Jan./Feb. 2024

Volume 5.1

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

Questions? Contact kenishasmith@ncslma.org

In this edition:

NCSLMA Website



Kristi Sartain


President’s Corner January/February 2024

Happy 2024! This has been the longest year of my life so far and we’re only two months in. I hope you are doing well and that the year is better to you than it has been to me.

First, I want to thank Lori Munroe and everyone who helped make Winter Tune-Up a huge success! It was our biggest one yet and I loved the sessions I was able to sit in on. If you have not signed up yet, but still want to see the recordings, there will be an email sent out soon with a make-up registration. Be on the lookout for that!

This month, I want to update you on a big change we are making. We are changing our address! *fanfare* *fireworks* *cheers* But seriously, though. Our previous address was used because it was convenient at the time. However, it is no longer convenient. The closest person to it has to drive an hour one way to check mail. This is not sustainable or fair to ask her to do that. And in our membership and conference seasons, we really need to be able to access our mailbox frequently. So we are moving it to Hope Mills, which is in the county where our Treasurer and I live. This will make it really easy for us to get mail frequently and ensure checks are posted quickly.

We will be sending out a mailer to every school’s bookkeeper in mid-April so the address can be changed in AS400 or whatever system they use. Before then, we are asking that you add your school’s address in your NCSLMA profile so we have the correct information. To do this, log into NCSLMA.org, click on the little orange person in the upper left hand corner, then click View My Profile. Click Edit profile, then scroll down to the Physical School Address field. Add it, then save. While you’re in your profile, you can also edit your home address and your privacy settings. If you don’t add your school address, we will send it to your home address instead.

The last time we changed our organization’s address was 5-7 years ago. It was in Raleigh. And people STILL send their conference and membership checks to that Raleigh address. That is why we are going to mail letters to schools or to you, so there is something official and physical to give to your bookkeeper.

I wish you an amazing March and I hope to see you at Brew Crew or Town Hall or Book Club. We have so many great opportunities to network and connect that I hope you are able to join us at one of them.

Thank you for being part of NCSLMA!


Faith Huff
Conference Co-Chair



In case you haven't met me, my name is Faith Huff and I'm your NCSLMA president-elect. The biggest role the president-elect has is planning our NCSLMA Annual Conference and we've been hard at work! I had no idea how many moving parts were involved in conference planning and our new location at Koury Convention Center has brought its own excitement and challenges. Look for more blog posts from me (March is coming soon!) to find out more about how conference planning is going and all things tied into being president-elect. You need to know in case you want to run for 2025 president-elect in a few months (hint hint, wink wink).

If you need me you can email me at faithhuff@ncslma.org or you can find me on all the socials @teachinatardis. Keep bringing that library joy wherever you go! 



  • Region 8 is holding a live PD day on March 18th. Reach out to Regional Director Maggie Skroski for more information.
  • Region 7 Advisory Committee Members are needed. Please use this link.


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!

Advocacy & Governance

Book Programs

Help us advocate for librarians across our great state! My name is Lucy Wilcox, and I am the director of the Advocacy & Governance Committee. Our group is focused on advocacy, legislation, and intellectual freedom. That means we work to help you advocate for your library at the local and state level, strive to keep our membership informed about current and upcoming state legislation that impacts school libraries (and teachers in general), and offer resources and support in the face of challenges to our students' right to read. We need more voices in our committee. Please reach out to me at lucywilcox@ncslma.org if you would like to learn more about what our committee does and how you can join in!

--Lucy Wilcox

Are you looking for a way to get involved with NCSLMA? The EBOB committee is looking for some members. If you are interested, please email ebobchair@ncslma.org for more information.

We are gearing up for our Battle of the Books district competitions around the state. Coordinators be sure to double check coaches membership and compliance form status. We can’t wait to see how excited the students are to show off all of their hard work!

2024-25 BOB lists have been posted in case anyone has funds they can still spend. I’m excited about the upcoming lists and seeing what the students have selected as the Student’s Choice book on each level!

--Stacy Hersey 


Professional Growth

As a benefit of AASL's partnership with Project Look Sharp on the IMLS project ML3: Librarians as Leaders for Media Literacy, K-12 school librarians are eligible for the complimentary online course "Empowering All Students Through Media Decoding." This 9-week self-paced course is designed to teach school librarians how to lead effective media decoding with students and colleagues. The course begins March 7 and those who complete the course will earn 15 hours of PD (which may be eligible for CTLEs or the equivalent) and a letter to their principal or superintendent about the training. To apply, email looksharp@ithaca.edu

--Laura Aldridge & Sarah Justice

I’m excited to step into my new role as Director of Professional Growth! We changed the name from Advancement to Professional Growth. I look forward to supporting our Regional Directors during the Winter Tune Up. Be sure to sign up, the sessions are always wonderful. Preparations are beginning for our Summer Learning Series. Be on the lookout for our Call to Present which will go out in the Spring.

I appreciate your patience as I update my pages on the NCSLMA website.

