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Featured Resources: Author Grace Lin

Today we feature Caldecott Honor Book author, Grace Lin, and highlight the many resources we have for her.

In a video interview by Reading Rockets in Safari Montage, Grace talks about her childhood as a young Chinese-American girl in upstate NY where she was in the minority among mostly caucasian kids. She discusses how she tended to forget that she is Asian, and to the chagrin of her mother, had no interest in her Chinese heritage. She discusses how she thinks her books can be both “windows and mirrors” for students.

Check out her full book list and find teaching resources for them at our account. (Contact me if you don’t remember how to log in).

Also, check out the Monroe One BOCES Overdrive/SORA account for audio versions of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly. (Again, contact us if you need help logging in or navigating SORA.)

National Book Award LongList for Young People’s Literature Announced

The National Book Award LongList for Young People’s Literature has been announced. The list includes the following 10 books. Finalists will be announced October 8th, and the winner will be announced November 20th.


Click the links for each book to see more about each one.

Upcoming Workshops

Here is the list of fall workshops starting in October. Please review and register!

Getting Started with LibGuides – October 1st, 3:30-4:30 pm (Liesl Toates)

LibGuides is an online platform that allows librarians to curate knowledge and information, and share it with your students, teachers and parents. Get started with your free LibGuide account (provided by Monroe One BOCES SLS), and learn how you can use this amazing tool in your school library.


Minecraft Education – October 11th, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm (NYSCATE – Antonio Scordo)

Minecraft: Education Edition is an open world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination. During this 1-day, in-person Teacher Academy, you will receive an overview of Minecraft: Education Edition, learn to play the game, and create curriculum and classroom resources you can take back to your classroom and continue your journey.


Digital Tools & Content for Your Classroom *WEBINAR* – October 16, 3:00 – 4:00 pm (Liesl Toates & Mark D’Annunzio)

Monroe One BOCES Multimedia Service offers a wide variety of content and tools to enhance your teaching. We’ll explain how to access them and highlight our newest content in this hour long webinar update. This workshop is designed for teachers and librarians who participate in the Monroe One BOCES Multimedia Service.


Develop Creative Thinking and Collaboration with BreakoutEDU – October 17th, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm (Doreen Pietrantoni & Parker Ormerod)

Have you heard of BreakoutEDU? If not, this is the workshop for you! Come and explore the possibilities of creating an engaging, interactive learning experience for your classroom. Students will be excited to learn through discovery and an inquiry-based experiences. Come and learn how to shift learning into the 21st century!


Video Production Tips for the Classroom – October 30, 3:30 – 5:00 pm (Mark D’Annunzio)

This workshop was designed from my experience as an educational Videographer/Editor. This workshop will cover the basics of video production such as proper interview setup, green screen technology and basic production tips that teachers and students will benefit from. Please note that I will be demonstrating these techniques with an iPad. However, these tips and tricks can be utilized when recording on any video camera.


Intermediate LibGuides – November 5th, 3:30 – 4:30 pm (Liesl Toates)

For those librarians who have a basic understanding of how to use LibGuides, we are offering this intermediate level workshop. Attendees will learn some of the tips and tricks for refining and beautifying their LibGuides.


Library Makers – Curricular Connections with Sphero – December 10th, 3:30 – 5:00 pm (Liesl Toates)

Sphero is a little round robot that’s not only fun, but can be used effectively in education. In this 1.5 hour hands-on workshop, attendees will learn to control Sphero, code with Sphero, and practice and discuss ways to use it to strengthen curricular concepts.


Create Forms & Surveys in LibWizard – December 19th, 3:30 – 4:30 pm (Liesl Toates)

Learn to create forms and surveys using LibWizard. These forms and surveys can be used directly through your LibGuide account or embedded elsewhere. This feature makes it easy to collect data or create sign-ups.


