Robert E. Lee High School named National School Library Program of the Year

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/10/2018


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Robert E. Lee High School, located in Springfield, Virginia, is the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) 2018 National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) Award recipient. Sponsored by Follett, the NSLPY Award annually recognizes a single school or district-wide school library program that meets the needs of the changing school and library environment and is fully integrated into the school's curriculum. The recipient receives an obelisk – the symbol of school library excellence – and $10,000 toward its school library program.

Robert E. Lee High School is an accredited International Baccalaureate (IBO) World School that serves more than 1,700 students in grades 9-12. The school’s mission is to prepare students to be global citizens by challenging them academically; connecting school learning to their future; and providing a safe, supportive and nurturing environment. The Lee school library and school librarians Mimi Marquet and Lisa Koch are critical pieces of ensuring the mission succeeds.

“Ms. Marquet and Ms. Koch ensure every student achieves the outcomes of our ‘Portrait of a Graduate’ framework by crafting student-centered, equitable learning experiences that address the needs and interests of each student,” wrote Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Braband in his letter of support. “Their use of an inquiry approach to learning and their leadership in blended learning has increased student engagement and fostered a deeply collaborative culture among instructional staff. They are leaders who create a dynamic library atmosphere that engages the entire school community.”

To engage learners, Marquet and Koch recently developed a school-wide Hour of Code event and went further by creating curriculum for classes with and without devices. Instructions for the event were provided in multiple languages so that every student could fully participate. The co-librarians also recruited all social studies teachers and students to participate in a service-learning opportunity that included writing letters of gratitude to active duty military or veterans; the letters were sent to a non-profit to be included in care packages.

Marquet and Koch were also responsible for coordinating the school-wide reading program designed to foster a sense of community. Every student and staff member was given a copy of Congressman John Lewis’s Civil Rights memoir “March.” Beyond leading book discussions, the school librarians developed monthly supporting lessons for teachers, created videos, and established an art installation.

“It was such a great pleasure to be able to go and view such a strong and vibrant library program such as the one that Mimi and Lisa have developed at Robert E. Lee High School,” said Ken Stewart, award committee chair. “When asked to describe the program, teachers and administrators both shared one common thought – infiltrating! As they discussed the program, we could see how the library was infused –  actually infiltrated – into every corner of the school community. It's seeing spirited and energetic school library programs such as this that makes me proud to be a school librarian!”

AASL President Steven Yates added his compliments, “Congratulations to Robert E. Lee High School on the rare achievement of being named the National School Library Program of the Year! This honor recognizes a commitment to excellence in providing equitable access to diverse collections and literacy leadership throughout the community. I look forward to celebrating with you this June in New Orleans!”

The AASL award winners will be honored at the AASL Awards Ceremony & President’s Program during the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The ceremony will be held from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 23. All are welcome to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers during this recognition event.

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

About Follett’s PreK-12 Business |
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.

About Follett Corporation 
Follett is a $3.4 billion privately held company headquartered in Westchester, Illinois. As a leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett's reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets.