SLRI Newsletter


Brief Business Update

  • The October Board meeting was cancelled so that members could attend and support RILA and SLRI's Library Desk to Classroom: Homegrown Recipes for Engaging Info Lit Instruction. Click a speaker's name on this PDF to see the presentation!
  • SLRI Watering Hole - Sign-up to meet with members to share lessons, great books, websites, apps, successes, and struggles. - Monday, 11/10; 4:00 – 5:00; Warwick Public Library; Small Meeting Room — Room 100; 600 Sandy Lane
  • All are welcome and encouraged to attend the next board meeting on Thursday, November 20th, at the NEIT East Greenwich Campus, Room S105J (in Library).

Board Member Spotlight: Jen Simoneau

Board Position: SLRI Treasurer 5 years / SLRI Board member participation: 7 years

Title: School Library Media Specialist / i21 Curriculum Coordinator

School: Ponaganset Middle School, Foster-Glocester Regional School District

SLMS Experience: 9 years

M.S. Library and Information Studies, University of Rhode Island 2005

FUSE RI Fellow 2014

When you visit the Ponaganset Middle School Library you will see sixth grade students participating in Library Skills Special, seventh grade students collaborating with their new Chromebooks and readers of all ages cozying up in the comfy chairs with a good book. Faculty stop by frequently with resource or tech questions. The 18 desktops and 25 laptops are in-demand as our community challenges itself to leverage technology to effectively personalize education and engage students in their own learning journey.

I’m passionate about creating engaging learning opportunities for students and supporting my fellow educators in exploring technology tools to meet educational objectives. The School Librarian is uniquely qualified to provide support to students and faculty as coach and guide during this time of dynamic change in education. Seek out every exciting growth opportunity to share best practices with other teaching professionals across the state!



Twitter: @chieftainsread

Member Spotlight: Sharron Rothberg

When I first started 17 yrs. ago at my current school, the position had been dropped from five days a week to four. It took three months of intense PR for the school district to see the librarian’s role as indispensable. By December I was working five days a week!

Five years ago I became involved in our school-wide RTI Reading program. I volunteered, since I had previously been a classroom teacher with a Masters of Language Arts minor in Reading and it fit nicely into the literature phase of my library program.

Two years ago this brought objections from the other specialists and the union because the administration used my RTI Reading involvement as a reason for my full time status. I was thus brought down to four days a week. The art and music teachers were brought up from 3 to 4 days a week so we all could be involved with RTI. I was comfortable and invigorated to work on RTI reading and writing. However, this drained my energy and focus on my librarianship. My heart was broken.

This year our school board decided that the specialists would teach math instead of reading. The teachers were in an uproar about me not teaching reading as were the students. They have been a support to me. Creating a new math curriculum and acquiring math materials (I'm thankful for Teacher Pay Teachers) has placed constraints on my time.

I personally bought LibGuides to update my website. I haven’t had the time yet to master its use. I’m a student once again, but am most fortunate, as we all are, to have Dorothy & Sharon. They have been most patient and supportive, gently guiding and educating . I’m staying positive. How can I fail with the help of colleagues such as ours?

It has been through the generous exchange and help from so many such as Sue Rose, Sue Lynch, Jamie Greene, Connie Zach, Lisa Casey, Dorothy Frechette, & Sharon Webster, just to name a few, that I've pushed down the road of ever changing teaching practice and improvement. These colleagues have been crucial to helping me enhance my librarian role. Holding our hands together we will prevail! In this way we are forever life-long learners and the holders of the torch of literacy.

AASL Hotlinks Resources

Changing Role of School Libraries Highlighted in New Video
The changing role of school libraries and librarians is highlighted in this video (4:42) by Capstone Publishers, which features AASL Executive Director Sylvia Knight Norton, Houston elementary school librarians Karyn Lewis and Karen Harrell, Harlingen (Tex.) Superintendent of Schools and AASL's 2014 Distinguished School Administrator Arturo J. Cavazos, Innovative Media Resource Systems Director JoAnn Conlon, and Meadow Wood Elementary School Principal Pamela Redd.

What Students Need to Know about Digital Citizenship
In this blog post Vicki Davis outlines nine proactive tips -- plus some clever lesson ideas -- to help students feel safe and engaged online. "I want my students to know the "9 Key Ps" of digital citizenship. I teach them about these aspects and how to use them," she writes. The 9 Ps include passwords, privacy, personal information, photographs, and professionalism.

