SAYL Mail – December 16th

This archive was originally posted at

December 16th – In This Issue…

"Valdez children standing around and standing on the school roof amid piles of snow." Owen Meals and Mary Whelan

“Valdez children standing around and standing on the school roof amid piles of snow.” Owen Meals and Mary Whelan. AMRC-b62-1-2013

SAYL News in Brief

AkASL Executive Board Nominations

AkASL Regions

Modified from “Alaska School Map” Alaska EED


 List of school districts in each region.

The AkASL Board is looking for nominees committed to helping AkASL serve its members and mission. Please fill out the Google Form in preparation for elections. Nominations close January 17th. Online balloting will run January 24-February 7. Terms begin at AkLA in Fairbanks in early March. Questions? Contact

• President-Elect (3 year term)[Correction: This nomination must come from a current board member]
• Secretary (2 year term)
• Region 1 (Northern) Rep (1 year term)
• Region 2 (Kenai P & Mat-Sue) Rep (1 year term)
• Region 3 (ASD) Rep (1 year term)
• Region 4 (SE) Rep (1 year term)

List of job descriptions.

Discontinuation of Searchasaurus™, Kids Search™, and Student Research Center™ Postponed Until June


EBSCO has postponed the official sunset of Searchasaurus, Kids Search and Student Research Center. Originally scheduled for discontinuation in January, these three school interfaces will remain available through the end of June 2016. However, all customers must migrate to Explora™ before the start of the next school year. Visit the Explora support page for more information.

Alaska’s Disconnected Schools

“On average, K-12 schools have 246 kbps of Internet connectivity—a third of what most people on the mainland U.S. need to stream Netflix.” [continue at The Atlantic]

30 Innovative Ways To Use Google In Education

“…So below are 30 innovative ways to use Google search in the classroom. And rather than gimmicks, or general ways by typical content areas, the intended outcome here is the student’s sustained ability to self-direct and manage the search process as the digital universe continues to evolve and grow.” [continue at TeachThought]

Action Research and Autism Explored in New School Library Research Articles [ALA]

How Students Reacted When Their Beloved School Librarian Was Let Go [Washington Post]

The “Best of 2015” Lists

SLJ’s Best Books 2015

SLJ’s Top 10 Graphic Novels 2015

SLJ’s Top 10 Audiobooks 2015

SLJ’s Top 10 Apps 2015

SLJ’s Top 10 DVDs 2015

YALSA’s 2015 Best of the Best

LJ’s Best Books 2015: Graphic Novels

Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Books of 2015

Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of 2015

Bankstreet’s The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2015 Edition

Brain Pickings’ Best Children’s Books of 2015

Scholarships, Grants, and Awards Opportunities

UntitledClosing January 4th
– The Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity.  “$3,000 check + $1,000 travel, along with an odd, symbolic object from his private stash, and a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing.”

newClosing January 31st – The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Donation Grant. 60-100 titles by African American authors and illustrators for collection development in latchkey, preschool programs, faith-based reading projects, homeless shelters, charter schools and underfunded libraries.

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

Closing March 1st – 
Pat Carterette Professional Development Grant.  Up to $1,000 to attend a continuing education event in 2016-17.

Training and Continuing Education Opportunities

Opportunities not fitting your schedule?  Many of these webinars will later be available as archives.

Monday, December 21st 4-5pm – This Month in School Libraries

Wednesday, December 23rd, 7-8am – Best New Teen Books of 2015 .

[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.

12/3 – [10 Solid Reasons Why You Should Always Read with Kids in Your Life]

12/4 – [Can A Children’s Book Change the World? | Linda Sue Park | TEDxBeaconStreet]

12/10 – Who did coding this week with your kids? I did unplugged “half hour of code” activities with all my classes. It was a blast.

12/10 – Now if we can just get our legislature and districts to spend their money on restoring school librarian positions. [ESSA—and Federal Support of School Libraries—Signed into Law]

12/10 – Does anyone have a text the librarian system set up? Have been investigating Google Voice, but apparently there are no numbers available in Alaska:(

12/10 – The Spirit of Reading program is lending individual titles and class sets of the following books to school libraries, classrooms, and public libraries. All books are by this year’s featured author Matt de la Peña. Matt will be visiting Fairbanks and surrounding regions during conference time, March 7 – March 12. He will be visiting schools, libraries, and youth facilities. Participation by teleconference will be available for remote schools. Please email the program at if you wish to borrow a class set. Your only cost will be returning or forwarding the books when you are done with them.

Picture Books:
Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis (individual title, sets of five, sets of 25)
Last Stop on Market Street (individual title, sets of five, sets of 25)
Middle Grades:
Curse of the Ancients (sets of 25)
Young Adult:
We Were Here (sets of 25)
Ball Don’t Lie (sets of 25)
The Living (sets of 25)
Mexican WhiteBoy (sets of 25)

12/13 – The Alaska Association of School Librarians is pleased to announce a new award this year. In addition to our long-standing Alaska School Librarian of the Year (SLOY) award, we also want to recognize other amazing school library staff working in Alaskan schools.

Whether they are classified staff single-handedly running their small school’s library, classroom teachers without librarian endorsement serving in the role of teacher-librarian, or library associates working alongside a school librarian, we want to honor their work with our new Alaska School Library Staff of the Year (ASLSOY) Award. If you’ve got a school librarian or library associate worth cheering about, we’d like to know! Here is the link to nominate them for either award…

puffinAkASL Puffin

The latest from the newsletter of the Alaska Association of School Librarians, The Puffin.  To submit an article, please contact The Puffin editor, Cayla Armatti.

12/5 – ALAN Part 1: It’s Like the Oscars for Librarians!

12/5 – ALAN Part 2: It’s Like Christmas for Librarians!

12/5 – ALAN Part 3: The Aftermath


December 22nd is illustrator Jerry Pinkney’s birthday

December 23rd is author Avi’s birthday

December 25th is Christmas Day.  The State Library is closed

January 1st is New Years Day.  The State Library is closed.

christmas_PNG3754Something You’d Like to See in SAYL Mail?

To share news, success stories, cookie recipes, resources, and opportunities, please contact Jared Shucha.  The next issue is January 6th.