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School Library Journal and Scholastic Announce 2020 School Librarian of the Year

Cicely Lewis, Meadowcreek High School Librarian and “Read Woke” Creator from Norcross, Georgia, is Honored


Cicely Lewis, a school librarian at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia, has been named the 2020 School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal (SLJ) and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company. The award recognizes K–12 library professionals for outstanding achievement and the exemplary use of 21st-century tools and services to engage children and teens toward fostering multiple literacies. 

To learn more about Cicely and the School Librarian of the Year Award, visit:

In her role as school librarian, Cicely creates programming that celebrates the diversity of her more than 2,600 students and their 240 teachers. She is the founder of Read Woke, an initiative encouraging students to read books that challenge a social norm or the status quo, give a voice to the voiceless, have a protagonist from an underrepresented or oppressed group, or provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised. The movement has sparked meaningful conversations schoolwide and has even gone global, reaching as far as Canada and Norway.

Cicely encourages her students to be active members of their library community. They provide one another with reading recommendations and utilize the media center’s modern offerings, such as exercise bike desks and glass study rooms with projectors, to learn, collaborate and be creative. Cicely hosts energizing events throughout the year to engage students, including a book fashion show that shines a spotlight on powerful reads, Tech Woke projects where students use technology to learn about social justice issues, and a virtual reality experience during Black History Month where students “travel back in time” to learn about pivotal moments in Black history. Outside of the media center, Cicely visits districts nationwide to advocate for the importance of libraries and certified librarians in every school. 

As School Librarian of the Year, Cicely is featured on the cover of the April 2020 issue of SLJ, and will receive a suite of awards from Scholastic, including $2,500 cash and $2,500 worth of digital or print products for her library, and an invitation to the 2020 Scholastic Independent Reading Summit, a professional learning conference designed to provide educators with the latest practices and research for encouraging independent reading in their schools. Meadowcreek High School students will also receive free books as part of a special literacy event with an in-person visit from the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs, John Schumacher (@MrSchuReads), and a Scholastic author.  

Cicely Lewis, 2020 School Librarian of the Year 
“I started Read Woke to help empower my students. I never in my wildest dreams imagined it would take off like it has. I am so honored to receive this prestigious award and I plan to continue to advocate for students who are looking for answers, looking for a connection, and seeking to find themselves in books. I will use this platform to tell the world that every child deserves a certified school librarian in their school!”

Kathy Ishizuka, Editor in Chief, School Library Journal
“It is our honor to hold up the work of Cicely Lewis, who is an extraordinary educator and has made all the difference in her community by engaging and empowering students. School Library Journal is pleased to celebrate her stellar work through the School Librarian of the Year Award, which highlights the critical role of library professionals in fostering multiple literacies among our nation’s youth.”


About the School Librarian of the Year Awards:
The 2020 School Librarian of the Year was selected by a panel of judges, including the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs, John Schumacher, and 2018 School Librarian of the Year Ali Schilpp. All entries were judged based on criteria, such as creativity in programming and use of content, exemplary service to fulfill the needs of students and the school community and demonstrated student engagement.

About School Library Journal:
School Library Journal, a MSI publication, is the premier publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens. A source of quality journalism and reviews for more than 60 years, SLJ produces award-winning features and news coverage on: literacy, best practices, technology, education policy and other issues of interest to the school library and greater educator community. SLJ evaluates a broad range of resources, from books and digital content to databases, in 6,000+ reviews published annually. 

For more information about Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), visit the Company’s media room at

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