NMRT Shirley Olofson Memorial Award Committee


This committee selects the winner of the Shirley Olofson Memorial Award, which is intended to help defray costs to attend the ALA Annual Conference.


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After the death of Shirley Olofson who was NMRT President for 1971/72 and died during her term of office, the NMRT Executive Board decided to authorize the establishment of an award to honor her memory. The award(s) are given to current or potential NMRT members who have attended no more than five American Library Association Annual Conferences. Initially supported through donations, the award is now funded through an NMRT budget allotment. The amount of the award and number of awards given has varied through the years.

Major Responsibilities

  • Make necessary changes to online application (with assistance of NMRT Web liaison);
  • Solicit applications from qualified individuals;
  • Select recipient(s) in relationship to available funds (a runner up should be chosen, but not announced unless the winner is unable to attend ALA Annual Conference);
  • Notify recipient(s) and announce the recipient(s) through official NMRT channels;
  • Notify and thank the applicants who were not selected to win the award;
  • Present award during NMRT's Award Reception at the ALA Annual Conference (working with the Award Reception Committee);
  • Ensure that award recipient(s) receive cash award;
  • Make changes to Current/Past Winners web page (with assistance of NMRT Web liaison).
Purpose, Criteria & Eligibility

Purpose of the award

The Shirley Olofson Memorial Award is presented annually in honor of Shirley Olofson, a well-respected former NMRT President, who died during her term in office. The award, which is intended to help defray costs to attend the ALA Annual Conference, is presented in the form of a check for $1,000 during the Annual Conference.

Award and award criteria

Applicants must be members of ALA and NMRT, participate actively in the library profession, show promise or activity in the area of professional development, have valid financial need, and have not attended more than five ALA Annual Conferences.


All ALA NMRT members who are not currently serving on the Shirley Olofson Memorial Award Committee and have attended fewer than five ALA Annual Conferences are encouraged to apply.

Apply, Evaluation & Notification

To submit an entry

Fill out the application online

Entry evaluation

The Award Committee will review the entries and select the winners based on their applications.


All applications will be acknowledged. The winner will be notified by email no later than March 31, so that the winner may attend the ALA Annual Conference.

Staff Liaison

Kimberly L. Redd, Program Manager, (HRDR & ALA-APA)

Get Involved

Megan Donnelly is the 2019 recipient of the New Members Round Table’s (NMRT) Shirley Olofson Memorial Award. Donnelly is an Adjunct Research Librarian/Instructor at Millersville University’s Francine G. McNairy Library and Learning Forum in Millersville, PA. Donnelly received her MS in Library and Information Science from Drexel University and a BA in English from Millersville University. She is an active member of the Association of College & Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Delaware Valley Chapter where she serves on the board as Blog Editor. She is also a member of the American Library Association, ACRL, and the NMRT.

Look at the list of the previous winners on this page.