Digital Age Students – Creating a Culture of Digital Citizens (Webinar and Online Course) – January 13th, 4:00 – 5:00 pm (Doreen Pietrantoni & Parker Ormerod)

Create a classroom/building/district culture of digital citizens who can make critical decisions in the digital world. Attendees will kick off their professional learning experience during a 1 hour Webinar and complete coursework (discussions, readings, and final artifact) in an Online Course. Course runs from January 13, 2020 – February 14, 2020.


Featured Media: LOST IN THE LIBRARY eBook

LOST IN THE LIBRARY, by Josh Funk, is a beautiful picture book that tells the story of the two stone lions in front of the Stephen Schwarzman branch of the New York Public Library. The two stone statues are called “Patience” and “Fortitude”. One night, Patience goes missing, and Fortitude discerns that his best friend has gone into the huge library.

Available in our Monroe One SORA/Overdrive collection as an ebook, this story not only tells the reader about the history and collection inside of the flagship branch of the New York Public Library, it also conveys the importance of friends to each and every one of us.

A simple activity kit is available on Josh Funk’s website.


Creative Commons Search Engine

Did you know? This past spring, Creative Commons launched a search engine that indexes over 300 million public domain images. These are images from 19 image collections and they include works from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Flickr, and even some CC0 3D designs from Thingiverse.

All of these images are in the public domain or released under Creative Commons licenses, which means they are free to use in a non-commercial setting. It also means they have the licensing information readily available to quick copy and paste.

Click here to start searching.

“UnknownFlower”by ksoon71 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Library News of the Week 9/10/19

Among all of the news in libraries this week, these three items stood out the most:

NYLA Conference Registration is open for the 2019 NYLA Annual Conference and Trade Show. It will be held in Saratoga Springs, NY from November 13-16. Filmmaker Astra Taylor will keynote, speaking about the nature of democracy. For more information, visit:

AASL Conference If NYLA isn’t your thing, and you’re able to get there, the AASL Conference is open for registration as well. Held November 14-16 in Louisville, this conference features three keynote speakers and over 150 concurrent sessions specific to school librarians. Also note: a complimentary administrator registration is available with every full conference registration. For more information, visit:

Library Card Sign-up Month September is Library Card Sign-up Month (since 1987). ALA and libraries unite in a national effort to ensure every child signs-up for their own library card. Find out more and download the press kit at: Note: your students can use their new public library cards with their SORA accounts to enhance their ebook and audiobook options.


SLS NewsBlast 2019.09.09

Welcome Back!  Happy 2019-20 School Year!

We hope that you’ve successfully navigated the first days of the new school year and that everything in your school library is off to a wonderful start.  We extend a special welcome to three school librarians who are new to the Monroe One BOCES region:

Melissa Bohrer, Ivan Green Primary School, East Irondequoit

Jenn Costello, Laurelton-Pardee Intermediate School, East Irondequoit

Becky Hibbert, East Irondequoit Middle School, East Irondequoit

SLS Mini-Grants
  • The Monroe One BOCES School Library System is pleased to announce that $20,000 in funding is available mini-grants this year.  Certified school librarians in our SLS member schools of up to $1,200 for mini-grants for collection development, innovative projects, or professional development.
  • Please click on the SLS Mini-Grant page to learn more.  The individual documents are linked here as follows AnnouncementApplicationFrequently Asked Questions (FAQ), and Evaluation Rubric and also at the right-hand side of the SLS Mini-Grant page. Contact Katie Bertrand at if you need more information.
Re-imagined Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC)

The School Library Systems Association (SLSA) and the New York Library Association Section of School Librarians (NYLA/SSL) have recently completed a year-long, joint effort, working with Dr. Barbara Stripling, to Re-Imagine the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC).  The entire Re-Imagined ESIFC can now be found at this libguide.  Each of your school libraries should have an ESIFC Binder with the original version which was released/provided in 2013.   Please hold on to those binders.  In mid-October, your SLS will provide the new print version, which you can insert into your existing binders.  If you do not currently have an original ESIFC binder, please email us at and we will try to find a replacement for you.  See the next item for a professional development opportunity related to the Re-Imagined ESIFC,

