Jaffarian 2018


Application Deadline: May 3, 2019

Date Posted: February 4, 2019


Contact the American Library Association (ALA) staff at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or

Table of Contents

I. Award Description
II. Award Information
III. Eligibility
IV. Application and Submission Information
V. Application Review
VI. Award Administration Information
VII. Points of Contact
VIII. Other Information

I. Award Description

The Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming is an annual award recognizing a school library that has conducted an exemplary program or program series in the humanities during the current school year.

The award is sponsored by the American Library Association’s Cultural Communities Fund in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

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.

View a list of past Jaffarian Award winners.
View a free, pre-recorded webinar with the winner of the 2018 Jaffarian Award.

II. Award Information

The Sara Jaffarian award consists of:

  • $5,000 cash award
  • Crystal award
  • Promotion of the winner through a webinar as a model program for other school libraries

III. Eligibility

To be eligible, the program must have taken place during the current school year (2018-2019). 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.

IV. Application and Submission Information

ALA will accept applications for the Sara Jaffarian Award between February 4 and May 3, 2019.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions before filling out an application.

Getting Started

To begin the application process, go to

To apply for the Sara Jaffarian award, you must complete the following steps:

  • REGISTER (if you have not previously registered when applying for a different project)
  • LOG IN (if you have already registered when applying for a different project)
    • Provide text to complete each of the five sections of the Narrative
  1. Register
  2. Before you access the application, you must register to create an application account.

  3. Log In
  4. If you have already registered when applying for another ALA Public Programs Office grant project, award or traveling exhibition you may log in using your e-mail address and password.

  5. Complete Project Director Information
  6. To complete Step 3, provide all the information that is requested on the Project Director Information screen.

  7. Complete Program Details
  8. To complete Step 4, provide all the information that is requested on the Program Details section.

    After clicking the "SAVE" button, you will be able to return to the application at any time and log in using your e-mail address and password. This will allow you to edit, save, and return to your application as needed prior to the May 3, 2019 submission deadline.

  9. Write the Narrative
  10. Before you compose the narrative part of this application, we strongly recommend that you read these guidelines carefully. If you do not, your application is unlikely to be competitive.

    1. Description of the Humanities Program or Program Series
    2. Describe the program or program series, and how the school library and librarian were involved. If the program is ongoing, use the information on programming and activities from the previous school year (2018-2019) only.

      • Include the title of the program or program series.
      • Explain the humanities theme or topic emphasized in the program.
      • Explain why you chose this program.
      • Describe in detail the program or program series.
      • Describe the planning process and collaborative relationships involved.

    3. Impact of Program or Program Series in the Humanities
    4. Describe the involvement of others in the program. Letters of support (to be uploaded below) should emphasize the humanities program and the impact the program had on students and the school community, not the library program or the librarian.

      • Identify the number of student participants.
      • Describe how the program features higher-order thinking skills through student involvement.
      • Describe the benefits that ensued, including how you measured success.
      • Describe the involvement and awareness of parents, administrators and community leaders.
      • Explain why you feel the program is exemplary or goes beyond normal school library media programming activities.

    5. Relationship of the Program to the Curriculum
    6. Provide evidence of a curriculum component.

      • Describe the relationship of the program or program series to the school's curricular goals and to the state's learning standards.
      • State how the American Association of School Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner were incorporated into the program.
      • Provide evidence of a curriculum component for classroom treatment of the humanities theme or topic emphasized in the program.
      • Explain how the program goes beyond the school's standard curriculum requirements and programs.

    7. Replicability
    8. Describe how this program might be replicated.

      • Provide examples of how this program or program series might serve as a model or springboard for humanities programming in other schools.
      • Identify key components of the program that were essential to the program's success.
      • Identify any key components that might need to be modified for use in other settings.

    9. Reflection and Unexpected Benefits

      • What would you change about the program?
      • What were some unexpected benefits or reactions to the program?
      • How did this program take the library to the next level in terms of school and community collaboration, programming and student impact?

  11. Upload Supporting Materials

    1. Upload Letters of Support
    2. Upload letters of support for your application. Limit four letters of support, including one from a district administrator and one from a community organization.

    3. Upload Attachments
    4. Provide up to five artifacts of the program. Artifacts must be from programs hosted in the 2018 – 2019 school year or a series of programs. Artifacts may include, but are not limited to:

      • Photographs
      • PowerPoint slides
      • Posters
      • Newsletter articles
      • Program flyers
      • Examples of student-produced work
    5. Provide Video URLS (OPTIONAL)
    6. Provide links to online videos (on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) about your program.

  12. Certify Authorization to Submit Application
  13. An application for the Sara Jaffarian Award is an application for an award from the ALA. ALA is required by law to ask applicants to identify for each application a certifying official who is authorized to submit applications on behalf of the organization.

    A certifying official can be an administrator or principal of your school, a school district official or another school official responsible for administering grants and awards at your school or district.

    To complete this section, you must enter all of the information that is requested.

  14. Review and Edit Your Application
  15. The Review and Edit page summarizes all the information that you have entered, including your project director information and your application narrative. From this page you can:

    • review and edit each section;
    • save the entire application and log out of the system; or
    • move ahead to certify and submit your application.
  16. Submit Your Application

Once you have completed all parts of your application, you may submit it at any time by selecting the Submit button. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CST on May 3, 2019. Applications submitted after that time will be considered ineligible.

Note that once you have submitted your application, you can no longer alter it. The application will then be submitted for review.

You will receive an e-mail confirming submission of your application. At the confirmation page you will be able to print out a copy of your application. Print and keep this copy for your records.

V. Application Review

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Clarity and completeness of the application.
  • Excellence, appeal and innovation of program content and presentation.
  • Impact, as evidence by involvement and awareness of parents, administrators and community leaders (through letters of support) and documentation of an evaluation component.
  • Evidence of collaborative relationships in developing the programming.
  • Relationship of the programming to the curriculum and evidence of a curriculum component for classroom treatment of the humanities theme(s) or topic(s) emphasized in the program.
  • Leadership of the library in planning and coordinating the program.
  • Demonstrated involvement of students in a creative, active learning experience.
  • Replicability of the program as a model for other schools to adapt or implement.

Applicants are encouraged to address questions about the selection guidelines, process and requirements to the ALA Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or

Review and Selection Process

Each application will be assessed and selected by the Sara Jaffarian award committee. The committee consists of a:

  • Chair, appointed by AASL
  • Chair-elect, appointed by AASL
  • Member of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
  • Member of the Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (PCPAC)

VI. Award Administration Information

  • Application deadline: May 3, 2019 11:59 pm (CST)
  • Award notification: May 31, 2019
  • Award distributed: June/July 2019
  • Webinar with winner: September 2019

Award notification

Applicants will be notified of their award status by e-mail on May 31, 2019.

VII. Points of Contact

If you have questions about the award, contact:

Public Programs Office
American Library Association
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045

To access the application system, sign in with your profile.