2018 Librarian to Librarian Networking Summit


Yesterday, I spent the day at East Carolina University at the Librarian to Librarian Networking Summit! This was the first one I’ve attended (thanks to Sedley Abercrombie). I’ve looked at it every year for the past six years thinking I should go, but just haven’t made the commitment. Thanks to Alan Bailey and his team at ECU for putting on this great event!


  • Quality sessions led by NC librarians.
  • Food – breakfast, lunch, and snacks (and it was all really good!)
  • Networking – this was actually easier than at larger conferences
  • Cost – $30 covered opening session with John Claude Bemis, three sessions, door prizes and more food than I could eat.
  • Location – we were all over Joyner Library. (I love being at my alma mater!)


  • Location – don’t laugh. It’s a long haul on Friday afternoon from Winston Salem to Greenville. Although not as long because Sedley and I travelled together. Traffic is never as bad when you have someone to talk to.

So next year, be on the lookout for 2019 Librarian to Librarian Networking Summit!


NCSLMA Emerging Leaders 2017

We had a NCSLMA board retreat this May 6-7. It’s always great to see everyone, get caught up on old business, and start new things. One of our ongoing projects is a second cohort of emerging leaders. We pulled together a strong team of facilitators to lead our next cohort through the program. AND an amazing program is taking shape!

If you have been a school librarian in NC for five years or less, please take a look at our emerging leaders page to see if it is something that interests you.

What we need:

  • Application
  • Resume (google doc link)
  • Principal Recommendation


  • Application due 7/31/17
  • Notification will be 8/31/17

Plans are to have a cohort of Emerging Leaders every other year, so if you will be in year four or five next year, this is the cohort for you!

Epic for Educators

epic for educatorsThis gem came across my facebook feed. It’s only an IOS app. BUT I’ve read several books already on my iPad that I don’t have in my library. Some of the books have a read aloud feature and there is a timer on the books so kids can’t go through them too quickly. I’ve mainly examined the picture books and have read some that I would not have otherwise.

The only thing they ask in return is for you to let parents know about them. That can easily be done on our school webpages. If you have an apple device, give it a try!

See my other recommendations on where to find books.

Stations part 2

I started stations with 3rd, 4th & 5th on Tuesday.  *Whew*

The first day, We did four stations – everyone started one, and then 1/3 of the class checked out for 10 minutes each. There had to be some overlap because we were crunched for time. So as soon as students from a previous group went, I let the next group start. This meant the students had 15-20 minutes to work on a station which for some was just too long. I wasn’t unhappy with the day, but I felt like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. And we didn’t have good time for reflection.

So, on Wednesday, I nixed half the stations. I had two groups working on the same thing at the same time. We still only got 10 minutes for check out, but there wasn’t any overlap and I could be pulled in fewer directions. If the finished check out before the 10 minutes was up (and a lot of them do), then they went back to their tables and read silently until the timer went off as we always have done. 10 minutes is short, but after we get past the learning stage, I’m sure this can gradually increase to 15 minutes. We only have a 40 minute class. That would leave 5 minutes at the front for necessities and 5 minutes at the end for reflection.

Every day, I was fine tuning what we’d done the day before. On Friday afternoon a parent helper came in and she mentioned that the 4th graders really seemed to be into the work and the process.

These are the things that still need my attention.

  • Some students do not like to read directions even when you tell them they are right there and need to be read to accomplish the goal.
  • I put an “I can” statement on each activity (asked them to read it with the instructions) and still some students couldn’t tell you any reason why they did the activity.
  • Some classes were great with the time. Others just would not come back. Of course this varied from class to class before, but it seems more important now so that we can reflect.

Next week we start again . . .

library work stations

Starting stations

I’ve been rolling station ideas around in my head for a while. Trying to figure out the best way to do them in Moore’s library. So I think they’ve incubated enough, and we’ll hatch this idea on Tuesday.

3rd & 4th grade schedule

  • Months 1 & 2 – introduction to library skills stations at their usual working tables.
  • Month 3 – students go to the same stations around the library by tables.
  • Month 4 – students get to choose stations.

