For immediate release | September 26, 2017

AASL offers assistance to schools impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) offers its support to its colleagues impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. As recovery efforts begin, AASL encourages schools to apply for one of two AASL disaster relief grants: the AASL Beyond Words Grant funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and the Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant sponsored by Marina "Marney" Welmers.

“AASL is committed to supporting teaching and learning, especially in times of hardship,” said Steven Yates, AASL president. “Through these disaster relief grants, AASL provides access to critical resources needed in the rebuilding process. School librarians are in the relationship business, and through the generous support of Dollar General and Marney Welmers, AASL continues to empower leaders when they need it the most to maintain the rich connections that make school libraries such unique and powerful parts of American communities.”

Launched in 2006 in response to Hurricane Katrina, the AASL Beyond Words Grant, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, supports public school libraries nationwide that have suffered materials losses because of a major disaster ranging from hurricanes, tornadoes, flood, earthquakes, fires or an act of terrorism. Funds can be used to replace or supplement books, media and/or library equipment within school libraries and can also be used to offset costs by those schools that have opened their doors to significant numbers of new students displaced by disaster.

In 2012, Dollar General expanded their support by increasing grant amounts and introducing two $50,000 catastrophic disaster relief grants. To qualify for a catastrophic award, eligible schools must have suffered a 90 percent or greater loss to the school library program.

Launched in 2017, the Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant supports pre-existing public middle or high school libraries managed by a state-certified school librarian that have incurred damage or hardship due to a natural disaster or an act recognized by the federal government as terrorism. It also provides funding to a middle or high school public school that has been impacted through an increase in enrollment due to displaced/evacuee students. A total of $30,000 in funding is available each year.

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

Related Links

Beyond Words: Dollar General School Library Relief Fund

Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)