April 2024

Volume 5.3

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 April 2024

Yay! It’s May! School is winding down and library closeout is winding up. DLMI is coming due. Chromebooks are due. Library books are due. Inventory is due. Everything is due in May.

But what about us? When are we due? We’ve had a big blow to the school librarian community. One of the districts in NC has eliminated their school librarians. I know this has happened in the past and it is HORRIBLE. It is happening on the down low. People are afraid to bring attention to the loss of our jobs across the state because of fear of losing their jobs. And that is 100% valid. I am in fear most days of losing my job because you just never know when that one person will decide they have a vendetta against a book you purchased (see Amanda Jones’s new book).

We are in a tenuous position of wanting and needing to advocate for ourselves, but also wanting and needing to keep our jobs. One of my goals this coming school year is to effectively advocate for myself. Effectively being the operative word.

Because of my lack of knowledge on how to effectively advocate, I reached out to EveryLibrary to help me learn how to do it for our fellow librarians who are finding themselves without library jobs next year. We have had a couple of very productive meetings so far and I am excited to see where this partnership leads. Ideally, it will lead to a replicable game plan that we can use as needed if/when this happens in other districts. This may also lead to better advocacy efforts at the state level. Unfortunately, NCSLMA is not in a position to hire a lobbyist, but EveryLibrary has experience all over the country doing this and I am grateful they are helping us.

In the very near future, be on the lookout for calls to action, for digital campaigns and petitions, for requests for volunteers.

If your district is cutting school librarians, please reach out and let me know. No names will be shared. But please use either social media DMs or your personal email address. kristysartain@ncslma.org

If you would like to learn more about EveryLibrary, check them out at everylibrary.org. They also run Saveschoollibrarians.org.

If you are interested in helping this effort, please reach out to Lucy Wilcox, our Director of Advocacy & Governance. She is building a committee of people who want to help.

Thank you for being a member of NCSLMA. I wish you all a fantastic May and that you carve out a little time for yourself.

Thank you,




Spotlight on Region 1:  Region 1  hosted a Northeast Regional School Library Media Coordinator & Instructional Technology Facilitator Boot Camp on February 26 at Martin Community College in partnership with NCSLMA and NCDPI.  Over ninety participants were in attendance with sixteen sessions to choose from throughout the day on a variety of topics including AI, blended learning, digital citizenship, design thinking, student tech teams, serving special education students, and more.  Region 1 Director, Meredith Ward Hill, was thrilled to be able to facilitate such an amazing day of free professional development and honored to be among such fantastic presenters from the districts and schools in the area.


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


School Library Month has wound down.  I hope you all felt seen, appreciated, and celebrated! Unfortunately, our profession is facing unprecedented challenges at the moment. We are seeing attacks on our students’ rights to read, attacks on our professional ethics, and even attacks on our livelihoods.  It’s a hard time to feel positive about being a school librarian. And yet, we do. You know why? Because school librarians rock. Our students know it, our colleagues know it, and many (if not all) of our admins know it. Despite the negative press lately, most parents and stakeholders throughout our state recognize and appreciate what we do for the students of North Carolina. I’ll take that.

As we face the new challenges in front of us, we need as many voices as we can gather. If you are interested in being part of the NCSLMA Advocacy & Governance committee, and especially if you are interested in our partnership opportunity with EveryLibrary as we address the loss of ALL school librarian positions in Franklin County, please reach out. I’d love to talk. :)

Lucy Wilcox


Have you recently (or consistently) benefited from an influential program or event?  We know there are so many fabulous things happening to support readers and library leaders in our state, and we want to commend those doing excellent work! Do you know of a local organization that supports school libraries and/or school-aged readers in NC? If you do, please fill out this event form by May 12th to nominate them for an NCSLMA & AASL commendation and national recognition. View prior recipients on ALA.

Awards, Grants, & Scholarships

We are getting down to the wire with the application window for Awards, Grants, & Scholarships! Please spread the word and consider applying for the areas in which you qualify. Everything except Media Coordinator of the Year is due May 12th. Notifications go out on May 30th. Media Coordinator of the Year is due on June 5th. The winner will be announced on the opening day of the NCSLMA Conference. Please refer to this presentation shared on April 18th during Town Hall for details about all the awards. If you have any questions, please let me know. lesliepope@ncslma.org


If you haven’t had a chance, please fill out this form so that the Networking committee can best serve you!  As a new area of NCSLMA, I want to know what we can do to best serve and support our members. It’s a two-question survey, completely anonymous and should only take a few minutes to complete!