--Sara Levin

Awards, Grants, & Scholarships

We are approaching awards season! Applications/nominations will be going out to everyone on Monday, March 18, 2024. If you are interested in joining a scoring committee for this, please email lesliepope@ncslma.org. You will score on your own time, and we will have 2 virtual meetings


NCSLMA is a wonderful organization with a dedicated leadership team that is here to support you and promote our profession. Volunteering with this group is one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve ever had. The opportunities, training, and fellowship that have come my way in the past few years that I have been an active member are too many to count.

As the new Marketing Director, I get to peek behind the curtain and take on a bigger role in the promotion of NCSLMA. I am learning the ins and outs of my new position, but I already have ideas about how we can spotlight and celebrate the world of school libraries! I won’t be able to do it all alone. I am excited to welcome Jessica Dupree as our new Social Media Coordinator! She is going to make sure that no matter what platform you are using, you can be up-to-date on what is happening with all things NCSLMA!

I am still searching for someone to take on management of the online store and website. If you are interested in volunteering, please let me know by emailing me at missyperritt@ncslma.org.


Experiencing American Indian Heritage Month

By Darlena Estelle AKA Esther D. Glenn, Media Coordinator

R.N. Harris Elementary School, Durham, North Carolina

In year one, month three of my librarian experience in 2019, we were asked to bring a Native American children’s book to our district-wide media coordinator meeting.  A seasoned colleague shared We Are Grateful by Traci Sorrell published by Charlesbridge in 2018.  I remember being completely intrigued with the title which was also in Cherokee. The book was passed around the table, I perused it, took notes, and stored that information away.  Back in my school library, I looked up all the titles that were shared in the meeting and found none in the collection.  I did find one novel written about the Trail of Tears that was also a previous Elementary Battle of the Books title. At this point in my teaching career, I knew a little bit about Indigenous people or what I like to call, “The First People;” however I did not know enough as a rookie librarian to sufficiently share knowledge with young learners.

In 2018 I volunteered at the North Carolina Museum of History’s 23rd annual American Indian Heritage Celebration in Raleigh, North Carolina.  In 2019 I attended the North Carolina School of Science and Math’s annual Pow Wow in Durham, North Carolina.  These two interactions brought me up close and personal with NC native tribal members.  I asked questions, I listened, I watched, I took pictures, I learned. Flashback to April 2018, my antennas were opened to observation at the opening of Durham’s 150 Sesquicentennial Celebration on the American Tobacco Campus. I heard honorable mention to the native tribes whose land the City now resides on: the Eno, the Shakori, the Occoneechee.

The Eno River runs through Durham and Hillsborough, NC so of course I’ve experienced the river before; however, it was the First Hike of January 1, 2023 in celebration of The Year of The Trail at the Eno River State Park that I saw this area in a whole new way. Upgrades were planned for the park and a new educational center was being added.  I took the opportunity to explore the Eno River State Park’s new educational center one Sunday afternoon in October.  I was so excited talking to the park ranger and information desk personnel.  I asked questions, I listened, I read, I took pictures, I learned.  Falling after Hispanic Heritage Month and Halloween and in the month of Thanksgiving, Native American Heritage Month receives no recognition in my school. Now I had a pretty exciting and full Hispanic Heritage Month this year with my first HHM diverse titles Book Tasting.  It was truly EPIC!  However, after the visit to the newly opened Eno River State Park educational center, I was absolutely resolved to celebrate Native American Indian Heritage Month in the library.

At the Durham County Library, I checked out picture books and put them on display in the school library.  One of the main books I shared with learners was We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (oh-ja-LEE-hay-lee-gah) with a CD recording.  Back in July 2023 while at NCCAT in Cullowhee, NC, I visited the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.  Coincidentally, author Traci Sorrell was there to present her books in the museum.  I did not see her, but nonetheless, it was significant to me that I was in the same space she would be in later. In all my reading and research of late on Indigenous people, Traci Sorrell is a major author and her voice is one of enlightenment.

By the end of November 2023, I was able to present Native American programming incorporating reading, research, history, and culture for the Pre-K through Grade 5 students I serve in the library.  I shared my personal pictures and videos of my experience at the Eno River State Park and the 2023 NC Museum of History’s Native American Heritage Celebration.  I also shared the Lumbee Tribe’s Youtube.com channel as well as a recent PBS documentary filmed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts about the duality of Modern Indigenous Culture.  I used bookmarks with upper elementary students I had been collecting for years from the National Museum of the American Indian mailers on Geronimo, Pocahontas, and Sitting Bull as springboards to cooperative learning & research activities using credible databases available to all students. I even made a photo collage announcement for teachers and staff of the month-long library recognition and placed one in each of their mailboxes.

Overall, I am proud I brought this important programming to the school library.  Finally, I am grateful that during our December 2023 bookfair, I was able to purchase at least 15 beautifully illustrated and accurately written Native American children’s books. In 2024 our school library will have a collection of its own for readers to check out and enjoy!

Check out the my SMORE newsletter for more tool.

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


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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.

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