AASL introduces the Toor Scholarship for Strong Public-School Libraries

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/14/2023


Allison Cline

Deputy Executive Director

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)



CHICAGO — The Toor Family, in honor of their parents, Jay and Ruth Toor, have established the Toor Scholarships for Strong Public-School Libraries.  As strong school library advocates throughout their life, Jay & Ruth supported the need for state-certified public-school librarians in every school for all learners. The scholarship is awarded to a public school librarians—located in the United States and led by a certified school librarian— who have created and implemented a local public awareness/marketing campaign that promotes and positions their school library as a necessary resource in the community, tying in the theme “Strong School Libraries.” Made possible by the generous support of the Toor Family, ten (10) $1,000 travel stipends will be awarded every other year for recipients to attend the biennial AASL National Conference and participate in a concurrent session panel to present and discuss their campaigns with attendees.  Additional promotion of campaigns will include opportunities to publish articles and host webinars on AASL’s various platforms. More information is available on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/awards.

“Now more than ever, advocating for school librarians is critical to ensure equity of access for all of our learners,” said AASL President, Kathy Lester. “The Toor Scholarship is a great opportunity for school librarians to lead the narrative, open doors and share stories to ensure the truth of our work is seen and heard instead of the false narrative being created by specific groups across our nation.”

Ruth Toor was the school librarian at Southern Boulevard School in Chatham for 29 years. After retiring in 2001, she wrote and edited the “School Librarian’s Workshop,” and co-authored “New on the Job,” and 11 other professional publications. Toor was the 1992-1993 AASL President and consulted and worked actively on many ALA, AASL and ALSC committees, including the ALA Committee on Legislation. She taught graduate courses as an adjunct at Rutgers and Montclair State Universities and was the internship adviser for professional development studies at Rutgers’ school of communication and information.  Jay Toor, president of Library Learning Resources, Inc., published many library professional books and established The Ruth Toor Grant for Strong Public School Libraries.  Both Ruth and Jay were longtime members of ALA and AASL and the Toor Family continues their parents’ and grandparents’ commitment to the future of libraries and the association.

Applications for the 2023 award are due April 11, 2023. The inaugural recipients will be honored at the AASL Awards Ceremony during the 2023 AASL National Conference in Tampa, Florida. The application and additional award criteria can be found at www.ala.org/aasl/awards.

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