Friday, September 23, 2011

NCSLMA New Website

Please visit the NC School Library Media Association's new website at and checkout all the news and information, pictures and stories, and links to communciation tools.

Our blog has moved! You can find us at

Monday, September 12, 2011

Jessica Harden Moore Wins Gale Award

Jessica Harden Moore, NCSLMA Communications Section Chair and media specialist at Winter Park Elementary in Wilmington, NC, and a second grade teacher at her school just won the Gale/Library Media Connection Teams Award for their collaborative project with 9 second graders and all 4 of the other specialists at Winter Park.

It all started with a single child's interest in a book and ended with the incredible digital story you can view at Jessica and the second grade teacher have already presented The Lost and Found of Sabrina twice in New Hanover County and taught a workshop on enrichment groups at a summer institute. They will be presenting again at the North Carolina School Library Media Association's annual state conference in October.

Jessica and the second grade teacher will be accepting Gale's award on behalf of the enrichment team at the American Association of School Librarians in Minneapolis, MN on October 28. Three awards are given annually, one at each level - elementary, middle and high. Along with the award, they will receive a check for $2500 and an additional $500 in Gale products.

Click on the link above and view this incredible example of collaboration. It is truly worthy of this national recognition. This is what teaching is all about!

Thanks to Jessica's mom, Patricia Harden, media specialist in Wake County, for sharing the good news!

Deanna Harris, NCSLMA President

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Getting the word out!

      As the end of another summer break creeps closer, I adjust my sleeping patterns (fewer late nights and more early mornings), review my “to do” list and that stack of books I schlepped home back in June and revisit the media program goals we will use to focus our efforts in the up-coming year.  I know I’m not alone in this process because I’ve often commiserated the ever shortening summer days verses my ever higher expectations for what I can fit into these days with colleagues. This is not the only similarity educators, from the disciplines within a school, share; we are all cogs in the wheel attempting to mold our students into successful, productive, fulfilled graduates. I’ve spent many a meeting involved in attempts to write a vision statement, mission statement, etc. relating to “why we are here”. I’ve determined that while each discipline and/or grade level has responsibility for particular standards, goals, objectives (etc.) we are, ultimately, seeking to provide our students with the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful 21st century citizens. 
     As media coordinators we are in a unique position. Working with the entire student body allows us to see first-hand the interconnectedness of the curricula and the opportunities to connect these “dots” with students. This is why it is among our most important roles within the school is to educate and demonstrate the value of collaboration. Within the media program it is vital to build the 3 levels of collaboration identified by IMPACT: Guidelines for NC Media and Technology Programs. Level 1 integration, the media coordinator simply provides resources to support the classroom. Level 2 cooperative activities, the media coordinator prepares lessons to support classroom objectives as students are scheduled for instruction. Level 3 co-planning, cross-curricular lessons and units are planned, delivered and evaluated jointly by the teacher and the media coordinator. IMPACT identifies proactive methods that will help us (and our program) implement Level 3 collaborations. Revisiting these collaboration levels, seeking methods to build and expand collaboration have become part of my and NCSLMA’s annual “why we are here” exercise. 
     In order to further incorporate collaboration, NCSLMA’s advocacy committee is focusing on outreach, communicating the value and importance of media programs to our education colleagues. In July as part of this initiative, I presented a session for the Sr. Teaching Fellows Conference “Survive and Thrive” at Elon University. The focus for my session, “The Perfect Pair: Teacher/Librarian Collaboration” included a brief description of the 3 collaboration levels and the growing body of research that confirms the value for students and teachers. These “baby teachers” (thanks Doug Jones) were receptive to the information shared. I encouraged each of the participants to incorporate a library-based lesson during their upcoming student teaching and collaborate with the media coordinator (at least once) to experience firsthand the value for themselves and their students. NCSLMA members, Jennifer Northrup and Renee Davenport from Flat Rock Middle School presented a session introducing the Big 6 research model and its application as a problem-solving model for students. Jennifer LaGarde, NCSLMA Advocacy and Governance section chair presented at the Junior Teaching Fellows Conference July 24. The theme of the conference, “Explore Diversity, In and Out of the Classroom” allowed her to draw a connection with the media program through her sessions “Bibliotherapy 2.0 - Using eBooks(and Print Ones too!) to Reach and Teach Diverse Student Populations” and “It’s a Small World After All --- Developing Personal Learning Networks for Students and Teachers”. 
     The Advocacy Committee will continue to reach out to inform NC administrators and teachers this year with additional initiatives to ensure the media program’s role as a collaborative partner. Building on our first initiative with NC Teaching Fellows, Teaching Fellows coordinators at several universities have expressed an interest in hosting a 40-45 minute presentation during 2011-12 to introduce these future educators to the media specialist’s instructional role. An outline of the presentation is intended to serve as a framework that will be “fleshed out” by NCSLMA member presenters with individual examples and stories. If you are interested in preparing a session for one (or more) of the Teaching Fellows programs, please contact me for the specifics. The scheduled sessions include: Appalachian State, Campbell, East Carolina, Lenoir-Rhyne, North Carolina A&T, Queens, and Western Carolina. NCSLMA has a small budget to pay for transportation costs and supplies. 
     As you can tell our NCSLMA Advocacy committee is working to “get the word out” about the benefits and vital role of media programs. It’s time to blow our own horn! 

Tammy Young
Media Coordinator
Charles D. Owen High School

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Conference Planning

Never knew conference planning looked like this, did you?

This picture doesn't show it, but I can tell you there will be a lot of great sessions this year!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Presenting at NCSLMA Conference--a great opportunity!

