SAYL Mail for January 29, 2021

SAYL Mail    School and Youth Librarian’s Newsletter   January 29, 2021


Author Barbara Jacko Atwater and Ethan Jacko Atwater are available for online readings.

They have written two books based on stories from her great Uncle Walter Johnson. These Alaska Dena’ina fables, How Raven Got His Crooked Nose and Chia and the Fox Man are published by West Margin Press. For more information you may contact them at Teacher guides are available for both books. See title links.


Joy Harjo’s project Living Nations, Living Words

seeks to recognize and highlight living Native American poets from all over America including two from Alaska. Each link on the map contains information about the poet and a recording of the poets reading and discussing one of their works. A great resources for sharing with students when learning about poetry and literature as well as when learning about native Nations.


New Alaska DEED and DHSS Art Initiative

The Amplify Youth Voices Alaska Project will enable your Alaskans to use different forms of artistic expression and share creative messages of safety, hope, love and encouragement about the COVID-19 pandemic. Young artists are invited to participate in online artist workshops and submit home grown arte that reflects their resiliency and creativity.”  Visit the website.


Check out our new statewide database on SLED: History Makers

HistoryMakers contains “over 148,163 stories assembled from life oral history interviews with 2,691 historically significant African Americans as of October 2020”. Add a link to your school and library website and be sure to share this new resource with your teachers! Great for History Day, research projects involving primary documents and Black History Month.


Upcoming Events of interest to school librarians

February 11 @ 3:00pm     AASL Townhall Leading Learning:

“This is a chance to share successes, solicit ideas, and strategize the best ways to meet the needs of you and your learners. Join AASL Leadership and peers across the country in an open conversation focused on leading learning in your school and community.” The topic this month will be “Black History Month Reimagined.”  REGISTER HERE



Tuesday, Feb 16 (10-11:00 am) Getting a Seat at the Table: Ways to Become Irreplaceable at Your School (Follett)

Join award-winning Media Specialist Carrie Friday as she walks you through different ways you can advocate for school libraries in your own school, your community, at the district level and to anyone else who will listen. In this webinar, Carrie will show you ideas you can immediately implement so that you can change the perception of the library and your position, and start gaining some ground to be a library light for all to see. REGISTER



Timely Topics

Tough Topics and Tough Conversations Resources “The books on these lists are to help inspire conversations with children going through challenging situations like the death of a loved one, an unexpected move, natural disasters and more. They are available for grades K-2nd, 3rd-5th and 6th-8th. Resources for adults are also included.”            Tough Conversations Tip Sheet


Online PD opportunities for early February


Feb 2

(10-11 am)

Showcasing Social-Emotional Learning (Booklist)

As the pandemic continues and children everywhere experience seismic shifts in their routines, schooling, and socialization on a daily basis, social-emotional learning—and mental wellness—remain of paramount importance. Of course, finding ways to teach children about interpersonal skills, self-awareness, decision making, and more is much easier said than done. But in this free, hour-long webinar, representatives from Fabled Films Press, Lorimer Children & Teens, Owl kids, and Scholastic offer a starting point, presenting forthcoming fiction and nonfiction titles for young readers that put SEL and wellness front and center.




Feb 3

(8-9 am)



Behind the Book Author Takeover STUDENT EDITION with Jennifer L. Holm (Follett)

On February 3, 2021 at 11:00am CT we are excited to bring you New York Times best-selling and Newbery Honor-winning author Jennifer L. Holm who will discuss her out-of-this-world new novel about a kid raised on Mars that learns that he can’t be held back by the fears of the grown-ups around him.





Feb 5

(10-11 am)



Graphic Novel Showcase: Adult and YA Titles Coming This Spring (Booklist)

New year, new AMAZING graphic novels! We’re kicking off 2021 with your #ReadGraphic must-haves in this free, hour-long webinar with Diamond Book Distributors, Image Comics, and IDW Press. Don’t miss this wonderful showcase featuring adult and YA titles perfect for your patrons or your personal tbr list.




Feb 6

(7-8:30 am)



Tech for Teens Club : LEGO Stop-Motion Videos (PACER Center)

Join us for another Livestream Tech for Teens! Using just a mobile phone and LEGO brand toys, we’ll be learning how to create stop-motion style videos that you can share with your family and friends. Learn the techniques to create smooth animation using the Stop Motion Studio app (iPhone & Android). Then create your own stories and bring your characters to life! Requirements: 1 mobile device with camera (iOS or Android), Stop Motion Studio app installed, your choice of movable figures or objects such as LEGO brand toys.




Feb 9

(11-noon )



STEM, Health, and Mental Health (National Girls’ Collaborative Project)

How can STEM programming promote a healthier lifestyle? How does spending time in the great outdoors make you feel? Join a panel of speakers from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Gateway to the Great Outdoors as they share ways to connect physical and mental health to STEM learning.




Feb 11

(9-10 am)



Fall in Love with New in Nonfiction from Scholastic (School Library Journal)

Get excited for nonfiction with Deborah Hopkinson, Dan SaSuWeh, and Dana L. Church, who weave stories so intriguing, students will forget that nonfiction is “boring” and beg for more. Plus join us for a special preview of new and upcoming Scholastic nonfiction titles for all ages.




Feb 15

(3-4 pm)



Excellence in Nonfiction Celebration (YALSA)

Join us as we celebrate the winners and finalists of our Nonfiction Award virtually.




Feb 16

(10-11 am)



Graphic Novel Showcase: Titles for Young Readers Coming this Spring (Booklist)

Graphic novels have been proven to help reluctant readers engage with more books, inspire creativity and imagination, and boost confidence in struggling readers (it’s no wonder we have #ReadGraphic fever)! Join us for our second graphic novel showcase to get the scoop on upcoming graphic novel titles for young readers from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Tundra Books, and Yen Press! Plus, we’ll hear from author/illustrator Cale Atkinson about a hilarious new book series!




Feb 17

(10-11 am)



Lifting Voices: Books Like Us: The Power of Seeing Yourself Reflected in a Book (Mackin)

Simon & Schuster editors and authors from the Denene Millner Books and Salaam Reads imprint share the moment when they were able to connect with a character that reflected their own personal narrative. Seeing themselves reflected in a book had a powerful impact on their sense of self and shaped the editors and writers they would later become. Moderated by Kendra Levin, Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.





