Tuesday, November 29, 2022

ERS Library Featured Service: CheckThisOut!

The CheckThisOut! Multimedia Kit Subscription Service (CTO!) is unique to the ERS Library and designed to make receiving year-round quality classroom resources a “one, and you’re done!” process for our Preschool – 12th grade educators. Now in its eighth year, CTO! has established a base of loyal participants who sign up annually and has new educators joining the fun each month.

Once you sign up for CheckThisOut!, the ERS Library Team will begin curating monthly sets of materials, especially for you and your students. These kits, based on the criteria you select (see below), will be delivered to your campus. Four weeks later, we'll deliver a new kit and pick up the old one. Mid-year is a great time to sample everything CTO! has to offer. Kits are currently available in January, February, March & April. May is a PICKUP-ONLY month, as all materials must be returned to the ERS Library before summer break.

Kit sizes & available customization:

4-6 item kit

Material types, grade(s), reading level, and topic customization.

8-10 item kit

Material types, grade(s), reading level, and topic customization

Class Library kit*

30 single copy fiction/nonfiction books by grade & reading level [NO topics]


For months when you don't want a kit delivered or emailed.

If you prefer the content you receive to be specifically ERS Portal digital resources, select only "Digital Resources from the ERS Portal" in the What types of materials are you interested in receiving? section. You will receive a monthly email containing 4-8 links to curated resources from the ERS Portal rather than a physical delivery to your site.

Otherwise, you are welcome to select as many types of materials as you like! Some of your options include fiction and non-fiction books, graphic novels, STEM kits, storytelling kits, class novel sets, DVDs, puppets, Professional Development titles, art prints, board books, and big books.

*There are a limited number of Class Library-sized kits available each month. Once capacity is reached, that option will be removed from the signup form.


To sign up for CheckThisOut!, click here.



Tuesday, November 8, 2022

ERS Portal Featured Resource: Gale Databases


Gale, a Cengage Company, is a global provider of research and learning resources. Thanks to the ERS Library and California State Library, you and your students have FREE access to several of their databases via the ERS Portals. Connect to these fantastic resources with any internet-enabled device in the classroom, at home, or on the go.   

Gale’s mission is to help students succeed in school and in life by connecting them to the curriculum-aligned digital content they need to become lifelong learners.

Log into the ERS Portals to access these Gale databases:

Grades 9-12 A cross-curricular research tool supporting science, social studies, current events, and language arts classes. Its informed, differing views present each side of an issue and help students develop information literacy, critical thinking skills, and the confidence to draw their own valid conclusions.  

Opposing Viewpoints Resource Guide 

Grades 9-12 Provides forty mental health and wellness eBooks with guidance for students, teachers, and counselors. Many titles include suggestions regarding professional help: where to go and how to find additional information, letting our students know they are never alone.  

Cameron’s Collection Student Flyer

Locate the folder for your district, then school site.


Grades K-8 Gale's National Geographic Kids is designed to take children on amazing adventures in science, nature, wildlife, culture, geography, archaeology, and space. Users can access videos, pictures, and eBooks from National Geographic Kids, as well as every page of National Geographic Kids magazine.

National Geographic Kids Tip Sheet 

Grades 7-12 Gale Interactive: Science is a highly visual online learning tool that takes visual-spatial learning to the next level by bringing the lab to the classroom. High-value, rich-media digital content is paired with interactive 3D models to deliver a virtual laboratory simulation experience for students in middle school and high school grades.

Science Tip Sheet

Grades 9-12 Empowers learners to critically analyze and understand important topics and events within Earth systems, global change, pollution, populations, and more. Updated daily, this resource offers nearly 400 topic, state, and province pages across the science, social studies, and humanities curriculum.

Environmental Studies Tip Sheet 

Friday, October 28, 2022

ERS Library Featured Service: Reserving Materials for Delivery to Your Site

Additional ways to search…

 Looking for a Book Kit (6-32 copies, same title):

1.       Set Material Type to Kit

2.       Set Interest Level grade span

3.       (Optional) Set Reading Program + level span

4.       Type “Books” in the Find bar

5.       Click the Title button

Note: # of copies included will be listed at the end of the kit title.

