SAYL Mail August 23, 2019

School and Youth Librarians Newsletter from the Alaska State Library   

August 23, 2019

News in Brief

PD grants for school librarians are now available through the Alaska State Library.

Scroll down to “Continuing Education (CE) and Professional Development (PD) Grants. Under “School Libraries” you will find links to the guidelines, application, reimbursement and final report. If you have questions, please contact, Grants Administrator at the Alaska State Library. If you are interested in attending a fall conference, now’s the time to apply!

Congratulations to Shawn Arnold, Superintendent at Valdez City Schools.

He was chosen to participate on a seven member board of K-12 School administrators from across the country for AASL’s “School Leader Collaborative”. The group will serve as ambassadors for school libraries and will convene to garner advocacy for school librarians…” Shawn was nominated by Pam Verfaillie, Valdez High School’s Library Associate.  Way to go Pam! For more details on the initiative see AASL’s announcement.

ISTE Certification available in the Pacific Northwest October 28-29, 2019

“A competency-based, vendor-neutral certification for ambitious educators who want to progress from general technology integration to becoming digital learning catalysts. Attendees will participate in a two-day on-site training, followed by up to six weeks of online training. They will then have up to six months to submit a portfolio of work, demonstrating capacity in all required areas of certification. ISTE Certification is earned upon successful portfolio approval.” Time and dates: October 28-29, Two day Face to Face training, Portland OR. Registration form with more information.

Resources in Brief has updated their K-12 digital literacy curriculum

If you haven’t used this curriculum in the past you need to register to login to the free curriculum that features all new lessons. The old lessons will be phased out in the fall of 2020.  Check out the Introductory  webinar ,   family engagement component, and   old and new curriculum crosswalk

Census 2020! Don’t forget the resources available at

“Educator resources include resources for learning with real life data. Features standards aligned- classroom ready activities.”

New website “Reading Aloud” provides help in pronouncing Alaska native words featured in children’s books.

“As partial fulfillment for Katy Spangler’s Alaska Literature for young People course in the UAS Elementary Education MAT program this summer, Anna Breuninger started a project gathering pronunciations of Alaska Native words in select children and young adult books.  Her intent is to give teachers, librarians and anyone else wanting to read these books aloud one centralized resource for pronunciations. She has built a website to house this information and plan to continue with the project as I have additional time.  Please share it with anyone you know who may be interested in it and/or contact Anna with suggestions, edits or comments.

Traveling Paper Kimono Project | Pam Verfaillie, Valdez HS featured in VOYA Magazine

Although this happened last school year it is an example of how a simple art project can be expanded to include a wide variety of content areas and community members. Pam connected and collaborated beyond the library to make this a five star enrichment event.

10 Student Tested Chrome Extensions(Edutopia)

AASL Standards Lesson Plan Template with drop down menus

This was posted early in the summer via the Alaska schools list but worth mentioning again.

“Sharon Fox from Tuxedo Park, a K-12 school librarian, has to do two full sets of lesson plans every week so…she developed this Google spreadsheet with dropdown menus with all the Standards. Sharon just shared it with us all and it is her gift to you for back to school! She is tweeting it out today. It has an AASL Permission Statement that needs to always be included with you use it.”

Statewide Databases and Online Resources to review and share with your teachers.

Spreading the word about the databases is an ongoing, never ending marketing effort. Learning Express is one database you can let your students, CTE teachers and school counselors be aware and familiar with at the start of the year given that many of the materials can be used in their classes. Be sure to check out the EBSCO Learning Express marketing and promotional materials featuring brochures, cheat sheets, logos, animated gifs and more.

Podcast: School Librarians United with Amy Hermon

Dedicated to the nuts and bolts of running a school library. Amy is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. Episodes run about 35 minutes. Year two starts this month. Archived podcasts are found on her website.

And finally, and article from School Library Journal, Aug 2018 but still important. How to Speak Administrator.  Key takeaways:

  • Data is the language of educational leaders: use it to your advantage
  • Check you vocabulary: make sure the terms you use to describe your program do not translate to “optional”.
  • Offer to help with your school’s goals/show alignment with the school plan
  • Talk about everything you do in terms of students
  • Utilize social media to tell your story
  • Show your program’s connection to student growth
  • Share the new AASL Standards


Continuing Ed Opportunities

Support Positive Literacy Outcomes with Large Print: Wed Aug 28, 2019 @ 12:00PM-1:00PM (EdWeb)

Learn the benefits associated with the effective usage of large print from the perspectives of students, teachers, librarians, and administrators, including relationships with academic outcomes, as well as a regular print comparison.

Computer Science Fundamentals: How to Teach K-8’s Six Essential Coding Concepts: Wed Aug28, 2109 @2:00-3:00 PM (EdWeb)

Whether you are beginning your journey into computer science with no experience or a seasoned educator looking for new activities to bring coding to life in your classroom or school, this edWebinar will provide you with resources you need.

Back to School with Future Ready Librarians®! Tips and Tricks from Experts (Alliance for Excellent Education/Future Ready Schools)  Wed, August 28, 1pm – 2pm

Panelists will share some amazing tips and tricks that will help Future Ready Librarians®, district leaders, and other educators prepare for the best school year yet. Panelists will examine how librarians can engage their communities, expand their collections, and take advantage of marketing, partnerships, and collaboration opportunities. They also will share how to sustain these programs and practices throughout the school year.



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.