SLJ’s School Librarian of the Year

An annual award presented by School Library Journal (SLJ) and sponsored by Scholastic Library Publishing The School Librarian of the Year Award honors a K–12 library professional for outstanding achievement and the exemplary use of 21st-century tools and services to engage children and teens toward fostering multiple literacies.


SLJ School Librarian of the Year AwardTo be considered, applicants must meet state requirements for school library media certification and be currently employed in a media specialist, teacher librarian or equivalent position. He or she can be working in either a public or private school at a site level—supervisors or managers of library programs (including at a district or regional level) are not eligible.

The winning school librarian will receive a $2,500 cash award, plus $2,500 worth of print and digital materials from Scholastic Library Publishing, and be profiled in a feature article in the September 2016 issue of SLJ. Two finalists will each receive $500 in materials of their choice from Scholastic Library Publishing and be featured with the winner in online multimedia articles for, sharing practical tips on best practices, including video content and screencast tutorials.

Kristina Holzweiss, 2015 School Librarian of the Year, shares her experience

Judging, criteria: A panel comprised of SLJ editors; Evan St. Lifer, VP Digital Initiatives, New Business Development, Scholastic Library Publishing; Kristina Holzweiss, 2015 School Librarian of the Year; and a school administrator will judge nominations per the following criteria:

  • Exemplary service to fulfill the needs of students and school community
  • Creativity in programming and use of content
  • Collaboration with teacher peers, staff, and administrators
  • Effective integration of library services with curricula
  • Demonstrated student engagement
  • Exemplary use of technology tools
  • Outreach to parents, families
  • Effective promotion of the library and what it offers

Application: A written statement of up to two pages describing the award nominee and the services implemented must demonstrate how the librarian’s accomplishments fulfill the award criteria above. Provide context regarding the school and its library, including:

  • A description of library services and how they are delivered (i.e. scheduling)
  • The size and makeup of library media center resources, including staff
  • Budget information (school and library, and technology funding)
  • The physical plant (include approximate square footage of library)
  • Student demographics
  • A description of the community served
  • Two letters of recommendation must also accompany the application.
  • Photographs, video, links, including related blog posts and press coverage, and other supportive material, may also be submitted but will be considered supplementary.

Applicants can nominate themselves. Supporters (i.e. administrators, peers, institutions) can also nominate a librarian for the award. But due to the responsibilities of the winner/finalists (the production of related content for SLJ), the nominee must be aware of the application and attendant responsibilities of participation.

2016 School Librarian of the Year

2015 School Librarian of the Year

On EDU@Scholastic:

Scholastic Librarians on Facebook

Scholastic Reads Podcast

Scholastic Administr@tor magazine

As much as possible, please send submissions in an electronic format such as a Word document or a PDF via email to

Key dates:

  • Nominations open: March 21
  • Nominations close: May 20
  • Judging: June
  • Final decision: July 1
  • Winners profiled in SLJ: September