In 2007, Norman Public Schools won AASL’s National School Library Media Program of the Year Award in the district category. While the name and description of the award have changed to reflect important new directions in school library practice and standards, the magnitude of the experience has not diminished for me. Applying for AASL awards and grants is an experience like no other: intense, reflective, exciting, reaffirming, informative, hopeful, promising, and full of future-casting. I highly recommend applying for an AASL award or grant as it provides an opportunity to look deeply at your school library and its impact on your learning community. The process helped our district identify how we were transforming teaching and learning. More importantly it empowered us to formulate next steps in our trajectory to better serve our learners and evolve our practice to be relevant and viable—to literally become the catalyst of a change for deeper learning.
People pay attention to national awards; this kind of positive recognition turns heads. Superintendents, principals, school boards, colleagues, parents, and stakeholders all notice. An award is the hallmark of elevated, exemplary, and enlightened work; a touchstone if you will. Being honored as an award winner opens doors for you within the larger education community, making your work credible and visible to others. One surprising benefit of applying for an AASL award or grant is the confidence the application process gives you as you reflect on your school library practice and share your passion and excitement about the work you do every day.
The application period for AASL awards and grants is now open. Is your learner-ready school library ready for a win?
Descriptions, criteria and applications for the awards and grants are described at the links below. The awards and grants deadline is February 1, 2019. Applications are now open for:
- Affiliate of the Year Award
- Collaborative School Library Award
- Distinguished School Administrator Award
- Distinguished Service Award
- Frances Henne Award
- Intellectual Freedom Award
- National School Library of the Year Award
- Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award
- ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant
- Beyond Words: Dollar General School Library Relief Fund
- Innovative Reading Grant
- Inspire Collection Development Grant
- Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant
- Inspire Special Event Grant
- Past-Presidents Planning Grant for National School Library Standards
- The Ruth Toor Grant for Strong Public School Libraries
Author: Kathryn Roots Lewis
AASL President 2018-2019