Looking for a STEM or Robotics kit:

1.       Set Material Type to Kit

2.       Type “STEM” or “Robotics” in the Find bar

3.       Click the Keyword button

Looking for AR (Accelerated Reader) titles:

1.       Set Reading Program to Accelerated Reader

2.       Set AR Level to the appropriate range

3.       Click inside the Find bar

4.       Press Enter key

Are you getting zero results for your search?

Click the “Reset All” icon at the right end of the Find bar, then try your search again.

Length of Checkout: Book Kits – 6 weeks, Robotics kits – 2 weeks. All other materials – 3 weeks.

Returning materials to the ERS Library

You will receive an “ERS Library – Items Due Next Week (Reply Required)” email a week before your items are due. Please respond with one of the following options: 

• "PICKUP" - indicates you are ready to return the materials and will have them in the designated location no later than 9:00 am on your site's next assigned day (see above).

• "RENEW" - use this if you want to keep the materials a little longer. We will happily extend your checkout if no one else has requested them. Look for a follow-up email from us with either a new due date or a request that you return the items as scheduled.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

ERS Portal Featured Resource: ABC-CLIO (grades 7-12)

ABC-CLIO is an all-in-one curriculum solution featuring four social science subject areas: American History, American Government, World History: Ancient & Medieval, and World History: The Modern Era. More than 1,800 videos give students context that primes them to explore new concepts more deeply while providing tools for their research and inquiry.

  • Self-assessment quizzes enable students to assess their comprehension of essential concepts and direct students to resources to review when questions are answered incorrectly.
  • In addition to scaffolded inquiry activities for a variety of learning levels, the text-to-speech tool transforms all resources into a read-along for students who read below grade level or who learn best through listening; the translate tool offers translation of all resources into 12 languages.
  • The Academic Success Corner features a helpful video series that gives students easy-to-follow steps for strengthening their writing, reading, research, and critical thinking skills.
  • The research list tool allows educators to build customized lists of articles, essays, and primary and secondary sources to use in class and to assign to students.

[Video] How to use ABC-CLIO Databases (3:48)

[Video] ABC-CLIO Database Presentation (14:17)

ERS Portal Featured Resource: myPeekaville/Peekapak (grades K-5)

With ready-to-teach resources that support social-emotional learning (SEL) & ELA development, myPeekaville's CASEL-aligned stories, lessons, and learning games help you keep SEL engaging wherever learning happens. Students build resilience, mindfulness, and self-regulation skills to help them process challenging situations. Teachers receive access to various analytical insights into student activity and progress in myPeekaville. 

myPeekaville/Peekapak incorporates literacy-based and game-based learning to engage students and reinforce what they've learned during class. Students gain agency by creating personalized avatars and customizing their experience in an immersive world. In myPeekaville, students check in daily by selecting how they're feeling, providing teachers with a heatmap of student sentiment data. 

All the Peekapak stories are available within myPeekaville. Visit the digital library to gain access to every book. Students can actively practice their reading, writing, and vocabulary skills while playing.

[PDF] Getting Started Guide for Educators

[Video] Learning How to Use Peekapak (7:42)

[Video] Introducing myPeekaville to Students (5:55)

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

ERS Portal Featured Resource: Sora Audiobooks

Sora audiobooks are now available from the ERS Library! Whether your K-12 students are listening for class or for fun, Sora's audiobook reader makes it easy with powerful listening tools, professional narration, and syncing of their listening progress across devices so they can always pick up right where they left off. You’ll find Sora on all the ERS Portals, or use the student-friendly instructions below to add the Sora app to your cell phone or tablet.

Within this easy, beautiful audiobook player:

  • Swipe on the book jacket to jump backward or forward, or use the seek bar to go to a specific spot.
  • Customize the sleep timer for a certain amount of time or the end of the current chapter.
  • Increase narration speeds up to 3x.
  • Add bookmarks, notes, and highlights.