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SAYL Mail for November 20, 2020

SAYL Mail   School and Youth Librarian’s Newsletter      November 20, 2020


Around the State

Tuesday November 24th at 4:00pm “Alaska School Librarians Let Your Voice Be Heard. Join us. Meeting will focus on SMART goals for your school and community advocacy plan.” If this is your first meeting please REGISTER. Any questions contact: Deborah Rinio,


**Alaska State Library Development webpages have had an overhaul. Take a look.


SLED databases password update from Daniel Cornwall: …in case their students had to work from home. If you’re not sure you have the current credentials – issued in 2018, let me know and I’ll send you them directly. Also, Tumblebooks mobile and Sesame Streets have slightly different credentials. Usernames and passwords may be shared one on one in e-mail or phone with students, faculty and staff but must never be posted on a web page, blog, social media site that can be accessed outside your school. Other questions let me know! And thanks for all you are doing in these difficult, uncertain and fatiguing times. – Daniel


Live Homework Help: Live sessions. Reminder: To access the live sessions, you need to create an account. These accounts are free and your information will not be shared. Also, thank you to the many school librarians who placed the LHH log and link on their webpages. This has helps to significantly increase the awareness and use of LHH!

Free digital promo materials for your website can be found at:


Upcoming conferences of interest:

  • ASTE Feb 12-16th  “ Go Global” REGISTER   Registration fee $75  plus $25 membership fee)
  • AKLA Mar 18-21 “Your Library has Left the Building”. Registration available soon. Tentative fees

$25 members, $100 non-members. “We will have a mix of session types: poster sessions (no formal presentation), pre-recorded sessions, and live sessions. And there will be the fantastic roundtable meetings and keynotes you love.”

  • Plan now and apply for a$300 PD grant to cover registration. (one grant per yr./person) If you have questions as to how to navigate your school district finance office and processing receipts and paperwork please contact Janet Madsen.


If you missed the AASL Townhall on Wednesday Nov 18th, you can view the recording. This meeting featured the school administrators who participated in the AASL School Leader Collaborative. One of them was Shawn Arnold, superintendent of the Valdez City School District. Hear their ideas on how to effectively communicate your role and successes during the pandemic. The archive for the town hall with the AASL School Leader Collaborative is now available.

AKLA Conference Proposals

  • Conference proposal deadline is Monday Jan. 4 at 6pm. This year’s theme has an emphasis on openness and inclusivity. Sessions are not required to adhere to the theme, but it is encouraged. The committee will notify you by the end of January. The committee is Elizabeth Nicolai, Page Brannon and Stephanie Schott working on the poster sessions.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai.
  • 907-343-2840
  • Conference website:
  • Program proposal form:


Dec. 7-13, 2020 Hour of Code   Check out these resources for ideas.

Many new activities created with remote learning in mind and the various classroom models. CodeBytes: 20 minute interactive lessons streaming twice daily. Episodes tailored to different grade levels, planned activities, engaging new unplugged options, Hour of Code Unplugged activity packet for ages 4-18.

Online PD opportunities

Monday Dec.7   10:00am   Tools and Ideas for Independent Reading for All Students…Anywhere, Anytime   REGISTER

“Share tools and ideas for accommodating the needs of all learners in unique and creative ways. Explore ways to use apps in concert to support learners who are in remote or hybrid learning models. Practical tips and commonly accessible platforms like Google will be incorporated.” (Shannon McClintock Miller)

Thursday Dec. 17 10:00 am   Engaging and Teaching Parents about Technology  REGISTER

  • The five most important things parents should know about digital citizenship
  • How, when, why and who with, to host a digital parenting event
  • How to be proactive with parents, not reactive. (edweb)


Articles of Interest

Top 5 Things for HS Grads to do now that COVID-19 has tanked their plans

Understanding Trauma and Its Impact

Unteaching the Native Narrative

25 free google slide templates and themes for teachers

Making Inline Discussion Fun and Interactive with Google’s Jamboard

‘Mesquite ISD Libraries: Elevating Learning for Everyone Everywhere’

Tips for Tackling Censorship

Print nonfiction v. databases

Allowing Students to Pursue their Passions

Novelist newsletter: creating virtual browser experiences, more on virtual story times

Libraries Using Board Games to Promote Critical Thinking

Ideas on helping middle schoolers grow as readers

From ALSC (Assoc. Library Services to Children): Great resources and ideas for virtual story times and programming. Engaging Resources for Online Programs (part 1) (part 2) (part 3)


Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska (ASC) in partnership with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) in Washington, D.C., is pleased to announce the creation of a series of free digital resources for the Alaska education community. The content is available through the award-winning Smithsonian Learning Lab ( platform, an interactive website for the discovery and creative use of the Smithsonian’s digital resources, including images, videos, audio recordings, texts, lesson plans, and activities.


Alaska Native heritage is woven from the beliefs, values, knowledge and arts of the Iñupiaq, Athabascan, St. Lawrence Island Yupik, Yup’ik, Unangax̂, Sugpiaq, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples. Their diverse languages, cultures, and histories are the foundation for contemporary lives. ASC collaborated with Alaska Native Elders, culture-bearers, scholars, artists, and educators to create comprehensive, authoritative educational resources for teachers, students, parents, and lifelong learners—all without cost—via the internet on a new Learning Lab education page, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska From this page, learners will find:

  • Comprehensive collections connecting historic museum objects to contemporary Elders discussions and histories for each of the Alaska Native culture groups;
  • Multi-disciplinary distance learning lesson plans and activities reflecting the values, knowledge, and lifeways of Alaska Native peoples; and
  • A community videos section documenting and teaching Alaska Native artistic traditions and languages, with connections to their contemporary importance.


We invite all teachers, students, parents and lifelong learners to explore Alaska Native cultures, museum objects, videos and educational resources shared at Learn about the peoples of this northern world from Elders, culture-bearers, scholars, artists and educators. We hope that you will forward this announcement to other educators in your organization and beyond.

SAYL Mail is a bimonthly newsletter digest distributed to Alaska school librarians, public youth service librarians and associated professionals via the Alaska Association of School Librarians listserv. SAYL Mail provides news and information about grants, scholarships, professional development and networking opportunities from the Alaska State Library and other state and national organizations. It also provides a briefing of issues facing school libraries at the state and national level. If you would like to receive SAYL mail in your email box, email and put “subscribe alaska-school-libraries” in the subject line.

SAYL Mail for February 28, 2020

SAYL Mail School and Youth Librarians Newsletter

February 28, 2020

Covid-19 Updates: DEED now has its own website as a resources for schools and school districts. “We are working to keep this site relevant and up-to-date with the rapidly changing coronavirus situation. COVID-19 website

PD Grants from the Alaska State Library: For those school librarians who are considering attending the AKLA/PNLA conference in Juneau August 4-7 you should be applying for that grant NOW. Given the many shared experiences from other school librarians you need to understand that it can be a hassle to get your reimbursement through your district. Districts deal with grant refunds from a variety of sources including EED. Therefore call your finance office, identify who will be processing your reimbursement and give them a copy of your application and award notification AHEAD OF TIME. Make sure you save all pertinent receipts because we cannot just take your word for it. Again, if you are confused and need clarification call our grants librarian at (907) 465-1018.

