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Apply Now: Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award

February 1, 2022
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 2022 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award will be accepted until May 5, 2022. In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on programming, submissions of virtual programs are highly encouraged.

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

School libraries, public or private, that serve K-8 students are eligible. Nominated programs must have taken place during the current school year (2021-22). Programs that are still in progress as of the award deadline are eligible, and librarians are encouraged to self-nominate.

Eligible humanities programs may be focused in many subject areas, including social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language and culture. Programs should focus on broadening perspectives and helping students understand the world and their place in it. They should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of the library program in advancing the overall educational goals of the school.

Previous winners

Recent Jaffarian Award-winners have included:

  • 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.
  • Tales of the Crypt: Danville’s Living History, a program that used a historic local cemetery as the basis for a multidisciplinary student project.

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
Tuesday, February 1, 2022 - 16:00
Library Type
School (K-12)
Job Functions
Grants and Awards
Programming Librarian Forum