Who Will Be the 2020 School Librarian of the Year?

School Librarian of the Year nominations are being accepted through Dec. 2. Let us know what you or a librarian in your district is doing.

Ali Schilpp transformed a rural Maryland school by seeing potential instead of limited possibilities for the media center at her new school. She brought in technology, earned grant money, and expanded the library’s collection. Schilpp’s commitment and outside-the-box efforts were just a couple of the reasons she was named SLJ’s 2018 School Librarian of the Year.

Now we’re looking for the 2020 honoree. Nominations close Dec. 2 on this annual award which judges librarians on criteria including:

  • 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

Past nominations that were not selected are welcome to re-submit. Nominate yourself or a deserving colleague, but please do as you tell your students and read everything closely so the application is complete. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

And there is more than just bragging rights. The winning librarian receives:

  • $2,500 cash award and $2,500 in-kind digital and/or print products for their library.
  • A Scholastic Book Fairs “Mr. Schu’s Picks” collection of books.
  • A visit from John Schumacher, Ambassador of School Libraries, Scholastic, including a book giveaway for every student in the school.
  • An invitation to participate in a 2020 Scholastic Book Fairs Summer Reading Summit (including airfare, one night hotel stay and summit registration)
  • A feature profile in the April 2020 issue of SLJ.
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Melisa Mulder

Kelly Austin Part IV: I’ve already submitted other info on our amazing Kelly Austin, but I must share this as well.... Kent ISD School News Network just published this article, “Turning the Page Toward Equity” that highlights some of the awesome literacy initiatives Kelly has been doing. Please read! Thank you! :)https://www.schoolnewsnetwork.org/2019/10/22/turning-the-page-toward-equity/

Posted : Oct 23, 2019 07:26


Melisa Mulder

Kelly Austin Part II: I also forgot to mention how Kelly Austin at Pinewood Middle School also updates the school's website, Facebook page, AND has her own Library/Media Center website! I seriously could go on all day about how much she does to promote literacy!! https://www.kentwoodps.org/ourschools/middle-schools/pinewoodmiddleschool/pinewoodlibrarymediacenter/

Posted : Oct 23, 2019 12:36


Melisa Mulder

Kelly Austin Part II: In addition to my lengthy nomination about Kelly's AWESOMENESS, I forgot to add how she integrates library services, use of technology tools, and a few other important tidbits... First, Kelly often attends department meetings to help support teachers and offer curricular suggestions and materials. She shares technology resources, such as MeL.org, vocabulary.com, and other online resources. She helps oversee the Chromebook carts and is constantly helping the adjoining computer labs. Kelly has even helped teachers and students create Goodreads accounts and taught them how to use it. She's hosted "book tastings" to help students experience a variety of books and hosts a lunchtime book club where kids come in and talk about whatever books they're reading (She actually calls it the Nerdy Book Club as a nod to Donalyn Miller!).  Kelly has cleaned out old, outdated books and has ordered a ton of books on current event type topics, hot topics for the 8th grade persuasive writing project, and also for the 6th grade culture project for technology. If you need something, Kelly will bend over backwards to get what you need!! She's also facilitated a few "book to screen" groups where they read a book together and then walk to the nearby theater (where she also works on her "time off") for students to enjoy the movie and discuss.  Like I've said, Kelly truly goes ABOVE AND BEYOND, and we are beyond lucky to have her as a librarian at Pinewood Middle School in Kentwood Public Schools!!

Posted : Oct 22, 2019 11:59


Kelly Austin

Kelly works tirelessly to promote literacy in our school. Her creative ideas and nonstop efforts to get books into the hands of our kids amazes everyone lucky enough to work with her. We have been blessed with many good librarians, but Kelly's unselfish devotion of her time and energy to the cause tops them all.

Posted : Oct 22, 2019 02:43

Melisa Mulder

I whole-heartedly agree!!!

Posted : Oct 22, 2019 02:43


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