SAYL Mail January 31, 2020

SAYL Mail                School and Youth Librarians Newsletter

January 31, 2020


Creative Writing Contest

Alaska Center for the Book is coordinating the 37th annual UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest. The statewide contest is for writers of all ages in fiction, non-fiction and poetry categories. More than 650 entries were submitted in the 2019 contest with winners ranging in ages from 6-81. The website for the contest includes guidelines and the submission form.


Alaska Association of School Librarian’s Battle of the Books selection meeting will be held during the upcoming ASTE Conference in Anchorage. Join school librarians to select titles for the 2020-2021 year. Saturday Feb 22nd at the Captain Cook Hotel in the Endeavor Room from 6:00-7:00 pm. Visit for more information.


February 5th is World Read Aloud Day. Check out the website for program ideas, activity guide and free resources. Remember #AKREADS.


Featured in Our Alaska Schools Blog:

“The Importance of K-12 Libraries in Alaska”   by Tana Martin, Librarian Tanana Middle School , Fairbanks.  If you have a story about your school library, take the time to share what you do!! #akreads


Scholastic Library Grants 

For more information

Junior Library Guild

For more information


FREE Webinars

Feb 13 @ 1:00pm  Making the Most of Your Digital Collection

“You’ve invested time, thought, and budget dollars to create an amazing collection of materials for your teachers and students, but perhaps you’ve found that the digital portion of your resources doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Research has shown that eBooks and audiobooks circulate more when librarians follow a clear plan to promote them in the school community. Join this webinar to learn creative and effective strategies for spreading the word about your digital collection and make sure those great resources get used!”   Sign Up Here   School Library Connections


February 2020 CE Opportunities

Feb 1 8-9 am Copyright Basics (Copyright & Creativity)

Part 1 of a 2-part series. Reinforce your understanding of copyright: What copyright protects and why; Important limitations and exceptions to copyright; How to teach copyright to students.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 4 10-11 am New Books, New Worlds: Diverse Titles for Youth & Young Adult (Booklist)Talk with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Lorimer Children & Teen, and Archipelago Books to hear about the latest titles for young readers showcasing diverse authors, characters, and topics! Plus, we’ll talk with author June Hur about her upcoming YA debut, The Silence of Bones!

For more information and to register, visit:

Feb 5 9-10 am Free Tools for Working with Social Media (Infopeople)


In this webinar you will learn about some online gems that you can use to improve your workflow, create new content, or share with your friends and colleagues. Presenter Laura Solomon will cover a plethora of online tools that you probably haven’t heard of but will be glad that you have.

For more information and to register, visit:



Feb 5:11am- noon Best New Teen Reads of 2019 (Nebraska Library Commission)

Brief book talks and reviews of new titles recommended to school and public librarians, covering both middle and high school levels published within the last year.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 6:10-11 am   OER & the Library: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Library Journal)

As the use of OER increases across institutions, libraries have the potential to play a valuable role and strategically support teaching and learning in a new way. In fact, the skills and expertise that librarians possess make libraries a natural ally in OER initiatives. This moderated panel of experienced librarians and OER specialists will explore the key topics associated with OER and the library, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 12 10-11 am  Research is Not a Basic Skill: Using the Contextual Nature of Research to Transform Information Literacy Instruction (Georgia Library Association)

Students’ confidence in their research skills often does not match their proficiency with those skills. Often, what students fail to grasp is the importance of context to the research process. In this presentation, learn about a new model of information literacy instruction that teaches the contextual nature of research by treating research as a subject of study rather than a set of basic skills

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 12 3-4 pm Using Others’ Work in Our Own Creations (Copyright & Creativity)

Part 2 of a 2-part series. Help students successfully navigate copyright in their own roles as creators: Fair use for students; How to find creative work that is free to use–Creative Commons and public domain; Resources for teaching these concepts to students.

For more information and to register, visit:



Feb 18 10-11 am   Feminist Reads, a Penguin Reading List for Readers Grades K-12 (Booklist)

Join Booklist editor Maggie Reagan and Penguin Young Readers for this free, hour-long discussion on new and old books for young readers featuring strong, inspiring women. This webinar will also feature a conversation between Maggie Reagan and black feminist writer and editor Evette Dionne, centering on her nonfiction work Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 19  11am-noon   What’s New in Children’s Literature – 2020 (Infopeople)

This webinar can help you discover new books that you can offer to children who use your library, including books that reflect the diversity of the children we serve. Hear about books published in late 2019 and Spring 2020, that will be popular with children ages 0-12. These include board books, picture books, easy readers, transitional fiction, genre fiction for middle grades, graphic novels, poetry, nonfiction, and more! Hear about books that will be popular with a wide audience of children, including recent award-winners.

For more information and to register, visit:

Feb 20   7-8 am Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: How to Own Your Expertise and Present with Confidence (Texas State Library and Archives Commission)

Have you turned down the opportunity to speak at a conference or meeting? Do you struggle with feeling confident about your professional expertise? Do you have a hard time feeling like people should listen to you at work? In this session, TSLAC consultants Cindy Fisher and Kyla Hunt will discuss strategies to feel confident when sharing what you know. You will leave this session with a newfound willingness to present at conferences and meetings and, most importantly, a belief that your experience is worth something!

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 20   10-11 am   Teen Mental Health: In their own words (Colorado State Library)

Teen suicide is on the rise nationally, and Colorado’s statistics are higher than many other states. In this interactive session we will highlight this issue by sharing interview clips from teens who have experienced mental health issues, Colorado specific research, and we will brainstorm how libraries can be part of a larger community conversations.

For more information and to register, visit:


Feb 26 11:00am-noon   A Framework for Digital Citizenship Implementation (

Common Sense Education’s Digital Citizenship Implementation Guide provides a path for a phased framework to help you plan, implement, and evaluate your digital citizenship program. From how to get buy-in, assessing your motivation and needs, instructional plans, educating families, to how to become a Common Sense Recognized School or District, we will discuss different models for digital citizenship implementation.

For more information and to register, visit:



Feb 27 1-2 pm   Is it Time to Scrap the C.R.A.A.P. Test? Using Formative Assessment to Improve Students’ Resource Selection Skills (

Distinguishing truth from disinformation is only a small part of a larger problem. Students frequently rely on shallow reference materials as core sources for research, treat 2-minute news clips as in-depth journalism, and fail to distinguish between reportage and opinion articles. Lecturing students about these shortcomings rarely helps, but providing meaningful feedback on research checkpoints (e.g., research questions, works cited lists, and thesis statements) can be instructionally effective. Join Michelle Luhtala as she shares replicable lessons and instructional materials to help learners improve their inquiry skills.

For more information and to register, visit:


SL related articles from the Intellectual Freedom News (1/31/20)

SL Related articles from ALA News

Programming Ideas

Literary Holidays to Celebrate in February  ( 5 minute librarian)


Love Your Library Month

2/1-7 – National Storytelling Week in England

2/1 – Take Your Child to the Library Day (first Saturday of February)
2/2-8 – Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week (first week of February)
2/8 – John Grisham’s birthday
2/12 – Judy Blume’s birthday
2/14 – Library Lovers’ Day
2/16 – Reading Rainbow Day (LeVar Burton’s birthday)
2/22 – Edward Gorey’s birthday

Children’s Programming Activity Calendar  download and print DEMCO



SAYL Mail is published twice monthly 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,