October 2023

Volume 4.9

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

Questions? Contact kenishasmith@ncslma.org

In this edition:

NCSLMA Website



Jennifer Abel

NCSLMA President


President’s Corner October 2023

It's Conference Month!!! We are so excited for this year's conference. There is a great group of presenters, storytellers and authors coming to this year's conference. There is still time to register and you can register on site!! Conference will run October 5-7! 

Self-nominations are now open for the following Regional Director positions:

Region 2 - Southeast

Region 4 - Sandhills

Region 5 - Piedmont Triad

Region 7 - Northwest

Region 9 - Independent Schools

Please review the job description in the NCSLMA Bylaws

Banned Books Week is October 1-7. Please join our Facebook group and let us know the great things you are doing. 

Conference News:

Conference Webpage

If you haven’t registered yet no worries late / on site registration is still available! Make sure to register now to attend the conference. 

Open Volunteer Positions: 

Have you wanted to volunteer with NCSLMA, but didn’t know where to start? We’re making it easy because we would love to have your talents supporting our organization! Check out the new Open Volunteer Positions on our website for information about current open positions. This list does change as positions become available, so make sure to check it often. If you see something that sounds like it would be a great fit, please consider volunteering. Not only will it help NCSLMA, you will also be able to show leadership at the state level on the DPI School Librarian Evaluation Tool.

Upcoming events: 

The Page Turners Book club will meet October 5th during the conference at 7:30 pm in the Embassy Suites “The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches” By Sangu Mandanna
August AM Brew Crew -  October 14, 9:00 am
August PM Brew Crew - October 27, 8:00 pm

Kristy Sartain
Conference Co-Chair

Conference is this week!

Conference is this week!

Conference is this week!


Before I get into the thank yous, I want to add a disclaimer. Anything that is wonky or has issues at conference, I take full responsibility for. This planning team has been PHENOMENAL and the weak spot has definitely been me. Sometimes I took/take too long to get back with people. Sometimes I made a wrong decision (see also: not enough swag). Sometimes I just had to check out and curl in a ball on my chair and I missed self-imposed deadlines because I. Just. Couldn't. Doing something this big while also working a full time job is difficult, to say the least. I am not saying this to get out of anything or get sympathy. It is what it is. I know myself and I like to think I am honest about my shortcomings. I am human, after all. I knew up front this would be a struggle for me, but I love my fellow librarians and wanted to step up and be there for all of you and for NCSLMA.

There have definitely been some bumps and bruises along the way. But I have learned some things about myself. Mostly that I never want to plan a conference again. But even more so that when you have fantastic people helping and supporting you, the load is a lot lighter and that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of humanness and trust. I have been truly blessed (and I rarely use that term, but it is definitely the right word for this) to have Heath Radford (Conference Director), Emily Golightly (Keynote/Author Chair), Colleen Graham (Vendor Chair), Mandy Keziah (PR Chair), Marcia Wingerd (Tech Chair)and their year-long committee members, who include Pam Sands, Natalie Ezell, Jennifer Cox, and Jackie Bathory. Kerri Wike, April Braddy, and Leslie Mitchell will be helping make sure our vendor and technology needs are handled at the conference. I also want to thank my librarian friends (we call ourselves the library gang) in Fayetteville who have been just the best. I threw the worst party ever - a bag and nametag stuffing party and not only did Pam and Julianne and Karen (and her daughter, Halley!) swing by, but Colleen and Marcia drove an hour and a half each to help out. The guidance and support that Jennifer Abel and Jenny Umbarger provided have been invaluable and I am so lucky that they were so patient and giving with me. Words seem so inadequate to express how grateful I am to all the people who have been helping with this conference. I don't know how this could be done without this crew of dedicated, amazing humans.

If you are able to volunteer with NCSLMA in any capacity, I highly recommend it. The people on the Board and in leadership positions in every capacity have been freaking awesome to work with and I am still amazed that this all started with a simple application to the Leadership Academy four years ago. If you are looking for a sign to run for office or apply for Leadership Academy, this is it. Do it. Step up. You never know what will come of it. 

Bookfully yours,


(Announcements and Updates)


NCSLMA has a small blog on our website. If you would like to contribute to it, please send submissions to kristysartain@ncslma.org. 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!

2023 Conference Reminders

Share Your Magic!

The Conference PR Team wants to hear from you! Share the magic that is happening in your library so we can tell the world! Visit ncslma.org/magicinyourlibrary and fill out the form with your story.

Don't Forget To Register!!

Register for this year's conference using this link!


Late/On-site - September 1 - October 7
$200 for members
$200 for out of state Associate members*
$275 for non-members (includes NCSLMA membership)

A Word From Our Director of Advancement 

Well, here we are in a new school year! I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t ready! But for me, as the Director of Advancement, the summer was busy and packed full of learning opportunities for myself and fellow NC school librarians. 

