Sara Jaffarian Award recognizes excellence in school library programming

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications



For Immediate Release

September 22, 2009

Nominations accepted through Dec.15

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is now accepting nominations for the 2009 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. School libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K-8 and conducted humanities programs during the 2008-2009 school year are eligible. Applications and award guidelines are available at To be considered, nominations must be received by the ALA Public Programs Office by Dec. 15.

The award consists of a $4,000 honorarium and a plaque, to be presented at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the winning program will be promoted as a model program for other school libraries. To be considered, applicant libraries must have conducted a humanities program or program series during the prior school year (2008-2009). The humanities program can be focused in many subject areas, including but not limited to social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language and culture. Programs should focus on broadening perspectives and helping students understand the wider world and their place in it. They should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of the library program in advancing the overall educational goals of the school.

The Sara Jaffarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize and promote excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle school (K-8) libraries. It is presented annually by the Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), and named for Sara Jaffarian, whose donation to ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund established the award. Jaffarian, a retired school librarian and long-time ALA member, spent her career passionately advocating for school libraries in every school. The Sara Jaffarian Award is selected annually by a committee comprising members of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (PCPAC) and AASL. For more information on the Sara Jaffarian award, visit

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help all types of libraries develop and host cultural programs for adults, young adults, children and families. For more information about the Public Programs Office, the ALA Cultural Communities Fund and its Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Sara Jaffarian Award, please visit the Public Programs Office Web site at