Holley superintendent honored by library association
HOLLEY – Holley Superintendent Robert D’Angelo was recently honored with the New York Library Association – Section of School Librarians (NYLA/SSL) Secondary Administrator Award for the improvements he has made in the Holley Central School District libraries. Holley MS/HS Librarian Lisa Osur nominated him for the award. She credits him with the construction of the new library at the MS/HS, hiring a professional librarian, Julie Bader, for the Elementary School, and adding support staff to both libraries in the form of an aide at the MS/HS and a teaching assistant at the Elementary School. Osur feels that D’Angelo is deserving of this award because by putting these elements in place, Holley Central Schools are in a better position to affect student learning from kindergarten through 12th grade and prepare students to be college and career ready.
More importantly, according to D’Angelo, the libraries act as extensions of the classroom, where students can receive instruction in a comfortable and positive environment and are encouraged to read. D’Angelo views the library staff as “imparters of knowledge, who support the total curriculum at Holley, not just the English Language Arts component.” His goal was to provide the MS/HS with a state-of-the-art facility, in an aesthetically-pleasing environment, with comfortable chairs, room for students to work in small groups, and a bank of computers to use for research.
Osur said the students take pride in their surroundings and keep the MS/HS Library furniture and equipment clean and brand-new looking. At Back to School Nights, parents make a point of stopping in to see the library and what’s been added to the space. The collections are growing and circulation has increased. The MS/HS Library and the Holley Community Free Library continuously share resources and support each other so both students and the community benefit from the relationship. Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES helps the libraries add to their collections, organize the Elementary Library book room, and use one automated circulation system for both libraries. The MS/HS Library now receives over 250 visits from students each day.
The librarians have worked hard to attract students to the libraries, too. Audio books have been added to the MS/HS Library, along with graphic novels, digital resources, games and cards. In the fall, Bader started a pumpkin decorating contest in the Elementary Library that elicited over 100 entries that were proudly displayed on the bookshelves. She also started a Dewey the Elf scavenger hunt, where the students are encouraged to visit the library daily to find the hidden elf and discover new reading material for themselves. She is in the process of creating a book room at the Elementary Library, where teachers can access sets of books to use for guided reading or to have their entire class read the same book. Students in both schools use the libraries after school for Homework Lab. Osur also credits the Board of Education with bringing back the 5 p.m. bus run that enables students to spend supervised time in the library instead of going home to an empty house.
D’Angelo will travel to Tarrytown, NY on May 1 to receive the award at the NYLA/SSL annual conference.