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April is School Library Month!

If you’d like to find and print advocacy materials, check out the AASL advocacy website for School Library Month.

Historical information about the celebration: 

The AASL efforts for a national School Library Month were spearheaded by Lucille Thomas, chair of the School Library Media Month Committee. Thomas was appointed by President Judy King in 1983. AASL officials, local and national dignitaries got the month off to a rousing start on April 1, 1985 with a ceremony on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) delivered the keynote address. Moynihan told the school librarians in the audience, “I want to thank you for what you do. I hope you know how important your work is. You change lives for the better. You touch people while they can still be touched.”

In 2010, the name of the celebration was changed to School Library Month after the Board of Directors voted to readopt the professional title school librarian, from the former school library media specialist.

Kathleen Odean workshops canceled

We are sad to inform you that our 2-days of Kathleen Odean are canceled due to travel restrictions and the COVID-19 crisis. We are working out our options for bringing her back when the crisis is over.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

Information about the Digies

We received updated information about the Digies Festival:

There have been many questions about the status of the Digies Digital Media Festival. Due to the current circumstances we have extended the deadline for submissions to Friday, May 1st. If further adjustments are required we will make them near that date.

The in-person festival, originally scheduled for May 21st, has been cancelled due to necessary constraints from the venue. We are continuing to look at options on how to celebrate the work of students.

In the meantime, keep those submissions coming!


90-Second Newbery Film Festival

Author (The Order of Odd Fish) and founder of the 90-second Newbery Film Festival, James Kennedy, is bringing his annual video contest to the Eisenhart Auditorium at the Rochester Museum & Science Center on February 1st!

As always, reservations are free, but they do ask that you reserve a seat in advance. The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is an annual video contest in which kid filmmakers create short movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery award-winning books in about 90 seconds. It is always a LOT of fun. This year, James will be joined on stage by Rochester’s own, Bruce Coville.

More information about the festival, and submission information, is available at:

The Event will be held Saturday, February 1 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm.

Reserve seats here:


Did you know that there are a whole bunch of other film and creative festivals for student filmmakers and creative types:

The All American High School Film Festival (presented by IFC Films) –

Austin Young Filmmakers Competition –

Boston International Kids Film Festival –

Boulder International Film Festival Teen Short Film Competition –

CineYouth –

*LOCAL* The Digies –

Film Now Festival –

Heartland High School Film Competition –

International Kids Film Festival (California) –

Kids Film It Festival – Rock and Roll hall of Fame –

Kids First! Film Festival –

Nashville Film Festival –

National Film Festival for Talented Youth –

Newport Beach Film Fest Youth Film Showcase –

Seattle International Film Festival FutureWave Shorts –

Sundance Ignite –

Telluride City Lights –

Tribeca Film Fellows (Mentorship) –



NYLA Library Advocacy Day is Tuesday, February 25th. On this day, library advocates from across New York State will converge on Albany to voice their support for funding and policies that benefit libraries.

In preparation, the Northern NY Library Network is hosting an informational webinar this Thursday, January 30th covering the basics of legislative visits in New York state.


Primer on Legislative Visits
Jan 30, 2020
1:00 PM Eastern Time
Register (free)

The presenter will be Jery Huntley, who worked as Chuck Schumer’s legislative director in the New York State Assembly beginning in 1978 and continued on his staff through his campaign for Congress, then became his legislative assistant for special projects in Washington, DC.

Ms. Huntley was also a teacher and school library media specialist in New York State. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education (1971) and a Master of Library Science (1972) from SUNY Albany.

To get the basics on advocacy day, including information on security, hotels, and directions click here!

11th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Read – 2020

The 2020 Greater Rochester Teen Read featured author has been announced! 

The MCLS Young Adult Librarians are hosting the Eleventh Annual Greater Rochester Teen Read in 2020! They will be bringing Ruta Sepetys to Rochester to talk about her best-selling novel, Between Shades of Gray, and her latest novel, The Fountains of Silence.

Ruta Sepetys is an internationally acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta is renowned for giving voice to underrepresented history and those who experienced it. Her books have won or been shortlisted for over forty book prizes, are included on over thirty state reading lists, and are currently in development for film and television.

She will be available for school visits during the week of October 5-9, 2020. For information about bringing Ruta to your school, please contact Wendy Petry and mention that she will be here for the Greater Rochester Teen Read.

Previous GRTR authors have included Terry Trueman, Linda Sue Park, Vivian Vande Velde, A. S. King, Charles Benoit, Eoin Colfer, Jonathan Stroud, Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely, Paul Griffin, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Greg Neri. They presented their books at MCLS libraries, schools, and teen centers.

Hour of Code is Next Week!

Next week is this year’s Hour of Code celebration. Do you have a plan for your students?

Hour of Code is a week-long celebration of computer science, encouraging people to take one hour out of their week, to try learning a little bit of code. The celebration was developed to demystify coding, and to show that anyone can learn the basic underlying principles of it.

Here are a handful resources for you to use with your students:

Hour of Code Activities


Tynker for Schools (paid curriculum)

Swift Playgrounds (Apple App): Student Guide / Teacher Guide

And Finally…


Tuesday, December 10th!

Reminder – Council Meeting

SLS Council/Communications Meeting

There is a School Library System Council/Communication Coordinators Meeting tomorrow – Thursday, December 5th. The meeting will be held at 15 Linden Park in Room 2B from 2:30 to 4:00 pm.

We will have highlights for you in this blog on Monday.

We are looking forward to seeing our council members!

For more information about Council, see our webpage.