Historical Awards

Q. In a few weeks, one of our colleagues will retire. We know she has received several honors from the American Library Association. Is there any place we can research what they are?

A. We in the ALA Library—and in the divisions and offices, as well—have received this question, or similar ones, over the years. With ALA offering nearly 200 awards or other forms of recognition each year, some at the Association level, others by divisions or round tables, researching the question can be slow.

So, over the past few years, staff in the ALA Library have worked with our colleagues around headquarters, especially the IT folks, to develop a database of both current and historical awards.

The result is now available on the Awards, Grants Awards, Grants and Scholarships page of the ALA website.  This database can be browsed in its entirety or by broad sub-category--

  •     Book, Print & Media Awards
  •     Grants & Fellowships
  •     Professional Recognition Awards
  •     Scholarships

There are also two special collections of these, Recommended Lists ("Best of") and Youth Media Awards.

You will want to use the search feature! It is also possible to search by the name of the award, grant, or scholarship; the title receiving an award; the person receiving an award; or the sponsor of an award, grant or scholarship.
Although we have worked hard to research the historical awards and to fill in past winners, we know there are still some gaps in coverage.  We do have some enhancements planned, but let us know what you think: library@ala.org.

A word of special thanks to George Eberhart and Louise Gruenberg for input over the years, and much gratitude to Reference Librarian Rebecca Gerber for making it possible.



very cool!

Did I miss something?? It does appear the database can be search for a name??

A database like this could be very helpful but how will it be maintained? While many 2012 awards have been announced, the professional recognition awards entries appear to link to 2011 or earlier recipients. Will the page have a link to request corrections?


Staff in units offering awards are currently receiving training in how to update the database. We hope to have all 2012 awards added before Annual Conference.

Each awards page has a link to enter feedback, which goes to ALA Connect.  Please do use that link, as we monitor the comments and suggestions.



Yes, the database can be searched for a name, using the dialog boxes at http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/search.

Actually, a sort of dumb, but cool search, is to search by a first name, just to see the results and experiment a bit.

Thanks, Sue!  We're hopeful that it will be a useful resource for those looking to see what types of awards there are and how to apply.  We're often asked if there are travel grants … and there are (see http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/search/grnt/text/travel/status/act, which is a result set).  It's so new that I'm still having to remember to use it myself!