June 2023

Volume 4.5

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 June 2023

As we finish up the current school year I hope you all have the opportunity to rest and recharge for the upcoming school year and that all your inventories come out clear!

Notes from our Spring Retreat: 

The board met May 20-21 and worked on upcoming events and programs being offered by NCSLMA. We also worked on ways to improve our communication and how to better improve our organization as a whole. The Regional Directors were able to have some time to work together to plan future events. 

Conference News:

Conference Webpage

Early Bird Registration for this year's conference is now open!!! Make sure to register today!!! 

Make sure you are checking social media for all the amazing door prizes that have been donated for our upcoming conference! 

The PR team for Conference 2023 is looking for stories of the magic happening in your library. We want to share on our social media outlets the great things NC School Librarians are doing in our libraries. But we need your help for that. Please consider submitting a photo or video that showcases your and/or your library's magic. It can be small magic, big magic, or anything in between.  

We will be taking these submissions until September 30, 2023. Our goal is to publish every submission. With almost 2000 members, we really hope to be overwhelmed with stories. :-)    https://forms.gle/NBADmwPYwUZyKaZw8

Make sure to follow the behind-the-scenes conference blog for updates on this year's conference!

Open Volunteer Positions: 

Have you wanted to volunteer with NCSLMA, but didn’t know where to start? We’re making it easy because we would love to have your talents supporting our organization! Check out the new Open Volunteer Positions on our website for information about current open positions. This list does change as positions become available, so make sure to check it often. If you see something that sounds like it would be a great fit, please consider volunteering. Not only will it help NCSLMA, you will also be able to show leadership at the state level on the DPI School Librarian Evaluation Tool.

Upcoming events: 

The Page Turners Book club will meet June 17th to discuss Benjamin Stevenson’s book “Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone”

June AM Brew Crew -  June 3 9:00 am - 11:00 am
June PM Brew Crew - June 23  8:00 pm - 10:00 pm 

Kristy Sartain
Conference Co-Chair

I haven’t been able to keep up with the Conference blog for the past couple of months, but I’ll be starting it up again this week. There is a LOT to update everyone on and I can’t wait to share it all. The blog will go into detail, but some of the most exciting things include:

  • Call To Present was a success! We had 160 session submissions. Unfortunately, we only have just under 90 available session slots, so we have to make some hard decisions. I am grateful for the Board of Directors for helping to score the submissions. The process was a blind evaluation - scorers only saw the session title and description, along with the target audience. This way, proposals were graded purely on the merit of the session itself. 

  • Featured Speakers secured!! We are excited to announce that Amy Hermon, podcaster extraordinaire or School Librarians United, will be our opening Featured Speaker! She will be in and around the conference making a podcast all about NCSLMA. Our closing Featured Speaker will be Donna Washington, storyteller extraordinaire! Donna has been in many of our schools and with her children’s books and upcoming professional book on storytelling, she is a fantastic addition to our conference and I cannot wait to hear her! She will also be presenting a workshop on Saturday on storytelling for the school librarian. AND she’ll be on one of our storyteller panels. 

  • Hotel rooms - I know last year, we sold out like immediately. We tried to add more rooms to our Embassy block and cannot as they said they are sold out that weekend already. We were able to add a few more rooms to our Marriott block, though. Because of some back end things, we will have to release the room discount codes a little later in May. 

  • Early Bird Registration is NOW open. It will be open through June 30. Please note that if you have not paid for registration before June 30, your registration will be canceled and you will have to re-register and pay at the regular rate or the late rate if it’s after August 31. 

I say this every month, but I mean it every time I say it. I could not put this conference together without the amazing people helping out. I am humbled by their commitment and grateful for their help!

Have a wonderful May!



(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!

Share Your Magic!

The Conference PR Team wants to hear from you! Share the magic that is happening in your library so we can tell the world! Visit ncslma.org/magicinyourlibrary and fill out the form with your story.

Early Bird Registration

Early Bird Registration is now open for the 2023 NCSLMA Conference! Register today at ncslma.org/event-5121385 Attendance is limited to the first 550 conference-goers.

5th Annual Summer Learning Series!!

Our 5th Annual Summer Learning Series is coming up! Save the date for our amazing, informative, one-hour sessions in July and August! NCSLMA has a brand new way to kick off a school year...Librarian Boot Camp! Whether you're a brand new librarian, need a refresher, or want to energize yourself for the 2023-2024 school year, you'll love Librarian Boot Camp! Summer Learning Series and Librarian Boot Camp are all virtual, so stay cozy in your jammies, grab your favorite brew, and learn from home! We look forward to rounding out your summer with you! 

NC Member Spotlights

Highlighting the hard work of our North Carolina librarians.

