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  • 24 Oct 2022 9:25 AM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

    This week's post will be short and bittersweet. 

    When I get overwhelmed, sometimes I shut completely down and retreat into a little mental cave where I think if I ignore it, something will get done or it will just go away. That's what this week was for me. Unfortunately, there is not a Conference Fairy that will POOF with their magic wand and everything is planned and perfect. 

    But moving in a positive direction, I'm meeting with Heath this week and we're getting back on track to plan what will hopefully be a fantastic conference experience. 

    Oh, I did find more of those rhinestone lanyards, so they'll probably get ordered soon. ;) 

    If you have any ideas on what you would like to have at conference, feel free to share them here

  • 16 Oct 2022 7:08 PM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

    First of all, how have I not posted anything since APRIL??? I'm so sorry about that! 

    Second, Jennifer Abel, current President-Elect of NCSLMA, planned Conference 2022 and I am not looking forward to following the awesomeness that it was. She did a great job and I'm thrilled she'll be helping with the planning of this one.

    Third, NCSLMA's Conference could not happen without a slew of people to work on it. You'll see a lot of different names over the next year, some familiar, some not, but everyone who helps is appreciated so much more than I can say. 

    T-50 Weeks

    Just under one year to go for Conference 2023. 

    The theme next year is Magic Happens Here: The magic of books, libraries, and librarians. There is a fun thread in the NCSLMA School Librarians Facebook group about using session titles that are magic-themed. Feel free to join in! We’re keeping this theme in mind when planning every aspect of conference, from swag to speakers to advertising and social media. 

    Speaking of keynote speakers, we’re also brainstorming who to invite. Keynote speakers are not free. We pay them a stipend to speak, but we also pay for their travel expenses and hotel accommodations while at the conference. Same for our authors. We love and appreciate everyone that shares their talents at conference.

    Since Conference 2022 ended two weeks ago, we have contacted a couple of convention centers to inquire about potentially moving the conference there starting in 2024. Our contract at Benton is up with the 2023 Conference and we are trying to find a location that will be a good fit. 

    For the 2023 conference, we are brainstorming what swag we will buy for our members for when they check in. We are considering a planner that has a notebook and address book integrated into it. While it would be a fun little thing, it would also allow you to take down contact information, social media information, and slide deck links in one spot. We’re also looking for more rhinestone lanyards because they were SUPER popular and we ran out. :-)  The bags were also popular, so we’ll try to get those as well. If you have other ideas, feel free to let Kristy or Heath know. or 

    Because we have a Conference Director for the first time, we are working to figure out exactly what the duties of President-Elect will be going forward and what the Conference Director duties will be. That will probably be an ever-changing document, but having guidelines will make things much easier in the future. I am fortunate to have Heath Radford as the Conference Director so we can build the position together. He is full of ideas and although I’ve already had to tell him No a few times, he doesn’t seem to hate me yet. ;) He is invaluable as a sounding board and idea man and I know he will help make our next few conferences amazing. We will be putting out blog posts about once a week to let you know what goes on behind the scenes of planning a statewide conference for 400+ people. We hope this gives you a better idea of how much work it is and the struggles we encounter as we plan. It is not an overnight process. We’re already starting working on the 2024 conference and it’s only 2022! 

    Have an idea for conference? Add it on this Google Form.

  • 28 Apr 2022 3:10 PM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

    It's that time of year for applying for stuff and NCSLMA is no exception. Applications are now open for our Awards, Scholarships, and Grants. We have several opportunities for our members to earn money and accolades. 

    Check out the Awards webpage on the NCLMSA website for more information and the applications. The deadline for all of these is May 31, 2022.


    • Media Coordinator of the Year - Presented to a media coordinator in recognition of outstanding performance in the school library media center. Nominees must be a member of NCSLMA
    • Frances Bryant Bradburn Distinguished Service - Presented to an individual or organization for noteworthy contributions to NCSLMA and/or school library media programs throughout the state. 
    • Administrator of the Year - Presented to an administrator (see website for eligibility) who has made an outstanding contribution to advancing the role of the school library media program in the state. 


    • Better Together - available to K-12 NCSLMA media coordinators, in partnership with classroom teachers, for innovative projects that foster the integration of media/information skills in the K-12 curriculum.
    • Conference First Time Attendee - available for first time in-person conference attendees. Two awards of $500 each will be given to help with travel, hotel, and/or registration fees.


