Tips and Resources from SLJ Leadership Summit 2018

Sharing insights, resources, and programs from some breakout session presenters. 

Breakout sessions at October's SLJ Leadership Summit tackled topics from standing up for LGBTQ students to primary sources to collections and collaboration. Here are some of the insights and resources from the presenting experts.

Teaching Tolerance-Stand Up! Empowering LGBTQ Youth

Lois Parker-Hennion (left), a librarian at Tappan Zee High School in Orangeburg, NY, had attendees ceate a human timeline of LGBTQ events from 130 AD to 2016. It’s an activity she does with her genders and identities alliance (GSA) to demonstrate the scope of LGBTQ history—something many of her students know little about, she says.

Parker-Hennion emphasized that educators can create an inclusive environment but being mindful of language in work and student pronoun usage. She also told attendees about the rainbow stickers she uses to designate books with LGBTQ characters, which prompted a discussion over whether that is “othering” or segregating these titles.

Parker-Hennion, who is on the advisory board of Teaching Tolerance, an organization dedicated to helping young people become “active participants in a diverse democracy,” offered attendees a variety of resources and tips for reaching LGBTQ students and patrons, including:


Young Changemakers in the 21st Century Library

In this session, Chaebong Nam (right) of Harvard University's Democratic Knowledge Project asked attendees to consider what an essential role social media plays in inspiring young people to get involved in civics. She provided them with “Are You a Change Maker?” framework that gave librarians 10 Questions for Participatory Politics that they can use with students.

She talked about how “clicktivism” is a gateway for students to become involved in political engagement, and while people criticize “slackervism”—liking posts but not participating beyond that— for young people, social media is a start. She also stressed that educators need to understand the difficulty of creating a social media persona for their students and talk to them about the proper way to do that and how to avoid hateful people.


Owning the Power of Primary Sources in Student Learning

Library media specialist Tom Bober (left), of Ralph M. Captain Elementary School in Clayton, MO, discussed using primary sources to create more curiosity, collaboration and engagement. He was kind enough to post his entire presentation on Twitter. Take a look to find a teacher’s guide to analyzing primary source images in elementary school. It also has the link to a primary source analysis tool (, the three ways for librarians to start thinking about primary source analysis, and many examples of analysis of images.


Curriculum, Collections, and Collaborating 

This breakout featured an overview of the MyLibraryNYC program, a collaboration between school librarians and New York City public librarians that pulls together resources and professional expertise from the city’s three public library systems, the New York City schools, BookOps, and to serve 1.1 million students and 80,000 teachers. This citywide collaboration began in 2012 and serves 1.1 million students and 80,000 teachers, added 11,000 new items this year alone. Those additions include teacher sets, Playaway bookpacks, book club sets, topic sets, NYC Reads 365 materials, Vox books, Playaway Launchpads, graphic calculators, and gaming sets. The programs has successfulyl built robust and dynamic collections and services. Those involved hope to expand it to the city’s private and independent schools in the near future.


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