Friday, December 20, 2013

So Many Good Books!

It's the end of the year and so time to celebrate all the good books that have come out in 2013 (and time to update our collections with overlooked best books!)  There are many end of the year lists put out, so check out the one that fits the age level your library serves.
  • School Library Journal compiles several lists including Best Fiction, Best Nonfiction, Best Picture Books, Top Graphic Novels, Top Latino-themed Books, Best Adult Books 4 Teens, and even Top DVDs and Apps of 2013.
  • Kirkus has a slew of book recommendations including Best Children's Books, Best Teen Books, and Adult Fiction and Nonfiction.
  • The New York Times lists 100 Notable Books for adults and fewer than 100 for children.  Also, they list the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books
  • Librarians of middle grade readers should definitely check out Tween Recommended Reads from ALSC. 
  • NPR has an interesting taggable collection of lists that combines a slew of genre book lists, Kids' Books, Comics and Graphic Novels, and Young Adult Books.  Just trust me and check this one out; it's pretty cool.   
  • NYPL put together a similar interface listing the top 100 Children's Books for Reading and Sharing.
  • Publishers Weekly lists include Children's Picture, Children's Fiction, Children's Nonfiction, Comics, and a range of adult books.
Did I miss any? (This is mostly a joke, I'm quite sure I've missed some.)  Please add your favorite "best of" list in the comments.  Happy reading and we'll see you in 2014!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Scholarships Available

Here's an update from our scholarship committee:

This year the Hudson Valley Library Association (HVLA) will award two scholarships of $1000 each for use toward professional development. One scholarship will be awarded to a student currently enrolled in a library school program at an accredited educational institution. The second scholarship will be awarded to a current school librarian. Applicants should be current members of HVLA. See our membership page for more details on how to register.

The scholarship application deadline is Wednesday, February 12, 2014, and recipients will be announced on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Upon receiving the scholarship award, winners have until December 31, 2014 to use the funds and will be expected to share a response to their award, and their experiences through a post (or posts) on the HVLA blog.

HVLA is a network of supportive and enthusiastic educators who are passionate about the world of school libraries. HVLA offers members the opportunity to connect with fellow school librarians and share knowledge and experiences through meetings, listservs, and events. If you are interested please fill out the forms below. Feel free to share this link with your library network.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of the committee members. The following HVLA members serve on the Scholarship Committee:

Christina Karvounis, Brooklyn Friends School
Elizabeth Fernandez, Convent of the Sacred Heart
Constance Vidor, Friends Seminary
Shana Hitt, Queens College GSLIS, Class of 2010
Joy Piedmont, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Moving Toward Mentorship

Here's an update from the HVLA Mentorship committee:

At the beginning of the school year, a call went out to the HVLA membership for volunteers to create a mentorship committee. In late November, we held our first planning meeting. A mentorship program is a complicated beast. It involves determining a clear purpose, recruiting mentors & mentees, training participants, and ensuring confidentiality. Launching a mentorship program is the committee’s long-term goal. As a first step, we decided to spend this year establishing a series of Empowerment Meet-Ups, open to all members of HVLA, with the purpose of gathering a supportive group of colleagues to discuss and brainstorm specific topics in a casual atmosphere. Librarians would be encouraged to come armed with an idea or project they are trying to implement or realize in their school. Our collective energies, positive collaboration and creativity could then be used to pose solutions, provide suggestions or facilitate sharing 
of resources. Possible future meet-up topics include, 

• Catching the Big Fish: Landing the Library Job You Want 

• Clever Collaboration with Teachers

• Research Projects “Show and Tell”

• Expanding Your Professional Network

The first meet-up will take place early in the New Year in a central location (near Union 
Square). The topic will be “Advocating for You and Your Library Program.” We hope to 
see many of you there.

---Laura Bishop, Rachel Berkey, Angela Carstensen, Nishette Isaac

Monday, December 9, 2013

December Book Club

Thursday December 12, 5:45

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

What We're Reading:
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

If time permits, we will also discuss the follow up to The Raven Boys:
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Monday, December 2, 2013

AASL - Top 10 Takeaways

This week we are excited to have a guest post from one of our HVLA scholarship winners, Christina Karvounis!

The week of November 13-17, I attended the bi-annual American Association of School Librarians conference in Hartford, CT. This was my first library conference and it was outstanding. I attended 1 pre-conference leadership workshop, 8 topical workshops on topics ranging from choosing multicultural titles to utilizing iPads in the library to guided inquiry in research and beyond, visited with many booksellers and vendors, and added many new professional contacts to my #PLN.


10. Only 10% of books published in the last decade were authored by people of color - be aware and continue to be a champion for change.

9. Consider creating a MakerSpace in your library. Or become one.

8. Curiosity and creativity are essential 21st century skills - deepen them - offer opportunities for students to deepen them - in your library.

7. Create/cultivate a culture of collaboration!

6. Scaffold opportunities for regular, meaningful, reflective inquiry.

5. Create library centers: Lego poetry, read to self, puzzles, word building, draw an ad for a favorite book, bookmark creating.

4. Essential Applications: Scratch, Animoto, VoiceThread, iMovie

3. Rudine Sims Bishop: "Mirrors, Windows, Sliding Glass Doors" is a must read.

2. Keep ear to the classroom for 'just in time' learning.

and the top theme I gathered from AASL13 was:

1. Jump in with both feet! Try new connections, technologies, styles, collaborative techniques, applications for sharing -- challenges always present themselves; get going!

I came home energized by the experience but also concerned about ways to implement ideas. At Brooklyn Friends School, Kathy and I work together in the PS/LS library - and we've already implemented many of the strategies we learned at the conference and are in conversation on others. It was an excellent conference and I highly recommend it!