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Scholarships & Grants

PaLA MLS/MLIS Scholarships, Tuition Discounts & Continuing Education Grants

MLS/MLIS Scholarship • Tuition Discounts 

Conference Scholarships • Continuing Education Grants • Emerging Leader Application

PaLA offers scholarships for PaLA personal members, who are MLS students and complete at least three credits at an ALA- accredited school during the course of the scholarship year, to apply for scholarship support.

PaLA members also get discounted rates with Drexel University, and are eligible for Continuing Education Grants.

MLS/MLIS Scholarships (deadline May 15)

*In response to COVID-19 challenges, after much consideration, the Board has decided to suspend the awarding of any scholarships for MLS/MLIS programs for 2020.

Three (3) Pennsylvania Library Association MLIS Scholarships are available to Pennsylvania Library Association individual members who are seeking a Masters degree in the Library Science field that will earn them professional status. These  $1,500 awards require that at least three credits must be completed toward the degree during the scholarship year.


  • Pursuing (or intend to pursue) an ALA-accredited Masters program in the Library Science field
  • Live or work in Pennsylvania
  • Be a current PaLA personal member OR will be one prior to the May 15th deadline
  • Have not received a PaLA scholarship to attend graduate school OR it has been more than 3 years since you received one
  • At least 3 credits must be completed toward the degree during the scholarship year

Verification of enrollment in an ALA accredited graduate program and three references are required (see linked forms below). These forms may be submitted to PaLA Headquarters at anytime prior to online application submission.

For the online application, you will need to have handy:

  1. Your contact info
  2. Your current employer info
  3. The names of those who will submit a letter of recommendation
  4. Your personal essay (of no more than 500 words)

The personal essay is a statement that should relate to the following factors:

  • Scholarship
  • Motivation
  • Previous Library Experience
  • Basis of Need
  • Civic Activities
  • PaLA Activities

Tuition Discounts for PaLA Members

Online Degree and Certificate Programs are offered at a discounted rate through Drexel University. For more information, visit the Drexel website. Not a member? Join now!

PaLA Annual Conference Youth Services Scholarships

Grants to attend the PaLA Annual Conference are awarded annually. Find out more!

Continuing Education Grants

The Pennsylvania Library Association awards grants to personal members for continuing education and for programs leading to state certification as a Library Assistant or Provisional Librarian. Not a member? Join now!

The application may be submitted to the Scholarship Committee at any time during the year and the awards will be announced promptly after committee consideration.


  • The recipient must be a member of the Pennsylvania Library Association
  • Students may not use Continuing Education grants toward credit for a Master's level degree. These grants may be used towards undergraduate courses in Library Science.
  • Applicants may not use Continuing Education grants toward attendance at the PaLA annual conference.


To be considered for one of these awards, the applicant must submit the following three items:

  1. A letter stating his/her purpose for the continuing education.
  2. A letter from the individual's immediate supervisor, documenting the value of this specific continuing education.  Included in this letter must be an evaluation of the applicant's work performance.
  3. A description of the course or institution as provided by the sponsoring agency


ALA Emerging Leaders Program 

The Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) is pleased to sponsor a participant in ALA’s Emerging Leaders Program. The program enables a select number of new librarians to get on the fast track to leadership within ALA and the library field. The Emerging Leader Program kicks off with a day-long leadership development session during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Afterward, it grows and develops in an online learning and networking environment for six months.  The program culminates with a poster session presentation to display the results of the project planning work of each group at the ALA Annual Conference.

Participants commit to participating in all aspects of the program.  Participants may be offered an opportunity to serve on an ALA, division, chapter, or round-table committee, task force or workgroup as well as other library-related groups upon completion of program.  However, appointments are not guaranteed.

Pennsylvania Library Association will select one Pennsylvania member to sponsor. Apply directly to ALA and they will submit PA librarians for consideration to us for selection.

ALA Emerging Leader webpage


PaLA will ask the selected participant to serve the Pennsylvania Library Association at the state or chapter level. Only members of Pennsylvania Library Association will be considered for sponsorship.

Contact Us

220 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 10
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
717-766-7663 Phone
717-766-5440 Fax
800-622-3308 (PA Only)