Barbara Stripling Wins Scholastic Library Publishing Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/27/2021


Cheryl M Malden

Program Officer


American Library Association


CHICAGO – Barbara Stripling has been named the 2021 winner of ALA’s Scholastic Library Publishing Award. The award, supported by the Scholastic Publishing Company, recognizes a librarian whose unusual contribution to the stimulation and guidance of reading by children and young people exemplifies outstanding achievement in the profession.

Stripling is being honored for her many outstanding contributions to the advancement of literacy and lifelong learning. Over her long career, she has served as a school librarian, director of library services for New York’s New Visions for Public Schools, school library system director of the New York City Public Schools, and associate professor of practice at the Syracuse University iSchool, where she completed her Doctorate of Professional Studies. She has recently retired and now serves as professor emerita. She has served as president of ALA, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), and the New York Library Association (NYLA). She has served on many local and national committees and continues to be a strong advocate for school libraries, intellectual freedom, and information literacy.

As a published author, Stripling readily shares her knowledge and resources with others. While director of the New York City School Library System, she developed a School Librarian’s Handbook, a K-12 Information Fluency Continuum, Priority Benchmark Skills with grade-level assessments, and many other professional tools.  With input from the field, Stripling re-imagined and published a PK-12 Empire State Information Fluency Continuum in 2019.

She is the author/creator of the Stripling Model of Inquiry, designed to graphically represent the inquiry process. This model is used at the Library of Congress in conjunction with its Teaching with Primary Sources program. This collaboration continues to be an indispensable tool in the teaching of literacy and inquiry to students.

During her 2013-2014 term as president of the American Library Association, she served librarians in all types of libraries, supporting intellectual freedom, privacy rights, public funding, legislative action, community support and civic engagement using ‘Libraries Change Lives” as her leadership theme. To promote discussion of issues relating to libraries and librarians, Stripling and an ALA Advisory Committee developed “The Declaration for the Right to Libraries.” The document demonstrates the far-reaching role libraries play in in the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Stripling is the current president of the Freedom to Read Foundation. The Foundation (FTRF) is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association.  FTRF protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the “right of libraries to collect and individuals to access information.” She has been an outspoken advocate for intellectual freedom, believing that libraries belong to all people. Throughout her career, she has worked toward diversity, equity and equal access for everyone.

The jury believes thar Stripling represents the “Best of the Best” in the library profession. Her devotion to the stimulation and guidance of reading through inquiry is recognized by librarians across the country and around the world.

The annual award consists of $1,000 and a citation of achievement. The award will be presented at the virtual ALA Conference and Exhibition.

Members of the 2021 Scholastic Library Publishing Award Committee are: Chair Susan Hess, retired, Queens College, New York; Amanda Carr, head of youth services, ADA Public Library, Schaumburg, Illinois; Amy Dorsheimer, assistant head of children's services , Nevins Memorial Library, Methuen , Massachusetts; Caroline Ward, independent consultant, Cos Cob, Connecticut; and Marina Welmers, retired librarian, Tucson, Arizona.

More information about the Scholastic Library Publishing Award can be found here: