Jill Leinung, SSL President
The SSL Annual Conference, “Strengthening Our Impact”, took place in Tarrytown April 30 through May 2 and was hosted by the School Library Media Specialists of Southeastern New York. Co-chairs Nina Levine and Tara Thibault-Edmonds and their committee did a magnificent job in planning and executing an informative, exciting, and inspirational conference.
Jennifer LaGarde (Library Girl) presented the very entertaining and thought provoking call to action keynote "Brainz! How to Survive the Zombie Librarian Apocalypse." Jonathan Kruk entertained us on Thursday night with his stories of the history of the Hudson Valley – so appropriate to the venue of the conference. Carol Collier Kuhlthau inspired us with her in-depth talk on the role of inquiry at our Friday luncheon keynote. Steven Kellogg, our Knickerbocker Award winner, regaled us with wonderful, inspirational, and touching stories of his illustrative life. He was so thoroughly charming and enthusiastic about being our award winner and attending our conference! Dr. Joette Stefl-Mabry gave us the latest updates on her current work in collaboration with SED, a three year research project investigating the effect of school librarians on student academic achievement in all public schools throughout New York. This keynote made us realize that the work that was done at the School Librarians Summit at SED last summer and that has continued throughout the year supports research projects such as this one. To end the conference was the delightful, vivacious, and hilarious Sarah Weeks, winner of the Rip Van Winkle Award.
Congratulations to our other award winners:
Stacey Rattner, winner of the SSL/Gale Conference Fellow Award
We were very proud this year to recognize two wonderful administrators who support and advocate for their school librarians in so many ways. Mr. Jason Chevier, Principal, was nominated by Stacey Rattner, both of Castleton Elementary School. Mr. Chevier won the Beatrice E. Griggs Elementary Administrator’s Award. Dr. Robert D’Angelo, Superintendent of the Holley Central School District, was nominated by Lisa Osur and won the Secondary Administrator’s Award. Both administrators inspired us with their acceptance speeches and gave us encouragement through their remarks of the value of school librarians. The conference had many wonderful presenters, authors, and vendors, and was very a memorable event.
Registration is still open for the 2015 Carol A. Kearney Educational Leadership Institute August 3 - 4 at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. J’aime Pfeiffer and Olga Nessi will lead the conference entitled “School Librarians: Deeply Embedded – Fully Collaborative.” School librarians will leave with a practical plan to deeply imbed library instruction and resources into the curricular goals of their buildings.