ILA Awards Procedures

Awards Committee

The Awards Committee administers the recognition program of the association annually; works in conjunction with committee and forum managers to administer committee and forum awards; publicizes the awards to attract qualified nominees; selects association-wide award winners. Committee chair and members are appointed by the vice president/president-elect of ILA. Committee membership is limited to not more than ten personal members, in addition to the chair, representing diverse types of libraries. Members serve two-year, staggered terms with up to five members being appointed each year. The chair serves a three-year term: one as a member-at-large, one as the chair, and one ex-officio.Committee members who have been nominated or who have made a nomination for any award will remove themselves from commenting or voting during the voting process. In the event that a committee member’s library has nominations (either for the library or library employee), that committee member will remove themselves from commenting or voting during the voting selection. The ILA organization, ILA committees, and ILA forums are not eligible to be nominated for any ILA award.


  • Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award
  • Crosman Award
  • Librarian Of The Year Award
  • Deborah Dowley Preiser Marketing Award
  • Innovative Programs and Services Award
  • Alexander J. Skrzypek Award
  • Valerie Wilford Scholarship


  • Readers Advisory Award


  • Academic Librarian Of The Year Award


  • Intellectual Freedom Award


  • Robert R. McClarren Legislative Development Award


  • Robert P. Doyle ILA Conference Grant for Support Staff Award
  • Oberman and Rich Reaching Forward Conference Grant for Support Staff Award


  • TBS Technical Services Award
  • RTSF Scholarship


  • Trustee of the Year Award


  • Young Adult Librarian of the Year Award


  • Youth Services Achievement Award
  • Youth Services Librarian of the Year Award

All awarding groups must work in accordance with the established timetable listed in the Awards guidelines.

Awards not given by an ILA committee/forum but from another source, (such as a library, individual, company etc.), will be solicited, evaluated, selected and announced by the Awards Committee.

ILA committees/forums must:

  1. Solicit nominations in cooperation with the Awards Committee.
  2. Evaluate award nominations.
  3. Contact the award winners, in cooperation with the Awards Committee, and send all necessary follow-up documentation.

Lack of Suitable Award Applicant

Awards committee and committees/forums are not obligated to make a selection of a winner in any year when an appropriate candidate for an award is not available. In the event that no deserving nominations are received, the committee/forum may not then nominate a recipient. In the event that no nominations are received, the committee/forum may nominate one or more persons from which the committee/forum may then choose a recipient. See individual award descriptions for more information on award applicants.

Nomination/Review Procedure

The Awards Committee begins to publicize the nominations for ILA awards in January under the guidance of ILA staff. Publicity will be included in the ILA Reporter, ILA E-Newsletter, and on the ILA web page. Each committee/forum that is responsible for an award will work with the Awards Committee to promote its award. All publicity should start in the month of January and conclude in May.

All nominations and letters of recommendation should be received by the ILA office by close of business on May 15. Any nomination that does not include all of the necessary components outlined on the stated criteria of the award will not be considered.

The ILA office will send all necessary nomination documentation to Awards Committee members, as well as each committee chair/forum manager responsible for an award, and notify the Awards Committee chair of number of nominations received for each committee/forum award. A systematic procedure for evaluating nominations should be agreed upon prior to the selection. It is strongly suggested that the procedure and/ or form utilized in the previous year be used or at least serve as a point of reference.

Establishment of New Awards

The request for a new ILA or committee/forum award may be made by any member or committee/ forum of ILA or from any individual or group outside ILA interested in the recognition and development of libraries and librarianship. The following points should be considered for the establishment of a new ILA award:

  1. The intent and purpose of the individual or group making the proposal or donating a sum of money to be used for award purposes. ILA awards shall recognize significant achievements within the profession and not serve primarily as advertisements for the donor.
  2. The existence of already established awards in the same or similar areas of interest, since overlapping awards are to be avoided.
  3. The monetary award to the winner and a three-year commitment of funding.
  4. All ILA awards presented must have a personal, corporate, or other type of sponsor/underwriter.
  5. ILA awards are typically of two types: Conference Grants and Recognition Awards.

    A copy of the award proposal must be submitted to the ILA office in June in order to be considered for the following year; i.e., submit proposal by June for an award to be presented at the ILA Annual Conference.

    The ILA Executive Board shall consider each proposal at an executive board meeting. It is useful for a representative of the ILA committee/forum most closely connected with the proposal to attend this meeting to answer questions and to hear the advice of the executive board. The proposed award will be presented to the ILA Executive Board and, if approved, will be given to the Awards Committee Chair for inclusion in the official roster of ILA Awards.


Beginning in 2012, the following guidelines will be applied to funding levels for awards:

  1. A minimum three-year commitment of funding.
  2. Recognition awards will have a minimum award amount of $200.
  3. $100 annual administrative fee to be paid by sponsors to help offset the following:
    a. Preparation, printing and distribution of award criteria and nomination forms.
    b. Publicity and promotion of the award.
    c. Presentation expenses.
  4. If it is stipulated that an award winner is to be given a certificate or plaque, then the sponsor for that award will be responsible for cost of certificate or plaque

Discontinuing or Suspending an Award

ILA awards may be discontinued or suspended for any of the following reasons:

  1. Lack of nominations or applications for the award for three consecutive years.
  2. Inability of Awards Committee to select a winner because criteria are not relevant, impractical, or outdated.
  3. Continuing pressure on Awards Committee to influence the selection of a winner.
  4. Withdrawal of financial support by the sponsor.
  5. Any other reasons deemed appropriate by the Awards Committee. 

Recommendations to discontinue or suspend an ILA award will be presented to the ILA Executive Board for action.

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