Awards, Grants, Stipends and Scholarships

Awards, grants, travel stipends, fellowships, and scholarships for YALSA members.

Each year YALSA offers more than $195,000 in grants and awards to members who work with or on behalf of teens. Please click on the individual grant for application information. YALSA also sponsors one Spectrum Scholar and an Emerging Leader each year, using funds provided by the Friends of YALSA. YALSA members are also eligible for scholarships, awards and grants from the American Library Association. New to grant writing? Check out these great tips!

Collection Development Grant (formerly called the BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant)

This annual grant is funded by Baker & Taylor and awards $1,000 for collection development to two YALSA members who represent a public library, and who work directly with young adults ages 12 to 18. Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1 each year.

Great Books Giveaway

Each year the YALSA office receives approximately 3,000 newly published children's, young adult and adult books, videos, and CDs for review. YALSA and the cooperating publishers annually offer one year's worth of review materials as a contribution to up to 3 libraries in need. The total estimated value of this collection is $30,000. Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1 each year.

Frances Henne Research Grant

This annual grant of $1,000 is to provide seed money for small scale projects which will encourage research that responds to the YALSA Research Agenda. Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1 each year.

Innovation Award

This annual $500 award is funded by Friends of YALSA (FOY). It recognizes a member who has brought a new idea to life through their library that has benefited the teens in their community. Whether that idea is big or small, the innovation has made a positive impact on the community and illustrates YALSA’s vision for teen services as outlined in the report: “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action” and “Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.” Apply by December 1 of each year.

*New* Joann Sweetland Lum Memorial Grant

This annual $1000 grant aims to recognize a librarian who has a creative, innovative project that promotes literacy. Examples of literacy include, but are not limited to, digital, media, visual, computer, data, financial, civic/ethical, news, information, multicultural, and cultural. Apply by December 1 of each year.

MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

The annual MAE Award is designed to honor a member of YALSA who has developed an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults. The award provides $500 to the winner and an additional $500 to the winner's library or library agency. The award is made possible through the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Applications must be received by December 1 each year.

Service to Young Adults Outstanding Achievement Award

This award of $2,000, sponsored generously by Marney Welmers, recognizes the national contributions of a YALSA member who has demonstrated unique and sustained devotion in two or more of the following areas to young adult services: promoting services for and with young adults, conducting and publishing research about young adult services, mentoring other professionals in the field, or for notable efforts in the work of the Young Adult Library Services Association. Successful nominees have a demonstrated track record of work that has had a significant and lasting impact on the profession or YALSA. The purpose of the cash award will be to enable the recipient to further his or her good work in the field of young adult librarianship. Nominations for the next award will be collected in 2019 for an award announcement in early 2020.

YALSA Volunteer of the Year Awards

The YALSA Volunteer of the Year Awards acknowledge the contributions of YALSA members who have demonstrated outstanding service to the mission, goals and work of YALSA during a given service year. Awards are given in three categories:

  • Chair/Team Lead: leadership of an advisory board, blogging team, committee, jury, resource retreat, or task force
  • Individual Member: contributions of an individual member who has volunteered for YALSA in an official capacity, such as serving on an appointed group, staffing a YALSA exhibit booth, writing for a publication or blog, etc.
  • Group: work conducted as a whole by an advisory board, blogging team, committee, jury, resource retreat, or task force

Nominations are accepted through December 1 of each year. The recognition includes a one year membership to YALSA and a commemorative certificate for each category's winner(s). To nominate yourself, a group or an individual, please use this online form.

YALSA Writing Award

This award honors the best writing in YALSA’s blogs and journals. Prizes will be given for a winning article in each of the journals and blogs. As of 2018 they are: Young Adult Library Services, the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, the YALSAblog, and The Hub: YALSA’s YA Collections Blog.

Scholarships, Stipends, and Fellowships

Funding for YALSA's sponsorship of the Spectrum Scholars and Emerging Leaders programs come from the Friends of YALSA. Funding for the Young Adult Literature Symposium Stipends come from the William C. Morris Endowment. YALSA offers other contests and stipends for various initiatives each year.

*New* Regina U. Minudri Young Adult Scholarship

The scholarship is to be given once a year to a Masters degree candidate in Library Science who intends to work professionally with young adults in public libraries. The purpose is to provide financial assistance and encouragement to developing young adult librarians. This scholarship runs annually from September 1st - March 1st. The scholarship amount is $3,000.

YALSA Conference Grants

The two stipends of $1,000 each are funded by Baker & Taylor and are awarded to library staff who work for or directly with young adults in a public or school library or library agency to enable them to attend the Annual Conference for the first time. Applications are due December 1.

Dorothy Broderick Student Conference Scholarship - Funded by YALSA's Leadership Endowment. Funds travel to the Annual Conference for one graduate student for up to $1,000. Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1 each year.

Board Fellow Program

Each year, YALSA sponsors one Fellow to attend conferences and work on the board to gain leadership skills and learn about association governance. Apply by December 1.

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

An award that will provide up to $3,000 to one recipient to cover research related expenses (including travel to conferences relevant to dissertation research). The award aims to encourage research on teens, learning and libraries, specifically research that aligns with YALSA's National Research Agenda, and/or research that investigates any aspect of YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff. Apply by March 1.

Midwinter Paper Presentation

A paper presentation at ALA's Midwinter Meeting is given each year on trends impacting young adult services. The selected presenter will receive up to $1,500 to defray registration and travel costs. Apply by June 1.

National Library Legislative Day Travel Stipend

YALSA’s YA Advocacy Travel Stipend will enable two qualified recipients to receive up to $1,000 to attend ALA’s National Library Legislative Day, is held in Washington, D.C. each May. Learn more about National Library Legislative Day. Submit your application here by December 1.

Spectrum Scholarship

Each year, YALSA sponsors two Spectrum Scholars. Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of racially and ethnically diverse librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future. YALSA sponsors two Spectrum Scholars with an interest in serving youth ages 12-18 in a library setting. Applications are accepted October to March each year. Listen to an interview with Linda Braun, YALSA past president, and Hoan-Vu Do, YALSA's 2010-2011 Spectrum Scholar at YouTube. You can view a list of current and past Spectrum Scholars who were sponsored by YALSA on this page.

Emerging Leaders

ALA's Emerging Leaders program enables newer library staff from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups; network with peers; gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts them on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership. YALSA sponsors one Emerging Leader annually. A list of current and past YALSA-sponsored Emerging Leaders is available on this page. Application opens mid-June. Apply by August 31.

YALSA Liaison to ALA

Each year YALSA identifies one member to serve as the official YALSA Liaison to ALA groups that seek Division representation. Apply by April 1 to receive a stipend to defray the cost of travel to ALA conferences.

Young Adult Services Symposium Stipends

Every year YALSA holds the Young Adult Services Symposium and provides up to two stipends for attendance. Both stipends offer up to $1,000 in funds for travel and registration. One stipend will be awarded to a library worker who works directly with young adults, with one to ten years' experience and the other will be awarded to a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited MLS program at the time of the symposium. Applications for both the student stipend and the worker stipend must be submitted online by June 1st.