December 2022

Volume 3.11

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

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In this edition:

NCSLMA Website



Jenny Umbarger

NCSLMA President


President’s Corner December 2022

When I was asked to consider running for president-elect a few years ago, I was honored–and scared. But I was still very eager to take advantage of growth opportunities at that time and I knew I had a strong support system in the other presidents, so I accepted and was ready to be the absolute best NCSLMA President that I could be. Then the pandemic hit, and my father’s dementia started progressing. I made some poor choices early on in my conference planning and then had to struggle with the decision to switch the 2021 conference to virtual just a month before the event. I came close to calling it quits, but I knew that wouldn’t be fair, as I had made a commitment. This was all before I even officially became president.

As I start my final month as NCSLMA President, I am realizing that this “growth opportunity” did not allow me to grow the way I originally expected. I don’t feel like I have been the absolute best NCSLMA president I could be, and I am sorry for that. I have given what I could, when I could–and I will continue to do so. But I have come to terms with the fact that being a people-pleasing perfectionist is not sustainable for me. My new mantra is “eh, good enough” and I am learning to be ok with this.

Despite my lack of phenomenal leadership, NCSLMA is a strong organization as a result of the work of many. The volunteers that serve on the Board of Directors, as coordinators or chairs, and on the various committees keep NCSLMA going and provide support for us in our profession - I can’t thank you all enough! But we recognize there is always room for improvement, so we are asking you to take time to complete our future planning survey linked here: This will help guide our work as we prepare for a new year. Thank you in advance for your input and feedback.

We are also always looking for more volunteers to help get the work done. Be on the lookout for a page on our website with volunteer opportunities, but the immediate known needs are within our Advocacy and Governance section:

  • Advocacy Committee - contact Stephanie Powell at

  • Legislative Committee - contact Lucy Wilcox at

  • Intellectual Freedom "First Responders" - contact April Dawkins at (you will receive training from Dr. Dawkins!)

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as NCSLMA President, and I look forward to supporting our incoming President, Jennifer Abel. I strive to be a better Past-President than I have been as President, but I hope that what I have done has been good enough.

Image source unknown, but credit to Kim Gugino for sharing this with me.



(Announcements and Updates)


NCSLMA has a small blog on our website. If you would like to contribute to it, please send submissions to We're looking for news items, stories about your library, fun events you have had, etc. Pictures can be included and are welcomed. There are no minimum or maximum length requirements. Share some of the great things going on in your library!

Meet Our New Regional Directors

Our Regional Directors Need Our Help!

Our roles as school library media coordinators have changed drastically over the course of the pandemic.  The NCSLMA regional directors are collecting data about those changes as well as what we want our roles to be as we emerge from the pandemic.  Please go to to participate in our “Are You Still You?” Padlet. 

Make a new post for each unique thought; add comments to thoughts which relate to your comment. Vote for as many thoughts as you want. The more votes, the more it needs to be on our radar. Post Categories: 1. (Blue) Roles/Tasks you did before COVID. 2. (Orange) Roles/Tasks you added during COVID. 3. (Red) Roles/Tasks you lost during COVID. 4. ( Green) Roles/Tasks you want now & in the future. 

Data collected will be used within NCSLMA to drive professional development, advocacy, and more.  This Padlet was first presented in my NCSLMA Conference 2022 session “Are You Still You”.  Thank you for your help.

Sara Levin

NCSLMA Coastal Regional Director

Battle of Books Reminder!!

It’s that time again!!  Time to complete your compliance form if you are going to have a Battle of the Books team.  The compliance form will be located in the “Events” section of the website.  You will register for the event which will give us all the information we need in order for you to compete in all three levels of Battle of the Books.  The event opens November 1 and will remain open until December 31.  The sooner you can complete the form, the better.  If at a later date you decide you will not be able to have a team, no worries.  Completing the form does not mean you are committing to coaching a team-it just means you are considering it.  If you do not have a compliance form on file, you will not be able to compete in the district or regional competitions so it’s better to go ahead and fill it out.  Here is a short video showing how to get your compliance form completed.  

Stacy Hersey, Director of Book Programs

NC Member Spotlights

Highlighting the hard work of our North Carolina librarians.

Miscommunication Age & The Role of the Media Specialist

by Tonya Monroe-Leach

The pandemic has a new virus that is sweeping across our nation. This virus is destroying the minds of millions of people and bringing division upon us. This virus is called fake news and miscommunication. The pandemic left many of us home without anything to do and millions of people flocked to social media for their news and entertainment. In the technology age, students have access to information at the tips of the fingers. With rapid access to information, there is also rapid access to misinformation. Students must be taught on all levels to access information properly. We, as media specialists, are vital in teaching the proper way to access information. We must educate teachers in what to look for when grading research papers and looking for cited information. Teachers must also be taught about reliable sources which can change from year to year. We must educate students so that they know the difference between a reliable source and fake news. Fake news is everywhere, thanks to social media and various so-called news outlets. Students have access to news through these mediums which are not a reliable source but may seem true to them at the time. Being taught about reliable sources and the biases in news, students will learn the difference between the two as well as gain skills to access reliable information. In order to accomplish this, we must review reliable sources yearly with our students so that they can understand the changes in sources. 

We are the gatekeepers to information and the destroyers of miscommunication.

We must use the skills that we were taught to encourage the proper way to access information and to discern fake news from Real News. Our future is dependent on us because if we don't get a hold of this miscommunication now then we will be left with a future of young leaders believing in fake news and running our nation based on it. 

Is that what you want?

NCSLMA Sections

Director: Faith Huff

Director: Susan Sawin

Awards, Grants, Scholarships
Director: Sarah Justice

AASL Delegates

Laura Aldridge & Jenny Umbarger

Book Programs
Director: Stacy Hersey

Director: Cindy Sturdivant

Director: Shelly Cloninger

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Michelle Burton & Ness Shortley

Regional Directors:
Lead: Robin Rhodes

Social Media
Director: Alicia Luke

Director: 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 Kenisha Smith ( 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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