For immediate release | February 1, 2024

K-12 school librarians invited to apply for $5,000 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award

CHICAGO — School librarians are invited to apply for a $5,000 award recognizing outstanding humanities programming in kindergarten through twelfth grade, the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office announced. Previously for school libraries serving grades K-8, this year’s Jaffarian Award is the first to include eligibility for schools also serving grades 9-12.

Nominations for the 2024 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award will be accepted until May 1, 2024.

Applications, award guidelines and a list of previous winners are available at www.ala.org/jaffarian.

U.S. school libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K-12 are eligible, provided the library is staffed by a state-certified librarian. Libraries are encouraged to self-nominate. Nominated programs must have taken place during the current school year (2023-24).

The intent of the award is to recognize humanities programs that expand student horizons beyond “basic education.” A humanities program can be focused on many subject areas, including but not limited to social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign languages and culture. Programs should focus on broadening perspectives and helping students understand the wider world and their place in it. The humanities program should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of library programming in advancing the overall education goals of the school.

Recent Jaffarian Award-winners have included:

Named after the late Sara Jaffarian, a school librarian and longtime ALA member, ALA’s Jaffarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize and promote excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle school libraries. In 2024, the award expanded eligibility to high school libraries. It is presented annually by the ALA Public Programs Office in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

The award is selected by a committee comprising members of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (PCPAC), AASL and the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC).

This year’s committee is chaired by Anita Cellucci, library teacher at Westborough (Mass.) High School; chair-elect Anne Link, library media specialist at Bristol (Mo.) Elementary School. Both are members of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Other committee members include Carla Larsen, retired elementary school library media specialist in Cottage Grove, Minnesota; and Joe Zappitello, director of the Harbor-Topky Public Library in Ashtabula, Ohio.

About the ALA Public Programs Office

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office empowers libraries to create vibrant hubs of learning, conversation and connection in communities of all types.

About the American Association of School Librarians

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

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.

Contact:

Hannah Arata

Communications Specialist

American Library Association

Public Programs Office

harata@ala.org