AASL awards six Inspire Collection Development Grants

For Immediate Release
Fri, 04/12/2019


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)

American Library Association



CHICAGO – Six school libraries from across the country have been awarded American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) Inspire Collection Development Grants. Made possible by the generosity of AASL member Marina “Marney” Welmers, the grant program provides funds for public middle or high school libraries to update their existing collections to enhance student learning.

The Inspire Collection Development Grant provides funds to extend, update, and diversify a school’s book, online, subscription and/or software collections to improve student achievement. Public school libraries may apply for up to $5,000, and up to $20,000 per year is awarded annually. The 2019 recipients include:

  • Sean Casey, Northeast Middle School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Melissa Iamonico, Sprain Brook Academy, Valhalla, New York
  • Lauren Mabry, Andrew Lewis Middle School, Salem, Virginia
  • Holly Schwarzmann, Largo Middle School, Largo, Florida
  • Ness Shortley, Horton Middle School, Pittsboro, North Carolina
  • Mae-Lynn Smith, Great Oaks Charter School Wilmington, Wilmington, Delaware

“The committee would like to pass along a hearty thank you to Marney for sponsoring this grant,” said John Byrnes, grant committee chair. “Grant funds will provide a wide variety of collection building. One school will refresh and renew their nonfiction section to push broader interdisciplinary reading, while another program in the Westchester County Jail will use funds to purchase magazines and paperbacks in order to help students access high interest fiction and current events. Another grant will support building out a collection to meet the circulation needs of a significantly increased English Language Learner population while another will enable a middle school library and ethnic studies class collaborate in diversifying their existing collection. It is Marney’s generosity that will allow these schools to continue to build and renew.”

The AASL award winners will be honored at the AASL Awards Ceremony during the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. All are welcome to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers during this recognition event.

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