Award Descriptions

SLA awards and honors recognize specific achievements and are given at different points in an information professional’s career. Each SLA award was created with a distinct purpose in mind and with its own meaning.

Do you know someone who exemplifies the characteristics and accomplishments of an SLA award? For example, do you know someone who has made outstanding contributions to the profession and to SLA over the course of a lengthy career in special librarianship? Nominate that person for the John Cotton Dana Award. Is there someone who actively teaches and/or mentors students or working professionals and is deserving of recognition? If so, nominate that person for the Rose M. Vormelker Award (the “Rosie”).

Recipients of SLA awards and honors are recognized at the SLA Annual Conference. To recognize an SLA member at the 2021 Annual Conference, complete the nomination application by May 18. Remember to keep the specific award’s meaning in mind—each application should address the purpose of that specific award and include the nominee’s activities, accomplishments, and contributions that align with that purpose. Describe, where applicable, the specific results and impacts of the nominee’s efforts that strengthen the case for that award.

Nominate an SLA Member
Award Criteria

John Cotton Dana Award

The John Cotton Dana Award is SLA’s top honor, named for SLA’s founder and first president. It is granted to an information professional to recognize a lifetime of achievement as well as exceptional service to SLA and the library and information profession. Dana Award recipients.

Fellows of SLA

Fellowship in SLA is bestowed on active, mid-career SLA members in recognition of past, present and future service to the association and the profession. Fellows are called upon and expected to advise the association’s Board of Directors, prepare necessary documentation, and alert the membership to issues and trends warranting action. Individuals receiving this honor will be able to use the title Fellow of the Special Libraries Association. NOTE: Members who are currently serving on the SLA Board of Directors are ineligible for designation as Fellows. No more than five SLA members will be selected for Fellowship each year. Fellows of SLA.

Rose L. Vormelker Award

The “Rosie” is presented to a mid-career member in good standing who actively teaches and/or mentors students or working professionals. Vormelker Award recipients.

SLA Hall of Fame

Membership in the SLA Hall of Fame is accorded to SLA members in good standing who are at or near the end of their active professional career to recognize service and contributions to the association. Hall of Fame recognition also is granted for lengthy distinguished service to an SLA chapter or division that has contributed to the success of the association. Hall of Fame Members.

James M. Matarazzo Rising Star Award

This honor is bestowed annually to recognize outstanding new SLA members who show exceptional promise of leadership and contribution to the association and profession. Nominees must have one to five years of professional experience as an information professional and have been an SLA member for five years or less. No more than five SLA Rising Star Awards will be awarded annually. Recipients will receive complimentary registration for the SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO in the year in which they receive the award. If you are planning to be nominated for the Rising Star Award, please don’t register for the conference. If you apply for the award and are not selected, we will still honor the early bird rate. SLA Rising Stars

Community Membership Growth Award

The Community Membership Growth Award’s purpose is to incentivize the communities to put effort into growing membership. An important activity for communities is to seek out new members. A growing membership brings vitality, energy, and new perspectives that provide value to the overall association. The hope is that offering this incentive will create a friendly competition between the communities while at the same time pushing effort into finding and attracting new members.

Recommended to the Board of Directors by SLA Fellow Jim Tchobanoff during the SLA Annual Conference in Cleveland. Approved by the Board on 15 June, 2019.

The award is as follows:

  • $1,000 to be awarded to the communities having the largest membership growth year-on-year
  • $1,000 to be awarded to the communities having the largest percentage membership growth year-on-year

Providing that SLA has overall membership growth year-on-year, based on community and Association membership numbers as of August 30, 2019.

Awarded funds must be spent within 18 months of it being awarded.

Awards can be spent on community-level activities or on sending community members to the Leadership Symposium or the Annual Conference.

Awards to be presented at the Annual Conference if all conditions are met.

Approved by the SLA Board of Directors

June 15, 2019

SLA Annual Conference: Related Awards

The resources listed are examples of the various grants and scholarships offered by SLA communities for conference attendance and education aid. Note: This list does not necessarily include all SLA Community awards, as these may change annually. Please check with your community for the latest information.

Asian Chapter Iowa Chapter San Francisco Bay Region Chapter
Business and Finance Division* Leadership & Management Division Science-Technology Division
Chemistry Division Minnesota Chapter (Click on “Awards”) Silicon Valley
Engineering Division Museums, Arts and Humanities Division (Updating) SLA Europe
Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Division New Jersey Chapter Frank H. Spaulding Student Scholarship Texas Chapter
Hawaii Chapter Pharmaceutical & Health Technology Division Washington, DC Chapter
Information Technology Division Philadelphia Chapter  New England Chapter 
International Information Exchange Caucus Physics – Astronomy – Math Division

* At least one award offered to a student.

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