For immediate release | August 21, 2023

AASL Commends the As Told By Foundation

CHICAGO – Acting upon a resolution submitted by the Ohio Educational Library Media Association (OELMA) the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) formally commends the As Told By Foundation. The foundation is one of twenty outstanding programs, events, and products recognized in 2023 for their support of the school librarian profession and the learners the profession serves.

The As Told By Foundation raises funds to collect and distribute Black literature to Black youth, provides volunteers who read culturally relevant literature, offers an after-school program for students, and hosts a free book fair with the philosophy that every kid should have access to books, no matter their family's income. The foundation is recognized for increasing local awareness of the importance of literacy and reading engagement through its efforts to partner with Cincinnati Public Schools to amplify the voices of Black youth.

"OELMA awarded the As Told By Foundation its 2023 Literacy Leader Award and nominated it for a 2023 AASL Commendation for championing literacy in Greater Cincinnati,” said Gayle Schmuhl, OELMA President. “Launched in 2020, the As Told By Foundation has donated over 2,500 new books by Black authors that feature Black characters to school children. The books range from fantasy to drama, comedy to adventure, and they truly show young Black people in a creative way. These books have made students excited to read and learn because they feel like they are reading about themselves.”

AASL President Courtney Pentland added, “The commendations brought forth by AASL Chapters this year are representative of the amazing programs and advocacy efforts happening across the country in support of school libraries, school librarians, and the learners we all serve. I am grateful for organizations like those honored this year that also support literacy and intellectual freedom as these are essential skills and rights for everyone in our communities. We are definitely stronger together, and, through valuable partnerships like these, we can continue to help our learners build a foundation for a better tomorrow.”

All AASL Chapters are eligible to nominate outstanding programs, events, and products for national recognition. To be commended, nominees must align with the principles expressed in the AASL's mission and value statements. The full list of 2023 commendations can be found on the AASL website.

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


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Members & Chapters

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)