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The Carnegie-Whitney Awards Application Guidelines

The Carnegie-Whitney Awards provide grants that are based on a special fund first established by Andrew Carnegie in 1902. The Carnegie Fund was subsequently enhanced by a merger with a fund established by James Lyman Whitney in 1910. The Publishing Committee, a standing committee of the American Library Association, administers the awards. You may view a list of some of the receipients of this award here.


In accordance with the direction provided by Andrew Carnegie, The Carnegie-Whitney Awards have been established to provide grants for the preparation and publication of popular or scholarly reading lists, indexes and other guides to library resources that will be useful to users of all types of libraries.

The grants may be used for print and electronic projects of varying lengths.


Grants are awarded to individuals, official units of the American Library Association (including committees), and other groups affiliated with the American Library Association.


Grants of up to $5,000 each are awarded annually. The number and the amount of the grants are at the discretion of the Publishing Committee and vary from year to year.


The grants are intended to cover preparation costs appropriate to the development of a useful product, including the cost of research and compilation. The grant does not cover the purchase of equipment or production/manufacturing costs.


The deadline for consideration is November 5, 2007. The Publishing Committee makes its selection at the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association.

Proposals are accepted at any time prior to November 5, 2007. Applications received after this date will be evaluated at the next Midwinter meeting.

Applicants will be notified of the Committee's decision by the end of February.

Selection Criteria

The Publishing Committee considers the following criteria in its review of applications:

  1. Potential value of the project in stimulating the use of library resources
  2. Potential appeal and usefulness to a general audience
  3. Demonstrated need for publication
  4. Demonstrated ability of applicant(s) to undertake and successfully complete the project
  5. Adequate planning, with sufficient time and appropriate resources allocated to the project, as demonstrated by the work plan and budget
  6. Publication or distribution plans for the work (It should not be assumed that ALA will publish the work)
  7. Clarity and completeness of the proposal.


Projects are also subject to the following conditions:

  1. The Publishing Committee will only accept applications for works in progress. Works already completed or works under contract for publication are not eligible.
  2. The Committee will not accept applications for projects associated with the completion of academic program work (for example, dissertations or theses).
  3. Projects intended exclusively for non-U.S. production or distribution are not eligible.
  4. Projects are the preparation of guides to research resources and literature that are available in only one library or location are not eligible.
  5. Members of the Publishing Committee may not apply while serving on the Committee.

Application Guidelines

Applications must conform to the following specifications:

  1. Application material should be submitted electronically to or on 8.5" x 11" paper in reproducible quality.

Proposals must include the following components:

a. A cover letter that provides the project title and primary contact information (name, mailing address, email address and phone number).
b. A statement of purpose that provides a clear and concise description of the project, the scope of subjects covered and the intended audiences.
c. A plan of work that includes a schedule for completion and addresses research, compilation, and writing activities.
d. A plan for the timely publication or dissemination of the work. Electronic publication is encouraged when appropriate.
e. A budget that itemizes and justifies costs. Awards do not cover the purchase of equipment or production/manufacturing costs.

  1. Applications from individuals must also include the following:
    a. A resume, including a list of publications if applicable.
    b. Two letters of reference—professional references attesting to the ability of the applicant(s) to carry out the project.

Schedule and Procedures

The schedule and procedures for submitting applications are as follows:

  1. Proposals are accepted for review anytime during the year with a November 6 deadline for consideration by the Publishing Committee.
  2. Proposals are evaluated by the Publishing Committee at its Midwinter meeting. Letters are sent to all applicants by the end of February notifying them of the Committee's decision.
  3. Grant recipients sign a letter of acknowledgment and agreement, accepting the grant and the conditions for completion.
  4. A check for 90% of the allocated funds is sent to each recipient.
  5. Grant recipients send a brief status report twice a year to the Administrator; the exact dates are chosen when the grant check is issued.
  6. Completed projects are sent to the Administrator with records of expenditures and a report on dissemination or publication of the work.
  7. After project review by the Administrator and Publishing Committee, checks for the remaining 10% of funds are sent to grant recipients.
  8. Grant should be completed within three years of the award of the grant.
  9. If the project is published, recipients must include the following attribution line on the copyright page or in an otherwise appropriate or prominent location in the publication:
    Supported by a Carnegie-Whitney Award from the American Library Association.

Completed proposals should be sent to:

Mary Jo Bolduc
American Library Association
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
or e-mailed to Mary Jo Bolduc (

Questions should be directed to:

Mary Jo Bolduc
American Library Association
Phone 1-800-545-2433 x5416

Related Links

Awards & Scholarships Main Pages