January/February 2023

Volume 4.1

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

Questions? Contact kenishasmith@ncslma.org

In this edition:

NCSLMA Website



Jennifer Abel

NCSLMA President


President’s Corner January/February 2023

I am excited to start my chapter as president of NCSLMA for 2023! 

Upcoming events: 

Winter-Tune Up is February 13-17! Registration opened on January 23rd. 

Expert presenters from across the state are offering a mix of pre-recorded and live sessions. Pre-Recorded sessions will be released each day during the week of February 13-14. Each Presenter will provide virtual access to email, social media, or presentations to answer questions you have. Presentations are for NCSLMA members who registered for the Winter Tune-up event. The recordings will be available through March 31, 2023. 

Make sure to follow the behind-the-sense conference blog for updates on this year's conference! The call to present will be opening soon, so we hope you will consider sharing your expertise by submitting a proposal.

The NCSLMA board met on January 14th for our winter board meeting. During this meeting we work on planning for the year and ensuring that each committee is fully staffed. But we need your help! If you have not already done so, please complete the NCSLMA survey to share your input and suggestions: https://forms.gle/ijxKZYNZUsSv7egY7.

If you are interested in joining a committee with NCSLMA please reach out to the directors of the committees which can be found on our website under meet the board.   

I hope you all have been following along with the Conference Blog. I’ve been chronicling our conference journey so you can see some of what goes into planning it. It’s definitely not a one-person or an overnight venture. We started planning in August 2022 for this year and we’re already planning for 2024 as well. ncsmla.org/blog

We kicked off the NCSLMA Grown Up Book Club, called Page Turners, in January. The first book we read was Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus. We were lucky enough to have her pop into our meeting and say Hi! And then she stayed and answered questions for an hour! It was amazing and unexpected and now we plan to read anything and everything she ever writes or recommends. Check out the recording of the meeting on ncslma.org/pageturners.

Our Brew Crew meets the 4th Friday of each month at 8pm and the 1st Saturday of each month at 9am. If you haven’t attended one, you are definitely invited! We have informal conversations, but they are so informative! Need advice on weeding? Ask away! Considering genrefying? Ask away! We have so many amazing people that join each time and I can’t think of a single question someone has asked that wasn’t answered by someone who had already experienced it. We also talk about books. :-) ncslma.org/events 

NCSLMA offers so many opportunities for you to connect with other librarians. Sign up for an event or a PD and take advantage of your membership!

Thank you for reading! I hope to see you soon!



(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!

 Region 1 & 2 News!!

It feels strange not having both Regions 1 & 2 anymore.  Region 1, I pass your torch to Meredith Hill with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with for many years in Pitt County.  I know she will represent you well.  Region 1, it’s been fun and I have learned so much from you.  Keep being amazing!  (I feel like I just signed your yearbook…)

Region 2, I get to keep you!  I will be reaching out to our advisory committee in February to make plans, so many plans.  I encourage all of you to attend NCSLMA’s Winter Tune Up, February 13th - 17th.  It’s included in your membership and is virtual! Sessions will be a mixture of live & pre-recorded.

I’ll be presenting a live (virtual) session on February 16th, at 7:00 pm

  • Session Title:  Leveraging Collection Development for Funding
  • Session Blurb:  Most libraries struggle to get money for books, programming, and facility improvements.  This session will focus on how to organize and use your library's data to leverage for funding with a focus on your collection.  We will touch on grants and pitching to administrators and community groups.

Sara Levin

2023 Leadership Academy Cohort!!

Join us in congratulating the 2023 Leadership Academy Cohort. We are excited to learn and grow with you and can't wait to see your Leadership Journey!

May be an image of text that says 'NCSLMA sufport promote empower Emily Golightly Mable Stainback Jennie Hunt Marcia Wingerd Kerri Wike Amanda McCall Angie Miller Esther Taylor Leslie Taylor Caitlyn Berry Dorothy Black to our Conguratulations 2023 Leadership Acmy Cohort!!'

Battle of Books Nominations

Hello from Book Programs!     

Director: Stacy Hersey

By now the new Battle of the Books lists have made their way to the website and possibly your inbox.  Have you ever had a book that you thought would be a great addition to one of the lists?  Each level of BOB has a nomination form on its website page.  The nomination forms remain open all year long and we would love to hear from you.  Students are also welcome to nominate their favorite book. We use these nominations to begin building the list for the following year.  We try to include a variety of genres, reading levels, and representations since these books are used across the entire state.  Please keep in mind that we try to write around 200 questions per book for the competitions so they do need to have enough content to support that task.  

This is an easy way to have a voice. So, bookmark the nomination form so you always have easy access to it.  