    NCSLMA presents two $1,000 scholarships toward MLS completion to increase the number and quality of school library media personnel in NC. Applicants must be a member of NCSLMA and in good academic standing with an accredited school of Library Science within the UNC system. The graduate course must have been completed during the previous twelve months with a grade of B or better. 

  • 18 Feb 2022 11:13 AM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

    NCSLMA is BUSY this season!

    Our Winter Tune-Up is wrapping up today and we had 200 members sign up. Thank you to our presenters and to Robin Rhodes for all her behind-the-scenes work to get everything organized and working. It is not too late (but it won't be up long) to sign up to have access to the sessions and videos. Click on Events and register for it today. 

    Our Brew Crew this month was HOPPING! We had our biggest turnout yet and some of us might have been on for three hours. *looks around innocently and spots Katie and Faith also looking around* If you haven’t joined one yet, please consider it. We’re adding a monthly nighttime Brew Crew on Fourth Fridays, so those who are not morning people can participate, too. After Jeopardy, of course. ;) 

    The Battle of the Books lists were published and are AWESOME! The committees worked super hard to get them narrowed down and we are grateful to everyone involved in that process. If you would like to volunteer for your region’s Battle of the Books committee, check HERE to see each level’s coordinator and let them know you are interested. The goal is to have at least three members per region per level. Volunteering is a great way to get involved with NCSLMA and help lighten the load for those who are carrying a heavy one.

    We want to share what you are doing in your library, community, etc. Consider writing an article or blurb for our newsletter and/or blog. Requests for news go out around the 20th of each month. To submit a blog article, e-mail it to

    Check out the Resources Forum on the NCSLMA website. We are slowly (very, very slowly) building a lesson plan repository, but we need your help! Librarians are known for sharing great ideas. Please consider putting your awesome lesson plans to paper, well Google Doc, and share with others. There is a forum for each level, but feel free to post in multiple levels if they pertain. There is also a forum for resources in general, such as Google Applied Digital Skills. It will take a community effort to make it a fantastic resource and we would love your participation. 

    Conference call to present will be happening soon. Start thinking about sharing your awesome ideas with all of NCSLMA. As a thank you for sharing, presenters receive reduced conference registration fees. Be on the lookout for an e-mail with more information on February 28. 

    We are here to support and promote school librarianship across North Carolina. If you have a need, reach out and let us know. We're all in this together. Bonus points in the game of life if you sang that last line. :-)

  • 24 Jan 2022 12:43 PM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

    Today the ALA released their Youth Media Awards and Honor Books. I am particularly excited about several of these titles because I had the opportunity to listen to them via the Educator audiobook program. If you are not part of that program, please check it out. 

    Here is the Youth Media Awards page. And here is the press release page announcing all the winners and honor titles. 

    Which if these have you read and enjoyed? Which ones are you most excited about sharing with your students? 

  • 20 Dec 2021 9:24 AM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

    I do a Goodreads challenge every year by randomly selecting a number of books that I think I can read during the year. I never hit it, but I still read 70-120 books each year. We're librarians. We read, right?

    In 2020, I really thought I would read 100 books. Like, I was CONFIDENT I would read them. And when the pandemic hit, I KNEW I would be able to read that many books. How many did I end up reading? 45. 

    I had pandemic depression. And that made me not take any pleasure in reading. I was stressed about working from home with three other people in the house, all also working or learning from home. I was stressed about the hundreds of e-mails I received from students and teachers about technology not working. I was stressed by the bombardment of e-mails about tech resources and online teaching resources. (This was when I decided to only send one e-mail a week.) I was stressed about cancelling vacations and not seeing my parents. I was stressed about everything. I was even stressed about not being able to read or enjoy reading. It. Was. Bad. 

    I knocked my goal down to 40 in November of 2020 because I was pretty sure I could at least get to that number. I did and I passed it, barely. This year, I set my goal to a doable 90. Not going to hit that, either. In one of my Facebook book groups, someone mentioned how stressful it was to set a reading goal and gradually see yourself fall behind. Many of us replied with Just Change It!. I do. I don't feel bad about that. My current goal is 80, which I changed a few weeks ago. I am at 75 right now, but I am reading three books (okay, one is an audiobook) and I have a couple in queue that I should be able to finish. 

