New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Call It “Street Cred”: 2013 YSS Conference Speakers

Think a one-day conference on youth services might not have world-class presenters?  Think again!  The line-up of speakers at the 38th annual YSS Spring Workshop in Rochester next May includes experts who are proficient in a wide variety of areas that have an impact on serving youth in public and school libraries.

    Whether you call it “street cred,” gravitas, or authority, these conference presenters are knowledgeable, highly qualified, and specialists in their fields of endeavor.  “Among the Readers and Beyond” on Friday, May 17, 2013, will offer an outstanding continuing education experience for librarians and paraprofessionals who work with children, tweens, and teens.  Here is just a sampling of the accolades our speakers have received within the world of libraries and their own communities.

    Patricia Gingras is a frequent presenter at music education conferences.  Gingras is the Early Childhood Coordinator of the Eastman Community Music School and also an artist-in-residence for the Rochester City School District.  She will explore books and age-appropriate musical fun in her workshop, “Music and Children’s Literature—A Perfect Match.”

    Educator, librarian, and gaming expert Brian Mayer literally wrote the book on learning and board games: Libraries Got Game: Aligned Learning through Modern Board Games (co-authored with Christopher Harris for ALA Editions, 2010).  Mayer has also written for School Library Journal and other professional resources, aligning the gaming experience to national learning standards.  In his YSS presentation, “Unplugging Games in the Library,” Mayer will discuss how to engage students from primary to high school in a “community of play” where the players gain the fundamentals of success: cooperation, risk assessment, critical thinking, flexibility, problem-solving, and dialog.

    Two faculty members at the State University of New York at Geneseo, Dr. Sharon Peck and Michelle Costello, have offered storytelling institutes for Geneseo students, providing instruction and practice in the art of storytelling.  Costello is the Education and Instructional Design Librarian at Geneseo’s Milne Library.  Dr. Peck is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Literacy Division of the School of Education.  Dr. Peck is a member of the League for Advancement of New England Storytelling and the North East Regional Director for the Puppeteers of America.  In “Spinning a Tale of Intrigue through Engaged Storytelling,” they will teach conference participants how to increase student engagement both with literature and through their shared experiences.

    As the librarian at the Richard J. Bailey Elementary School, Melissa Iamonico initiated a project resulting in a 600-square-foot mural of storybook characters on the walls of her library.  She knows how to keep students interested in reading.  In her workshop, Iamonico will identify strategies, programs, and reader-friendly books with wide appeal that will reach reluctant readers.

    Lauren Britton, Director of Transliteracy Development, was the creator of the first public library makerspace at the Fayetteville Free Library outside of Syracuse.  This year she has participated in webinars and online symposiums in conjunction with Library Journal, OCLC, and ALA’s Public Library Association, telling about her experiences with the “FabLab” makerspace.  “Transformative technology” like 3D printers has changed the library into a place of doing and making, not just learning, by providing access to digital tools for game makers, programmers, musicians, and authors, among other users.  Learn more about this innovative concept in her presentation, “Library Makerspaces: Developing a Read-Write Culture in Your Library.” 

    In “Powerful Partnerships,” Mary Fellows of the Upper Hudson Library System will share her tips on how to cultivate effective working relationships and build advocates in the community through creative collaborations.  Fellows is the Immediate Past President of the Association for Library Service to Children and a Past President of the Youth Services Section.  She was the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Hudson Mohawk Library Association, recognizing her outstanding contributions to the information profession.

    Jim Belair, School Library System Director for Monroe 2 – Orleans BOCES, is committed to help librarians become emerging Common Core Instructional Leaders.  In “Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Public Libraries,” Belair will delve into what the CCSS are, what this shift means for teachers and students, and strategies for public libraries to support NYS’s new learning standards.  Belair is a member of the Rochester Regional Library Council’s Director’s Advisory Committee and recently served as a presenter at a full-day pre-conference on the CCSS at NYLA’s annual conference in Saratoga Springs.

    Conference attendees will be able to select three workshops from a line-up of fifteen offerings.  They will also be eligible to request free tickets for the 2013 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture to be given in Rochester at Nazareth College by Michael Morpurgo on Thursday evening, May 16, beginning at 7 p.m.

    The YSS Spring Conference will be held on Friday, May 17, 2013, at the Holiday Inn Rochester Airport during Children’s Book Week.  In addition to the workshops, featured speakers will include authors Margaret Peterson Haddix and Amy Dickinson.  Watch for more information on the YSS Web page: after January 1.  Conference Chair Cathy Henderson may be contacted at (585) 723-2488 or