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jHVfjd sjdjd May 10, 2010 Volume 27, Issue 2

Hudson Valley Library Association

Spring Newsletter

Formed in 1959, HVLA brings together librarians from independent K-12 schools in the Hudson Valley area. Visit us at:

A Letter from the HVLA President‌ It has been a good year for HVLA, with active listserv conversation, well-attended and lively meetings, an updated website, Twitter presence, and extra activities including a trip to NYU's Bobst Library, a social gathering after the March meeting, the TEDxNYED recap at Collegiate, a Zotero training at METRO, and two lower school section meetings.

What’s Inside: Tell Me A Story & An Idea is Born 2 School Visit Reviews with Brian Selznick & Rafe Martin 3 Interview with Grace Lin 4-5 Spotlight on Professional Development 5 HVLA Divisional Groups & HVLA Notes 6

In fact, the Board feels like HVLA is more active than ever and that members are hoping for more contact than we are currently providing. Is this true? If so, is it a reaction to the sometimes alarming changes to our profession--driven by technology and the economy--that we are experiencing? The Board meets four or five times each year, and communicates frequently over a separate listserv. Most of our conversation concerns meeting planning. And while we often come up with additional ideas, these plans seem to fall by the wayside when the realities of scheduling and organizing intervene. So we are discussing making a change to the structure of the leadership of HVLA, and creating a few committees to help with certain association activities. For example, we imagine a Communications Committee led by the Communications Coordinator, which would help maintain our website, Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook presence. Perhaps an Activities Committee to plan supplementary meetings and social gatherings and a Fundraising Committee to take on the task of planning a benefit to fund an HVLA Scholarship toward either M.L.S. study or conference attendance. Every year we are asked to host a future SLMS conference (the School Library Media section of NYLA) in New York City. We could form a committee to do so. How about a Consortium Committee, to work with database providers on better pricing for members? These committees would also give HVLA members who want to be involved a more satisfying place in the association. You might wonder what the Bylaws & Constitution of HVLA have to say about changing our leadership structure. (They can be accessed on the website here: Part IV, Committees and Special Assignments, section B, states "Other committees may be appointed by any of the officers as needed." This does leave open the possibility. Of course, it remains to be seen whether there are enough members of HVLA wishing to be involved to fill these committees, and whether the HVLA membership is interested in expanding the offerings of the association. We look forward to having a conversation with all of you about these issues in the Fall, at the beginning of the school year when we are at our most fresh and energetic. In the meantime, think about what YOU want our association to be. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming gatherings, Angela Carstensen HVLA President & Director of Library Services at Convent of the Sacred Heart

Page 2 of 6 Tell Me a Story: The Art of Storytelling & Booktalking HVLA Winter Meeting Recap

HVLA librarians enjoy good food, good drinks, and good company at the social gathering immediately following our Winter Meeting.

The HVLA winter meeting, “Tell Me a Story: The Art of Storytelling and Booktalking,” took place on March 11th at Claremont Preparatory School in Lower Manhattan. Jennifer Hubert Swan and Karyn Silverman of Little Red School House & Elizabeth Irwin High School shared their techniques for booktalking to middle and

high school audiences. You can visit Jen’s blog at: Storyteller Gretchen Caserotti of Darien Public Library, shared two of her favorite stories and several storytelling techniques. You can view a “Movers & Shakers” profile about Gretchen by if you go to

The meeting was immediately followed by an association social gathering at nearby Suspenders Bar ( where HVLA members enjoyed library-themed music, free appetizers & drinks, and each others’ company. The board hopes to host more social hours like this one in the future. We hope to see you there!

An Idea is Born! or A + B + C = D Library Lesson Idea by Toni Siegel A: What do teenagers care about most? Other teenagers, of course.

“One of the students was very excited because he said it was his chance to achieve immortality.” --Toni Siegel on making the catalog sing

B: When I was at Mohonk this year I heard Michael Wesch describe a course he was teaching. He wanted the students to read a large number of articles, far more than was realistic to expect. He assigned a couple of articles to each student or group of students to read thoroughly and then post summaries to an online site. Then the other students could read their classmates’ reviews. C: We have a short fiction course in which the students are expected to read a story or two of their choosing and then discuss their story with the class. The students come to the library and are presented with our large collection of short story books laid out nicely on a table for them to browse and choose.

