walls and window panels, are always in high demand! As new technology is added to the library, we look forward to continuing to innovate and support student achievement through our library program.

Submitted by Dana DeVita, LMS at A. MacArthur Barr M.S.


Thank you


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