Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Scholarships Available

Are you a current member of HVLA interested in pursuing professional development this year? Are you a library school student interested in growing your skills this year? 

The HVLA Scholarship application process is open! 

Professional development for librarians has become increasingly necessary with the demands of the 21st century library standards and models, and the great impact librarians can have on student growth and learning. 
HVLA is offering two scholarships in 2014: one for a current librarian and one for a current library school student. For more information check out the scholarship page on the HVLA blog, or if you have questions, please email Christina Karvounis at

Apply today!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

METRO Annual Meeting - January 20, 2014

This week's blog is a short report on the amazing annual meeting that METRO (Metropolitan New York Library Council) held at the Vertical Building at Baruch College of CUNY last Wednesday.  Interesting and informative workshops, an opportunity to mix with other librarians from various venues, and the food were all terrific!  If you do not belong, you are missing a great opportunity to learn, grow, and expand in the library business :)

METRO Meeting 

Some Interesting Stuff

On Wednesday, January 15th, I went to the annual meeting of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO).  This amazing organization supports all kinds of libraries and archives in the New York metropolitan area and this meeting is a chance to catch up with the latest happenings and to meet folks from all kinds of institutions.  There were presentations that ranged from Information Literacy for Faculty to Gaming at the New York Public Library.

Openness in the Library
The opening keynote speaker, Jessamyn West, spoke about “openness” in libraries.
Many insights into copyright issues, fair use policies, and more were explored with earnestness and humor.  Her entire presentation can be found at:   I think you will find the information to be valuable.

Information Literacy for the Faculty
For those of us who struggle to get faculty on board to become familiar with the library’s resources, one workshop covered ways to do just that!   Two librarians from St. Joseph’s College. Mayumi Miyaoka and Robert Lasner,  have instituted an instructional program that has had both successes and challenges. 

Here are links to an inspiring article from Western Michigan University that helped lead to the project that St. Joseph’s librarians pursued.

Here also is a link to a outstanding brochure that was developed at Brooklyn College as a guide for their faculty:

Literacy and Assessment: Online Gaming in the Library
There were two very enthusiastic presentations involving both teaching literacy skills through games and actually creating games as a library activity.   Katelyn Angell and Eamon Tewell from Long Island University in Brooklyn use games to stimulate interest in library skills and reviewing whether or not this has a positive impact.  Thomas Knowlton from the New York Public Library “offers patrons the opportunity to play, watch, and critically discuss video games” since its launch in April 2012. His mission is to link video games with books, film, and other resources, as well as promoting an understanding of games for their own merit through what he calls NYPLarcade. 

Some recommendations:
 Let the Games Begin – ideas for game-based learning

Game:  Citation Tic Tac Toe

Self-Evaluation for Students


Slides of all of the workshops at the meeting are available here:

If you don’t already know about METRO or have not joined, you should know that it is an invaluable resource offering scholarships, grants, workshops, and more. 

Connect with METRO:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Blog Post - Adele Bildersee - January 13, 2014

EBSCO Discovery Service  (EDS) - A different way to search!

This year the Dalton School Library adopted EDS (EBSCO Discovery Services) as an enhancement to the library catalog.  Discovery is the latest and greatest method for doing research.  It will soon be the lingua franca of search methods, not only on Google, but in colleges as well.  I think of it as going into subject matter through the back door instead of the front door.  What does that mean?  For ages we have been teaching Boolean searching, using AND, OR, and NOT operators to narrow the searching process and to teach our students how to focus.  Venn diagrams helped make the process graphic. 

But the Internet age has turned the process 180 degrees.  Now one starts with a big idea or concept and then begins narrowing the process using “facets.”  Rather than searching the catalog and then each database separately, the “discovery” software finds everything at once – instant gratification!   If thousands of results did not appear at once, that might be the end of the conversation – or instruction process.  But there is a critical sorting process, not always so straightforward.   Lists of “limiters” or “facets” allow the researcher to check off any number of selections:  books only, for example – in the quest for relevant information.  A number of subjects and formats are also listed that can then be pared down.

