Amanda Hurley receives AASL Collaborative School Library Award

For Immediate Release
Wed, 05/05/2021


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Amanda Hurley, library media specialist for Fayette County Public Schools in Lexington, Kentucky, is the recipient of the 2021 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Collaborative School Library Award. Sponsored by Scholastic Book Fairs, the $2,500 award recognizes school librarian and teacher collaboration during the development and implementation of a curriculum-supporting program using school library resources.

“As school librarians, forming a collaborative partnership with our teacher colleagues is integral to supporting classroom learning,” said Jennifer Powell, award committee chair. “Amanda’s collaboration with math teacher Sarah Zehnder is embedded in classes, producing creative projects and integrating the AASL Standards into the curriculum seamlessly. Our committee was especially impressed with their library renovation project, which exemplifies an enhanced collaboration even through the COVID pandemic. The innovation used to transform this in-person project into a fully virtual collaboration is inspiring and something all school librarians should strive for.”

Hurley’s submission, “Engaged2: Yearlong Math & Library Collaborations,” encompasses 10-15 projects the educators may undertake in a given school year. One example of their work is tasking the advanced geometry students to research, plan, and design a renovation project for the school library. The semester-long project has students analyzing the needs of the current school library, identifying ways to improve its space and service, designing a realistic renovation plan, creating a scaled model of the renovation, and pitching their project to an audience of their peers, teachers, librarians, administrators, and district personnel.

To adapt the project to meet the restrictions of pandemic school closures, Hurley and Zehnder coordinated with the Jessamine County Public Library who allowed the educators to take 360-degree images of the library in lieu of a field trip with students. Then Hurley and her graduate-level practicum student designed an interactive field trip using Google Tour Creator.

Said Hurley, “We are honored ‘Engaged2’ was selected as the 2021 Collaborative School Library Award winner! We are passionate about designing activities that foster student voice and choice while maintaining rigorous academic standards. Together we create experiences allowing students to think, create, share, and grow in math, communication, and problem-solving skills. No role is too small or too large for the librarian to play in collaboration. It’s being available and invested that makes collaboration powerful.”

The AASL award winners will be recognized during the 2021 AASL National Conference taking place October 21-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

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