AASL presents 2005 NSLMPY Award winners

Contact: Kathy Agarwal

AASL Communications Specialist

Phone: 312-280-4381

Fax: 312-664-7459
For Immediate Release

May 13, 2005

AASL presents 2005 NSLMPY Award winners

CHICAGO - The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce the 2005 winners of its
National School Library Media Program of the Year Award (NSLMPY).

Established in 1963, the NSLMPY Award honors school library media programs whose mission is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information, as well as exemplify implementation of
Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning, the publication of AASL's standards and guidelines for dynamic, student-centered school library media programs. Sponsored by Follett Library Resources, the award, comprised of three categories, recognizes exemplary school library media programs that are fully integrated into the school's curriculum. Each winning program receives a $10,000 prize ($30,000 total). This year, the award will be given to a large school district and two single schools.

The 2005 Large School District award goes to the
William Floyd School District in Mastic Beach, N.Y., with 8 schools serving 10,191 students. The district's library media program excels at developing a curriculum-centered collection and integration of technology at the point of need. The library media specialists collaborate with classroom teachers, as well as with the community library to ensure the highest quality services to students and school staff. The success of the district's school library media program is evidenced in the enthusiasm and engagement shown by students as they participate in inquiry-based learning and in the glowing teacher reviews highlighting the importance of library media specialists in breathing life into teaching. The Superintendent of Schools, Richard J. Hawkins, clearly states the district's commitment to their library media program in the application letter: “In an age where the speedy acquisition of relevant information and the ability to astutely and accurately process that information equates with success, the library must be the focal point of school transformation efforts. There is no better way to facilitate student success and life-long learning and to assure educational equity and opportunity than through the school library program.”

Downers Grove South High School in Downers Grove, Ill. has been named one of two Single School Category winners for 2005. The school library media program serves 3,259 students and focuses on their needs and interests, not only as learners, but also as members of the school community. In meeting these needs, the library media program has fundamentally redefined itself to develop its services around a technology-supported curriculum. The value that both the teachers and the library media specialists place on the importance of collaboration is evidenced by a quote from the staff: “Collaboration is our strength. We are blessed with the benefits of engaging in collaboration every single day.” This value was emphasized by teachers, administrators, students, and community members who identified their library media specialists as “teachers first.” The welcoming atmosphere of the library media center and the important role it plays in the life of all students, together with strong collaboration between library media specialists and teachers, raises the Downers Grove South High School library media program to the “superstar” rating – a full partner and leader in creating a vibrant, responsive, and student centered learning community.

Henry M. Brader Elementary School in Newark, Del., also has been named a winner in the Single School Category. Full integration into the community is the hallmark of this school library media program. The library media program, serving 920 students, is a source of growth and development for students, for teachers, for the community, and for the school curriculum. Collaboration between library media specialists and teachers covers all subject areas and includes the development of projects across grade levels. “It would be phenomenal if all schools had a power library like ours,” was the comment of one Henry Brader parent. The quality of the school library media program is demonstrated by the impact this one school is having on its district – the Henry Brader library media program is seen as a model for other schools, and teachers who leave Henry Brader want their new schools to move to the “power library” model.

The AASL National School Library Media Program of the Year Awards will be presented at a ceremony and luncheon held on Monday, June 27, during the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Special guest speaker is the six-time Emmy-award winner and two-time Caldecott Honor recipient author/illustrator Mo Willems, sponsored by Hyperion Press. For more information about the event, please visit the AASL web site

The American Association of School Librarians
www.ala.org/aasl, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), 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.