August 2021

Volume 2.10

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

Questions? Contact

In this edition:

NCSLMA Website


Cindy Sturdivant

NCSLMA President


It’s the time of year when students and educators around the country are getting excited about the upcoming school year. While the 2021-2022 school year is sure to be different from pre-Covid years, it should not be as crazy as the last year and a half were (fingers crossed)! 

I am looking forward to having my students in the building daily and in my library regularly! With my school being virtual and hybrid at different times last year, I missed getting to know the sixth graders last year. While this year will be somewhat challenging having two new grades of students to come to know, I am excited to introduce them to the library and to start helping them find books to match their interests! I am also looking forward to having classes for research and lessons; it feels like it has been way too long!

The beginning of a new school year is also a time to think about opportunities with NCSLMA over the next year. We have a couple of sessions of our Summer Learning Series (SLS) scheduled for August. You can still register for those on the Events section of our website. We will have a face-to-face conference in early October, and I am really looking forward to networking in person again! In addition to planning the SLS, your Regional Directors are hard at work planning a time to meet during our conference and planning for future virtual events. The book program committees have also been working diligently to continue to improve the various levels of Battle of the Books. Stay tuned for more details on that from Stacy Hersey, the book program director. The many volunteers who make NCSLMA run have all continued to work over the summer. 

As we venture into the new academic year, remember that your NCSLMA membership is now January to December so renewals won’t be due until the end of the calendar year. Also, please remember to share ideas and connect with fellow members through Twitter (@ncslma), through our FaceBook page (North Carolina School Library Media Association), and through our FaceBook group (NC School Librarians). 


We are excited to come back together at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem Oct. 7-9 toReflect, Refocus, Reconnect, & Rejuvenate!

In addition to our keynote speakers Cicely Lewis and Newbery Medal winning author Matt de la Peña, we have a great lineup of featured authors for our Friday afternoon/evening panel discussion and autograph session. The at-a-glance schedule is now posted, and watch for more information coming soon about the fabulous concurrent sessions and workshops lined up for this year’s conference.

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

Jenny Umbarger

President-Elect and

2021 Conference Committee Chair


Book Programs

by Stacy Hersey

Hello from the Director of Book Programs!  I am going to be sharing tips and tricks monthly about our Battle of the Books program.  As we all gear up to prepare ourselves for the upcoming school year (where DID the summer go?!), I just wanted to let you know that you can complete the compliance form by editing your profile.  A compliance form needs to be completed if you wish to compete in any of the three levels of Battle of the Books.  There are only a few questions that need to be answered, so it doesn't take long. I recommend that you go ahead and update your profile now.  It doesn't commit you to having a team, but it will be on file when you make that decision.  If you do not have a compliance form on file, you will not be eligible to coach a team.  Here is a short video to walk you through the steps.  

Updating Profile/Compliance Form

You can also update your school information or personal information if any of that has changed.  Please help me by sharing this information with other LMC's in your district-especially new ones.  Many new hires did not get this information until too late last year. Thanks so much for supporting our BOB program!!

Defining our roles as school librarians

Read one of Bitsy Griffin's latest blog posts: Defining our roles as school librarians.


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!


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

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!


Hoover Dam and Shaping the American West

Cheryl Chauncey, Media Coordinator at Ben L. Smith High School in Greensboro NC, attended the National Endowment of the Humanities Institute “Hoover Dam and the Shaping of the American West.” This two week institute was held in Boulder City, Nevada June 26- July 9.  Participants explored topics such as the building of the dam, environmental issues, the dam and postcard culture, the impact of the dam on Native Americans, African Americans and Women.  Additionally participants Hoover Dam, Vegas Springs Preserve and the Valley of Fire.

BEAR (Be Excited About Reading) Book Giveaway

Students get excited about summer reading with free books! 

By Elizabeth Rappold, Media Coordinator - Emma B. Trask Middle School, Wilmington, NC

At Trask Middle School, we are always looking for ways to get our students excited about reading, and we also know how important it is for students to have access to books at home. For these reasons, we have organized a yearly book giveaway that allows our students to each select a free novel of their choice. The giveaway is known as the BEAR (Be Excited About Reading) Book Giveaway after our mascot the Trask Bear. Students were encouraged to select a novel from their favorite genre to read over the summer. Dozens of titles were featured and teachers from all content areas recorded themselves reading first chapters as book previews. These book previews were shared during homeroom lessons for Read Across America month in March and continued throughout the month of April. Previewing the books during homeroom built suspense and excitement for the giveaway. It also increased library checkouts of the promoted books, and it helped all teachers to become more familiar with newer middle grade novels. We are thankful for the Title I funds and administrative support that made this event possible! 

Tomorrow’s Classroom: A New Frontier

Join fellow educators from around the world as we embark on a journey to explore "Tomorrow’s Classroom: A New Frontier." The Blended/ Digital Learning Team of Buncombe County Schools will be hosting the seventh annual STEAM conference on August 5, 2021. With almost 100 sessions available, the focus is on taking what we have learned in the past and moving forward into uncharted territory to help students achieve their highest potential. Feel free to invite your colleagues to join in as we all learn, collaborate, and participate in this exciting journey together.

This year’s BCS STEAM Conference will be completely virtual on August 5, 2021, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (EDT). Make your trek to and create your schedule to register. View an Introductory Video about the conference using the provided link. This is an opportunity to earn CEUs and expand your digital galaxy! We look forward to "seeing" you August 5th! 

Choice vs. Required Reading

by Tonya Monroe-Leach Western Guilford High School

From the American psychological association

"In the 1970s 60% of high school seniors read a book or magazine every day by 2016 only 16% did"

Students today are having a problem with relating to the classics because they don't see themselves in the material that they're reading and they cannot relate to it. Students should be given the right to choose books that they can relate to for class assignments. Today's readers have to see those mirrors and windows and sliding glass doors in order to relate to the topics in the books. The classics are good I'm not saying that not I'm just saying that the students need more variety in order to rekindle that love of reading if only 16% of high school seniors are reading a magazine a book every day and that was in 2016 I can imagine what the numbers look like for 2021. Students are moving away from reading for the fast pace of video games tick tocks and YouTubes. Where is librarians need to make sure that we are developing those relationships with our students so that we know their likes and dislikes and able to furnish them with books that they can see themselves in. We have to work together with language arts teachers and showing them that diverse books can mirror the image of your school population. Using websites like we need diverse books can open up a whole new world for teachers and for students.


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 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

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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.

Submission Guidelines Document

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