Applications Open for 2016 AASL Awards Program

Applications for AASL’s 2016 awards season are now available using AASL’s online awards application. AASL members are encouraged to nominate a colleague or themselves to be lauded for their outstanding talent and dedication to the profession as part of this prestigious program. AASL awards and grants recognize excellence and showcase best practices in the school library field in categories that include collaboration, leadership and innovation.

Applications are now open for:

  • the National School Library Program of the Year Award, $10,000 and a crystal obelisk, sponsored by Follett, recognizes a school library program that meets the needs of the changing school and library environment and are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum;
  • the Distinguished Service Award, $3,000, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, which recognizes an individual member of the library profession who has, over a significant period of time, made an outstanding national contribution to school librarianship and school library development;
  • the ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant, up to $1,750, sponsored by ABC-CLIO, which is given to school library associations that are AASL affiliates for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional or local levels;
  • the Collaborative School Library Award, $2,500, sponsored by Upstart, which recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school librarians and teachers in meeting goals outlined in “Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs” through joint planning of a program, unit or event in support of the curriculum and using media center resources;
  • the Distinguished School Administrator Award, $2,000, sponsored by ProQuest, which is given to a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of an exemplary school library and to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program;
  • the Frances Henne Award, $1,250, sponsored by ABC-CLIO, which enables a school librarian with five or fewer years in the field to attend an ALA Annual Conference or AASL National Conference for the first time;
  • the Innovative Reading Grant, $2,500, sponsored by Capstone, which is designed to fund literacy projects for grades K-9 that promote the importance of reading and facilitate literacy development by supporting current reading research, practice and policy;
  • the Intellectual Freedom Award, $2,000 to the winner and $1,000 to the school library of the winner’s choice, sponsored by ProQuest, which is given for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by AASL and the ALA;
  • the Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award, $2,000, a $5,000 book donation from and up to $1,000 in reimbursement towards travel and housing to attend the AASL awards presentation at the ALA Annual Conference; sponsored by Penguin Random House, the award recognizes AASL members who have collaboratively designed a lesson, event, or course of study on social justice exemplified by a character from Roald Dahl’s books;
  • The Ruth Toor Grant for Strong Public School Libraries, $$3,000 for project implementation and $2,000 for both the school librarian and school official (or volunteer parent) to attend the AASL national conference or the ALA Annual Conference; sponsored by Jay Toor, provides funding support for the creation and implementation of a local public awareness/marketing campaign that promotes and positions their school library as a necessary resource in the community.

Applications for the National School Library Program of the Year are due Jan. 1, 2016. All other applications or nominations are due Feb. 1, 2016. All applications will close at 4:30 p.m. CST on the day of the deadline.

Applicants are encouraged to read all award and grant criteria on the AASL website before applying. Rating sheets are provided to give applicants an understanding of the items the award committee will use to base their scores. Questions about the application process should be directed to Allison Cline at acline@ala.org.

Author: Jen Habley

Jen Habley is the AASL Manager of Web Communications. She manages the AASL websites, writes press releases, coordinates AASL’s online learning opportunities, and oversees AASL’s web 2.0 tools. When not working, Jen spends time researching her family tree, reading, and watching hockey.



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