November 2022

Volume 3.10

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

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In this edition:

NCSLMA Website



Jenny Umbarger

NCSLMA President


President’s Corner November 2022

In addition to the Thanksgiving holiday, November is National Gratitude Month and an opportunity for us to show gratitude through our words and actions. In years past, I’ve tried to follow a “30 days of gratitude” calendar or post daily something for which I am grateful, but it never fails that I fail. So this year I will take a moment here at the beginning of the month to express my appreciation to the people who have helped me throughout these past couple of years serving as NCSLMA President-Elect/Conference Chair and my term as President.

First, thanks to Jennifer Abel and all the behind the scenes workers for a great conference! There was so much excitement in the air at our first in-person conference in three years, and we were reminded that “We Are Not Alone in the Library.” It was fabulous and I know you are going to be a great NCSLMA President in 2023.

I am grateful that Kristy Sartain stepped up to run for President-Elect and 2023 Conference Chair. I know you share in my thankfulness that Heath Radford has accepted the new role of Conference Director, too! I am already excited for the “Magic Happens Here” Conference Oct. 5-7, 2023.

Thank you to all of our current and incoming NCSLMA Board Members - Directors, Coordinators, Chairs, and Committee Members. This organization runs completely on the work of volunteers, and I am grateful for the many hours you all put in to get the job done! 

I have much gratitude for Cindy Sturdivant and Bitsy Griffin for paving the way to my term as President and for your continued commitment to NCSLMA. I am thankful for all you have done and do both for me and our organization.

I am grateful for our Newsletter Coordinator, Kenisha Smith, not just for getting this newsletter out each month, but especially for allowing me to submit my article on my timeline (which doesn’t always line up with the newsletter submission deadline…in fact, I don’t know that I got any of them in on time this year!). I appreciate you!!!

I hope you all will take time this month to express gratitude through your words and actions to the people who help you get through your days and your work.

With gratitude,

Jenny Umbarger, NCSLMA President

 #NCSLMA2022 Award winners!!

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Special Shout Out to Kristi Allred for all her AMAZING work on the NCSLMA Twitter account. I tried to help out during conference with tweeting and retweeting and I could not keep up. Our NCSLMA Twitter is chock full of retweets from librarians and libraries all over the world and I cannot thank Kristi enough for her dedication to librarianship and NCSLMA. Thank you, Kristi! You are awesome!

-----Kristy Sartain


(Announcements and Updates)


NCSLMA has a small blog on our website. If you would like to contribute to it, please send submissions to 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!

Meet Our New Regional Directors

Our Regional Directors Need Our Help!

Our roles as school library media coordinators have changed drastically over the course of the pandemic.  The NCSLMA regional directors are collecting data about those changes as well as what we want our roles to be as we emerge from the pandemic.  Please go to to participate in our “Are You Still You?” Padlet. 

Make a new post for each unique thought; add comments to thoughts which relate to your comment. Vote for as many thoughts as you want. The more votes, the more it needs to be on our radar. Post Categories: 1. (Blue) Roles/Tasks you did before COVID. 2. (Orange) Roles/Tasks you added during COVID. 3. (Red) Roles/Tasks you lost during COVID. 4. ( Green) Roles/Tasks you want now & in the future. 

Data collected will be used within NCSLMA to drive professional development, advocacy, and more.  This Padlet was first presented in my NCSLMA Conference 2022 session “Are You Still You”.  Thank you for your help.

Sara Levin

NCSLMA Coastal Regional Director

Battle of Books Reminder!!

It’s that time again!!  Time to complete your compliance form if you are going to have a Battle of the Books team.  The compliance form will be located in the “Events” section of the website.  You will register for the event which will give us all the information we need in order for you to compete in all three levels of Battle of the Books.  The event opens November 1 and will remain open until December 31.  The sooner you can complete the form, the better.  If at a later date you decide you will not be able to have a team, no worries.  Completing the form does not mean you are committing to coaching a team-it just means you are considering it.  If you do not have a compliance form on file, you will not be able to compete in the district or regional competitions so it’s better to go ahead and fill it out.  Here is a short video showing how to get your compliance form completed.  

Stacy Hersey, Director of Book Programs

NC Member Spotlights

Highlighting the hard work of our North Carolina librarians.