One of the highlights of my year is getting the Summer Learning Series scheduled. We always have wonderful presenters ready to take time out of their summers to share and help us grow, and attendees ready to learn. Starting the Tuesday after July 4th we met every Tuesday night at 7pm to learn together. Sessions were recorded, so all those who signed up for any Summer Learning Series session can access them on our website. They will open up to all NCSLMA members to access in March, 2024!

Up first was Media and STEM…the best combination! led by Amanda McCall. This session was packed full of ideas for integrating science, technology, engineering, and math into the library. No matter what age group you teach, you’ll get ideas from this amazing presentation! 

  • Using Adobe Education Exchange in the Media Center was led by Kerri Wike and it was something I needed, for sure. I’m a Canva girly, but I loved the variety Adobe Education Exchange offers and I have the trainings to dig deeper on my to-do list. 

  • Emily Golightly brought us School-Wide Reading Culture and, yet again, we were bombarded with so many amazing ideas. I could write this entire blog post about Emily’s wealth of knowledge on this topic. No matter whether you are a novice at something like this or you feel like you’re the expert, I promise you’ll leave this presentation with something new. 

  • How to Clone Yourself During Instruction, led by Jennie Hunt, helped us find ways to be multiple places at once! Most of us are the only one working in the library, so this session will give you a few extra metaphorical arms and make your life WAY easier. 

  • I led our final session, NC SLMC Evaluations: Making It Make Sense. Our evaluation instrument isn’t always easy to understand, especially for our administrators! It’s so important that we make sure they know what the state says we should be focusing on and what those standards mean. If you want to dig a little deeper into our instrument and get some tips on how to showcase what you do to your admin, this session is the place for you! 

On August 12th we had our inaugural Librarian Boot Camp! This was a bit of a bear to organize since we’d never hosted anything like this before, but shout out to NJASL (New Jersey Association of School Librarians) for allowing us out-of-state folks to attend their mini-conferences. I presented at their first mini-con and attended the second and I loved the short sessions and fun topics. Kristy Sartain and I talked after the 2023 mini-con about how we could bring something similar to North Carolina librarians. We’d already had something titled “Librarian Boot Camp” on our to-do list, but we couldn’t quite decide what we wanted it to look like. I was thrilled when we landed on this idea! We aimed these sessions toward new librarians with a focus on the basics, but there’s always something veteran librarians need to learn or get a little refresher on. 

If you weren’t able to attend, we started the morning with a series of 30-minute sessions. Four options were available for each time slot so there were plenty of options to meet your needs. The morning sessions are posted on the NCSLMA website as well for anyone who signed up for the event, so if you missed one you can go back and learn something new! In the afternoon, we offered open drop-in sessions with focused topics, so if you wanted to ask specific questions or be walked through a process someone was available to assist you at your point of need. We got wonderful feedback from Boot Camp and you can bet we’ll be doing it again next year! 

The 2023 Leadership Academy is winding down, but we’re getting ready to open applications for the 2024 cohort. If you’ve ever thought about joining the Leadership Academy, now is the time! Visit us at this year’s conference on Saturday morning at 10am to hear from the 2023 cohort and get more information about how to apply for the next round of school library leaders! Please reach out to me with any questions!

That’s all I have for now from Advancement! I wish you the best school year ever!

Faith Huff, Director of Advancement

Upcoming Board of Directors Elections

NCSLMA is seeking nominations for our upcoming elections to our Board of Directors! 

Self-nominations are now open for the following Regional Director positions:

  • Region 2 - Southeast

  • Region 4 - Sandhills

  • Region 5 - Piedmont Triad

  • Region 7 - Northwest

  • Region 9 - Independent Schools

Please review the job description in the NCSLMA Bylaws linked here.

You must be a current NCSLMA member to run for an office, and Regional Directors must work in the region for which they are a candidate.

This form is open now through 11.59pm on Friday, October 13, 2023. The election will be held October 16- 30, 2023.

Questions? Contact Past-President Jenny Umbarger, jennyumbarger@ncslma.org

NCSLMA Sections

Director: Faith Huff

Director: Lucy Wilcox

Awards, Grants, Scholarships
Director: Leslie Pope

AASL Delegates

Laura Aldridge & Sarah Justice

Book Programs
Director: Stacy Hersey

Director: Brene Duggins

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Director: Vacant

Regional Directors:
Lead: Lori Munroe

Social Media
Director: Alicia Luke

Director: Vacant


Meet Natalie Hulbert 

An Invitation To Join the Elementary Computer Science Content Series


SLNC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage in North Carolina

PS: This is an opportunity for librarians and teachers to join and attend the session live with their students.

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 Kenisha Smith (kenishasmith@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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