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  • 10 Mar 2019 12:03 PM | Bitsy Griffin (Administrator)

    I just got back from NCTIES19 and can't begin to tell you how much I learned! I tweeted out some of those like the digital interactive notebooks. I can't wait to try those. Gina Webster told me about SmashBoard. Another thing I can't wait to try. I've already been to their site and ordered a deck of cards. And I met dozens of new people in the Playground demonstrating how Padcaster might be used in schools. 

    Even better for me was the networking. I saw so many NCSLMA members and had multiple meetings about items we should pursue. I even had a great phone conversation with one of our county superintendents about the value of school librarians. I don't know about you, but conferences allow me a chance to reconnect, rethink, revise, and regroup. While it may be hectic, it is truly a precious time.

    The State of NC School Libraries

    Now, I've got to shift my focus and think about our Executive Board meeting in May. We've got to think about the future of school librarians in a thoughtful and significant ways. We need a specific plan for shedding light on the value of our profession.  There is a frightening trend in NC right now to ditch the school librarian. I haven't heard of one (yet) that's ditching the library - just the librarian. So why is this happening?

    • smaller counties cannot find one. 
    • they need to save money.
    • they don't understand the value that a trained librarian brings to the job.

    I'm happy to talk with county officials, but I don't know who to pinpoint. And if I did, do I have the time to call them all?

    Here are my short answers to the above:

    • Did you know that you can move a teacher into the library with a provisional 076 licensure? They can attend an online program. Maybe you have a teacher in the building that would love to do this and doesn't realize it's a possibility.
    • If you use your librarian as curriculum support, working hand-in-hand with your instructional facilitator, curriculum coordinator, etc., you will see enough growth in learning that will make that money a moot point. 
    • Librarians are uniquely trained to develop a high-quality collection, deal with privacy issues, advocate for intellectual freedom, and support literacy. AND they can still support instructional technology.

    I have to admit the last one is the hardest sell. If a school or county has made up their minds that technology is the answer to all their wows, they may well be resistant to shedding the image of a little old librarian with a tight bun, big glasses, and a cat cardigan. 

    So where do we go from here?

    In our May Executive Board meeting, we will be working on a strategic plan to move forward. We need new vision and mission statements. We need to figure out a way to help with the problems  mentioned above. Keith Curry Lance is applying for grant money to look at the changing roles of new librarians and NC will be part of that study if he gets the grant. I've been talking with Teresa Gibson from the Friday Institute about recruiting greater numbers of librarians for NCSLCN, a program that easily adds value to our roles. 

    There are several ways you can help!

    1. Join NCSLMA if you haven't already.
    2. Share a pix of an engaging library activity. In her NCTIES session, Kathy Parker mentioned that we could use these as leverage in our districts and schools. Find one that shows what you'd like to do and share how you would implement and what kinds of funds you need.
    3. Fill out a survey to help us get a clear picture of the state of libraries across the state.


    Go to the new website! It's much easier to maneuver than the old one.  Special thanks to Cindy Sturdivant and Laura Long for the untold hours they have put into making it a reality. 

    Check out the new forum! It's set to replace the old google group later this month, so go ahead and start posting there! We also have Round Tables so you can join a smaller group of people in similar positions. 

    The Awards, Grants, and Scholarships Section has opened applications on this page. Check out the AASL Travel Grant for first time attendees! Deadlines for all awards are 5/31.

    Registration for Spring Regional PD is also open. Visit the Events page to register. PDs will be held across NC April 2nd - 8th.

    Crystal Joyce and Lila Morel are planning a NC Legislative Day in May! Stay tuned for info on that.

    Would you like to become more involved with NCSLMA? It's election season and we are looking for a few good librarians to run for President Elect, Coastal Director, and Piedmont West Director. if this is a role you want to pursue, please fill out the nomination form.

    School librarians = school leaders! How will you lead today?

    Warm regards,
    Bitsy Griffin
    President, NCSLMA
    #NCSLMA19  . Connect . Create . Curate.

  • 4 Feb 2019 8:18 PM | Bitsy Griffin (Administrator)

    Happy winter to NCSLMA members!

    One of my goals as president was to start a monthly newsletter for 2019. Well, I started out behind, but finally! Here is edition 1 for 2019. If you know of something or someone you'd like for me to highlight, please let me know.

    NCSLMA Elections: NCSLMA election time is right around the corner. Each year, we elect two regional directors. This year we will elect Piedmont West and Coastal directors. President Elect is voted on each year. Election information will be coming out this spring for May elections. 

    Want to volunteer for NCSLMA?  We also have many committee opportunities for those of you who would like to become involved at the state level. Just fill out this form.

