October 2022

Volume 3.9

Welcome to the North Carolina School Library Media Association's Monthly newsletter!

Questions? Contact kenishasmith@ncslma.org

In this edition:

NCSLMA Website



Jenny Umbarger

NCSLMA President


Fall is in the air! I have enjoyed a few crisp mornings these past couple of weeks, but it’s not quite sweater weather and after living in North Carolina for over 30 years, I know we could be in shorts again in another week or two.

This time of year also means Banned Books Week. It is hard to think about “celebrating” Banned Books Week, as I know so many of our librarians across the state (and country) have faced and continue to face challenges of materials in their libraries. You are not alone in your fight for your students’ right to read. Active members have access to the Book Challenge Chat hosted by NCSLMA Intellectual Freedom Coordinator Dr. April Dawkins last November on the NCSLMA website (you must be logged in with your account). NCDPI School Library Media Consultant Kathy Parker consolidated some Resources for Reconsideration of Materials on her website. The NCSLMA position statement on censorship is now accessible on our website under the “How We Support” section. I have used that a few times these past few weeks when contacted by reporters asking what our organization has to say about book challenges happening in specific counties or school districts. Although not solely related to banned books and censorship, you may also find some helpful things in the Resources For School Library Professionals During Challenging Times document created by AASL President Kathy Lester and AASL President-Elect Courtney Pentland. This is a crowdsourced work in progress and not an official AASL document, but contains lots of great resources.

ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone shares the following 4 things we can do to continue to do to resist censorship efforts beyond Banned Books Week:

  • Encourage your colleagues, friends and neighbors to join Unite Against Book Bans and use the resources in the Action Toolkit to fight censorship in our local communities. Unite Against Book Bans, an initiative of ALA in partnership with organizations and individuals from across the country, is intended to inform and empower members of the public to take action in their communities and in their state.

  • Share (and use) ALA's Fight Censorship page  that collects resources from across the association that are proven means of addressing censorship and protecting the right to read.

  • If you're able, donate to The Merritt Fund which directly provides financial support to librarians who have been denied employment because of their defense of intellectual freedom.

  • Consider joining the Freedom to Read Foundation to support litigation defending the right to read and our First Amendment freedoms.

And speaking of not being alone, one of my favorite parts of fall is the annual NCSLMA conference! We are just days away from the We Are Not Alone in the Library conference. With over 400 registered attendees, I can’t wait to celebrate our first time together in person in three years. Our President-Elect, Jennifer Abel, along with her team of people have worked tirelessly to make this happen, and it is going to be great. 

-Jenny Umbarger, NCSLMA President

Can't Wait to see you at #NCSLMA2022

Jennifer Abel

Conference Chair, President Elect

Conference Attendees!! Make sure you are prepared and ready for this year's NCSLMA Conference. 

  • Download Sched from your app store. 
  • Create an account
  • View the NCSLMA Conference schedule.
  • Sign up for the sessions you want to attend.
Signing up for a session on Sched does not reserve a space for you - they are all first-come first-served. But you can make use it to make a schedule for yourself and start networking before the conference even begins! When you add a session to your calendar and have an account created, you can see who else added it that also has an account.  You can also find additional information about this years conference at ncslma.org/2022conference

Can't wait to see you all there!


(Announcements and Updates)


NCSLMA has a small blog on our website. If you would like to contribute to it, please send submissions to kristysartain@ncslma.org. We're looking for news items, stories about your library, fun events you have had, etc. Pictures can be included and are welcomed. There are no minimum or maximum length requirements. Share some of the great things going on in your library!

Election Results Are In!

NCSLMA Site Updates

You may have noticed the NCSLMA website looks a little different that it did a couple of months ago. We updated it, revamped it, and hopefully made it easier to find what you need when you need it. Some newer items we wanted to highlight include

How We Support

  • Member Welcome Center

  • Position Statement Page

How We Promote

  • Resources Repository (lesson plans and other librarian and teaching resources)

  • Book Programs Updated BOB timeline and information

How We Empower

  • Everything you need to know about Conference 2022

  • Videos from Summer Learning Series and Winter Tune Up

New Kickout Side Menu

  • Events 

  • Store - It’s new! See what all we have!

  • Embedded Twitter Feed because our Twitter Account is FIRE! (Thank you Kristi Allred!)

If you aren’t visiting our website frequently for resources, we encourage you to check it out. If you need something that isn’t there, e-mail Kristy Sartain (kristysartain@ncslma.org) and let her know what you would like to have available.

NCSLMA Leadership Opportunity

Are you a member in Regions 6, 7, or 8? If so, please consider nominating yourself for the NCSLMA Board of Directors as the Regional Director in your region. As described on our website, “The NCSLMA Board is made up of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about librarianship and supporting our members across the state. All members are certified as NC School Librarians and almost all of them work as full time School Librarians. We volunteer with NCSLMA because we want this organization to continue to Support, Promote, and Empower NC School Librarians.”

Regional Directors work together, with our Lead Regional Director, to: 

  • provide opportunities for members to have input into programs and activities on regional and state levels. 

  • Create and coordinate regional activities that promote professional development, membership growth, and professional networking

Additional information can be found in our Board of Directors’ Handbook linked on our Member Welcome page on our website. Self-nominations are open from September 28 through October 9. The nomination form is listed as an event on our webpage.

Battle of Books Reminder!!

Hello from the Director of Book Programs! 

We are looking forward to another great season of Battle of the Books at all three levels.  Just a reminder that you will need to complete the compliance form in order to have a team.  This will appear as an event beginning Nov. 1 and it will remain open until Nov. 31.  You must be logged in to your account in order to see the event.  Look for some emails with more information and a video of how to complete the form. 

We hope to see many of you at the conference.  We will have a Battle of the Books table in the vendor hall so be sure to stop by and see us and ask any questions you may have.  We will also have some goodies for you!  

Thanks again for the support you show this wonderful program.  We could not keep it up and running without many, many involved volunteers!

Stacy Hersey

NC Member Spotlights

Highlighting the hard work of our North Carolina librarians.

Hispanic Heritage Month “You’ve Been Booked” Kits for local elementary schools

by Ellen Bryson, Librarian, Kitty Hawk Elementary School, Dare County Schools

It's Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15. This can be a powerful time in North Carolina school libraries as it provides many chances for librarians to lead the way in appreciating our Hispanic students/families/teachers and their cultures and to spread awareness and understanding about this large and influential population. More information about Hispanic Heritage Month can be found here

School Librarian Ellen Bryson received a grant from the Dare Education Foundation to give each elementary schools in her district a wonderful present: 7 colorful bags filled with 30 new picture books and related teaching resources (a set of flags for the 21 countries that speak mostly Spanish, a poster set about some Hispanic cultural highlights,  electronic resource lists for each bag, and an explanation guide to what Hispanic Heritage means in America today.) The bags were carefully curated into themes of country, culture, or region with input from the elementary librarians of the district schools, the local book store, and the public library. The picture books are of recent publication date, many are award-winners, and most are aimed at grades 2-5. The project provides many opportunities for librarians to collaborate with teachers and families and students to spread a love of reading and learning to the school!

The program was inspired by Shannon McClintock-Miller’s ‘You’ve Been Bookd’ program. Teachers are encouraged to read a bag of books aloud to their students over the course of a week then swap for a new bag, reading as many as they can or just a few. Teachers were encouraged to bring in guest speakers, work with our Dual Language Instruction teachers who come from a variety of Spanish-speaking nations, collaborate with the librarian and ITF to research countries, and just enjoy some fun stories!

Ms. Bryson would love to share more information to anyone interested including the books they chose, the bags they curated, and more. Please email her at brysonel@daretolearn.org 

Wake County Librarian Advocates For Diverse Books!

Julie Stivers, librarian at Mount Vernon Middle School in Wake County was recently featured on Spectrum News.   Thank you Ms. Stivers for being a loud and proud voice in support of Diverse books for all students!


October Spotlight of the Month

NCSLMA Sections

Director: Faith Huff

Director: Susan Sawin

Awards, Grants, Scholarships
Director: Sarah Justice

AASL Delegates

Laura Aldridge & Jenny Umbarger

Book Programs
Director: Stacy Hersey

Director: Cindy Sturdivant

Director: Shelly Cloninger

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Michelle Burton & Ness Shortly

Regional Directors:
Lead: Robin Rhodes

Social Media
Director: Alicia Luke

Director: Kristy Sartain


See Us, Support Us in October!

Melissa Radcliff, Program Director, Our Children’s Place of Coastal Horizons

Join Our Children’s Place (OCP) for See Us, Support Us (SUSU), a year-round effort with national partners to raise awareness about and increase support for children of incarcerated parents, culminating in a month of action in October. This year, SUSU focuses on supporting the physical health and emotional wellbeing of children with incarcerated parents.

OCP will host a month-long social media campaign and encourage individuals, organizations, and communities to take the “What Can I Do?” pledge.

OCP is also pleased to be partnering with NC Health News for a youth journalism project where North Carolina middle and high school students are invited to share their experience of having an incarcerated or returning parent.

To learn more, contact Melissa Radcliff at Our Children’s Place, mradcliff@coastalhorizons.org or (919) 904-4286 or connect with her at the NCSLMA conference!

Continuing Ed Opportunities
Brought to you by the State Library of North Carolina



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Would you like to contribute to the next NCSLMA News & Notes?

We want to hear from you! Do you have an upcoming multi-school or district event, were you recognized in some way, are you involved in the coolest collaboration, or did you contribute in some other spectacular way that shows the value of school libraries and librarians? We know you did! So we want to share the fabulous things school librarians are doing across the state! Please submit links to articles, published materials, and/or graphics to Kenisha Smith (kenishasmith@ncslma.org). Materials should be "copy and paste" ready. Submissions will be edited and published at the discretion of the NCSLMA News & Updates Editorial Team.

Submission Guidelines Document

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