Library Media Center


Alexandra Casinghino, Library Media Specialist

The mission of the Library Media Center is to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for our school community in order to encourage self-directed skill-building and understanding. The Library Media Center provides a supportive space where students can create and collaborate while developing problem-solving skills so that they are successful on their path towards college, career, and life readiness.


Welcome to the Suffield High School Library Media Center! Our goal is to make available the use of relevant resources and materials in order to promote literacy and foster an on-going love of learning and desire for inquiry. We strive to provide support for information technology and media literacy needs and to ensure that students and staff experience equal access to credible information.  

Location:  We are located in Room 310, at the intersection of "Main Street" and the 300 Hallway.

Facility:  The SHS Library Media Center houses an extensive collection of fiction and non-fiction materials.  It is an inviting space for quiet reading and studying, research, group work and collaboration.  Our expanding Makerspace allows students to create, tinker, and collaborate on STEAM projects.  The library is also the home of the student-led Writing Center.

The garden is open to seniors at lunch time.

Circulation and Renewals:  Books and materials circulate for a period of 21 days and materials can be renewed if they are not on reserve.

Lost and damaged books:  Students who lose or damage books beyond repair will be charged the replacement cost of the book. 



follett destiny logo

The Suffield Public Schools Media Center collection catalogs are online!


Welcome to the SHS LMC BookChoice page!  Below you will find a list of titles that will be arriving soon to the LMC in addition to some top picks that are available here now.  Click on the book cover for a short synopsis that will help you find your next great read. If you are interested in checking out one of our “Coming Soon” books, please see Mrs. Casinghino to be added to the waitlist. Happy Reading!

Coming Soon to the SHS Library!

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BookChoice Books



When you are accessing the Gale databases from anywhere else than school, you will be prompted to enter this password:  s1392  It is the same password for all databases.   

Encyclopedia Britannica

When you are accessing Britannica (Encyclopedia Britannica) from anywhere else than school, you will be prompted to enter the following credentials:

  • Access ID:  suffieldhs
  • Passcode:  library

Connecticut Digital Library

  • Connecticut Digital Library gives open access to many easily searchable databases.
  • Watch this video on how students at Ellington High School are using
  • Of particular interest is the Academic Search Premiere database which gives access to peer reviewed academic papers on thousands of topics. 

Research Tips

Here are some resources to help you research successfully!

How to find reliable online resources: 

When you are using a website  for research, you should always check the validity of that website.  There are easy steps to follow to do so.  Here is a link (retrieved from Washtenaw Community College - Bailey Library) to a terrific and concise webpage that will help you with evaluating online resources. 

How to optimize your searches when using databases:

Library databases will give you reliable information.

Watch this video about how to use databases to conduct research effectively (retrieved from  Oregon School Library Information System ). 
 Remember that Google will give you many results that are completely irrelevant and/or untrustworthy.  Databases provide credible information and links to fact-checked articles and resources.

Boolean Operators are your friends!
When accessing an academic database, you can improve your search by using a Boolean operator, this is simply through the proper use of the words “and”, “or”,” not” when making a search.  Click this link  from ASU Library for a simple explanation on how to use a Boolean operator OR click this link to watch a comprehensive video by the Oregon School Library Information System on Boolean operators.

Writing Center


About the Writing Center

  • Where is the writing center?
    • We are located in the Library Media Center.  Once you enter, just head to the last room on the left. 
  • Who are the writing center coaches?
    • Our coaches are sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken a semester long course on the theory and practice of writing centers. Coaches go through extensive training to learn how to work with their peers.
  • What do you do at the writing center?
    • Coaches work 1-on-1 with writers to help them become better writers. During a session, the coach will take notes on the paper and then engage the writer in a conversation about the piece. Writers can expect to walk away from a session with ideas on how to improve as a writer and a plan of action for revisions.  All sessions last 20-40 minutes. 
  • Does the writing center offer proofreading services?
    • While we love that you want to revise your paper and make it the best it can be, the writing center does not provide editing services. Our coaches are trained to work with writers and to focus on higher order concerns.
  • How do you become a writing center coach?
    • If you are interested in becoming a writing center coach, be sure to talk to your ELA or social studies teacher during course selection in the winter. All coaches are trained through a semester long course. 