Explain the birds and the bees to my daughter...wear a bathing suit...teach a group of 7th graders while my skirt is tucked into my pantyhose...these are all things I would rather do than make a presentation to a group of my peers.
But, since I don’t have a daughter (two boys so I’ll leave that talk to my husband), I never wear a bathing suit except at the beach, and I never wear pantyhose, much less a skirt (hello!  I climb under the computer tables all day long to plug in the elusive missing cables)...a few years ago I decided to sign up for a presentation slot at the NCSLMA conference, and I have done it almost every year since.
I have attended the NCSLMA conference every year since my first year in the media center. Sometimes, I would have difficultly finding a session to attend because most seemed to be geared towards elementary and middle grades only.  After a few years of complaining to myself about this, I decided that since I was a high school person, maybe I would squash that fear of speaking in front of my peers and sign up for a spot.  At that time, DPI was discussing the idea of requiring Graduation Projects for all schools.  Since our school had required the projects as part of graduation since 2000, I felt like I should impart the knowledge that had made ours such a success.  Would anyone care about this?  Would anyone show up to the presentation?  Did I actually know what I was talking about?  To say I stressed out would be an understatement.  But, thankfully the presentation was a success.  There was an overflow crowd, I ran out of handouts, there were some great questions, and I don’t think anyone walked out.
So, for the next few years, I did this same presentation until DPI decided that maybe requiring the projects wasn’t such a good idea (shame on them).  During this time, I also was drafted by NCCAT one time to present on their National Boards support program.  I was more than happy to brag on this since I have taken advantage of it many times as a participant and a mentor.  And last year, I presented once again.  This time I talked about “fun”draising.  We all need more money, don’t we?  And it should be fun!
You  might be asking, “What’s the point in this article?”  Well, it’s just a little pep talk for those of you who are on the fence about presenting.  We all are great at something, but might not realize that other people would like to hear about it.  I think we all feel that what we do in our program is probably what everyone else does...but a lot of times that is not true.  Teach us!  Share with us!  And, if it is something that we all do, at least know that some of us feel better about ourselves to know that others do the same thing.  Are you ready to present now?  If this isn’t enough to push you over the edge, maybe you should take into account that a lot of conferences waive your registration fee for presenting.  This was always a nice way to convince my director that I had to go to the conference, and she could pay for food and travel instead!  But, the Call to Present form will be available only a few more days.  So, before July 15th, you need to fill out an application at
And finally, my journey to sheer terror has not stopped with my small group presentations.  This year, I am the president-elect of the NCSLMA.  So, during my first presentation to the whole group if I happen to have my skirt tucked into my pantyhose...don’t giggle...too much.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lessons from The Big Easy

President-elect Sarah Justice and I spent six days in New Orleans at the American Library Association annual conference at the end of June. We attended meetings as your NC representatives to the American Association of School Librarians Affiliate Assembly and spent some time stalking authors and speakers on the exhibit floor and in concurrent sessions.

Here are some lessons I learned from our trip to The Big Easy:

  • Network with as many folks as you can. At our meetings, we had the opportunity to talk with school librarians from our region (KY, SC, WV, VA, TN, NC) as well as across the country. But it was also the conversations standing in author signing lines and on the airplanes and throughout the conference that reconnected us with passionate readers, tech savvy individuals, and information gurus.

  • Pack lightly and mail your books home or stick them in your suitcase. Yes, I borrowed my five year old daughter's suitcase for the trip -- rolled clothes and I had plenty to wear for our six days. But I did mail two boxes of books (freebies and a couple that I purchased) back home to avoid hefting 40-50lbs of books on the plane.

  • Wear comfortable shoes to a national conference. While Deb Christensen clocked over 16,000 steps on her pedometer one day during the conference, I'm sure that between the two of us Sarah and I walked 40 miles during our trip. Comfy sandals and supportive tennis shoes were our friends.

  • AASL has some great resources, if you'll just take advantage of them. At our Affiliate Assembly meeting, we were reminded of the toolkits and planning guides at the AASL website that can help us be better teachers, assessors, planners, and advocates in our library media programs.

  • Leadership is key to making things happen in our profession. While we heard some incredible speakers and authors, we also heard from key leaders in our profession, folks who are at the building levels just like us and making a difference everyday in the lives of students, teachers, and fellow school librarians.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Focusing on Solutions

Gina Webster, media specialist at Walkertown Middle School, posted this on the NCSLMA listserv back in November, but it is very timely and worth revisiting, considering the impending budget cuts.

I've been feeling a sense of urgency and a call to action lately. I'm generally focused more on solutions than problems, so I thought I'd share a few ideas that may be worth considering as we consider our emerging and evolving place in education.
1. Develop a student focus group to get feedback & fresh ideas to connect w/ what they need/want from their library.

2. Create a space on the library/media center's website that showcases collaborative work with teachers & students.

3. Find at least 5 other School Librarians who have a positive attitude about growth/change.

4. Develop an online request system to solicit ideas for future purchases.

5. Weed.

6. Invite someone from the Board of Education to participate in a lesson, program, or special event.

7. Realize that books may change in format and such but READING isn't going anywhere.
Focus on reading and literacy and you won't go wrong.

8. Try a new techy tool and shamelessly show it off to anyone who'll listen.

9. Use a social network to build a professional support group, think tank, sounding board, and cheering section for yourself.

10. Find a reason to make parent phone calls every week. Solicit volunteers, reinforce student accomplishments/learning, whatever you can do to remind parents of your role in their child's education.

Lots of library love to you all,