A day with Jeff Mack

If you don’t know who Jeff Mack is, you have to meet him! Or at least read one of his fascinating books. His art can move a story along with few words! 

Four groups met with him. Each presentation was different. Each was fascinating. The students were enthralled. 

The highlight of the day for me was our luncheon though. We had a contest to see which students got to eat with him. A picture story book contest with one winner from each grade. Now I say it was the luncheon, but it wasn’t the food, it was the time that Mr. Mack took with each student. He read every story and looked at each picture. He made comments and suggestions. He treated each child like an author worthy of his time. I was impressed on so many levels and really hope that I have the opportunity to work with him again!

The way it is with some classes

Since Jeff Mack is visiting our school, I planned a cross-grade level project for welcome signs. My plan was that the first grade level (3rd grade) would draw ups some plans for a sign, the second grade level (4th) would put the plans to paper, and the third grade level (5th) would finish up. That would leave me one last class to get the library ready for assemblies.

First two classes were fairly smooth sailing. Signs are planned and moving along. Third class comes in, however, and the first thing several of them say is I don’t want to do this. Great, I smell a mutiny underfoot.  I do understand this artsy stuff isn’t necessarily your thing, but I really need your help! We are running out of time, I was out for three days last week, then we had two field days. Please! Just pick up a marker, paper, scissors and give it a try. Do something in that corner or with those letters or that one needs a frog or the fly is too small. And then I walked away. (Did I mention this was a class of 5th grade boys?)

So they hemmed and they hawed, some walked around the table and examined the project from every possible angle, but eventually everyone worked. And they worked until the very end of class. Then I got a surprise when some asked if they could come back after their lunch. Not only did they come back and work, they worked with the 2nd graders until they had to leave.


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!

NLLD recap!

IMG_0847.JPGRepresentatives from NCSLMA joined with other NC librarians on Capitol Hill . Our main goal was to share funding needs for 2018 since 2017 is pretty much set.

We had several things we asked for:

  • Funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
  • Re-authorization of the Museum and Library Services Act which is run by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
  • Appropriate funding for Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL).
  • E-Rate & Net Neutrality.

We heard amazing stories about what  libraries are doing in their communities. I’ll be sharing more with you over the course of the next couple of weeks about the things we learned, the stories we heard, and the kinds (and levels) of support we received from those that represent us in the Capitol.


National Library Legislation Day

Today, Sedley Abercrombie (NSCLMA President) and I head to Washington DC for a few days to participate in National Library Legislation Day.  We will do our best to keep you posted through our twitter accounts @sedley1 and @bitsygriffin.


Here is the schedule for Monday if you are interested in seeing what we’ll doing. Ours is a little different, so you may see us off-schedule as the day goes on.

You can join us virtually by registering here.

NCSLMA Emerging Leaders – 2017

The North Carolina  School Library Media Association (NCSLMA) is offering a special professional development opportunity for school librarians who have been in the field for five years or less. This year long program will begin with an introductory session at the 2017 NCSLMA annual conference and will conclude with the pre-conference held at the 2018 NCSLMA annual conference in October. You will have an opportunity to meet and collaborate with new and experienced librarians in North Carolina, NCSLMA Board members, NCSLMA officers, and join networks in your area of the state affiliated with NCSLMA. You will learn more about being a leader in your school and district. You will also learn what NCSLMA is, what we do, and how you can be an active part of the organization.

Learn more: Emerging Leaders – 2017