To honor school librarian, author and advocate Ruth Toor, her husband, Jay created The Ruth Toor Grant for Strong Public School Libraries. On three occasions, I have had the privilege to chair the committee that selects the award winner, and I value the contributions the applicants have made in strengthening their library program. They are leaders in our field and show how vital leadership is to our success.

For over 30 years, Ruth and I worked together writing over a dozen books, starting with The School Librarians Almanac, as well as bi-monthly newsletter for school librarians.  Jay was our publisher for many of these years and he believed passionately in the role of school libraries.  They could both be found at local and national conferences. Ruth was a brilliant woman, an inspirational leader, and a devoted teacher. She had an incisive mind that was tragically destroyed when she contracted Alzheimer’s.  She passed away in September 2018; Jay died in early 2020.

I urge you check out the criteria and apply for this generous grant.  The deadline is February 1st. The award is $5,000 total:  $3,000 to the librarian to implement their program plus $2,000 for the school librarian and one other person to attend an AASL or ALA conference. Past award winners are listed and you can ask them for advice and guidance

Even if it will be a while before you may be ready to apply, I hope you will beginning planning now.