September 2023

Volume 4.8

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

Questions? Contact

In this edition:

NCSLMA Website



Jennifer Abel

NCSLMA President


President’s Corner September 2023

I hope everyone has had a great start to their school year and for our year round or earlier start folks I hope your year is going well. Shout out to Faith Huff and her team for putting together the Summer Learning Series and Librarian Boot Camp. Thank you to everyone who donated their time and knowledge and presented sessions. 

We are looking forward to our upcoming Conference coming up October 5-7 at the Benton Convention Center. A lot of work and planning goes into this conference and we hope you can join us for some amazing sessions and librarian fellowship. 

We are continuing to work with ALA and other library organizations in regard to SB90. Please check your email and our social media and website often for more details in the future. 

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. 

Make sure you are checking social media for all the information about this year's conference including keynote speakers, presenters and door prizes. There are soo many amazing door prizes coming in this year.  

We will be taking these submissions until September 30, 2023. Our goal is to publish every submission. With almost 2000 members, we really hope to be overwhelmed with stories. :-)

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 August 16th. This months book is “The Secret Book of Flora Lea” By: Patti Callahan Henry
August AM Brew Crew -  August 2,  9:00 am - 11:00 am
August PM Brew Crew - August 22,  8:00 pm - 10:00 pm 

Kristy Sartain
Conference Co-Chair

My blog post for this week - published at

I already knew I wouldn't be good at planning a conference. When I get overwhelmed, I tend to shut down and go into survival mode. You can't plan a conference when you do that. If it weren't for the team of AMAZING people helping with this thing, it wouldn't have gone on. Heck, it still might not just because I have something to do with it.

But I was really not prepared for the sheer number of e-mails I would be receiving, especially as it got closer. The number of people who wait until the last second to respond when given a deadline, or who reply after the deadline. The number of people who don't respond at all, causing even more work on our end. We are currently at 415 people registered, an increase of like 45 in the last couple of days, which is awesome. However, I already ordered swag and now I don't think I ordered enough. There are a number of checks either in the mail or about to be mailed and while I have been giving as much grace as I absolutely can, there are deadlines for a reason. We have to pay real bills and real people to put on this conference. Attending the conference is always the highlight of my year and I'm hoping it is the same for others. But planning something this big for this many people when you have a full time job and a ton of personal things going on is not for everyone. Heck, it's probably not for MOST people. Today alone I received 34 e-mails to my NCSLMA e-mail address that needed to be answered. Thank goodness my district made it a remote learning day so I could actually answer them. Can you imagine a school librarian in the midst of giving out Chromebooks or starting the school year and having to answer 34 (came back to edit because it's now 36) additional e-mails from the ones they receive from their school e-mail? That's why I can't get to everyone in less than 48 hours and why e-mails get buried so quickly.  

I am looking forward to the conference so much because I love going and seeing everyone there. It's a great time for camaraderie and learning and for some of us who live far apart, the only time all year we get to see each other in person. Right now, though, I want to cry. And y'all - I have freaking amazing help. These conference chairs and committees are KILLING it. I cannot imagine planning this behemoth without help. Just today, I remember I have to order three things that are pretty important to the conference - badge tags, signage, and ID tags. They have been on my list for weeks to order. I remembered today. Have I done it? Nope. Will I do it this weekend? I hope so. Probably. Someone text me on Saturday and remind me. :-) 

I did order the swag this week. It probably won't be enough. I received an e-mail from the company I ordered them from asking if I had a loading dock because one of the items will have to come on a pallet because of the quantity. Um, at my house? A loading dock? *sigh* No. So now they have to send a special truck. So everyone better love these freaking NCSLMA bags with the embroidered logo. I don't want to hear a single negative thing about them. The only thing I should hear is that they are absolutely perfect. hahahahahahahahahahaha

Apparently I'm going slightly manic. Honestly, I don't know if that's new and/or when it started. Definitely before today. I got a massage today and the lady (who prefers being called a Bodywork Therapist and I'm loving that) said she was very worried about the amount of stress in my shoulders and neck. Yup. You and me both. But come October 8, I can breathe again. Maybe even sleep all the way through the night. 

