Friday, October 30, 2020

November is Picture Book Month!

The Children's Book Council | October 2020

November is Picture Book Month, a tribute to the enduring importance of the picture book form. Dianne de Las Casas (author & storyteller) and her team co-founded the month-long celebration to champion the power and beauty of picture books: 

In this digital age where people are predicting the coming death of print books, picture books (the print kind) need love. And the world needs picture books. There’s nothing like the physical page turn of a beautifully crafted picture book.

Click here to see the list of this year’s Picture Book Month Champions.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

October 29 | 3p.m. ET  (12p.m. PST)

It’s October and you know what that means! We all love the thrill of being spooked, whether through haunted houses, creepy movies or even scary stories. Readers love this terribly terrific time of year and so do we! 

Join Junior Library Guild Thursday, October 29, as they celebrate all things Halloween with some of their favorite spooky story authors, Wil MaraKara LaReau, and Flavia Z Drago to talk about their frightfully fun stories for middle/high, late elementary, and early elementary (respectively). They'll be talking about the appeal of scary tales and how readers of all ages are drawn to books that pack the chills. (Plus, they may even dress up in costume!) 

Perfect for librarians, educators, parents and students of all ages.  

Can't make the live webcast? Don't worry! JLG webcasts are recorded and available to watch on-demand at


Friday, October 23, 2020

Upcoming Holidays & Observances with Teaching Resources - October 2020

November is a great month to elevate National Native American Heritage Month in your classroom. First observed in 1990, it provides educators an opportunity to teach, learn and recognize the many contributions, accomplishments, and challenges of indigenous people in the United States. The ERS Library has both print and digital resources to help teach students about indigenous people’s culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance and concepts of life. To get you started we’ve identified streaming videos organized by grade level from Discovery Education. In addition, we have beautiful picture and nonfiction books available for delivery to your school. 

Discovery Education resources:

                  K - 5                            6 - 8                            9 - 12

In the ERS Library circulating collection:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Education City to be discontinued

Dear Educators, we recently learned that Edmentum, the parent company of Education City, is discontinuing this product and offering us a refund. 

The ERS Library staff is hoping to find a comparable product for the same price. However, initial inquiries are not hopeful. In this age of distance learning, costs for subscription based educational games has increased. If we cannot find a comparable product for the same price as Education City, the refund will be used to invest more heavily in our newest resources: MackinVIA eBook and Sora audiobook collections. If MackinVIA or Sora are not yet visible in your list of resources, please contact; directions on the setup process will be provided.

We apologize for the disruption this will cause you and your students. Your patience and understanding are sincerely appreciated!

Resource: How to Manage Your Makerspace During the 2020 Pandemic

From Demco Blog | August 10, 2020

These are unprecedented and unpredictable times in education right now. Educators and librarians are having to quickly innovate and adapt to find ways to continue supporting our students while maintaining health and safety. While makerspaces thrive on in-person collaboration and sharing, it is still possible to continue supporting maker learning in a socially distanced or virtual scenario. But it does take a little more planning and some ingenuity to make it work....

Friday, October 16, 2020

Bitmoji Classroom

                                                                                                          by Steve Woods, Instructional Technology Specialist

Have you heard of Bitmoji Classrooms?  With distance learning taking over our current educational landscape, teachers and librarians are looking for interesting ways to grab their students' attention. Enter the Bitmoji Classroom...

Leveraging the fun social-shared emojis that mimic real-life people, Bitmoji Classrooms combine Bitmojis with the ease of Google Slides. Virtual classroom slides are created using a variety of wall and floor backgrounds, along with images of desks, couches, lamps, whiteboards, movie screens, bookshelves and even houseplants. Once these are in place, the additional features of Slides are put into play in order to control a student’s experience in Google Slides. These features, in effect, allow the slideshow to function much like a website. Students jump from “room” to “room” in order to access multimedia resources on a variety of subjects.

Bitmoji Classrooms are not just for teachers. Librarians have discovered the fun and ease of creating them, providing access to multimedia including education-rich websites, YouTube-based reader experiences, gaming and coding sites. The sky is the limit!

Want to learn how to create your own Bitmoji Classroom site? There are numerous resources on the Web, including Facebook groups like Bitmoji Craze for Educators, which has over 500,000 members. There are also a variety of great YouTube-based tutorials on Bitmoji Classrooms. With so many resources out there to help you begin, why not consider adding another educational tool to your toolbox?

Our technology team also provides an ongoing technology class on Bitmoji Classrooms.

Visit to find out when the next one is scheduled! 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

"SLJ Summit: Culture Shift" Free Virtual Event


Join School Library Journal on Saturday, October 24 for the SLJ Summit: Culture Shift. Now in its 16th year, this national convening will focus on creating a culture that promotes an equitable world and closes the opportunity gap for all children.

In this free, day-long event, you’ll gain skills, ideas, and support in leading the change you want to see in your library, school, and community.

The day will host three concurrent tracks, with sessions on:  

  • Reimagining School  

  • Antiracism: Next Steps

  • School Library Leadership 2020

  • Challenging the Classics: Reimagining the literary canon

  • SEL (Social Emotional Learning) & Trauma-Informed Teaching

  • Coming of Age, Graphic Novels 

  • Reimagining Youth Librarianship

  • How to Start an Online Book Club 

  • The Latinx Experience, Genre Fiction

  • And much more

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Library Con Live! Free Virtual Event

Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for their fourth annual LibraryCon Live!, a day-long celebration of fandom-beloved stories and characters, featuring the creators behind mind-bending speculative fiction, innovative comics, and fan-favorite graphic novels. 

Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you'll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. Whether you're a public or school librarian, an educator of teens and young adults, or a superfan of graphic novels and sf/fantasy, don't miss this chance to meet and interact with some of your favorite stars across these genres.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Did You Know? - October 2020


The ERS Library staff is proud to introduce MackinVIA, our new eBook resource available in the
ERS Portal to contracting schools! This new resource is accessible on any internet-enabled device and features both multi-user titles, which may be read by multiple students at once, and single-user titles that students can check out for three weeks. Titles can also be renewed. If not renewed, at the end of the checkout period, the eBook will automatically be returned.

MackinVIA is divided into searchable categories including Math, Language Arts, Historical Fiction, Graphic Novels, Technology and Transportation, and more. Searches can be done by author, title, subject, interest grade level, reading grade level, AR/Lexile/Guided Reading, and language, among others. Free databases, such as DK’s Find Out! and Youngzine, which provides current news articles written for and by school-age children, are also included. And when a search on any topic occurs, MackinVIA finds appropriate websites to match the query!

For students and teachers to access MackinVIA, as well as Sora, our new audiobook resource, contracting school administrators should have their IT Specialist contact the ERS Library <>. Our Instructional Technology staff will coach the IT Specialist through the Google authentication process. Once Google authentication is complete students and teachers can begin enjoying a variety eBooks and audiobooks!