March 2021

Volume 2.5

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

Questions? Contact

In this edition:


Cindy Sturdivant

NCSLMA President


In the last newsletter, I suggested we all reflect on our successes over the past year of remote/hybrid education. After my own reflection, I wanted to share a couple of my successes.

  • As many librarians are doing, I am offering checkout delivery service to homerooms on days when students are on campus. Both students and teachers appreciate this service, and it has allowed me to get books in the hands of students who would not stop by the library.

  • Last March when our building closed we created a drop box for library materials in front of our school. It is under an awning, is secured to a column, and gives students a way to return books at their convenience. This has been especially vital for my remote only students.

  • Twitter is an important part of my PLN. A few weeks ago, I pulled from Twitter a Surprise Me book request idea which has been fun for students and for me. I created a Google Form which students fill out with book interests and number of books requested. I pull books which I think they will enjoy and check them out to them.

  • I set up a virtual book club which is open to all students. Even though there is a small number of students participating, they are very enthusiastic! This is a very low key, student driven group which just wants to meet and talk about reading. I recently received an email from a parent saying, "And thank you for offering a virtual book club. It's a great opportunity to get kids reading and connecting during these challenging times."

I am sure many of you have had similar successes. As this challenging year continues, please remember to celebrate your successes while you also give yourself time for breaks and while you reach out to your PLN for support!


2021 NCSLMA Conference

October 7-9

Benton Convention Center


Let your leadership capabilities shine!

We need YOU to serve the NC school library community through elected office.

Each spring, NCSLMA holds elections for the following offices:

  • Every Year - President Elect (serves for three years as President Elect, President, and then Past President)

  • Odd Years - Coastal Director; Piedmont West Director; Independent Schools Director (serves for two years)

  • Even Years - Piedmont East Director; Mountain Director; Secretary (serves for two years)

Job descriptions can be found @

  • You must be a current NCSLMA member to run for an NCSLMA office.

  • Directors must live in the regions in which they are a candidate.

This form will be open through midnight on Friday March 12, 2021. The election will be held March 15-31.

Questions? Contact Bitsy Griffin

Link to Nomination form(listed as an event)


Elections will begin March 15 and go through the end of the month.
Information will be emailed to NCSLMA members, and the Election form will be found on the NCSLMA website under Events.


The March NCSLMA Commendation goes to

Greensboro Bound
Authors Engaging Students

From their website:

Greensboro Bound (GB) believes in connecting authors with students. Authors Engaging Students (AES) makes that happen. Many school library media specialists have difficulty finding the time and funds to schedule an author visit. AES recruits authors, makes travel arrangements and hosts the authors. Greensboro Bound pays the author fees and donates 10 copies of the author’s books for each school visit. Greensboro Bound provides building blocks for reading success to open children’s minds to their possibilities.

When authors discuss their lives and books, students hear stories of perseverance, creativity and opportunity. They hear of the 20 rejections an author received before their first book was published. They see the first story an author “published” in third grade! Children’s lives are opened to new worlds when they meet people who create unique characters and places. As a second grader at Ceasar Cone Elementary one exclaimed, “Before today I never knew I could be an author. Now I know I can be an author, too!”

We focus on bringing authors of color to meet students so that students see themselves in the presenting authors. As children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons notes, “I was nine years old before I saw someone who looked like me on the cover of a book.”

Submit your commendation for an organization that supports reading and/or NC school libraries!


Contact Us:

Need to contact someone with NCSLMA? Here's the

NCSLMA Board Directory


The North Carolina Children’s Book Award Committee is pleased to announce that voting and student nominations for 2022 are both open!

This pandemic created many challengesto overcome last season, and votes and 2022 nominations will collected just as they have been in the past.

All information related to this year’s nominees, voting procedures. and how to nominate books for next year are found atNCSLMA's website (under “Inside NCSLMA” then “Book Awards”) or by visiting theNCCBA Blogspot.

Media Coordinators and public librarians can access information about this year’s Picture Book and Junior Book Nominees including such features as read-alouds, book trailers and book activities.

Students across the state can be guided to vote individually on the site, through their Media Coordinators, or public librarians.

Voting links will remain open until the end of March. Please watch the NCSLMA page and the NCCBA blogpost for any updates on possible extensions. The 2021 winners will be announced mid-April, and nominees for 2022 will be released as close to mid-May as possible.


Celebrating Poetry Contest

In collaboration with Redhawk Publications and the Morganton Cultural Arts Committee, Adventure Bound Books announces its second annual Celebrating Poetry contest. The entry fee is $6, the theme is Community, and there are cash and publication prizes for winners in both the adult and youth divisions of the contest. All the details and timeline are available at

The deadline to submit your poem is March 6th.

