Chapter 7: Awards and Scholarships

ASCLA awards program

The ASCLA Awards Program recognizes outstanding achievement by members of the library profession. These awards honor librarians and libraries for significant current or past achievements such as publications, program development, and leadership in the profession. Awards may include a citation and may also include a cash award. ASCLA awards may be made to individuals or groups. Depending on the terms of the award, recipients need not necessarily be members of ASCLA. All ASCLA awards must conform to the guidelines contained in the Awards Manual of the American Library Association.

Application forms are available in the Awards section of the ASCLA website. The deadline for application for most awards is December 15. The application deadline for the scholarship is March 1st. Awards are presented at the following ALA Annual Conference.

Committee responsibilities

ASCLA awards may be administered by an ASCLA section, committee, or by the division. The administration of ASCLA awards includes these committee responsibilities:

  • establish the terms of the award, including the criteria and process for selection
  • make certain the award and its criteria are broadly publicized; post call for award nominations on appropriate electronic discussion lists
  • identify ways to encourage award applications
  • work to ensure a good pool of applications
  • nominate candidates for award consideration
  • select, notify and announce recipients of the award
  • compile information for a press release about recipient and forward to ASCLA office
  • write a citation if one is to be presented as part of the award. A citation should not exceed 150 words.
  • work with donors to ensure that support for the award remains available, and that the purpose of the award is agreeable to both donor and ASCLA
  • review the purpose and procedures of the award as part of the unit's regular reviewing process

ASCLA staff responsibilities

  • assist in the establishment of an award by providing information on current ASCLA awards and interpretation of award policies and procedures
  • ensure that ASCLA awards are publicized with other ALA awards
  • assist with printing of citations, the preparation of plaques or other materials needed for an award
  • ensure that awards are periodically reviewed by the ASCLA unit responsible for their administration

Selection and funding

ASCLA award selection is made in closed session at the Midwinter meeting by committees specially appointed by the administering unit. All ASCLA awards are announced in Interface.

In accordance with ALA guidelines, cash recognition awards should not be less than $1,000. Recurring funding for an award must include an amount to cover the costs of the award's administration, currently set at $250. The administrative funding is used for publicity and to reimburse ASCLA staff time. The amount of administrative funding needed for an award should be determined in consultation with ASCLA staff prior to the establishment of an award.

All ASCLA award procedures stipulate that committees should not be compelled to make awards in years when suitable candidates have not been identified.

ASCLA awards committees

ASCLA currently has two awards committees and one scholarship committee: the ASCLA Awards Committee, which is responsible for five of the awards; the Francis Joseph Campbell Award Committee and the Century Scholarship Committee. The last two are committees within the LSSPS.

Establishing new awards

Any ASCLA group may propose the establishment of a new ASCLA award. The number of ASCLA awards should remain limited however to ensure that the prestige of the awards is not diluted. For similar reasons, care should be taken to make certain that the purpose of awards is not duplicated.

All proposed ASCLA awards must be reviewed by the ASCLA staff and must be approved by the ASCLA Board of Directors and the ALA Awards Committee. Proposals for new awards should include the following information:

  • name of award
  • definition and criteria of award. Specify the person(s) or group(s) eligible to receive the award, the purpose(s) for which the award will be given, and a brief outline of the criteria to be followed in selecting a winner.
  • number and frequency of award. Designate the number of possible recipients at any one time and how frequently the award is presented.
  • selection of committee to administer the award. Indicate the person who appoints the committee to administer the award. Include particular group or groups, if any, from which committee members will be chosen. State the number of committee members and any special qualification needed by the jury members.
  • deadline for nomination of candidates. Specify the date nomination are due and the form that nominations will take. The date for nomination should be December 15 or such date as specified for other ALA awards. The dates of the Midwinter Meeting affect the date nominations are due.
  • screening of candidates and recommendation. Indicate the means used to determine the award recipient
  • presentation of the award. Specify dates for the announcement and presentation of the award. Note: ALA awards should be designated for presentation "at an appropriate meeting at the Annual Conference."
  • form and/or type of award. Designate form and/or type of award to be given, i.e. cash, citation, medal, etc.
  • donor. Specify the individual, group, institution, etc. who will provide funds for any cash award and the administrative costs incurred.
  • contact person. Include name, address and telephone number. Ten copies of the award proposal must be submitted to the Awards Committee Chair one-month prior to the Award Committee's regular meeting at Midwinter or Annual Conference that is at least six months prior to the anticipated date of advertisement.

Reviewing awards

Each award should be reviewed as part of the administering unit's regular review process. The review should consider the appropriateness of the award's purpose and procedures and the adequacy of the funding.

Suspending or modifying awards

The ASCLA Board and ALA Awards Committee must approve suspension or major modification of ASCLA awards.

Awards calendar


ASCLA office prepares composite press release to call for award nominations.


Award Committee chair/members publicize the call for nominations, including posting the call to appropriate electronic discussion lists, contacting library schools, etc.

December 15

Deadline to submit award nomination.


Committee selects award recipient in closed session.

Two weeks after Midwinter

Chair notifies recipient and provides information on presentation time and requests two head photographs (b/w or color). Chair also notifies ASCLA office of recipient. Chair submits an "ALA Award Recipient Media Profile" to the ASCLA office.

March 1

Chair submits citation copy (where applicable).


ASCLA office notifies donors of award recipient and makes arrangement for check. Staff arranges for plaques and citations.

June 1

Chair notifies recipient of time, place and protocol for the award presentation.


Chair and donor present award to recipient.

After Annual Conference

Chair forwards material to incoming chair.