Stacy Hersey, Director of Book Program

The Call to Present for Conference 2023 is open! Grab your grimoire to find the best spells, er, sessions you have that you want to share with others. We look forward to seeing those magical session titles!
Submit your proposal here: https://ncslma.wildapricot.org/event-5121362

May be an image of text that says 'Magio lagic happens here A celebration of stories, libraries, and librarians NCSLMA support promote empower'

NC Member Spotlights

Highlighting the hard work of our North Carolina librarians.

Reading and Service by Tonya Monroe-Leach

Reading and Service

By Tonya Monroe-Leach

9-12 Librarian at Western Guilford High School

The Western Guilford High School students participate in a book club this has an outcome of service. Students were divided by gender and red different books dealing with social emotional learning. This fall our young men read Dear Justice by Nick Stone. After reading assigned chapters, these young men with my facilitating discussed the book and how it relates to the lives that they live every day. After finishing the book, these young men participated in the service-learning project. We collected through Donors Choose toiletries and other items that would be needed by the homeless during the wintertime. They sorted these items in string bags and delivered them to the homeless shelter. The young men felt that this venture was humbling. I have started for the spring semester with the young ladies in reading Monday's not coming by Tiffany D Johnson. The young ladies at the end of their book will collect items for the women's battered shelter.

See, Think, Wonder: A New Year Sparkler For You by Ellen Bryson

“See, Think, Wonder: a New Year Sparkler for You”

By Ellen Bryson

K-5 librarian at Kitty Hawk Elementary School, Dare County


Every librarian needs to find his or her “why”, isn’t that what they say? I propose to you that we should also find our “library sparkler” and aim to find a new one each year, if possible! Every New Year’s Eve, while holding the mandatory firework in my hands in the dark, I make a promise to myself to drop a bad habit and pick up a good habit in my personal life. I also promise myself to find one new idea or inspiration that can help me finish the school year with zest. That’s my library sparkler.

In 2023 I will be learning all I can about Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) because it has quickly become my favorite way to connect information and visual literacy skills to subject areas. VTS is a 3 step process of analyzing images which can be done individually or in groups. An image is projected or placed at each table. Students are given a few moments to SEE- study the picture, zooming in on small details and thinking about the image as a whole. Ask: “what’s going on here?” Students are asked to share their observations. This can be done out loud, on paper, or with a tech tool such as padlet. The librarian will paraphrase what is said. In step two the students are asked to  THINK. “What do you see that makes you think that?” This strengthens the skill of inferencing and justifying their thinking by pointing back to the source for information as they communicate. The final step is for students to WONDER: “What more can we find? What will happen next?” “What connections can you draw between this image and…”

The three step thinking routine can be used at the start of class to pique interest in a new topic, as a way to enrich a research project and practice source citations, as a way to tie in other academic areas to our library work. Truly the possibilities for collaboration and subject-area collaborations are endless. There are many sources for the images- the Library of Congress has a wonderful digital collection of primary source images that could be used to study historical periods. They also supply teacher directions and a student photo analysis tool as well as ways to cite each resource. Multiplicity Lab and other websites will send you a mathematical image-of-the-day and there are multiple history and science daily image sites. You can subscribe to VTS weekly image. Use them while you wait for your library to fill up for the next staff meeting. Print off a set of VTS posters from TPT to hang up, practice your skills at a nearby art museum with a friend, create a file of cool photos for your science teacher friends, run an “amazing animal” image of the day on the morning announcements, and more. Get kids and staff practicing visual and informational literacy everywhere they look!

It’s the start of a new year and I encourage you to find an idea/person/book/muse that gets your creative and intellectual juices flowing. Promise yourself to find that renewed purpose every New Year’s Eve that will keep your creativity tank full. What will your library sparkler be?

image source: https://www.pngkey.com/download/u2r5a9y3i1o0a9e6_fireworks-clip-sparkler-clip-art-library-clip-art/

The 2022 Global Traveling Mural Project by Star Baugman

The 2022 Global Traveling Mural Project

Star Baughman

Media Coordinator- Hillcrest Elementary School- Morganton, NC

Burke County Public School District

My school participated in the 2022 Global Traveling Mural Project. This project was created by Shannon McClintock Miller in 2018.  I read about it on her blog, The Library Voice earlier in the school year.  I felt it would be a wonderful opportunity for the students at my school.  Our “specials” teachers, Media, music and PE, combined together to make this collaboration project possible.  We were featured in our local newspaper as well as highlighted by our school district for participating.  This project has been such a learning experience and global connection for us. The students were so excited to open the mural pieces as they arrived.  We also created a bulletin board in our school to spotlight the pieces of the mural as they arrived.  Some of the pieces are still arriving!  Additionally, out of this project our school created a new “branding logo.”  Who knew all of these opportunities would occur just from reading a blog!  If you do not subscribe to this blog or follow Shannon, you should consider it!  She has invaluable resources to offer! 

