Oberman and Rich Reaching Forward Conference Grant

Presented by Reaching Forward North, a professional development conference for library support staff in honor of Tobi Oberman and Tom Rich, who were instrumental in developing the Reaching Forward North Conference for library support staff.

We are no longer accepting nominations for this award.

This award recognizes the contributions of a support staff member to the library community and the role of support staff in libraries.


Open to support staff working in all types of libraries, including but not limited to, public, university, law, and medical, who may nominate themselves or others. Please note, staff working in smaller and/or rural libraries with limited budgets for staff development and training are strongly encouraged to apply. 


Submit a statement, one page or less, in response to the phrase “Why I (or my nominee) deserves to attend Reaching Forward." Please share examples of the nominee’s outstanding work and how the community is served.

Award Recipient

Recipient(s) will receive free registration to the current year's Reaching Forward North Conference, an overnight stay at the Reaching Forward conference hotel, $50 for expenses, and a framed certificate.

Nomination Deadline

March 31

Sponsor Contact

Illinois Library Association
Reaching Forward North Committee
560 W Washington Blvd., Suite 330
Chicago, IL 60661
phone: (312) 644-1896
fax: (312) 644-1899

Previous Oberman and Rich Reaching Forward Conference Grant for Support Staff Award Recipients

1995    Claudia Race and Rosemary Boenig
1996    Nancy L. Sergel and Darlene G. Ward
1997-98 Rosa Palomino and Debbie Rosen
1999    Lawrence Szymanski, Pamela H. Carlson, Mary Jayne Nash, Nadine Horn
2000    Charles Hoover and Sheryl M. Czulno
2001    Jorge Arroyo and Shirley Novotny
2002    Patricia Lewis and Delores Johnson
2003    Sharon Gums and Ruth Hart
2004    Vida Baleckaitis and Mickie Beckman
2005    Tamela James, Sue Altmann, Jan Colwell, and Jose Negrete
2006    Felicia Crumpton, Jennifer Heyden, and Jessica Bertola
2007    Fay Hutchings and Danny Van Dusen
2008    Lori J. Wilcox and Robert Wise
2009    Heidi Knuth and Patrick Rossi, Sr.
2010    Ann Kleinschmidt, Lawrence Bullman, and Char Vice
2011    Rhonda Szewczyk
2012    Claire Osada
2013    Cynthia Rauscher
2014    Zachariah Terrill
2015    Brian Valesh
2016    Georgia Pichinos-Anderson
2017    Noelle McDonough
2018    Carla Lasky
2019    Jessi Baker
2020    William Pleas
2021    Adrian Clark and Christine Steck
2022    Aisha Din
2023   Joshua Wirth

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