SLRI Update

January 2016

Message from the President

Greetings, SLRI Members.

With 2016 in full swing and the second semester of the school year beginning, it is a great time to reflect on how we can improve instruction and services in the coming months.

Reconnect with your administration and school committee to share the great work that you do (see below for some examples)! Many districts face challenges to library services, from staffing and budgets to collection and facilities. Don't be shy about supporting your colleagues around the state who are facing cuts. A grassroots effort in Middletown has begun the fight to reinstate school librarians in that district. The timing couldn't be better for the new Scholastic School Libraries Work! e-publication (see below for a link to access it).

Our advocacy committee, now chaired by Sarah Morenon, has its hands full this year and is working hard for our membership. Sarah and I are looking forward to meeting with Commissioner Wagner on Wednesday, Feb. 10 to discuss the state of school libraries in RI in light of the basic provisions for libraries, technology, and digital learning in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

SLRI is working to help members connect with each other more regularly by offering networking opportunities in watering holes around the state, a mentorship program for first-year librarians, and a new Special Interest Group (SIG) at the request of the membership to help connect colleagues who are on the 1:1 journey in their districts (see below for these links).

Sometimes is hard to feel connected when you are the only librarian in your building. Let SLRI help you reconnect this year. Our next board meeting is Thursday, Feb. 11; all members are always welcome to attend.

- Sarah Hunicke

Resolve to Promote Yourself in 2016!

As library budgets and staff levels continue to be cut, we encourage School Librarians of Rhode Island (SLRI) members to share the work you do with parents, administrators, and the general public. Here are some examples of ways to get the word out:

You can also reach out to your town's newspaper to see if they'd like to visit your school library and cover a day in your life (or at least ask questions for 30 minutes). SLRI can help you with contacts and a cover note if you are interested in promoting our profession in this way. Here is some member media coverage from the past few months:

Don't be shy about promoting the work you do and the value you bring! Motivating parents and community members to come to our defense is invaluable - see this week's Newport Daily News article about the slashing of Middletown library positions; the news tip was submitted by Ron Heroux, GSLIS graduate, former library volunteer at his grandchildren's elementary school, and newest member of our Advocacy commitee.

Annual Conference Scheduled for May 14

Big image
Please mark your calendars on Saturday, May 14, for SLRI's annual conference with our keynote speaker Michelle Luhtala! The registration window will open on March 1, and updates will be available on the SLRI website:

SLRI members are welcome to attend our next planning meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 4 p.m. at the Panera Bread in Cranston (on Sockanosset Cross Rd.)

Big image

New Edition of School Libraries Work! Released

Scholastic has released the 2016 Edition of their School Libraries Work!. As they say on their site, this compendium "seeks to empower librarians, classroom teachers, school and district leaders, policy makers, parents and communities by arming them with the most powerful research-based frameworks, recommendations, and support for school library programs. ... The research included in this compendium continues to show that school libraries and school librarians are a powerful force in the lives of America´s children."

You can download your own PDF copy of the report by following the link above and submitting your contact information. SLRI is working on getting print copies to distribute.

What's New on the Web Site

  • We have created a press release page to house the information we send out to the media.
  • In the member area, the November 2015 minutes are posted. To access this and other member-only content, log in with the email address linked to your membership. If you haven't already set up a password, all you have to do is click on "Forgot password," and you'll receive a temporary one at your email.