SAYL Mail – February 3rd

This archive was originally posted at

February 3rd – In This Issue…

Robert and Wilma Knox "Government Hill School in Anchorage after 1964 earthquake." uaa-hmc-0461-s6a-f1-51-AE(a)-20-2

Robert and Wilma Knox “Government Hill School in Anchorage after 1964 earthquake.” uaa-hmc-0461-s6a-f1-51-AE(a)-20-2

SAYL News in Brief

White House Launches Computer Science for All Initiative with $4.1 Billion Request

“…President Barack Obama announced the Computer Science for All Initiative on Saturday, Jan. 30, to accelerate the expansion of computer science education in K-12 schools. The White House brought together a broad coalition of federal agencies and technology industry leaders that plans to contribute to this initiative.” […Continue at Center for Digital Education]

Intellectual Freedom Hotspot – Post Midwinter Musings

“…As a long time public library director, I was familiar with many of the challenges in that realm. But my main takeaway from midwinter conversations with my colleagues is that today’s intellectual freedom hot spot is clearly our public schools.” […Continue at ALA]

Infographic: Librarians Embrace Tech Instruction [SLJ]

Resources for Teaching African-American History
[Common Sense Graphite]

Middle School Maker Journey: Everything’s Going Well… We Think [Edutopia]

School Librarians’ Monthly Chat

Interested in a chat with your fellow Alaskan school librarians?  A monthly opportunity to meet with school library staff across the state to discuss ideas, inspirations, and special topics will be offered after normal school hours. Please use this survey to provide the day of the week and time that works best for you.

AkLA Conference Registration is open!

Scholarship, Grant, and Award Opportunities

Alaska Association of School Librarians Professional Development Grants

The Alaska State Library, through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Library Services and Technology Act (Federal Source CFDA 45.310) has generously provided funding for grants to attend conferences and other Professional Development opportunities.

Those interested, can apply for grants to attend (and travel to) a variety of conferences, classes, and workshops for professional development, including the Alaska Library Association annual conference, American Library Association national conference, and online webinars.

Out-of-state travel: 80 days prior to conference
[su_frame]Deadline is April 5th to apply for a grant for ALA Annual Conference, June 23-28 and for ISTE Annual Conference, June 26-29.[/su_frame]
In-state travel: 60 days prior to conference
Online events: 40 days prior to event

Preference is given to applicants who are current AkASL members.

Grant recipients will be reimbursed up to the following toward registration, hotel, and travel:  $500 for online training, $1,000 for in-state conferences, and $1,500 for out-of-state conferences.

Please note travel and housing will only be provided to applicants who do not live in the community where the conference is being held. For example, if AkLA is held in Anchorage, Anchorage applicants are only eligible for registration reimbursement.

Awardees will be required to report on their grant activities, submit all receipts for reimbursement, and write one brief article for each day of conference attendance for possible use in the Puffin, AkASL’s online blog.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Apply NOW

Closing February 8th – PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators. One Lead Digital Innovator from each state will receive three day expense-paid trip to the national ISTE conference and a Samsung tablet computer.

Closing February 12th – 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.”

Closing February 29th – 
The Annual ISTE Awards recognize exceptional educators and leaders who are paving the way for connected learning.”  Six juried and two non-juried awards for outstanding leadership in the digital age.  Up to $1,500 award, plus travel award, conference registration, and association membership fees.

newClosing February 29th – El Día de Los Niños/El Día de Los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) $500 in selected multicultural children’s books for libraries hosting a Día program.

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

Closing March 31st
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Mini-Grant.  Up to $500 for an innovative and creative program which bridges disciplines and grade levels, PK-12.

Closing May 2nd
National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize.  $10,000 to an individual/institution/partnership “that has developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading”.

newClosing May 6th – Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming.  $5000 to a “school library that has conducted an exemplary program or program series in the humanities during the prior school year.”

Training and Continuing Education Opportunities

Webinars are no cost and run approximately one hour unless otherwise noted.  Opportunities not fitting your schedule?  Many of these webinars will later be available as archives.

