School Librarians of Rhode Island 2016 Award Winners Announced

RHODE ISLAND - JUNE 2016 - School Librarians of Rhode Island (SLRI) have announced the 2016 recipients of the following awards:

  • Presidential Award: Dr. Cheryl McCarthy of Middletown. The first recipient in 15 years of this recognition of remarkable contributions to the library profession, Dr. McCarthy has educated countless school library media specialists at the University of Rhode Island. Under her direction, the URI GSLIS School Library Media Program received national recognition from AASL. Her instructional focus on integrating information literacy skills and using online tools has helped new library media specialists move school libraries beyond the constraints four walls or library class and into the digital age. Dr. McCarthy is a tireless advocate for every student's right to a high quality library media program no matter where they attend school.

  • Innovative Technology Award: Nicole Galipeau, Providence resident and librarian at Guiteras Elementary School in Bristol. Awards Chair Zach Berger noted that “My favorite part of her application was when she wrote that she ‘adopted an ethos of “the process is the product” to keep the focus on learning and not have the focus shift to creating a flawless [outcome].’” Galipeau’s project, done in partnership with fourth-grade teacher Vanessa Cronan, involved students making TouchCast interactive videos to “bridge the gap from writing and researching to presenting their analysis and synthesis of a science nonfiction topic.” She noted that “an unexpected blessing was that students developed collateral skills by problem solving, tinkering, collaborating and persevering throughout the timeline of the project.”

  • Maurice Tougas Award: Kristin Polseno of North Scituate.
    The Tougas Award recognizes exceptional achievements and leadership potential among the graduating class of URI’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (GSLIS). Polseno believes that an ideal school library program provides resources, not only for students, but also for teachers and families.  She says, “Just as a kitchen is the hub of family activity within a house, a school library program should be the hub of collaboration, inquiry, and innovation within a school.”
  • Mini-Grant: Deirdre Carlino, Saunderstown resident and librarian at Curtis Corner Middle School in South Kingstown. Carlino plans to create a makerspace for students, focusing on video creation. In her application, she wrote that it will allow “students to do more than just read about activities. Students need the opportunity to tinker, problem solve, make mistakes and learn from them.” Carlino is designing a Media Literacy course, and is hoping that the makerspace will let “students to become media creators, not just media consumers. … [They] will be tackling real-life filming techniques including storyboarding, planning for scenes, props and sets, and working cooperatively with other.”

  • Wilfred Berube Award for Administrative Excellence: Superintendent Dr. Patrick McGee of the Woonsocket Public Schools.
    This award recognizes a school administrator who has provided not only vocal advocacy for but also tangible aid to school library  programs and services. In the course of his tenure, McGee has, among other things, ensured that library curriculum was included in district-­wide Common Core alignment and provided professional development funding towards that end; reinstated book budgets; and overseen the redesign of the high school library’s computer lab, including the purchase of new computer equipment.

Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, who addressed SLRI conference attendees, stated that, “School librarians, I believe, are the catalyst for learning in any school. … Librarians help young people, which I think is the key, to find themselves, their passion, and what they really like. The library is a place where it all can come together and where a professional librarian can help students think through tough problems, find resources to address those problems, and separate real facts from opinions.”

Reed, who champions school libraries at the national level, continued, “School libraries are critical, [but] there are communities where we have not made those investments. We see this neglect despite the evidence that good school libraries produce good students. Knowing how to find information, knowing how to separate the wheat from the chaff, is critical to educational progress.”

About SLRI - - @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.


Contact: Meredith Moore / / 401-440-1053

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