Welcome New HVLA Board Members

We are excited to welcome to our new HVLA Board Members!

IMG_20170416_145626 (1)Bethany Martin is a “Navy brat” who studied sociology at New College of Florida, before moving to New York City. She earned her MSLIS from Pratt and worked as the Director of Library Services at Dwight School for ten years before becoming Director of Libraries at Trinity School. She’s spent quite a bit of time thinking about using games to teach research skills and the ideal way to evaluate independent school librarians. Predictably, Bethany enjoys reading. She lives in Queens with her husband and son. She is usually up for a board game or a cup of tea, and her Instagram feed is full of different playgrounds she’s visited with her son and odd books she’s weeded from her library’s collection.

Christine Nassar is a librarian at The Dalton School, working with grades K-3. She Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 3.40.00 PMobtained her Master’s of Information from Rutgers University, with a concentration in Library and Information Sciences, and a specialization in School Media. She is a lover of graphic novels and picture books. Some of Christine’s favorites are Journey, by Aaron Becker, Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers, and Cardboard Kingdom, by Chad Sell. Christine speaks English, French, Arabic, and some rather rusty Italian, which she is always happy to practice.




Lisa Norberg is the Library Director and College Advisor for La Scuola d’Italia “Guglielmo Marconi”. She loves working with faculty to find new ways to integrate the library into the curriculum and collaborating on the unending challenge of making students discerning information consumers. Before transitioning to school librarianship, Lisa spent over 20 years in academic libraries, holding positions at Barnard College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Penn State Harrisburg, and George Mason University. She has a M.L.S. from Indiana University at Bloomington and a B.S. from the University of Wyoming. She is an advocate for open access publishing, a lover of jazz and an Italian organic farmer wannabe.

Independent School and Public School Librarian Collaboration Initiative

By: Patricia Aakre,
PS 89

The meeting was intended to continue the independent and public school librarians collaboration initiative started early this year.  

The keynote speaker, Melissa Jacobs, addressed  around 30 school librarians at Horace Mann to discuss three things we can do:   advocate, lead, and collaborate. For the past fifteen years she has directed the New York City School Library System (mjacobs@schoolnyc.gov).  The NYCSLS website has a wealth of resources : everything from a directory of school libraries and the librarians that work there, to a way to write your collection development policy, and a host of professional workshops that will increase your skills and improve your credentials.  There is a calendar with summer workshops on information literacy and databases. The next big city wide meeting of school librarians takes place on November 5 at Citi Field, so hold the date. All independent school librarians are part of the system, so get on board! Continue reading “Independent School and Public School Librarian Collaboration Initiative”

The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival

By: Ragan O’Malley and Hannah Mermelstein
Saint Ann’s SchoolIMG_6774

On Saturday, March 30, a contingent of Saint Ann’s students and their families, along with two Saint Ann’s librarians, attended the 2019 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at the Brooklyn Public Library. The festival was started by James Kennedy, author of The Order of Odd-Fish, to celebrate the art of amateur filmmaking and Newbery books. Children are challenged to condense the plot/essence of an entire Newbery Medal or Honor book into approximately 90 seconds. Humor and unique interpretations are encouraged. Continue reading “The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival”

Personal Book Shopping Program

By: Susannah Goldstein
Brearley School

IMG_20181214_155459Upper School students are busy, and are often juggling many things at the same time– after school jobs, athletics, college applications, arts, and other commitments.  Many librarians see a drop in circulation between middle school and upper school, especially among driven independent school students. Students who know exactly which series or title they want are able to check out books quickly, but when students aren’t sure what they are seeking, coming to the library to browse and do active readers advisory feels like another item on their packed to-do list.  While I do many passive readers advisory programs, I wanted to do something new that would incorporate active readers advisory but would also be high-quality and personalized.

Enter: personal book shopping programs! Continue reading “Personal Book Shopping Program”

HVLA Winter Meeting 2019

By: Gili Warsett
Brooklyn Friends 

The HVLA Winter Meeting brought together about forty librarians to think deeply about Diversity and Inclusion in School Libraries.  We gathered in Public School 363 – The Neighborhood School’s library hosted by HVLA Vice President Cheryl Wolf.

Cheryl welcomed HVLA into the space.  She spoke about the demographics of both The Neighborhood School and PS 63 – STAR Academy, which share a building.  HVLA President Karen Grenke and veteran members noted that this was the first time HVLA had held a meeting in a public school, not including the HVLA and NYCSLA meet-up, also hosted by Cheryl Wolf at The Neighborhood School. Continue reading “HVLA Winter Meeting 2019”

ALA Mid-Winter 2019

By: Hannah Mermelstein, St. Ann’s School and Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School

In January, HVLA members Kyle Lukoff and Hannah Mermelstein attended ALA midwinter in Seattle. Below are a few thoughts and highlights from each of us.

Hannah: I spent some time ducking in and out of the exhibit hall, gathering ARCs and listening to publishers present about their favorite upcoming titles. When I needed something that was a little less of a free-for-all, I attended sessions both small and large. One of the larger events was the The President’s Program featuring Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Her presentation was insightful and polished and important, particularly for the vast majority of librarians who are white. Look her up, read her book, watch her speak. Continue reading “ALA Mid-Winter 2019”

NYCSLA/HVLA Cookie Exchange

Anna Murphy
Berkeley Carroll

Last month public school and independent school librarians came together to share cookies and ideas in another successful collaboration between NYCSLA and HVLA. NYCSLA (New York City School Librarians’ Association) is primarily comprised of public school librarians, so this was a great opportunity for independent and public school librarians to connect with one another and share. As we noshed on delicious homemade cookies in Jennifer DeGrace’s beautiful space at The High School for Environmental Studies, we also got to hear from some fantastic librarians.

Continue reading “NYCSLA/HVLA Cookie Exchange”