2020 Printzbery Results

Our annual Printzbery event was held Saturday, January 11, 2020. Twelve librarians gathered to discuss the merits of various MG and YA books published in 2019. In addition to awarding a Newbery, a Printz, and honors for each, our mock committee also awards a Printzbery to the most excellent book for 12-14 year olds (the overlapping ages for Newbery and Printz).

Without further ado, our winners are: Continue reading “2020 Printzbery Results”

A Winter Checkout Party

The last days before break at our upper school level are filled with deadlines and nervous energy. Along with this comes an uptick the most frustrating phrase I hear at least once a week: “High schoolers don’t have time to read”. We librarians know this is untrue and during finals it is especially important to remind students (and faculty) of the value of reading for pleasure.

With all of this in mind, I used the prospect of winter break as an impetus to remind folks to read. Inspired by Melissa Ahart’s summer checkout party, I threw a “Winter Break Checkout Party” during our flex and lunch periods. To advertise, I made an announcement at morning meeting earlier in the week and reminded students that a great way to get grown-ups to leave you alone during winter break is to have your face in a book. Then the morning of the party, I sent an email with event details and links to our ebook collections. I also used these moments as an opportunity to plug our Mock Printz collection. 

It took about half an hour to set up the room. I used spare book stands and stacked books to turn two tables of the library into a bookstore. I placed decorative masking tape directly on the tables to label the categories of books. In addition to our Mock Printz books, we chose to highlight essays, short stories, and “as seen on tv”; these being some of the most accessible and easy-to-sell books. Our library assistant Camilla set up a special checkout desk with string lights, bookmarks, and treats. The final touch was putting a “yule log”-type screensaver on our display tv. I chose “Winter at Hogwarts”.
Using our retail skills, Camilla and I walked around the room chatting up our students and recommending books. All in all, our circulation was significantly higher than most days of the year. We were thrilled with the connections we made with regular and new patrons of the library.
Special thanks to Camilla Yohn-Barr who contributed so much to the planning, set-up, implementation, and general awesomeness of this event.

Anna Murphy is Upper School Librarian at Berkeley Carroll; she is also HVLA treasurer. 

AASL 2019 Recap

This year’s American Association of School Libraries (AASL) Conference took place in Louisville, Kentucky, from Thursday, November 14th to Saturday, November 16th.

The AASL Conference began on Thursday morning, with an option to register for a two-hours pre-conference session.

The conference kicked up in earnest in the afternoon with the opening of the IdeaLab. The IdeaLab offered a place for librarians to walk around and hear quick presentations on what other librarians are doing in their own spaces. Some presentation topics included opening the library over the summer, research and inquiry units, digital literacy programs, and ways to integrate more technology into our work.

Soon after the IdeaLab closed, the conference officially kicked off with the opening general session! A joyful welcome included special shout-outs to state and regional library associations, who each took a turn (and a bow) on stage.

Ellen Oh, a YA author and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, then addressed the crowd, sharing her message of how vital diversity is to our work as librarians largely through touching, personal stories of her own life and the lives of her three children.

The following two days were filled with meaningful concurrent sessions, often with so many enthusiastic attendees that you could regularly find participants sitting on the floor. All sessions were categorized according to AASL Shared Foundations: inquire, include, collaborate, curate, explore and engage.

As a first time attendee, I am grateful for such a space, where those of us who do this work can come together and share, be it our struggles or our triumphs, and find a community all our own. I look forward to more experiences to come.


Christine Nassar is a First Program Librarian at Dalton and one of HVLA’s vice-presidents.

Fall Meeting 2019 Recap: Small Press Preview

00100lPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20191107155216013_COVEROn November 7, HVLA members gathered for our Fall Meeting. Hosted by the librarians at Friends Seminary, the meeting showcased new and upcoming titles from small presses. Attendees had the chance to preview titles and talk with publishers, as well as catch up with colleagues from other schools before the Small Press Preview presentation. Everyone was able to take a book from one of the featured presses back to their libraries!

IMG_20191107_172432Huge thank you’s to our gracious hosts at Friends Seminary, as well as the publishers who came to share their titles with us:

Blue Dot Kids Press

Boyds Mills & Kane

Elsewhere Editions

Enchanted Lion Books

Greystone KidsIMG_20191107_162807

Flying Eye Books

Phaidon

Pow! Kids Books

Readers to Eaters

Workman Publishing 

If you weren’t able to make it to the meeting, or if you’d like another look at the titles presented, take a look at the HVLA Small Press Preview slides. Also, let’s keep the conversation on collection development resources going- don’t forget to add to the Collection Development Tools padlet!