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Apply Now: Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award

February 1, 2023
Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award
Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award

School librarians are invited to apply for a $5,000 award recognizing outstanding humanities programming.

School librarians are invited to apply for a $5,000 award recognizing outstanding humanities programming in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Nominations for the 2023 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award will be accepted until May 5, 2023. 

Photograph of three children sitting together. Text reads: Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award. Recognizing outstanding humanities programming in K-8 school libraries. Apply at Eligibility

U.S. school libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K-8 are eligible, provided the library is staffed by a state-certified librarian. Libraries are encouraged to self-nominate. Nominated programs must have taken place during the current school year (2022-23).

The intent of the award is to recognize humanities programs that expand student horizons beyond “basic education.” A humanities program can be focused in many subject areas, including but not limited to social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language and culture. Programs should focus on broadening perspectives and helping students understand the wider world and their place in it. The humanities program should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of library programming in advancing the overall education goals for the school.

Previous winners

Recent Jaffarian Award-winners have included:

  • Empathizing with Teens in Trauma: An Exploration of the Terezin Ghetto/Camp, a program where students researched the artwork, poetry and music created by teenagers in the Theresienstadt/Terezín Nazi concentration camp during World War II.
  • Teaching the Tulsa Race Massacre with Guided Inquiry Design, a program that taught students about how assumptions create conflict in society using the Tulsa Race Massacre as an example. Students then completed research projects on assumptions causing conflict in the world today or in their own experience. Students chose a topic to research further.
  • Junior Ambassadors, a program that brings a global perspective to students through a book club focused on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Poverty and Philanthropy, a program where students researched famous philanthropists including how much money they donate, which nonprofit they support, and why.

Named after the late Sara Jaffarian, a school librarian and longtime ALA member, ALA’s Jaffarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize and promote excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle-school libraries. It is presented annually by the ALA Public Programs Office in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). The award is selected by a committee comprising members of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (PCPAC), AASL and the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC). 

Date / Time
Wednesday, February 1, 2023 - 16:00
Library Type
School (K-12)
Job Functions
Grants and Awards
Programming Librarian Forum