Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Opportunities for Professional Development

Guest Post by Shana Hitt

Below are some exciting professional development activities taking place over the course of the next year. Tell us if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

NYLA-Section of School Librarians
Spring Conference
Exploring Excellence in Education
Syracuse-April 24th- April 26th
In collaboration with the NYLA SSL, an annual conference with events, workshops, and keynotes.

AASL@ALA Las Vegas
June 26, 2014-July 1, 2014
The American Association of School Librarians will participate in the Annual ALA conference. More information will be posted as it becomes available.
International Reading Association 59th Annual Conference
May 10, 2014- May 12, 2014
New Orleans
This conference offers quality educational learning, with a variety of professionals who enjoy all things literary.
ISTE (The International Society for Technology in Education)
Atlanta, GA
June 28, 2014-July 1, 2014
This is the premier forum in which to exchange ideas regarding education technology.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April Book Club: The Sequel!

Due to scheduling quirks*, we are having a second book club meeting this April! Join us for delicious snacks, smart conversation, and good company.

Tuesday, April 29 @ 5:45

LREI - Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School
40 Charlton Street (between 6th and Varick)

What We're Reading:
The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson
The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

Join our Goodreads Group!

HVLA Book Club
HVLA Book Club 19 members The official book club of the Hudson Valley Library Association. We read a middle grade and young...

Books we're currently reading

View this group on Goodreads »

*It's not such an exciting reason; we tend to meet every 4-5 weeks and ended up bypassing March completely this year.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Literary Events

Spring is here! Enjoy the warmer weather and the following literary events happening around NYC in the coming month. 

For those of you interested in virtual events, Open Education Database has curated sixty-three free live webinars for librarians.

Feel free to share any other events you know about in the comments!

April 8, 7:00 pm @ Barnes & Noble (86th & Lexington)
Ann Brashares, The Here and Now
Author of the NY Times bestselling series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants discusses and signs copies of her new book, The Here and Now.

April 13, 11:00 am @ Bowery Poetry
Downtown Literary Festival

April 13, 1:00 pm @ Dweck Auditorium, Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn By the Book: Katherine Boo 
Join us in welcoming Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo for the paperback debut of Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, a hard-hitting and emotionally charged chronicle of children and families struggling to survive in Mumbai’s slums. In conversation with Amy Waldman, author of The Submission.

April 15, 7:00 pm @McNally Jackson
Geography Lessons with Jennifer E. Smith
Jennifer E. Smith's novels are beloved by our YA team here at McNally Jackson, and we are thrilled to host her for the launch of her fantastic new book The Geography of You and Me.

April 19, 1:00-3:12 pm @ Books of Wonder
April Picture Book Showcase
Don't miss this amazing afternoon of interacting and laughing it up with these amazing picture books creators!
AME DYCKMAN Tea Party Rules
CHRIS RASCHKA Thingy Things Series

April 24, 8:15 pm @ 92nd Street Y
Shakespeare in America With James Shapiro
To mark the occasion of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, scholar James Shapiro discusses his new anthology, Shakespeare in America, which, as he writes in the introduction, is also “a history of America itself, not the straightforward narrative found in textbooks, but rather one that runs parallel to the conventional story of the nation, a more sharp-edged one expressed through two-and-a-half centuries of essays, parodies, burlesques, poems, speeches, short stories, letters, musicals, novels, reviews, films, and staged performances. These works, by some of the most creative minds in America, explore the cultural fault-lines that have always existed just below the surface of our national conversations.”

April 28 - May 4
PEN World Voices Festival

April 29, 5:45 pm @ LREI
HVLA Book Club
We meet once again this April, this time to discuss The Tyrant's Daughter and The Riverman.

April 30, 7:30 pm @ 92nd Street Y
Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection
“You know that girl who ‘has it all’—perfect job, relationship, body? No, you don’t, because she doesn’t exist, argues Barnard College president Debora Spar in her explosive new book Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection.

Save the Date! Coming in May @ 92nd Street Y
YA Lit at 92Y
From heartbreaking dystopia to heart-stopping fantasy, coming-of-age to real-world issues, Young Adult (YA) literature has never been more exciting. 92Y brings together the hottest YA writers for conversations throughout the fall about new projects, where to find inspiration and the craft of storytelling. Don’t miss out these opportunities to get up close and personal with some of YA lit’s major players! Authors will meet fans and sign books after all events!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Collaboration Can Be Easy (and Fun!)

Collaboration between teachers and librarians can happen for a multitude of reasons.  Sometimes the path to collaboration is difficult to envision and time consuming to facilitate (though still really important!), and other times an opportunity presents itself that seems obvious and you wonder, why haven't I done this before?

Our sixth graders have read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry for many years and their English teacher decided they needed more background to fully understand the time period and some of the issues in the book.  This immediately led me to part one of the collaboration where I attended a workshop about new books with this English teacher and then made some recommendations.   She then selected Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine as a book pairing for their English curriculum.

The second part of the partnership involved designing a new cross curricular project. I teach an independent reading class to sixth graders where kids are encouraged to think about who they are as readers so that as they get older, they will become purposeful, self-sufficient book selectors.  This was the perfect opportunity to talk about one strategy for successful readers:  If you need more background information about something else you are studying, choose a related book to fill in the gaps in your knowledge.

