For immediate release | April 6, 2016

Kate Lechtenberg receives AASL Frances Henne Award

CHICAGO – Kate Lechtenberg, school librarian in Ankeny Community Schools located in Des Moines, Iowa, is the recipient of the 2016 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Frances Henne Award. Sponsored by ABC-CLIO, the $1,250 award recognizes a school librarian with five years or less experience who demonstrates leadership qualities with students, teachers and administrators, to attend an AASL National Conference or ALA Annual Conference for the first time.

After working nearly a decade as a literacy and English teacher, Lechtenberg earned her master’s in library and information science from the University of Iowa in 2011. In 2012 she accepted the position of school librarian at Northview Middle School where she strives to provide a vibrant learning space for 850 8th & 9th grade students.

“I am finally finding my niche,” Lechtenberg wrote in her application. “For me, everything comes together in the library: the books, the big ideas, the questions, the ability to break beyond the boxes of the classroom. Working as a teacher librarian library gives me a wide-angle lens on learning and I have been affirmed even more in my belief that research, reading, and writing processes are the foundations of learning and engaging critically with our world.”

Outside of school, Lechtenberg currently serves as the professional development chair for the Iowa Association of School Librarians and as a member of the AASL standards and guidelines implementation task force. She finds the work of the task force “immense and invigorating” as she works with colleagues to develop a plan to support states, school systems and individual schools implementation AASL’s new learning standards and program guidelines.

“Kate Lechtenberg was a unanimous choice due to her impressive service record and obvious commitment to the field,” said Krista Britton, award committee chair. “Although she’s only in her 4th year as a librarian, she is already a leader in the field, serving in both her state organization and at the national level. Kate has also established a dynamic library setting in her school that embraces diverse programming including makerspaces and active researching, all while fostering a love of reading with students through ongoing collaboration and co-teaching with her peers.”

“I look forward to the next few years as I settle into the complementary paths I have begun travelling,” Lechtenberg explains. “My professional life has always been very much a work in progress, but for the first time, I feel convicted that I am headed in the right direction for me: one that will allow me to contribute to students, libraries, schools and educational research to the best of my ability.”

The AASL award winners will be honored at the AASL Awards Ceremony during the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orland. The ceremony will be held from 9 – 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 25. 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.


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)