BL-AASL-logoWednesday, February 3rd, 1pm – Exploring the Engineering is Elementary Website to Enhance Your Engineering Curriculum [AASL]


Tuesday, February 9th, 11:30 am – noon – This Just In!: Newest Award Winners: February Webinar of the Month []

Wednesday, February 10th, 5:30 – 6am– This Just In!: Newest Award Winners: February Webinar of the Month []

Wednesday, February 10, 11am – New Spring Nonfiction for the Library, Classroom and Home [SLJ]

Wednesday, February 10, noon – Engage Them All (and Know It!): Guided and Interactive Digital Learning Tools [Minitex]

Thursday, February 11th, 10:00am – 
Books Build Better Brains: How Promoting Literacy Is Key to Early Brain & Child Development [Demco]

Thursday, February 11th, noon – The Engaged Librarian: Connections and Collaborations [edWeb]

Thursday, February 11th, 10:30 am – noon
– Letting Go of Legacy Services: Weeding Materials and Programs Workshop [ALA] $55

Friday, February 12, 8:30 – 9:15am – Information Literacy – Do Students Know What They Are Looking For? [Minitex]

Wednesday, February 17th, 11am –  Using Technology to Engage the Reluctant Reader [SLJ/ISTE]

Wednesday, February 17th, Noon7 Ways You Can Be a Digital Citizenship Leader [edWeb]

Wednesday, February 17th, 1pmCuration, Revisited: Aggregating Resources in 2016 [edWeb]

AASL_BestApp 2016Wednesday, February 17th, 3pmDocumenting Learning with Seesaw Digital Portfolios [AASL]


Conference: February 20th – 23rd – Alaska Society for Technology in Education  (Anchorage) $245-545

[Additional and up-to-date Opportunities at the 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.

1/24 – 

It’s state battle of the books time again We’re currently looking for moderators. If you can spare some time, we’d love to have you!

What does a moderator do? As a moderator you will be running a battle competition of 32 questions between 4-5 districts over an audioconference (need a phone line). We’ll give you the script and questions. And we’ll have a challenge judge on stand by to help you in the event a team challenges an answer.

Here are the dates/times of our competition, feel free to volunteer for as many as you can 😉 It’s a great way to work with students from all over the state of Alaska and support reading!

High School Battles Monday February 22 Round 1 9 am to 11 am
High School Battles Monday February 22 Round 2 11:30-1:00 pm *

Middle School Battles Tuesday February 23 Round 1 9 am to 11 am
Middle School Battles Tuesday February 23 Round 2 11:30 to 1:00 pm*

Fifth/Sixth Battles Wednesday February 24 Round 1 9 am to 11 am
Fifth/Sixth Battles Wednesday February 24 Round 2 11:30 to 1:00 pm*

Third/Fourth Battles Thursday February 25 Round 1 9 am to 11 am
Third/Fourth Battles Thursday February 25 Round 2 11:30 to 1 :00 pm*

*experienced moderators for Round 2

Thanks for considering it. Let me know if you are free… Feel free to pass this e-mail on to others who you think would be great at this job!


Shelly Logsdon/Erika Drain/Laura Guest
Alaska Assoc. of School Librarians
Battle of the Books

1/25 – 

2016 Newbery winner Matt de la Peña will be visiting Fairbanks during conference time to present at conference and at schools, libraries, and youth facilities.

We are looking for a volunteer to take Matt on an Alaskan adventure during his time in Fairbanks: a snow machine ride, a sled dog adventure, something memorable from Alaska! Suggestions would also be welcome. The program will be able to provide a stipend for time, gas, fees, etc. for the volunteer.

In other news, we just received our last supply of Matt’s books. We have the following books to lend. The only cost to participating schools is returning the books via post. Each participating school will be able to keep some number of books for their library. More details will be forthcoming about Skype and Owl Project participation. email us at

Curse of the Ancients – 2 sets of 25 available
Mexican WhiteBoy – 2 sets of 25 available
The Living (a high school battle book) – 1 set of 25 available
Ball Don’t Lie – 1 set of 25
Last Stop on Market Street/A Nation’s Hope – 3 sets to give away to keep. Each set will have five each of the two titles.

1/27 –

I don’t like to take sides in politics, but I would like to vouch for Andy. I shared a library with him for six years and he is very pro library and has helped AkASL get some items passed at delegate assembly and worked to lobby the legislature to get funding for the collection development grant. He is also the most communicative president I’ve seen at the Anchorage EA. So if you haven’t voted yet, please sign on and vote for someone!

1/27 – [6 Active Learning Spaces Your Library Should Have]

1/31 – Interesting! [60 teenagers reveal what they think is cool — and what isn’t — in 2016]

2/1 – We have one more week left on our PledgeCents campaign to raise funds for Chromebooks for the Hutchison High School Library. Even though we may not meet our goal, even dollar and cent counts and will go toward technology in our school. Donate now and share the link!


February is African American History Month, and Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month.

February 17th is Digital Learning Day – “Digital Learning Day provides an opportunity to collaborate with peers, share ideas, try new digital tools, and celebrate education innovation. Most importantly, it encourages everyone to play a role in the transformation of their own schools and communities. ”


phoneSomething You’d Like to See in SAYL Mail?

To share news, success stories, resources, and opportunities, please contact Jared Shucha.  The next issue is February 17th.