July 2021

Volume 2.9

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


Happy summer! Even if you are working over the summer, I hope you are taking some time for yourself. While I strongly believe educators need a break each summer, I’m not sure that has ever been more true for me than now. In our June newsletter, I closed by reminding you to “Rest, read, relax.” 

For me the resting and relaxing have included face-to-face visits with friends I haven’t seen in way too long, trips with family, and time sitting on my front porch. Reading has been a mix of books geared to adults and books geared to middle school students. My recent reads include The Book of Longings (Sue Monk Kidd), The Royal Governess (Wendy Holden), Forget Me Not (Ellie Terry), and Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero (Saadia Faruqi). 

Currently, I am reading two books: The Rough Guide to Scottish Highlands & Islands and The World of Downton Abbey (Jessica Fellowes). I am using the book on the Scottish Highlands to plan a trip for next summer (fingers crossed) to celebrate my upcoming retirement from my career in education. I came across the Downton Abbey book while visiting South Main Book Company, an indie bookstore in Salisbury. I was a late-comer to the world of Downton Abbey, starting it during my time at home during the pandemic. Whatever you choose to read this summer, enjoy the adventure the book takes you on!


There is one month left to register for the 2021 conference at the discounted early bird rate! We are excited to come back together at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem Oct. 7-9 toReflect, Refocus, Reconnect, & Rejuvenate.

This year’s conference begins on Thursday at 1pm with concurrent sessions and workshops. Cicely Lewis, 2020 SLJ School Librarian of the Year and founder of the #ReadWoke movement is our keynote speaker on Friday. Saturday’s closing luncheon will feature Newbery Medal winning author Matt de la Peña. Watch for more information coming soon about our great lineup of authors for our panel discussion and autograph session Friday evening!

Visit the conference website for more information and to register for #NCSLMA21.

Jenny Umbarger

President-Elect and

2021 Conference Committee Chair


Battle of the Books

by Stacy Hersey, Director of Book Programs

Exciting Changes Coming for Battle of the Books!

We are hard at work revising and updating the BOB Manual to reflect some exciting changes.  The chairs have been hard at work getting the three levels of BOB more aligned in terms of rules and book selection.  The pandemic forced many counties to make changes to their competitions and some of those changes were for the good.  Going forward, virtual competitions will remain an option for larger counties or any counties that wish to incorporate those as a means to determine their winner.  We are also looking at other ways to run district competitions that will give more leeway to larger counties.   Suggestions for ways to utilize the book lists beyond the competition will be forthcoming.  The updated manual will be on the website by the end of July so keep an eye out for it! 


NCLSMA has continuously gotten requests over the last few years about creating a cohort to help librarians earn their National Board Professional Teaching Standards certification in Library Media. We're hoping to finally make this a reality! If you have your National Board Certification in Library Media and are interested in acting as a mentor for librarians seeking their certification, please complete this survey and let us know! We'd love to be able to serve our members in this way and create board certified librarians across the state. 

NBPTS Certification Mentor Interest Survey


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


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

Summer is a great time to rest and relax...and clean up your inbox. Whether you have 15,000 unread messages or 2,415 read messages (slow hand raise because this is me) that you haven't had time to move out yet, cleaning up your inbox can be cathartic. Here is an article on the benefits of taking a little time to sort, delete, and unsubscribe. 

And because we're librarians and should have both sides of a controversial topic covered, here is an article on why you shouldn't worry about your inbox. 

So what kind of inbox person are you? Check out the poll in our NC School Librarians group and vote. 


Special Greetings from the Mentorship Committee!

Since the pandemic reared its head mid-school year in 2020, lots of conversations were had as to how we can support school librarians as we emerge into new roles across the profession.  Many of us assumed new responsibilities for which we had on the job training!  The importance of Mentorship became clear to all educators and specialists as we looked for new ways to best serve students.  In many instances, individuals new to the profession offered their expertise in unexpected ways!  The diversity of our collective knowledge base is vast and poses as a strength we hope to bottle and share with the membership of this wonderful organization.

I am so grateful to Faith Huff and Bitsy Griffin for their leadership and bringing the need for our Mentorship Program to be relaunched and active by winter of 2022.  While you enjoy the gifts of summer, we would love for you to consider participating in the program as a Mentor, Mentee or Subject Matter Expert.  These three roles entail the following per our handbook guidelines:

Role of a Mentor: 

A mentor is an experienced School Library Media Professionals to serve as mentors for our new Cohort of mentees for the 2022-2023 Mentorship Program.  An NCSLMA member with 3 years of active experience with a clear license at any level in a school library media center may serve as a mentor through this program.  Mentors may work with an individual regionally or be part of a state-wide pool of experts.  

Role of a School Library (Subject Matter) Experts: 

  • Meet individually monthly with mentee in person or virtually

  • Sign up to lead at least one monthly mentee meeting 

  • Contributing to core knowledge by responding to post submitted to the mentorship forum

  • Be available to provide tips and best practices 

  • Identify and document best practices

  • Recommend resources, share news or information, provide a guiding hand

In addition to the monthly commitment to connect with your Mentor/Mentee, we are pleased about the possibility to offer DLC credits/CEU's for Professional Development embedded in the program.  This is a new development and we are excited about the opportunity for both Mentors and Mentees to be profoundly impacted by building relationships through our worthy profession.  It is through this work that we will be adequately poised to serve and guide the youth of this generation.  Stay tuned for links to submit your application to participate in the 2022-2023 cohort! We're hoping to take mentee applications soon and mentor applications in the fall!  We look forward to you joining us.


Contact Us:

Need to contact someone with NCSLMA? Here's the

NCSLMA Board Directory

Member Services

NCSLMA Sections

Director: Faith Huff

Director: Crystal Joyce

Awards, Grants, Scholarships
Director: Sarah Justice

Book Programs
Director: Stacy Hersey

Regional Directors:
Lead: Robin Rhodes

Director: Kristy Sartain

Director: Laura Aldridge

Director: Bitsy Griffin


Visit all of our 2020 conference Vendors and Sponsors!


Adventure Bound Books

Adventure Bound Books is excited to continue collaboration with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) to bring the virtual series: Reader Meet Writer. These are virtual events that take place online. RSVP by emailing events@adventureboundbooks.com and order a copy of the book from Adventure Bound Books and receive a 15% event discount. 

Thursday, 7/8 @ 7pm: Shannon Dingle, author of Living Brave

Thursday, 7/13 @ 7pm: Mary Gauthier, author of Saved by a Song

Thursday, 7/15 @ 7pm: Lydia Dugdale, MD, author of The Lost Art of Dying

 Adventure Bound Books will also be hosting author Matthew Elegy in a virtual event in collaboration with our Pride and Parchment Book club to discuss his book, Elegy of the Undead, part horror story, part queer love story.


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 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.

Submission Guidelines Document

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