SSL Update: August 2014
By: Karen Sperrazza
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… unless it’s the annual American Library Association Conference, held June 27 – July 1. Great workshops, programs, special events, many authors and exhibits that seemed endless were among the attractions. Even the 100+ degree temperatures couldn’t quell the enthusiasm for this national conference.
June 3 was the Empire State Center for the Book- Writers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala at the Princeton Club in New York City. This year’s inductees are Mary Higgins Clark, Maurice Kenny, Alice Hoffman, Russell Banks, James Thurber, Nora Ephron, and Rex Stout. Being a fan of the fictional detective Nero Wolfe, I was especially pleased to be present when his creator, Rex Stout, was posthumously honored.
New York State was represented by our Delegate, Sue Bartle, and Karen Sperrazza, as SSL President at the two American Association of School Librarians Affiliate Assembly meetings held in Las Vegas as part of the ALA Annual Conference. Sara Kelly Johns and Sue Kowalski were among several school librarians at ALA from New York State.
Sara Kelly Johns’ initiative as NYLA President, the School Library Summit 2014 was held at the State Education Department building on July 7 and 8. Several recommendations for specific actions were presented to Commissioner King, Regents Dawson and Tilles, Bernie Margolis, and several members of SED. There will be many opportunities for school librarians to work with people from SED and SLSA to accomplish many of the recommendations.
The 2014 Ed Leadership Institute at Cornell University was August 4 and 5. Own the Common Core Research Requirements examines the Common Core Research Requirements through a librarian lens, adapting them to fit your building’s needs; defined what student-centered learning and participatory learning looks like in the library; create essential and guiding questions to drive research projects (makeover an old lesson or create a new one!); examine the demands of the CC research requirements and your opportunities to lead your school to higher-level, deeper-thinking in its research projects. Presenters Paige Jaeger and Michelle Luhtala and facilitators Jill Leinung, Sue Kowalski, Rebecca Buerkett, and Susan Polos ensured that Institute attendees left ready to assist teachers in "repackaging" and aligning their lessons and research projects to embrace deep learning, complex text integration, application strategies, and independent research initiatives.
YSS and SSL will be coordinating the promotion of Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Teen Read Week, October 12-18. Creating interest in reading among teens is a great cause and provides a perfect format for YSS and SSL to collaborate.
It’s been a very busy, productive and energizing summer for SSL. Hope you are re-energized and ready to return to school with renewed enthusiasm to make it a great year for your students.