Allie Beth Martin Award

Baker & Taylor logo

Presented by the Public Library Association and Baker & Taylor. To submit a nomination for this award, please visit the PLA Awards Online Application.

Purpose and Criteria

The Allie Beth Martin Award provides recognition and a $3,000 honorarium to a librarian who, in a public library setting, has demonstrated: (1) extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books or other library materials; and (2) distinguished ability to share that knowledge. The award was established by the Public Library Association Board of Directors in 1978. After its 1993 fall meeting, the PLA Executive Committee notified PLA Award Chairs that the word “librarian” is defined as a professional possessing a Master of Library Science degree. Therefore, persons not having earned an MLS are ineligible to receive the Allie Beth Martin Award.

Only the materials submitted will be considered. They should represent a full portrait of your candidate’s accomplishments. Specific examples of work are more useful than general statements such as “The candidate loves books.” Supporting documentation is often helpful.


Members of the current Allie Beth Martin Award Jury are ineligible to receive Allie Beth Martin Award.

2020 Recipient

Beth Atwater
Collection Development Librarian
Johnson County Library (Overland Park, KS)

Past Recipients

  • 2019 Sondra Eklund
  • 2018 Hana Zittel
  • 2017 Maureen Millea Smith
  • 2016 Carolyn Gast
  • 2015 Mary Olson
  • 2014 Rollie James Welch
  • 2013 Bill Kelly
  • 2012 Kaite Mediatore Stover
  • 2011 Angelina Benedetti
  • 2010 Rebecca Vnuk
  • 2009 Barbara Clubb
  • 2008 Janice Benedict
  • 2007 Barry Trott
  • 2006 Georgia Lomax
  • 2005 Pamela Groves
  • 2004 Jean D. Trebbi
  • 2003 Michael B. Gannon
  • 2002 Merle Jacob
  • 2001 Nancy Pearl
  • 2000 Barbara Genco
  • 1999 Grove Kroger
  • 1998 Pauline Druschel
  • 1997 Mary Kierans
  • 1996 William Balcom
  • 1995 James D. Pate
  • 1994 Carol G. Walters
  • 1993 Kay K. Martin
  • 1992 Helen Mae Mullen
  • 1991 Sandra M. Neerman
  • 1990 Nyla Ching Fujii
  • 1989 Joyce Sariks
  • 1988 Daniel Robles
  • 1987 Susan B. Madden
  • 1986 Suzanne Sutton
  • 1985 Junivee Black
  • 1984 Cecil P. Beach
  • 1983 Hardy R. Franklin
  • 1982 Murray L. Bob
  • 1981 Birdie Law
  • 1980 Mary Louise Rheay
  • 1979 Harriet E. Bard

How to Nominate an Outstanding Colleague

To submit a nomination for this award, please visit the PLA Awards Online Application.

Sit back for five minutes and think of colleagues in public librarianship who have exceptional range and depth of knowledge about one or more kinds of library materials—fiction, nonfiction or reference books for adults or children, video, or serials.

Now think of a subset of this first group who have widely and enthusiastically shared their knowledge through book talks, presentations to community or professional groups, written reviews, etc.

PLA will forward the nominations to the current Allie Beth Martin Award Jury. PLA reserves the right to extend the application deadline.