SAYL Mail October 23, 2019

SAYL Mail School and Youth Librarians Newsletter from the Alaska State Library

October 23, 2019

News in Brief


Live Homework Help has been funded for another year! Alaska State Library information on Live Homework Help and link

AASL Standards Framework for Learners is now crosswalked with Next Generation Science Standards. A “A terrific tool to facilitate conversation and collaboration”   PDF available. Announcement

“School librarians can use the new crosswalk to the Next Generation Science Standards to open conversations and establish common ground with science teachers. The AASL member volunteers on this task force have created a very useful tool for all school librarians.” Mary Keeling, AASL President

Kudos to Deborah Rinio for chairing this task force!


Alaska Afterschool Conference in Juneau AK November 7th and 8th

The Alaska Afterschool Conference is designed to support the professional development of Alaska’s out-of-school time providers, featuring more than 40 workshops. Sponsored by State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

While not everyone can attend the conference check out their website and the resources page which has many different informative webinars by youth service workers and specialist statewide. Webinars on resource page There will be a few public youth librarians presenting so I’ll see if I can share their information in an upcoming issue.

November is National Native American Heritage Month: to help you plan for displays, assess your collection and share programming and lesson plans, here are some starting points.


Alaska School Librarians, don’t forget to register or renew your membership with the Alaska Library Association. We are stronger together. One membership covers AKLA and the AKASL roundtable membership. Be sure to check off the “AkASL roundtable” when registering or renewing your membership.  If you have questions or the registration page is not working, please contact Stacey Glaser at (AkLA Executive Officer) at eo@akla.or



U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides resources for kids, teens and their families about what intellectual property is and how to respect it. Activities explore innovation and the copyrights, trademarks and patents that protect it.

New York Times program based on real-world writing: a free seven unit writing curriculum based on real world genres found in all kids of print and online sources with multiple opportunities to for students to publish and have their writing read by authentic audiences.

Thousands of National Parks Pictures and Videos are highlighted by Richard Byrne on Free Technology for Teachers. Many of these are in the public domain and available for students to make slideshows, videos or virtual tours.


Resources for coding for children with autism: teaching the skills needed to address the challenges faced every day. Autism Coding Academy  and Coding for Kids with Autism: The Ultimate Guide for Parents and Educators

Recommendations for assistive technologies in your libraryFrom the ALSC blog, Carrie Banks offers recommendations both low and high tech. Some of these may come in handy. Let your teachers know you are working to make your library inclusive and accessible.

10 Tips for Building a more LGBTQ-Inclusive classroom. Your library is your classroom! These tips apply not only to communication and classroom culture but also offer tips on book collections. Three quick tips:

  • Integrate LGBTQ-inclusive books with other books, and make them easy to check out anonymously.
  • Treat LGBTQ characters in literature as whole people with many interests and identities
  • Speak in terms of relationships rather than labels


Check out Naomi Bates blog YA Books and More  for all things YA lit, edtech and school library advocacy. If you have wondered if there is a need in your library for large print books check out her guest interview, Large Print and Its Impact on Readers. Why might you consider some large print titles?

“Large print books are in a 16-point, Serif font, with increased white space, which is less intimidating to a student, and has been proven to lessen decoding and tracking issues and increase fluency and comprehension”

“With large print striving readers have exhibited increased engagement and academic achievement, creating equity in their learning environment. Teachers overwhelmingly identify “easily distracted” and “lacking comprehension of what they are reading” as defining characteristics for their striving or reluctant readers.”

“A significant impact has been noted for students learning English and special education students. Almost two-thirds of teachers said that the large print text resulted in faster acquisition of English by ELL/ESL students.”

Try a podcast: Don’t Judge a Book by Its CoverA Podcast for Future Ready Librarians. Highlighted in a recent AASL blog post. “Tailored for school librarians and educators. Conversations focus on changing the perception of school librarians, improving instructional practices and being a collaborative partner.”


Be sure to (re)visit Media Literacy Lesson Plans at NewseumED. Create an account and have more access to resources.

Guide for Conversing with Parents about Learning with Technology (ISTE): a free downloadable resources, this is the definitive handbook for changing the conversation with parents about how students are learning with the use of technology.


Upcoming CE opportunities


3 Emerging Tech webinars with Michele Luhtala this month. Check out the recordings of the first two;

Integrating Social-Emotional Learning into Your Instructional Programs

Try embedding SEL skills in inquiry by using inquiry and design thinking models and integrating into your existing instructional programs.

Diversity in Context: Stretching the Idea of Building Diverse Collections

How can we build collections that celebrate not only diverse characters but also adverse range of experiences for those characters to inhabit? How can we encourage readers to empathize with characters who may seem unfamiliar?


Wednesday Nov 4, 2019 1:00Pm ADT

Rethinking the Cost of Digital Collection Building: It May Not Be as Expensive as You Think!

Explore strategies to build digital collections at a reduced price through a consortium model.


Recordings of recent webinars by School Library Connection

How the Library Can Help Students Navigate Mental Health (10/10/19) 60 min.

Panelists discuss tools and strategies to help you support your student’s mental health from bibliotherapy to building resource partnerships to integrated Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019 11:00 am (ADT)

READ WOKE: 5 Ways to Identify a #ReadWoke Book- and 3#OwnVoices Authors to Diversify Your Collections  Register Here

What is a #ReadWoke book—and how can having more of them benefit your library program? Why are #OwnVoices books important? Join librarian, SLJ columnist, and #ReadWoke founder Cicely Lewis to learn more about the #ReadWoke movement, the power of #OwnVoices books, and how diversifying your collections will make a difference in your library.

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,