SAYL Mail for February 1st

In this issue…

SAYL News in Brief

Alaska’s Education Challenge Publishes Final Report (Alaska Office of the Governor)

” Alaska’s Education Challenge is to address our student achievement gaps and increase our graduation rates by making sure that every student across our state has equal opportunities to learn and succeed.”

Press Availability One-Pager

Alaska’s Education Challenge Final Report

Personalized Learning Is a Problem of Privilege (EdSurge. 6 min.)

“Schools in affluent communities can access these technology tools easily, while schools in low-income areas—and which, generally speaking, disproportionately serve communities of color—do not have access to these tools. But even if they did, I think they’d find that personalized learning is not a need at all, and that there are more pressing matters to address.”

Teach Students To Use Social Media (The Right Way) And The Possibilities Are Endless (NPR. 2 min.)

Intellectual Freedom 101 (School Library Connection)

“Intellectual freedom is an important issue that librarians face every day. This infographic provides a useful summary of intellectual freedom principles as they pertain to your students and your library.”

The Alaska State Library in conjunction with the Alaska Library Network are pleased to provide Alaska school librarians and school library support staff access ABC-CLIO’s School Library Connection & reVIEWS+ Professional Development Suite.

Scholarships, Grants and Awards Opportunities

Closing February 14.  Schools in Need Giveaway.  Win one of 500 subscriptions to Booklist and Book Links magazine.

Closing February 20th, 2018.  ALA Great Stories Club.  “Copies of three theme-related books to use in reading and discussion groups; travel and lodging support to attend a national orientation workshop in June 2016 ; and a variety of programming support materials.”

Closing February 21st.   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 March 2nd.  AASL Social Media Superstars  Awards in eight categories which celebrate social media superstars within the school library profession

Closing March 21st.  The Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institutes.  Attend a week-long professional development program in the practice of teaching with primary sources, K-12.

Closing February 28th, 2018.  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.

Closing March 31st.  Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant.  Up to $500 “to provide creative, innovative programs that support or extend the Common Core Standards in education”

Closing April 15.  Penguin Random House Foundation Library Awards for Innovation.  $1,000 – $10,000 plus $1000 in PRH books to public libraries (or school libraries serving the capacity of public libraries) “creating innovative community-based programs, which encourage citizens to participate and support reading initiatives that connect libraries with their community.”

Closing April 20th, 2018.  Snapdragon Book Foundation Grant.  $500 – $20,000 to improve school libraries for disadvantaged children (primarily project-based collection development).

For the complete record of scholarships, grants, and other award opportunities posted in SAYL Mail, visit the SGA Archives.


Employment Opportunities

Librarian, Ursa Major Elementary, Anchorage

Additional and up-to-date information at Alaska Teacher Placement


Training and Continuing Education Opportunities

The following 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.

Monday, February 5th, noon – The Incredible Times: A News & Media Literacy Game from Common Sense Education (edWeb)

Tuesday, February 6th, 7am – Creative Commons: Helping Patrons and Students Find and License Online Content (Texas State Library and Archives)

Monday, February 12th, noon – Best Practices to Empower Learners to Be Lifelong Readers (edWeb)

Save the Date! 

Anchorage Session @ASTE.  Saturday, February 17th, 9:30-11:30a – Gwyneth Jones –10 Ways the Librarian Can Be a Marketing Genius Like Lady Gaga (AkASL) $30

Seattle.  Saturday, May 5th, 9am – 5pm PDT – School Library Journal’s Leadership Camp – Upskilling for the Next Generation ($159 – 199)

Juneau.  July 23-27th. Alaska School Librarian Leadership Academy. Details to follow!

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.

1/22 –

Time to make your students famous! This is bigger than Hollywood-famous – it’s government publication famous!

We’re working on a web page and promotional material for School BAG (Broadband Assistance Grant) and need great photos of Alaskan students using school computers (ideally in your school library).

The guidelines:

1. Preference will be given to photos from school districts that received School BAG funds this school year.
(Alaska Gateway, Aleutian Region, Bering Strait, Bristol Bay, Chatham, Chugach, Dillingham, Hoonah, Iditarod, Kenai, Kodiak, Kuspuk, Lake & Pen, Lower K, Nome, North Slope, NW Arctic, Pelican, Pribilof, St. Mary’s, SE Island, SW Region, Tanana, Unalaska, Yakutat, Yukon Flats, YK, Yupiit)

2. If computer screens are visible in the photo, they screens should:
A. Show educationally appropriate resources.
B. Not identify the student.
If you have a great photo that doesn’t quite meet these criteria, you should still let me know. Photoshop can work magic.

3. Before publication, building or district administration will need to send an email directly stating that FERPA and other permission for photo publication is on file for every student shown, and that DEED/State Library has permission to use the photo. If a signed permission form is requested, I can send one out.

4. Capturing students while engaged in learning is preferable to mugging for the camera.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns,

1/24 – Where’s the part in this article that says this is what librarians teach everyday?

1/25 – Fun post on bringing primary sources into your libraries and classrooms. I love the Library of Congress.

1/27 – Anchorage Librarians, are you paying attention? Have you gone to a board meeting lately? I have. At the last board meeting, library services were on the chopping block…again. [51 Teachers to Be Laid Off in Scranton]

1/28 – AkASL members: Voting is open now through February 6th for the AkASL Executive Board.

1/29 – For librarians in rural districts: In accordance with Section 5005 of the ESSA, Secretary DeVos is seeking information from the public regarding how the Department can improve upon its consideration of the unique needs of rural schools and districts as it develops and implements policies, programs, and procedures. Comments must be received by February 20th.

1/30 – If you’re using Poetry 180 with your students, new poems have been added

1/30 – Know a school colleague who’s awesome at social media? Nominate them for this award before March 2, 2018.

1/31 – Article by Deborah Rinio in Knowledge Quest FOCUS ON COLLABORATION How Understanding the Nature of Trust Can Help Address the Standards

1/31 – Dear school library colleagues,

If you got the time, I got the money.

Now that I have your attention, I have just been appointed as the Donors Choose Teacher Ambassador for the state of Alaska. I love DC and have had 200 projects funded—things like books, computers, art supplies, maker space materials, and more.

I now have small gift cards to donate to your first project. So email me if you want to learn how to create a project. Or go to ahead, go to and create a project. When it posts, let me know and I will donate to it.

Also, this is not restricted just to librarians— if you have someone on your school staff (teacher, counselor, etc.) that you know hasn’t caught the DC fire and you convince them to do a project, I will also donate to their first time project.

Dona J. Helmer



February is Library Lover’s Month, African American History Month, and Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February 12th are the ALA Youth Media Awards (6 am)

February 14th is International Book Giving Day

February 19th is President’s Day. State Library is Closed.

February 22nd is Digital Learning Day

February 26th – March 1st is Fair Use Week

March is Women’s History Month, andNational Reading Awareness Month

Check It Out Next Time!

The next issue will be February 15th.   To share news, success stories, resources, and opportunities, please contact Jared Shucha.  To get SAYL Mail updates sent to your inbox, request a subscription to the AkASL listserv and ask a colleague to do the same!

[su_frame]Jared Shucha
School Library Coordinator
(907) 465-8187[/su_frame]