• Berwick


NEAISL has evolved over the years as a group of independent school librarians from throughout New England (with some regular attendees from neighboring New York State independent schools as well). The ‘organization’ came about when Pauline Anderson and some others who were actively trying to get us all (librarians in independent schools) together proposed that the Connecticut librarians (then quite an active group, as well) and the Boston-area librarians (who also had an active group) host a gathering at least once a year. And, our goal was also to bring in librarians from all over New England who did not have ‘soul buddies’ to meet with. There are no membership dues or other obligations and there is no formal structure. The host for each year’s conference is a school (or group of schools) who volunteer to organize it, and that host does all the work. Funds to underwrite the conference come from the attendance charge (generally about $55 per person), plus any money left over from the previous year’s conference.

Britten Follett, Keynote Speaker

Britten is a journalist. A marketer. A storyteller. A board member. A philanthropist. An advocate for libraries and education. It’s not uncommon to have multiple acts in life. But Britten has excelled at two very different career paths while spending her free time giving back to the community and spreading the word about child abuse prevention. Britten spent 10 years as an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning television journalist. She wrote, published, and brought to market a top selling true crime book exposing the child welfare system that failed to protect a two-year-old Oklahoma girl who was killed by either her mother or her step-father. In 2010, she made a tough decision to give up a career she loved and embark on a new career as a fifth-generation family member working for Follett Corporation. At Follett, she started as the marketing manager for the International team and has held various roles in marketing and communications throughout the organization. Today she is the senior vice president of marketing for Follett’s K12 education business. Her work at Follett established the foundation for the Future Ready Library framework has changed the conversation about the role of a school librarian and influencing the future of libraries in schools nationwide. She does all of this while giving back to the communities she serves through advocacy programs like the Follett Challenge, issuing scholarships through the Follett Educational Foundation, influencing the future of higher education through her board roles at Southern Illinois University, and doing keynotes about why we need to make child abuse prevention a political and dinner table topic.


From the South: From Rt. 95 in Southern Maine, take exit 3 in Kittery to Rt. 236N. Follow about 10-15 minutes to stop sign in South Berwick and take right onto Route 4. Take next immediate right onto Academy Street. Berwick Academy entrance is on the left. From the North: Take Maine Turnpike to exit 19 (Wells exit). Take a right off the exit and follow for 1 mile. Turn left onto Route 9 and follow this into the center of North Berwick. Take a left onto Route 4 and follow Route 4 into the Village Center. Stay on Route 4 by turning left, heading out of town. You'll see a Dunkin Donuts on your right; Academy Street is directly across the street. Take a left onto Academy Street. Berwick Academy entrance is on the left.

Lodging Recommendations

We have a wide variety of hotels, Inns and B&Bs in the Seacoast area. Here are just a few suggestions:

For Small Town: Dover, NH
For Urban: Portsmouth, NH
For Coastal: York, ME

Schedule for Friday, April 27

8:15–9:00 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast
Jackson Library
9:00–9:25 a.m.
Gregory Schneider, Head of School & Student Performance
Arts Center
9:30–10:20 a.m.
Session I
  • “Introduction to Design Thinking by Megan Frazer Blakemore from Dyer Elementary School
  • “Lessons from Cities of Literature: Building a Reading Culture” by Vicky Biancolo from Miss Hall’s School
  • “Innovation Pursuits and the College Connection” by Darcy Coffta and Moira McKinnon from Berwick Academy
Jackson Library
10:30–11:20 a.m.
Session II
  • “Supporting PBL and Design Thinking Models in the 21st Century” by Cait Levin from Beaver Country Day School
  • “EBSCO Discovery Service” with Max Linsky from EBSCO
  • Author Panel with: Megan Frazer Blakemore, David A. Kelly, Adi Rule, Kim Savage, Sandra Neil Wallace
Jackson Library
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
3rd Floor Fogg
12:15 p.m.– 1:00 p.m.
Keynote Speaker
Britten Follett
3rd Floor Fogg
1:15–1:45 p.m.
Wellness Break
  • Historic tour of campus with Alice Lynch
  • Mandalas with Dr. Marguerite Genest
  • Zentangles with Teaya Fitzgerald
  • Guided Meditation with Jennifer Hill
  • Yoga with Kara Cross
1:55–2:45 p.m.
Session III
  • “Sustaining Literature for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations” by Elyse Seltzer and Tory Lane from The Park School
  • “Making it Happen: An Inspirational Adventure” by Jay La Bella and Jeff Gunn from Berwick Academy
  • “Reading Like Wildfire: Promoting a Love of Reading with Students” by Melissa Williams from Berwick Academy
Jackson Library
2:45–3:15 p.m.
Refreshments and Departure
Jackson Library

List of 3 members.

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.  Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.