Behind the Scenes: PSLA Awarded the AASL Past-Presidents Planning Grant

“Behind the Scenes” Allison Mackley, Cathi Fuhrman, Deb Kachel, and the PSLA Teaching and Learning Committee Co-chairs, Dustin Brackbill and Leah Lindemann, wrote and submitted an application for one of three AASL Past-Presidents Planning Grant for National School Library Standards. Last week I was notified that we were awarded the grant in honor of E. Blanche Woolls (sponsored by Roger and Susan D. Ballard). E. Blanche Woolls, a Distinguished Service Award winning member of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, was the Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair (1977-1978) and the Communications Committee Chair (1986-1988). See her bio below.

The AASL Past-President Planning Grant for National School Library Standards will provide the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) with the funding necessary to develop, market and carry out professional learning initiatives that support school librarians as they implement best practices that impact academic achievement for learners. PSLA is dedicated to transforming teaching and learning not only through quality school library programs but also by leveraging the AASL National School Library Standards for local advocacy efforts.

“This prestigious award showcases the impact of strong school library programs in schools and highlights the importance of the school library program in the educational community.”  - Kathryn Roots Lewis, AASL President, and Susan Yutzey, 2018-2019 AASL Awards Chair

The award will be presented at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. during the AASL Awards Ceremony. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 22nd from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.  If you are attending the ALA, please be sure to attend the ceremony to help us celebrate!

Ever Curious,

Allison Mackley
President, PSLA (PA School Librarians Association)
National Board Certified Teacher Librarian
Hershey High School
550 Homestead Road
Hershey, PA  17033


Blanche Woolls is a graduate of Indiana University where she has a bachelors in fine arts and a masters and doctorate in library and information science. She began her professional career as a school librarian in Hammond, Indiana in a K-8 elementary school with 1,245 students. She was appointed the first coordinator of school libraries in that city and served for two years until she moved to Roswell, New Mexico as coordinator there.

After completing her doctorate, she joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh (now the School of Information Sciences) where she coordinated the school library certificate program, chairing the Department of Library Science for five years, and served as chair of the doctoral studies committee for 12 years. She was appointed Director of the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University in 1997 and remained there until her retirement in August 2005. She is a past president of the American Association of School Librarians and the International Association of School Librarianship.

Her articles have appeared in publications such as School Library JournalKnowledge Quest, and School Library Monthly. Her books include The School Library Media Manager, currently in its third edition.

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