April 2017

Monday thru Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Stop by for a visit:
7000 W. Doe Avenue,
Suite A
Visalia, CA 93291

Give us a call:
(559) 651-3031

Or send us an email:


Did you know?
ProQuest Sirs Discoverer has more than 500 downloadable Nonfiction books.

Available on the ERS Portal, ProQuest SIRS® Discoverer® is a general reference database for elementary and middle school learners, researchers, and educators covering curriculum area content sets such as reading, language arts, current events, science, social studies, history, health and technology. Nonficton titles are available in the following subject areas: Arts, Health, History, Language Arts, Math, People, Science, Social Studies, Sports, & Technology. They are searchable by grade (1st - 12th) and Lexile level (190L-2500L).

To access these ebooks: log in to the ERS Portal, click on the Sirs Discoverer icon, and then on the Nonfiction Books icon (pictured below).

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, April is National Poetry Month. Over the past 21 years, National Poetry Month has become one of the largest literary celebrations in the world: schools, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrate during the month of April. Every grade level can join in this celebration as well. The ERS Library has many great poetry books for you to share with your students and staff. For more ideas checkout 30 ways to celebrate national poetry month. Another fine activity that students enjoy is the Poem in Your Pocket Day held on April 27.  If you celebrate National Poetry Month in any way, please send us a photo of your activity with students and staff so we can share it in our next newsletter.

If you have a $50 credit toward materials in the ERS Library's Teacher Resource Center (TRC) from IMPACT, TIPs or Valley Life Charter School, don't forget to spend it before it expires!

For more information email your name & program/site to Sara Torabi.



Library Multimedia Network

Our next LMN meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 15th.
In addition to discussing the end of year reports that can be run in Follett Destiny, exploring Titlewave's collection development services and a MakerSpace project, time will be devoted to completing the California Department of Education's Annual School Library Survey. The five LMN meeting dates (and general topics!) chosen for the 2017-18 school year will also be released at this meeting.

If you are interested in attending this or any future LMN meetings, email Sara Torabi.

      Superintendents & Site Administrators

You have until June 30, 2017 to use both the FREE Tech Day and the ERS Portal Presentation included in your 2016-17 ERS Library Media Services contract. Contact Sara.Torabi@tcoe.org to schedule your preferred dates as soon as possible!

Ready for CAASPP assessments? Your remaining Tech Day can be used to bring EdTech Integration Consultant Katherine Goyette to your site or district to prepare your teachers for the CAASPP. Topics include: Updates to the CAASPP assessment system, Tech tools that mimic CAASPP item types/assessment format in the classroom, practical uses of CAASPP interim assessments/digital library, focus on formative assessment tools to drive instruction.

A 2017-18 Library Media Services Contract was emailed to each contracting district/site Administrator and their Administrative Assistant on Monday, April 3rd. Please be sure to return the signed contract before July 1, 2017 to avoid interruption in service to your site(s). Included with the contract is a checklist of things to schedule or be aware of as you plan for next school year.

April's CheckThisOut! kits are the last for this year. Many thanks to the 227 teachers, library staff and administrators who participated! We hope that you and your students enjoyed the materials we selected.

Our end of year survey will be sent out to all participants at the beginning of May. Please take a few minutes to let us know your thoughts on our service, the materials you received and what you might like to see from CTO! in the future. All survey responses that include name, email address & school site will be entered in our 
Book Bundle Drawing as a survey incentive. Click here for details.

As a reminder, May is a PICKUP ONLY month. While you can reserve items to be delivered via our online library catalog, no CTO! kits will be delivered. All materials should be returned to the ERS Library before Summer Break. Please be sure to send your pickup requests to library@ersconnect.org.

As part of an ongoing series that address the recommendations of the Library Audit Report, we present:
       Library Audit - Recommendation #2 

“Provide guidance to school districts on completing the California Department of Education's Annual School Library Survey.”

Education Code Section 18122 directs local governing boards to report to the California Department of Education (CDE) on the condition of their school libraries. To facilitate this, the CDE created an online data collection survey which both meets the Education Code requirement and helps the department develop an accurate picture of the condition of school libraries across the state.

