Maryland Educator Ali Schilpp Named 2018 School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal

NEW YORK, NY – August 21, 2018 – School Library Journal(SLJ) has announced Ali Schilpp, a library media specialist from Northern Middle School in Accident, MD, as the 2018 School Librarian of the Year. The School Librarian of the Year is selected by a panel of qualified judges, including the 2017 honoree Tamiko Brown, and recognizes K–12 library professionals for outstanding achievement and the exemplary use of 21st-century tools and services to engage children and teens toward fostering multiple literacies. In addition to receiving a comprehensive suite of prizes provided by the program’s sponsor, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company Scholastic, Ali Schilpp is currently featured on the cover of the September 2018 issue of SLJ. To read the full article and learn more about the School Librarian of the Year Award, visit:

All entries to the 2018 School Librarian of the Year Awards were judged based on criteria including creativity in programming and use of content; demonstrated student engagement; outreach to families; and exemplary use of technology tools. Two SLJLibrarian Champions were also named in recognition of their work and are featured in SLJ:

· Librarian Champion of Civic Engagement: Michelle Carton, Tudor Elementary School, Anchorage, AK

· Librarian Champion of Student Voice: Cassy Lee, Chinese American International School, San Francisco, CA

Schilpp will receive $2,500 cash and $2,500 worth of Scholastic products. Both Carton and Lee will receive $1,000 worth of Scholastic products. All 2018 honorees will also receive an in-person visit from John Schumacher aka Mr. Schu, the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs; a “Mr. Schu’s Scholastic Book Fair Picks” collection of books; and an invitation to participate in a 2019 Scholastic Book Fairs Summer Reading Summit.

Ali Schilpp, 2018 School Librarian of the Year, Northern Middle School, Accident, MD

Four years ago, as the first and only Library Media Specialist to work at Northern Middle School, Ali Schilpp tapped into her more than 12 years of library experience to create a unique, technology-driven space. Ali expanded learning beyond her rural community by developing a digital citizenship library program that fosters global connections with classrooms in countries such as Australia and China, and she continuously seeks new opportunities to challenge her students—from writer’s workshops, and STEM challenges, to collaborations with notable authors including Chris Grabenstein. After securing numerous grants for her library, Ali installed a flexible seating makerspace that creates opportunities for interactive experiences with LEGO® robots, a green screen studio, a reading nook for therapy dogs, and more. To lead by example and foster her own growth mindset, Ali serves as a robotics coach on campus and shares her best practices and experiences with fellow educators by presenting at conferences across the country.

Michelle Carton, Champion of Civic Engagement, Tudor Elementary School, Anchorage, AK

As an elementary school librarian and founder of Global Education Alaska, the library program and organization, Michelle Carton empowers her students to become responsible, engaged citizens of the world through projects such as creating videos that encourage kindness and sustainable development. During Peace Week International, her students videoconferenced with schools around the world as a key initiative to engage in conversations beyond their community. Her innovative approach to learning has inspired other teachers, librarians, and administrators to implement their own global education programs, and Tudor Elementary students have incorporated these lessons outside the library to create change, collecting more than 2,000 books for students affected by wildfires in California.

Cassy Lee, Champion of Student Voice, Chinese American International School, San Francisco, CA

Cassy Lee’s mission as Learning Center Coordinator at the Chinese American International School (CAIS) is to create a welcoming and academically stimulating environment for all students. Youth participation takes front-seat at CAIS, where students can join the School Library Advisory Committee to help plan programming, or the News Crew to gain hands-on media literacy skills through the school’s video program highlighting campus life. Cassy also makes diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority by collaborating with colleagues to develop an identity-based unit plan and hosting PD sessions, in addition to challenging students to learn about different cultures by planning “The Human Library”—a half-day event featuring small group discussions with guest speakers sharing their stories and personal experiences with discrimination.

Kathy Ishizuka, Executive Editor, School Library Journal

“These outstanding educators are an inspiring example for us all, proving how impassioned individuals can make a difference for our next generation. School Library Journalis honored to highlight their work through the School Librarian of the Year Award, which raises the critical role of librarians and media specialists in supporting young learners. SLJlooks forward to working with the 2018 honorees in advancing the profession and raising awareness of the great work that librarians do.”

Ali Schilpp, 2018 School Librarian of the Year

“I am truly honored to receive this recognition from School Library Journaland am grateful for all of my collaborating partners who help to create authentic connections for our students and share the world beyond the walls of our schools. I am so eager to celebrate this experience with students, educators, and authors who believe in the magic of school libraries.”

To learn more about the School Librarian of the Year Award, visit: