Thursday, March 8, 2018

Demystifying the Internet

By: Briar Sauro and Camille Harrison
Berkeley Carroll

A few years ago, we realized that our Lower Schoolers (and colleagues) took the internet for granted and had no idea that it was an actual physical thing - not magic. We know how important it is to raise people who question the world around them for deep understanding and clarity. Plus we were tired of their constant misuse of all tech vocabulary (“I was hacked!” “It’s glitching!”)! We set out to work on technology knowledge and vocabulary as part of our regular social studies and research lessons. What is the internet? What is the Cloud? How does Google actually work? Our goal is to create responsible citizens who use information efficiently and ethically; understanding how the internet works is an integral part of that.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

NEIT Conference Recap

By: Celia Dillon
The Brearley School

*If anyone is interested in hearing more about the sessions mentioned below feel free to reach out to me at and I'd be happy to share my notes!

On January 24, 25, and 26th I went to the New York Association of Independent Schools Education and Technology (NEIT) Conference as a first time attendee. The conference uses an unconference model to bring together librarians and technologists. With the unconference model, there was a planning meeting where anyone could pitch a suggestion for an open space session and other attendees could choose which open space session they wanted to attend, feeling free to move between different sessions in the time time slot. Having colleagues lead sessions gave the conference a welcome conversational feeling of collaboration and brainstorming, that differed from a traditional conference where information is shared in a one way manner. It also meant the conference a was a collection practitioners addressing practical questions in real time. There was more than one pitch that started with “I’ve noticed something at my school and wanted to see what other schools are doing to address this.”

Friday, February 2, 2018

Interview with Lisa Greenwald

HVLA librarians wear many hats, including the hat of published author. Check out Rhonda Rigrodsky's interview with Lisa Greenwald, an HVLA librarian and author of new book TBH This Is So Awkward. 

Lisa Greenwald has been my colleague at The Birch Wathen Lenox School for twelve years. She’s a HVLA member and tween author of 10 books. Lisa’s most recent, TBH This is so Awkward was released in January.

RR: Where did you get the idea for TBH?
LG: I actually got the idea from an HVLA listserv post. A colleague posted that she was looking for books that were similar in format to TTYL (Myracle) but were more appropriate for younger students. I knew I HAD to write TBH. While I was working on it, my 6th grade Library students helped me with the texting lingo.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Privacy and School Libraries

By Gili Warsett, Brooklyn Friends School

School librarians have a responsibility to educate students about privacy issues, both online and off. How does privacy look in a school library setting? On January 18th, Berkeley Carroll hosted HVLA’s four panelists, Jessica Hochman, Melissa Morrone, Jessica Millstone, and Claire Fontaine for a robust conversation moderated by school librarian, Rebecca Duvall.

The panel began by asking the question, what particular concerns and in what ways does privacy come up in your school libraries? HVLA members spoke about struggles to keep circulation information shared by only the librarian and the patron, and the line school librarians walk when interacting with parents about the books their children are checking out.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Newbery Awards!

By Hannah Mermelstein
St. Ann's School

On Friday, December 1, more than 100 students, an access*
of librarians, and Adam Gidwitz gathered at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School to celebrate the Newbery, mock and otherwise. The students came from five schools with Mock Newbery groups: Brooklyn Friends, Brooklyn Heights Montessori, Packer, Poly Prep, and Saint Ann’s. We heard from Adam Gidwitz about his sleepless night pre-Newbery announcement last year, his watching the clock as he ate pancakes with his one-year-old at 6 am, and the phone call that (eventually) came, informing him that The Inquisitor’s Tale had won a Newbery honor. As is typical with Gidwitz, the students were enthralled and amused, and we probably have a few more aspiring Newbery winners out there now, although Gidwitz was quick to say that a book does not have to win an award to be great!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Net Neutrality: A Resource List

Update: The FCC will vote on the proposal to repeal net neutrality on December 14th. 

By: Celia Dillon
The Brearley School 

With the possible repeal of net neutrality regulations, librarians have been called on to speak out about this issue. As librarians we're experts at making resource lists, so here's a net neutrality resource list, for reactions ranging from "What's net neutrality?" to "Why are librarians involved?" to "What can I do about this?" The repeal is set to be announced on December 12th. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

An Access of Librarians: An Interview with Author Kyle Lukoff

In this post, HVLA board member Hannah Mermelstein interviews HVLA member (and former board member) and author Kyle Lukoff. Have more questions for him? Leave them in the comments and he'll respond!

Hannah Mermelstein: Your book A Storytelling of Ravens is coming out in May. Congratulations! Can you tell us a bit about the book and what specifically inspired you to write it?
Kyle Lukoff: I can't remember when I first realized how cool collective nouns were, but I think the seed for this book was planted in the fall of 2006. I was sitting in Washington Square Park with my friend Tamar looking at birds, and she idly wondered what the collective noun for sparrows was. I pulled a piece of paper out of my backpack that had a list of animal collective nouns, because that's the kind of thing I would print out and keep in my backpack, and she was delighted. Not long after I started talking to my roommate, a very talented artist, about collaborating on a picture book project together. I wrote the text (most of which made it into the final book), he did some preliminary sketches, and I vaguely researched the publication process. That iteration never went anywhere, and it took, like, seven years for me to get back to it. I'm glad I did!