Thursday, April 8, 2021

A message from Debra Lockwood, ERS Library Media Supervisor


Spring activities are in full bloom at the ERS Library!

Our staff has fully returned to the library after nine months of alternating working from home one day with working in the library the next.

We continue to carefully curate and deliver print/digital resources as requested by educators participating in our CheckThisOut! Multimedia Kit Service. If you would like to join the hundreds of teachers who already take advantage of CheckThisOut!, check your school email on July 1 for the 2021-22 sign up link.

For educators who prefer to reserve their own materials via the library’s online Follett Destiny catalog, our 2020-21 weekly school delivery service continues through Thursday, June 3. staff members travel over 600 miles each week delivering print materials and STEM kits to educators across Tulare and Kings Counties.

In addition to school deliveries, our curbside services remain an option for those who need materials before their next delivery day. Contact us for details!

The ERS Library staff has been working on an exciting new project this spring. Through the Tulare County Office of Education’s Readership Grant, the ERS Library received funds to purchase over 3,000 new books for classroom kits. I worked alongside ELA consultants, Tammy Milligan, and Jenean Bray, to identify culturally relevant and diverse titles for classroom book kits. We chose exciting new titles like Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina, Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson, and Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya. We also worked diligently to identify book titles to include in grade level specific themed book kits. One of the many themed kits we created has books where the main character demonstrates courage, tenacity, and perseverance. Titles in this kit for grades 4-6 are Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar, Runs with Courage by Joan M. Wolf, As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds, Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm, and Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo. Titles for grades 7-8 include Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore, Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed, Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri, The Canyon's Edge by Dusti Bowling, and The Great Jeff by Tony Abbott. Themed kits include 6 copies of each title to encourage small groups of students to read the same book and then participate in a classroom wide discussion around the books’ theme. The ERS Library team is very excited to offer these wonderful new classroom book kits to our contracting educators.

Our team looks forward to fulfilling your educational resource needs. Please contact us with any questions or requests – or (559) 651-3031. We wish you all a “Happy April” and hope you & your students take a moment to celebrate that it is both School Library Month & National Poetry Month.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Virtual Event: Dia del los Niños 2021

Sunday, April 25th is Visalia's annual Dia de los Niños celebration, which will be virtual for 2021. To register your child (ages 5-17) for a free event bag, click on the flyer below.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Got 15 minutes? We'd love to share them with you!

The ERS Library staff would love to give you a quick virtual tour of the varied services we provide the teachers and educational staff of our contracting school districts (in other words… you!).

In those 15 minutes, you’ll get an overview of our unique curation service, CheckThisOut! -- loved by many Tulare & Kings County educators, learn how you and your students can access our online ERS Portals, take a quick look at the standards-aligned digital resources available in those Portals, and find out how to sign up for Bookmarked!, so you can stay up-to-date on everything ERS Library.

Got 15 minutes? We’d love to share them with you!

Sessions occur Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday from 3:15pm – 3:30pm.

Registration is open for April/May "Tech Tools" sessions -- Join us for Blogger, Google Classroom, Screencastify & more!

The Tech Tools virtual sessions are provided FREE of charge to all staff at ERS Library Media Services contracting sites. Due to the ongoing need for virtual & distance learning, these sessions are intended to replace our previous Tech Tools Voucher classes. Site staff are encouraged to sign up to attend as many sessions as they like. All sessions will be held via Zoom. The currently listed April & May sessions will be our last for the 2020-21 school year.

In the event you are not able to attend a LIVE virtual class, or if you would like it for reference, you can register for a recording of each session to be emailed to you following the LIVE session. This recording is for your viewing only; please do not share the link(s) you receive. You will have two weeks to view each recording before access expires.

Please use the following link to view and register for these sessions:

Friday, March 26, 2021

Upcoming Holidays & Observances w/ Teaching Resources - March 2021

April is Poetry Month! 

2021 marks the 25th annual celebration of poets and poetry. It was launched by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. This festivity reminds us that poets have a vital role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Also, April 29th is Poem in Your Pocket Day

The ERS Library has many poetry books available for check out and we are happy to deliver them to your school site. These books and more can be reserved by searching our Follett Destiny online catalog on the ERS Portal:

TeachingBooks has compiled this list of poetry books along with resources to support using them in the classroom. Many of the resources include book guides, activities, lessons, book readings, and an about the author section.

View a short lesson in Discovery Education (K-12) titled: Understanding Poetry.