Some know right away what they are interested in, but most don’t. The teacher knows some of the authors; the librarians know some; but none of us know all of them. I am dependent on our catalog for descriptions, which aren’t always enticing. D: Add them all up, be lucky enough to have a creative English teacher, and start making the catalog sing! With the help of our tech director, the English teacher and I added a blog to the course. Now, the students would be asked to write whatever they wished about the stories they were reading. The other students would be asked to read the blog. They could comment if they wanted. The blog was set up so that the title of the book as well as the title of the story would be a tag, among other tags. That way the blog was searchable. Then I added the blog

comments to the individual records as reviews and also as a URL link in the record. So now anyone who searched the catalog would find the student’s comments in the record. One of the students was very excited because he said it was his chance to achieve immortality. The idea was to stimulate discussion; to have student reviews in the catalog to help other students with book selection; and to familiarize the students with blogging. I also added a searchable term so that in the future we would be able to find the books that the students had reviewed. The boys seemed to like the project and we are hoping to expand it so that we can add their reviews of other books as well as teacher reviews in the future. Toni Siegel is a librarian at the Collegiate School.

Page 3 of 6 Meeting Mr. Selznick Hosting a Caldecott Award-winning Illustrator by Angela Perna Last winter, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School had the honor of meeting awardwinning author/illustrator, Brian Selznick. Of all the planning and preparing I did over the summer, inviting Mr. Selznick to speak to my fourth, fifth and sixth grade students was never on the original agenda. I give credit to this author/illustrator event to Symphony Space ( and the enthusiasm of one third grade student. Let me explain by backtracking a bit... As a children’s librarian, I am always on the look-out for that unknown book that will allow me to connect with my students. There was a lot of buzz about “The Invention of Hugo

Cabret” when it was first published in 2007. After reading it, I was struck by its ability to seize the imagination. This was the book I had been waiting for! I was compelled to share it with my fourth grade class that Fall and every year thereafter. At the end of the school year, I went to the third grade classroom to make an announcement. I held up a copy of “Hugo Cabret,” and said, “Children, this is the only time you will ever hear me ask you NOT to read a book!” I explained that it would be our read-aloud in September. One girl frantically waved her hand until I called on her. Knowing she was an avid reader, I expected her to

Rafe Martin Goes to Churchill

tell me what a great book she thought it was. Instead, I was dumfounded when she uttered, “Brian is my friend!” I had the fortune of hearing the witty & charming Mr. Selznick speak at Symphony Space in Spring of the previous year. The idea of having him come to speak to my students soon became a future goal. My student’s eagerness to have her friend, Brian, come and speak to her classmates gave me the impetus to accept and organize the gala of all author/illustrator events. Mr. Selznick's visit became the talk of the school by teacher and student alike for the remainder of the week. Angela Perna is a librarian at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School.

To learn more about Brian and his book “Hugo Cabret” go to:

Get Angela’s tips for hosting an award-winning illustrator by visiting the HVLA website. m/site/hvlamain/notes

Award-Winning Storyteller Visits by Rachel Berkey & Alice Hopkins Is your school interested in bringing in an amazing Storyteller/Author to captivate the imaginations of your students? Churchill School was, so our fifth and sixth graders were treated to a wonderful performance by Rafe Martin on March 25, 2010. Rafe Martin is an internationally recognized, award-winning author and a highly regarded nationally known storyteller of traditional folk tales from around the world. His books include “The Rough Face Girl,” a Native American retelling of the Cinderella story, “Foolish Rabbit’s Big Mistake,” a

traditional Jakata tale from Asia, and “Birdwing,” a retelling of the fairy tale “The Six Swans.” These stories appeal to the universal power of the imagination and Rafe’s performances provide enrichment that goes beyond the traditional classroom experience. His presentations are based on three components: performance, talk & teaching, and questions & answers. In addition to the performances, Rafe also shared how and why he writes books. Each presentation was tailored for a specific grade level and to the school’s

particular population. Rafe talked about the use of language and stories “in words” and “how words create images.” Then through the dramatic performance of a story, he showed our students how “told stories” can differ entirely from stories in a book. Our fifth and sixth grade students were mesmerized by his performances. He left our students with an appreciation of the art of Storytelling—as well as with many of his signed books! Rachel Berkey is a MS/US Librarian and Alice Hopkins is a LS Librarian at the Churchill School.

