District 39 Earns Innovative School Library Program Award

District 39 Earns Innovative School Library Program Award
Posted on 10/14/2021

Wilmette District 39’s “One Book, One District” library project has earned the prestigious 2021 Innovative School Library Program Award from the Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE). This award is given annually to celebrate a school or district media center achievement in planning and implementing an innovative or creative event/service which has made a measurable, positive impact on its users. The project was pioneered by Daphna Neirick, Wilmette Junior High librarian, and Linda Diekman, who retired this summer after serving as the librarian at Central School. 


“I am extremely proud that our District 39 program was honored with this award,” said Dr. Kari Cremascoli, Superintendent of District 39. “Congratulations to Daphna and Linda and to everyone who worked together to put this project together.. The ‘One Book, One District’ initiative helped bring our learning community together and exhibited the collective spirit of the district and our community in support of one another and our D39 scholars.”


The “One Book, One District” project invited our entire community to unite as readers and learners around a single book. “Outside, Inside.”  Chosen as the project's focal text, this picture book by LeUyan Pham showcased the coming together of a community under the life-altering circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The project aimed to create robust bonds within our community during these uncertain times through a collective reading experience. The project commenced with the placement of story walks at each school and both print and electronic copies of the book were made readily available to community members. A virtual author visit from Ms. Pham this past May was another highlight.


“I am honored to receive this award and thankful to AISLE for their advocacy of school libraries,” said Neirick. “This program was a collaborative effort involving administrators, teachers, and staff, and was supported by our parent community. Thanks to this collective effort, the program had a far-reaching impact.”


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