AASL presents 2003 National School Library Media Program of the Year winners

Contact: Keidra Chaney, AASL Coordinator of

Member and Affiliate Relations


For Immediate Release

July 11, 2003

AASL presents 2003 National School Library Media Program of the Year winners

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is pleased to announce the 2003 winners of the National School Library Media Program of the Year (NSLMPY) Award. Sponsored by the Follett Library Resources Company, this prestigious award honors school districts and individual schools for demonstrating excellence in school library media programs that ensure students and staff are effective users of ideas and information, as well as exemplifying implementation of
Information Power.
A crystal obelisk along with a cash award of $10,000 ($30,000 total) is given in three categories, large and small school districts and single school.

The 2003 Large School District award goes to the
Millard Public Schools, Omaha, Neb., with 32 schools serving 18,987 students. Millard’s Board of Education Policy 6615, “Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: Library Media Programs,” affirms the intent that their information centers are an integral part of the instructional program in every school.

According to Superintendent Keith Lutz, all information centers are staffed with full-time certified staff and paraprofessionals with large, flexible, centrally-located facilities; flexible schedules; budgeting for curriculum-based collections; and a collaborative environment. Donna Helvering serves as information/media department head, an integral part of the Education Services Division, led by Associate Superintendent Martha Bruckner.

The local public libraries work closely with staff in the information/media department, sharing equipment and resources, monthly department meetings, as well as promoting summer reading programs and presenting collaborative projects at local and state conferences.

Liberty (Mo.) Public Schools has been named the Small School District winner for 2003. Liberty has 13 schools serving 7,587 students.

“As an integral component of the instructional program, the rational for our library-media program is the importance in supporting student literacy and life-long literacy through integration of library skills with regular classroom instruction, collaborative planning between library media specialists and teachers, and collaborative curriculum development,” Superintendent of Schools W. Scott Taveau said.

Coordinator of Library Media Services Carroll M. Makemson oversees the performance of staff who participate in a Career-Ladder Program with incentives for exemplary services for mentoring, instructional improvement, and taskforce/committee activities.

“Library media specialists and teachers collaborate regularly to plan, schedule, and deliver instruction that is relevant and engaging,” said Makemson. “A flexible schedule at all levels allows instruction to occur at the point of need for flexible amounts of time and/or number of days.”

Cherry Creek High School is the winner of the NSLMPY award in the Single School Category. Located in Greenwood Village, Colo., this grades 9-12 school serves 3,591 students with six full-time library media specialists, seven full-time and one part-time support staff person. Kathleen Smith is principal of the school.

Co-coordinators for this program are Dawn P. Vaughn and Sharon Coil. Library media specialists attend department meetings and serve on numerous school committees including Faculty Senate, Achievement Team, Leadership Advisory, and Administrative Team, among others. The media center has an Advisory Committee made up of two parents, two teachers, two librarians and two students.

The library media center moved into its new location in 1997 in the center of the school with views of the Rockies outside its glass-walled facility, a lovely setting for a library media program whose primary focus is “to provide each student with well-planned instruction that ensures that the skills used in information literacy become habits that students enjoy as life long learners.”

The AASL awards were presented to each winner during a ceremony and luncheon held during the 2003 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Toronto. The special guest speaker was children’s author Penny Pollack, presented by Little, Brown Children’s Books. For more information on the event, please contact the AASL office at 800-545-2433 ext. 4381.

AASL is a division of ALA. AASL promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change, and develop leaders in the school library media field.