When the words library science float into your brain, what do you think of? The Dewey Decimal system? Johannes Gutenberg, painstakingly carving letters for the first printing press? The opening scene of Ghostbusters, with that ghostly bookkeeper at the New York Public Library? In today’s information age, some talking heads have deemed libraries as a relic of the past. However, this misinformed opinion could not be further from the truth.
According to a recent survey by the American Library Association, nearly 80% of Americans consider both the ability to borrow books and the presence of informed librarians to be “very important” to the structure of our society. Flying in the face of cynicism, public libraries have rebounded from the nationwide financial crisis of 2008 to retain their rightful place as vital cogs in our society. If you’re a person who values organization, knowledge, and having a place for everything, library science is calling your name. The major is dependent on students having a passion for books and learning, but also in helping others find books and learn. For students pursuing this major, here are a few library science scholarships you may want to pursue:
Deadline: March 15
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is consistently ranked by historians in the top tier of US presidents. Beloved for his leadership during the climb from the Great Depression, and later, through the early days of World War II, FDR’s vision for the country was one of democracy, light, and knowledge. He expressed this ideal in a succinct manner, saying “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education”. Roosevelt’s commitment to both education and knowledge lives on to this day through his presidential library’s archivist program.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute offer an outstanding opportunity for students interested in history and library science to dovetail both of these skills. Any student may apply, but preference is given to library science majors and those with a working knowledge of various organizational systems. If accepted into this program, interns will work full work weeks at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, New York, documenting and archiving Roosevelt documents, and assisting visitors who wish to learn about Roosevelt. Interns receive a generous financial stipend, as well as inimitable real-world historical experience, and an amazing achievement for their resume.
Deadline: March 1
The aforementioned American Library Association is something of an umbrella term for many smaller divisions throughout the country, each with their own goals and focuses. One of the larger divisions is LITA, or the Library and Information Technology Association. LITA, a branch of the ALA, focuses on outreach, moving libraries further forward in technology through their devotion to new ways of expanding the appeal of ALA libraries. One of their most frequent partners is OCLC, the Online Computer Library Center, which ties in nicely to their dream of providing every library in the country with the most up to date technology possible.
OCLC and LITA partner up annually to sponsor their Minority Scholarship in Library and Information Technology, aimed at expanding library outreach in minority communities. Open to minority students who have a demonstrated interest in the future of library and education systems, the application consists of a personal statement, a few letters of recommendation, as well as a brief run-through of personal experience. The winner of the much-sought-after scholarship also receives a place of honor at the annual LITA President’s Program at the ALA’s annual conference and receives a $3,000 scholarship towards studying library science at an institution of their choice.
Deadline: May 15, 2020
The great state of Georgia has a long and decorated history of supporting literature and writing, as the home of writers such as Alice Walker, Flannery O’Connor, and Margaret Mitchell. Needless to say, with this type of history, the state takes it as a serious ingrained responsibility to support the continued growth of the library program, which will, in turn, stimulate interest in classic literature. To help recruit young librarians for the Georgia Library Association (GLA), several library science scholarships are offered by the organization, principal among them the Hubbard Scholarship.
Named after C.S. Hubbard, described as “an early supporter of libraries in Georgia,” the award honors his legacy through their outstanding dedication to incentivizing young library science majors to the tune of a $3,000 scholarship. Applicants must be college students pursuing a degree in library science who sign a binding agreement to work for one year without the Georgia library system. In return, the winner receives financial assistance in completing their degree as well as a guarantee of a job right out of college, two aspects of education that are vital in the post-recession economy.
Deadline: March 1
Another offshoot of the ALA, the ALSC, or Association for Library Service to Children, focuses on providing library services to the youth of the country, as well as maintaining the children’s branches of local libraries nationwide. In partnership with the ALA, the ALSC offers the Bound to Stay Bound scholarship to students who combine passions for the library with a penchant for elementary education.
Applicants must be pursuing a career as a librarian and have been accepted to or taking classes at an ALA-accredited library school. The application consists of an official academic transcript, three references, as well as a personal statement describing their commitment to children and knowledge. If accepted into the program, the scholars receive a financial reward of $8,000 in return for a commitment to work in an ALSC/ALA-accredited children’s library program upon graduation.
Interested in Library Sciences? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to discover schools around the country that offer it as a major!