School Librarian of the Year – Past Winners


The AISLE School Librarian of the Year Award is given to recognize the contribution of a member within the previous calendar year for service to the organization, contribution to librarianship in Illinois, or for meritorious service to the school library community.


“A recommended book from a school librarian can turn a nonreader into a reader. As the saying goes, if you don’t like reading, you haven’t found the right book. School Librarian and reader extraordinaire Mariela Siegert models how being a reader can truly be a way of life. Through her frequent tweets about what she is reading to her role on the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award board, Mariela embodies the title of lifelong learner and reader.

Mariela breaks down all barriers to meet students where they are and recommends books in ways that are engaging and exciting. She knows that students are curious and interested in all types of reading material and has a deep knowledge of different formats such as audiobooks, comics, and graphic novels.

Mariela is a resource beyond the walls of her school as she teaches future school library educators at Dominican University. In this role she is continually learning and working to embed new topics and subjects into the curriculum. Mariela seeks to meet a wide variety of learners in her school library and beyond. Mariela is a school librarian who makes a difference in the lives of her students and instills the love of the library. Through her collection development practices and student-centered approach, Mariela creates a space where readers feel represented, challenged, inspired, and most importantly, welcomed. It is through the success of our school libraries that our future public library systems will grow and thrive. Mariela is creating lifelong readers, learners, and lovers of the library.”

– Nomination from Joanna Marek

Past Winners

2021 – Mariela Siegert
2020 – Rhonda Jenkins
2019 – Janine Asmus
2018 – Dr. Erin Wyatt