Student-friendly Instructions

Using Sora (Help Center)

Video Tutorials:

Instructional Video for Teachers (1:44)

Getting Started with Sora Information Page

NOTE: If your school does not appear in the Sora app dropdown, please contact your district Technology administrator to ask that they finalize the necessary Google authentication with Doug Cairns (doug.cairns@tcoe.org), ERS Library Instructional Technology Specialist.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

ERS Portal Feature Resource: Learn360

Learn360 Plus Classroom Video on Demand is the ultimate streaming resource for K-12 educational communities! Use your ERS Portal login to explore this fantastic resource. Your students also have access via the ERS Library’s Kids Portal or Teen Portal.

In Learn360, teachers, students, and parents can access more than 191,500 media resources from any Internet-enabled device. Engaging landing pages make it easy to find videos, interactives, printables, audio content, STEM lessons & more. Landing pages can be filtered by grade level (all grades, elementary, or middle/high.) The enhanced, state-of-the-art platform makes it a powerful tool for flipped classrooms, blended instruction, project-based learning, and 1:1 environments. Resources are curated from more than 560 top educational providers, including an exclusive partnership with PBS, which delivers access to 2000+ licensed K-12 educational videos.

Created for middle and high schools, Classroom Video on Demand (CVoD) provides unlimited access to thousands of videos for all content areas. Video content is correlated to Common Core, national, state, IB Organization, C3 Framework for Social Studies, AASL, College Board AP, national STEM, and Next Generation Science Standards, as well as 21st Century Skills. Notable series include Globe Trekker, Live from Shakespeare’s Globe, Job & Skills Evaluation, America—The Story of Us, Filthy Cities, A Concise Biography, and many more! 


[Video] Learn360 New Platform Overview (18:19)

[Video] Using Google Classroom with Learn360 (3:27)

Learn360 Overview (PDF)

Classroom Video on Demand Fact Sheet (PDF)

Monday, June 20, 2022

2nd Annual Picture Book Palooza with School Library Journal

Join SLJ on July 14 for their second annual SLJ Picture Book Palooza, an all-day, free virtual celebration of authors and artists dedicated to the visual dance and extraordinary craft of picture books! Come for a day packed with keynotes, author panels, and illustrator spotlights with visionary creators. 

Visit the exhibit hall, chat with authors and publishing teams, download digital galleys, and be prepared to be inspired as you build your collection.

Event Hours: 7:00 AM ET - 2:00 PM PST


All live sessions will be on Zoom. Make sure to log in to your work or personal Zoom account before the day starts to avoid having to log in for each session.

Please note that the event environment and the sessions have attendance capacity limits. If on the day of the event you find that you are unable to access the environment or join a session, please know that sessions will be available for on-demand viewing within 24hrs., and the entire event will be accessible for three months from the event date.

Please make sure your computer and browser are up to date. Chrome tends to work best. The event platform does not support IE11 + Windows 7 or older versions.

By registering for this event or webcast, you are agreeing to School Library Journal Privacy Policy and Code of Conduct Policy and agreeing that School Library Journal may share your registration information with current and future sponsors of this event.

Having trouble registering? Contact sljevents@mediasourceinc.com

Friday, May 20, 2022

Holidays & Observances with Teaching Resources! - May 2022

May is National Inventor’s Month. This month we recognize the curiosity, imagination and contributions inventors have made to the nation and the world. Every inventor has brought something into this world that we didn’t know we needed. From medical advancements to fuel efficient homes, inventors and innovators are working hard to create the next big thing. The ERS Library has digital resources and materials for check-out on many inventors.

From Learn360:

Grades: 3-5 Thomas Edison

Grades: 6-8, 9-12 Famous Americans: Famous Inventors and Inventions

In the ERS Library Collection:

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Free Webinar: Ditch Dewey and Watch Your Circulation Grow

Is your nonfiction circulation less than desirable? Are your kids struggling to find the nonfiction books they want to read? Does your nonfiction section need a facelift? Find out how two Texas librarians collaborated on a process to overhaul their nonfiction section and "Ditch the Dewey."

This webinar will offer a step-by-step process to help you do the same. Learn how to tackle this project without fear and watch your nonfiction circulation increase dramatically.

Register And Attend the Literacy for Texas Webinar For A FREE Hour Of PD + The Chance To Win 25 FREE Books!

Click Here to Register