For immediate release | September 26, 2017

Applications open for the 2018 AASL awards program

CHICAGO - Applications for the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) 2018 awards season are now available. AASL members are encouraged to nominate a colleague or themselves to be lauded for their outstanding talent and dedication to the profession as part of this prestigious program. AASL awards and grants recognize excellence and showcase best practices in the school library field in categories that include collaboration, leadership and innovation.

Applications are now open for:

  • the National School Library Program of the Year Award, which awards $10,000 and a crystal obelisk, sponsored by Follett, to a school library program that meets the needs of the changing school and library environment and is fully integrated into the school's curriculum;
  • the ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant, which gives up to $1,750, sponsored by ABC-CLIO, to a school library association that is an AASL affiliates for planning and implementing a leadership program at the state, regional or local levels;

  • the Collaborative School Library Award, which awards $2,500, sponsored by Upstart, to a collaboration and partnership between school librarians and teachers in meeting goals outlined in “Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs” through joint planning of a program, unit or event in support of the curriculum and using media center resources;

  • the Distinguished School Administrator Award, which awards $2,000, sponsored by ProQuest, to a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of an exemplary school library and to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program;

  • the Frances Henne Award, $1,250, sponsored by ABC-CLIO, which awards a school librarian with five or fewer years in the field to attend an ALA Annual Conference or AASL National Conference for the first time;

  • the Innovative Reading Grant, which awards $2,500, sponsored by Capstone, to fund literacy projects for grades K-9 that promote the importance of reading and facilitate literacy development by supporting current reading research, practice and policy;

  • the Intellectual Freedom Award, which provides $2,000 to the winner and $1,000 to the school library of the winner’s choice, sponsored by ProQuest, for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by AASL and the ALA;

  • the Inspire Collection Development Grant, which provides up to $5,000 per award, sponsored by Marina “Marney” Welmers, for public middle or high schools to extend, update, and diversify their book, online, subscription and/or software collections in order to realize sustainable improvement in student achievement;

  • the Inspire Special Event Grant, which offers up to $2,000 per award, sponsored by Marina “Marney” Welmers, for public middle or high schools to create new or enhance existing extracurricular activities in order to increase student academic achievement;

  • the Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award, which offers $2,000, a $5,000 book donation, and up to $1,000 in reimbursement towards travel and housing to attend the AASL awards presentation at the ALA Annual Conference; sponsored by Penguin Random House, the award recognizes AASL members who have collaboratively designed a lesson, event, or course of study on social justice exemplified by a character from Roald Dahl’s books;

  • The Ruth Toor Grant for Strong Public School Libraries, which offers $3,000 for project implementation and $2,000 for both the school librarian and school official (or volunteer parent) to attend the AASL national conference or the ALA Annual Conference; sponsored by Jay Toor, the grant provides funding support for the creation and implementation of a local public awareness/marketing campaign that promotes and positions their school library as a necessary resource in the community.

Applications for the National School Library Program of the Year are due Jan. 1, 2018. All other applications or nominations are due Feb. 1, 2018. All applications will close at 4:30 p.m. CST on the day of the deadline.

Applicants are encouraged to read all award and grant criteria on the AASL website before applying. Rating sheets are provided to give applicants an understanding of the items the award committee will use to base their scores. Questions about the application process should be directed to Shannon Carter at

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

Related Links

AASL Awards


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)