To learn more about Rafe and how to book him for a school visit go to his website:

Page 4 of 6 The Care & Feeding of Your Visiting Author An Interview with Newbery Honor Winner, Grace Lin by Angela Ungaro

“I really enjoy school visits. At school visits, it’s so satisfying to see the work that I do actually reaching kids. I get to witness my books coming to life. It’s a heartwarming reminder of why I create the work that I do.”

Cupcakes! The essential component to any successful author visit and book signing.

In February 2010, fresh off her win of the Newbery Honor award for “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,” author & illustrator, Grace Lin, visited the students and community of Brooklyn Friends School []. Four presentations and hundreds of book signings later she remained as graceful as ever! In this interview, Lin offers the author’s perspective of the school visit experience. Angela Ungaro: As a visiting author/illustrator, what is one of the most crucial ways a hosting librarian/school can prepare the students and community for your visit? Grace Lin: The most important thing is that the students and teachers are familiar with me and my work. And not just shown the cover, but really read to in class. For students in grades 2 and higher, the best thing is to have the teachers take one of my chapter books and use it as a read-aloud (a chapter or so a day) in class for the month before my visit. For the younger students, an immersion into my picture books is key. I know it is additional work for the teachers, but it makes a huge difference in terms of how much the students get out of my presentation. Nothing is more demoralizing for an author than to come into a school where the students don't know or care who you are...and I imagine it is a lot less interesting for the students

as well. AU: Your website has a wonderfully detailed list of visiting guidelines and suggested curriculum []. How did this portion of the site get created and why did you think it was important enough to include? GL: Well, a lot of those were taken from other authors' school visits guidelines. It is kind of a mesh of all the things I read and heard from other authors with my own bits (gleaned from experience) mixed in. I thought it was important to put all of that online so that schools and organizations know what to expect, so there are no surprises and no misunderstandings plus it is an easy reference. It's hard enough to plan an event for a school full of students, why make it harder by having the organizers try to guess the needs of the speaker? AU: In what ways does doing school visits help you as an author/illustrator? GL: Except for the traveling, I really enjoy school visits. As an author/illustrator, I spend a lot of time in my studio making my work—which is essentially a vacuum. At school visits, it's so satisfying to see the work that I do actually reaching kids. Personally, I feel like books only really come to life when they are read and have captured the imagination of a child. At a school visit, I get to

witness my books coming to life. It's a heartwarming reminder of why I create the work that I do. AU: After you visited the K through 5th graders at Brooklyn Friends School and stayed late to sign about a million books, you mentioned in your blog []that the "care and feeding of your visiting author" is very important. What are some ways that a hosting school can make an author/illustrator's visit more pleasant? GL: Cupcakes! No, really, cupcakes are not required. The things that are most important are to have the students prepared, interested and excited and the schedule organized. As long as you have those, the day will be fun. Oh, and lunch. That's important too, in a different way. If the teachers don't eat the school lunch, please don't make me. AU: Congratulations on your 2010 Newbery Honor for "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon"! Now that you are a Newbery Honor winner, how have things changed for you? GL: So far, the biggest change has been that I've gotten a lot of requests to write blurbs for other authors' novels! But I feel pretty fresh from the win, even though it has been a couple of months. I guess it is still sinking in. I still get all giggly when I see my Amazon ranking of my book below 300,000! (continued)

Page 5 of 6 The Care & Feeding of Your Visiting Author (continued) AU: What's next for Grace Lin? Any new books or projects that librarians and [your fans] should keep an eye out for? GL: Oh, the other big change since my book won the Newbery Honor is that publishers are more eager to publish my books! That's a nice feeling. So I have quite a few books in the pipeline. The next one is my very first early reader called "Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same." It is about ChineseAmerican twins and even though it doesn't come

out until July 1st, it already received a starred review in Booklist! Yay! After that I have a picturebook that comes out in the fall, "Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival." It is about the Moon Festival, the second biggest holiday in most Asian countries (after the Lunar New Year). Right now, I am working on a "Pacy" book, what I affectionately call the books in the "Year of the Dog" and "Year of the Rat"

series. It has the same characters of those books, but it takes places during the summer that Pacy and her family go on a trip to Taiwan. I also have more folktale/fantasy books (like "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon") percolating too! Those won't be out until 2012 and 2013, you'll have to keep your eyes open for a long time for those! Angela Ungaro is a Lower & Middle School librarian at Brooklyn Friends School.

