School Library Month Proclaimed in Rhode Island

Librarians across the state provide innovative, creative programs


RHODE ISLAND - APRIL 25, 2018 - Governor Gina Raimondo has once again proclaimed April as School Library Month in Rhode Island, recognizing the contributions that school librarians make to their school communities, including:

  • Teaching students to become information literate
  • Providing a 21st-century blend of  print and online resources
  • Helping students develop skills in new technologies
  • Promoting life-long literacy and enjoyment of reading 

Librarians around the state are working with their students to create engaging, authentic projects and events. Listed below are just a handful of current activities.

Teaching students to become information literate

At Goff Middle School in Pawtucket, Cynthia Alexandre has set up a blended-learning Information Literacy course for students to access via Google Classroom while they are in her library class. She explains, “Students learn about the research process (source location, source evaluation, source citation, how to identify bias, how to avoid plagiarism) and display new knowledge through a variety of formats including Google slides, Prezi, and Canva. Advanced students go on to projects centered on creative writing, poetry critique, architecture and interior design, coding, and creation of book trailers.” 

Providing a 21st-century blend of print and online resources 

Any school library that is part of the statewide RILINK library catalog system has a subscription to LibGuides, on online platform for building web pages designed for library use. At Westerly High School, Marianne Mirando has found that both teachers and students love them. She says, “In addition to online encyclopedia and database links, I collect articles and videos for the kids to use for research, which gives them vetted sources to use for their projects.” Visit her site

Stephanie Mills at Park View Middle School in Cranston has created dozens of LibGuide pages for classes she co-teaches. She says, “The site helps my library be open and accessible at all hours. Using LibGuides for projects is just one of the ways I reach students outside of the library and school day: students can also use our library catalog to place holds and view our Twitter feed." Visit her site

Helping students develop skills in new technologies 

At Myron Francis Elementary School in East Providence, Suzanne Jordan collaborated with fellow specialists on a fifth-grade research project on countries around the world. She explains, “The students painted landscapes of their countries and relevant objects in art class, and researched facts about the countries and created stop motion movies in library class. They also used music gathered by the music teacher and incorporated it into the movies.” You can view an example here.  

At Melrose Elementary School in Jamestown, Lisa Casey’s fourth-graders entered the 90 Second Newbery contest with a green screen adaptation of Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena. It’s available for viewing here, along with many other student creations

Promoting lifelong literacy and enjoyment of reading 

At Hampden Meadows School in Barrington, Melanie Roy hosts a family book club each quarter; students and their parents read the same book and then meet early in the morning to discuss it and participate in related activities. For example, after reading Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home by Michelle Mulder, they practiced carrying a jug of water on their heads to see how difficult it was for the main character to perform her chores. This year she also started a “Sibert Smackdown” program, where students judged nonfiction books against specific criteria, honing their critical thinking skills. 

In Exeter-West Greenwich, sixth-grade students from Metcalf Elementary School joined with seventh- and eighth-grade students from Exeter Junior High to compete in the first-ever RI Middle School Book Award (RIMSBA) Games. Junior High librarian Bevin winner coordinated the event, with assistance from Michelle Steever, Metcalf librarian, and Stephanie Barta from the Louttit Public LIbrary in West Greenwich. The Games tested the kids’ knowledge of the 20 books on the RIMSBA list. You can see a video here. 

At Portsmouth Middle School, Alyssa Taft is helping to put together “Meet an Author Day,” when every English/Language Arts class on May 4 will either Skype with an author or have an in-person presentation. She says, “While being a library media specialist, or any type of librarian for that matter, is more than “just” books, that remains my favorite part. I love information literacy, technology, and blended learning, but the best part of my day is getting to talk to kids about books. My favorite is when kids come to the library excited to tell me about the books they are reading!”

“School libraries provide a wealth of educational opportunities for students, delivered by passionate certified teachers who are lifelong learners themselves,” says Lisa Girard of Gallagher Middle School in Smithfield, SLRI president. “We are constantly keeping up with educational trends, emerging technologies, and newly published books and other materials. Our students’ school libraries are very different from the school libraries of parents’ youth.” 

About SLRI - www.slri.info - @SchLibRI 

The purpose of School Librarians of Rhode Island shall be to (1) promote the improvement of instruction through opportunities that broaden the professional knowledge, understanding, and experience of its members; (2) provide leadership in defining, interpreting, and promoting effective library media programs to the community; and (3) serve as facilitator between the State Department of Education, Office of Library and Information Services, professional organizations, and the general public. 

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Contact: Meredith Moore / mercolleen@gmail.com / 401-440-1053




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