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Ruth Fine Memorial Student Loan* Application Information

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 bequest, supplemented by contributions from DCLA members, has been used each year since 2002 to award interest-free loans for library school students. The amount was raised to $6,000 per loan beginning in 2010. In 2021, DCLA will be awarding one $6,000 interest-free loan to a library or information science student.

To qualify for this no-interest loan, an applicant must:

  • Be attending a university in an American Library Association-accredited graduate program.
  • Be a member of DCLA (current student membership is $5.00).
    Students are encouraged to apply for a bundled ALA/DCLA membership for $42.00 here: ALA/DCLA Joint Student Member Form
  • Submit a statement of professional goals, including why the library/information science field was chosen.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation. A reference from a current DCLA member is preferred for one of the two letters.
  • Demonstrate a definite need for the loan and indicate whether other loans, grants, or scholarships have been received.
  • Have never received a DCLA student loan previously.

Loans are awarded based on commitment to pursuing a professional career in the library/information science field, academic background, previous work experience, and financial need. Preference will be given to Washington, DC, residents or someone employed in the District of Columbia, but awards have been made to members who live, work, or study in the Washington Metropolitan Area as well.  Awardees are expected to become active members of DCLA upon graduation.

 *The loan may be forgiven upon evidence of superior academic achievement (3.0 or better GPA) for the twelve (12) months of study following the award

The deadline for the receipt of applications for the 2021 award is Friday, June,11, 2021.  Below are links to the application and recommendation forms.

 2021 Application (.pdf file) 

 2021 Recommendation Form (.pdf file)

Applications may be submitted to or mailed (no signature required) to Matthew Plank 6006 Halsey Road, Rockville, MD 20851.

Please contact Matthew Plank, (Acting Chair, DCLA Student Financial Assistance Committee) at with any questions about the Ruth Fine Memorial Student Loans.

Mailing Address:
Union Station
 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE
P.O. Box 1653 Washington, DC 20002
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