Let's Have A British Tea by Jacquelyn Ruffin-Pittman

Let's Have a British Tea

Jacquelyn Ruffin-Pittman, Media Specialist

Southeast Collegiate and Prep Academy and Northwest Collegiate and Technical Academy, Halifax, NC         


Seniors attending Southeast Collegiate and Prep Academy participated in a British Tea on Thursday April 27, 2023, 11:30 AM through 1:30 PM.  The students learned how to have a British Tea with members from the North Carolina Tea Society, Mrs. Carolyn Spain and Mrs. Magnolia Clanton. Twenty-eight students and five staff members participated.  The students enjoyed eating something savory and something sweet, such as the following:  homemade finger sandwiches made of sourdough bread with chicken salad, ham and cheese, pimento cheese, and turkey and cheese; mini Quiche Lorraine; homemade mini cherry cheesecakes; strawberry shortcake trifles; Chantilly cake; cherry, strawberry, blueberry, M&M cream, and green and gold cupcakes;  Lindt Chocolates and Ferrero Rondnoir Chocolates, and Pepperidge Farm Assorted Cookies.  The tea provided was Celestial Tea’s Fruit Sampler.  The students dined in authentic china.  The school’s culinary class assisted in serving the food, and the North Carolina Tea Society members poured the tea.  

The Media Specialist, Mrs. Jacquelyn Ruffin-Pittman, asked The North Carolina Tea Society to assist with the tea.  The following sponsors donated food and their resources: Southeast Academy’s Culinary Class, The Ivy - an English Bed and Breakfast, Warrenton, NC; Two Doors Down Restaurant, Halifax, NC; Roma’s Restaurant,Roanoke Rapids, NC; Halifax County Retired Educators, and bakers, Mrs. Diane Taylor and Ms. Zykiviah Williams.

The speaker for the occasion was Dr. Patricia Ferguson. Her foundation, https://www.countyimpact.com/about-county-impact/, County Impact, focuses on helping families and children in rural Northeastern North Carolina thrive. She gave an uplifting speech to let the students know that they were the future of their own families and for the generations to come.  She also told them their lives would be the light, the way, and the hope for the next generation,  and she encouraged them to make a difference in their community and the world.  She shared that she would be hosting a Pecan Pickling Short Film Festival, September 8th through the 10th, 2023. She encouraged creativity because many students have so many creative talents. 

Crest Middle School Students Enjoy Author Visit! by Deanna Pauley

Crest Middle School Students Enjoy Author Visit!  NYC Writer, Paul Volponi, author of Rikers High and That's my team! : the history, science, and fun behind sports teams' names visits NC.

Deanna Pauley, School Librarian

Crest Middle School, Shelby NC

Unlike most visiting authors, Mr. Volponi arrives at schools before the opening bell, ready to work  five classroom periods. He does reader and writer workshops. These workshops are intimate settings where students are encouraged to participate and share their ideas.  Volponi self admits that he was a non-reader in both middle and high school. He uses this personal journey, including six years of teaching incarcerated teens on Rikers Island, to connect to students. 

“I was so impressed with Mr. Volponi  and how he was able to quickly connect to our middle schoolers,” said librarian, Deanna Pauley, “he surprised me by doing something completely different in each and every session.” 

“He told us that the Baltimore Ravens got their name from Edgar Allan Poe. He (Poe) was from Baltimore. Mr. Volponi wrote a book about where sports teams got their names.  Then he asked us to work with our groups and redesign a logo and come up with a new name for the NFL team from Los Angeles. We came up with Angels because the Spanish called it the city of angels,” said 8th grader Gavin Phillips. 

“We worked in groups and renamed a sports team by choosing colors and mascots. Everyone had different ideas, so we decided to put the best ideas to a vote,” shared 8th grader, Abby Miller.

According to Gavin, “It was interactive. We felt involved in what we were doing, and he challenged us to be creative.  It was a really fun experience.” 

“I saw students, especially the boys, raising their hands to answer questions or share their work.  It was a great experience, said Pauley, “As Mr. Volponi shared from his books, students were challenged to make connections and think about their lives.”

“I feel like students who are interested in being writers or just reading books, when they meet others who have the same interests as them they are encouraged to follow their goals, and authors can help by walking them through how they get the inspiration to write books and where their ideas come from,” said Miller.

NCSLMA Sections

Director: Faith Huff

Director: Lucy Wilcox

Awards, Grants, Scholarships
Director: Robin Rhodes

AASL Delegates

Laura Aldridge & Sarah Justice

Book Programs
Director: Stacy Hersey

Director: Vacant

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Michelle Burton & Ness Shortley

Regional Directors:
Lead: Lori Munroe

Social Media
Director: Alicia Luke

Director: Vacant


The NCCBA Committee is proud to announce the 2023 winners! Children throughout North Carolina voted and the results are in! The Box Turtle by Vanessa Roeder wins in the Picture Book category and Unplugged by Gordon Korman wins in the Junior Book category. For more information and to see the voting results, go to http://nccba.blogspot.com/. Thanks to all the media coordinators who shared the nominated books with their students this year! 

Watch for an announcement of the 2024 nominated titles this summer!

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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