NHSLMA Newsletter

Winter 2015-2016


This year, NHSLMA will encourage members to become (or continue to be) strong leaders in their schools and districts, and the theme of the annual conference will reflect this goal. NHSLMA will continue to provide professional resources for the membership and the greater educational audience. Resources can be found via the NHSLMA website, listserv, and social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, and G+

In this edition, you'll find information about the upcoming May 2016 Conference, as well as an article about the Main Street School Library led by its new librarian, Betsy McCombs.

2016 NHSLMA Conference "Your Journey to Leadership: Don't Stop Believin'"

Thursday, May 12th, 8am to Friday, May 13th, 5pm

Grappone Conference Center, Constitution Avenue, Concord, NH, United States


AASL President Leslie Preddy, the Daring Librarian Gwyneth Jones, the Mighty Little Librarian Tiffany Whitehead, and author Kate Messner will be joining us!

Please visit the NHSLMA event page for registration information.

This year’s NHSLMA Conference Committee will again be chaired by Jessica Gilcreast. Stay up to date with all of the conference developments via the listserv, Twitter, Facebook, and the conference webpage.

Featured Library: Main Street School Exeter, NH

Main Street School Interview

School Profile

Librarian: Betsy McCombs

School Name: Main Street School, Exeter, New Hampshire

Grade Level: Kindergarten through Grade 2

Number of Students: 470

Number of Faculty & Staff: Approximately 120

You’re new to Exeter. How has the transition been? There are so many things to consider. I've joined a very strong district where I have the opportunity to work with some outstanding School Librarians. There are so many advantages working with a budget and support staff. But, there are also mixed feelings about the program and collection I was at previously. I often think of projects that were in progress and collection development plans which I hadn't finished, as well as the students I'd worked with from Kindergarten to 5th grade. Getting to know a new program - a new school, new students, new staff, and a new collection - is a lot to take in. I've gone from working with K-5 to just working with K-2 which is a very big change. Being a "new teacher" after being a 14 year veteran in a building is not easy either. Luckily, I've always said that my favorite job would be as a professional student - I love learning new things. There is much to learn and many opportunities to reevaluate my teaching practices that I may not have had otherwise.

What’s the best part of the library? That is an easy question to answer- my library assistants. Having help again after losing the library assistant position at my former library many years ago is a huge benefit. Working without help forces us to work in survival mode - just getting by. I'm almost overwhelmed by the resources at this new position.

What are your goals for the library? Right now I am trying to get to know the community I am supporting - students and staff. Then of course comes that project that is always easier to do before you become too attached to a collection - a good healthy weeding.

Do you know a librarian or school library that we should feature? Email Caitlin at cahearn@londonderry.org with the library and/or librarian's contact information.

Top 3 NHSLMA Board Meeting Highlights

Minutes from our meetings can now be found on the NHSLMA Archives page.

New Members

  • Kelly Budd, from Keene High School, has joined the board as a Member-at-Large.
  • Katie Gadwah, from John Stark High School, has joined the board and will chair the Awards Committee.


  • Angie Miller & Pam Harland have teamed up in an initiative, Let the Librarians Lead, to empower school librarians.
  • ESSA has now passed. NHSLMA will work to help librarians understand what this means for librarians and school libraries.

New Hampshire School Library Media Association

NHSLMA's purpose is to broaden the professional knowledge, understanding and experience of its members, and to promote the improvement of instruction in the state of New Hampshire through the sound use of educational resources.