Nominations Open for 2023 School Librarian of the Year

SLJ welcomes applications for the annual award, sponsored by Scholastic, honoring outstanding achievement by a K-12 library professional. 

School Librarian of the Year logo with an


School Library Journal (SLJ) welcomes applications for the 2023 School Librarian of the Year

Sponsored by Scholastic, the annual 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.

To be eligible, applicants must meet state requirements for school library media certification and be currently employed in a media specialist, teacher librarian, or equivalent position. Nominees may work in 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. Previous applicants who have not yet received the award are encouraged to apply again.

For 2023, a winner and two finalists will be selected.


The winner will receive:

  • $2,500 and a full-year Scholastic subscription to one digital program (valued up to $3500)
  • $500 Scholastic Power of Story collection for their library
  • A feature profile in the April 2023 issue of SLJ.
  • A trip to the American Library Association annual conference in Chicago, June 24—27, 2023, including hotel, airfare, registration, and a ticket to the Youth Media Awards banquet.


Two finalists will each receive:

  • $250 Scholastic Power of Story collection for their library
  • A full-year Scholastic subscription to one digital program (valued up to $1000)

The School Librarian of the Year will also be invited to participate in an event sponsored by Scholastic and SLJ.


[READ: Learn about past School Librarian of the Year winners]


Application process

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 and 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 facility (include the approximate square footage of library)
  • Student demographics
  • A description of the community served

Two letters of recommendation are also required.

Photographs, videos, linksincluding related blog posts and press coverage, and other supportive materialmay also be submitted but will be considered supplementary.

Librarians can nominate themselves or be nominated by administrators, colleagues, etc., but because of the responsibilities of the winner, the nominee must be aware of the application and attendant responsibilities of participation. All required application elements must be emailed in one submission to Required elements sent separately will result in an incomplete application, which will render them ineligible.


2023 key dates

  1. Nominations open: August 30
  2. Nominations close: December 5
  3. Winner announced: March 2023
  4. Winner profiled in SLJ: April 2023


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