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NYC School Librarian Guidebook: NYC School Librarian Guidebook

A blueprint to the policies, standards, and procedures that enable library personnel to develop, organize, and manage exemplary school library programs.

Librarian Guidebook Table of Contents

The NYC School Librarian Guidebook is a blueprint to the policies, standards, and procedures that enable library personnel to develop, organize, and manage exemplary school library programs. 

Advocacy - Strong school library programs are at the heart of the school. Explore the five pillars of library services as identified by Dr. Barbara Stripling in Reimagining Advocacy for School Libraries: Creating a Strategy for Getting Out Your Message.

Automation - Library automation is the application of information technology to library operations and services. Typical functions automated in this way are acquisition, cataloging, public access (via an OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog)), circulation, and reference. Topics in this section include why automation is necessary, first steps toward automation and forms and organizational aids.

Career Development - New York City school librarians or teachers-assigned to the library are certified teachers in an ever-changing field.  Topics in this section include how Advance (New York City’s system of teacher evaluation and development) works for librarians and teachers-assigned to the library, information on professional organizations and resources, New York State licensing and certification, and support for reflective practitioners. 

Collection Development - The heart of the traditional library program, the library collection (print and non-print resources) is now viewed through the dual lens of instructional resources and reading motivation: how do these materials help students learn AND develop a love of reading for reading's sake. Topics addressed in this section include materials selection, challenged materials, cataloging and processing guidelines, inventory, and weeding;

College Readiness The DOE-CUNY Library Collaborative designs professional development sessions to partner high schools with local area CUNY colleges.  Our work focuses on creating a community of practice among librarians, teachers and college faculty to revise curricular units to align with college-level expectations and instruction, with particular emphasis on the role of the school and academic librarian in the process.  

Cooperative Collection Development (CCD) - The New York City School Library System maintains a Cooperative Collection Development (CCD) program promoting resource sharing opportunities among member libraries. The Cooperative Collection Development Program is funded by the New York State Education Department. The goal of the CCD Program is to support the curricular and instructional processes of schools by promoting cooperative planning, selection, evaluation and sharing of specialized library media resources.

Early Childhood Literacy - A variety of resources to support early childhood literacy programming including online videos, research on early childhood learning, reading websites, family literacy nights, and digital story websites. 

Facilities - School libraries are dynamic learning environments with flexible space for simultaneous activities (whole group, small groups, individuals) and print and techology resources that encourage inquiry. The location of the library in a school should allow for equitable access and foster collaboration between librarian and teachers. Topics include essential areas, furniture, renovations and signage.

Grant Writing - A never ending pot of money would be ideal in the library, but alas many library programs, collections, and technological innovations are funded through grants.  Grant writing is a skill that can be mastered.  Explore this page for a plethora of resources, grant opportunities, and supporting documentation to help secure the funds for your innovative program.

Instruction - Librarians and teachers assigned to the library are first and foremost teachers and the instruction that occurs in the library is process-based and collaborative.  Librarians and teachers assigned build solid connections between inquiry and literacy, as literacy skills are aligned with the essential skills of inquiry. Topics in this section include the inquiry process, curriculum mapping, collaboration, and reading motivation.

MyLibraryNYC MyLibraryNYC is a partnership between the Department of Education’s Office of Library Services and the New York City’s Public Library Systems—Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library and Queens Library—to raise student achievement through digital access to and school-site delivery of the millions of books and informational resources to available in the libraries’ collections. 

Networking - Stay in touch with librarians from across the city and state via listservs and professional organizations. 

NOVELny - NOVELNY is an online library of literally hundreds of magazines, newspapers, maps, charts, research and reference books that are available to every New Yorker, free of charge. 

Program Administration - The library is unique in the school environment: a funded instructional program with a budget to be spent, hardware to be used and maintained  and a facility to configure and manage. Topics addressed in this section include staffing, funding, budget management, reports from automation systems and communication.

Purchasing - The purchase of library materials is one of the most important tasks for a school librarian. It requires knowledge of children’s and young adult literature as well as the curricula for all grades and subject areas. In this section you will find information to order library materials from contracted library jobbers.

Technology - Technology has changed the way school libraries look and function. Whether you plan to create a virtual presence through a library website or redesign the space as a Learning Commons or a Makerspace you should be well versed in the ever changing list of tools and applications available. Topics include hardware, resource sharing and professional learning networks.

Vision - A library’s vision defines the ideal desired future state of what it wants to achieve over time and provides guidance and inspiration for what the library program aims to accomplish in five or more years. Topics in this section include a process for building a vision, mission statements, resources for vision building and stakeholder responsibilities.

New York City School Library System

The Office of Library Services is a New York City Department of Education program office that is a state-funded network of 42 New York State school library systems. The Office of Library Services offers an array of documents, services and professional development opportunities designed to support librarians and library programs in the very important work they do -- enabling our students to become independent learners. 

NYCSLS Directory

Melissa Jacobs
Director of Library Services
(212) 374-3459
Michael Dodes
​Library Operations & Instructional Coordinator, Queens
Leanne Ellis
Library Operations & Instructional Coordinator, Bronx
Donna Gray
Library Operations & Instructional Coordinator, Manhattan 
Patricia Sarles
Library Operations & Instructional Coordinator, South Brooklyn (Districts 18, 20, 21, 22) and Staten Island
Debra Randorf
Library Operations & Instructional Coordinator, North Brooklyn (Districts 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 23, 32)
(718) 556-8369
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