For immediate release | May 10, 2016

AASL introduces Inspire Grants

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) invites school librarians to apply for two new grants made possible by the generosity of AASL member Marina “Marney” Welmers. The additions to the organization’s prestigious awards program provide funds for public middle or high school libraries to update their existing collections or plan a special event in order to enhance student learning. Criteria, eligibility and application requirements can be found at Applications are due Monday, May 23, 2016.

"School libraries and school librarians are the map makers: of student learning; of independent reading; of information literacy; of meaningful curriculum and communication," said Welmers. "Providing starting points, challenges, and guides, they are fundamental and essential to the explorations that engage our students in habits and joys of lifelong learning."

The Inspire Special Event Grant provides up to $2,000 in funding to a school library looking to engage students with school library resources and promote reading, books, literacy and authors. The funds can be used to create a new or enhance an existing extracurricular activity which will increase student achievement. A total of $10,000 will be distributed to schools annually.

Up to $20,000 per year will be awarded as part of the Inspire Collection Development Grant. To improve student achievement, public school libraries may apply for up to $5,000 in funds to extend, update, and diversify their book, online, subscription and/or software collections.

"School librarians are a deeply caring and dedicated group of education professionals," said AASL President Leslie Preddy. "This is ever more apparent through the generosity of Marney Welmers. Her compassionate financial support will fulfill the dreams of school librarians invested in making a difference in their communities. Her Inspire grants will impact students and library programs throughout the country. Thank you, Marney Welmers. You are a role model to us all."

The American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

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Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)