For immediate release | April 26, 2011

School library leader receives AASL's Distinguished Service Award

CHICAGO – Dr. Violet H. Harada is the 2011 recipient of the American Association of School Librarian’s Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1978, the award, sponsored by Baker and Taylor, recognizes an individual member of the library profession who has, over a significant period of time, made an outstanding national contribution to school librarianship and school library development.

Harada was nominated by Carolyn Kirio and Debora Lum.

“Harada is a visionary mentor, instructor, colleague and advocate,” read the nomination submitted by Kirio. “She continues to mold/influence librarianship with her expertise and knowledge. [She] is definitely a leader in the field.”

Working to advance the profession, Harada has served on many AASL and other national educational association committees. Most recently, she was a member of the learning standards indicators and assessment task force that was charged with developing indicators, benchmarks and model examples from the AASL learning standards. The task force’s work culminated in the publication of “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner In Action.” She has represented school library interests as an invited participant of the U.S. Department of Education’s America Reads Challenge roundtable and as a member of the Student Learning through Ohio School Libraries international advisory panel.

Locally, Harada has served as an executive board member of the Hawaii Association of School Librarians (HASL) since 1993 and as member of the school library services advisory board in the Hawaii Department of Education. With the DOE, Harada has worked to establish guidelines and models for effective library programming. From 1995-1997, Harada was a commissioner for the Hawaii State Public Library System on the Oahu Public Library Advisory Commission. For her dedication and contributions to school librarianship in Hawaii, HASL awarded Harada with the 1990 Golden Key Award.

Harada has served as a professor in the computer sciences, library and information science program at the University of Hawaii since 1984. According to the nomination application submitted by Lum, “whether teaching graduate students or facilitating workshops for school librarians, Harada creates opportunities to connect theory to practice when developing their programs.” For this exceptional teaching, Harada received the 2010 Sarah K. Vann Award for Professional Service and University of Hawaii-Manoa’s 1998 Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching Award. Her students’ success is a testament to her dedicated mentoring, as one has received AASL’s School Library Program of the Year award and another was recognized as part of AASL President Nancy Everhart’s Vision Tour.

"Dr. Violet Harada exemplifies the qualities worthy of the AASL Distinguished Service Award," said Janice Ostrom, award committee member. " She has received many grants and awards including the AASL ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant to further her research. Dr. Harada’s career includes a lifetime of library research and dissemination of the knowledge gained through workshops, conferences, and professional writing. She has influenced the profession as a researcher, teacher, mentor and advocate. It is with great pleasure we honor Dr. Harada’s service to the library profession."

Harada 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