    #NCSLMA19  .Connect . Create . Curate. Shout out to Laura Long, our 2019 President Elect/Conference Chair! She is working hard behind the scenes to make sure we have the best conference EVER! You will want to make sure that you are at the Benton Convention Center October 2-4 to network, meet Peter Reynolds, and see all the creative ways that school librarians meet stakeholder needs! If you'd like to help with this year's conference, contact Laura at lauralong@nclsma.org . 

    Coming soon:

    • Updated & revamped website with a new look and a place to host our own forums
    • Leadership Academy information
    • Spring regional workshops dates and topics
    • More info on #NCSLMA19

    AASL Affiliate Assembly

    Brene Duggins, Laura Long, and I just got back from ALA Midwinter in Seattle where we represented NCSLMA at AASL’s Affiliate Assembly. Brene Duggins is currently serving as the AASL Affiliate Assembly's President which gives her a seat on the AASL Board. We are very proud of her service at the national level. I'm serving as the Region 4 Representative. 

    It was exciting to see other NCSLMA members Chelsea Brantley, Kevin Washburn, and Alan Bailey at conference.

    Chelsea Brantley is NCSLMA’s Social Media Committee Chair and serves on the EBSCO Conference Sponsorship Awards Committee. She’s currently looking for committee members, so if you are interested, please contact her at chelseabrantley@ncslma.org.

    Kevin Washburn is our Division Director for Education. His section includes library and technology standards (state & national), mentoring development, and webinars. Kevin has served on the Rainbow Project Book ListALSC Grant Committee, and Frederick G. Kilgour Award (LITA/OCLC). Kevin will be on the next ballot for the Newbery Committee.

    Alan Bailey is NCSLMA’s liaison with our sister organization NC Library Association (NCLA). Alan serves nationally as the Chair-Elect for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Executive Board

    If you are a member of NCSLMA and serve on an ALA or AASL committee, please let me know. I'd love to highlight your work.

    Strategic Planning:  Brene and I spent Friday working with a team of AASL staff, board members, and volunteers laying the groundwork for an updated strategic plan to guide AASL for the next few years. This fantastic team also included April Dawkins (NCSLMA's Intellectual Freedom Chair) and Heather Moorefield-Lang (our Grants Chair). Brene continued that work with the AASL Board on Saturday. The strategic plan should be completed by the next affiliate assembly meeting which is at Annual.

    Commendations and concerns:  Do you know of a group that is doing extraordinary things to promote libraries or reading? Please email me the details so we can include them in our commendation recommendations. Likewise, if you have a suggestion that would help to improve the way that  AASL supports us as school librarians, email me that too. We have short turn around on concerns, so send that email ASAP. 

    ALA/AASL elections:  Elections run from March 11 to April 3. Please vote! AASL had a small percentage of its membership vote in the last election.  

    In addition, we have several AASL members running for ALA council. Thirty-four councilors will be elected in 2019, which means you get to vote for 34 people! 

    AASL members running:

    • John Eric Byrnes
    • Kathy Carroll
    • Bitsy Griffin
    • Carl A. Harvey, II
    • Andrea Q. Jamison
    • Sara Kelly Johns
    • Maricar Laudato
    • Christine Hl. Lopez
    • James (Jim) G. Neal
    • Brenda Pruitt-Annisette
    • Deborah Rinio
    • Brenda S. Sprinkle
    • Ann K. Symons
    • Joyce Valenza

    Please consider voting for all these people to make sure that school libraries are well represented in ALA's Council. 

    AASL in Louisville, KY - 2019 You can register now and pay later. What a great deal! Not only can you register now and pay later,  register before February 11,  and receive $100 off with AASL100. 

    Need another incentive? A complimentary registration is included for every administrator that attends with their registered school librarian! If you are hesitant to approach your administrator for 

    Never been to AASL before? There's an extra incentive for you! Bound To Stay Bound and NCSLMA both have grants for first time attendees. BTSB's grant can be found on the convention website. Stay tuned for more information on NCSLMA's grant. 

    Have questions? Our board directory is a great place to start to know who to contact for your particular questions. Please note that the old email addresses that began with NCSLMA and ended with @gmail.com are not longer in use. 

    School librarians = school leaders! How will you lead today?

    Warm regards,

    Bitsy Griffin

    President, NCSLMA

    #NCSLMA19  .Connect . Create . Curate.


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NCSLMA is a professional organization dedicated to supporting, promoting, and empowering school librarians across the state as they transform their school communities.


Membership is $50 per year and comes with numerous benefits and professional development opportunities. 
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Mailing address:
151 NC Highway 9 Suite B #188
Black Mountain, NC 28711

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