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Siddie Joe Johnson Award

Honoring outstanding achievement in children's library service.

Congratulations to Cheryl Hensley, librarian at Lockhart Elementary in Houston ISD,

recipient of the 2023 Siddie Joe Johnson Award!


Cheryl is a beloved & proud librarian in Houston ISD; moving this year to Lockhart Elementary to start up a library program after serving the scholars over the last 27 years at MacGregor Elementary. Over her long and dedicated 38-year career in education, Cheryl has volunteered on various committees through TLA and is a leader and mentor for librarians in HISD. She received the honor of Librarian of the Year for Houston ISD in 2013 and continues to serve on the committee to uplift and recognize colleagues for the prestigious award. Students, teachers, parents, and colleagues all sing the highest praises for Ms. Hensley, and she is very deserving of the 2023 Siddie Joe Johnson Award!

The Siddie Joe Johnson Award (SJJ) is presented to a public or school librarian to recognize outstanding achievement in children’s library service.

The SJJ Award was named in honor of Siddie Joe Johnson, who served as children’s librarian and coordinator of children’s services for the Dallas Public Library for twenty-seven years. Ms. Johnson, a published poet and author, was the recipient of awards from the Poetry Society of Texas, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the American Library Association for her work in children’s library service.

2024 Siddie Joe Johnson NOMINATION FORM

Nominees are evaluated on the basis of outstanding or innovative programs, a sustained high level of performance, leadership ability, involvement in professional organizations, community involvement, and cooperation with parents and other libraries, especially outside their own system.

To qualify for the SJJ award, a nominee must:

  • Be a Texas librarian holding a master’s degree in Library and/or Information Science. School librarians must also hold a School Librarian Certificate to be considered for this award.
  • Be a member of the Children’s Round Table.
  • Work directly with children from preschool to eighth grade within the last 12 months.
  • Have a minimum of 7 years of experience working in Texas libraries.
  • Be nominated by a peer or colleague (not accepting self-nominations).

Applications will remain active for two years provided the nominee remains eligible based on the above criteria.

Nominations open in September and close in January each year. Look for announcements on TLA Engage with the link to nominate a colleague!

2024 Siddie Joe Johnson NOMINATION FORM

Previous Winners
Recipient Name
2023 Cheryl Hensley Houston ISD
2022 Melanie Scales Waller ISD
2021 Kristen Fournier Round Rock ISD
2020 Karen Stanley Rosenberg Library
2019 Kristan Neeb Wichita Falls ISD
2018 Melisa (Lisa) O’Rear Denton ISD
2017 Kathleen Grupe Birdville ISD
2016 Maria Rodriguez Dallas ISD
2015 Carol Richmond Denton ISD
2014 Rose Little-Brock Irving ISD
2013 Carol Richmond Denton ISD
2012 Kristi Betts Irving ISD
2011 Tina Hager
2009 Jacqueline Bridges-Sheppherd Arlington ISD
2008 Vicki Ash San Antonio Public Library
2007 Debra H. Marshall Coppell ISD
2006 Karen R. Kessel Irving ISD
2005 Sue McGown St. John’s Lower School
2004 Susan King George Mem Library
2003 Caro Ann Germann The Kinkaid School
2002 Jeanette Larson Austin Public Library
2001 Lea Bailey Irving ISD
2000 Lisa Coker Sterling Municipal Library
1999 Cyd Sheffy Fort Worth ISD
1998 Susan Allison Richardson Public Library
1997 Rose Trevino Houston Public Library
1996 Kathy Toon (out of state)
1995 Martha Edmundson Denton Public Library
1994 Susan Sanders Austin ISD
1993 Valerie Childress (retired)
1992 Molly Krukewitt (retired)
1991 Sandra Bennett Irving ISD
1990 Ramona Kerby (out of state)
1989 Judy Thomas Abilene ISD
1988 Muriel Brown (retired)
1987 Julie Judd Pankey Irving Public Library
1986 Grace Schmidt
1985 Betty Hatcher
1982 Zinita Fowler
1979 Elizabeth Ulrich (retired)


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