BRAINPOP Update: Creative Coding in now included in the subscription. Many of you know that Alaska has a statewide license to BrainPOP, but did you know that your teachers can unlock additional features through individual accounts that can only be set up at the school level? At no additional charge to you? And now, BrainPOP is offering Creative Coding to teach coding and computer science to students and educators. Contact Martha Ketsdever, BrainPOP Account Manager for Alaska State Libraries, for more information at

Press Release: There will be a gathering to celebrate the release of a new children’s book, Anna Across the Arctic. Tuesday, March 3rd at Georgia Blue Gallery, 5:30-7 PM, 3555 Arctic Blvd, Anchorage, 99503.  Alaskan co-authors Liz O’Connell and Arin Underwood, illustrated by Arin Underwood, present an Arctic science story about a four-pound blue morph fox tracked by a satellite collar, in the longest, fastest fox journey ever recorded.  For more information from the author contact Liz O’Connell,, 907 202-6133,


April is School Library Month Every April school librarians are encouraged to host activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school libraries play in transforming learning. To begin planning the celebration, ask your school and elected officials to proclaim April School Library Month! Visit the AASL website for templates that can be downloaded and modified to fit your needs.


March 6-7 National Day of Unplugging: For programming ideas for March or any other time check out their website or a recent article from Teen Services Underground.

Outstanding Books for the College Bound: The newest list (2019) was recently released and is organized into five categories; general knowledge, arts and literature, history and cultures and science and technology.

Teen Series finishing up this year: Here’s a list with short series overviews if the series that are finishing up in 2020. Helpful for collection development to make sure you get the “last book”.

The First Body-Positive Children’s Book Just Came Out: Her Body Can by Katie Crenshaw and Ady Meschke is geared to children ages 8 and under. The authors knew how important it is for girls to internalize positive messages about their body before the biases of mainstream culture set in. Read an interview with the authors.

You’re merchandising whether you know it or not. It’s a common misconception that putting non-circulating books on display might perk user’s interest. Also putting single books face out can create a message of scarcity and that a book may not be for check out. This and other misconceptions about marketing through displays are covered.  Read more

Smithsonian releases 2.8 million Images into Public Domain: An open access online platform containing high resolution two and three dimensional images from across its collections for patrons to peruse and download for free! The hope is to encourage use and creation of new objects and ideas. author-illustrator duo Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg will debut How to Make a Collagasaurus, a how-to booklet inviting kids to transform the Smithsonian collections into zany new art forms. Read more

Early reading resources for kids: 23 tools are the top picks of common sense education. Highlighted are a range of techniques within reading apps, games and websites which can be used to build phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary or comprehension. Tools are targeted to Preschool, kindergartners and early elementary. Try them out and share the list with colleagues.

Favorite ELA resources for teachers: a great list of resources from Again find some new tools you can use and share with your colleagues. Tools list


Help Them Fund Your Library: : In this free ISTE School Librarians / EveryLibrary webinar, learn easy to adapt techniques to frame the work you do and the program you run for budget success . Prerecorded

Tuesday, Mar 3 (8-9 am)

Supporting Teen Health Literacy: Resources and Programs (Washington State Library)

In this webinar, Aileen Luppert will present a program that teaches health literacy and supports the health and wellness of teens who are experiencing homelessness in Spokane County. Emily Hamstra will present free online resources for teens to use to find reliable information about their health and wellness.

For more information and to register, visit:



Tuesday, Mar 3 (10-11 am)

Springing Forward: Books for Young Readers (Booklist)

In this free, one-hour webinar moderated by Books for Youth senior editor Julia Smith, representatives from Albert Whitman & Company, Disney Publishing Worldwide, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, Running Press Kids, and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing will introduce an array of exciting forthcoming releases for the younger set (approximately ages three through 10).

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Mar 4 (10am-12pm)

Women and Girls: Gender Equity in Computer Science Education (National Girls Collaborative Project)

In honor of National Women’s History month, Karen Peterson, Founder & CEO of the National Girls Collaborative Project will highlight the challenges and opportunities of encouraging more girls across the country to pursue STEM activities and careers, and the importance of CS education in this process. She will be joined by voices from the field who will share information about their programs: Toni Robinson, President of Digital Girls, Inc. and Cathy Law, Director of the STEM Academy @ OSU.

For more information and to register, visit:


Thursday, Mar 5 (11am-12 pm)

Serving Striving Readers (School Library Journal)

With the decline in reading scores among U.S. students, the librarian’s role toward enhancing literacy has never been more critical. Practitioners and literacy experts at the elementary, middle, and high school levels explore using graphic novels, street lit, and more to get students fired up about reading, bolstering skills along the way.

For more information and to register, visit:


Thursday, Mar 5 (12-2 pm)

Future Ready Librarians® Future-Proof Your School Library Budget: What to do if the cuts happen (Future Ready Librarians/Alliance for Excellent Education)

During this webinar, you will learn smart ways to engage the community in the face of crisis, and how to get organized across a district. Join John Chrastka from EveryLibrary as he discusses ways to prevent potential problems and to proactively position yourself if they come. If there is a threat to your position or budget – or to other school libraries or librarians across your district – know how to mobilize people to help you fight back. For more information and to register, visit:


Tuesday, Mar 10 (11am-12 pm)

When Teachers Collaborate: Bringing Extended Expertise to Your Classroom (Follett)

This session will highlight how collaboration works within Tracy Ferguson and Shannon McClintock Miller’s elementary school and the many ways they use it to enhance learning, creativity, student voice, develop empathy and kindness, and have a lot of fun along the way. These experienced educators will share the many different types of collaboration they use and ways you can bring these ideas back to their communities and professional networks.

For more information and to register, visit:


Thursday, Mar 12 (1-2 pm)

Asking Strong Research Questions Using Primary Sources (School Library Connection)


Compelling primary sources often have a bit of mystery and wonder about them. That makes them a perfect tool for middle and high school students developing their own research questions. In this webinar, librarian, author, and former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress Tom Bober shares strategies and tips to effectively utilize primary sources at the question-forming stage of research. See how students asking their own research questions based on their interactions with items from history can increase engagement and purpose as well as positively impact this critical point in the research process. For more information and to register, visit:


Tuesday, Mar 17 (10am-12 pm)

Stellar Series Nonfiction: Spring 2020 (Booklist)

What do series nonfiction publishers have in store for readers this spring? Join us for this free, one-hour webinar featuring representatives from Amicus Publishing, Bellwether Media, Black Rabbit Books, Rourke Educational Media, and Scholastic Library Publishing—and find out! Titles presented will range from grades K through 12.

