Follett Corporation to Recognize Innovative School Libraries

RIVER GROVE, Ill., Jan. 10, 2011 – Follett Corporation is betting that many of the answers to helping students perform better in school can be found in the school libraries across North America. Recognizing the strong link between library programs and student success, the company today issued the Follett Challenge to find the best innovations in school libraries. The contest will advocate for the role librarians play as champions of school programs that drive student achievement.

During the last decade more than a dozen studies conducted by the Library Research Service demonstrate the impact of school librarians and libraries on student performance. In fact, students at schools with well-developed library programs consistently score an average of 10-18 percent higher on standardized reading tests. Despite these findings, many library programs find themselves with fewer staff and less resources today.

“A library’s ability to improve student performance depends in large part on the resources made available to them,” said Chuck Follett, President and CEO of Follett Corporation. “Through this Challenge, we’re committed to drawing attention to the undeniable connection between well-run libraries and student performance to ensure that one of our most important educational resources receives the attention and funding it deserves.”

The program was formally announced Saturday at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. The judges, comprised of library and educational professionals, will be looking for schools that do the most outstanding job of applying technology, content and creativity in ways that engage students, foster literacy and critical thinking.

Six winning libraries will be rewarded with the cash-equivalent of products and services from Follett. Follett’s many offerings include books, audiovisual materials and electronic resources from Follett Library Resources; automated library, resource, and learning management solutions from Follett Software; and supplemental classroom materials, workbooks and pre-owned textbooks from Follett Educational Services.

Applications for the Follett Challenge will be available Feb. 1, and are open to all private and public K-12 schools. The application will consist of a detailed program description, a written endorsement of support from the school’s administration and a three to five minute video as a creative representation of the program’s impact. All submissions are due June 1.

For more information about the Follett Challenge, visit or contact

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