Fifth-Grade Teacher Shares Tips for Blended Learning
Fifth-grade teacher Valyncia Hawkins uses a blended-learning model that combines technology and small-group instruction to personalize learning for students at a Washington, D.C., elementary school. This article describes the 20-year teaching veteran's switch to the teaching model and how she incorporates it daily into her class.

Tips to Ensure Successful Tablet Rollouts
After hearing of failed tablet rollouts in some districts, fourth-grade teacher Amanda Jelen said her school managed to find an approach that works. In this commentary, Jelen writes that a successful tablet program will support differentiated learning, allow teachers to easily maintain control of the devices, have appropriate wireless technology and include a focus on training.

How Teachers Can Make Connections outside of Social Media
Being a connected educator goes beyond sharing articles and comments on Twitter, educational technology director Andrew Marcinek writes in this blog post. Instead, he suggests activities that connect classrooms to the larger community, such as a class website, and sharing ideas with peers in person at functions such as Edcamps.

How to Empower Students with Digital Use Policies
Schools and districts should implement digital-use guidelines or policies that empower students and "place a positive connotation around technology use," Andrew Marcinek, director of technology at Grafton Public Schools, writes in this blog post. Marcinek also suggests schools teach students about "digital health and wellness," and help educators and parents keep up with the latest social media tools and applications.

A Reading Strategy to Compel, Move Students with Text
Rather than viewing information in textbooks as "evidence," Mia Hood, an assistant professor of practice at the Relay Graduate School of Education in New York City, suggests a strategy that will enable students to better connect with the information. "Let's teach them to read for real and relevant purposes and also to return to the text to search for evidence when they must," she writes. "Let's teach them not only to use text as evidence to support claims, but also to let the text move, teach, frustrate, confuse, and compel them."

7 Principles for Co-teacher Collaboration
Co-teachers need a common vocabulary and mindset for collaborating to create a dynamic learning environment for their students, instructional coach Elizabeth Stein writes in this blog post. Stein offers seven core principles of developing partnerships adapted from Jim Knight's book, "Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction," along with suggestions for achieving them.

How to Use 3-D Technology to Enhance Classroom Lessons
Three-dimensional technology is becoming more commonplace in K-12 classrooms, bringing with it the ability to enhance lessons in any number of core subjects. This article details seven hands-on projects that incorporate 3D printing, including one in which students build models of characters and scenes they read about in books.

How Book Choice and Blogs Flipped a Classroom
Advanced Placement English teacher Brian Sztabnik describes how he flipped his classroom by allowing students to have more freedom about what they read and time to read in class. In this blog post, Sztabnik writes that book choice and blogs was a revolution for his class and "created a contagious atmosphere of passionate readers."

AASL Hotlinks Association and Education News

Two New SLR Articles Explore School Librarian Instructional Partner Role and School Library Impact on Students
Two new research articles are now available in AASL’s peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research. The research team of Judi Moreillon, Sue Kimmel, and Karen Gavigan examine the extent to which school librarian preparation programs prepare pre-service school librarians for the role of instructional partner in “Educating Pre-Service School Librarians for the Instructional Partner Role: An Exploration into University Curricula.” In her article, “U.S. Students, Poverty, and School Libraries: What Results of the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment Tell Us,” Denice Adkins examines the results of the assessment to gauge the effects of school libraries on students’ test performance, with specific focus on the average of students’ family wealth in a school. Articles can be found on the AASL website at

Students Can Learn from Teachers When It Comes to Technology
A study from the New York Institute of Technology finds that the concept of digital natives may be misleading and that the disconnect between students’ inside–outside school technology experiences may be the result of the lack of sufficient teacher training concerning technology integration strategies. Teachers noted five barriers to explain the gap between their ideal technology integration and their actual classroom practices: lack of access to technology, lack of time, lack of technology skills and knowledge, lack of integration strategies, and lack of support and resources due to school policy. The findings also suggested that students’ use of technology inside of school has not changed in comparison with past decades, even though Internet connections in school have become more and more pervasive.

Report Outlines Recommendations for Improved E-Content Usage in Libraries
A group of professionals from libraries, content providers and OCLC have published Success Strategies for Electronic Content Discovery and Access, a white paper that identifies data quality issues in the content supply chain and offers practical recommendations for improved usage, discovery and access of e-content in libraries. The E-Data Quality Working Group identified data quality issues in libraries’ electronic content, which directly affect users’ ability to find and use library resources. The library’s discovery and access systems play an important role in helping users sift through and access the large amount of electronically published content. But users face a major barrier to discovery and access to these resources if the bibliographic metadata and holdings data are not of sufficient quality.


"AASL Hotlinks", American Library Association