February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Build Something Bold Award Submissions Deadline Extended to May 11

EH_140211-BuildSomethingBoldAttention, creative librarians: the submissions deadline for SLJ ‘s Build Something Bold Award, sponsored by LEGO Education, has been extended to May 11. Open to elementary and middle school librarians, the award honors creativity in programming and lesson plans that incorporate hands-on learning and its meaningful infusion in the library or classroom as led by the librarian or media specialist.

The Grand Prize winner receives $2,500, along with a LEGO Education Classroom Pack. The first runner-up receives $1,000, while the Editor’s Choice nominee is awarded $500. Check out the official rules for entry.

SLJ/LEGO Education "Build Something Bold" Library Design Award winner prSLJ executive editor Kathy Ishizuka.

Holly Whitt (left) accepts her library’s 2014 Build Something Bold award from SLJ executive editor Kathy Ishizuka.

The Walnut Grove Elementary School library in Madison County, AL, took first place in the 2014 Awards. “Receiving the Build Something Bold Award has not only helped me transform my library, it has helped me continue to transform my instruction and professional practice,” says Walnut Grove librarian Holly Whitt. The library features a “digital diner” with tabletop “jukeboxes” of technology, including tablets and an afterschool computer science program involving Arduino and LEGO Education robotics kits.

“The award money is helping me move my makers space off of a cart and into its own section of the library that is student-friendly and multipurpose,” adds Whitt. “Since receiving the award, my professional network has enlarged as librarians across my state and the country have reached out to collaborate and share experiences.”

The 2014 runners-up were the Nimitz High School, in Irving, TX, which is a student-engineered space with tech tools, snacks, and a “Java Jungle,” and Kaechele Elementary School in Glen Allen, CA, which combined fitness, fun, and learning.


Build Something Bold 2014 runners-up: the Nimitz High School in Irving, TX (left), and the Kaechele Elementary School library in Glen Allen, CA (center). Right: the Adlai E. Stevenson High School library in Lincolnshire, IL.

The Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL, snagged the 2014 Editor’s Choice Award. This newly renovated, student-centered Information and Learning Center with amphitheater-style stairs combined an existing library and tutoring center.

“There is never enough time in a busy librarian’s day to get everything done that you want to accomplish, but I strongly encourage you to make time to apply for the Build Something Bold Award,” says Whitt. “Your students, your community, and you will be enriched and improved by the process.  The rest of us are waiting to hear about your creative programs and to learn from you, too!”

Building Literacy-Rich Communities
Hosted by Library Journal and School Library JournalStronger Together is a national gathering of thought leaders and innovators from across the country who will share where and how partnerships between school districts and public libraries are having success. Join us May 10–12 at the University of Nebraska Omaha, as we explore the impact these collaborations are having on the institutions, communities, and kids they serve.