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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Joyce Lahmann

I nominate Christine Jacobs for the School Librarian of the Year Award. Christine is a teacher librarian at Hampton-Dumont Community School District and CAL Community School District in North Central/Western Iowa. Christine has invested many years of college to her profession. She has a full curriculum that she teaches to students. Christine does research projects in all grades, K-5 and covers deeper research skills for grades 6-12 amongst other library and literacy tools. She promotes literacy awards and associated books to her students. Christine is on the front line of trying to get the right books in the hands of students and staff. She works hard at meeting the standards and benchmarks for all of her students while providing tons of training for the library associates. Christine networks with other teachers and staff and saves the budget by handling interlibrary loans and sharing of books in and out of the district. She provides a link with technology and literacy initiatives which has made an impact on her students. Christine believes that teachers do NOT have all the avenues to find just the right book (of interest and reading level) for every single kid all year long within their classroom. The library should serve as the hub of each building. The resources get spendy and sharing needs to take place. It cannot be managed on its own.The following are some of the responsibilities that Christine undertakes:Order books for each library (Fall and Spring), other book orders as neededAssist with curriculum book orders as neededHandle all invoices and purchases ordersSet budget and keep good recordsInventory coordinator (one building each year)Tweak marc records and assist library associates with training in this areaManage the interlibrary loan program (SILO), keep good records and assist with training on-goingLibrary lesson planning and instruction for 31 sections K-5 weekly and 35 sections at least three times a year FOR TWO DISTRICTS!!Emails for 5 buildingsUpdate SchoologyUpdate library website: WeeblyAssist library associates with questions dailyOrganize book trailers on Google SpreadsheetsCreate tutorials for students and staffRead professional journals and magazinesRead SLIK-12 (School Librarians Help, Support, and Professional Learning Email List Serv)Keep Quizlets updated and refreshed on WebsiteManage ipad apps and communicate with tech. ongoing technology needsComplete a year-end report for all five buildings at the end of the school yearComplete library surveys annually at the end of the school year

Posted : Nov 18, 2019 10:01


Mimi Lake

I don't know how anyone could possibly do more for her library or students than Beth Byers Janssen of AGWSR.

Posted : Nov 18, 2019 12:17


Amy Foust

I nominate Beth Byers Janssen for her dedication to AGWSR School District.

Posted : Nov 17, 2019 11:05


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 11:25


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