For immediate release | April 7, 2022

Louisiana Association of School Librarians awarded AASL ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant

CHICAGO – The Louisiana Association of School Librarians (LASL) is the recipient of the 2022 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant. Sponsored by ABC-CLIO, the $1,750 grant is given to an AASL Chapter for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional, or local level.

“LASL’s program could not only strengthen their inclusion and recognition by their state department of education in Louisiana but could also be a model and program that all AASL state chapters could implement,” said Cynthia Zervos, award committee chair. “The continuous and sustained communication, opportunities for networking and growth, and the reiterative process of a survey to inform the next year are commendable.” The committee agreed that “this is a great action plan for bringing school librarians to the table. I would love to have this happen in my state!”

The Louisiana Association of School Librarians’ (LASL) mission this year has been to establish a partnership between LASL and the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) through open dialogue, meetings, and suggestions. LDOE has created new opportunities for school librarians with a LASL invitation to meet with the LDOE Literacy Team, adding a school librarian section to their monthly state newsletter, and meeting bi-monthly to offer suggestions and share concerns.

The ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant will enable LASL to create a year-long program to continue and expand this collaboration, including meeting with the LDOE to:

  • Create a team to discuss the crosswalk of the Louisiana School Librarian Guidelines and English Arts Standards to the AASL National School Library Standards, as well as a timeline for creation, approval, and implementation.

  • Discuss the summer 2023 Louisiana Teacher Leader Summit and request that school librarians be represented in the call for attendees and presenters, along with a specific school librarian trac at this state-wide event conducted by LDOE.

  • Ask the LDOE to make a School Library Month Proclamation in their April newsletter, in addition to posting on their websites and social media on the importance of school libraries and school librarians.

  • Offer an April PD day, #BetterTogether: LASL and LDOE Day of Networking and Growth, inviting school librarians, LDOE Literacy Team, superintendents/district personnel, administrators, public librarians, and teachers at no cost.

  • Issue a survey to all LA school librarians asking for feedback on the year’s leadership initiatives, present findings at the LASL membership meeting, the Louisiana Teacher Leader Summit, and write a Knowledge Quest Blog Post on what we accomplished and learned through the initiative.

“AASL’s state chapters are the ground force for school librarians,” said AASL President Jennisen Lucas. “These efforts are so much more than finding their ‘seat at the table,’ this is a fully integrated and executed program to ensure every educator in Louisiana sees and values school librarians as an educational partner. Congratulations to LASL and thank you for offering such an important road map for other states to follow.”

The AASL award winners will be recognized during the 2023 AASL National Conference taking place October 19-21 in Tampa, Florida.

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


Allison Cline

Deputy Executive Director

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)