K-12 school librarians are invited to apply for a $5,000 award recognizing outstanding programming.
School librarians are invited to apply for a $5,000 award recognizing outstanding humanities programming in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Previously for school libraries serving grades K-8, this year’s Jaffarian Award is the first to include eligibility for school libraries also serving grades 9-12.
Nominations for the 2024 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award will be accepted until May 1, 2024.
U.S. school libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K-12 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 (2023-24).
The intent of the award is to recognize humanities programs that expand student horizons beyond “basic education.” A humanities program can be focused on many subject areas, including but not limited to social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign languages 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 of the school.
Recent Jaffarian Award-winners have included:
- Growing Readers, Growing Leaders, a program that prepared students to be “Bi-literate, Bi-Cultural, and Bi-Lingual” as it transitions into a Spanish Immersion Magnet elementary school.
- 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.
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. In 2024, the award expanded eligibility to high 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).