"The updated annual online survey is now open to collect information from individual
schools about their libraries in 2015-2016. It will be active through Friday, June 30, 2017.
Prior year survey responses are available as well.” ~CDE

Over the past three survey collection cycles, only 23% of Tulare County school districts completed the survey. The second recommendation from the library audit was that County Offices of Education provide guidance to their school districts on completing CDE’s Annual School Library Survey. If you need support completing the annual survey, please contact Debra Lockwood, TCOE’s Library Media Supervisor at 559-651-3042 or debra.lockwood@tcoe.org for assistance. Special note: attendees at our May 15th Library Multimedia Network (LMN) meeting will be given the opportunity to complete this survey under direct guidance from Debra Lockwood.

Next month: Library Audit-Recommendation #3: Your school library, Model School Library Standards & the LCAP. To read the full Library Audit Report, click here.

New Hands-On Kits in the ERS Library's Circulating Collection...

These durable, easy-view specimens provide a fascinating look at plant and animal life! Each set includes 4-12 specimens encased in heavy-duty, lightweight acrylic

Available Kits (# of specimens):
     Sea Life Specimen Kit (4)
     Plant Specimen Kit (4)
     Insects Specimen Kit (4)
     Lifecycle Specimen Kit (4)
     Scorpion & Spider Specimen Kit (4)
     Real Bugs Specimen Kit (12) 

All Grades

The Ozobot Bit is a minirobot that identifies color and patterns on paper, or on a tablet, which allows it to read and follow directions. The robot makes learning logic, coding, programming and reasoning skills a fun gaming experience. This version of the robot also has the capability to do customized block-based programming through OzoBlockly.

Kit includes:
   18 Ozobot Bits
   18 customized skins
   18 Ozobot marker sets
   3 charging stations
   18 mini USB charging cables
   18 OzoCode sheets
   1 teacher's guide
   1 Ozobot tips sheet
   1 OzoBlockly getting started guide
   1 log sheet
   1 bowling game set
   1 Ozobot poster

All Grades

In Breakout EDU games, players work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box. Lesson and games can be found online and on the Breakout EDU site.

Kit includes:
   Black Breakout EDU box
   1 hasp
   1 word lock
   1 three-digit lock
   1 four-digit lock
   1 directional lock
   1 key lock
   1 UV light
   1 invisible ink pen
   1 small lockable box
   1 USB thumb drive
   2 hint cards
   1 small clear plastic box
   7 selfie cards
   1 sample lesson
   1 lock parking lot

              All Grades

To search for these hands-on Kits in the Follett Destiny online catalog:

- Set the Material Type to Kit
- In the Find field, type "Specimen", "Ozobot" or "Breakout" then click on the Title button.

Click on the kit's title, then the "Hold It!" button to reserve this item for delivery to your site. 

To lock in your reservation date, be sure to use the "Reserve for a Specific Date" option, not the "As Soon as Possible." 

Teaching about WWII Internment Camps?

New interactive tool available
by Mary Beth Barber, Special Projects and Assistant to the State Librarian at California State Library

The California State Library has recently released an interactive tool (some might call it an educational game) that leads individuals through various scenarios faced by Japanese-American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese descent during World War II and the internment camps. This tool may be utilized by social-science and history instructors to encourage discussion and critical thinking about the subject. All scenarios have a basis in real events and are cited with links.

This could be useful for multiple grades, and the subject is directly addressed in the History–Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools for 11th graders. See standard  11.7.5 “Students analyze America’s participation in World War II -- Discuss the constitutional issues and impact of events on the U.S. home front, including the internment of Japanese Americans (e.g., Fred Korematsu v. United States of America) ….”



"[D]on't ever apologise to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that's what they're there for. Use your library). Don't apologise to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend's copy. What's important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read...” 

                 – Neil Gaiman     

Archived Newsletters

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 7000 Doe Avenue, Suite A, Visalia, CA 93291  (559) 651-3031
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