Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant

About the Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant The Award is established by the Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) to honor the career and influence of Jan Merrill-Oldham, distinguished leader, author, and mentor in the field of library and archives preservation.Over the past three decades Ms. Merrill-Oldham has been instrumental in the development of standards and best practices, writing more than forty publications including co-authoring the Guide to the ANSI/NISO/LBI Library Binding Standard, a document used by almost all libraries and commercial library binders. Ms. Merrill-Oldham has served on key committees within ALCTS, ALA, the Association of Research Libraries, the Council on Library and Information Resources, the National Information Standards Organization and many others. She has educated and mentored countless preservation librarians and conservators and her support for students and dedication to the field serves as a model to all of us. In September of 2010, Ms. Merrill-Oldham announced her retirement after a long and notable career in library and archives preservation. In December 2010, she was named the recipient of the ALCTS Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes Jan Merrill-Oldham’s wide ranging contributions, deep commitment to the field of library and archives preservation, and her undying support of young professionals by supporting participation in an ALA Annual Conference.It is important however to encourage new and young preservation librarians and staff to further pursue their professional development. A significant part of that involvement is to attend the ALA Annual Conference to network and learn from their colleagues. Ms. Merrill-Oldham over her career has dedicated herself to mentoring young professionals and it is in recognition of that service that an award that supports professional development and involvement by librarians and para-professionals new to the preservation field be established.The Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant is awarded by the ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section to provide librarians and paraprofessionals new to the preservation field with the opportunity to attend a professional conference and encourages professional development through active participation at the national level. The grant is to be used for airfare, lodging, and registration fees to attend the ALA Annual Conference.

Administered by:

Association for Library Collections and Technical Svcs logoPreservation and Reformatting Section logo

Award and Frequency

The award consists of a $1,250 cash grant donated by the Library Binding Institute and a citation. The grant is applicable toward airfare, lodging, and registration fees related to ALA Annual Conference attendance.

This award is given out on an annual basis.

Application Instructions

Nominations and applications shall include:

  1. Name, address, phone number, and email address of the nominee and nominating party or applicant
  2. Letter of application or nomination
  3. Two letters of recommendation from professional colleagues who know the candidate and his/her work
  4. A resume or curriculum vitae
  5. A short essay (up to 500 words) on the following theme: How would receiving the Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant further your professional development goals?

Send nominations and applications via email to the award jury chair. See the jury roster.

Nominations and applications for person not selected for the award in one year may be resubmitted provided the person still meets the criteria. Previous winners are not eligible.

Contact Information

Beth Doyle (Chair, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018)
Anne Patricia Smith-Hunt (Chair, July 1, 2016, to July 31, 2017)
Keri Cascio (Staff Liaison, January 15, 2015, to June 30, 2018) - kcascio@ala.org
American Library Association
50 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611-2788

Displaying active committee roster as of 07/24/2017. Last retrieved on 07/24/2017. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

Selection Criteria

Criteria for selection will be determined based on the following:

  • Have five or fewer years of experience in the field of library and archives preservation.
  • Currently work as a librarian or para-professional within a library or archives preservation department or who has preservation responsibilities within their institution, or a person currently enrolled in a preservation-related graduate program.
  • Have never attended an ALA Annual Conference.
  • Recommendations from colleagues.
  • Express desire as stated in a short essay (up to 500 words) on the following theme: How would receiving the Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant further your professional development goals?
  • Willingness to participate in designated conference events:
    • Work with a member of the jury to identify relevant programs and interest group sessions to attend.
    • Attend the Preservation Administration Interest Group Meeting.
    • Attend a least one PARS discussion group meeting.
  • Submit a summary of the recipient’s conference experience to the ALCTS Newsletter Online no later than 30 days after the conference.

Members of the sponsor or its affiliated organizations are not eligible.