EBSCO Information Services Library Staff Development Award (formerly the HW Wilson Library Staff Development Award)

About the EBSCO Information Services Library Staff Development Award (formerly the HW Wilson Library Staff Development Award)
An annual award consisting of $3,500 and a 24k gold-framed citation given to a library organization whose application demonstrates greatest merit for a program of staff development designed to further the goals and objectives of the library organization.

  This award was an HW Wilson Award, then the HW Wilson Foundation supported the award after EBSCO purchased HW Wilson.  It is now called EBSCO Information Services Library Staff Development Award

Administered by:

American Library Association logo

Award and Frequency

An annual award consisting of $3,500 and a 24k gold-framed citation.


This award is given out on an annual basis.


A library organization is defined as:
  • individual library
  • library system
  • group of cooperating libraries
  • state governmental agency
  • local, state, or regional association

Staff development is defined as:

"a program of learning activities that is developed by the library organization and develops the on-the-job staff capability and improves the abilities of personnel to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the library organization."

Application Instructions

Please complete the online application, including all supporting documentation as attachments.

Each Proposal must include the following:

Provide a concise description of the project proposal.

Statement of Need

  1. Include a brief description of the library organization making an application in terms of geographical location, library's clientele, and other descriptive information which will provide a clear understanding of the applicant.

  2. Briefly describe the library organization's current or proposed staff development program and its relationship to the organizational goals and objectives.

  3. Provide a clear statement of the need which this particular proposal will address. Describe the project's relationship to the organization's goals and objectives. Specify the target group who will participate in the project. Describe how representatives of the group have participated in the needs assessment project. (Include needs assessment documentation if available.)

Purpose and Objectives of Project Proposal
Include objectives which are realistic, attainable, measurable, and closely related to the identified need. Describe the expected outcome for the participants.

Project Proposal Implementation

  1. Identify person(s) responsible for this project and give qualifications and background.

  2. Describe the project plan in detail including instructional methods, materials, qualifications of trainers and resource people, a proposed agenda and other pertinent details.

  3. Outline the calendar to be followed to complete the project. (The money for the grant will be available following the ALA Annual Conference.)

Provide a detailed account of the full monetary requirements for all potential expenses such as personnel, travel, supplies, equipment, communications, etc. If part of the funds are being supplied by other sources, indicate the sources and amounts. Include the name of the fiscal agent.

Describe what measurement will be used to evaluate how well the project's goals and objectives were achieved. It includes assessing the project's impact. Include any instruments, evaluation methods and timetable, and who will conduct the evaluation.

Additional Information
Include additional support information regarding the ability of the organization to complete such a proje

Contact Information

Cheryl Malden (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2025) - cmalden@ala.org
Work Phone: (312) 280-3247
Fax: 312 944-3897
American Library Association
225 N Michigan Ave Ste 1300
Chicago, IL 60601-7616

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Selection Criteria

The criteria for selection of a grant winner include:
  • clearly defined documentation of the need in relation to staff development and the organizational goals and objectives;
  • a well-defined program that addresses the needs;
  • evidence that the proposal is part of the organization's ongoing staff development program;
  • the commitment and demonstrated ability to implement the program;
  • the evaluation methodology that includes assessing the program's impact on the library and that is appropriate to the outlined program; and
  • how well the proposal follows the application instructions.

Proposals are judged for:

  1. Clear statement of organization goals and objective.
  2. Clear statement of the link between library objectives and project objectives.
  3. Identifying the audience for the program and developing a program directed at that audience.
  4. Documenting the need for the program (is the need well-defined and important?)
  5. The quality of the design of the program.
  6. The clearness of the action plan and calendar, and the likelihood of the completion of the program in the stated timeframe.
  7. Whether the needed resources are available (including staff) to make the program a success.
  8. Whether the budget is adequate and reasonable for the program.
  9. Whether appropriate evaluation methods are being used.
  10. Additional areas that may be considered: the importance of the problem addressed; the seriousness of the proposal to the library's needs; whether the program will improve delivery of services to user.