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.

Free Webinar: How to Use Picture Books with Tweens & Teens -- Register today!

Are you pigeonholing your picture books, limiting them to just primary grades? Join librarians and literacy luminaries Betsy Bird, Cicely Lewis, and Susannah Richards for a webinar about the benefits of and strategies for using picture books with older students—including middle grade and high schoolers! Moderated by Carol Hinz, Associate Publisher, Millbrook Press & Carolrhoda Picture Books, this panel discussion is sure to deliver solid ideas for educators and parents alike!

This powerhouse panel will cover:
1. Benefits of reading picture books—specifically for middle grade and high school readers
2. Advice for overcoming challenges and resistance—from tweens, teens, and skeptical adults
3. Tips for locating great picture books that “age up”
4. Tried-and-true strategies for book talking picture books to older students
5. Ideas for using picture books in MS/HS libraries, classrooms, and lessons

Register today and submit the questions you’d like the panel to cover, as well as your suggestions for picture books to use with tweens and teens. The presenters will compile a recommended booklist to share with all registrants following the webinar.

Mar 23, 2021 01:00 PM CST / 11:00 AM PST


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Virtual Author Visit Opportunities with Kate Messner!

Award-winning author Kate Messner offers an engaging, interactive virtual author visits, with a focus on her picture books and easy readers that celebrate science, curiosity, and stories.

Kate is the author of more than fifty books for young readers, including Over and Under the Snow, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Over and Under the Pond, Over and Under the Rainforest, The Brilliant Deep, How to Write a Story, and the Fergus and Zeke easy reader series.

In this 45-minute virtual author visit, she'll share the research adventures behind her books, give readers a peek inside her writer's notebook, and offer a sneak preview of some yet-to-be-published picture books. The visit will conclude with time for Q&A. For more information on her Grades K-2 visit, click the image below.


Kate is the author of more than fifty books for kids, including the popular Ranger in Time historical adventures, novels like All the Answers and Breakout, nonfiction like Tracking Pythons, and the History Smashers series.

In this 45-minute virtual author visit, Kate will share the research adventures behind her books, give readers a peek at her writer's notebook and upcoming projects, and share some of her messy, marked-up manuscripts (revision is a HUGE part of her writing process!) The visit will conclude with time for Q&A. For more information on her Grades 3-6 visit, click the image below.

Registration for each of the April 14th author visit webinars is just $15/device, so they're accessible for single classrooms and home schoolers alike. Each registration is good for login for just one device for the live webinar, but you'll also get a link to a video replay that can be shared with remote learners and viewed multiple times. ASL interpreting will be provided for both the live webinar and the video replay.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Join an ERS Library staff member for an information packed 15 minute tour!

Got 15 minutes? The ERS Library staff would love to give you a quick 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 beginning March 9. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Did You Know? - March 2021


TeenBookCloud, for middle school through high school, is just as rich in content as its elementary-level companion, TumbleBookLibrary! You’ll find Middle School fiction and YA/Teen fiction at all reading levels, from hi/lo fiction for students at a lower reading level all the way to books for AP English. The AP section is divided into time periods, that include Ancient Works such as Homer’s Odyssey and The Divine Comedy through centuries of classic literature, all the way up to the present day. Drama and Poetry features Greek plays, the complete works of Shakespeare, and works by Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman, among many others. Graphic novels include a biography of the Beatles, tales of Excalibur and King Arthur, and mystery and fantasy stories, enhanced eBooks and audio books featuring text read-aloud features, are available as well.

And that’s just Fiction! Nonfiction is divided into the following categories: History, Civics, Science, and a General area featuring content and articles from sources such as the New Yorker and Scientific American. There is also a section of Common Core supporting materials, featuring primary source documents such as Supreme Court decisions and MLK Jr’s Letter ‘From A Birmingham Jail.’

If your students are looking for something to read direct them to TeenBookCloud on the ERS Portal for a wide variety of choices and options.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Peekapak #iteachSEL Giveaway

Teachers, you asked for it… and Peekapak delivered. Get ready for Peekapak’s #iteachSEL giveaway in celebration of SEL day on March 26th! 

International SEL day, on March 26th, is an online campaign that showcases, promotes and advocates for social-emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom. In light of the pandemic, the need for this is greater than ever.

As a way to continuously promote and highlight the importance of SEL in classrooms, and to provide students and teachers with a creative outlet to express their emotions and feelings, Peekapak has created a fun and simple SEL giveaway!

The Challenge

Now, you’re probably wondering, what is the #iteachSEL giveaway and how can I participate? Well it’s simple: you just need to show us your SEL in action! Anyone can send a photo, video, poem, letter — any form you’d like — to our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or email at of how SEL is being implemented and LOVED in your classroom.

The Prizes

Three, randomly picked, winners will be getting one, lifesize (3-ft) Peekapak Pal cutout AND a $50 Amazon e-Gift Card!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Upcoming Holidays & Observances w/ Teaching Resources - March 2021

March marks the beginning of Women’s History Month. This provides an opportunity for educators to honor, recognize, and teach women’s contributions to American history. Throughout history, women have made many contributions in science, politics, law, sports, the arts, entertainment, and many other fields. Explore biographies using the ERS Portal resources and online Follett Destiny catalog to reserve books. 

Check out the Teacher Board Discovery Education has created full of unique ideas for celebrating Women’s History Month:

Women's History Month Teacher Board (DE)

These books and many others are available for check out in the ERS Library's circulating collection: