SLRI Newsletter


Brief Business Update

  • SLRI held its first virtual board meeting on Thursday, January 15, 2015. It was an overwhelming success.

  • RI Library Legislative Awareness Day is on Tuesday, February 10 from 2:30-4:30pm (time set by legislative procedures) at the State House Rotunda. Jane Perry will be there, on the second floor, to meet legislators and extol the virtues of school libraries. All members are invited to come as soon as school gets out! There is strength in numbers and we'd love a strong presence from the school library community. Metered parking is available on Smith Street and connecting streets, or park very cheaply at the Providence Place Mall. Thank you to RILA for organizing and inviting SLRI to have a table.

  • The February SLRI Watering Hole will start at the State House immediately following RI Library Legislative Day events (4:30) on Tuesday, February 10. We can depart from the Rotunda for libations at a local Watering Hole. RSVP today!

  • Mark your calendars for the April 10th SLRI Conference. The Committee is looking for presenters and members to share at an "Exploratorium" poster session about their own successful partnerships. Please contact Katie O'Kane,, for more information. Your fresh ideas and helping hands are welcome, contact!

  • The Member Relations Committee is developing a Rhode Island School Library Survey to collect data on collection, budge, size, technology access, and staffing. Karen Mellor, recently officially appointed to the position of Chief of Library Services, has offered to assist.

  • SLRI Award Season is upon us. Keep an eye out for more information in the coming weeks. See for more information.

  • There is a small group of RI educators forming to advance media literacy.

  • NISTE is planning a conference for June or July.

Board Member Spotlight: Bevin Winner

School Position: LMS

Number of Teaching Years: 10

School: Exeter West-Greenwich Jr/Sr High School (7-12)

Board Position: Conference Committee for 9 years! The first 5 as the conference chair (or co-chair). The last 4 as the "vendor person" and other duties as needed.

I enjoy being on the board because it keeps me communicating, collaborating and involved with my colleagues. It helps me keep me and my practice current. It gives me opportunities I might not have otherwise. I am contributing to my profession and feel good about giving back.

Member Spotlight: Denise Peloquin-Burns

I began my library career over 20 years ago. It was a mid-life career change. After years of working in the advertising and marketing field, I began working in non-profit education and returned to Rhode Island College as one the oldest graduate assistants in their Instructional Technology Program. I began my library career at the D.L. Beckwith Middle School in Rehoboth MA and entered the RITE English teaching certification program at RIC. The following year I was accepted into the URI Library program and worked full-time as the Librarian at the Dighton Middle School. I graduated from URI in 1997 and began working in my current position at the Prout School in Wakefield in 1995. This is my 20th year at Prout. Working in middle and high school programs my entire career, I enjoy helping students develop researching skills,and become engaged readers and lifelong learners.

I'm an zealous technology advocate, promoting online resources and tools such as Prezi, NoodleTools, Pinterest, Twitter and the use of mobile technology in education. I was among the many teachers in Intel's Teach (to the Future) program, and actively work with teachers to engage students through the use of technology through Project-Based, Blended and Flipped learning. A life-long learner, I've become an avid MOOC enthusiast and joined several ongoing MOOCs including ModPo (Modern & Contemporary American Poetry from University of Pennsylvania) and recently registered for the TPS Coaches Academy to support teachers in using the Library of Congress' Primary digital resources.

Over the past ten years I've been an active member of the RITBA committee and am currently the committee's Treasurer. Reading is a life-long passion. Promoting the love of reading to teens is the best part of my day. Working with other librarians and teachers from across RI to further this goal is a great way to keep updated with the latest YA titles and share them with students and teachers.

My favorite books include the Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier, The Shadow of the Wind Series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and his YA book Marina, as well as Marcus Sedgwick, whose two most recent novels Midwinterblood and Ghosts of Heaven are unique in their approach. William Golding's The Lord of the Flies, Philip Pullman's Golden Compass trilogy and Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy continue to influence my reading choices and impact my understanding of literature. I enjoy poetry, in particular Emily Dickinson.

Prout is a Catholic Diocesan (Providence) school and not part of any local district.

AASL Hotlinks Resources

Why Teachers Should Partner with School Librarians
School librarians can help educators make the transition to inquiry-based learning, said Paige Jaeger, a school librarian turned administrator and co-author of "Think Tank Library: Brain-Based Learning Plans for New Standards." "This is so new for teachers, whereas librarians have been doing this for ten years," she said.

Comparing, Contrasting Tablets
The mobile device market continues to expand, and schools now have the option of choosing an alternative to the traditional tablet, including a phone-tablet device or a convertible notebook. This article offers a chart that contrasts and compares these devices.

Best Practices for Quality Student Assessments
Teachers and students will get out of assessments what they put into them, asserts Adisack Nhouyvanisvong, an educator and entrepreneur. In this blog post, he writes that studies have shown that engaging students in self-assessment and self-reflection are effective techniques and encourages teachers to use best practices for creating and delivering assessments.

How to Teach Students to Ask Probing Questions
Teaching students how to ask questions has implications far beyond the classroom and into society, asserts journalist and project-based learning advocate Suzie Boss. In this blog post, Boss describes the steps of the Question Formulation Technique and suggests ways teachers can implement the instructional method in classrooms, such as encouraging curiosity among students.

IT Rollouts Should Focus on Educational Goals
When launching technology, schools should focus on their educational goals -- not on the technology tools -- asserts Rob Dickson, executive director of information management systems for a Nebraska school district. This article highlights steps taken by his district to make technology "invisible."

AASL Hotlinks Association and Education News

AASL Launches Knowledge Quest
Last month AASL announced the launch of a companion website for its professional journal, Knowledge Quest. A new vehicle to empower school librarians as they transform learning for their students, the new site offers breaking news and inspired blogs and encourages conversations to inspire insightful professionals and stronger communities. Knowledge Quest can be viewed at

Study Examines Children's Reading Habits
Reading aloud to children and restricting online screen time may boost the number of young children who read on their own, according to a recent study. Research shows older students are more likely to read on their own when they have free time during the school day. It also finds that fewer children are reading books frequently for fun. Of the children surveyed, the survey finds that for younger children (ages 6 to 11) being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading; for older children (ages 12 to 17) one of the largest predictors was whether they had time to read on their own during the school day.

Increasing Time for Teacher Collaboration Helps Improve Student Achievement
A study from the Center on Education Policy finds that extra time for teacher collaboration and more robust teaching can help improve students’ academic achievement. The findings also show that additional instructional time may be moderately effective in improving academic achievement.

E-Story before Bed Can Disrupt Sleep
There’s plenty of research pointing to the benefits of parents reading to their children, but a new study suggests tech-addicted parents may want to go old school for the bedtime story. The research finds people who did their evening reading via a light-emitting electronic device had a harder time falling asleep and poorer quality sleep than those who read a print book. It’s the latest in a line of research on the effects of artificial, “blue-rich” light on sleep cycles.

Ed-Tech Investments Continue to Grow
Investment companies continue to put funding into education technology, according to a recent report from CB Insights. Still, some say education is playing catch-up. “Education is one of the last industries to be touched by Internet technology, and we're seeing a lot of catch-up going on,” said Betsy Corcoran, CEO of EdSurge, an industry news service and research company.

NEA's Read Across America Day Is March 2
Oh, the Places You'll Go when you read! March 2 is NEA's Read Across America Day and this year, the book is the Seuss classic, Oh, The Places You'll Go. To make your event Seussational, go to Plan a Reading Event for Read Across America for tips and ideas to plan your own event. Be sure to follow Read Across America on Facebook and Twitter with #readacrossamerica.

Digital Learning Day Is March 13
Digital Learning Day will be held on March 13. Digital Learning Day celebrates innovative teaching practices that make learning more personalized and engaging and encourage exploration of how digital learning can provide more students with more opportunities to get the skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life. offers customized toolkits for all audiences, grades, and subjects to help educators explore how they can contribute to the campaign. School librarians and other educators are invited to visit to register to receive toolkits, resources, and invitations to run-up events and activities


Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institutes
The Library of Congress is accepting applications for its five week-long summer programs for K-12 educators. Held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., this professional development opportunity provides tools and resources to effectively integrate primary sources into K-12 classroom teaching, with an emphasis on student engagement, critical thinking, and construction of knowledge. Tuition and materials are provided at no cost. Applications are due March 24.


"AASL Hotlinks", American Library Association