Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


I am not a resident of the United States or Canada, does the ALA provide any scholarships for non-U.S./Canadian citizens or permanent residents?

Yes. The LITA Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship is the only scholarship that does not have a residency restriction.

I am looking to obtain an undergraduate degree in library and information studies, does the ALA provide any scholarships toward undergraduate work?

No. At this time, the American Library Association does not offer any scholarships for undergraduate work and there is no agency that accredits undergraduate or associates programs in library and information studies. As you continue on in your studies, however, be sure to review the ALA scholarship page in case this changes.

I have already started library school, am I still eligible to apply for any ALA scholarships?

Yes, provided you have not completed more than 1/3rd of the credit requirements toward your degree by June 1st.  For example, if your library school program is 36 credits, you should not have completed more than 12 (12 or less) credits by June 1st.

I have completed more than 12 semester hours toward my MLS/MLIS/MIS, am I still eligible for any ALA Scholarships?

Yes. You are eligible for the following scholarships: the ALA Century Scholarship and the Spectrum Scholarship. You may click on the name for more information.

I am working toward my Ph.D. in library and information studies, am I eligible for any ALA scholarships?

Yes. The ALA Century Scholarship can be used toward a Ph.D. or Master’s program. You may click on name for more information.

What types of degreed programs do I have to attend in order to be eligible for an ALA Scholarship?

You must attend either an ALA-Accredited MLIS program, or a  Nationally Recognized NCATE-AASL Reviewed & Approved School Library Media Education Program.  The specific program you choose will depend on your area of interest.  The NCATE-approved program is generally for people interested in school library media programs.  The ALA-accredited programs are generally for all other areas of librarianship.  See the comparison list of requirements to determine which you need to attend.

Do I need to submit a personal statement? If so, what should be included in it?

Yes. Applicant should include a personal statement as part of the on-line application. It should consist of not more than 300 words and describe your interest and any work in your proposed field of study, including non-course educational experience, volunteer work, teaching or other relevant employment and publications. You should also indicate what specific competencies or characteristics you believe you have to offer the field of librarianship, what you can bring to the profession, and in particular what you have done which indicates your potential for leadership. Describe your career interests and goals and your commitment to library and information service.

Do I need to submit any references?

Yes. Three professional references are required.  Once you begin the application process, you will be asked to provide the name and email addresses of three (3) professional references.  These should be people (excluding family members) who are well acquainted with your educational background, intellectual abilities, professional experience, and personal character.  Each person listed will receive an email message with instructions for completing the online reference form.   An application will not be considered complete unless the three references are submitted  by March 1st.

What should I do if my recommender(s) did not receive the online reference form?

Send a message to Kimberly L. Redd at with Reference Request as the subject and include the recommenders name and email address.

Do I need to submit any transcripts?

Yes. An official transcript is required from bachelor's degree-granting institutions and any master's level work toward an ALA-accredited or NCATE approved master's in library science. Transcripts for other master's level work are not required but may be submitted for consideration.  The college transcript should be submitted only once regardless of the number of scholarships you apply for.   All transcripts must be received by March 1st (electronic transcripts will not be considered). They should be placed in a sealed envelope and mailed in one package along with other materials (as required by specific scholarships) to the following address:  ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601.