2017 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming


2007 Jaffarian winner Barbara Ungar w Tom Phelps  2008 Winner Woodsdale Elementary_Candlewax  2008 Jaffarian Barbara Immroth presenting to winner Sandra Wisem  2010 Winner Jefferson Elementary_York Theater Collage                 

The purpose of the Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award is to recognize, promote, and support excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle school libraries that serve children K–8. To promote and encourage other school libraries interested in developing outstanding humanities programs, a professional development presentation will be made by a representative of the winning library. The focus of this presentation is to share the school's program as a model for inspiration and adaptation by other library media programs.

Click here to view an archived version of a free webinar with the winners of the 2014 Sara Jaffarian Award, originally held on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.

How Do I Apply?

Applications for the 2017 Sara Jaffarian Award are now closed. Applications for the 2018 Sara Jaffarian Award will open in winter 2018.

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

To begin the application process, go to http://apply.ala.org/jaffarian

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