Are You Studying Library and Information Science?

Apply for Scholarships Specific to Your Coursework

Library and Information Science is a growing field that offers a wide range of professional opportunities for students with a passion for research and raw information. As the digital age continues apace, library sciences will take on an even greater importance as entire archives of information will need to be cataloged, indexed, and stored on new mediums. Traditional libraries, both public and private, will also demand a steady influx of talented librarians with the ability to collate texts and ephemera with an eye towards the preservation of our cultural heritage.

Students interested in majoring in Library and Information Science will find a variety of scholarships designed to help them pay for their college education. The majority of scholarships and fellowships for Library and Information Science are dedicated to students working towards their Master’s degree. That being said, there are still a good number of scholarship opportunities for undergraduate students enrolled in library science courses. Scholarships for Library and Information Science are typically supported by colleges and universities, educational foundations, and national library associations.

University-Based Scholarshipslibrarian scholarships

Library and Information Science majors will find many scholarship opportunities sponsored through their college or university of choice. Universities offering accredited Library Science courses often provide scholarships and grants for their attending students. Eligibility requirements and monetary awards will vary greatly depending on the school, and students are encouraged to contact their college’s office of financial aid for information on scholarship programs for which they may be eligible.

The following university-based scholarships should give library science majors a better idea of what may be available to them through their school.

  • The University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science offers more than a dozen scholarships for its attending students. Among the many scholarship programs available are the Beta Phi Mu Scholarships and Fellowships. Six awards are given annually to library science majors at every stage of their education, with monetary awards ranging from $1200 to $3000. The university also offers the Reforma Scholarship for graduate level library science majors who are of Latin-American descent. The maximum annual award is $1500.
  • Wayne State University offers a variety of scholarships for students enrolled in the school’s Library and Information Science program. The majority of these scholarships are privately endowed. Current programs include the Isabel James Bath Scholarship, the Rosemary Benedetti Scholarship, the Sallie Ellison Memorial Scholarship and the Margaret Hayes Grazier Scholarship. Scholarships are available for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Awards are based on academic merit, with most requiring a minimum 3.0 GPA or better. As these are endowed scholarships, award amounts vary according to availability of funds and annual number of applicants.
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Sciences offers a wide range of scholarships for attending students majoring in Library Sciences and related studies. Among the many programs available are the Charlotte A. Friedman Scholarship, the Olive C. Koch Rowe Memorial Scholarship, the Sally Davis Scholarship and the William R. Werk Scholarship. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and financial need. Award amounts range from $1000 to $6000. Students may apply for any of these programs through the university’s office of financial aid.

Library Associations

Library associations, and national associations of librarians, are also prime sources of financial aid for students majoring in Library and Information Science. The goal of these organizations is to further the development of library sciences, and support the next generation of librarians. Two of the most notable library associations in the United States are the American Library Association and the Council on Library and Information Resources. The following scholarships and fellowships are sponsored by these two august organizations.

  • The American Library Association sponsors the annual Spectrum Scholarship for minority students pursuing careers as librarians. The program is open to African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, and Native-American students. To be eligible, students must be enrolled at least half-time in an accredited Library and Information Science program. 700 students will receive a one-time, non-renewable, scholarship of $5000 to be divided over two semesters of coursework. Awards are decided on the basis of academic merit and financial need.
  • The ALA offers two general scholarships for Library and Information Science majors. The David H. Clift Scholarship is open to all Library Science majors. It is a merit-based scholarship with an annual award of $3000. The Christopher Hoy/ERT Scholarship is also open to all Library and Information Science majors. The maximum annual award is $5000.
  • The Council on Library and Information Resources administers the CLIR/Library of Congress Mellon Fellowship. The award is open to doctoral students conducting research into new methods of cataloging and preserving valuable library collections. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in an approved doctoral program, and must be working on their dissertation using original source material at the Library of Congress. Fellowship recipients will receive a monthly stipend of $2000 for between 9 and 12 months, at which time they will be obligated to present their dissertation.
  • The CLIR, in cooperation with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, sponsors the Peterson Fellowship for post-graduate students conducting research into new technologies as they relate to library and information science. Emphasis is placed on proposals concentrating on new storage and retrieval technologies. Fellowship awards are determined according to the applicant’s research proposal.

Specifically Focused Scholarships

Students majoring in Library and Information Science will have a wide range of professional opportunities to consider. In addition to the traditional roles of librarians in schools and public libraries, students may also find employment working within highly specific academic fields. Academic libraries are typically defined by the discipline they serve, and cater to professionals engaged in highly specific research. Library Science majors interested in working within a closed academic field may find further scholarship opportunities through the professional associations aligned with that field.

For example, the following library associations offer scholarships and grants for Library and Information Science majors with highly specific career goals.

  • The American Association of Law Libraries – The AALL offers a number of scholarships for students interested in taking up the position of librarian in a dedicated law library. Legal librarians may find employment at law schools or large law firms.
  • The Medical Library Association – The MLA provides a number of scholarships and fellowships for library science majors pursuing careers in health sciences. Laboratories, hospitals and medical schools are the primary employers of medical librarians.
  • The Music Library Association – The Music Library Association provides educational opportunities for students in advanced library science studies with an emphasis on music. Large performing arts organizations like symphonies and conservatories, as well as museums and music publishers, are the primary source of employment for music librarians.

Library and Information Science offers a wealth of career opportunities. From grade school libraries to the National Archive, librarians stand at the forefront of the preservation and dissemination of all human knowledge. It is a noble calling that brings many rewards. For students interested in pursuing careers in Library and Information Science, scholarships and fellowships may provide the financial means the their professional goals.


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