Upcoming Events:

May AM Brew Crew - May 11th 9-11AM

May PM Brew Crew - May 24th 8-10 PM

Grown Up Book Club - May 18th 9:30-11AM (Reading The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers)

DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Updates

“Diversity is about all of us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together.”- Jacqueline Woodson, Writer

NCSLMA is looking for members interested in developing and building this area of our organization. This committee will work together to create a mission statement, to address DEI issues as they arise in the daily life of our organization & in the world at large, and to bring awareness & facilitate professional learning opportunities related to DEI.

If you are interested in serving on this committee, please let me know by completing this form.

Looking forward to working with you,

Esther Taylor

Member Highlights

ARTS + History = Reading Joy
by Esther Darlene Glenn

In my job as a school librarian, I am always focused on ways to engage young learners in joyful reading. Not only do I demonstrate a love of reading and genuine enthusiasm for books, I promote an association with the arts and history.  Recognition of theme months are a must in the school library from Hispanic Heritage Month to Native American Indian Heritage Month to Black History Month to Women’s History Month to National Poetry Month, exposure to historical figures and current people of note are presented to children with grand excitement.

Relating literacy to the arts is important to young readers because children learn to "read" pictures before they learn to read words, so the visual literacy and art appreciation for the stories that illustrations tell is integrated into comprehension.  I have been exploring Artists as Illustrators in my S’more digital book recommendation newsletters.  My fourth installment of Artists as Illustratorsfeatures Don Tate.  Don Tate's work exemplifies the intersection of art and history and communicates to a young audience. His work also has links to North Carolina like Harlem Globetrotters’ Meadowlark Lemon of Wilmington, George Moses Horton, poet of Chapel Hill & Chatham County, and Ernie Barnes of Durham.

In the school library, I can make many connections with the books of Don Tate pictured in the attached graphic. Ronald McNair graduated from NC A&T University in Greensboro in 1971; two buildings are named after him on the campuses of NC A&T and NCCU in Durham. Artist Ernie Barnes was born and raised in Durham, NC, he graduated from historic Hillside High School & NCCU. The Art Building at NCCU is renamed after Ernie Barnes. Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters was born and raised in Wilmington, NC, there is a plaque honoring him on a bridge near Cape Fear Community College. George Moses Horton lived in Chatham County, he published and sold poems to students on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill, there is a building named after him on the UNC CH campus.

Billy Strayhorn, co-authored Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite in 1960. Strayhorn spent his early years in Hillsborough, NC and he is honored with a large mural on the side of a Churton Street music store. Junius G. Groves was the king of Kansas for his potato production, NC is the #1 producer of sweet potatoes in the U.S. One of Durham, NC's claim to fame is the Durham Bulls baseball team, this is a connection to Effa Manley who was a female owner of a baseball team. North Carolina birthed 12 HBCUs and with that, historically black newspapers--a connection to Carter G. Woodson and the promotion of black history in written media.

The Triangle area is overflowing with artistic talent like the multi-disciplinary mainstay artist, Willa Brigham--a connection to folk artist Bill Traylor. Black engineers at IBM in Research Triangle Park, NC are responsible for Bluetooth technology, a connection to Gerald “Jerry” Lawson.  Harriet Jacobs who escaped slavery from Edenton, NC and wrote a book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, could have met and crossed paths with William Still as she traveled speaking about her book in the 1860s! And of course, established author Kelly Starling Lyons resides in Raleigh and is a prominent supporter of literacy, authors, & children's book publishing. Hope’s Gift, illustrated by Don Tate celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, a historical record brought to light in new ways since the establishment of Juneteenth as a national holiday.

With all of these meaningful connections, there is no doubt that sharing Don Tate’s books justify the theme:  ARTS + History = Reading Joy!

Facts for this article were verified through https://ncpedia.org/ accessed on April 12, 2024.

