The meeting of the Brooklyn/Long Island CLA Chapter was held on October 4, 2014 in Room 406 of the D’Angelo Activity Center at St. John’s University at 9:30 A.M. Eighteen school librarians from the dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre as well as a graduate student from St. John’s Division of Library and Information Science. The meeting was graciously hosted by Dr. James Vorbach, the Division’s new Director.
Following a coffee welcome, Nancy Schmidtmann, the meeting’s coordinator, introduced the keynote speaker, Carl Vitevitch, Supervisor of the Nassau BOCES School Library System. Himself a product of Catholic education whose first library position was in St. Joseph’s Academy in Brentwood, NY, Mr. Vitevitch is sending his own children to Catholic schools. He is responsible for coordinating the resources and professional development in public and private schools in the large and populous area of Nassau County, NY. He does this through a cooperative system of New York State that also aids in implementing the distributing New York State funding on an equitable basis to all schools that wish to be involved.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Vitevitch demonstrated the many benefits that Catholic schools can derive from the System, — professional development, sharing resources and the ability to receive data bases and many printed and online resources free through State funding that they otherwise might never have known about. This information regarding free
materials and services, specific in most cases to New York State, could more than make up for the librarian’s salary thought many of the attendees.
Following his initial remarks, Mr. Vitevitch showed and discussed a PowerPoint presentation that addressed the topics of the day’s meeting. It went into great detail about how the new Core Curriculum can be supported by the school library media specialist, providing value to the school and preparing the students to transition to other levels of education and careers. He named many materials and techniques that can be used to strengthen the library program and adapt it to new technologies and strategies for learning, keeping the school librarian as a focal and valuable member of the school’s instructional team.
After a brief lunch period, the attendees reconvened and met in elementary and high school groups to discuss what they had learned in the morning. They shared ideas and materials that they had developed in their own programs. A copy of Mr. Vitevitch’s PowerPoint is being sent to the librarians who attended.
The Catholic Library Association thanks St. John’s University for the use of its facilities, Dr. James Vorbach for his kind and generous hospitality, and Mr. Carl Vitevitch for his insightful, helpful and thorough presentation.