Calvert County Public Schools is the recipient of the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) 2021 National School Library of the Year (NSLY) Award. Sponsored by Follett, the NSLY Award annually honors a single or district-wide school library that exemplifies implementation of AASL’s “National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries.” Calvert County Public Schools will receive a crystal obelisk – the symbol of school library excellence – and $10,000 toward its school libraries.

“The school librarians of Calvert County Public Schools gratefully accept this honor from AASL and Follett on behalf of every school librarian in the world,” said Dr. Jennifer Sturge, Specialist for School Libraries and Digital Learning. “We recognize, understand, and respect the tremendous amount of time, effort, and work that school librarians provide their school communities daily. We are honored, humbled, and beyond ecstatic to represent our profession as the National School Library of the Year. Thank you so much.”

“It was a pleasure to meet Calvert County Public School’s librarians and witness the many learning experiences they provide for their students,” said Lisa Brakel, award committee chair. “Their libraries are led by exceptional school librarians who make the libraries a unique and essential place in the district’s learning community. Working as a team they challenge each other to go above and beyond their daily work expectations and genuinely transform teaching and learning for everyone in their district. Calvert County Public Schools’ school libraries are exemplary in all that they offer and are truly worthy of this recognition.”

CCPS believes that the school library is a unique and essential part of a learning community and that all learners should be prepared for college, career, and life. All students participate in a student-centered, inquiry-based school library curriculum, and the district believes that reading is the core of personal and academic competency.

“I am an avid reader, and our school librarian always has great books on display and fun, interactive lessons to participate in,” wrote high school student Taya in her letter of endorsement. “Our school librarian always made sure to make the content interesting through internet scavenger hunts, escape room activities, and book dates. I remember one lesson we cycled through tables that had various books of specific genres on them, and read a preview of a book at each table to find one we were interested in. By the end of the period, I had a stack of books too big to fit in my backpack.”

“It is always rewarding to acknowledge strong school libraries,” said AASL President Kathy Carroll. “This year’s winner is a testament to how impactful school libraries can be even in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. Now more than ever we need professionals who work together to best serve our learning communities.The leadership, collaboration, and innovation on display district-wide is to be commended and the award is well-deserved. I would like to thank Follet for its continued support, which enables our annual celebration of such exemplary examples of our profession.”

The AASL award winners will be recognized during the 2021 AASL National Conference taking place October 21-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

The American Association of School Librarians,?www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning. 


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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