June 2021

Volume 2.8

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

Questions? Contact bitsygriffin@ncslma.org

In this edition:

NCSLMA Website


Cindy Sturdivant

NCSLMA President


Wow! What a year! As we close out this incredibly stressful year, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on this year. First, focus on the successes that have happened in the midst of the crazy pandemic year. For me I am thinking of the teacher who became a master of Zoom even though she struggled with basic technology in previous years. I am also thinking of the student who has been fully remote this year, but has regularly stopped by to pick up library books and has been very active in my virtual book club. 

Next, I suggest you focus on some unsuccessful moments and try to think of strategies to make those situations more successful in the future. In my library, the most obvious is a huge drop in student circulation. Hopefully, we will be fully open next year, and this issue will work itself out, but I want to plan in case that does not happen. I am adding categories to copy records in Destiny, and I plan to make a tutorial for students on how to use these categories to locate books of interest. Using these resources should help increase student circulation.

I hope you plan to take some time for yourself over the coming summer. Make time for what refreshes you so that some of the stress from this year can be mitigated before you return to school in the fall. It has been a hard year for everyone, and we have all been very busy. We all need our summer break, probably more than we have ever needed it before! Rest, read, relax!


We are excited for the opportunity to Reflect, Refocus, Reconnect, & Rejuvenate as we come back together at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem for  our Oct. 7-9 annual conference!

The conference will officially begin Thursday, Oct. 7 at 1pm with concurrent sessions and workshops that afternoon, followed by the Regional Meet & Greet and vendor reception.

Friday will be filled with concurrent sessions and workshops, and we are excited for our opening keynote speaker, Cicely Lewis. She is the 2020 SLJ School Librarian of the Year and the founder of the #ReadWoke movement. We have a great lineup of authors for our panel discussion Friday afternoon and evening autograph session and vendor reception.

Saturday will start with some additional concurrent sessions and workshops, and our conference will culminate with a luncheon featuring Newbery Medal winning author Matt de la Peña.

Conference registration is now open! Early bird registration runs June 1-July 31 for a special discounted rate. Visit the conference website for more information and to register for #NCSLMA21.

Jenny Umbarger

President-Elect and

2021 Conference Committee Chair


It's time to let your leadership capabilities shine!

Are you an independent school librarian? We need YOU to serve as the Independent school Regional Director!

Job descriptions can be found in our Bylaws.

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

This form will be open through midnight on Friday June 4. The election will be held June 5-11.




Award applications have been extended until June 30, 2021. 


The June NCSLMA Commendation goes to


The Guilford Green Foundation demonstrates an understanding of and commitment to inclusiveness and respect for diversity in the learning community in it's own mission. The Guilford Green Foundation states that "Although we concentrate our efforts on the LGBTQ community, we believe in the intrinsic dignity and rights of every individual. We believe in people’s rights to feel safe, healthy, respected and included, from teens who are kicked out of their homes for questioning their gender to the elderly who struggle to find services that include their partners. And we work towards securing those rights every day."

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

Inclusivity Special Committee

The NCSLMA Inclusivity Special Committee had a few new members to join us and we are so excited to have them on our team. Here is the complete and up to date list of our committee members:

  • Mollee Holloman, Dare County

  • Johnetta FloydWake County

  • Martha LevyOnslow County

  • Katie RogersHenderson County

  • Erica FloryWake County

  • Cadetrus FikesCumberland County

  • Jenni ClarkHoke County

  • Julie StiversWake County

  • Dina HansenPasquotank County

  • Haley FerreiraDurham County

  • Susan RingoWilkes County

  • Beth BruchAlamance County

  • Michelle Burton, Durham County

These past few months have been serious data dives for the Inclusivity Special Committee. We have been looking at data from the North Carolina Digital Learning and Media Inventor (NC DLMI) to see if there is any correlation in how our media centers are funded and staffed in relation to high wealth and low wealth counties.  We also have been looking at the diversity of students and the teaching force in North Carolina, particularly with media coordinators. Finally, we have been analyzing the data from the various MLS/MLIS graduate programs in the state to see where we are as a profession and what we need to do to build a more diverse and inclusive pipeline.

The Inclusivity Committee is now on summer break and will reconvene meeting in September 2021. Our goal is to send out a statewide survey and to launch it during the NCSLMA Convention in October. 

Michelle Burton, Chair, NCLSMA Inclusivity Special Committee


Stay up to date on everything going on with NCSLMA. Join the NC School Librarians group on Facebook . Follow our NCSLMA page on Facebook and our Twitter handle @NCSLMA. And of course, our website has tons of information available as well.  The Tech Team is doing amazing work getting information out and if you have an event coming up, good news to share, or would like to send them some KUDOS, send an e-mail to kristysartain@ncslma.org with the details. 

