February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

It’s the Final Stretch for SLJ’s 2017 School Librarian of the Year Award

With the submission deadline for SLJ‘s School Librarian of the Year Award coming up fast on Saturday, May 20, excitement at finding out “Who will it be this year?” is building.

It’s no wonder. The coveted honor may come with unique and valuable opportunities (well beyond the $5,000 total prize). Take the one Todd Burleson, our 2016 School Librarian of the Year, scored. At the SLJ Leadership Summit, held in October in Washington, DC, Todd, on his own initiative, did the necessary legwork to get an audience with none other than  Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

Meanwhile, our 2015 School Librarian of the Year, Kristina Holzweiss, has risen to the rank of Maker Diva, now a go-to professional for panels, programs….even toy ranking! Here’s her impression, in her own words, of the experience of being an SLJ School Librarian of the Year:

Media coverage of past winners has extended well beyond the pages of School Library Journal, making the honoree a local celebrity—and more importantly, drawing the attention of the winner’s administrators and community to the crucial work being done in that school library. As another means to that end, some winners have chosen to contribute articles to the pages of School Library Journal, as well as SLJ.com, sharing their knowledge and further raising the profile of their district.

What makes 2017 a notable year in the history of the award is added opportunities for recognition. In fact, an entrant’s odds of being acknowledged has now doubled, with four finalists instead of two: a Maker Hero, Hero of Equitable Access, Hero of Family Outreach, and Hero of Collaboration.

So if you’ve noticed the outstanding work of a fellow school librarian, and thought to yourself “Somebody should talk about what she (or he) is doing,” here’s your chance to be that somebody. And to answer two of the most common questions about entering:

Yes, you most certainly can nominate yourself.

Previous applicants who did not win can (and are encouraged to) apply again. We hope to see them again this year.



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