This is an image of our bulletin board we are creating to highlight the project.

Here is a link to our Global Traveling Mural Book- We are pictured on Slide 55

Social Media Links-

School Website


Twitter: @Hillcrest_Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hcesmorganton

The Above images are of our school’s mural before we cut it into sections and mailed it off.  I have also included images of our students working on the mural together.

Ed Farm Teacher Fellows Learn Innovative Tools and Strategies for All Students

by Margaret Sullivan-Brannon

Guilford County Schools partnered with Ed Farm, a nonprofit out of Birmingham, to bring intensive training in innovation to a cohort of teachers across subjects and grade levels. The Ed Farm experience encouraged participants to stretch their understanding and use of technology to promote success for all students. 

Participants earned up to six badges: Community Collaborator, Digital Trailblazer, Creative Designer, Confident Coder, Future-Focused Facilitator and Change Cultivator. Additionally, participants were given the tools and training to become Apple Teacher Certified as well as certified in iPad, MacBook and Swift Playgrounds. Ed Farm offered the services of a Learning Innovation Coach who worked closely with teachers to help them achieve their professional goals. 

My experience as an Ed Farm Teacher Fellow was a watershed moment in my development as a teacher-leader. Before Ed Farm, I considered myself a cautious librarian. I never felt like I wanted to be on the leading edge of any trend in libraries or technology and was content to be a second-wave adopter. After Ed Farm, I am much more likely to be an early-adopter. Working with Brittany Wade, my Learning Innovation Coach, brought my level of reflective practice to a new high. She helped all of us stay focused on how the changes we made would impact student achievement. 

My favorite moment actually happened a couple of months after implementing a Challenge-Based Learning project with one of my Ed Farm colleagues. We had our kindergarten students create videos to teach Pre-K students how to dress for different kinds of weather. We kicked off the unit with a virtual visit with the local weatherman, Charles Ewing. When one of my students, now a first grader, came to pick up his device at the beginning of this school year, he was still excited about the virtual visit to the tv studio, meeting Charles Ewing, and making a video. He informed me with confidence that he is going to be a meteorologist when he grows up. I love knowing that I was part of a fun, memorable experience for that student.

Margaret Sullivan Brannon

Guilford eLearning University Prep (K-8)


Sitting Left to Right Front Row, Amy Ward (CTE Curriculum & Instructional Management Coordinator), Cynthia McCorquodale (Guilford eLearning University Prep), Kelley Russell-Harris (Foust Elementary), Andrea King (Technology Assistant), Taylor Witt (Ed Farm), Standing Back Row, Margaret Sullivan-Brannon (Guilford eLearning University Prep Media Specialist), Cephonia Gilmore (Guilford eLearning University Prep), Candyce Monroe (Assistant Principal, Guilford eLearning), Brittany Wade (Learning Innovation Coach), Dr. Nakita Malloy (CTE Director of Secondary Pathways), Candace Kimball (Guilford eLearning University Prep Assistant Principal)

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 Shortley

Regional Directors:
Lead: Robin Rhodes

Social Media
Director: Alicia Luke

Director: Kristy Sartain


Reminder from the NC Children's Book Awards Committee

We have 1 month to get our students ready to vote for their favorite books.

(Voting will open in March.) Please encourage your peers to participate - both by getting kids ready to vote and nominating titles for the 2024 award.

This page is your one-stop shopping for everything you need to help your students participate in the North Carolina Children's Book Award:

http://nccba.blogspot.com/p/librarian teacher-resources.html

How do I share the nominated books?

Read the picture books to your students. Encourage students to read the junior books. Students need to read at least 5 of the 12 titles in order to vote. Use the activity guide on the blogspot for lesson plans and curriculum connections. If you did not purchase the books, you can use the ebook or audiobook versions on NC Kids Overdrive:


More ideas for ebooks:

Using ebooks is a great option for displaying picture books on a projector to a whole class. Listening to audiobooks can help students finish more of the longer junior books. There are many other ways NC Kids can help students, including being able to make the text much larger, adjust audiobook playback speed, switch to a dyslexic font option, and full screen reader support. The titles can be read or listened to in a browser or on iOS or Android devices with the Libby App.

How do students nominate books for the 2024 awards?

The nomination form is on the blog - https://nccba.blogspot.com/2022/11/favorites-for-2024-awards.html. Librarians may help students nominate books but may not nominate books themselves. Nominated books must have an original copyright date of 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023. Nominations usually end on March 31.

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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