For more information and to register, visit:


Thursday, Mar 19 (11am-12 pm)

Tech Balance: Family Engagement Tools to Talk Tech and Media Habits with Parents (

In this edWebinar, we will be sharing and brainstorming interactive exercises and discussions to use with parents of young children to promote a healthy balance of media and technology at home. Rocío López, the manager of community partnerships for the Common Sense Latino Program, shares best practices in leading workshops with lower-income and monolingual Spanish-speaking families and provides tools and resources.

For more information and to register, visit:








SAYL Mail is published twice monthly during the school year. You receive this because you are subscribed to the Google Group “Alaska School Libraries”. Back issues are archived at the Alaska Library Network website. Subscribe here

Janet Madsen, School Library Coordinator, Alaska State Library (907) 465-8187,

SAYL Mail February 21, 2020

SAYL Mail   School and Youth Librarians Newsletter

February 21, 2020

Around the State

Good Luck to school librarians presenting at the ASTE conference in Anchorage. Remember that the AKASL Battle of the Books selections meeting will be held on Saturday Feb 22 @6:00pm at the Captain Cook Hotel Endeavor Room.

Four children’s books, Seasons of Alaska, are being published by Best Beginnings. “The project was created to fill a gap in Alaska children’s literature by providing a heart-warming glimpse into modern rural Alaska life through the eyes of a child.” Read more about these board books


ALA School Librarian’s role in reading

How do librarians in schools support struggling readers?

Why school librarians are the literacy leaders we need


Lilead Leaders Opportunity: New Scholarship

“Lilead Leaders Courses are for school library professionals at any level. Communicating and Coalition-Building for Change will provide participants with the skills and tools to effectively communicate the vision and goals of the library program and to describe how the program connects with the goals and priorities of their schools, districts and or states. It will help them understand stakeholder’s perspectives and how to best address a variety of audiences to gain support and build coalitions outside the school librarianship field.”

You can find the Lilead Leaders scholarship application here for over half off the cost of the course. Make sure you fill out the form before the start of course 3; Communicating and Coalition Building for Change on March 5th for $180 off.  REGISTRATION

School Librarian PD grants available from the Alaska State Library



Apply for a 2020 Ezra Jack Keats mini-grant.

The Ezra jack Keats foundation, dedicated to supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries across the country is encouraging qualifying educators to apply for the grant. The deadline for submissions is March 31st. Approximately 70 grants m up to $500 each will be awarded to teachers and librarians in public schools and libraries whose proposals relate and imaginative approach to experiential learning. More information


Free Webinars coming up


Wed Feb 26 @ 12pm   Strategies to Engage Young Learners with Informational Text

This edWebinar will share why and how to effectively engage young children with informational text using a variety of resources—including the acclaimed children’s television and video game resources from Molly of DenaliREGISTER HERE

Thurs February 27@ 1pm Time to Scrap the CRAAP Test; Using Formative Assessment

Join Michelle Luhtala as she shares replicable lessons and instructional materials to help learners improve their inquiry skills. REGISTER HERE

Tues March 10 @ 12pm   Design Thinking

Mega Subramanian of the University of Maryland iSchool has her finger on the pulse of library innovation and knows how to make theory accessible. She’ll be talking about design thinking, a series of activities and thinking strategies that you can apply in your library makerspace work or in solving real-world challenges in your library.  REGISTER

Wed March 25@ 1 pm   The Transformative Power of Digital Reading

In this edWebinar, the presenters will challenge participants to see beyond substituting print with PDF text and open doors to engaging interactive reading adventures for learners of all abilities and ages. REGISTER HERE

Wed April 22 @ 1pm  The Transformative Power of Audio Reading

In this edWebinar, Michelle Luhtala will share resources and tools to help participants integrate audio content into their instructional programs. REGISTER HERE


SAYL Mail is published twice monthly during the school year. You receive this because you are subscribed to the Google Group “Alaska School Libraries”. Back issues are archived at the Alaska Library Network website. Subscribe here

Janet Madsen, School Library Coordinator, Alaska State Library (907) 465-8187,


SAYL Mail February 14, 2020

SAYL Mail   School and Youth Librarian Newsletter

February 14

Around the State

The combined public/school library at the Harold Kaveolook School suffered major fire damage early Friday morning February 7. The portion of the building housing teachers and the elementary school was not damaged, with the middle and high school, gym, and library were destroyed. Many of you have heard and are asking in what ways you can help. Given the weather conditions and lack of storage space it will be awhile before it’s time to consider donations for the library. Staff are busy addressing more immediate needs and will let everyone know when the time to address library needs arrives.


AkASL Battle of the Books is looking for moderators for the state level competitions coming up.

The dates are:

  • Tuesday February 25,  High School Battles
  • Wednesday February 26 , Middle School Battles
  • Thursday February 27, 5th/6th grade Battles
  • Friday February 28, 3rd/4th grade battles

Please let Shelly know if you can help.


Through YALSA’s Connected Learning and Computational Thinking Grant we now have two librarians who are looking for opportunities to provide training for both school and public librarians. If you are interested and want to know more, please contact me.


Alaska/AASL Library Standards Update

The standards will be addressed at the March 25-6th Alaska Board of Education Meeting. This is the next step before there is a public comment period and formal adoption. Details forthcoming.


Professional Opportunities

AkASL (Alaska Association of School Librarians) is looking for individuals who may be interested in joining the organization and helping out.

We are looking for someone who is interested in the Membership Coordinator Position. This person works with AKLA to make sure our membership database is up to date. They keep the information updated on the website by letting the webmaster know what needs to be changed. This new position works with librarians and library staff around the state communicating about the membership of AKASL.

We are also looking for members who are interested in working with the Media Manager and furthering the social media presence of AkASL. Helping to managing Facebook, twitter and making sure the person doing the website gets the information that needs updating or help with the website.

If you are interested or know someone please contact Pam Verfailie, President elect at or


Librarians and #akreads

Alaska Reads Act: EED website

The Nonnegotiable Role of School Librarians 

Nicely summarizes what we do and provides reflections questions. Great article for conversation starters to share with your administrator and coworkers    Link to article

Great Strides: Building Confident Readers.

