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Farmer Receives Library Award

Published: July 10, 2017

Lesley Farmer, professor of library media at CSULB, is the recipient of the 2017 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Distinguished Service Award. Sponsored by Follett, the $3,000 award recognizes an individual member of the library profession who has, over a significant period, made an outstanding national contribution to school librarianship and school library development.

Farmer was honored at the AASL Awards Ceremony and President’s Program during the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24.

“AASL is the most active and highly regarded professional association in its field. I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said Farmer. “It symbolizes public recognition by my professional peers. At most, only one person per year is so awarded and the prior awardees are highly reputed leaders, so I am humbled to stand with them.”

Farmer has written extensively on school library-related issues, including 35 monographs and more than 200 book chapters and articles. She has also edited and reviewed for more than a dozen journals. Throughout her career, Farmer has been involved in more than 15 research projects and 32 grants, which focused on school library standards and practice, literacy project factors, information/ICT integration, instruction and data analytics.

“For over 45 years, Dr. Farmer has served the school library field as a dedicated leader, an outstanding advocate for school librarians, and a prolific writer and scholar,” wrote Karen Gavigan in her letter of support. “Dr. Farmer has conducted numerous studies that have had a significant impact on the school library field. Her research agenda includes the analysis of California and national school library survey data. She has also studied the integration of technology into K-12 and teacher education curriculum.”

For AASL, Farmer has served on the Board of Directors, as regional director for the AASL Affiliate Assembly and as the chair of the Educators of School Librarians Section. She is also an active member of the Association of Library and Information Science Educators where she has served as the School Libraries SIG co-chair.

Renée Ousley-Swank wrote, “It is my great honor and privilege–in recognition of her outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in educating and promoting school librarianship and school library development–to support the nomination of Dr. Lesley Farmer for this award. Lesley’s breadth of work internationally, nationally and within California far exceeds the criteria in all areas. She has dedicated her life to service and visionary leadership to AASL, to her state affiliate, to international library affiliates and to the profession as a whole.”

Lesley Famer

“This year, there were many excellent nominations for the AASL Distinguished Service Award,” said Diana Wendell, award committee chair. “Nevertheless one did stand out from the others and that was Lesley Farmer’s. Her service to California and the profession as a whole has been truly exemplary.”

The American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association, empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

–Shayne Schroeder