and a winner of the 2016 Super-Librarian award
In August of 2015, I stepped into the role as Librarian coordinator for NPEN Fall Conference. I had the opportunity to meet with administrators from other districts, as well as the coordinators for technology, arts, and PE/Health. In addition we were joined by representatives of the Crest, Valley, and Seem Collaborative. We continued to meet over the course of several Fridays at the beginning of the school year to flesh out a program that would target the needs of our respective disciplines.
With the assistance of school administrators, we were able to identify colleagues with shared interests who would help us plan our program. I had the opportunity to work with Mary Eldringhoff; from Tewksbury Memorial High School (TMHS) and Kim Smith Brown from North Reading High School. Although we had only one day to work together, we were able to accomplish a great deal by e-mail. We put together a plan to contact possible presenters for the conference, quickly realizing that the National School Library Association Conference was scheduled to take place shortly after our event.
The elements of the program we put together included three sessions and a networking opportunity before lunch, and three workshop sessions in the afternoon. We reached out to other school and public librarians for suggestions and were able to put together a great program. Some of the workshops included Book BFFs, SMART Goals, Finals Study Night, What’s new with Follett, and Quid Pro Quo: One Good Turn Deserves Another. We were able to attract a few vendors – Follett, The Junior Library Guild, and The Massachusetts Library System (MLS), Salem Press, Rosen, Davidson, and Cavendish Square. Tables were made available for their use in the area outside of the library. In addition the Follett representatives offered a workshop to introduce their new programs and software and sponsorship for a part of the library and technology program.
The First Annual NPEN Fall Extravaganza for Librarians was held at Tewksbury Memorial High School’s (TMHS) Larrabee Library, and was attended by thirty-five librarians from districts all over the state. The Larrabee Library is in a brand new building so it was a great opportunity to experience this wonderful facility. Mary Eldinghoff, the Librarian at TMHS, and her students played a huge role in preparing the space for the day. Three of the students also presented one of the workshops. They not only introduced the participants to Mary’s amazing student library internship program, but facilitated a meaningful discussion on student use of the library.
Following the morning workshops the librarians broke into discussion groups. The groups were based on grade levels; however there was also an opportunity to participate in group discussions that included both elementary and secondary librarians. Each group was provided with guidelines and several topic suggestions. Since we rarely have an opportunity to network and exchange ideas in person, we felt that this was a valuable part of the program. The personal and on-line feedback we received would seem to indicate that most of the participants agree. We will be incorporating this session into future programs for NPEN.
The event hosted by Tewksbury Memorial High School provided a professional development opportunity for Library, Technology, Health, and Science teachers. There were approximately 500 educators in attendance. In addition Billerica Memorial High School, Parker Elementary, Crest Collaborative, Valley Collaborative, and Seem Collaborative, hosted another group of 300 plus educators. The events for the day were a great success, and obviously much needed as indicated by the number of districts and educators that registered for the conference. I thoroughly enjoyed the small role that I played in the program, and I look forward to the planning sessions for next school year’s conference November 8th 2016. For more information on NPEN please visit the website http://northeastpen.com/ or follow on Twitter @NPENPD.