    I don't do reading challenges where you have to read one book of this genre or a book by an author with your initials. Those don't really appeal to me. Mostly because I am a firm believer in reading whatever the heck you want. Make no apologies for the books that bring you pleasure. We encourage our students to read what they enjoy. Make sure to extend yourself the same permission. 

  • 13 Dec 2021 3:05 PM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

    Many of us, well, I venture to say most of us, are the only librarian in our school. Many districts even did away with library paraprofessionals. I always joke that my job is "other". I am a teacher, yes. But I'm also the manager of the library space and calendar, the buyer of books, the destroyer of souls. Wait. Too far. I've been reading too many fantasy books. ;-)

    It's so important that we find people to connect with. It's not only for the need to commiserate with others who understand, but also to have work friends outside of work. Being active in your region is a great start to connecting. In Region 4, we started an unofficial group on Facebook and now there are several of us who meet every month on a Saturday for coffee and now we're adding a monthly dinner. This "Coffee and Camaraderie" as we've dubbed it has grown into real friendships. We have each other's phone numbers. We share resources. We are our Librarian Gang. 

    I don't know about y'all, but I have found it harder to make and keep friends as an adult. What better way to solidify friendships than to find others who share in the joys and frustrations of the same career? Each region in NC has an elected director. Reach out to that person and see what opportunities there are to meet and hang out with other librarians in your area. And if you prefer virtual, there's always the NCSLMA Brew Crew. We meet the second Saturday of each month. Watch for the e-mail to sign up for our next one. You can also join the NCSLMA School Librarian Facebook Group. *make sure you answer all the membership questions* It's a private group just for NCSLMA members. 

    It is lonely sometimes. We're all in the same boat and we're all islands. I'm sure there's an extended metaphor there about water and keeping our heads above it.... Who better to understand that loneliness than fellow librarians? We're here for each other and together, we are stronger and better. 

  • 30 Nov 2021 10:54 AM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

    The American Library Association put out a statement on November 29, 2021, about book challenges. It can be found here. It references the Freedom to Read statement, which was written in 1953, and can be found here

    Having a strong collection development policy and book challenge policy will help protect school librarians and their book purchasing decisions. ALA provides resources for creating either of those here

    Dr. April Dawkins provided an informative, timely session on book challenges and that information can be found on the Members-Only Advocacy page. We highly recommend you watch it if you haven't already and look over the included resources. 

    If books in your collection have been challenged, please reach out and we will connect you with any available resources we have. Posting in the NCSLMA School Librarians Facebook Group is the fastest way to get an answer, but you can also e-mail Board members. Their information is posted here

  • 21 Nov 2021 8:34 PM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

    With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I wanted to take a few minutes and reflect on how thankful I am for NCSLMA. I have been a member off and on for the last ten years and have grown so much professionally, especially in the last few years, thanks to our awesome librarians and their awesome ideas. From conference, to Winter Tune-Up, to Summer Learning Series, and everything in-between, there have been so many opportunities to connect and learn.

    I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to participate in Leadership Academy. I met some of the most amazing librarians! I love how often our paths cross and how we bonded over the pandemic and librarianship. That experience led to my current position in NCSLMA and getting to know even more fabulous librarians. We are all “other” in our schools, but getting to meet and come together makes it a little easier. 

    And finally, I want to thank you. I love being a librarian. But none of it would be nearly as fulfilling as it is without the camaraderie and support that we give to each other. 

    I wish you a safe, happy, relaxing Thanksgiving. 

  • 14 Nov 2021 8:02 AM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)
    Stay in the loop by reading our monthly newsletter. In it, you will find timely information for librarians by librarians.

    Upcoming this week is a Book Challenge Chat with Dr. April Dawkins. This event is full and has a waitlist, but will be recorded and posted on our Member Landing Page afterwards. 

    We have opened a new store full of great items. Until November 27, all NCSLMA members receive 15% off your entire order. 

    BOB coaches, compliance questions are now in your membership profile. Make sure your membership is paid or renewed on time to avoid any disruptions in your BOB status. 

    Second Chance Conference Registration is now open. Members who pay for Conference have access to all conference videos through September 2022!

    Have a great week and Happy Reading!


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. 
Join or learn more here. 


Mailing address:
151 NC Highway 9 Suite B #188
Black Mountain, NC 28711

Meet the Board


We provide various ways to connect with librarians across the state. 
Connect here or via social media.

NCSLMA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization (2023 W9)

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