How two SL’s in Vancouver Washington have responded to the NAEP report in their school.  Reasserts the role of school librarians in working with youth who are reluctant or striving readers and how we provide “the supports kids need to clear whatever hurdle is in their way of loving reading” Link to article

Culturally Responsive Teaching

Jennifer Gonzalez (Cult of Pedagogy blog) addresses 4 misconceptions of CRT. She interviews Zaretta Hammond, author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Hammonds book offers a “neuroscience based teaching framework that goes beyond surface changes to really build cognitive capacity in our students from diverse backgrounds.” Wherever you are on this topic, take some time to reflect on these misconceptions.  Interview/article


Award and Grants

 K-8 school libraries invited to apply for $5,000 award recognizing outstanding humanities programming. Nominations for the Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award due May4, 2020.  More information

The Snapdragon Book Foundation offers Grants for Books for Schools

The Snapdragon Foundation was established to provide funds to improve school libraries for disadvantaged children. Schools that serve PreK through grades 12 are eligible to apply. Applications are due February 16.

ALSC announces 2020 Notable Children’s Recordings

The list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways.  The list

Upcoming and Ongoing

Feb 27                   Digital Learning Day   activities      lessons       online resources

March 2020        Women’s History Month     National Women’s History Alliance    Library of Congress

Census 2020       Census in Schools resources

SAYL mail is published twice monthly during the school year. You received this because you are subscribed to the Google Group ‘Alaska School Libraries”. Back issues are archived at the Alaska Library Network website.

Janet Madsen, School Library Coordinator, Alaska State Library (907) 465-8187,


Alaska Library Catalog Pickup Libraries (excluding school libraries)

Alaska Library Catalog Pickup Libraries
APL Eagle River
APL Girdwood
APL Loussac
APL Moutain View
APL Muldoon
Big Lake Public
Chukchi Consortium
FNSB Fairbanks
FNSB North Pole
Haines Borough Public
JPL Douglas
JPL Juneau
JPL Mendenhall
Kenai Community
Kodiak Public
Kuskokwim Consortium
Palmer Public
Petersburg Public
Sealaska Heritage
Seward Community
Sitka Public
Soldotna Public
State Library Juneau
Sutton Public
Talkeetna Public
Trapper Creek Public
Tuzzy Consortium
UAA Homer
UAA Kenai
UAA Kodiak
UAA Mat-Su
UAA/APU Consortium
UAF Mather
UAF Rasmuson
UAS Egan
Valdez Consortium
Wasilla Public
Willow Public

SAYL Mail January 31, 2020

SAYL Mail                School and Youth Librarians Newsletter

January 31, 2020


Creative Writing Contest

Alaska Center for the Book is coordinating the 37th annual UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest. The statewide contest is for writers of all ages in fiction, non-fiction and poetry categories. More than 650 entries were submitted in the 2019 contest with winners ranging in ages from 6-81. The website for the contest includes guidelines and the submission form.


Alaska Association of School Librarian’s Battle of the Books selection meeting will be held during the upcoming ASTE Conference in Anchorage. Join school librarians to select titles for the 2020-2021 year. Saturday Feb 22nd at the Captain Cook Hotel in the Endeavor Room from 6:00-7:00 pm. Visit for more information.


February 5th is World Read Aloud Day. Check out the website for program ideas, activity guide and free resources. Remember #AKREADS.


Featured in Our Alaska Schools Blog:

“The Importance of K-12 Libraries in Alaska”   by Tana Martin, Librarian Tanana Middle School , Fairbanks.  If you have a story about your school library, take the time to share what you do!! #akreads


Scholastic Library Grants 

For more information

Junior Library Guild

For more information


FREE Webinars

Feb 13 @ 1:00pm  Making the Most of Your Digital Collection

“You’ve invested time, thought, and budget dollars to create an amazing collection of materials for your teachers and students, but perhaps you’ve found that the digital portion of your resources doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Research has shown that eBooks and audiobooks circulate more when librarians follow a clear plan to promote them in the school community. Join this webinar to learn creative and effective strategies for spreading the word about your digital collection and make sure those great resources get used!”   Sign Up Here   School Library Connections


February 2020 CE Opportunities

Feb 1 8-9 am Copyright Basics (Copyright & Creativity)

Part 1 of a 2-part series. Reinforce your understanding of copyright: What copyright protects and why; Important limitations and exceptions to copyright; How to teach copyright to students.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 4 10-11 am New Books, New Worlds: Diverse Titles for Youth & Young Adult (Booklist)Talk with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Lorimer Children & Teen, and Archipelago Books to hear about the latest titles for young readers showcasing diverse authors, characters, and topics! Plus, we’ll talk with author June Hur about her upcoming YA debut, The Silence of Bones!

For more information and to register, visit:

Feb 5 9-10 am Free Tools for Working with Social Media (Infopeople)


In this webinar you will learn about some online gems that you can use to improve your workflow, create new content, or share with your friends and colleagues. Presenter Laura Solomon will cover a plethora of online tools that you probably haven’t heard of but will be glad that you have.

For more information and to register, visit:



Feb 5:11am- noon Best New Teen Reads of 2019 (Nebraska Library Commission)

Brief book talks and reviews of new titles recommended to school and public librarians, covering both middle and high school levels published within the last year.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 6:10-11 am   OER & the Library: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Library Journal)

As the use of OER increases across institutions, libraries have the potential to play a valuable role and strategically support teaching and learning in a new way. In fact, the skills and expertise that librarians possess make libraries a natural ally in OER initiatives. This moderated panel of experienced librarians and OER specialists will explore the key topics associated with OER and the library, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 12 10-11 am  Research is Not a Basic Skill: Using the Contextual Nature of Research to Transform Information Literacy Instruction (Georgia Library Association)

Students’ confidence in their research skills often does not match their proficiency with those skills. Often, what students fail to grasp is the importance of context to the research process. In this presentation, learn about a new model of information literacy instruction that teaches the contextual nature of research by treating research as a subject of study rather than a set of basic skills

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 12 3-4 pm Using Others’ Work in Our Own Creations (Copyright & Creativity)

Part 2 of a 2-part series. Help students successfully navigate copyright in their own roles as creators: Fair use for students; How to find creative work that is free to use–Creative Commons and public domain; Resources for teaching these concepts to students.

