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,