Early-career Librarian Scholarships

Early-career Librarian Scholarships provide opportunities for academic and research librarians six years or less of post-MLS experience to expand their professional horizons and to update their skills and knowledge by participating in an ACRL professional development experience.


  • Enhance librarians’ ability to provide excellent services to constituent groups
  • Increase participation of entry-level and minority librarians in ACRL professional development activities
  • Increase ACRL’s efforts toward being a more inclusive organization
  • Provide members with an active, positive interaction with ACRL that will strengthen membership retention


Approximately 90 scholarships will be awarded. Each will include complimentary registration (a $390 value), and $350 stipend to attend the ACRL 2021 conference, April 14-17, 2021 in Seattle, WA. The total value of each scholarship is $740.

Scholarship applicants must be:

  • ACRL members with six years or less of post-MLS professional library experience in a librarian role (excluding work study or student work) by the application deadline
  • Currently employed in a library
  • Recommended by their dean, director, or immediate supervisor

To be considered, applicants must:

  • Obtain a recommendation from their dean/director/supervisor in electronic form that can be cut and pasted into the application (not to exceed 300 words).
  • Complete the online scholarship application (available May 2020). The application includes a brief description of the applicant’s employment history as well as a description of how attendance at the ACRL conference will support their long-term goals (not to exceed 300 words).

The award committee consists of members of the ACRL Conference Scholarship Committee. The committee will score applications based on the following:

  • Responses to open-ended questions
  • Dean/director/supervisor recommendation

In awarding the scholarships, preference will be given to:

  • Applicants from diverse cultural/ethnic backgrounds
  • Applicants employed at institutions or in positions serving under-represented groups
  • Applicants who have not previously been awarded an ACRL scholarship
  • Applicants employed at community or technical colleges

The committee will strive to achieve diversity and balance among scholarship recipients and will also take into account financial need and geographical location of the applicant.


Scholarship Applicants will be notified via e-mail in mid-December, 2020. Applicants should not register for the ACRL 2021 conference until notified of their status to avoid the need for refunds. The discounted early-bird registration rate will be available until February, 2021 for those that may not receive a scholarship, but still plan to attend.

For questions contact Chase Ollis, ACRL Program Officer.

Scholarship Deadlines

October 23, 2020
Scholarship applications due

January 2021
Applicants are notified

“Attending ACRL was an empowering experience. I expanded my professional network, became inspired to be a more active member of ACRL, and left feeling better equipped to support the mission of the association.”

Ashleigh Coren, ACRL 2017 Conference Scholarship Recipient

Special Collections Librarian for Teaching and Learning, University of Maryland, College Park