Grant Applications Open for 2013-2014

The Alaska Association of School Librarians would like to announce open applications for professional development grants for the 2013-2014 school year. Any AkASL member working in a library is eligible to apply for grants. Grants are available to attend conferences in Alaska, out of state, and online. Deadlines for grants are based on the date of the conference or training you wish to attend. Out of state grants require the most advance planning, so apply today! See for more information or email

More PD with Webinars!

Can’t make it to a conference?  Apply for an AkASL PD grant to get specific focused and up to date training right at your own desk! Spread the word!

ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) has great webinars on hot topics such as Project Based Learning, QR Codes in the Classroom, iPads and video.

AASL (American Association of School Librarians) has both the e-Academy and the L4L Webinars.

e-Academy upcoming classes include:

July 9 – August 3, 2012
Design for Understanding Meets the 21st Century School Librarian
Online registration
Registration form

July 16 – August 10, 2012
From 0 to 60: Implement eBooks in Your Library Program in 4 Weeks
Online registration
Registration form

July 16 – August 10, 2012
Making a Place, Making a Case for Read-Alouds:
A Powerful Teaching Tool for Literacy
Online registration

Registration form

Learning for Life Webinars  addressing the 21st Century Standards are archived, and still available.

ALA Annual Conference Report

It’s been over a month, and as I think back on the conference these are some of the highlights for me.

Orson Scott Card. (Note Janet’s picture in her entry) Like many middle school librarians, I love Enders Game. It was great fun to listen to Orson talk, and to pick up the first book in his new YA series called the Lost Gate. BTW – It’s awesome. Readers will note similar character traits between Danny and Ender, even though this new series is fantasy instead of science fiction.

2.0 to P21 – Using Emerging Technologies to Embed 21st Century Skills into your Library’s Instructional Program: Michelle Luhtala, the Librarian at the New Canaan Library in Connecticut is doing some amazing things with her students. Her students won the ALA “Why I Need My Library” video contest, well worth your viewing time. It’s on her website at She blogs at Great reading. I’d love to have come up to Alaska! I left her very short session jazzed and ready to try new things. Oh, and she’ll be in Minneapolis this fall, just in case you are going.

AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning: It’s always better to have someone demonstrate websites for you, but this session also included video clips of the creators chatting about their sites. Check out the sites for yourself at

And finally…. QR codes are coming to your library soon! They were everywhere at the conference. When I got home I noticed they are even on my phone book. To learn more about them check out

10 reasons why

After attending the National ALA conference in New Orleans, I came up with 10 reasons to attend a conference out of state. I’m sure there are lots more, but here are the ones that struck me:

1. Sparks. Although you zip through sessions quickly, you do hear things that spark an interest, and encourage further investigation.
2. Connections. You connect with librarians facing similar challenges and get a new perspective on yours.
3. Confidence. You discover that some of the things you do are way cool already.
4. Fun. New cities are always fun to explore.
5. Inspiration. You see something cool and know that you could do it also.
6. Awe. Who isn’t awed by some our amazing YA and Children’s lit authors?
7. Money. Your wonderful AkASL offers grants that help fund your travels.
8. Renewal. Feel like you’re in a rut? A conference will nudge you out of it.
9. Exposure. You hear about cutting edge programs and meet the people involved.
10. Free stuff! Everyone wants to give you stuff to take home! (Remember you have to haul it all back on the plane.)

Wendy Leseman,
Hanshew Middle School Library