Monday, October 22, 2018

New Website!

Please find us at our new website:

Though we will no longer be updating this blog, past entries will still be available here for reference.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Meet Our New Board Members!

Patricia Markert was born and grew up in Syracuse, New York. She was educated in Catholic schools her whole life until she left Georgetown University in her sophomore year, and transferred to the University of Iowa, where she studied English, continued her French major, and took writing classes with Denis Johnson, Marvin Bell, and other poets.  She moved to New York City where she worked in publishing for over ten years, mostly at McGraw Hill. She began her library career with a “lone ranger” position at the Town School, teaching pre-K through eighth grade classes, managing all A-V requests, and processing catalog records. She moved to Little Red School House as a high school librarian, and finally joined the Brearley School, first as an A-V librarian, moving into the head librarian position, and most recently teaching classes in all three divisions.   She writes poetry, appreciates birds, and works in a community garden in her neighborhood.

Anna Murphy is the Upper School Librarian at The Berkeley Carroll School where she also teaches the 8th grade digital literacy course. She received her MLIS with New York State Teaching Certification from Pratt in 2016. She holds an MA in Cinema Studies from NYU and a BA in Women’s Studies and Psychology from Georgetown. She loves to read about the intersection of humanity and technology, as well as memoirs and graphic novels of all kinds.

Cheryl Wolf is the librarian for The Neighborhood School (PS 363) and Star Academy (PS 63), two co-located elementary schools in the East Village. She earned her M.L.I.S. from Pratt Institute. Prior to joining the field of librarianship, she was a curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  She studied painting (Bard College (B.A.); Art History (Hunter College, M.A.) and Curatorial Studies at The Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Her work as a parent volunteer at the Collegiate School library, under the tutelage of Maggie Dixon, was her introduction to the field of school librarianship. In 2009-10 she was Co-President of the New York City School LIbrarian Association (NYSCLA). She is partial to picture books, and maintains the premiere collection of children’s cookbooks and food-related books in New York City, through the Cooperative Collection Development (CCD) program. Cheryl lives with her husband on the LES and has two grown sons. As a public school librarian, she is looking forward to help bridging the NYCSLA and HVLA communities. Cheryl enjoys looking at art and making textiles (weaving, knitting, sewing).

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Drag Queen Story Hour Recap!

Drag Queen Story Hour
By Hannah Mermelstein

On Saturday, May 12, 2018 HVLA members and their children gathered at Caveat NYC with DOE librarians, teachers, and other friends for a fabulous Drag Queen Story Hour. Children ages 2-12 and their grownups sat enthralled as drag queen Lil’ Miss Hot Mess read stories and led us in song. 

She shared Sparkle Boy by LeslĂ©a Newman, which reminds us that sparkles can be for everyone; It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr (the takeaway: it’s okay to eat mac & cheese in the bathtub!); and Neither by Airlie Anderson, about a little bunny-bird in search of a place to fit in.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Highlights from the Random House Children's Book Summer Preview

By: Dacel Casey
Trevor Day School

Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang
Publish Date: May 15

A hilarious picture book about dealing with unexplained feelings…and the danger in suppressing them! Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it—how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day? They encourage him not to hunch, to smile, and to do things that make THEM happy. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy? Suzanne and Max Lang bring hilarity and levity to this very important lesson. This picture book is an excellent case study in the dangers of putting on a happy face and demonstrates to kids that they are allowed to feel their feelings (though they should be careful of hurting others in the process!).

Friday, April 13, 2018

HVLA Spring Meeting 2018

By: Celia Dillon
The Brearley School 

HVLA’s Spring Meeting was a hands-on workshop about ‘zines hosted at the Drawing Center in SoHo. Attendees were led by five experts who guided us through the process of making a zine and shared with us tips for how to teach with zines. Our experts were zine-maker and CUNY librarian Elvis Bakaitis, #blkgrlswurld ZINE creator Christina Long, book artist and professor Esther K. Smith,  Kat Fajardo, and Aya Kakeda. Librarians of all experience levels were in attendance, ranging from complete newbies to librarians who were already teaching graphic storytelling units or leading zine making groups with students. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

HVLA is All About Zines This Spring!

By Leigh Hurwitz Brooklyn Public Library

In April, I will have the privilege of leading the inaugural session of Zine Mania!, a zine-making workshop series, created by Maria Falgoust, HVLA Vice President and Librarian at the 
International School of Brooklyn (ISB), where the series is being held.  ISB students will be able to participate in any or all of five sessions focusing on various aspects of zine creation: Sara Varon (printmaker, illustrator, author) will demonstrate how to make accordion zines; Eliseo Rivera (educator, artist) will show students the art of photo collage zines; Esther K. Smith (artist, designer, author) will take a deeper dive into zine construction and bookmaking; Elvis Bakaitis (librarian, cartoonist, zine author) will focus on autobiographical and biographical zines; and Ayde Rayas (artist, educator, Licensed Creative Art Therapist), along with her students from Cooke Academy, will collaborate with ISB students to make zines. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

An Interview with Angela Carstensen, Printz Committee Chair

By Maria Falgoust
International School of Brooklyn

Angela, I was so happy to see your name as a Printz committee member! Inquiring minds want to know, how did you find yourself on the committee? Was it something you dreamed of doing?

I have wanted to be on the Printz Award committee ever since I attended the very first Printz Award Program, which took place at the 2000 ALA Annual conference. The winning authors that year--Walter Dean Myers, Laurie Halse Anderson, David Almond, and Ellen Wittlinger--were all incredibly passionate and well-spoken. Many of Michael Printz’s friends and colleagues seemed to be in attendance. It was an emotional and thrilling event.

Years passed. I served on the Alex Awards and several YALSA process committees and task forces, and chaired the first YALSA Nonfiction Award before starting the SLJ Adult Books 4 Teens blog which necessitated taking a break from book committees. Then I was asked to chair the YALSA Awards Oversight Committee in 2016. Volunteering my time on that process committee was a great way to get back into serving YALSA. When Sarah Hill became president of YALSA, she asked me to chair Printz. We had served on the Alex Awards together, she wrote reviews for AB4T and then took over as co-editor after I left. I suppose she knew she could trust me to lead the committee well.

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.