Continental Breakfast

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SLRI Annual Business Meeting

Awards Presentation


General Session 1: Partnerships Panel

What types of partnership opportunities are available for SLMS and your students? Join Cumberland Public Library’s Jenn Cournoyer, Brown University’s Carina Cournoyer, Barrington administrator Gino Sangiuliano, School Library Media Specialists Lisa Casey and Peter Quesnel, Jamestown Elementary Teacher Phil Capaldi, and RISTE member and Director of Development and Research for TechACCESS of RI Betsy Dalton in a lively discussion moderated by Karen Mellor, OLIS Chief Library Officer.


Coffee Break

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Breakout Session 1: Fostering Relationships

Top Tips for fostering relationships with... administrators

Top Tips for fostering relationships with...teachers

Top Tips for fostering relationships with...public librarians

Top Tips for fostering relationships with...academic librarians


Coffee Break

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Breakout Session 2: Using Resources to Connect

Partnering for Literacy: Book Awards, Festival of Children’s Books, RARI and YOU with Joan Wollin (RICBA), Brandi Fong (RITBA), Meagan Lenihan (RIFCBA) and Kate Lentz (RARI)

Connecting to the World with WorldBook Resources with Debra Ferranti, World Book Consultant

AskRI Resources with Beatrice Pulliam and Stacie Parillo

Tech Slam w/ RISTE partners

* Participants are asked to come with a technology integration idea to share in 1-2 minutes or less.  (e.g. LittleBirdTales.com, a free online presentation tool for kids).


Boxed Lunch with Networking and Lunchroom Discussions

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General Session 2: Author Panel

Listen to how these six authors and illustrators share their process writing fiction and nonfiction. This fast paced session will provide insights into their process, their books and how their books might be used in classroom settings with or without an author visit. Panelists include Sarah Albee, Sarah S. Brannen, Erin Dionne, Meghan McCarthy, Marc Tyler Nobleman, & Melissa Stewart moderated by Susannah Richards. 


Author Signing

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Great Giveaway

Meet the Presenters

Sarah Albee is the author of over one hundred children’s books. She has had three of her books appear on the New York Times children’s bestseller list. Her latest nonfiction, upper-middle grade books include Why’d They Wear That? (National Geographic, February 2015), Bugged: How Insects Changed History (Walker/Bloomsbury, April 2014), and Poop Happened! A History of the World from the Bottom Up (Walker/Bloomsbury, May 2010). She spent nine years as an editor at Children’s Television Workshop, working primarily for Sesame Street. Before she began her career as a children’s book writer and editor, Sarah was a newspaper cartoonist and semi-professional basketball player in Cairo, Egypt. These days she lives in Connecticut with her husband, who is a high-school history teacher and administrator, and their three children.

Sarah S. Brannen is the award-winning illustrator of over fifteen books for children. She is the author and illustrator of Madame Martine (Albert Whitman & Co.) and Uncle Bobby's Wedding (G. P. Putnam's Sons). Sarah also illustrated Feathers: Not Just For Flying, by Melissa Stewart, the 2014 Cybils winner, John Burroughs Riverby Award winner and an ALA notable book; At Home in her Tomb, A Junior Library Guild selection; and many other books. Forthcoming books include Madame Martine Breaks the Rules (Whitman, fall 2015).

Phil Capaldi the co-creator and head experience designer for www.undegroundbookclub.com Phil is a National Board Certified teacher working in the Melrose Avenue School in Jamestown, RI - Grade 3. He has served as a facilitator for the National Science Foundation GEMS-Network based at the University of Rhode Island and recently implemented the Engineering is Elementary E4 curriculum developed by the Boston Museum of Science. Phil is the father of three, an avid reader and occasional surfer. Through extensive therapy, Phil has overcome the trauma that accompanies the fact that his father, a former public school mathematics teacher, drives around RI with a vanity license plate “MATH”.  Follow him on twitter.com/capaldi_phil

Lisa Casey has been a Library Media Specialist and Technology Teacher in Jamestown, RI for the past 15 years. She sits on the board as Secretary of School Librarians of Rhode Island and is also a member of RISTE. She has been involved in multiple technology-focused presentations. Most recently she presented at RIDE’s Innovation Powered by Technology.

Carina Cournoyer is a research and instruction librarian for the social sciences at Brown University, where she supports teaching and learning in Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Entrepreneurship, and related fields. She's also fortunate enough to coordinate the Brown University Library's outreach efforts with local public schools, an endeavor which seeks to encourage college awareness and information literacy. Before she worked at Brown, Carina was a librarian at Wheaton College and an instructor for the undergraduate information literacy course at URI, where she received her MLIS. Carina has taught high school English and Social Studies in Rhode Island and Maine. She's married to a social studies teacher, and has a five year-old son who has no choice but to love the social sciences, too.

Jenn Cournoyer has a B.A. from Stonehill College and a MLIS from the University of Rhode Island. She is a certified teacher with more than seven years of classroom experience and sixteen years of experience in various library settings. Currently Jennifer is the Young Adult and Reference Librarian at Cumberland Public Library in Cumberland, RI and an adjunct instructor in the general studies program at the New England College of Business.  She also freelances as an editor and library consultant.