Once Upon A Walk

by Michell McNeill

 Harnett County Schools, District Media Specialist

Reading? Outside? With Movement? Let’s go on a StoryWalk®…

Christie Bolton, Media Coordinator at Anderson Creek Primary School in Harnett County, was inspired several years ago by a session that she attended at the NCSLMA conference. Since then, she has been doing StoryWalks® at her school every chance she gets, and she collaborates with other teachers to design cross-curricular activities.  Ms. Bolton has hosted several temporary StoryWalks® at her school. Still, she wanted to install permanent weatherproof stands so that the StoryWalk® could be enjoyed by children, parents, and community members throughout the year. She planned to write a grant to have this dream become a reality. Last fall, tragedy struck their school. They lost one of their treasured teachers to COVID. The family wanted to donate the money raised by her memorial fund to the school, but they wanted to make sure that the chosen project would honor their loved one’s memory in a unique and special way. Ms. Bolton submitted her idea for the StoryWalk®, and it was chosen. Right away, she began taking action. The first permanent stand was installed on September 29th. On October 21st, Anderson Creek Primary School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the first group of participants was able to go on a StoryWalk®. It is so exciting to have such a wonderful resource for students, staff, parents, and community members to enjoy. Ms. Bolton’s passion for StoryWalks® inspires others. She inspired me to begin my own community StoryWalk® project and to share this amazing idea with others. Together we were able to share this idea with others at NCSLMA. We have submitted our proposal to present at NCTIES and are hopeful that we will be chosen. We would love to share what we have learned with others so that they can bring this fun educational activity to their school and community. If you are interested in learning more, please go to and complete a short form. 

“The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT, and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.” If you plan to use the StoryWalk® name you will need to include the previous statement. However, this is not required if the project is called by another name, such as Book Walk, Story Book Trail, or Path of Pages.

Collaboration in a Middle School Library

Colleen Graham

Educational Technology Specialist, Wayne County Public Schools

Jane Sasser, Media Coordinator of Brogden Middle School, may look like a quiet, unassuming librarian, but she’s a powerhouse in disguise! Mrs. Sasser runs her library with no assistance, plus helps with overflowing classes (they are currently short SEVEN classroom teachers), gets pulled to sub when people are out, and she’s her school “tech mentor” so she has the additional responsibility of supporting innovation and learning recovery efforts at her school. As if that already isn’t exhausting, when a teacher was injured and went out on FMLA right before school started, Mrs. Sasser was the one person the District knew could step in and teach the online math courses for the county. We all wear a lot of hats these days, but Mrs. Sasser wears more than most and always has nothing but smiles and excitement for her students and staff.

Jane Sasser serves her school of diverse learners with love, enthusiasm, and a creative flair that keeps the students excited about learning. This year, Mrs. Sasser has been learning about Blended Learning through NC Rethink Ed and will soon be a Badged Facilitator. She has been applying what she learns, creating fun activities for the students, and using her collaborative lessons to demonstrate to her staff how to implement these models in meaningful, effective ways that will reinvigorate her entire school community.

She recently worked with 5th grade teachers to plan and implement “Hispanic Heritage Station Rotations” that included such activities as a digital breakout room, a SeeSaw activity about Hispanic musicians, an Internet scavenger hunt, and even salsa dancing! The kids had a great time and learned a lot about many Spanish speaking cultures in the process.


She worked with science teachers to do Water Cycle Stations in the library. Activities included such things as labeling diagrams, vocabulary, making water bags, Quizzizz competitions, and making water cycle cooties. The kids had a blast, and were excited to create their own water cycles in bags.


She’s even done Math Fact Fluency Stations with math menus, math war, jamboard activities, word problems, math cartoon creations, and anchor charts. Mrs. Sasser is finding fun, meaningful ways to build strong foundations across the curriculum!


The students always love doing STEM challenges in the library. Mrs. Sasser likes the bonus of working with them on their soft skills – how they talk to one another and function as part of a team. She can also see what kinds of challenges spark their interests and finds it helpful in directing them to different career path choices.


Even AR is fun when the kids are given a Choice Board to choose from! During this lesson, they could create board games, design book covers, create comic strips or collages in Google Slides or wrote letters/diaries in Google Docs.


Wayne County has fully embraced Blended Learning, and to see Mrs. Sasser help us reach more teachers by modeling blended lessons helps ease even more teachers into trying something new. She’s found that she is able to remove barriers and scaffold learning for the teachers, too, by drawing them into the library.

Learning is always a fun and exciting adventure in the Brogden Middle School Library. As a lifelong learner, Mrs. Sasser is constantly looking for ways to make meaningful connections and engage her students, while encouraging their own love of learning. And as a result, the kids are excited about learning! Mrs. Sasser enjoys giving them options and opportunities to experiment, collaborate, and try new things. Making learning and teaching fun again and bringing joy back into the classroom are her Librarian superpowers!

Colleen Graham @BiblioTechGal

Jane Sasser @ECULibeary

November 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, 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 ( Materials should be "copy and paste" ready. Submissions will be edited and published at the discretion of the NCSLMA News & Updates Editorial Team.

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