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Recruitment of talented staff and students into librarianship has emerged as a core goal of professional development in libraries. Creating improved opportunity for under-represented groups to enter the profession also has become a major goal.

To help meet these goals, the RALC Award for the Profession provides financial reimbursement for graduate education leading to an advanced degree in library science, information science, information systems, archival studies, or related programs. The Award is intended to support staff in RALC libraries who wish to earn a professional degree.

Approved: 1/23/04 | Revised: 1/31/06 | Revised: 4/30/19 | Revised 2/4/21 | Revised 2/2/23

Award Guidelines

The RALC Award for the Profession reimburses a minimum of $1,000 for the academic year to qualifying applicants. Awards are annual and are made once each year. Multiple recipients each year are possible if the fiscal resources of RALC permit. The following guidelines apply:

  1. Awards are provided without regard for financial standing.
  2. Applicants must have served for at least one year as a permanent employee at a RALC institution, including part-time permanent employment. Temporary employees are not eligible.
  3. Reimbursement can be dispersed as either half the award at the end of each term, or the entire award at the end of an individual semester or term. 
  4. Recipients must continue to work for a RALC institution during the term of the award. In the case of termination for any reason, the award for the current semester is not affected but the recipient is not eligible for further support beyond the current semester.
  5. Awards are annual. Recipients must apply each year to be eligible for multi-year support, and there is no guarantee that a recipient will receive an award each year.
  6. Awards cover tuition and fees for ALA-accredited graduate programs only. No other expenses are allowable.
  7. Applicants must earn passing grades to receive reimbursement. Payment is made to recipients after presentation of appropriate proof of payment to an institution for tuition and fees, and proof of passing grades at that institution.

Award Procedures

The application and reimbursement process is designed to create clear audit trails that document the decision process and award amounts. Application deadline is before the Spring Board meeting for awards covering the following academic year.

  1. Applicants will submit an application packet which includes the following:
    • Cover letter requesting an award and outline long-term career goals
    • Current resume
    • Name and position title
    • Institution and address
    • Length of employment at the institution
    • Library school where the applicant intends to enroll and the degree they wish to earn
    • Progress towards the degree
    • Existing credentials and education
  2. Applicants must provide at least two letters of support from colleagues at their institution, including one letter from their supervisor. The application packet should be emailed to the current President of RALC. 
  3. The current President of RALC will organize the review and ensure that consideration of the requests appears on the agenda for the Spring Board meeting.
  4. The RALC Board will make award decisions at the Spring Board meeting.