For immediate release | July 17, 2012

AASL awards season opens with more than $50,000 in opportunities

CHICAGO — The American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) prestigious awards program will offer more than $50,000 in awards in 2013 to AASL members. AASL’s 10 awards recognize excellence and showcase best practices in the school library field in categories that include research, collaboration, leadership and innovation. AASL personal members are required to fill out applications using AASL’s online awards database. Recipients of awards and grants will be invited to the annual Awards luncheon and ceremony during the ALA 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago.

The 2013 AASL awards include the following:

  • The National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) Award, sponsored by Follett Library Resources, recognizes school districts and single schools for exemplary school library programs that are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum. Three winners receive a crystal obelisk and $10,000.
  • The Collaborative School Library Award, $2,500, sponsored by Highsmith, recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school librarians and teachers in meeting goals outlined in “Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs” through joint planning of a program, unit or event in support of the curriculum and using media center resources.
  • The AASL Research Grant, $2,500, is given to up to two school librarians, library educators, library information science or education professors to conduct innovative research aimed at measuring and evaluating the impact of school library programs on learning and education. This grant is sponsored by Capstone.
  • The ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant, up to $1,750, sponsored by ABC-CLIO, is given to school library associations that are AASL affiliates for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional or local levels.
  • The Distinguished Service Award, $3,000, sponsored by Baker &Taylor, 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.
  • The Distinguished School Administrator Award, $2,000, sponsored by ProQuest, is given to a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of an exemplary school library and to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program.
  • The Frances Henne Award, $1,250, sponsored by ABC-CLIO - Greenwood, enables a school librarian 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.
  • The Information Technology Pathfinder Award, $1,000 to the school librarian and $500 to the library, sponsored by Follett Software Company, recognizes and honors a school librarian who demonstrates vision and leadership through the use of information technology to build lifelong learners. There are two categories: Elementary and Secondary.
  • The Innovative Reading Grant, $2,500, sponsored by Capstone, is designed to fund literacy projects for grades K-9 that promote the importance of reading and facilitate literacy development by supporting current reading research, practice and policy.
  • The Intellectual Freedom Award, $2,000 to the winner and $1,000 to the school library of the winner’s choice, sponsored by ProQuest, is given for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by AASL and the ALA.

The deadline for submitting applications or nominations for most AASL awards and grants is Feb. 1, 2013. For the NSLPY award, the deadline is Jan. 1, 2013. All applications will close at 4:30 p.m. CST on the day of the deadline.

Applicants are encouraged to read all award and grant criteria on the AASL website before applying. Rating sheets are provided to give applicants an understanding of the items the award committee will use to base their scores. Questions about the application process should be directed to Melissa Jacobsen.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library 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 field.


Jennifer R Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)

800-545-2433 ext.4383