Dr. Elizabeth Dalton is Director of Development and Research at TechACCESS of RI and an independent education consultant.  She holds a PhD in Education and post-doc in Universal Design for Learning. Dr. Dalton presents often on UDL, technology, and diversity, edits several professional journals, and is past-president of the Inclusive Learning Network of ISTE. Currently, she consults for ALL ACCESS in the Libraries, a RI IMLS project http://allaccessri.org/

Erin Dionne lives outside of Boston, where she writes, reads, teaches, and juggles family life. She’s wanted to be a writer ever since she was six years old, and is happy to report that it’s just as awesome a job as she thought it would be. Some days, she even wears her pajamas while working! Her books have been featured in Scholastic book fairs, on state lists, and in major magazines. Her books have gotten her on the radio, TV, and have been featured in newspapers—which is not as exciting as you might think, but was still pretty cool.

Erin has two young kids at home, so she writes most of her books in her local coffee shop or a local library. She’s also an associate professor of Liberal Arts at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s having dance parties with her kids, spending time with her husband, or managing the expectations of their disgruntled family dog.

Debra Ferranti spent 10 years as a middle school math teacher, and middle school and elementary school principal. She holds a BS in Economics, BA in Marketing, BA in Social Studies, M.Ed in Education Administration, and certificates in both RI and MA as a K-12 Administrator, grades 5-12 in Mathematics, History, Economics and Social Studies. Debra lives her husband Anthony and sons, Sam and Alex, in Lincoln, RI. They all enjoy reading, as well as baseball, soccer, golfing and many outdoor activities.

“My time and experience in the public school and charter school settings has afforded me the knowledge of current educational trends, a strong background in curriculum collaboration and development, and hands-on expertise using the Common Core standards in daily instruction. I look forward to sharing how you can use World Book's products to enrich your lessons and engage and entertain your students.”

Brandi Fong has worked at the South Kingstown Public Library since 2004. In 2008 she became a Youth and Teen Services Librarian, dividing her time between the Robert Beverly Hale branch and the Peace Dale branch. She has been a member of the Rhode Island Teen Book Award Committee since 2009, and Committee Chair since 2013.

Meagan Lenihan  is currently the Library media specialist at Lincoln School in Providence, RI. She works with both students and teachers to facilitate access to information in a wide variety of formats. Having served in this role for more than 16 years, she works to promote and implement policies and programs and that help prepare students to be effective and efficient users of ideas and information. Meagan has also served as co-chair of the RI Festival of Children’s Books and Authors since 2005. The event, which brings nationally known children’s authors and illustrators to Rhode Island, attracts thousands of attendees each year. Over the past few years, the event also included a philanthropic focus that connected the event and its participants to a library in Central Falls Rhode Island. Megan has served on the Rhode Island Children’s Book Award Committee, is a member of the American Library Association, and School Librarians of Rhode Island. Meagan is also on the board a board member for the Rhode Island Center for the Book. She earned both her undergraduate MLIS, Library Media Specialist degree at URI. Meagan currently lives in Providence with her husband Kevin and two children Annie and Seamus.


Kate’s professional background as a classroom teacher, school librarian and volunteer led organically in to her current position as Director of the Rhode Island Center for the Book. Along with hundreds of volunteers, she coordinates the Center for the Book’s programs, including:Reading Across Rhode Island, Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, Letters About Literature, and Art of the Book.

Kate has initiated successful partnerships with the Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books and Authors, the Rhode Island Association of Independent Authors, the Rhode Island Department of Education, and the Charles H. Watts II History and Culture of the Book Program. She advocates zealously for Rhode Island’s libraries and represents the state of Rhode Island at the National Books Festival and the Library of Congress Annual State Centers Meeting, both in Washington, D.C.

Kate holds a master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and a bachelor’s degree with English and French double major from Kenyon College. Kate has volunteered in her sons’ local school communities for over eight years as an officer of their school PTOs and is currently a board member of the Michael Flanagan Foundation and past board member of the Barrington Educational Foundation.

Meghan McCarthy grew up in Clayville, RI, and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. “After graduation Meghan delivered pizzas, then, she moved to New York. There, she almost got kidnapped and robbed and found that some people actually like spray paint and garbage. Meghan is having a grand time meeting interesting people and going to parties. She also takes her work very seriously and can't think of anything she'd rather do than children's books although she is ashamed that her spelling has not improved one bit.” She is the author of many outstanding children's books. Check out her website at www.meghan-mccarthy.com.

Karen Mellor is Chief of Library Services at the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services and is responsible for planning statewide interlibrary cooperation and resource sharing and supporting all types of libraries through the RI library network. In her 15 years at OLIS, she has worked in the areas of library construction, library services to people with disabilities, continuing education and state grants to libraries; she has led various statewide initiatives, including workforce development in libraries, and helped develop the statewide reference resource center into the popular AskRI.

Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman (which made the front page of USA Today) and Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman(which inspired a TED talk); upcoming titles includeThirty Minutes Over Oregon, A Spell for a Fairy, and The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra. He has spoken at schools and conferences internationally (from India to Tanzania) and blogs about adventures in publishing (from research victories to promotional gambles) at Noblemania. Follow him on Twitter @MarcTNobleman.

