The mission of the New York City School Library System is to provoke the development of school libraries that sustain communities of inquiry and literacy, foster high academic achievement, catalyze independent reading and learning, and enhance collaboration throughout the digital and physical school community.
Melissa Jacobs, Director of School Library Services
Melissa Jacobs is the Director of Library Services for the NYC Department of Education/New York City School Library System. Melissa started her career as an elementary school librarian and then spent 14 years as the Coordinator for Library Services. Melissa has been named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker and has contributed to School Library Journal, Knowledge Quest, Teacher Librarian, and School Library Connection. In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing with her husband, two daughters, two orange cats, and Chiweenie.
Michael Dodes, Queens School Library Coordinator
Michael Dodes works as the Queens Library Coordinator for the NYC Department of Library Services/NYC School Library System. Michael has expertise in coding, instructional technology, copyright laws & licensing, and accessibility, all of which he runs extensive professional development on. Michael served as a School Librarian in the Bronx and Harlem for 10 years before joining the Library Services team. Michael lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter, and is an avid platelet donor and gamer.
Leanne Ellis, Manhattan School Library Coordinator
Leanne Ellis works as the Manhattan Library Coordinator for the New York City School Library System. She also manages the Destiny Library Catalog, the MyLibraryNYC Project with the three public library systems, and delivers extensive professional development. Leanne writes a monthly blog for Knowledge Quest and recently became a guest editor. Leanne and her husband are both Michigan transplants (by way of Hawaii) with a young son.
Donna Gray, Bronx School Library Coordinator
Donna Gray is the Bronx Library Coordinator for the New York City School Library System. She has over 19 years of experience in K-12 education, library services, and higher education, and has previously worked at the New York Public Library as a Senior Young Adult Librarian, Teacher’s College, and the New York City Department of Education. She received her Master’s in Library Science with a concentration in School Library Media at Queens College, CUNY. Donna has worked in K-12, public, and reference library settings. She is interested in developing strategies and programs that help students become engaged life-long learners who are informed and active citizens in their communities and beyond.
Patricia Sarles, Brooklyn & Staten Island School Library Coordinator
Patricia came into the New York City Board of Education in 1993 as a school librarian at Midwood High School in Brooklyn. She then went on to serve in five other schools in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island before becoming the coordinator for Staten Island and Brooklyn in 2017 in the Department of Library Services. Patricia has published both book reviews and articles in numerous library journals and has her first book chapter coming out in 2021.
Barbara Jackson, Research Assistant
Barbara Jackson is a Research Assistant in the NYC DOE Department of Library Services/NYC School Library System. Among Barbara's many responsibilities, she manages the continuing education credits (CTLE) for all educators that attend NYCSLS professional development workshops, facilitates distribution of materials between the three Library Services offices (Tweed, Washington Heights, and Petrides) and school libraries, and oversees exhibitors for annual conferences. In her free time, Barbara expresses her talents as a swing dancer, quilter, seamstress, and crafter.
Mohini Sookdeo, Community Assistant
Mohini Sookdeo is a Community Assistant for the NYC DOE Department of Library Services/NYC School Library System for the past 16 years. She primarily works with Destiny Library Automation which serves over 1,000 school users providing daily support. She also helps to host the professional learning opportunities offered by the Library Services team and assists with the citywide MyLibraryNYC program, a collaborative partnership with the three NYC public library systems.