The nation saw the power of poetry during the inauguration of the 46th president when Amanda Gorman awakened our senses to the beauty of poetry. You can do the same with your students using timely digital and print resources from the ERS Library!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

AASL teams up with Pokemon Club!


Pokémon Club is a great way to build a community of play for Pokémon fans throughout your school community, encourage game play, bring in new players, and create a safe space. 

Pokémon Club is intended for elementary school libraries.  As schools serve a variety of grades it is not a requirement that your school only serve primary grades, or be called an “elementary school,” but the recommended age range for participation is 6-10. 

After signing up you will receive an email confirmation with instructions for registering a Pokémon Club Trainer ID.  From there you have access to current club activities for download and use in your club.  You will never run out of ideas or options with activities like word searches, spot the difference, trivia, coloring pages, bingo, origami.  You will also find codes for kids for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, and they will also be able to sign up with their parents and play Pokémon cards with their friends in a digital format. New activities are added on a regular basis. 

Consider what activities are offered in your school and how a Pokémon Club will be a chance to pull in those students who are not already offered a club or activity opportunity.

Click here for more information and the application.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Junior Library Guild Webinar for High School Educators!

Slaughterhouse-Five: Classics Get New Lives as Comics
March 25 | 3pm EST (12pm PST)

Classic books are “classics” for a reason—and introducing the newest generations to books that have held esteem for decades is important. However, whether from outdated vernacular or style, many classics can be difficult not only for students to read, but also for them to understand and relate to. So how can we make them more accessible to all students? Adapting classics into graphic novel form is one of the best ways to breathe new lives into them! Through incredible graphics, and only the most important text, authors can tell some of the most difficult stories in a way that any reader can understand.

Join JLG on Thursday, March 25 at 3pm EST as they chat with the author/illustrator duo behind the Slaughterhouse Five Graphic Novel, Ryan North and Albert Monteys. Special guest Rex Ogle (Free Lunch) will discuss with Ryan and Albert how they adapted a world-renowned novel into graphic form, what it’s like working together to create a masterpiece and more.

Perfect for librarians, educators, parents and students grades 9 & up. 

Mar 25, 2021 03:00 PM in Eastern Time (12pm PST)


Friday, March 19, 2021

Spring Book & Author Festival w/ Penguin Random House

Join Penguin Random House, Library Journal, and School Library Journal for a free, day-long virtual book and author festival as they celebrate National Library Week and librarians everywhere! Enjoy a day packed with author panels and interviews, book buzzes, virtual shelf browsing, and adding to your TBR pile.

You’ll hear from many of your favorite authors, whose work runs the gamut from Picture Books to Young Adult titles to the best new Fiction and Nonfiction for adults. There is something of interest for every reader. Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out the virtual exhibit hall, chat directly with authors, access eGalleys, and enter to win prizes and giveaways.

Visit the event webpage for more details.

By registering for this event, 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.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Technology Tips - March 2021

                                                                                                          by Steve Woods, Instructional Technology Specialist

Never Forget Again with Google Keep

Find yourself forgetting to run an errand? Has your partner or friend asked you to get something five minutes after checkout? Let me introduce you to Keep, one of Google's little-known productivity tools.

Google Keep is a free and collaborative notetaking, list-making, task reminding powerhouse in a simple to use online tool. Keep is located via web browser at, as well as via the free Keep app (Apple and Android devices).

Once you open Keep, you'll find a simple interface, with a single box to begin a new text-based note. Hidden in plain view in that box are choices to create a list with checkboxes, a note based on an image, and if you're using the Chrome Browser, an option to even hand draw your note. No matter what type of note you begin, you can always add images, checkboxes and drawings from there.

On the left-hand side of Keep's browser-based tool, you'll find a Reminders tab for notes that leverage powerful date/time and even location-based reminders. Tie a shopping list note to your local Staples or Office Depot, and the free mobile app will give you an alert when you get near the store.

Want to stay organized? Create labels to categorize your notes and tie one or more categories to your notes. Search by label to find all related notes quickly. You can even use the paint palette icon on each note to create a background color, visually sorting your notes and making them stand out from each other.

Advanced features include a built-in image reader to copy text straight off an image in a note, adding collaborators to your notes, and even launching a Google Doc straight from a note if you'd rather continue there. Everything from your note will be carried over to the Doc.

Keep is one of those tools I highly recommend you consider for your personal life. You're bound to fall in love with its ease of use and versatility. Use your imagination to make your personal life more efficient, and Keep will naturally lend itself to your office, library, or classroom environment.

Want to learn more and see screenshots of Keep? Visit this Slides presentation.