To honor school librarian, author, and advocate Ruth Toor, her husband, Jay created The Toor Scholarship for Strong Public School Libraries. Since Jay’s passing, their sons have continued this scholarship in honor of their parents.

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. This scholarship is available on a competitive basis to public school librarians—located in the United States and led by a certified school librarian— who have created and implemented a local public awareness/marketing campaign that promotes and positions their school library as a necessary resource in the community, tying in the theme “Strong School Libraries.” As stated on the ALA website, each scholarship recipient will receive a $1,000 travel stipend to attend the biennial AASL National Conference and will participate in a concurrent session panel to present and discuss their campaign with attendees. Additional promotion of campaigns will include opportunities to publish articles and host webinars on AASL’s various platforms.

Eligibility and criteria are listed on the ALA website along with a copy of the Criteria and Rating Sheet as well as a downloadable application  . Even if it will be a while before you may be ready to apply, I hope you will begin planning now.