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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 DCLA Student Financial Assistance Committee will be awarding one $2,000 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.
  • Have never received a DCLA student loan previously.
  • 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.
  • Be a member of DCLA (current student membership is $15.00). Students are encouraged to apply for a bundled ALA/DCLA membership for $54.00 here: ALA/DCLA Joint Student Member Form
 *A reminder to all students, don't wait until after graduation to join DCLA to take advantage of membership benefits and get involved to make important career connections.

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 2024 award is Saturday, June 1, 2024.  Below are links to the application and recommendation forms.

2024 RFMSL Application.pdf 

2024 RFMSL Recommendation Form.pdf

Applications may be submitted by email to  

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

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