Scholarships and Financial Assistance

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Scholarships, financial aid and internships are available from a wide variety of organizations, associations and even some libraries.

If you are already employed by a library, the first thing you should do is talk to your employer to find out if your organization offers any support. This may come in the form of a flexible schedule, allowing you to conduct school projects and internships while being paid, or even scholarships from the library or its Friends group.

The next step is to investigate scholarships available through a wide variety of state and national library associations. Many of these are listed below. If your state is not listed, you may consider contacting the state library or regional association directly for further information.

Finally, you should contact the school you are applying to. They can provide information about scholarships, work programs, and financial aid.

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General Financial Assistance

ALA Scholarship Program

The American Library Association offers many general scholarships along with specialized scholarships targeted to support staff, youth services, school media specialists, and members of underrepresented groups.

Financial Assistance for Library and Information Studies

This annual directory describes awards from state library agencies, national and state library associations, local libraries, academic institutions, and foundations that give some form of financial assistance for undergraduate and/or graduate education programs in library and information studies.

IMLS listing of scholarships (being developed)

Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce

The Association of Research Libraries offers a stipend of up to $5,000 to attract and expose new library professionals from underrepresented groups to careers in academic and research libraries.

ALA-Accredited Programs

Contact individual graduate library education programs for information about specific financial assistance opportunities available at that institution.

Library and Information Technology Scholarships

The Library Information Technology Association sponsors four scholarships to encourage the entry of qualified persons into the library and information technology field.


Particular Scholarships and Other Programs by State


The California State Library coordinates the Public Library Staff Education Program, a grant program for public library and county law library employees pursuing a graduate library education degree. The program is described in an article entitled Finding and Funding Future Librarians—California Style by Kathleen Low in the October 2004 issue of American Libraries, pages 37-38.


  • The Delaware Library Association offers two graduate library education scholarships. Descriptions of the scholarships and application information are available on their website.
  • The University of Delaware Library Assembly of Professional Staff Library Student Assistant Scholarship offers an annual $500 award to a current or former University of Delaware Library student assistant.
  • The Delaware Higher Education Commission Librarian and Archivist Incentive Program provides merit-based awards for tuition, fees, and other direct educational expenses for Delaware residents enrolled full- or part-time in an ALA-accredited program.
  • The Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries offers an annual stipend of up to $1,000 to graduate library education students pursuing careers in academic librarianship. For more information contact Peggy Devlin, Dean of Library Services, Kutztown University at


A cooperative recruitment initiative between Southern University and Louisiana State University is described in Let Recruitment Begin with Me by Emma Bradford Perry in the May 2004 issue of American Libraries, pages 36-38.

New Jersey

The Become a Librarian site lists job shadow and volunteer opportunities in New Jersey.

New York

Queens Borough Public Library Page Fellows program is a fifteen-week course that encourages library pages to explore librarianship as a possible career choice.


Scholarships for Minorities and Underrepresented Groups

CIRLA Fellows Program

The Chesapeake Information and Research Library Alliance provides academic library work experience to students working on graduate library education degrees in the CIRLA Fellows Program.

Knowledge River Program

The University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science Knowledge River program attracts students interested in addressing library and information issues from the needs and perspectives of Hispanics and Native Americans.

ALA Spectrum Scholarships

The American Library Association sponsors Spectrum Scholarships for members of underrepresented racial/ethnic groups pursuing graduate library education degrees.

Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Scholarship

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Scholarship provides financial assistance to a student of Asian or Pacific background who is enrolled, or has been accepted into a master's or doctoral degree program in library and/or information science at a library school accredited by the American Library Association.

Prism Associates Program

University of Rhode Island/Providence Public Library Prism Associates Program provides members of ethnic minority groups with financial support and work experience while they pursue the Master of Library and Information Studies degree at the University of Rhode Island.

Century Scholarship

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies sponsors the Century Scholarship to recruit people with disabilities to the library profession.


Research Library Residency and Internship Programs

A database compiled by the Association of Research Libraries.