For immediate release | April 16, 2013

Keith Curry Lance receives AASL Distinguished Service Award

CHICAGO — Keith Curry Lance is the 2013 recipient of the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1978 and sponsored by Baker and Taylor, the 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.

Lance was nominated by Dr. Christie Koontz, who said “In my opinion, after twenty years of working with Keith Curry Lance, there is no one more deserving and I am honored to be the one to nominate someone such as Keith.” The chair of the awards committee, Violet Harada, adds, “As a passionate and articulate advocate for libraries, Dr. Lance has validated what we inherently knew was good in our profession and he continues to challenge all of us to strive for excellence.”

A Ph.D. sociologist, Lance has devoted his statistical training to America’s children by working with libraries and library organizations, primarily those relating to school and public libraries. He was the founding director of the Library Research Service of the Colorado State Library. He continued to work as a consultant after retirement, both independently and in association with the RSL Research Group. He has worked with library groups as a survey researcher, statistician, data analyst and conference and workshop speaker/facilitator.

A prolific writer, Lance has authored more than two dozen monographs, most studies of the educational or general social impact of libraries. He has also authored or co-authored more than 50 articles in major library publications, including AASL’s peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research, American Libraries, Library Journal, Library and Information Science Research, School Library Monthly and Teacher Librarian.

“Over twenty years ago, Keith Curry Lance set the trajectory for scholarly research focusing on the impact of school libraries in the United States,” said Harada. “His work continues to be the bedrock upon which other studies build and his landmark efforts have had a profound impact on the definition of a quality school library program. It has influenced legislative action and program improvements across the nation.”

Lance has served on the AASL Research and Statistics Committee as both member and chair, as well as other research-related committees of the American Library Association (ALA) and several divisions. Additionally, he shared his expertise on committees devoted to library research and statistics associated with several federal agencies, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Lance and other AASL award recipients will be honored at AASL's Awards Luncheon during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The luncheon will be held Monday, July 1. Ticket information can be found on the AASL website at

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