For more information and to register, visit:



Feb 18 10-11 am   Feminist Reads, a Penguin Reading List for Readers Grades K-12 (Booklist)

Join Booklist editor Maggie Reagan and Penguin Young Readers for this free, hour-long discussion on new and old books for young readers featuring strong, inspiring women. This webinar will also feature a conversation between Maggie Reagan and black feminist writer and editor Evette Dionne, centering on her nonfiction work Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 19  11am-noon   What’s New in Children’s Literature – 2020 (Infopeople)

This webinar can help you discover new books that you can offer to children who use your library, including books that reflect the diversity of the children we serve. Hear about books published in late 2019 and Spring 2020, that will be popular with children ages 0-12. These include board books, picture books, easy readers, transitional fiction, genre fiction for middle grades, graphic novels, poetry, nonfiction, and more! Hear about books that will be popular with a wide audience of children, including recent award-winners.

For more information and to register, visit:

Feb 20   7-8 am Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: How to Own Your Expertise and Present with Confidence (Texas State Library and Archives Commission)

Have you turned down the opportunity to speak at a conference or meeting? Do you struggle with feeling confident about your professional expertise? Do you have a hard time feeling like people should listen to you at work? In this session, TSLAC consultants Cindy Fisher and Kyla Hunt will discuss strategies to feel confident when sharing what you know. You will leave this session with a newfound willingness to present at conferences and meetings and, most importantly, a belief that your experience is worth something!

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 20   10-11 am   Teen Mental Health: In their own words (Colorado State Library)

Teen suicide is on the rise nationally, and Colorado’s statistics are higher than many other states. In this interactive session we will highlight this issue by sharing interview clips from teens who have experienced mental health issues, Colorado specific research, and we will brainstorm how libraries can be part of a larger community conversations.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 26 11:00am-noon   A Framework for Digital Citizenship Implementation (

Common Sense Education’s Digital Citizenship Implementation Guide provides a path for a phased framework to help you plan, implement, and evaluate your digital citizenship program. From how to get buy-in, assessing your motivation and needs, instructional plans, educating families, to how to become a Common Sense Recognized School or District, we will discuss different models for digital citizenship implementation.

For more information and to register, visit:



Feb 27 1-2 pm   Is it Time to Scrap the C.R.A.A.P. Test? Using Formative Assessment to Improve Students’ Resource Selection Skills (

Distinguishing truth from disinformation is only a small part of a larger problem. Students frequently rely on shallow reference materials as core sources for research, treat 2-minute news clips as in-depth journalism, and fail to distinguish between reportage and opinion articles. Lecturing students about these shortcomings rarely helps, but providing meaningful feedback on research checkpoints (e.g., research questions, works cited lists, and thesis statements) can be instructionally effective. Join Michelle Luhtala as she shares replicable lessons and instructional materials to help learners improve their inquiry skills.

For more information and to register, visit:


SL related articles from the Intellectual Freedom News (1/31/20)

SL Related articles from ALA News

Programming Ideas

Literary Holidays to Celebrate in February  ( 5 minute librarian)


Love Your Library Month

2/1-7 – National Storytelling Week in England

2/1 – Take Your Child to the Library Day (first Saturday of February)
2/2-8 – Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week (first week of February)
2/8 – John Grisham’s birthday
2/12 – Judy Blume’s birthday
2/14 – Library Lovers’ Day
2/16 – Reading Rainbow Day (LeVar Burton’s birthday)
2/22 – Edward Gorey’s birthday

Children’s Programming Activity Calendar  download and print DEMCO



SAYL Mail is published twice monthly during the school year. You receive this because you are subscribed to the Google Group “Alaska School Libraries”. Back issues are archived at the Alaska Library Network website. Subscribe here

Janet Madsen, School Library Coordinator

Alaska State Library (907) 465-8187,


SAYL Mail December 13, 2019

SAYL Mail   School and Youth Librarians Newsletter from the Alaska State Library

December 13, 2019

Reminders…    winter break will come

Webinars of interest

that Impact a Lifetime

Employment opportunity

Anchorage Public Library hiring a youth services librarian for Chugiak-Eagle River Library

Requires MLS, full-time, Tues-Saturday schedule. Salary range $53,747-$68,473 annual

Details and application

For Planning Purposes

  • January 27-31, 2020: National News Literacy Week: The News Literacy Project and the E.W.Scripss Company join forces to raise awareness of news literacy as a fundamental life skill. Free resources will be provided and shared on social media (#NewsLitWeek2020) and a soon to be launched website. Each day’s theme will be based on a Checkology lesson. Sign up if you would like to receive resources and updates in your inbox.
  • FREE from Upstart: Children’s Library Programming Activity Calendar for January 2020
  • Teen Programming Ideas for January: YALSA Martin Luther King Day, National Day of Service, Congressional Art Competition and YALSA’s annual selection of lists are announced. Scroll down for programming ideas on the cheap, year round activities, prize ideas and additional resources.
  • Commonsense Top Picks websites for finding lesson plans


Worthwhile Reads

SAYL Mail is published weekly during the school year. You receive this because you are subscribed to the Google Group “Alaska School Libraries”. Back issues are archived at the Alaska Library Network website. Subscribe here

Janet Madsen, School Library Coordinator

Alaska State Library (907) 465-8187,

SAYL Mail December 6, 2019

SAYL Mail            School and Youth Librarian’s Newsletter from the Alaska State Library

December 6, 2019

In Alaska….

“From December 9-15, Alaska will join the world in celebrating the Week of Code, a movement to increase exposure to computer programming and computational thinking to students of all ages. The Department has set up an information and resource page for Alaska’s effort. We encourage all schools and libraries to check out our resources, resolve to hold an event and register your event at If you choose to hold an event, we strongly encourage you to talk about it on social media, using the hashtags #AlaskaWeekOfCode and #aklearns.”

ALASKA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION has established a scholarship program to provide financial assistance to worthy students pursuing graduate studies leading to a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies and to encourage graduates to return to Alaska to work in professional library positions. Scholarships may be awarded for both on-campus and/or distance education programs. Preference will be given to an individual meeting the federal definition of Alaska Native ethnicity. Application due Jan 15, 2020. For more information on eligibility, amount of award, criteria for selection and the new application procedure visit

For libraries with Overdrive digital collections, auto-checkout will be removed from Sora and “hold redelivery” will be introduced. This will allow students to freeze holds even after they’re made available to them and maintain their place on the wait list. This update will enable students to pass books they do not yet have time to read to the next person in line. Check Overdrive for more information:

TumbleBooks reminder

“In light of recent ebook drama regarding restriction and embargo of digital downloads, we thought it would be a good time to remind you that all TumbleBook ebook databases offer unlimited and unrestricted 24/7 access. No limits, No holds, No waiting periods, No embargoes. Every single title in your collection has an unlimited and unrestricted amount of copies available for 24/7 streaming anywhere and everywhere your patrons have an internet collection.”

