For immediate release | March 24, 2017

AASL introduces the Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant

CHICAGO – Through the generous donation of Marina “Marney” Welmers, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is pleased to offer the Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant, a grant to support public, middle or high school libraries that have incurred damage or hardship due to a natural disaster, fire or an act recognized by the federal government as terrorism. The grant also provides funding to schools impacted by an increase in enrollment due to displaced/evacuee students.

"When disaster strikes and a school library is damaged or destroyed, children lose more than books and other resources,” said Welmers, an AASL member and retired middle school librarian. “They lose dreams and escapes, explorations and inspirations, connections and validations, growth and depth, opportunities to learn, create, and understand. However, while these losses affect students, teachers, and parents profoundly, the library collection does not rank very high among the priorities of a school struggling in the aftermath of such an experience. Thus, the purpose of this grant is to provide the seeds, if not the total solutions, for the restoration of this vital key to learning and teaching."

A total of $30,000 in funding is available each year. Grant amounts awarded to applicants will be dependent on several variables, including: total number of applicants, geographic distribution and total unmet need. Grant funds can be used to replace or supplement books, media and/or library equipment. A jury will determine the final grant amount.

“The school library is the heart and hub of the school’s learning community,” said Audrey Church, AASL president. “It provides access not only to the resources and tools required for learning, but also to a warm, thought-provoking, and safe environment in which learning can take place. Through Marney’s generosity, students experiencing fear and uncertainty will once again have access to a familiar safe haven and quality resources. We cannot thank Marney enough for her support of our students.”

Criteria, eligibility, and application requirements can be found at

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)