Tim Salem receives AASL Distinguished School Administrator Award

For Immediate Release
Fri, 04/08/2022


Allison Cline

Deputy Executive Director

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)



CHICAGO – Tim Salem, Principal at Scotts Ridge Middle School, is the recipient of the 2022 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Distinguished School Administrator Award. Sponsored by ProQuest, the $2,000 award recognizes and honors a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of exemplary school libraries and to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program. 

Janine Johnson, school librarian, and nominator shared with the committee “Tim had a vision of a school library that could be more central to the building, nurturing creative collaboration and experimentation. I knew when I was hired that his intention was to involve me in professional development and presentations at staff meetings. Tim believes in ‘Failing Forward,’ encouraging risk-taking that results in positive student outcomes. From the beginning, it was clear, Tim is a cheerleader for every single person in the building, and most especially the students in our library learning commons.” 

The committee could see that Salem’s commitment to the school library was far-reaching. In Salem’s own words “The role of the Library Learning Commons (LLC) is instrumental in lifting learning outside of the confines of the classroom. The cross-curricular connections led by our LLC deepen learning, widen perspectives, and build collaborations. Our LLC is the learning hub of our building. All classes in our school work with our school librarian and support staff to create opportunities that stimulate curiosity, foster problem-solving skills, and build confidence. Furthermore, our LLC has created a genre-based system to encourage readers to make selections based on areas of interest. As a result, our students are checking out books at a record pace!” 

“The committee believes Tim Salem embodies the true intent of this award through advancing the role of the school library in a sustained effort for many years,” said Committee Chair Sarah Hunicke. “From encouraging Janine’s committee involvement, the collaboration between departments, and commitment to social justice, culminating in co-presenting ‘Race, Equity and Books: How Reading Can be an Entry Point for Essential Conversations’ with Janine to 60 state administrators for the Connecticut Association of Schools - Tim’s commitment to advocating and advancing the school library run throughout the school and can be felt beyond in the district and state.” 

“AASL knows that the school librarian/administrator connection can be a game-changer for the school library and its ability to touch every learner of the school community,” said AASL President, Jennisen Lucas.  Lucas notes, “Tim’s superintendent acknowledges that ‘our school libraries are seen as the “heart” of our schools, and this is a testament to Tim’s leadership.’  AASL’s commitment to recognizing school administrators who support school librarians advances our vision that Every school librarian is a leader; every learner has a school librarian, and we welcome Tim to our prestigious list of Distinguished Administrators.” 

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