Holocaust Upstanders

by Patricia Stringer

Northwest Guilford Middle School, Greensboro, NC

Students spent 3rd quarter reading Maus 1 by Art Spiegelman and focusing on Voices of the Holocaust: Upstanders. In addition to their class reading, students were all required to select and read a book on World War 2 outside of school. The students' culminating project for the quarter was to write a fictional interview of a Holocaust Upstander based on their reading and unit research and to produce a graphic representation of that fictional upstander. Projects were displayed in the Media Center to resemble a museum gallery of Holocaust Upstanders. Students then spent the day, visiting the gallery and writing reflections on 4 exhibits of their choice. The ELA teachers did an outstanding job teaching the unit and the student work submitted was fantastic. I have created a gallery of their work and some photos of the Media Center on our school website here: https://www.gcsnc.com/Page/89476 

8th Grade / Gallery: Voices of the Holocaust & Upstander Gallery

Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina and the 50th largest of more than 14,000 in the United States, serves more than 70,000 PK-12 students at 126 schools.


In addition to this project, we hosted a Zoom Interview with Margot Lobree on March 21st. Margot is a 98-year-old Holocaust Survivor via the Kindertransport. She shared her story with us and took questions from our students. Her story is a powerful one. Her interview was recorded and shared throughout the day with all of our 8th grade ELA classes. The interview is also posted on the website listed above near the bottom of the page or may be viewed here: https://youtu.be/BHKZ59czlrE

Diverse Children’s Picture Book Project

By Tami Foster

Media Coordinator, Red Oak Elementary School, Nash County

This school year, I have been a part of the SLMC Collaborative. Part of what we have been focusing on is the ISTE standards and how to incorporate them into our school. We were challenged to complete a passion project using some ISTE standards. This is the project that I chose to do with my students.

I created this project for a class of 5th grade students for when they come to the Media Center. I collaborated with the homeroom teacher and we decided that the students could work on the project in class as well as the media center and that she would use the final grade as one of her ELA grades for the students.I created a rubric for the students to use as they worked on the project.

My idea was for the students to pick out a children’s picture book from several that I provided. The book has a diverse author, characters, or theme. The students researched the author and wrote a report about the author. The students also created a poster about the author and book. These posters were displayed outside of the cafeteria for the entire school to benefit from the project. Also, several of the students recorded themselves reading the book aloud using overdrive and the read now feature in google chrome. We ran out of time for the final portion of the project. The idea was to send the recordings to a lower grade level in a more diverse classroom/school. The media coordinator at that school could share the recordings at storytime with the students. Then, we could do a google meet and/or zoom with both sets of students for them to meet and discuss the books. 

This was such a great experience for the students because it opened their eyes to so many authors that they were not previously familiar with. I was also able to share with them why it is so important to have books with  diverse authors, characters, and themes in our school library.

This project covered so many standards. We definitely used the AASL Framework for Learners. As far as ISTE standards, I mostly used 1.7 and 1.7a-Global Collaborator. Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning. The project also included the following ISTE Standards for Educators:  2.2, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, and for Students: 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6.

Shakespeare Breaketh Out!

by Angela Walter

Media Coordinator, Harnett Central High School,  Harnett County 

Harnett Central High School Media Coordinator Angela Walter and Instructional Technology Facilitator Tammy Poole collaborated with English teachers to introduce students to Shakespeare and celebrate his birthday.  Ms. Walter and Ms. Poole created a digital breakout activity using Google Forms.  Students completed an EdPuzzle activity about how Shakespeare is still relevant today.  In the digital breakout, students worked in cooperative groups to match Shakespeare’s quotes with their meanings, connect the beginnings and endings of Shakespeare’s quotes, and pair quotes and lyrics with famous musicians.  Students worked together to crack a cryptogram with some of Shakespeare’s expressions that we still use today.  After “breaking out,” students rotated through stations with a book walk, a photo booth, and a 3D exploration of Shakespeare’s  Globe Theatre.  Finally, students reflected on their experiences and group efforts.  Students enjoyed the challenging activities, the opportunity to work with a group, and they gained background knowledge about Shakespeare before diving into his works.  We enjoyed teaming up with teachers, working with students, and integrating technology into a lesson designed to help students explore, engage, and collaborate. 


Wrapping Up The School Year!

Keep in mind these tips from ________, as you work to wrap up the school year.

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.

Submission Guidelines Document

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