AASL presents 2005 awards recipients

Contact: Kathy Agarwal

AASL, Communications Officer

Phone: 312-280-4381

Fax: 312-664-7459
For Immediate Release

May 13, 2005

AASL presents 2005 awards recipients

CHICAGO - The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce the 2005 recipients of its annual awards.

AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award of $2,500 has been awarded to Valerie Edwards, a school library media specialist at Monona (Wis.) Grove High School. The Collaborative School Library Media Award, sponsored by the Sagebrush Corporation, recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school library media specialists and teachers in meeting goals outlined in Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning through joint planning of a program, unit or event in support of the curriculum and using media center resources.

AASL/Highsmith Research Grant has been awarded to a research project titled “School Virtual Libraries: The Influence of Best Practices on High School Students' Information Seeking,” submitted by Joyce Valenza from Rydal, Pa. The grant, sponsored by The Highsmith Co., Inc., was established in 1993 to conduct innovative research aimed at measuring and evaluating the impact of school library media programs on learning and education. The monetary award is up to $5,000, based on research expenses.

ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant up to $1,750 is given to school library media associations that are AASL affiliates for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional, or local levels. The 2005 grant, donated by ABC-CLIO Schools, has been awarded to the Wisconsin Educational Media Association ( WEMA ).

Rebecca Bingham, a past president of AASL and a leader in ALA and state library organizations, is the recipient of the
Distinguished Service Award, sponsored by Baker & Taylor. The $3,000 award recognizes an individual member of the library profession who has, over a significant period of time, made an outstanding national contribution to school librarianship and school library development.

Michael Hart, a principal at the Holy Rosary School in Tacoma, Wash., is the recipient of the
Distinguished School Administrator Award, sponsored by SIRS/ProQuest. An award of $2,000 is given to a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of an exemplary school library media center and to advancing the role of the school library media center in the educational program.

Frances Henne Award has been awarded to John McDonald from Connersville Middle School in Hagerstown, Ind. The award, sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, is given to a school library media specialist with five or fewer years in the field, to attend an American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference or AASL National Conference for the first time.

Ann Ewbank is the recipient of the
Intellectual Freedom Award for fighting book removals and making changes in access to materials for students at Cholla Middle School in Phoenix, Ariz. The award, $2,000 to the recipient and $1,000 to the media center of the recipient's choice, sponsored by ProQuest, is given for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by AASL and the American Library Association.

National School Library Media Program of the Year Award is sponsored by Follett Library Resources. Winners receive a crystal obelisk and $10,000 ($30,000 total) in three categories. The award recognizes school districts and single schools for exemplary school library media programs that are fully integrated into the school's curriculum. The 2005 award has been given to William Floyd School District in Mastic Beach, N.Y. in the Large School District category, and to Downers Grove (Ill.) South High School and Henry Brader Elementary in Newark, Del., in the Single School category (tie).

School Librarian's Workshop Scholarship, which provides financial assistance for the professional education of a person who plans to become a school library media specialist, was awarded to Elizabeth Fisher, of Radnor, Pa., a graduate of Wheaton College. The $3,000 scholarship is donated by Jay W. Toor, president of Library Learning Resources.

The AASL awards will be presented to the winners during 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 on 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.