Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award - Frequently Asked Questions

"Recognizing outstanding humanities programming" with image of three students

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Questions

Preparing your application

Q. May I preview the award application before completing it?
A. Yes. You may download a PDF of the application for reference; the application process is also covered in detail in the guidelines.

Q. May applications be submitted in hard copy?
A. No. Applications must be submitted online via ALA Apply by 11:59 pm (CT) on May 1, 2024. Applications that are late or incomplete will not be reviewed. If you encounter problems interacting with our online grants management platform due to difficulties with assistive technologies, please contact or call 312.280.5045. Please also include information about the nature of your accessibility barrier so we can best provide support.

Q. This is my first time applying for a grant through your grants management system. How do I use it?
A: For more information about using our grants management system, please visit our How to Apply webpage.

Q. Are letters of support required?
A. Yes. Applicants must submit at least 2 letters of support, including one from a district administrator and one from a community organization.

Q. Who should my letters of support be addressed to?
A. You can address any letters of support to the ALA Public Programs Office.

Q. What do you mean by certifying official?
A. The certifying official who signs off on your application should be anyone with your institution who is able to submit applications for funding. This may vary depending on the institution but is typically an administrator or principal of your school, a school district official or another school official responsible for administering grants and awards at your school or district.

Q. Can the certifying official be the same person as the project director and/or the person submitting the application?
A. Yes. The certifying official can be the same person listed as the project director and/or the person submitting the proposal as long as they are able to submit applications for funding on behalf of their institution.

Q. Can I edit my application after it has been submitted?
A. No. Applications cannot be edited after they are submitted.


Q. What types of libraries are eligible?
A. U.S. school libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K-12 are eligible, provided the library is staffed by a state-certified librarian.

Q. Can I submit an application on behalf of my own program?
A. Yes! Libraries are encouraged to self-nominate.

Q. My program runs through the end of the school year, so we will still be in progress at the time of the application deadline. Is it still eligible?
A. Yes, programs that are still in progress as of the award deadline are eligible.

Q. Can I apply using a program from a previous school year?
A. No. Nominated programs must have taken place during the current school year.

Q. Can the program be something that was offered virtually?
A. Yes! Virtual programs are eligible.

Q. Are there any limitations to the types of programs that can be proposed?
A. The program must be 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.

Timeline/Review Process

Q. How many programs will be awarded?
A. One school library will be selected to receive the award.

Q. How will my proposal be reviewed?
A. Proposals will be assessed and selected by the Sara Jaffarian award committee. The committee consists of a Chair, appointed by AASL; Chair-elect, appointed by AASL; a member of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC); and a member of the Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (PCPAC).

Q. How will I be notified about the status of my application?
A. You will receive a confirmation email as soon as your application is submitted. All applicants will be notified of their award status via email by June 7, 2024.

Award Information

Q. What will my library receive if selected for the Sara Jaffarian award?
A. One library will receive $5,000 and a crystal award.

Q. What will be required if my library is selected?
A. You will be asked to promote your program as a model through a webinar hosted through the Programming Librarian website ( in the Fall/Winter of 2024.

Additional Questions

Q. I have additional questions about my application. Who can I contact?
A. Call the ALA Public Programs Office with any application or grant-related questions: (312) 280-5045 or toll free at (800) 545-2433 x 5045. You can also send an e-mail to