Membership Letter

Hello Colleague,

As we watch the first quarter of the 2015-16 school year speed by, I’m sure we are all in the midst of maker spaces, elbows deep into research projects, and reading glorious potential award-winners with our students and families. While you plan and educate and read and mentor, I hope you will find some time to participate in your regional professional organization, School Library Media Specialists of Southeastern New York (SLMSSENY).

One of eight regional affiliates that comprise the New York Library Association/Section of School Librarians, SLMSSENY is your local professional organization. We provide support, collegiality, scholarships and grants, professional development opportunities, and social engagements for library media specialists and their colleagues throughout the Hudson Valley.

Our reach extends from the northern Sullivan, Ulster, and Dutchess counties, down to the southern Putnam, Westchester, Orange and Rockland counties. Each of these counties has a representative to the board, ready and willing to bring your needs and concerns back to us, and in turn to the NYLA/SSL state leadership. By joining our organization, and NYLA/SSL, you bolster the numbers needed to back statewide initiatives, such as support of the New York State Senate Bill S3931, amended education law that would require all elementary and secondary schools to have a library, staffed by a certified school librarian. You can find more information about this bill at

In these times when education is under such scrutiny, and requirements for students are ever more rigorous at younger and younger ages, we know the value of an excellent certified teacher librarian. Now we need to help prove it. Research like that being performed by Dr. Joette Stefl-Mabry, Associate Professor of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University at Albany, will be our evidence. Her project, The School Librarian Effect on Student Academic Achievement in New York State, is being conducted by researchers from the University at Albany, and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is vital that you find the time to participate in her survey, to help provide an accurate picture of the state of school libraries in New York:

Joining SLMSSENY is easier than ever. Simply visit our website at, fill out the online form, choose a one- or two-year membership, and pay via PayPal or a mailed check. Membership will entitle you to:

    • Apply for awards and grants
    • Network with your colleagues
    • Participate in professional development and events
    • Join our online communities to share your great work
    • Receive copies of SLMSSENY publications, print or online

Last but not least, we ask you to encourage your colleagues to join SLMSSENY. As we see our profession shift and evolve at an ever-faster pace, and watch our friends and associates struggle to prove the “worth” of their positions, we know we must stand together, as strong as ever. Let us use SLMSSENY to its full advantage, and build it into a regional presence that brings support, professional growth, camaraderie, and visibility to our work.

I’ll look forward to hearing from you, and meeting you out and about this year!

Tara Thibault-Edmonds


President-Elect: Livia Sabourin

Secretary: Teri Richardson

Treasurer: Sheri McNair

County Representatives: Hilda Cioffi (Dutchess); Karen Cissel (Orange); Melissa Heckler (Putnam/N. Westchester); Catherine Sorensen (S. Westchester); MaryAnn Lis-Simmons (Ulster); Collette Politzer (Rockland); Livia Sabourin (Sullivan)

Advocacy Chair: Susan Polos

Awards Chair: Constance Spoth

Membership Chairs: Marifran Demaine, Patricia Manfrates

Technology Chair: Shannon Mersand