Thank you to Kristi Allred, Chelsea Brantley, Deb Christensen, Brene Duggins, and Alicia Luke for their work on our Social Media platforms! You ladies ROCK and I am so glad to be part of your team!

-Kristy Sartain


Contact Us:

Need to contact someone with NCSLMA? Here's the

NCSLMA Board Directory


NCSLMA Sections

Director: Crystal Joyce

Awards, Grants, Scholarships
Director: Sarah Justice

Book Programs
Director: Stacy Hersey

Director: Faith Huff

Director: Kristy Sartain

Director: Laura Aldridge

Director: Bitsy Griffin


Visit all of our 2020 conference Vendors and Sponsors!


Bringing History To Life At A. L. Brown High School

(A “Better Together” NCSLMA Grant Project)

By Katie Bogle, Media Coordinator,  L. Brown High School

At A. L. Brown High School, one of our Honors World History teachers, Sarah Solomon, decided that she would like to better help her students understand what daily life was like for teenagers throughout world history.  A collaborative project was designed in which we decided to have the students read historical fiction novels set in five different time periods over world history.  Further, we decided to have the students visit these five time periods through virtual reality (VR) tours. The Better Together grant provided funds to purchase more historical fiction novels, as well as 3 more VR viewers to add to the Media Center’s existing 20 viewers. This would create a 1:1 ratio for student to VR device for the class.  

We booktalked 20 young adult novels featuring teenagers across the five time periods, with care to be varied in protagonist voices from different ethnicities, genders, and socio-economic statuses.  The students chose which book of the 20 they wanted to read. As they read, they met in two virtual literature circles with other students reading books set in the same time period.  We used Flipgrid to allow students to see, hear, and respond to each other in these virtual literature circles.  Virtual reality tours for the five time periods were also offered as part of the instruction via Google Expeditions.

As their culminating project, the students chose one fictional teenager from their chosen novel to bring to life. They recorded themselves on Flipgrid delivering a one minute monologue given in that imagined teenager’s voice, complete with time period appropriate costume, prop, and background. They then watched each other’s performances and commented back. A Flipgrid Mixtape of some of the students’ recorded performances can be found at flipgrid.com/+u3remcis, so go take a look!

As they reflected on the project, the students noted that they really enjoyed their chosen books, calling them “interesting”, “awesome”, and “AMAZING”. Several made sure to tell us to “please use this book again” with the project next year. Although they would have preferred to be able to discuss the books live and perform live, they understood that the Flipgrid version was necessary for the pandemic. 

A few student thoughts included:

  • “I liked how this project made me think critically but also be creative.” 

  • “The monologue was surprisingly fun to type up.” 

  • “It definitely brought out the creativeness and acting part out of me.” 

  • “It was my favorite assignment to do. I did get nervous, but it was so fun to try to bring my character to life!” 

Overall, the students “enjoyed the experience of getting to learn more about what those people went through throughout history.” When things return to our new normal next year, we plan on continuing with this project.  We are looking forward to being able to discuss the books in person, as well as adding the fun dynamic of turning the library into a theater for a class period to let them perform their monologues live and in costume.

Adventure Bound Books

Adventure Bound Books in Morganton is proud to be a partner with Random House Publishing’s In The Heights Virtual Book Launch, featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Jeremy McCarter. Join Miranda, Hudes, and McCarter for a very special presentation on Tuesday, June 15 from 8:00 to 9:00pm ET on Zoom. In The Heights: Finding Home is a book about a hip-hop/salsa musical that became a Broadway sensation. Sure to be an unforgettable conversation on creativity, community, and finding home, this is your chance to hear directly from the creative team behind the timeless story of how one neighborhood—Washington Heights—can speak to the world. Please contact us at events@adventureboundbooks.com for more information on this exciting event!

We are also excited to be working with Warren Publishing to bring a virtual children’s author panel to early childhood educators and families on June 15th at 6:30pm. This panel discussion will be via Crowdcast and will feature Marshall Silverman, author of Can I Please Have a Dog?, Kim Partin, author of Penny the Shy Pony, and Robin Lang, author of A Mermaid’s Tail, and The Adventures of the Magical Whisk in Italy. Each author will discuss their book and how it can be used in the classroom for young children. There will be a Q&A with the audience following the presentations. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents and teachers. Please email events@adventureboundbooks for more information and to register for the event.


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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 (bitsygriffin@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.

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