SLRI Newsletter


Brief Business Update

  • Jane Perry, COLA report - COLA Fall Event “21st-Century Libraries”, November 13th, 5-8 PM, Cranston Public Library. Topics of interest to all libraries, PTOs, Trustees, etc.
  • Darshell Silva and Sarah Hunike, RISTE Report -RISTE would like joint meeting with SLRI on Feb. 11, 2015.
  • Darshell Silva, ISTE and NISTE Report – NISTE does not require membership fee but Darshell is investigating the pros and cons of affiliation. ISTE has inquired about our conference. (Correction: NISTE does require membership fee. More information to come at next month's meeting.)
  • RILA would like a SLRI liaison. Their meetings are around 2:00. They have submitted an Information Literacy Proclamation.
  • SLRI will cosponsor with RILA’s Information Literacy Round Table (ILART) Library Desk to Classroom: Homegrown Recipes for Engaging Information Literacy Instruction Oct. 16th 4:30-7:00 at William Hall in Cranston. Register to attend:
  • Zach Berger, RILINK Report: A general schedule of 2014-2015 RILINK PD offerings will be posted before October 1st. As of January 2016 all RILINK member libraries will receive a subscription to LibGuides. RILINK offers a shared Ebook collection for all of its members, which they are calling BookLynx.
  • SLRI Programs Chairperson position is still vacant.
  • Melanie Roy and Katie O'Kane, Conference Committee Member, hosted a successful SLO event last month.

Board Member Spotlight: Stephanie Mills

School: Park View Middle School

Number of teaching years: 12

Board Position: Webmaster

Number of year on the board: 7

Stephanie says...

Park View Middle School is an amazing place to teach and learn and much of it has to do with school culture. Both administration and the teachers feel strongly about students reading for pleasure, which has made my job a lot easier. My professional beliefs have always been the same: the library needs to be the place that no one in the building can be without, students need to view the librarian as a teacher, and share your talents. Going out and really selling your program gets teachers talking-- if you collaborate with one teacher, word of the librarian helping out (and that means correcting papers!) travels fast. While it's tough to be the only librarian in a building, which I believe is something most of us face, I've enjoyed being a part of SLRI since 2007. Being involved is really flexible and I've made a lot of professional connections and friends I can count on for ideas or help. The board has been very kind in allowing me to work on the website on my own time and I've never felt stretched too thin-- if anything, I've felt like I'm part of a great group of people who have the same goals I do- serving our faculty and students in the best way possible.

Member Spotlight: Heidi Blais

School: Cranston High School East

Number of teaching years: 19

Heidi started as an itinerant librarian who traveled between 4 elementary schools, then worked at Hugh B. Bain Middle School for 11 years. She is the only staff person in the East library. East has over 1600 students and 160 teachers.

Awarded “Teacher of the Year” for the Cranston Public Schools, September 2014

Heidi says...

I have wanted to be a librarian since second grade (I have artwork that I made in second grade that reads “When I grow up I want to be a librarian because I like to read. I would read books.” ) I started working at Rogers Free Library in Bristol when I was 11 years old. My Girl Scout leader was involved as an arts and crafts class teacher at the library, so I started volunteering there through scouts. I worked as a page throughout high school, and then worked in the summer reading program each summer while I was in college. I worked in the library at Portsmouth Abbey while attending GSLIS at URI.

My favorite hobby right now is geocaching. My family (Brian, husband; Aemilia, 11; Aoife, 8; Tarynn, 5) and I recently found our 1000th geocache!

AASL Hotlinks Information

New Resource for School Library Conversations
A new digital magazine issue, featuring articles from prominent members of the profession, showcases the way school libraries and school librarians transform learning. “School Libraries Transform Learning,” an American Libraries digital supplement produced in partnership with AASL, is available electronically in ebook format and as a downloadable PDF at

School Librarians Shine as Connected Educators in October
This month, AASL joins more than 300 major education organizations in celebrating Connected Educator Month (CEM). Originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education in 2012, CEM offers diverse and engaging activities to educators at all levels, with the ultimate goal of sparking collaboration and innovation. AASL has been a participating partner in the CEM initiative since its inception.

U.S. Department of Education Announces Commit to Lead Campaign
In August the U.S. Department of Education announced a new campaign titled Commit to Lead, a new opportunity to advance teacher leadership. Since the announcement, nearly 400 educators have signed up for Commit to Lead and are weighing in about advancing teacher leadership across the country. The U.S. Department of Education is looking for more educators to get involved by:

  • Exploring the ideas that have been posted by others.
  • Using the social media buttons at the top of each idea to share the ones you believe are most promising with your network on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Voting on the ideas you like best so they rise to the top.
  • Sharing feedback on ideas by posting a comment.

Study Outlines How to Use Technology to Serve At-Risk Students
A report released recently by the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education offers five keys to using technology to help at-risk students. Among them, the report suggests setting a goal of establishing a one-to-one technology program and making sure Internet connections are sufficient.

A Framework for ELL Students
The Council of the Great City Schools has released A Framework for Raising Expectations and Instructional Rigor for ELL Students. Its purpose is to define a new vision for English Language Development, to share examples of instructional delivery models, and to provide step-by-step guidance for selecting instructional materials that will accelerate the acquisition of academic language and grade-level content for all English learners in urban school districts.

Library of Congress Releases Free Interactive Ebooks for Tablets
The Library of Congress invites students everywhere to touch, draw on, and explore some of its most valuable treasures—all via a new set of free interactive ebooks for tablets. The new Library of Congress Student Discovery Sets bring together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents on a wide range of topics, from history to science to literature. The sets are designed for students, providing easy access to open-ended exploration. A Teacher’s Guide for each set, with background information, teaching ideas` and additional resources, is available on the Library’s website for teachers,

FBI Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge
Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched the FBI Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS) Internet Challenge for the 2014-2015 school year. Open to all public, private, and home schools nationwide, the initiative is a free, age-appropriate, competitive, and fun online program that promotes cyber citizenship and teaches students in third through eighth grades how to recognize and respond to online dangers—like Internet predators and cyberbullying—and covers topics such as social networking and gaming safety.

Tips for Using Tablets to Teach Middle Schoolers Informational Texts
Tablet computers can be effective tools to help middle-grades students find, take notes about and synthesize informational texts in assignments, teacher and educational consultant Monica Burns writes in this blog post. She suggests teachers allow students to experiment with iPad apps, such as iMovie to make a public service announcements, or Grid to make a graphic organizer for notes.

Ways for Teachers to Keep up on Education Technology
It can be hard to keep up with evolving technology--and the way it is used in education, Edutopia Assistant Editor Todd Finley writes in this blog post. To help teachers successfully integrate technology in the classroom, he recommends they take time each week to learn a tool and to interact with students using technology, among other ideas.


"AASL Hotlinks", American Library Association