Making an Appointment

  • How do I make an appointment?
    • To make an appointment, click here to email the writing center. In your email please request the following: The period and day you want to go. It is helpful if you tell us what class and teacher you are going for as well.
    • Starting semester 2 you’ll be able to sign up on our Google Classroom page. Our class code is 8lqd5k. Simply click on the link for the appointment calendar and enter your information.
  • I don’t have a study hall, can I go during Wildcat Time?
    • You can! Simply send us an email before that week’s scheduling period. If there are openings, you will be assigned to Mr. Efland’s or Mr. Kibby’s Wildcat room. Head there to check in and to receive a pass to the writing center.
  • Do you only work with completed essays/ writing assignments?
    • Not at all! Our coaches can work on any stage of the writing process. They can help you brainstorm, outline, work on a thesis, or work on certain parts of your essay.  No writing is necessary to visit the writing center.
  • When should I make an appointment?
    • The earlier the better! The writing center sees a lot of traffic the week of and prior to a due date. Please plan accordingly as we cannot guarantee last minute appointments.
  • What do I need for my appointment?
    • This depends on what stage you’re in but we ask that you bring your assignment sheet and any work you’ve completed.
  • Will my teacher know I went to the writing center?
    • Yes, during every session our coaches complete a session notes form. This document then gets delivered to your teacher to show that you attended the writing center. 
  • I don’t have a study hall, can I go during lunch?
    • You can but please be aware that our coaches availability is limited during lunch and that sessions are abbreviated so we can only look at portions of your writing.
  • Help! I had an appointment but my coach didn’t show up!
    • Unfortunately this can happen as our coaches have demanding schedules and are sometimes on a trip or home sick. If you ever go to the writing center and there isn’t a coach, please let Ms. Casinghino know and then email Mr. Efland or Mr. Kibby. They will do their best to find a coach for you.
  • My friend/sibling is a writing center coach. Can’t they just look at my paper?
    • Sure, but for it to count as an official session, you still need to schedule an appointment or visit the writing center as a walk in. Our coaches are not able to schedule their own appointments. But they can always look at your paper in an unofficial capacity.

For Faculty

  • What is the mission of the writing center?
    • The writing center believes that it is a place for all writers. Our philosophy is that writing is a process and our mission is to create better writers, not just better papers.
  • Will student coaches evaluate my students’ work?
    • Coaches are trained to never offer their own opinion on the quality of a written work. Their task is to work in a holistic manner to help the writer strengthen their skills. At no point will a coach offer their opinion on what grade a paper should receive.
  • My student went to the writing center but they still got a bad grade. How could that happen?
    • Writing is a process and our coaches work on trying to help writers become more proficient. The coach might offer recommendations or point out issues in the paper but it is ultimately the writer’s responsibility to make the necessary revisions. Coaches never write or comment on a writer’s essay.
  • I don’t like the feedback the coach provided to my student. I think it's wrong and now the student got a bad grade!
    • Quite possible! Writing can take many forms and preferences can vary. We do our best to train coaches to recognize the various styles and expectations of the faculty. With that being said, coaches are doing their best to help the writers become more cognizant of their writing style. It takes time to become more proficient. However, if you have pressing concerns, please email Mr. Efland at the writing center by clicking here. He is more than happy to discuss them with you.
  • Can I require a student to visit the writing center?
    • That is definitely an option but please understand our availability is at the mercy of the master schedule. We do our best to accommodate all appointment request but unfortunately there are occasions when it is difficult to get a writer in the writing center. 
  • Can I schedule a student to the writing center?
    • You can always email the writing center to request an appointment for the writing center. We will check our availability and let you know if we have an opening for your student. Please never sign them up to our wildcat period as we have to ensure we have enough coaches to work with the writers!
  • How can I use the writing center to help my students?
    • There are variety of ways the writing center can help:
    • Students can visit the writing center during your class if you are working on a writing assignment
    • Teachers may Rent-A-Coach and have coaches go to their rooms to work with writers in small group settings or to focus on a particular issue/criteria.
  • Tell me more about this Rent-A-Coach, what is it exactly?
    • Simply email us and let us know what you’re working on! If we have coaches available we’ll send as many as you request up to your room. There you can provide specific guidance to the coaches on how they can help.  While they can’t give direct instruction, they’re more than happy to work with small groups or individual students to examine their writing. In the past, teachers have used coaches to lead peer editing groups, to run workshops on thesis creation, or to guide conversations on paper revisions and organization.  After the class, the coach will ask you to fill out a brief form that we keep for our records.
  • What kind of assignments can your coaches help our students with?
    • All kinds! While our coaches train primarily using history and ELA papers, the writing center process is easily transferable to other disciplines and forms of writing. If you are hesitant about using the writing center for your course or assignment, feel free to email Mr. Efland at the writing center by clicking here. He’s more than happy to discuss how they can help. 
  • But really, how much help can student coaches offer? Aren’t they just kids?
    • You would be surprised at what our coaches can do! They go through the same training process as writer tutors in college writing centers. Writers who attend a session often report that it was helpful because the coach explained ideas and techniques in a way that was different from their teacher. Our coaches take pride in their work and have done a phenomenal job!


Check back for exciting Makerspace details!


The SWAT office is located in the library media center.  It is made up of trained student volunteers from all grade levels who have demonstrated an interest and skills in computer technology and repair.

The SWAT office is open every day during Wildcat time. 

Students experiencing technical issues with their Google Chromebook can bring their device to the SWAT office during the school day for repair. 

SWAT students will investigate the issue and attempt to repair the Chromebook if possible. If SWAT students need additional time to repair the device, or if the device needs to be passed onto the SHS Technology Department, students may request a loaner Chromebook at the library media center circulation desk for the day.