Stacie Parillo: Digital Producer, Providence Public Library and AskRI Coordinator

Previous to joining the staff at Providence Public Library and AskRI, Stacie was Head of Collections and Digital Initiatives Manager at the Newport Historical Society in Newport, RI. In her three years there she worked to create accessibility for a mostly hidden collection. Stacie holds an MA in Communication Studies from Suffolk University, and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College.

Beatrice Pulliam: Before joining Providence Public Library and AskRI, Beatrice was Head of Technology and Access at the Providence College Library for seven years. During this time she led many successful emerging technology and marketing initiatives. Beatrice holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College.  

Peter Quesnel began his career teaching high school and middle school social studies at Central Falls Junior-Senior High School for six years before taking time out to get a MLIS degree from URI.  He has been a school librarian on every level from elementary to high school in Bristol-Warren and Providence schools. Peter has been at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex (JSEC) since it was built in 2003. As a librarian, Peter reaches out to partner with professionals from other fields in order to bring learning resources to students beyond the library’s collection and what is available online. Partnering with Brown University Libraries has been an ideal arrangement especially because he gets to collaborate with a fellow librarian, Carina Cournoyer and has become the part of the job that he looks forward to the most. Peter also runs after school programs including a field trip club which we call JSEC Awesome Tours. “I love bringing students to places they may not have known about before and offer them new experiences.  In my future life, I hope to organize awesome experiences for adults as well.”  

Susannah Richards, PhD, is on the faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University where she teaches courses in reading and language arts. She specializes in creating environments for highly able readers and writers. She has a strong background in content area literacy and differentiation strategies for integrating English Language Arts instruction to create high-level science and social studies curriculum. Her areas of expertise include literacy, literature and strategies to support the Schoolwide Enrichment Model-Reading, books for highly able students, and integrating technology to meet the needs of all students. She was on the 2013 John Newbery Award Committee and regularly reviews and presents on books for youth at international, national, state, and local conferences. After 11 years of teaching in public and private schools, she completed a PhD at the University of Connecticut where she studied and implemented curriculum differentiation strategies in reading language arts and the content areas. She has worked as curriculum consultant and professional development provider with large and small diverse urban, suburban and rural school districts in California, Oregon, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Florida, Rhode Island, and more.

Gino Sangiuliano from Barrington, RI has worn many hats as a dedicated educator for the past twenty years. He began his career as a 4th grade teacher then moved to a grade 1-3 multiage setting. From there he took on a grades 4-5 loop classroom and then took advantage of an amazing opportunity, working for the Rhode Island Department of Education as an Induction Coach for first year teachers. During this time Gino decided to earn a degree in administrative leadership. He returned to the classroom, but this time as an enrichment specialist and instructional coach and is now the assistant principal of a grades 4 and 5 Elementary School.

“I have a wonderful wife and two incredible sons. Outside of school I love to listen to music, mostly rock, and am also a movie buff. I enjoy watching sports and playing tennis, but not nearly as much as I would like to. I organize technology unconferences across the state for educators. My friends consider me a “techie”, but I know that I still have a lot to learn. I write a blog called Little Bits of Advice at www.littlebitsofadvice.org, but I would really like to write a young adult novel.”

Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 150 nonfiction books for children, including Feathers: Not Just for Flying; No Monkeys, No Chocolate; Under the Snow;and Animal Grossapedia. She also maintains the blog Celebrate Science (http://celebratescience.blogspot.com) and offers school visit programs as well as teacher in-service programs that focus on nonfiction writing techniques, using children’s books to address Common Core standards, and creative ways to integrate science and language arts. www.melissa-stewart.com

Alison Ward started as an elementary teacher in grades one and four before earning a MLIS in 2005. She began teaching in the library in 2007 in a job share position at Richmond Elementary. In 2010, Alison became the full time librarian at Richmond with 550 students and more than 25 classes in a fixed schedule. Last year, she left Richmond to go a new elementary school, Hope Valley, as well as the Middle School, to challenge herself and learn more about library media at a different level.

“Teaching is in my blood, as my father was also an elementary school teacher. After the birth of my first son, I decided to change roles and go into library media. Life-long learning is a core value of mine. I love working with all the students in the school and teaching them research skills and sharing my love for books. Collaborating with staff and the community is such a rewarding experience.  I feel truly blessed to love my job and be a part of this wonderful and important profession.”

Joan Wollin’s career as a school librarian has spanned three RI school districts over a ten year period. For the past five years, she has been a children’s librarian for Veterans Memorial Elementary in Central Falls, grades 1–4.  The unique population of the school has provided her with an opportunity to encourage the love and joy of reading by providing books, literary experiences, and information for all types of reading levels, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. “Working at Veterans as a librarian teacher is both challenging and rewarding. I feel strongly that all children should have equal access to information and literary materials.  By opening up imaginations and expanding knowledge, children can explore other places, ideas, emotions, and relationships beyond the “walls” of their neighborhood. Witnessing daily this enlightenment is truly inspiring.”

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