Batch 1

  • Did you know? cards
  • Library vocabulary 3-way match
  • Reference shuffle
  • What’s your number?
  • Library helpers 1

5th grade will follow the same procedure but they are working on science/research stations. I’ve had a harder time with this one.

  • Graphic organizers
  • Fact or opinion
  • Reference shuffle
  • Cite your source
  • Library helpers 1

I’ll introduce stations to grade 2 during second semester following the same routine. Hopefully we will be able to start them earlier next year and with less introduction in 3rd, 4th & 5th grades.

library work stations

First week of school!

I guess this is actually week 2, but it is week 1 with the kiddos. We reviewed procedures and everyone (but K) got to check out a book! I worked about a day a week this summer in the library. I wanted it to have a different feel this year. Changing schools in the middle of the year has some limitations (even with a smooth transition). There is just not enough time to learn the library and move things to where you want them. We did make lots of changes last year. I had great assistance from Kim, Bobbie and Stephanie. I couldn’t have picked 3 better or tenacious workers if I’d advertised! There were unused shelves and unclear division lines between sections. We made some displays and reorganized some labeling. We used index cards in places to help identify popular books and sections. All that helped with students finding what they needed. And we weeded and weeded and weeded. I was a little surprised this summer that I still found books to weed. 

This summer though, I worked on a theme and got some displays made for the theme. I color coded the sections. Picture books are red, fiction chapter books are yellow, and nonfiction is green. I’ve already seen a difference this week in the helpfulness of this. Also, to be able to say that the space books are under the rocket or the sports books are under the athletes has been great. I had almost no students come back and say they couldn’t find the section they were looking for. We moved computer tables so there is more floor space. Tables are grouped differently and in a U which allowed for even more floor space. 

IMG_0232  IMG_0233

We started open checkout 2nd semester last year with 2nd – 5th grades. I only had one checkout station which was fine for when kids came to the library independently, but was a bit arduous during class. This year, I set up two more checkout stations and assigned specific tables to them. Oh my goodness! Why did I not think of this last year? Not only did it speed up checkout, it spread the students out. We are starting this year with open checkout for 3rd – 5th, and then 2nd will start 2nd semester. 

IMG_0218    lining up at checkout

Our schedule has changed slightly this year. I see 28 40-minute classes (k-5) in 5 days. That leaves 7 periods open including my planning at 2:30 – 3:10. Last year I saw 30 classes in 6 days which left 12 open periods. That doesn’t look as bad in writing, but it does leave us with 5 fewer open times in each cycle. I’ve also got lunch time – only 30 minutes, but it will add back in 5 time slots for classes. The great news about this shift is that it will allow me to plan consistently with 4th & 5th grades this year. 

I do more talking the first 2 weeks of school than the rest of the school year. Lots and lots to review before classes can be independent users. This is all new to Ks and 1st & 2nd graders graduate to whole new levels of library use! Pretty exciting if exhausting!

Book fair is coming up September 18-26! We’ve been doing preliminary work for that too.

To end my week in the best way possible, I had a Levi date! Isn’t he the cutest!

IMG_0238  08-29-14b



Professional Meetings

Today was the professional meeting for Library Media Coordinators for WSFCS. Mixed emotions on these. I’d always rather be at my school – this week is a tough one regardless of how ready I’ve ever felt walking into it. To many things to do! However, it’s valuable to meet with others in the same job listening and talking with them about what we have in common and how our schools are different and the things we do. 

I got lots of ideas from today. Some I’d already been thinking on and some were new. I’d been planning on doing stations this year, but I heard some other ways librarians are using stations with students. We talked about different ways to do literacy, maker spaces, gaming, data uses. We had a gal from MackinVia come to speak with us. I haven’t been able to log into that, but based on what we saw today, I think it could be great! We talked about county things that are not so exciting but that are good to know like evaluations. 

Tomorrow, I have to hit the library thinking about Thursday’s open house. I need signs and signups for volunteers and the book fair. I need to find out about a drawing I’d like to have. I’ve got some ideas for signs.

And not to change the subject to abruptly, but did you know Dot Day is coming up?