West Maple Elementary School named National School Library of the Year

For Immediate Release
Wed, 05/03/2023


Allison Cline

Deputy Executive Director




CHICAGO – West Maple Elementary School, located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is the recipient of the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) 2023 National School Library of the Year (NSLY) Award. Sponsored by Follett, the NSLY Award annually honors a school library that exemplifies the implementation of AASL's National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. West Maple Elementary will receive a crystal obelisk – the symbol of school library excellence – and $10,000 toward its school libraries.

“Thank you AASL and Follett for supporting students as they learn and grow, by holding up school libraries as beacons for educational excellence, literacy, community, innovation, democratic values, and intellectual freedom,” said Carrie Betts, school librarian at West Maple Elementary. “It is a privilege for West Maple School Library to be recognized as a model among a nation of school libraries that share a unified vision in serving ALL members of EVERY community to the best of our ability.”

“The school library at West Maple Elementary is intentional in connecting with the goals of the school as a whole,” said award committee co-chair, Mary Woodard. “It encompasses all aspects of a strong school library. Not just books and reading, but also ubiquitous use of technology, strong instruction that is connected to classroom curriculum, and use of library activities to develop a culture of learning and literacy on the campus.”

Award committee co-chair Phoebe Warmack notes, “the library functions at the center of the school with a purposeful, intentional, and collaborative culture designed to coordinate the mission, goals, and objectives of the school to best meet the needs of the learners, educators, and school community.” 

West Maple Elementary, Birmingham Public Schools, school library mission is “to work collaboratively with classroom teachers and administrators to provide the resources and instruction for students and staff so that they will, expand their reading interests and abilities, become effective researchers, use inquiry and technology meaningfully, enhance critical thinking, and gain and create new knowledge.”

“West Maple Elementary’s library is truly the hub of learning and creativity for the entire school and our Birmingham Public Schools community,” writes Dr. Embekka Roberson, Superintendent of Birmingham Public Schools. “Working in concert with parents, community members, and district staff, Mrs. Betts ensures that all voices are heard and considered for the betterment of our students.”

“The National School Library of Year award is not just an annual recognition, it is the opportunity for our national association to hold up for everyone to see what a school library, led by a certified school librarian, supported by their school, district, and community, and woven into the instructional, curricular and culture, can do for all learners,” said AASL President, Kathy Lester.  “Congratulations to West Maple Elementary and thank you for your leadership.  All learners deserve the equity of access and experience provided by an effective school library such as this.”

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)