Arlen Kimmelman to build agents of change with inaugural Ruth Toor Grant

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/12/2015


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Arlen Kimmelman, school librarian at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill, N.J., is the recipient of the inaugural Ruth Toor Grant for Strong Public School Libraries. Sponsored by Jay Toor, the grant provides funding for the creation and implementation of a local public awareness/marketing campaign that promotes and positions the school library as a necessary resource in the community. The grant includes $3,000 for project creation and implementation and $2,000 for both the school librarian and a school official to attend the AASL 17th National Conference & Exhibition in November 2015.

With support from her teacher colleagues, Kimmelman will solicit student volunteers from the high school’s marketing, broadcasting and media classes. The students will analyze data collected from various stakeholder groups and align the stakeholders’ needs with the school library’s activities and resources. The students will also research marketing avenues available to the school and utilized by local constituents. The project will produce PSAs and marketing materials and will incorporate an open house event that will include an author visit, reading assistance dogs, a student art exhibit and a school librarian themed trivia game show.

“Arlen Kimmelman’s plan was outstanding,” said Hilda Weisburg, award committee chair.  “It scrupulously defined each aspect as required by the award and included an extremely broad range of stakeholders. What the committee liked best was the potential to replicate the project in other locations. Arlen describes five different programs to be held throughout the year. Other school librarians can recreate all of these programs, or if they want to start on a smaller scale, choose one.”

The AASL award winners will be honored at the AASL Awards Ceremony during the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. The ceremony will be held from 9 – 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 27. All are welcome to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers during this recognition event taking place prior to the AASL President’s Program.

The American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.