Upcoming Professional Development
  • Using Graphic Novels, Graphic Nonfiction, and Graphic Biographies in the Classroom with G. (Greg) Neri, will take place on Monday, October 7, 2019, at the School of the Arts, 45 Prince St. Rochester, from 6:30-8:00 pm.  This workshop, intended for librarians and teachers is presented jointly by the Monroe One, Monroe 2 Orleans, and City of Rochester School Library Systems in cooperation with the Monroe County Library Systems and Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library. Click on the workshop title for complete information and to register.  (Read on for more about G. Neri, and opportunities for students)
  • Re-Imagining Information Fluency and Standards Alignment for our Students with Dr. Barbara Stripling will take place on October 10, 2019, at Monroe One BOCES, 15 Linden Park, Room 2AB, 9:30am-3:00pm.  Please click on the workshop title for a complete description and registration information.  Those attending will receive their new print copy of the Reimagined ESIFC at this time.  Please bring your emptied binders.
Speaking of G. Neri

The 10th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Read takes place October 7-11, 2019 and G. Neri is the featured author.  For more information about the Teen Read and opportunities for your students, please see the attached brochure and poster.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions or need assistance. Click HERE for our Monroe One SLS Staff Contacts.  If you’re ever uncertain who to, email and your question will be directed to the appropriate staff member.   

Wishing you a wonderful, rewarding 2019-20 School Year!

Your Monroe One BOCES Library Services Team

Reflections on the 2019 NYLA-SSL Conference

June 1st marked the start of Pride month, and a central theme around the NYLA-SSL conference fit the bill perfectly: “How can we represent a diversity of people in our school library collections?” Students come in all shapes, colors, sizes, sexes, genders, religions, ideals, backgrounds, thoughts, emotions, you-name-its. In 1990 Dr. Rudine Simms Bishop coined the phrase “Windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors” to refer to how children need to not only see themselves in books, but also learn about people who may be different than them. Developing a diverse collection that speaks to students in this way is an important part of our work.

Keynote speakers Dhonielle Clayton, author and COO of We Need Diverse Books; Newbery award winning author Matt de la Peña, and Knickerbocker award winning fantasy author Tamora Pierce, all spoke to this theme in their keynote speeches.

Out of all of them, Dhonielle Clayton gave us the most practical knowledge. She gives 5 main pieces of advice for diversifying your collection:

  1. Don’t rely only on big review outlets. Read the titles that they don’t highlight, and decide for yourself if the books are worth buying.
  2. Read widely. Read everything. Not just the titles that are pushed out to you.
  3. Seek balance! In displays don’t highlight just one story (and she didn’t mention this, but if you’ve never seen it, check out this amazing Ted talk “The danger of a single story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie).
  4. To help us in our selection process, We Need Diverse Books has developed an app called OurStory ( The app lists “diverse” books that have been reviewed and tagged by librarians.
  5. Finally, Dhonielle stressed one of the most important point in this discussion: when highlighting diverse books, don’t highlight them for their diversity. Putting together a collection of books to highlight diversity, only segregates them further. Focus on their themes and storylines. For example, at Valentines Day when you’re putting together a display of books on love, just make sure you include books about all kinds of love. If highlighting fantasy books, display books by all kinds of authors with all kinds of characters.

We Need Diverse Books will be brought to the Rochester area on September 24th (1pm-4pm) by RRLC and if you haven’t already registered, please do so. This event is filling up quickly.

Information and registration at:


Summer PD

Summer is just around the corner! We have some great workshops coming up. Check them out and get registered!


