SAYL Mail – August 20th

This archive was originally posted at

August 20th – In this issue…

  • Welcome Back!August Stamp
  • SAYL Mail Updates
  • SLED Databases Passwords Change
  • EBSCO Explora to Replace Searchasaurus, Kids Search, and Student Research Center
  • New School Librarian Toolkit LibGuide
  • Grants and Awards Opportunities
  • Training and Continuing Education Opportunities
  • As Seen on Alaska School Librarians Facebook
  • Almanac

Welcome Back!

It’s the beginning of a new school year and many of us are looking forward to taking on new challenges. My new challenge is contracting with the state as the School Library Consultant position. If you’re familiar with all the great things Jacque Peterson was doing in the position a while ago, you know that I’m looking at some really big shoes. I will be doing my best to provide the same types of help, communications, and resource gathering. I’ll be finding and facilitating continuing education events, and working as a liaison and general cheerleader for school libraries at the state.

As a consultant it’s not my intention to be a fountain of lofty expertise, but to work with you on solving problems and celebrating successes. We know it’s not about having all the answers on the spot, but knowing where to find the right ones. I’ll be around to help find the answers when you don’t have time, know with whom or how to connect, or where to start. If you just need to bounce an idea off someone outside your normal circles, bounce away.

Please feel free to contact me Monday – Thursday, 8:00 – 4:00.
Jared Shucha
If you are a tweeter, you’ll find me @AKSLCJared.

SAYL Mail Updates

We are moving! As of October 1st, the SAYL Mail Newsletter, which has has been hosted in the SAYL listserv, will be sent via the AkASL listserv.  If you’re not already on the AkASL listerv, sign up!  For now, I’m sending it out to both lists, while SAYL-only users are invited to migrate to AkASL.

SLED Databases Passwords Change

Owing in part to new statistical reports, we can no longer avoid changing the SLED Databases passwords. As of Monday, 7/27/2015 there is a new ID and password for SLED Databases. This will be listed on our “SLED Databases Password Hotline” at 1-800-440-2919.

From now on, we will be changing the SLED Databases password yearly, unless a security breach alerts us otherwise OR if the ID/password get posted to the general Internet.

We are hopeful this change will not impact many users as anyone with an Alaska based Internet Service Provider (ISP) should be automatically logged into the SLED Databases. If you have an Alaska based ISP but get a password screen, please fill out this form.

Daniel Cornwall
Internet and Technology Consultant
Alaska State Library
Ph: 907-465-6332

EBSCO Explora to Replace Searchasaurus, Kids Search, and Student Research Center 

exploraFrom EBSCO:
We are excited to inform current users of EBSCO’s Searchasaurus, Kids Search™ and/orStudent Research Center™ interfaces that the new Explora™ interface is now available on your customer account. Explora is a dedicated search interface for selected EBSCO databases, developed primarily for schools and public libraries, but useful to researchers of all ages.

Explora’s features promote information literacy and the transition to academic research by assisting users in finding the information they need. You can access the new interface via the Select Services screen for your EBSCO resources or create a direct link to Explora from your institution’s library website.

Searchasaurus, Kids Search and Student Research Center will be discontinued in January 2016, so we encourage you to set up Explora before the next semester begins. For FAQs, promotional materials or online training, visit the Explora page on the EBSCO Support Site.

The Educator’s Edition of Explora is available on your account. Designed to highlight content relevant to librarians, teachers and administrators, the Explora Educator’s Edition searches Professional Development Collection, ERIC, and any other educator databases included in your EBSCO subscription. The Explora Educator’s Edition includes the following resources:

  • Lesson plans
  • Student success tools including research and citation help
  • A link to EBSCO’s Curriculum Standards Module which helps teachers in the U.S. and Canada correlate EBSCO content quickly and easily to Common Core, state or provincial curriculum standards
  • Links to valuable websites for teachers

The Explora Educator’s Edition is accessible via a “For Teachers” link in the top toolbar of the Explora student edition. To learn more, register for an upcoming Explora training session.

Explora for Schools
Date: Thursday, August 27, 2015
Time: 3 p.m. EDT (New York, GMT-04:00)
To Register: Click Here

New School Librarian Toolkit LibGuide

New to Alaska? New to School Librarianship? Both? The New School Librarian Toolkit is an evolving collection of resources for new Alaskan school librarians.

Grants and Awards Opportunities

AASL Awards season is open.  Ten awards open to school libraries and related programs/faculty ranging from $1,250 to $10,000

Training and Continuing Education Opportunities

Additional and up-to-date Library Development Training and Continuing Education Calendar.

As Seen on Alaska School Librarians Facebook

A roundup of resources shared and questions asked on the Alaska School Librarians Facebook group.  This is intended to give readers the chance to access resources at work, if Facebook is filtered.  Only timely questions, announcements, and links to non-Facebook resources are listed here.

7/24: Librarians Tackle Body Shaming via “Size Acceptance in YA” Tumblr

8/3: Has anyone here used Nearpod? They just teamed up with Common Sense Media to make their digital literacy curriculum available. I’m not sure if that part is free or not, but I’d like to try it.

8/8: I Love My Librarian Award.  Nominations open through September 28th

8/17: Anyone doing Maker activities in your library? I want to start exploring Makerspace stuff but the 30 minute class time is squashing my imagination. :o) I may have a Maker club at lunch and start that way. Thoughts? Ideas?

8/18: Anyone ever host Cindy Lou Aillaud for an author visit? Curious about half day and full day visit presentation details and what you thought.

8/19: Awesome website with info about what we do!


August 20: Today is the 125th birthday of H.P. Lovecraft
August 25: Birthday of author and illustrator, Lane Smith
August 29: Tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
September is National Wilderness Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15),
September 7: 75 years ago, Nazi Germany began 57 consecutive nights of bombing in London and other major cities in the UK. This became known as The Blitz.
September 7: Labor Day Curriculum Resources

September 27 – October 3: Banned Books Week 
September 30: Banned Websites Awareness Day

phoneSomething You’d Like to See in SAYL Mail?

If you want to ask questions to share news, resources, opportunities, stories of success, or cautionary tales of failure, please contact Jared Shucha.  The next issue is September 9th.