Awards and Scholarships

2021 Award Winners

President’s Award

Tricina Strong-Beebe; Hainesport Township School District 

Outstanding Administrator of the Year:

Nina Obryk; Supervisor of Professional Development and Media Specialists--Sayreville Public Schools

Ruth Toor Outstanding Library Media Specialist:

Jennifer Latimer: South Orange and Maplewood School District

Jean E. Harris Progressive School Library Media Program:

Skye Silverstein; Cherry Hill Public Schools

Lifetime Membership

Karen Brill; Scholarship and Awards Committee

Author or Illustrator Award:

Daniel Kirk; author of The Library Mouse series and much more

Villy Gandhi Leadership Training Scholarship:

Margaret Adjogo-Otu; Newark Public Schools

Outstanding Library Assistant:

Patricia Stark: North Hunterdon--Voorhees Regional School District

Outstanding Volunteer:

Caryn Kotz; Upper Saddle River School District

View history of award and scholarship winners.
NJASL is proud to sponsor awards to acknowledge and honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the field of school librarianship and education. NJASL is also proud to sponsor scholarships for new or continuing students enrolled in graduate school librarian programs and working towards certification. All recipients serve as models for what we hold exemplary in New Jersey school libraries. The awards are presented at either our annual fall conference or at the annual spring meeting. 

Please submit application(s) for Awards and Scholarships by the dates indicated. The criteria for each award is found with the application. The applications can be found below. For further information contact: Karen Brill, Awards

NJASL Annual Awards  

  • Ruth Toor Outstanding Library Media Specialist: This award honors a certified New Jersey school library media specialist who, through individual and sustained effort, has made outstanding contributions to the operation of effective school library media services and to advancing the role of the school library media center in the total educational program. This award is presented at the Fall Conference.  The application deadline is September 30.
  • Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award: This award is presented to a New Jersey school, library or district administrator or supervisor who is currently working full time in an administrative position. They have developed an exemplary school library media program and made an outstanding and sustained contribution toward advancing the role of the school library media center as an agency for the improvement of education. This award is presented at the Fall Meeting. The application deadline is September 30. 
  • The Jean E. Harris Progressive School Library Media Program Award: This award is presented to a New Jersey school library media specialist currently working in a public, private or parochial school who has demonstrated innovative ideas to enhance the life-long learning skills of students. Recognition of the recipient will be made at the NJASL Fall Conference. The application deadline is September 30.
  • NJASL Volunteer of the Year Award: This award is presented to a person based on the contributions and time devoted to a school library media center. Award criteria include time donated per week, responsibilities, examples of how the volunteer contributes to the efficient and effective running of the library media center, and evidence that the volunteer enthusiastically promotes the library media center program. The award is presented at the NJASL Spring Meeting. 
  • Library Assistant AwardThis award is for an outstanding library assistant.  Whether the job classification is aide, secretary, clerk etc.  this person assists the certified school library media specialist who is a member of NJASL.  Individuals who provide "coverage" in the absence of a certified school library media specialist are not eligible. This award is presented at the NJASL Spring Conference. 
  • President's Award: This prestigious award is presented by the NJASL President to someone who has demonstrated excellence and has advanced the profession of school library media specialist. This award is presented at the NJASL Annual Fall Conference. 
  • NJASL Outstanding Author or Illustrator Award: This award recognizes an author or illustrator who is or was a resident of New Jersey or whose work represents/reflects New Jersey and who has made a notable contribution to the field of literature for children and young adults. This award will be presented at the NJASL Fall Conference. Application deadline is July 15, 2022.
  • NJASL Intellectual Freedom Award: This award recognizes the contribution of an individual or group who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in New Jersey. The recipient is selected by the NJASL Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Scholarships and Awards Committee.
  • Exemplary Advocate of School Libraries Award : This award honors those district administrators, directors, superintendents, board members, legislators or supervisors who have made dynamic and significant contributions to the promotion of effective school library programs and services. It recognizes the significance of the role of the district administrator in developing successful school library programs within their own school districts that influence the community at large. This award is an effective way to highlight and encourage administrative, community and legislative support of school libraries. The award is presented at the NJASL Fall Conference. Application deadline is September 30. 
  • NJASL Future Leader Award: These awards are presented to outstanding students who are presently enrolled in a library media program in a New Jersey university. The person is chosen by the head of the department of the university. Each college that offers such a program is contacted i to choose the student that is deserving of the award. Award winners are announced at the NJASL Spring Meeting. 
    • The award at Rutgers University is titled the Dr. Carol Collier Kuhlthau Future Leader Award.
    • The award at William Paterson University is titled the Dr. Amy Job Future Leader Award. 

  • NJASL/ISTE Making IT Happen Award:  Making IT Happen is an internationally recognized awards program sponsored by ISTE for educators and leaders in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. The program identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation. To apply for this award from ISTE and NJASL, please describe how you exemplify the following criteria, which ISTE refers to as the eight components of the Formula of Success.  
    • All current NJASL members are eligible to apply. Nominee must be a certified, practicing full-time media specialist and continue to represent ISTE and NJASL during the year in which the nomination is made. The award package includes an embroidered Making IT Happen jacket, a certificate, and a one-year ISTE membership.  
    • Deadline for submission is 11:59PM on September 30.  Winner is requested to attend the NJASL Membership and Awards portion of the Annual Fall Conference.


NJASL Scholarships

  • Anne E. Voss Conference Grant: This grant provides funds to attend a national conference for the first time. This is presented at the NJASL Spring Meeting.
  • Al Saley Scholarships: This scholarship is awarded to individuals who are going to college for graduate study in the field of educational media. Individuals currently employed in a school library media center, teachers interested in becoming educational media specialists, or recent college graduates interested in entering the field may apply for one of the three $1,500 scholarships. The applicant must provide educational background, a current transcript of educational course work, details on any volunteer experiences in educational media, a brief statement of achievements and goals in the field, as well as plans for a future position in educational media. Recommendations from two professional educators must accompany the application. This scholarship is announced at the NJASL Spring Meeting. 
  • Villy Gandhi Leadership Training Scholarship: 

    The Villy Gandhi Leadership Training Scholarship is awarded annually in honor of NJASL Past President and school library media specialist Villy Gandhi. Villy is remembered for her extraordinary leadership, relationship with AECT and many other contributions to NJASL. This scholarship gives a certified school library media specialist, who is a member of NJASL, an opportunity to attend and participate at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Convention, a NJASL International affiliate. The recipient must agree to serve on the NJASL Board of Trustees and a committee for one year plus implement at least one idea obtained at the AECT Convention, write an article for Bookmark about the experience and impressions gathered after attending the AECT Convention, prepare a webinar or similar form describing the experience

    at AECT, assist at the AECT Booth during the Annual NJASL Fall Conference, and participate on AECT’s Technology Integrated Learning Division (TIL) Board’s monthly conference call. The application deadline is April 1.

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