I absolutely love NCSLMA. Seriously, one of the greatest things that ever happened to me professionally was being chosen for the Leadership Academy in 2019 for the 2020 inaugural cohort. The friends I made in that group and the opportunities that have come from it have been immeasurable. I will do anything for this organization. Just please don't ask me to plan a conference ever again. Please. Pretty please. With whipped cream on top. 

Check out the conference webpages here and we can't wait to see you in October. I'll be the crazy lady in the cape. 


(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!


Have you changed schools? districts? retired? Be sure that you visit the NCSLMA website and log into your account profile to make sure we have your correct information. This is also a great time to make sure that you have a backup email in your profile so you don't miss important NCSLMA news and events! 

Have questions or issues with your membership account? Email NCSLMA Membership Director, Brene Duggins -

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 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)

NC Member Spotlights

Highlighting the hard work of our North Carolina librarians.

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

Michelle Burton

Regional Directors:
Lead: Lori Munroe

Social Media
Director: Alicia Luke

Director: Vacant


From the State Library of North Carolina

Hello from the State Library

Kate Tompkins

Education and Instruction Librarian, Government and Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina

Hello NCSLMA members! I wanted to take a moment to reach out to make myself available to you and your schools. I'm Kate Tompkins, the new Education and Instruction Librarian for the State Library of North Carolina. Our headquarters is at the Government and Heritage Library on Jones Street in Raleigh, but even if you don't live or work nearby, I encourage you to reach out and connect with me so I can help bring North Carolina history to life for your students. I am a native Floridian and just moved here in May, so I am still new to the area and position, but my main priority is working with educators and students across the state. I most recently served as a school librarian in St. Augustine for 13 years, and my heart is truly with the school library and librarians, so I want to support you in any way I can. I was very active in our version of NCSLMA in Florida, and I am so impressed with the array of programs and support NCSLMA offers you. I am so thankful to be welcomed into your community-- it feels like home!

Make sure to check out the online resources the Government and Heritage Library has at While you’re there, be sure to take a look at our page for educators at as well. I can provide trainings and workshops for educators and students face-to-face or virtually on any of our resources, so please don't hesitate to reach out. You can email me directly at and we can work together to figure out the best way to help your students and staff. Of course, our specialty is North Carolina history, but we can brainstorm and get creative about ways I can help. And hey, I love to read kids' books and YA, so please feel free to ask me to help out with the fun things going on at your schools, too!

Lastly, we have created an Educator Survey to assess the needs of our teacher community and see how we can best serve them through our educational resources and services. Please take a few minutes to take this survey at and share the survey with your colleagues so we can identify your needs and best serve our educator community.

I hope to work with many of you soon, and I look forward to seeing everyone in person at the conference in October!


Calling All District Level School Library Directors, Supervisors, and Lead Librarians

Calling all District Level School Library Directors, Supervisors, and Lead Librarians

By Dr. April M. Dawkins, Assistant Professor, UNC Greensboro

Hi everyone! I hope your school year is off to a good start. I am conducting a research study that will examine the role of district-level school library supervisors and school-based lead school librarians in handling challenges and supporting school-based librarians in doing so. I’d like to ask you to participate if you hold a district level school library supervision role or as a lead librarian for a district.

If you decide to participate, you will be asked to participate in an interview conducted via Zoom about your experiences handling challenges to materials in your district including your role in supporting school-based librarians. It is anticipated that the interview will take approximately 30-45 minutes. You may be asked to review the transcript and the researcher’s analysis of your interview. This will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

 Participation is confidential. Study information will be kept in a secure location at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. The results of the study may be published or presented at professional meetings, but your identity and your workplace will not be revealed. 

Taking part in the study is your decision.  You do not have to be in this study if you do not want to.  You may also quit being in the study at any time or decide not to answer any question you are not comfortable answering. There is no direct compensation for participation in this research.

I am happy to answer any questions you have about the study.  You may contact me at 910-995-3193 or If you have any questions regarding your rights as a research participant, please contact the UNCG Office of Research Integrity at

Thank you for your consideration.  To participate in this study, please respond to this email ( with your contact information including your name, position title, school/school district information, and email address.



April M. Dawkins, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

School of Education, Dept of Information, Library, and Research Sciences

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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 ( 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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