Building Bridges Between HVLA and NYCSLA

By Gili Warsett and Cheryl Wolf
Brooklyn Friends and The Neighborhood School/STAR Academy

Over the past two years, the HVLA Board has been brainstorming ways to build bridges between HVLA members– predominantly independent school librarians–and public school librarians.  This past week, HVLA Vice Presidents, Cheryl Wolf and Gili Warsett, were invited to attend a NYC School Library System (NYCSLS) Council meeting. The work of the council is to recommend policy; do long- and short-range planning, and evaluate the system’s services to students/schools.  The meeting was held at the offices of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO).  Other organizations represented at the meeting included the teachers union (UFT), New York Library Association (NYLA), Field Support Centers, as well as the New York Public and Queens Library systems, who provide MyLibraryNYC, a partnership between the public and school library systems. 

At the NYCSLS Council meeting, we discussed the current state of affairs for NYC public school libraries and librarians.  Each organization shared updates of their work and their contribution to NYCSLS. We learned that there are numerous job vacancies–and a shortage of professionals entering the field of public school librarianship to fill them. Also discussed was the successful implementation of MyLibraryNYC into schools across the boroughs. In addition, the attendees brainstormed and planned the theme and agenda for the upcoming Spring Conference (stay tuned!).

HVLA and NYCSLA (New York City School Librarians Association) have already begun to form a partnership in several ways.  Last school year, HVLA worked with NYCSLA to organize a Drag Queen Story Hour for school librarians and educators.  Cheryl Wolf, a public school librarian at The Neighborhood School and a member of NYCSLA joined the HVLA Board as an HVLA Vice President.  In November, Cheryl hosted an NYCSLA and HVLA Librarians Crafting Meet-Up at her library.

This week, NYCSLA and HVLA are sponsoring a cookie exchange and presentation of best practices meeting from several members.  Details are:

Thursday, December 13th,  4:15-6:16
The High School for Environmental Studies
444 W. 56th Street NY, NY

The HVLA Board is considering other avenues for connecting and supporting our public school librarian colleagues.  We are interested in your suggestions and creative ideas for how we can continue to build a bridge and share resources.


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