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March 7, 2016


One of the questions that is on everybody’s mind is how the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) might impact School Libraries. As we consider the state budget we know that advocacy is so important in making sure that libraries are fully funded in New York State. I encourage all of you to really embrace and model civic engagement and participation by letting your voices be heard by writing letters to your legistators and the governor. Courtesy of ALA, here are some facts about ESSA that might help you as you think about the content of your advocacy letters:

  • ESSA now includes “School Librarians” in the definition of “specialized instructional support personnel”. This was not the case with NCLB.  (Title VIII)
  • ESSA includes new provisions that authorize local plans to include a description of how the Local Education Agency (LEA) will assist schools in developing effective school library programs to provide students an opportunity to develop digital literacy skills and improve academic achievement. (Title I)
  • States are now authorized to use funds to support the instructional services provided by effective school library programs.  (Title II, Part A)
  • LEAs are authorized to use funds to support the instructional services provided by effective school library programs. (Title II, Part A)
  • ESSA requires local grants that focus on children in K – 5 to provide high-quality professional development opportunities for specialized instructional support personnel, school librarians, paraprofessionals, and other program staff.  (Title II, Part B, Subpart 2)
  • ESSA requires local grants that focus on children in grades 6 – 12 to provide training for school librarians and other school district personnel to support, develop, administer, and evaluate high-quality comprehensive literacy instruction initiatives. (Title II, Part B, Subpart 2)
  • ESSA authorizes all local grants for K-5 or 6-12 to provide time for literacy staff such as school librarians or specialized instructional support personnel to meet to plan comprehensive literacy instruction. (Title II, Part B, Subpart 2)
  • Funds to develop and enhance effective school library programs are specifically authorized by ESSA. These may include providing professional development for school librarians, books, and up-to-date materials to high need schools. (Title II, Part B, Subpart 2, Section 2226)
  • Libraries are defined as eligible entities with demonstrated expertise in historical methodology or the teaching of American history and civics. (Title II, Part B, Subpart 2, Section 2232)
  • States are authorized to use funds to assist LEAs with identifying and addressing technology readiness needs, including Internet connectivity and access to school libraries. (Title IV, Part A )
  • States are authorized to use funds to assist LEAs in providing school librarians and media personnel with the knowledge and skills to use technology effectively, including effective integration of technology, to improve instruction and student achievement. (Title IV, Part A )
  • Grants, as in NCLB, can be used to support expanded library service hours. (Title IV, Part B)


I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this summer’s “Making Learning Happen at PBLNY 2016.” The event will have a strong focus on engaging students through the Maker Movement and you will be able to attend keynotes and sessions by Leland Melvin, Sylvia Martinez, Diana Rendina, Michael Gorman, and Shannon Miller! This is the event of the summer and I hope all of our districts ensure that their school librarians attend!

Don’t forget to sign up for the Mandarin User Group Meeting on March 29th. Our new Union Catalog will be on M5 so it’s a great opportunity to learn more from the Mandarin representatives that will facilitating the User Group.

Have you checked out the “trials” webpage on the website lately? There are many updated trials of new products.

Check out this webinar: Teaching and Assessing the 21st Century Student with Jay McTighe.

The Administrator/Advocate of the Year Luncheon is on May 11th. Please consider making a nomination to honor one of your biggest supporters!

The application for the New York State EMTA Media Literacy Grant has been posted for the 2016-17 school year. If you have a great idea or project, please consider applying for one of two $1000 grants!

We want to hear from you! If you have an event, workshop, exciting lesson or fun event that would inspire your colleagues, please send us a small blurb to share in the digital newsletter! We would also like to include book recommendations. If you've read a great new book, please send Doreen a recommendation that includes title, author, genre and interest levels along with a short review. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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