NSLMPY Award winners announced

Contact: Melissa Jones

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

May 12, 2008

NSLMPY Award winners announced

CHICAGO – Luella Elementary School and Simsbury High School have been announced as the winners of the 2008 National School Library Media Program of the Year (NSLMPY) Award, presented by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The winners will receive their prestigious awards at the AASL Awards Luncheon during the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Luella Elementary School (LES), a four-year-old K-5 public school in Locust Grove, Ga., serves 1,010 students. LES recognizes its library media program as the "center of the school and community through a strong collection of books and materials to support the curriculum, professional resources, parenting resources and pleasure reading." "Immediately upon entering Luella Elementary School, it is evident through architectural design and philosophy that the media center serves as the 'hub of learning' for the school," said Jack Parish, superintendent of Henry County Schools.

The goals of the LES library media center are to: (1) meet and exceed standards in reading; (2) encourage parental support; (3) seek community support; (4) create an internal climate and (5) offer each visitor a safe and orderly environment.

Fran Roscello, NSLYMPY chair, said, "Luella Elementary School Library Media Program supports the many-faceted curriculum with an inviting and engaging atmosphere and culture. The various centers of interest engage the students and invite them to pursue their individual interests. The library media specialist and her support staff, with strong administrative and parental support, have developed a program that invites students to explore and enjoy reading and information seeking in an open flexible environment."

Also named a 2008 NSLMPY award winner, Simsbury High School in Simsbury, Conn., with a student enrollment of 1,571, is home to the Joe Townsley Library and Media Center (JTLMC). The mission of JTLMC is to help all students become active readers of print and online information and become effective users of ideas and information. JTLMC's primary responsibility is to implement the school's academic policy that students will use creative and critical thinking to conduct inquiry-oriented research.

On the decision to award the NSLYMPY to Simsbury High, Fran Roscello stated, "The Simsbury High School library media program is to be commended for its innovative approach to assuring all students are information literate. Through students' social studies and science classes all students have Assured Experiences in Information Literacy. These assured experiences are collaborative lessons taught by the school's library media specialists and classroom teachers which meet state and local standards."

Principal Neil J. Sullivan said, "…Our media specialists have spearheaded initiatives related to free, voluntary reading – greatly expanding our fiction collection and cooperating with teachers to bring more students into contact with the media center's resources. The Joe Townsley Library Media Center has truly become an integral part of our school's mission focused on academic excellence and development of 21st-Century skills." Classroom teachers, library media specialists, curriculum specialists and technology integrators collaboratively develop the activities and the collection.

Established in 1963, the NSLMPY Award honors school library media programs practicing their commitment to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information, as well as exemplifying implementation of
Information Power. The award recognizes exemplary school library media programs that are fully integrated into the school's curriculum. Each winning program receives an obelisk and a $10,000 prize donated by Follett Library Resources. Although generally there is also a district winner, this year only single schools were awarded.

To gain insights from programs that have won the NSLMPY Award, check out the new book "Leadership for Excellence: Insights of the National School Library Media Program of the Year Award Winners," edited by Jo Ann Carr for AASL. This book will be available in June 2008 at the ALA store <
http://www.alastore.ala.org/SiteSolution.taf?_sn=catalog2&_pn=product_detail&_op=2581>. The 2009 NSLMPY applications will be posted to the AASL Web site at
www.ala.org/aasl/awards by August 15. The deadline is January 2, 2009.

The AASL Awards Luncheon will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, June 30, at the Marriott Hotel-Anaheim. The fee to attend is $49. Special guest speaker for the event is award-winning author Wendy Mass. For more information about this event and more AASL programs in Anaheim, visit

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, 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.