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Diane Hunter, CHAIR, 2012-2015,
Regina Cooper, 2012-2014,
Crystal Gale, 2013-2016,
Maureen Willmann, 2014-2017,
Kathy Condon-Boettcher, 2011-2014, PAST-CHAIR,




Previous Awards

  • Beta Phi Mu Excellence In Librarianship (no longer awarded) past winners

Nomination Process

Is there someone in your community who has worked hard for libraries? Do you know a librarian who deserves recognition? How about a deserving Library Science student? Has your library staff done an extraordinary job promoting the library in your community? Is there an author, associated with Missouri, who is worthy of recognition? Do you know a trustee who has performed exemplary service? If you have answered yes, then please submit a nomination for the appropriate Missouri Library Association Award or scholarship application.

MLA awards and scholarships are described below. For all awards and scholarships. Print and complete the desired nomination form, or use the online version, when available. Send your completed form and any required documentation by the stated deadline to Missouri Library Association headquarters:

Missouri Library Association
13610 Barrett Office Drive, Suite 206
Ballwin, MO  63021

After you submit online nomination forms, you will be given the name and email address of the person (either the Awards chair or the chair of the MLA Committee or Community of Interest in charge of the award) to whom supporting materials should be emailed.

Questions should be directed via email to MLA President Gerald Brooks by e-mail.

Unless otherwise noted, the nomination /
application postmark and email submission deadline is July 1.


The Francis "Bud" Barnes Outstanding Legislator Award is sponsored by the Legislative Committee and is given annually to a Missouri legislator in recognition of exceptional contributions to the welfare of Missouri's libraries. The award is named in honor of State Representative Francis (Bud) Barnes (District 96) whose long devotion to Missouri libraries and whose contributions to library-related legislation are gratefully acknowledged.

The Meritorious Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to libraries in Missouri. A recipient must be either an individual outside of the library profession or a retired librarian. Nominees must reside in Missouri and should have made either a contribution to libraries that gained recognition beyond the local level or have made an innovative contribution in the decisive factors in library development.

The Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award, administered by the Youth Services Community of Interest of MLA, is presented annually to the author and illustrator of the picture book voted most popular by preschool children in Missouri's public libraries. Designed to encourage reading aloud to children from birth through kindergarten age, the award was first given in 1996. Parents and other caregivers are encouraged to read aloud to children from a list of ten titles selected annually by a group of Missouri children's librarians. Colorful posters, bookmarks, activity sheets, and a manual of great ideas add to the fun.

The Missouri Library of the Year Award is conferred upon any type of Missouri library, library system, or library network for distinguished achievement in service.

The MLA Literary Award recognizes a Missouri writer or an individual who has written an outstanding book on some aspect of Missouri life. The Award may be given for a body of work or for an outstanding book written during a specific year.

The Outstanding Library Employee Award recognizes a library employee who has made a significant contribution to the improvement and advancement of library and information services.

The Outstanding New Librarian Award recognizes a librarian who has made a significant contribution to the improvement and advancement of library and information services. Nominees must have one full year of library service in Missouri prior to their nomination and less than five years, post- MLS experience in the library profession. Nominees must possess an MLS degree and must have demonstrated creativity and inventiveness in their achievements.

The Public Relations Achievement Award recognizes a Missouri library for outstanding public relations during the previous year. Libraries may submit pictures, newspaper articles, sample printed pieces, or their own written account of outstanding public relations activities for the period of June 1 of the preceding year to May 31 of the current year. A description of the purpose or goal of the project must be included.

The Ronald G. Bohley Award is presented by MLA and Amigos Library Services to an individual or individuals whose actions have led libraries to work better together and who exemplifies the best efforts to reach out beyond his or her own institution to promote cooperative activities among libraries.

The Show Me Youth Services Award is sponsored by the Youth Services Community of Interest and recognizes a library employee, Friend, or Trustee who serves and/or advocates for children or young adults and who demonstrates notable and outstanding performance in planning, developing, and promoting programs, services, collections, reading activities OR advocating for children and/or teenagers in their libraries and communities. A library degree is not required but the nominee must be a member in good standing of MLA. A minimum of three (3) letters of support that attest to the nominee’s qualifications for the awards must accompany the nomination form.

The Virginia G. Young Outstanding Service Award recognizes an individual trustee for exemplary service to libraries in Missouri. MLA awarded Virginia G. Young the inaugural Outstanding Service Award in 1994 and named it in her honor.


The Thusnelda Schmidt Scholarship, offered for the first time in 2014, is sponsored by the Youth Services Community of Interest (YSCI) of the Missouri Library Association and is made possible by the Thusnelda Schmidt Fund. Recipients of this award may use scholarship money to attend regional or national continuing education events to strengthen their skills in youth librarianship.

Nomination Deadline: January 31.

The Patt Behler Call-to-Conference Award is sponsored by the Youth Services Community of Interest (YSCI) and is offered to introduce working librarians to the activities and programs of MLA and YSCI and to encourage involvement and on-going participation in the professional activities of those organizations. The Award covers first-time MLA membership dues, conference registration fees, Thusnelda Schmidt luncheon expenses, and an autographed copy of the luncheon speaker's book.

Nomination Deadline: July 1.

The Ronald G. Bohley Scholarship is sponsored by the Professionalism, Education, Employment, and Recruitment Community of Interest(PEERCI) and is awarded annually to an individual enrolled in or recently accepted into an ALA-accredited program in pursuit of a Master's degree in Library/Information Science.

Nomination Deadline: June 1.

The American Library Association Emerging Leader Program - Beginning in 2012, the MLA has sponsored an American Library Association Emerging Leader from Missouri to help pay the costs of participation in the program. Each nominee must be a library worker who is 35 years or younger and has 5 years or less experience working as a professional/paraprofessional in a library.

Nomination Deadline for MLA Sponsorship Participation: July 1.

This page was last updated
May 16, 2014

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