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 typically are recognized at the SLA Annual Conference; 2023 recipients will be recognized after the conference in a virtual ceremony. To honor an SLA member in 2023, complete the nomination application by June 1. 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
Nomination Tipsheet

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

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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