Libraries Transform Communities Grant

Library workers can apply for a new annual grant to support innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries. This grant will provide $2,000 for libraries (including SCHOOL libraries) to expand community engagement efforts. This may include programs and services, partnering with a community agency that builds the capacity of the community to address an important issue or concern and more. Applications due between December 2, 2019 and February 3, 2019

!! Reminder from the Alaska State Library Grant Coordinator:

You can apply for a CE or PD grant any time before an event. However you may not receive more than one award in a fiscal year. Keep in mind that in 2020, there will be TWO statewide conferences of interest. ASTE and PNLA/AkLA.


Online resources of interest and to share with your school staff

The Find Your Grind Curriculum helps students prepare for life outside of the classroom, with meaningful lessons on topics like finding your identity, responsible social media use, digital citizenship, financial literacy, and the job application process. These critical pieces will set students up for success when playing the game of “life” and provide educators with the tools to have real, substantive conversations with their classes.

  • Focuses on social emotional learning and student agency
  • Allows for exploration of student interests
  • Challenges students through inquiry and reflection
  • Creates research opportunities

Flips the paradigm from Job-Strength-Lifestyle to the other way around.

Alaska Books for Alaska Kids is a collaborative project by librarians and educators to compile an up-to-date, accessible, and useful bibliography of accurate, culturally relevant, recommended books for youth about Alaska and the North. This resource is intended to assist children, parents, teachers, librarians, college students, and early literacy professionals in identifying age-appropriate, accurate and culturally relevant books for youth in Alaska.”

FREE STEM Curriculum: The National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center focuses on STEM curriculum design, computer science curriculum design, cyber curriculum, professional development, and collaboration in K-12 education. If your library is looking for a way to expand your current STEM offerings (or even if you are looking for a place to start), check out the free resources from NICRC.

AASL Standards Now Crosswalked to Code with Google’s CS First Curriculum

As part of its continued commitment to provide school library professionals the materials and resources needed to implement its “National School Library Standards,” AASL has released a crosswalk aligning the AASL Standards to the Code with Google’s CS First Curriculum. The crosswalk and accompanying statement of alignment are downloadable, and the printable PDFs are available on the AASL Standards Portal.

AASL Publishes OER Toolkit

AASL has released a new toolkit to help position school librarians in efforts to create and curate open educational resources (OER) that will extend their role as leaders within their schools. The toolkit was developed to help school librarians who are grappling with how to translate the OER movement to K–12 educational settings. The toolkit’s goal is to help school librarians understand the process of curating and creating OER for their school, district, and/or state. The OER Toolkit is freely available for download at


AASL Inclusive Learning Communities

“American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released a new resource guide to support school librarians in nurturing inclusive learning communities. “Developing Inclusive Learners and Citizens Activity Guide” contains reflection activities and resources based on Include, one of the six Shared Foundations contained within AASL’s “National School Library Standards.” The guide, along with supporting materials, can be downloaded at”

Described and media capture program

A free resource for qualifying teachers and families. Funding provided by the DOE and administered by the National Association of the Deaf. The DCMP provides services designed to support and improve the academic achievement of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.

From Copyright and  for ethical digital citizens. Resources for teaching copyright and fair use. These materials aim to provide accessible and practical information about copyright-it’s protections, limitations and it’s role in encouraging creativity. Rather than just emphasizing what copyright prohibits, the goal here is to offer useful and positive information about what copyright allows and how students can successfully navigate and rely on copyright in their own roles as creators. K-12 and PD also accessible through Canvas and GSuite download.

Top Picks for creating books and storybooks: From Commonsense Education, 16 story creation tools for teaching special needs students, tools providing prompts for pre-writing and publishing, illustrated story prompts and more. Mostly FREE a few from 2.99-19.99.


Writing Boxes: The Reading/Writing Connection in Libraries is a guidebook and source of programming inspiration for all librarians working with early to young adult readers. Librarians will find thematic, easy to implement, hour long writing workshops that require only paper, markers, and excited young writers. Free as a PDF download; print copies available for purchase.

National History Day/ Women’s Suffrage

In September, Rightfully Hers pop-up displays from the National Archives began arriving at schools and cultural institutions nationwide. The display contains simple messages about the expansion of the vote to millions of women, before and after the 19th Amendment, and its impact today. You can download the high resolution posters for your school or institution from the U.S. National Archives website.

From Knowledge Quest:

Passive Reader’s Advisory: When You can’t do it all, here are some great ideas for connecting books with students. Think genre spine labels, shelf dividers to ease book finding, signs that reflect content, book displays, book recommendation stickers and book lists.



SAYL Mail is published weekly during the school year. You receive this because you are subscribed to the Google Group “Alaska School Libraries”. Back issues are archived at the Alaska Library Network website. Subscribe here

Janet Madsen, School Library Coordinator

Alaska State Library (907) 465-8187,


SAYL Mail November 29, 2019

SAYL Mail                School and Youth Librarian’s Newsletter from the Alaska State Library

November 29, 2019

News in Brief

For those of you who did not attend the AASL conference in Louisville Kentucky there are some good links to resources from attendees. Check out Joyce Valenza’s Never-ending Search Blog #notatAASL, no worries!

CE Opportunities in December

Solving Problems with Coding in the Library (School Library Connection) : What are the most effective ways to integrate coding projects into curricular areas? Find out in this webinar! Kelsey and Calypso share ideas for projects, products, and mindsets that will get your students building their future-ready coding skills, while having a great time in the process.


Tuesday, Dec 3 (9-10am)

YA-Y! The Latest Reads for Teens (Booklist)

There’s no better time than winter to curl up with a gripping read. And with upcoming YA releases like the ones covered in this free, hour-long webinar, teen readers—and YA lovers of all ages—will want to do nothing else. Join representatives from Bloomsbury Publishing, Disney Book Group, Inkyard Press, Tor Teen, and Blink, and jump-start YA collection development, winter and spring purchases, and, of course, that ever-expanding TBR pile.

For more information and to register, visit:



Tuesday, Dec 3 (10-11am)

How to Set Achievable Goals (GovLoop)

You know that feeling when you finally hit a target that you set for yourself? It’s amazing, right? However, that sense of accomplishment is only possible if you set achievable goals in the first place. Join NextGen and GovLoop online to learn how you can set and prioritize your goals for 2020. You’ll also hear from experts about how to stay focused on working toward your goals.

