C.V. Starr Library Expansion Provides Virtual Resources and Genuine Connections

C.V. Starr Library Expansion Provides Virtual Resources and Genuine Connections
CV Starr Library Digital Resources


After a spring spent teaching remotely due to the pandemic, Librarian Angela Perna devoted the summer to ensuring that students returned to a robust collection of electronic literature at their disposal and a virtual library program that feels familiar even in its modernity.

Ms. Perna has embraced the time-honored tradition of storytelling this year, recognizing its value in a time marked by distance and separation. “A story is a story, whether it is spoken, in print, or digital. Stories are what connect us,” Ms. Perna mused. “Aesop’s Fables and The Brothers Grimm all originated as oral stories before they were ever put into print.”

Ever dedicated to her craft, Ms. Perna took a puppeteering workshop with the American Library Association this summer, preparing to implement more finger play and action songs while reading stories in early childhood.

Expanded Digital Resources

This fall, with traditional book-lending suspended due to the pandemic, Ms. Perna has rolled out an enhanced digital library available through Sora, the student reading app. As always, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s C.V. Starr Library and Learning Center is committed to providing high quality and diverse literature to students. This platform gives the St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s community more access than ever before to a comprehensive electronic reading collection.

Ms. Perna also joined with librarians from the Hudson Valley Library Association to expand the school’s digital resources. The result was The HVLA Consortium, a local, independent school librarians’ organization. Ms. Perna co-founded the consortium, and nearly 40 independent schools have joined. The consortium provides St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s access to a large, shared collection valued over $75,000.

This platform was first available to upper division students. Then all students, faculty, and parents will be able to check out electronic books through Sora. At the end of October, out of all the independent schools, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s students rated #2 in terms of Sora usage.

Students can not only make lists of books they wish to read on the app, but also link their local New York Public Library accounts, to expand the selection of books they can check out virtually.

Ms. Perna encourages this practice, not only for the benefit of St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s voracious readers, but also as a way to support community libraries.

“Public libraries provide books and other research materials, but they also offer adult education programming, such as English language classes for recent immigrants, free workshops for veterans, and outreach library services to nursing homes, all of which require public funding. The government needs to know public libraries are needed,” says Ms. Perna. “The more people utilize the public library’s E-books, statistics will show a library is well-used, and the greater their budget will be moving forward."