Tuesday, July 23, 2019, 8:30 am to 3:00 pm

Create and Code Interactive Stories with Twine

Combine coding and writing with this interactive story-telling program. In Twine you can teach your students coding concepts, while writing an interactive story (similar to a choose your own adventure). Twine provides an avenue to build rich narratives, while learning accessible, natural-language based coding. This workshop will be hands-on, with participants practicing key coding concepts and learning the foundations of creating interactive story games. In the end, attendees will have created a playable Interactive Story game.

Attendees will learn:

  • Foundations of creating interactive story games, regardless of format.
  • Key coding concepts (conditionals, variables, amongst others).
  • How to create and code interactive story games using the Twine Platform, utilizing the Harlowe language.
  • Advice and ideas on how to utilize the tool with students in their libraries.

Register here:


Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Hands-on Circuits in the Library

Build your understanding of the role of circuitry in making, in computing, and in the invention/design process. In this workshop, we will thoroughly move through the basics of circuitry and binary computing. We will build circuits using various materials such as copper tape, LED bulbs, and circuit stickers. We will practice making circuits by sewing with conductive thread and we will build circuits using invention kits.

Once you have a thorough understanding of how circuitry is the foundation of the modern world, you’ll be better able to explain these concepts to your students. You’ll be a better problem-solver and be able to teach your students to be better problem-solvers too. On top of this you’ll have more confidence coming up with fun and interesting projects. This workshop will go from 9am to 3pm with an hour lunch break (lunch not provided). It is designed for librarians. Classroom teachers are welcome to join us if they attend in collaboration with their building librarian.

Register here:


Thursday, August 1, 2019, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

STEAM and Curriculum Integration with Makey Makey

Students are constantly consuming content and using inventions that are created by others. Makey Makey allows students to create their own content on Scratch and use design thinking to create their own inventions. During this workshop participants will learn the basics of Scratch and using the Makey Makey. Participants will also get hands on examples on how they can integrate Makey Makey into their curriculum. ***All who attend will receive a free Makey Makey***

Register here:


Thursday, August 8, 2019, 8:30 am to 3:00 pm

Creating Engaging Curriculum with iPad Apps

The iPad is full of engaging apps out of the box. Come to this workshop to learning how to create engaging projects aligned to curriculum. Apple Certified Educators will lead the day to provide a hands-on experience and attendees will walk away with products ready to use day 1.

Attendees will:

  • Become Apple Teachers
  • Interact with native Apple Apps
  • Plan projects for new school year
  • Create “Recipe Cards”

Register here:


Tuesday and Wednesday, August 13 and 14, 2019, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

ISTE Certification for Educators

ISTE is focused on pedagogy, not tools. It’s not about edtech per se, it’s about what you do with the tech to transform learning and improve student outcomes.

For Classroom Educators, Coaches and Library Media Specialists

ISTE Certification helps build a teacher’s professional profile and provides a digital credential to demonstrate mastery and earn recognition for his or her work in using technology to transform learning.

For School & District Leaders

ISTE Certification provides education leaders with a way to identify a school or district’s educators who are leading the way with digital age teaching practices. The certification also provides a vendor-neutral edtech credential that can be used in staff hiring decisions.

Certification Process

Through the ISTE Certification process, educators will participate in an eight week blended learning cohort based on the ISTE Standards and transformative pedagogy. After completing the blended learning course, participants will have six months to apply their learning and compile artifacts and reflections into a competency-based portfolio to earn ISTE Certification. Content will be taught in the following four modules: Designing For Diversity; Personalized Learning & Alternative Assessments; Digital Learning Environments: Design Thinking & Computational Thinking; and The New Digital Citizenship.

Register here:


Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

RRLC Annual Librarian Tech Camp

The day will open with a keynote from Project Look Sharp on news and media literacy. Participants will then attend breakout sessions focusing on: digital citizenship, escape rooms, genrefication, student data, school and public library collaboration, mindfulness in the library, diversity audits and diverse collections, library redesign, Social Emotional Learning, website design, coding for girls, library sustainability, ISTE Standards…plus much more! Note- lunch will be provided.

Register here:


We hope to see you there!