SAYL Mail for November 20, 2020

SAYL Mail   School and Youth Librarian’s Newsletter      November 20, 2020


Around the State

Tuesday November 24th at 4:00pm “Alaska School Librarians Let Your Voice Be Heard. Join us. Meeting will focus on SMART goals for your school and community advocacy plan.” If this is your first meeting please REGISTER. Any questions contact: Deborah Rinio,


**Alaska State Library Development webpages have had an overhaul. Take a look.


SLED databases password update from Daniel Cornwall: …in case their students had to work from home. If you’re not sure you have the current credentials – issued in 2018, let me know and I’ll send you them directly. Also, Tumblebooks mobile and Sesame Streets have slightly different credentials. Usernames and passwords may be shared one on one in e-mail or phone with students, faculty and staff but must never be posted on a web page, blog, social media site that can be accessed outside your school. Other questions let me know! And thanks for all you are doing in these difficult, uncertain and fatiguing times. – Daniel


Live Homework Help: Live sessions. Reminder: To access the live sessions, you need to create an account. These accounts are free and your information will not be shared. Also, thank you to the many school librarians who placed the LHH log and link on their webpages. This has helps to significantly increase the awareness and use of LHH!

Free digital promo materials for your website can be found at:


Upcoming conferences of interest:

  • ASTE Feb 12-16th  “ Go Global” REGISTER   Registration fee $75  plus $25 membership fee)
  • AKLA Mar 18-21 “Your Library has Left the Building”. Registration available soon. Tentative fees

$25 members, $100 non-members. “We will have a mix of session types: poster sessions (no formal presentation), pre-recorded sessions, and live sessions. And there will be the fantastic roundtable meetings and keynotes you love.”

  • Plan now and apply for a$300 PD grant to cover registration. (one grant per yr./person) If you have questions as to how to navigate your school district finance office and processing receipts and paperwork please contact Janet Madsen.


If you missed the AASL Townhall on Wednesday Nov 18th, you can view the recording. This meeting featured the school administrators who participated in the AASL School Leader Collaborative. One of them was Shawn Arnold, superintendent of the Valdez City School District. Hear their ideas on how to effectively communicate your role and successes during the pandemic. The archive for the town hall with the AASL School Leader Collaborative is now available.

AKLA Conference Proposals

  • Conference proposal deadline is Monday Jan. 4 at 6pm. This year’s theme has an emphasis on openness and inclusivity. Sessions are not required to adhere to the theme, but it is encouraged. The committee will notify you by the end of January. The committee is Elizabeth Nicolai, Page Brannon and Stephanie Schott working on the poster sessions.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai.
  • 907-343-2840
  • Conference website:
  • Program proposal form:


Dec. 7-13, 2020 Hour of Code   Check out these resources for ideas.

Many new activities created with remote learning in mind and the various classroom models. CodeBytes: 20 minute interactive lessons streaming twice daily. Episodes tailored to different grade levels, planned activities, engaging new unplugged options, Hour of Code Unplugged activity packet for ages 4-18.

Online PD opportunities

Monday Dec.7   10:00am   Tools and Ideas for Independent Reading for All Students…Anywhere, Anytime   REGISTER

“Share tools and ideas for accommodating the needs of all learners in unique and creative ways. Explore ways to use apps in concert to support learners who are in remote or hybrid learning models. Practical tips and commonly accessible platforms like Google will be incorporated.” (Shannon McClintock Miller)

Thursday Dec. 17 10:00 am   Engaging and Teaching Parents about Technology  REGISTER

  • The five most important things parents should know about digital citizenship
  • How, when, why and who with, to host a digital parenting event
  • How to be proactive with parents, not reactive. (edweb)


Articles of Interest

Top 5 Things for HS Grads to do now that COVID-19 has tanked their plans

Understanding Trauma and Its Impact

Unteaching the Native Narrative

25 free google slide templates and themes for teachers

Making Inline Discussion Fun and Interactive with Google’s Jamboard

‘Mesquite ISD Libraries: Elevating Learning for Everyone Everywhere’

Tips for Tackling Censorship

Print nonfiction v. databases

Allowing Students to Pursue their Passions

Novelist newsletter: creating virtual browser experiences, more on virtual story times

Libraries Using Board Games to Promote Critical Thinking

Ideas on helping middle schoolers grow as readers

From ALSC (Assoc. Library Services to Children): Great resources and ideas for virtual story times and programming. Engaging Resources for Online Programs (part 1) (part 2) (part 3)


Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska (ASC) in partnership with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) in Washington, D.C., is pleased to announce the creation of a series of free digital resources for the Alaska education community. The content is available through the award-winning Smithsonian Learning Lab ( platform, an interactive website for the discovery and creative use of the Smithsonian’s digital resources, including images, videos, audio recordings, texts, lesson plans, and activities.


Alaska Native heritage is woven from the beliefs, values, knowledge and arts of the Iñupiaq, Athabascan, St. Lawrence Island Yupik, Yup’ik, Unangax̂, Sugpiaq, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples. Their diverse languages, cultures, and histories are the foundation for contemporary lives. ASC collaborated with Alaska Native Elders, culture-bearers, scholars, artists, and educators to create comprehensive, authoritative educational resources for teachers, students, parents, and lifelong learners—all without cost—via the internet on a new Learning Lab education page, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska From this page, learners will find:

  • Comprehensive collections connecting historic museum objects to contemporary Elders discussions and histories for each of the Alaska Native culture groups;
  • Multi-disciplinary distance learning lesson plans and activities reflecting the values, knowledge, and lifeways of Alaska Native peoples; and
  • A community videos section documenting and teaching Alaska Native artistic traditions and languages, with connections to their contemporary importance.


We invite all teachers, students, parents and lifelong learners to explore Alaska Native cultures, museum objects, videos and educational resources shared at Learn about the peoples of this northern world from Elders, culture-bearers, scholars, artists and educators. We hope that you will forward this announcement to other educators in your organization and beyond.

SAYL Mail is a bimonthly newsletter digest distributed to Alaska school librarians, public youth service librarians and associated professionals via the Alaska Association of School Librarians listserv. SAYL Mail provides news and information about grants, scholarships, professional development and networking opportunities from the Alaska State Library and other state and national organizations. It also provides a briefing of issues facing school libraries at the state and national level. If you would like to receive SAYL mail in your email box, email and put “subscribe alaska-school-libraries” in the subject line.