The New Members Round Table (NMRT) and the American Library Association (ALA) Awards Committee wish to congratulate Student ALA at the University of Rhode Island as the winner of the 2013 ALA Student Chapter of the Year Award. They would also like to congratulate the ALA Student Chapter at Florida State University as this year's runner-up.
The Student Chapter of the Year Award is presented in recognition of a chapter's outstanding contributions to ALA, its school, and the profession. The purpose of the award is to increase student involvement in ALA through student chapters and to recognize its leaders. Official ALA Student Chapters are organizations formed by students at schools offering accredited programs of library and information studies. The winning student chapter receives a $1,000 travel grant to help with the cost of ALA conference attendance.
This year's Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee praises the University of Rhode Island's Student ALA for its accomplishments in each of the six categories related to the Student Chapter of the Year Award. The committee was impressed by the chapter's innovative, detailed application and by their commitment to reviving and nurturing their chapter to grow from only a handful of students to nearly 1/3 of the student body. The chapter leadership has approached this in a well thought-out and organized way to ensure the continued success of the chapter, and the committee is impressed with their efforts to reach out to regional and distance students, their extensive collaboration with their state library association, and their ambitious programming including organizing a conference on career development for librarians and students in the region.
Dr. Lauren Mandel, Faculty Advisor to Student ALA at URI, stated, "Truly, Student ALA at URI has gone from being an organization in name only to becoming an active student organization with increasing membership, activities and events, and democratic elections." Dr. Mandel's statement testifies to the dedication and determination of the Student ALA of URI.
The runner-up of this year's award, the ALA Student Chapter at Florida State University, is recognized for their diverse and frequent programming, and their impressive use of a variety of social media communication tools to reach students both traditional and online. The award committee commends them for their continued commitment to excellence after being named the 2012 Student Chapter of the Year.
The members of the SCOTYA Committee, NMRT, and the ALA Awards Committee appreciate the time and effort put in by all of the nominated ALA student chapters this year, and we encourage all to keep up the great work!