SLRI Newsletter


Brief Business Update

  • The last board meeting took place on November 20th.
  • Webmaster, Stephanie Mills, presented the new SLRI website!
  • SLRI has been invited to host RICBA on the website.

  • Lisa Girard is fine tuning Wild Apricot, SLRI's new Membership Management software.

  • The Conference committee (Sarah Hunicke, Zach Berger, Laura Gladding, Katie O'Kane, Melanie Roy, Bevin Winner) is leaning towards Providence Marriott for the Spring 2015 SLRI Conference. It has great parking availability on Friday, April 10th (which should not conflict with private school vacation or either religious holidays).
  • Consideration is being given to presenting at the RISTE Conference or planning a joint conference with them in the future.
  • SLRI's Watering Hole - Members met at Warwick Public Library on 11/10. It was a nice venue, excellent short talks, and good food. January date and location are being finalized.
  • SLRI will send a letter to The University of Rhode Island Provost in support of their GSLIS program.
  • The next board meeting is on Thursday, January 15th.

Board Member Spotlight: Darshell Silva

Board Position: Immediate Past President

Number of year on the board: 7

Number of teaching years: As a librarian- almost 11

School: Rocky Hill School

Why I became a school librarian...

I became a school librarian for the obvious reasons - I like books and sharing that love with others, libraries have always been one of my favorite places since I was young, and some of the best people I know are librarians. The biggest and not so obvious reason I became a school librarian is this: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! I feel that students need to know how to access-process-synthesize-and present information. If they can do this, they can do anything in this world. They can solve any problem, choose any profession, and generally make their lives and their world a better place. This is especially true for urban/ marginalized students who sometimes don't feel that there is a way to implement change. If we can show them that knowledge is power and there for them to use, they can achieve any goal they set for themselves.

Member Spotlight: Patricia Shawcross Buffington

School position: Library Media Specialist

Number of teaching years: 16

School: Hoxsie Elementary School, Warwick Public Schools

Professional beliefs...

Albert Einstein once said, “the only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” For me, libraries are the key to opening up new worlds with endless possibilities. As a library media specialist, I want the children who use the Hoxsie School Library to love coming to it. I want my students and faculty members to see the Hoxsie Library as a safe place to learn new ideas. Most especially, I wish to instill in my students a love of reading for pleasure. The beauty of a library is that it available to everyone. My library program will be considered a success if my students, upon leaving Hoxsie, continue using the library for the rest of their lives.

AASL Hotlinks Resources

New York Times Launches In-School Digital Subscription
The New York Times announced the launch of In-School Access, a new digital subscription offering for K-12 institutions. The subscription offers full web access to on any device within a school’s IP range, with no login required. In-School Access is available exclusively to schools below college or university level.

12 Qualities of Good Teachers
In a blog post, ASCD EDge community member Elliott Seif shares a list of twelve qualities of good teachers that don't get discussed very often, but are important and relevant to consider in order to improve teaching excellence. "I want to try to bring back the discussion to what is really important to think about with regards to good teaching and good teachers," writes Seif.

New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books
The New York Times Book Review unveiled its annual list of the “10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books” of the year. Since 1952, the Book Review has convened an independent panel of three judges from the world of children’s literature to select picture books on the basis of artistic merit. Each year, judges choose from among thousands of picture books for what is the only annual award of its kind. Lists of past winners of the Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award can be found on, along with a slide show of this year’s winners.

How to Use the Common Core State Standards to Create Lessons
Common Core State Standards can be an "instrumental guide for constructing lessons that will challenge and engage my students," former middle-school teacher Lucy Boyd writes in this commentary. She shares her experience crafting lesson plans aligned with the standards.

AASL Hotlinks Association and Education News

Call for AASL Standards and Guidelines Editorial Board Members

AASL seeks a dynamic group of school librarians to serve on an editorial board responsible for the evaluation and revision of the association’s learning standards and program guidelines. Members of all facets and levels of the profession are invited to apply, ensuring the voices of all school librarians are reflected in the document. Complete details, including responsibilities, qualifications and application procedure can be found on the AASL website.

More Than 1,200 Superintendents Sign Future Ready Pledge
Last month, President Obama launched a new effort to assist school leaders in their transition to digital learning with the Future Ready Digital Pledge. The Pledge is part of the President’s ConnectED initiative, which empowers teachers with the best technology and the training to make the most of it, and empowers students through individualized learning and rich, digital content. This effort offers a great conversation starter to discuss your role as the school librarian in a digital learning environment. Has your superintendent signed the Pledge?

The National State of Digital Learning
A report from the Evergreen Education Group finds that schools increasingly use local, blended-learning models to enhance digital-learning opportunities. The report spotlights states' digital-learning policies and highlights policies that generally correspond to more access to digital learning. The 2014 edition of Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning examines the state of digital learning today and highlights the need for high-quality, actionable data on the digital learning tools and methods students use.

New Video Details Vital Role of School Libraries
Last month, school librarians from the California School Library Association released the film Does Your School Have a Teacher Librarian? Featuring administrators, classroom teachers, academics, and learners, the video describes school libraries as active, collaborative, creative safe spaces and librarians’ connections to the individual interests and passions of kids and their value as teachers, technology leaders, collaborators, innovators and professional developers.

Cutoff Scores Set for Common Core State Standards Test
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has approved cutoff scores for exams under the Common Core State Standards. It is projected that more than half of students will fall below grade level on the exams. The cut scores are based on field tests of Common Core-aligned exams taken last spring.

CoSN Issues Four Tech Action Steps for Superintendents
CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) released its second professional learning module for superintendents, titled “Four Action Steps for Strengthening the Technology Leadership Team.” Developed in partnership with AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the guidelines further expand CoSN’s The Empowered Superintendent initiative and will strengthen the collaboration among school system leaders.


Books for a Brighter Tomorrow
Annie and Sony Pictures, in collaboration with the National Education Association (NEA), is offering Books for a Brighter Tomorrow, a national grants program for educators interested in putting more diversity on shelves in classrooms and school libraries. Grants of $1,000 are available to public schools that serve economically disadvantaged students in order to enrich book collections with diverse children’s literature and offer titles that give kids and their families a chance to discover themselves—and their life experiences—in stories. Deadline for completed applications is January 31, 2015.

Classroom Newspaper Subscription Grants from USA TODAY
On a rolling basis, the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation awards teachers digital and print subscriptions to USA TODAY. Currently, the foundation is awarding digital subscriptions to teachers on a first-come, first-served basis; print subscriptions are unavailable at the moment. Teachers must submit a short online application to be considered. Prize: Classroom subscriptions to the e-edition of USA TODAY. Deadline: Rolling


"AASL Hotlinks", American Library Association