In collaboration with the English teacher, we designed a project where kids will get to choose a book to read on their own and then draw a connection between Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry or Lions of Little Rock and their selected book.

Although they were welcome to make their own selections, I have been recommending some books to the sixth graders.  Here's a sample of what I have suggested:

  • Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Chris Crowe
  • Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose
  • We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March by Cynthia Levinson
  • Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
  • Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge
  • Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone
  • Little Rock Girl 1957: How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration by Shelley Tougas

  • Lunch-Box Dream by Tony Abbott
  • A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg
  • Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe
  • Bud, Not Buddy/The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine
  • No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Michaeux Nelson
  • Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Paperboy by Vince Vawter
  • One Crazy Summer/PS Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Crow by Barbara Wright

Building relationships is often the most important part of collaboration, so it's important not to overlook any meaningful chance to connect with other teachers.  In the hunt for the perfect partnership, don't miss one that is right under your nose!

Friday, March 7, 2014

April Book Club

Tuesday April 1, 5:45

Elizabeth Irwin High School - meet in the library
40 Charlton Street
(between 6th Ave and Varick)

What We're Reading:
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

 We hope to see you in April, but even if you can't make it, check out our Goodreads HVLA Bookclub Group.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Are You Doing in March?

Check out some of these upcoming events if you are looking for something literary to do in the NYC area:

Every year on the first Wednesday of March LitWorld's advocacy campaign for the human right of literacy calls worldwide attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories.

3/12, 4pm
Joint HVLA/NYCIST at Professional Children's School
Librarians and technologists will have the opportunity to discuss issues that affect both groups and share ideas. RSVP here.

3/13, 6:30pm
Lauren Oliver will talk about her latest YA book, Panic.

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries.

3/22, 3-5 pm
Come watch young filmmakers who create movies that creatively compress the stories of Newbery Award-winning books into 90 seconds or less.

3/24, 7:30pm
Anderson will talk about her latest book, The Impossible Knife of Memory, which the HVLA bookclub recently discussed.

Through 4/27
Those of you who were intrigued by "The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter" during our winter meeting might be interested to check out another exhibit featuring a children's literary classic.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mock Newbery 2014!

As you read about in an earlier blog post this year by HVLA member Angie Ungaro entitled Strength in Numbers: When One Book Club is Not Enough, a few Brooklyn Heights Independent Schools teamed up last year to create a Mock Newbery book club with an online component. The schools involved were Brooklyn Friends, Brooklyn Heights Montessori, St. Ann’s and Packer Collegiate. As Angie detailed so wonderfully, each school still maintained their own school book club but also used the online component to facilitate conversations with student’s in nearby schools.

Since we were using Edmodo, we did not have to meet in large groups very often. The online piece allowed our students the opportunity to speak with others without the need to constantly travel between schools. However, our proximity to each other is important in regards to our two major celebrations!

Last year, went so well in fact, that we decided to do it all again!

We began our book club this year with a Fall kick off celebration at St. Ann’s. Students had time to chat and eat snacks and then were introduced to the speaker of the day, Michael Santangelo, who was on a previous Newbery Committee. The students were so enthusiastic to hear from him and to learn all about the Newbery Process. In fact, the Q & A period seemed to usurp the presentation itself due to the overall excitement of the group.

Our second celebration was held this past Friday at Packer Collegiate! It was well attended with about 60 4th, 5th and 6th grade students. We started off with snacks and moved on to showing some student made book trailers. It was exciting to see what the student’s produced. Afterwards, we played a quick game of trivia and then had time for our speaker, Marilyn Ackerman, who was on the most recent Newbery Committee. Students were able to ask questions about the Newbery in general, this year’s Newbery winner and honors, as well as share their own opinions. A fun time was had by all.`

What was extra special for Packer was that 4th graders were also invited to this event. Due to scheduling at Packer, 4th graders are not members of our Mock Newbery Club. However, the 4th graders did learn about the Newbery Award during Library. We ended up having about 10 4th graders in attendance. It was a great opportunity for them to mingle with other 4th graders from St Ann’s and it also served as a brief introduction to the MS/US Library at Packer. Packer has two physically different libraries - a LS library, The Hart Library,  and a MS/US library, The Blackburne Library. Many 4th graders sometimes find the transition to the the MS/US Library from the LS Library a little intimidating so this also served as a nice, low-key introduction. Since the event, some of the 4th graders have already expressed interest in joining the Mock Newbery Club next year in 5th grade. So many things were achieved in this one little event - learning, socializing, recruiting, and building awareness and enthusiasm for the Newbery Award.

If you would like to know more about how we run our Interschool mock Newbery or if you are interested in starting your own please let us know.

Kristyn Dorfman & Megan Kilgallen, The Packer Collegiate Institute

Special thanks to Rebecca Duvall from Brooklyn Heights Montessori, Angie Ungaro from Brooklyn Friends, Hannah Mermelstein from St. Ann’s & Ragan O’Malley from St. Ann’s.