The Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming recognizes excellence in humanities programming in libraries that serve children in grades K-8.
The $5,000 award, presented annually by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, is sponsored by the American Library Association’s Cultural Communities Fund in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).
Applications for the 2022-2023 cycle are now closed. To be notified about other grant opportunities from ALA's Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian newsletter.
What counts as a humanities program?
The humanities program can be focused in many subject areas, including, but not limited to, social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language, and culture.
Programs should focus on broadening perspectives and helping students understand the wider world and their place in it.
The humanities program should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of the library program in advancing the overall educational goals of the school.
What types of libraries and programs are eligible?
U.S. school libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K-8 are eligible, provided the library is staffed by a state-certified librarian. Libraries are encouraged to self-nominate.
Nominated programs must have taken place during the current school year. Programs that are still in progress as of the award deadline are eligible.
Who was Sara Jaffarian?
Sara Jaffarian was a dedicated school librarian and longtime ALA member. She began her career as a librarian in the public school system of Quincy, Massachusetts. She later served as the director of libraries for the Greensboro Public Schools in North Carolina and the Supervisor of Libraries for the Seattle Public Schools in Washington. Read more about Mrs. Jaffarian.
What is the award?
The Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award is an annual award to a school library that has conducted an exemplary program or program series in the humanities during the current school year. It consists of (1) a $5,000 cash award; (2) a crystal award; and (3) the promotion of the winner as a model program for other school libraries.
To be notified about other grant opportunities from ALA's Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian newsletter.
Who are the past winners?
Get inspired by these winning programs
- 2022: Saint Marys (Penn.) Area Middle School (View a free webinar with librarian Ellen Stolarski and other school staff about St. Marys Middle School's award-winning program, Empathizing with Teens in Trauma: An Exploration of the Terezin Ghetto/Camp)
- 2021: Shawnee (Okla.) Middle School (View a free webinar with librarian Carol Jones about Shawnee Middle School's award-winning program, Teaching the Tulsa Race Massacre with Guided Inquiry Design)
- 2020: Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School (View a free webinar with Anne Armhein, previous media and instructional technology specialist at Batesville Intermediate School about the award-winning Junior Ambassadors program)
- 2019: Wyoming (Ohio) Middle School (View a free webinar with media/technology specialist Karen Reiber and social studies teacher Jamie Hayner about their award-winning Poverty and Philanthropy Class.)
- 2018: Danville (Ark.) Public Schools (View a free webinar with librarian Kelly Klober about her award-winning program, Tales of the Crypt.)
- 2017: Pilot Mountain (N.C.) Elementary School (View a free webinar with librarian Amy Harpe about her award-winning program, Everybody Has a Story)
- 2016: Friends Seminary, New York, New York
- 2014: Perry Meridian Middle School, Indianapolis, Indiana
- 2013: Meadowbrook School of Weston, Weston, Massachusetts
- 2012: Inter-American Magnet School, Chicago, Illinois
- 2011: Harmony Middle School, Overland Park, Kansas
- 2010: Jefferson Elementary School, Elmhurst, Illinois
- 2009: The Carroll Academy for International Studies, Houston, Texas
- 2008: Woodsdale Elementary School, Wheeling, West Virginia
- 2007: Central Elementary School, Wilmette, Illinois