Fall 2021

Message From The President

Dear Members,

Welcome to the 2021/2022 school year. It is hard to believe that we are starting our second school year coping with the Covid 19 pandemic, but here we are. The past 18 months have presented both personal and professional challenges and despite the circumstance, SLRI members have persevered and moved forward. The documentary Overdue: The Value of School Librarians was nominated in two New England film festivals. URI’s GSLIS program, under the leadership of Dr.Mary Moen, has launched an accelerated online MLS program. A number of members worked with the RIDE “Right to Read” initiative throughout the summer. Personally, I am so grateful to have students returning in person to the library, checking out books, researching and creating.

SLRI faces challenges. Districts are considering cutting or consolidating library positions. Membership in SLRI is in a decline and as an organization we must be vigilant against the tide of censorship seen in other states. I am confident that we will work together to address these issues.


Joan Mouradjian

SLRI President

New SLRI Conversation Series

SLRI is beginning a new initiative -- a Conversation Series. Members will have the opportunity to join discussions on a range of topics. The first session in the series will cover Genre-fying Your Collection. Join us on November 9 at 4:30 to learn about this exciting practice! Registration info to come.

Rhode Island Represented at AASL National Conference in Salt Lake City

Four SLRI members representing Rhode Island travelled to the AASL National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Wendy Gustavel, School Librarian at Rocky Hill School; Sarah Hunicke, LMS at Portsmouth High School; Jennifer Leyden, LMS at Samuel Slater MS in Pawtucket; and Mary Moen, faculty at URI GSLIS, attended the conference, held October 21-23, and are pictured below.

Sarah and Mary presented the advocacy work that SLRI has been engaged in for the past 4-5 years at the IdeaLab session. Their project, School Library Advocacy in Action: An Ocean State Community Effort, highlights the great work that has been done by many people.

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SLRI Documentary Gains Widespread Exposure

Overdue:The Value of School Librarians, the SLRI advocacy documentary, has been screened for multiple audiences since its release. Notably, the film was featured in both the Green Mountain International Film Festival in June and the Rhode Island International Film Festival in August. Also in August, an in-person screening of the film at the Warwick Public Library drew members of SLRI, the community, and the press. Tasha White, Esther Wolk and Kristin Almeida, all featured in the film, took questions from the audience.

In October, the Greenville Public Library held a virtual screening. Most recently, the film was shown prior to the Opening Session on Day 1 of the national AASL Conference (pictured below). "It was a thrill to see the five featured RI school librarians on the big screen at such a high profile event with over 1,000 people in attendance," said SLRI Vice President Mary Moen. "The film team and SLRI should be proud of the impact this project is making."

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Congratulations to SLRI Award Winners!

At the SLRI Conference in June, we were pleased to present the following individuals with awards for their great work in our library community:

Michelle Steever, LMS East Greenwich High School, School Librarian of the Year

Michael Messore, Superintendent, Barrington Public Schools, Wilfred Berube Award

Heather Coughlin, GSLIS Student, Maurice Tougas Award

Peter Quesnel, LMS, Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex, SLRI Mini-Grant

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Got Good News?

Do you have good news to share about your library or work with students and your community? Let SLRI help you spread the word! Please let us know about your great work by using this form.

Advice "On Demand"

Did you know that one of the benefits of your SLRI membership is that you can consult with other members at any time? Whether it's a question about a particular book, a policy or just input from a colleague, you can use the the SLRI listserv to solicit advice from the membership. Just send an email with your question to

Where Are You?

If you have begun teaching at a new school, please email Joanne Gongoleski so she can update our membership list.

Upcoming Events

  • Cornucopia of Rhode Island, Annual Fall Mini-Conference, November 4, 2021, 2:00-4:00 PM.
  • SLRI Conversation Series, Genre-fying Your Library, November 9, 2021, at 4:30 PM.