Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award

Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award, American Library Association                 

The Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming is an annual award of the American Library Association (ALA) that recognizes excellence in humanities programming in libraries that serve children in grades K-8.

School libraries, public or private, that serve K-8 students are eligible. Nominated programs must have taken place during the current school year. Programs that are still in progress as of the award deadline are eligible, and libraries are encouraged to self-nominate.

View a free, pre-recorded webinar with Pilot Mountain (N.C.) Elementary School, winner of the 2017 Sara Jaffarian Award.

How Do I Apply?

Applications for the 2019 Sara Jaffarian Award will open in early 2019. Please check back for details and a link to the online application.

Applicants are advised to read the application selection criteria and guidelines before beginning the online application process. 

To begin the application process, go to

What Is a Humanities Program?

The humanities program can be focused in many subject areas, including, but not limited to, social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language, and culture. Programs should focus on broadening perspectives and helping students understand the wider world and their place in it. The humanities program should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of the library program in advancing the overall educational goals of the school.

What Types of Libraries Are Eligible?

Any elementary or middle school (public or private) library or any school library program in the United States that serves children in any combination of grades K–8 and is staffed by a state-certified librarian.

Who Is Sara Jaffarian?

Sara Jaffarian is a retired school librarian who has been a member of the American Library Association for 63 years. She began her career as a librarian in the public school system of Quincy, Massachusetts. She later served as the Director of Libraries for the Greensboro Public Schools in North Carolina and the Supervisor of Libraries for the Seattle Public Schools in Washington. Read more about Mrs. Jaffarian.

What Is the Award?

The Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award is an annual award to a school library that has conducted an exemplary program or program series in the humanities during the current school year. It consists of (1) a $5,000 cash award; (2) a plaque; and (3) the promotion of the winner as a model program for other school libraries.

Who Are the Past Winners?                                                  

Get inspired by these winning programs

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          The Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award is sponsored by the American Library Association Cultural Communities Fund and the National Endowment for the Humanities in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians.


          2009 Jaffarian Lisa Hathcock presents award to winner Sally Rasc    2010 Winner Jefferson Elementary_Elmhurst College Collage     Linda Ward-Callaghan presents 2010 Jaffarian Award to Nicolette     2008 Winner Woodsdale Elementary_Child Participating