Conference Review of “The Past’s Digital Presence” Spotlight on Professional Development by Ann van Buren On February 19th I attended “The Past’s Digital Presence: Database, Archive, and Knowledge Work in the Digital Age” at Yale University. The conference revisited the idea that medium is part of the message as scholars address issues of presentation and preservation of material in digital form. In addition to the keynote lecture by Professor Peter Stallybrass other sessions at the conference explored the significance of formatting and the book as object when doing research. Stallybrass, an absolute delight to watch on stage, took us through the history of the book, how it evolved, and how it was designed. In the process, he drew comparisons to the presentation of information on the computer screen and its

effect on access, annotation, and interpretation of information. It was wonderful to feel a little dust fall from my sleeve as he reminded us that in fact, the book is a machine, a “mechanical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks” (March 2010, http://wordnetweb.princeton. edu).

In fact, the book was a radical invention, a departure from the scroll, and much like the computer today, it became popular because it made it easier for its creators to convey their points. Imagine the clumsiness of the original scripture, all wrapped up in a scroll. The book made it possible to excerpt specific parts of the text so that they could be studied

and compared to one another. For example, in a book, one may see the same gospel story as told by different apostles, side by side, whereas the scroll makes locating different passages for comparison rather cumbersome. Stallybrass went on to describe the various ways in which people used books and presented us with a series of slides with marvelous inventions such as book weights, revolving book stands, and moveable indices--actual drawings and cut outs of an index finger that scholars used to call attention to a place in the text. Fast-forward to the twentyfirst century, and we are still working on ways to annotate text on the computer. Stallybrass pointed out in some ways, the computer has brought us back to the format of

Don’t miss Grace’s new book for early readers—“Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!”—out in July. Visit her website for more updates:

Note: You can read the unabridged version of Ann’s conference review at

the scroll. While we do have fonts and highlighting and new formats like the Kindle, the visual organization of information on a computer is quite different from what it is for a scholar who remembered the passage he was working on because something in his physical memory acted as a reminder, another clue, that could get him back to that train of thought. The way we keep track of information is very different as we look at pages that are stored in the two dimensions of a computer screen. Stallybrass invites us to explore physicality and its effect on memory as we look at changes in how we access and organize information. Ann van Buren is a Middle School Librarian & English Teacher at Riverdale Country School.

HVLA Divisional Groups HVLA Board Members Angela Carstensen President Amy Chow Vice-President Maria Falgoust Vice-President Rebecca Duvall Recording Secretary Rhonda Rigrodsky Treasurer

Connect with LS, MS, and US Division Leaders & Members Broaden your knowledge and practices as a library professional by exploring the divisional listservs and meetings. Contact Membership Coordinator,, to be added to any of our divisional listservs.




Division Leaders:  Lois Strell  Laurie Norman

Division Leader:  Bethany Martin

Division Leader:  Elizabeth Fernandez fernandeze@cshgreenwi

To post to listserv: 

HVLA Notes: 

Christina Kover Membership Director Angela Ungaro Communications Coordinator

To post to listserv: 

To post to listserv: 

Upcoming Events & Announcements

HVLA is now on Twitter! Follow us (search HVLA_Librarians) so that we can follow you and increase our PLN (Personal Learning Network). For more on Twitter & education watch this video:

 Call for Submissions: Have something you'd like to share? An interview? A lesson plan? Professional development? Contact Communications Coordinator, aungaro@brooklynfrien, with questions.

 Clip Art for All! There is now a free open clip art library with over 26,000 images to copy, paste, and download. Spice up presentations, newsletters, and have fun looking through this massive resource:

About the Hudson Valley Library Association…

We’re on the Web! Visit us at:

Formed in 1959, HVLA brings together librarians primarily from independent K-12 schools in the New York City, Long Island, Westchester and nearby New Jersey and Connecticut communities. With a minimum of formality and a maximum of benefit, members meet three times a year to discuss and consider a wide range of topics, including evaluation of books and reading programs, technology and libraries, information literacy, and professional development. An active listserv keeps us connected between meetings. In addition, divisional groups exist for lower, middle, and upper school librarians to discuss curricular and collection-related interests.

BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL 375 Pearl Street attn: Angela Ungaro Brooklyn, NY 11201

Spring 2010 Newsletter  
Spring 2010 Newsletter  

Formed in 1959, HVLA brings together librarians from independent K-12 schools in the Hudson Valley area.