For more information and to register, visit:


Tuesday, Dec 3 (1-2 pm)

Fulfilling Students’ Potential through Engaging Literacy Practices (edWeb)

This edWebinar will shed light on how to immerse K-12 learners in engaging literacy experiences to fulfill their potential as readers and writers in the 21st Century. Literacy directly impacts the success of a student throughout their educational career. A direct correlation can be seen between failing an English class and not completing high school. This is why it’s imperative that students get the support they need to improve reading skills and begin to close the achievement gap.

For more information and to register, visit:



Wednesday, Dec 4 (8:30-9:30 am)

Behavior Management in Storytime (State Library of North Carolina)


Managing and redirecting behavior during storytime can be challenging. There can be confusion over when and how to step in and redirect, when to seek assistance, and how to avoid these challenges in the first place.  In this interactive webinar program, Jill Burket Ragase will give you a variety of tools that you will be able to use to: Structure storytime for behavioral success; Set and communicate age appropriate behavior expectations for children and their caregiver(s); Diffuse challenging situations; and Employ techniques to regain focus without losing the fun.

For more information and to register, visit:


Thursday, Dec 5 (11am-12 pm)

Writing Boxes: Library programming that will inspire writing and support literacy and family engagement (Infopeople)

Library staff that serve children understand one of their core missions is to support reading. But what about writing? In this how-to webinar, presenter Lisa Von Drasek will describe Writing Boxes, an “instant’’ program template that requires very little prep, is easily replicable, inexpensive, works across age groupings, and supports increased literacy and community engagement.

For more information and to register, visit:


Thursday, Dec 5 (1-2 pm)

Celebrate the Best Books of 2019! (Follett)

Follett’s very own librarians share their ALA predictions, trending topics and not-to-miss lists as well as sneak peeks on books they’re excited about for 2020 and more.

For more information and to register, visit:


Monday, Dec 9 (9-10 am)

Twenty-Four Ways to Teach and Learn (Pattern Research, Inc.)

The more we know about the preferences of the people we are trying to influence, the better our success, inside and outside of classrooms.

For more information and to register, visit:


Wednesday, Dec 11 (10-11 am)

Scaling Up Deeper Learning Approaches in Public Schools (Alliance for Excellent Education)

Deeper learning approaches help students to develop the critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills alongside academic skills that are necessary for success in college, career, and citizenship. This webinar features experts from the field and researchers who will discuss the challenges and opportunities educators and district leaders face in expanding deeper learning.

For more information and to register, visit:


Thursday, Dec 12 (11am-12 pm)

Your Students, My Students, Our Students: Rethinking Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)

This webinar, based on the book Your Students, My Students, Our Students: Rethinking Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms, explores the hard truths of current special education practice and outlines five essential disruptions to the status quo

For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Dec 12 (11am-12 pm)

The Future Ready Librarian® Fireside Chat: Let’s talk innovation, literacy, equitable digital access and more! (Future Ready Librarians/Alliance for Excellent Education)

In the last Future Ready Librarian webinar of the year, Shannon McClintock Miller has invited a few special guests to share favorite books, authors, technology, trends, ideas, advocacy tips, and other top things that have been happening in the library and within education in 2019. When we examine our framework as Future Ready Librarians, we tie this essential work into the wedges of curation, empowering our students as creators, literacy, equitable digital access and more.

For more information and to register, visit:


Monday, Dec 16 (11am-12 pm)

Check It Out! New Books for Ages 0-18 (State Library of Iowa)

Join us each month for a review of brand new titles published for ages 0-18. You’ll hear short booktalks of new titles (and new entries in ongoing series) from major and Indie publishers and get ideas on how to keep up with the endless tide of what’s new in kidlit and young adult literature.

For more information and to register, visit:


Tuesday, Dec 24 (7-8 am)

Pretty Sweet Tech (Nebraska Library Commission)

New special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related Pretty Sweet Tech.

For more information and to register, visit:


Grant Opportunities


AASL Innovative Reading Grant sponsored by Capstone   $2,500

(Applicant must be an AASL member) Deadline February 1, 2020


AASL Inspire Collection Development Grant  up to $5,000

Must be a publicly funded middle or high school grades 5-12

Deadline February 1, 2020


AASL Inspire Special Event Grant   up to $2,000

Must be a publicly funded middle or high school grades 5-12

Deadline February 1, 2020


The Ruth Toor Grant for Strong Public School Libraries   $3,000

All applicants must be ALA and AASL members

Public school must be located in the United States

One staff position held by a certified school librarian

Deadline February 1, 2020



Collaborative School Library Award   sponsored by Scholastic Book Fairs   $2,500

Deadline Feb 1, 2020

“Recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school librarians and teachers in meeting goals outlined in AASL’s National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries through joint planning of a program, unit or event in support of the curriculum and using school library resources.”


National School Library of the Year Award  sponsored by Follett    $10,000

Deadline Feb 1, 2020

Librarian must be a personal member of AASL

“The award recognizes school libraries as a unique and essential part of their learning community. NSLY honors school libraries exemplifying implementation of AASL’s National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries.


Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award    sponsored by Penguin Random House   $2,000

Deadline February 1, 2020

“The award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school librarians and teachers in teaching social justice through joint planning of a program, unit or event in support of social justice using school library resources. The award is to acknowledge teaching by school librarians and the use of school library resources to convey a child’s sense of justice as exemplified by many of the characters in the works of Roald Dahl.”


Social Media Superstars

Open call for nominations starts January 7, 2020    see more details and categories on the web page.

“Social Media Superstars enrich the profession and its work on behalf of students and school communities by sharing information, expertise, ideas, encouragement, dialogue and inspiration widely with stakeholders via a variety of social media channels. With your nominations and endorsements of your peers, eight categories will recognize individuals who effectively use one or more social media channels to…


Upcoming School Librarian related Conferences 2020

January 24-28, ALA Midwinter, Philadelphia, PA

February 22-25   ASTE, Anchorage, AK

March 27-28 KidLitCon, Ann Arbor, MI

June 8-12 International Association of School Librarianship, Denton, TX

June 28-July 1 ISTE EdTech Conference, Anaheim, CA

August 4-7 AkLA/PNLA, Juneau, AK


Employment Opportunities

Alaska Teacher Placement

ALA JobList


As Posted on Alaska School Librarians FB Page

Roles of the School Librarian: Empowering Student Learning and Success

That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It


SAYL Mail is published twice monthly during the school year. You receive this because you are subscribed to the Google Group “Alaska School Libraries”. Back issues are archived at the Alaska Library Network website. Subscribe here

Janet Madsen, School Library Coordinator, Alaska State Library (907) 465-8187,