Carolyn Foote receives AASL Collaborative School Library Award

For Immediate Release
Mon, 04/01/2019


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Carolyn Foote, school librarian at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, is the recipient of the 2019 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Collaborative School Library Award. Sponsored by Upstart, the $2,500 award recognizes school librarian and teacher collaboration during the development and implementation of a curriculum-supporting program using school library resources.

The project, Art History Independent Study, was a collaboration between Foote and Westlake's art history teacher, Melinda Darrow. Together, Foote and Darrow took two groups of students on a field trip to Washington, D.C., to use the Smithsonian Museum libraries and the Library of Congress to deepen the students' research skills. Many students were allowed access to vertical files in the Smithsonian Museum libraries containing ephemera to conduct research on their chosen artist, art piece, movement, or time period. Other students accessed original source material preserved in microfiche and available only on-site at the Library of Congress. Upon returning to Texas, students then used their research to write their thesis.  

"While the committee read many exciting applications, the testimonials submitted by students in support of this collaboration helped to cement our decision," said Susan D. Ballard, award committee chair. "It was clear that not only had a significant joint effort in the design and implementation of this project occurred, but that the learning results were truly life-altering for participants. While we recognize that not all schools may have the means to completely replicate this project, we believe that it will inspire others to look within their own communities for extended opportunities that engage and connect students with real-world research in a specific discipline."

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 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 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,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.