For immediate release | April 26, 2011

Rising school library leader receives AASL's Frances Henne Award

CHICAGO – Shannon Hyman, school librarian at the Harry F. Byrd Middle School in Henrico, Va., is the 2011 recipient of the American Association of School Librarian’s (AASL) Frances Henne Award. Established in 1986, the $1,250 award, sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, recognizes a school librarian with five years or less experience who demonstrates leadership qualities with students, teachers and administrators. As the award recipient, Hyman has the opportunity to attend her first AASL conference or ALA Annual Conference.

Though just in her second year as a librarian, Shannon Hyman’s leadership has transformed her library program and facility into an active and exciting daily stop for the entire Byrd learning community,” read the letter of support from Henrico’s educational specialist, Ann M. Martin. “Ms. Hyman is the consummate leader who promotes all components of school libraries and librarianship to her diverse school community. [She] is directly responsible for her school library being named the ‘Best School Library in the State of Virginia.’”

The mission statement for her award winning library reads “Byrd Middle School Library: Empowering students and staff to become critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information.” Hyman does this by being an active participant on the school’s leadership team, which develops school-wide action plans. She encourages collaboration among teachers, administrators and students to engage all in participatory learning. Already active in her local and state professional organizations, Hyman sees her attendance at a national conference as an opportunity “to grow professionally, develop new ideas, and collaborate with other librarians.”

"The Frances Henne award committee had the honor of choosing Shannon Hyman as this year's winner," said Margaux DelGuidice, award committee chair. " Shannon's dedication to developing library programs that are driven by the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner and her collaboration with classrooms teachers to support 21st Century information literacy skills made her an excellent candidate for this award. It is our hope that Shannon will use this opportunity to attend conference to gather tools and knowledge that will enhance and strengthen her library program."

Hyman and other AASL award recipients will be honored at AASL's Awards Luncheon during ALA's 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans. The luncheon will be held Monday, June 27, and Lauren Myracle, best-selling young adult author and national spokesperson for intellectual freedom, will headline. Ticket information can be found on the AASL website at

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.


Jennifer Habley