Adventure Bound Books, LLC

120 N. Sterling St.

Morganton, NC 28655


Instagram: @adventureboundbooks

Twitter: @AdvBoundBooks

Facebook Page: @adventureboundbooks


Visit all of our 2020 conference Vendors and Sponsors!


Dare County Librarians host a virtual, LOCAL book fair!

By Mollee Holloman {@MolleeBranden}

Dare County Schools Librarian / NCDPI DTL Innovative Learning Catalyst

For the first 10 days of October 2020, two independent booksellers -- Jamie Anderson of Downtown Books in Manteo and Gee Gee Rosell of Buxton Village Books -- teamed up to host an online book fair to benefit all ten Dare County Schools libraries.

Dare Librarians (@DareLibrarians) and the booksellers used affiliate pages to replicate the experience of the well-loved book fair event for our community. Instead of displays to browse in-person, online booklists were created by the team of librarians and booksellers based on reading interests, age level, NCSLMA Battle of the Books titles, and read-alikes. Shoppers accessed them from the platform, and on a one-stop information hub,, which also included book talks from well-read teachers, librarians, and even a school nurse!

Check out some of our favorite curated booklists, still available to browse:

I Need a Hero! |NC Places |Our Fave New Picture Books |Best New YA |Picture Books en español |YA Mysteries to Chill You |Spooky Middle Grade

Kitty Hawk Elementary Librarian, and Dare County Schools Teacher of the Year, Ellen Bryson, shopped the day the book fair opened. She said, “They have everything I would want, including presales!I ordered the new Alan Gratz, books off Project Lit list,the new Scott Reintgen and more. Presents for my nephew and books for me. And they arrived in three days.”

Proceeds from purchases made on affiliate pages of Downtown Books and Buxton Village Books totaled $1,200, which was donated to the Dare Librarians team. The librarians used the funds to collectively purchase eBooks and audiobooks for all grade levels, available now to readers through the Sora platform. With Dare County Schools serving students remotely through the first semester of 2020-2021, there has been a demand for current, high-interest digital books and the virtual, local book fair provided funding to order several new books!

The event was a fundraiser for readers in Dare County Schools, however, purchases were made by shoppers well beyond our county’s is backed by a large warehouse, Ingram, that provides books for readers of all ages; including bestsellers, pre-orders of upcoming titles, board books, activity books, and launched early in 2020, to help independent bookstores compete with other online megastores and so far, nearly 10 million dollars has gone back to local bookstores across the country, like Downtown Books and Buxton Village Books.

Downtown Books ( and Buxton Village Books ( have been long time supporters of Dare County Schools. Their stores, and affiliate pages, can be shopped year-round.

While there are a variety of companies out there providing online book fairs, it is possible to pull off a local fair with the help and support of your independent booksellers! If you have any questions or need help, don’t hesitate to contact Mollee Holloman at

Fostering a Love for Reading

By: Angie Mitchell; Media Specialist, Level Cross Elementary

Does your circulation rate have you down? Do you want to find a way to get your students excited again about reading? Well, I may have the answer for you.

This February, I created a display called "Love at First Line." It was my elementary way of doing "Blind Date with a Book." I wanted to get my students excited about reading again and finding new books to enjoy. I explained to them that they would read the first line and then bring them to me, and I, in turn, would check out the book to them. The only caveat was that they could not say no to the book. This got some raised eyebrows, so I shared with them how many times it has taken me several chapters to get into a book, but once I did, I could not put it down. One of the students spoke up and said, "Yes, you cannot judge a book by its cover." I love that they already liked the idea.

As soon as I dismissed them from the tables to check out, they darted towards the shelves to find their new gem. It was wonderful. After just two days, I found myself having to take books home each night to keep up with the demand for books. The students have returned week after week, reporting how much they have enjoyed their new books. The smiles on their faces and excitement each week to pick a new book have made this one of the most successful projects in the past nine years. I will be doing this again next year.

Now you may be thinking, well, that is good and all, but February is over. How can I use this idea? Here are some ideas for the next couple of months:

  • March - "Do you feel lucky? Check out some of these golden gems."

  • April - "Let's go hunting for a good book." Write the sentences on eggs to mimic Easter Eggs. You could also do ~ "Hop into a Good Book" with a bunny design.

  • May - "Pick a Good Book" using flowers as the template.

Honestly, I do not think it matters what you call it. I think that the students will be excited about a new way of picking books. My circulation rates are up, and the students are so excited about reading. That makes this media specialist's heart very happy. I wish you good luck with your endeavors. Happy Reading, friends.




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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 Bitsy Griffin ( 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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