June 2022

Volume 3.5

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

Questions? Contact kenishasmith@ncslma.org

In this edition:

NCSLMA Website

Our Sponsors


Jenny Umbarger

NCSLMA President


My original words didn’t feel right after this week’s events, and it has been difficult to find the right words–I don’t know that they exist. Our hearts go out to the families of those killed in the Robb Elementary school shooting, as well as all of the school and Uvalde community.


Jennifer Abel

Conference Chair, President Elect

Registration is now open for our 2022 in-person conference

"We Are Not Alone in the Library"
The conference will be held October 6- 8, 2022 at the Benton Convention Center in Winston Salem.

For more details, visit the conference webpage: NC School Library Media Association - 2022 Conference.

Early Bird Registration (through 8/20/22)

Early Bird Member registration: $150

Early Bird Non-member registration: $200

Early Bird Out-of-State Member Registration: $150 (with proof of membership to state organization)

Registration is complete when payment has been received. Early Bird Registrations end 8/20/22! 


Calling All Bloggers

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!

We Need You!!

This has been a year of challenges in so many ways!  The one positive note about the many book challenges in counties across our state was it brought out the passion and advocacy in many of our members.  This was so inspiring to see. 

One way you can use this passion for book access is by volunteering to serve one of the three levels of Battle of the Books.  We welcome passionate librarians that love books and love to read.  You can reach out to the chairs of each level if you are interested in serving on any of the committees.  We would love to have you as part of our BOB team!!




Stacy Hersey, Director of Book Programs

Present at Summer Learning Series

Want to share your knowledge with your fellow school librarians? Apply to present at one of this year's Summer Learning Series sessions Tuesdays at 7pm July 12-August 9. Visit bit.ly/SLSapp2022 The deadline to apply is June 4.

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North Carolina Children's Book Award Winners

NCCBA Emblem.jpegThe North Carolina Children's Book Award Committee would like to announce that the votes are in and we have our winners!  Thanks to everyone who participated! For the complete voting summary, please go to http://nccba.blogspot.com/p/2022-results-and-materials.html.

A total of 66,017 votes were submitted for the picture book category and our winner is Bad Dogwritten and illustrated by Mike Boldt, receiving 13,534 votes.

A total of 4,875 votes were submitted for the junior book category and our winner is New Kid, written and illustrated by Jerry Craft, receiving 1,097 votes.

In May, the NCCBA Committee met to select the nominees for the 2023 Awards.  We select our nominees from titles the children have submitted over the past 6 months and they must be published within the past 3 years. We will post the 2023 list of nominees and activity guide on the blogspot in the coming weeks. We will also be presenting the new books at our concurrent session at NCSLMA Conference on October 6-8, 2022 in Winston-Salem. Hope to see you there!

Closing Keynote--2022 Conference

We are excited to announce that Dr. April Dawkins will be our closing keynote speaker for the 2022 NCSLMA Conference! We cannot wait to see all of you October 6-8. Make sure you follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay up to date on everything NCSLMA.

We have a new store!

NCSLMA Sections

Director: Faith Huff

Director: Susan Sawin

Awards, Grants, Scholarships
Director: Sarah Justice

Book Programs
Director: Stacy Hersey

Director: Cindy Sturdivant

Director: Laura Aldridge

Regional Directors:
Lead: Robin Rhodes

Social Media
Director: Alicia Luke

Director: Kristy Sartain


Member Spotlight

We'd like to continue the appreciation and the acknowledgement from School Library Month with a new Membership Spotlight feature which highlights some of our fantastic NCSLMA members.  Meet our new member spotlight: Colleen Dixon and follow her on social media.

Two Books, One School

Two Books, One School

Liz Noland

Library Media Coordinator, The Downtown School, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

2022 marked the second year of The Downtown School’s schoolwide read program, “Two Books, One School,” which was launched in 2021 as a literacy initiative focused on bringing our K-8 magnet school community together in the midst of the pandemic and hybrid learning. Our Curriculum Committee worked collaboratively to spearhead the initiative and build upon last year’s success, starting with brainstorming titles in early Fall 2021 that shared common themes and would be engaging for students. After selecting Renée Watson’s Ways to Make Sunshine for K-5 and Pablo Cartaya’s The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora for our middle school--which we were able to purchase at a discount from Scholastic with a combination of Scholastic Book Club rewards and PTA funds--we next focused on building excitement in our school community. Librarian Liz Noland and 7th grade ELA teacher Sarah Armas created book trailers for both books, and Ms. Armas and 4th/5th grade ELA teacher Jan Morris pulled together resources that our teachers could use to facilitate discussions and activities around the books. Ms. Noland created a website to house resources as well as weekly read-alouds of the books to help ensure that all students and families would be able to engage with the schoolwide read. We held a spirit week at the beginning of the third quarter leading up to book distribution, which were handed out with letters to caregivers and a laminated bookmark that included a QR code for the Two Books, One School website: sites.google.com/wsfcs.k12.nc.us/dtstbos.

Throughout third quarter, our principal promoted the read-alouds in his emails to caregivers, and Ms. Armas created weekly slides and trivia questions for middle school teachers to use during morning homeroom meetings to help increase engagement with our older readers. 6th grade Science teacher Kate Hall led the creation of a school cookbook as a tie-in to both books’ connections with food and cooking, with students invited to submit family recipes as well as designs for the cookbook cover. Staff also contributed family recipes, and the finished cookbook was sold at our school’s 30th anniversary celebration in April, with proceeds going toward next year’s schoolwide read! Ms. Noland successfully applied for funding from Project Launch at First Bank, a North Carolina community bank, and The Lovett Foundation, a local grantmaking foundation, to hold virtual visits with both authors as a capstone experience. Our middle schoolers loved hearing directly from Pablo Cartaya in late April; while our virtual visit with Renée Watson had to be postponed until Fall 2022, we were able to purchase a copy of her sequel, Ways to Grow Love, for every K-5 family, as well as reading group sets of some of her middle grade/YA titles for our 6-8 classrooms, through our local bookstore Bookmarks for her author visit. Finally, with the remaining funds from our Lovett grant, we were able to select and pre-purchase a middle grade title for our 2023 schoolwide read: Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes! We were excited to use the grant funds to expand our book search to middle grade titles that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford with the 2022-2023 PTA budget, and we also decided to include our 5th grade students in our “middle grade” read for next year (rather than elementary). We cannot wait to continue to build upon this successful and popular schoolwide literacy program in Year Three!

Pablo Cartaya's virtual author visit (credit: Liz Noland)