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Scholarships and Awards

Student Financial Assistance Program: Ruth Fine Memorial Student Loans

Throughout her career, Ruth Fine served as a mentor to budding librarians and encouraged talented, service-oriented people to enter the field of library and information service, especially in the public sector. She was also a leader in the library field, serving as President of DCLA from 1963 to 1964.

In 2000, Miss Fine left a generous bequest to the DCLA Student Loan Fund to assist future librarians. The interest from the bequest, supplemented by contributions from DCLA members, has been used each year since 2002 to award at least two $5,000 no-interest loans for library school students.  The amount was raised to $6,000 per loan beginning in 2010.

Apply for the Ruth Fine Memorial Student Loan

See Past Recipients of the Ruth Fine Memorial Student Loan

Ainsworth Rand Spofford President's Award

Named in honor of Librarian of Congress and first president of DCLA, this award recognizes contributions to the development or improvement of library and information services as evidenced by outstanding achievement in one or more of the following areas:

  1. active and innovative leadership in the advancement of library or information services
  2. promotion and development of improved public understanding of library and information services
  3. significant influence on attitudes of public or private officials who are in a position to support the improvement of library and information services
  4. promotion of a sustained legislative approach to improving the ability of libraries to provide for expanded services to users
  5. promotion or development of a program resulting an a sustained increase in voluntary support of library and information activities
  6. creative application of technology to the delivery of library and information services.

Community Service Award
Candidates for this award must have volunteered their library expertise to develop or improve a library service, program, or facility unrelated to their employment. The nomination must demonstrate a significant, long-term level of service and commitment that directly benefited the community in the greater Washington area. Preference will be given to current DCLA members.

Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes outstanding contributions by an active, current member of DCLA. The selection criteria are:
  1. active participation on committees or other support of the Associations
  2. Contribution in the form of innovation that has endured or been adopted as a on-going program of DCLA
  3. devoted volunteer services at Association events (e.g. Legislative Day)
  4. demonstrated leadership role in DCLA (e.g. Board Service, Interest Group chairs.

Elizabeth W. Stone Outstanding New Leader Award

Established in 2013, this award honors and recognizes a recent library/information school graduate who is making substantial contributions to his or her employing library or the District of Columbia area library community. This award is named in honor of former DCLA President and Catholic University Library School Dean Elizabeth W. Stone.

Nominees should:

  1. be a  DCLA personal member for the year nominated
  2. be employed in a DC area library for at least two years
  3. have received his or her library/information science degree no more than five years ago
  4. demonstrate a commitment to libraries or information services in his or her community
  5. make substantial contributions to their library or the larger community through innovation or leadership.

DC School Librarian of the Year Award

Established in 2021, this award recognizes PK-12 school library media specialists in the District of Columbia with library programs that embody the roles of a school librarian (instructional partner, information specialist, program administrator, and reading advocate) through innovative programs, school-wide collaborations, and engagement. The selection criteria are:

  1. Must have 3 or more years experience as a PK-12 certified school library media specialist in a public, private, or public charter school setting.
  2. The nominee must be an active member of DCLA as of March 1, 2024.
  3. Current DCLA School Library Section or DCLA Board Members are not eligible for the DC School Librarian of the Year Award.

Apply or nominate a colleague for the DC School Librarian of the Year Award

Other DCLA Awards
Occasionally DCLA hands out special, one-time awards to members that contribute in unique ways.  

Mailing Address:
DC Library Association
 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE
 Unit #: 1653
Washington, DC 20013
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