So, there are some great things and some not so great about this!   More results expand the possibility of finding what the researcher is looking for, often turning up serendipitous and valuable information.  Yet some searches can produce so much that it is overwhelming.   Also, there can be glitches in the system.  If the metadata of a resource is not in sync with the search terms, results may be either skewed or not available.

That said, we are clearly on the path to helping our students engage in more rewarding research in a new and effective way.  With technology changing so fast, “bugs” do not always get fixed on the first round.  Just consider the web problems in rolling out Obamacare, for example.   But like that, we are confident that the end result will be a smoother and more effective searching system that is here to stay.

To quote Marshall Breeding in the January/February 2014 issue of American Libraries:
Discovery services can play a vital role in a library’s strategic infrastructure.  But it’s not a one-size-fits-all arena.  The needs of public and academic libraries, for example, differ enormously. “

If you would like to look at our new EDS library website and try it out for yourself, just go to:

Monday, January 6, 2014

Blog of the Week from Adele Bildersee - Happy New Year!

HVLA Blog      Adele Bildersee  -- January 6, 2014

The Dalton School Library runs two book clubs – one for all faculty and staff and one for middle school faculty.   In addition to that, the high school librarian hosts book selection and discussions for small groups of eighth graders with the idea of orienting them to the high school and with the added benefit of getting to know them before they enter 9th grade next year. 

These activities have been very successful in building community, which is part of the motivation.  Everyone is reading books, some of which they might never have picked up on their own.  Having the opportunity to discuss books, share ideas, and express opinions has been fun and informative.  Sometimes folks even share interesting personal stories that relate to the books we are reading. 

If what the educational pundits say is true, literature is supposed to expand our intellectual horizons and develop our emotional and moral sensitivity,.  We have certainly found this to be true.  Each of the book groups has about a dozen members who are loyal readers and attendees.  Great fun!

Here are some of the titles that the all faculty group has been reading this year:

All Faculty and Staff – Adult titles

Dear Life – Alice Munro
Dissident Gardens – Jonathan Lethem
Harvard Square – Andre Aciman
Maine – J. Courtney Sullivan
Someone – Alice McDermott
The Lowland - Jhumpa Lahiri

Middle School Teachers – MG and YA books

Verse Novels:
Diamond Willow - Helen Frost,
Realms of Possibilities - David Levithan
Aluetian Sparrow - Karen Hesse.
Midwinter Blood – Marcus Sedgwick
In a Glass Grimly – Adam Gidwitz
Africa Is With a Mighty Hand My Home – Monica Edinger 
       (National Book Award short list and one of our faculty members)
Boxers and Saints – Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel)
With a Mighty Hand – Amy Ehrlich

Join HVLA & Someday My Printz Will Come for Mock Printz 2014!

HVLA & Someday My Printz Will Come are happy to officially announce the 2014 Mock Printz!

WHAT: Mock Printz Debate and Discussion
WHERE: LREI – Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School
40 Charlton Street, New York, NY 10014
WHEN: Sunday, January 19, 2013
11:30 pm – 12:30 pm Lunch (catered by Dig Inn Seasonal Market)
12:30 pm – 5:00 pm Debate & Discussion

Registration is now open here.

Once again, this event is open to all HVLA members and their colleagues, so feel free to pass this invite along to your non-HVLA friends and associates. We only ask that participants come prepared for in-depth discussion of our short-listed titles!

YOUR votes determined this year’s short list:

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Winger by Andrew Smith
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
September Girls by Bennett Madison
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Black Helicopters by Blythe Woolston
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Before our main debate, we’ll narrow down the list to 10 titles so we can have a thorough and deep discussion about each book. Last year the titles knocked off the list first were those with the lowest readership, so we encourage you to respond to the readership poll in the registration form so we have a snapshot before the event.

For debate we’ll be using the same criteria as the Real Printz Committee. You can review those policies and procedures at ALA’s website for the Printz Award.

We had a fabulous time last year and we’re really looking forward another day of great book discussion!

P.S.: Don’t forget to register by January 16th!