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Reference Service Press Fellowship
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Reference Service Press Fellowship

The Reference Service Press Fellowship encourages college seniors, college graduates, and beginning library school students to prepare for a career in reference/information service librarianship.

The Fellowship has been offered annually since 1993. It is provided by Reference Service Press, the only publishing company in the United States specializing solely in the development of print and electronic sources of information on financial aid for specific groups, including women, minorities, the disabled, individuals interested in going abroad, and veterans, military personnel, and their dependents.

A maximum of one scholarship is awarded each year. The recipient is awarded $3,000, a one-year student membership to CLA, and a certificate of recognition. He or she is honored at the CLA Awards Ceremony during the annual conference and is encouraged to enroll into CLA's Mentoring Program.

Apply for the Reference Service Press Fellowship.

2013 Fellowship Recipient

Michelle Pino

Michelle Pino currently works for County of Los Angeles Public Library.  She has served as a Library Assistant I since 2004 and has worked in public libraries since 2001.  She completed a Bachelor’s degree program inBusiness Management from the University of Phoenix in 2011. During this time she kept in close contact with librarians regarding her progress in school and made adjustments in her life to raise her young children, work full-time and focus on her studies in order to accomplish her professional goals.  Pino’s  twelve year career at the County Library has prepared her for a career as a librarian. Working in different departments has helped her gain a broad understanding of the library from working in the field to working behind the scenes. She has had experience as a library page, a library aide, and as a Library Assistant I. Her mother and sister work for the library and the fact that family members work for the library as well it became a part of her.  

Fellowship Information

Application period
The 2014 fellowship application period opens January 21 and closes April 11. Successful recipients will be notified by June 2014.


  • The Reference Service Press Fellowship  is open to (1) college seniors or college graduates who have been accepted in an accredited master's degree program in library/information studies (documentation is required) or (2) graduate students currently enrolled in an accredited master's degree program in library/information students (full or part time) who will have completed no more than eight credits when the award is made.
  • Applicants must be either (1) California residents enrolled in or planning to work on a master's degree at a graduate school of library/information studies accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) OR (2) Residents of any state enrolled in or planning to work on a master's degree at a graduate school of library/information studies in California that is accredited by ALA.
  • Applicants must be interested in preparing for a career in reference or information service and must agree, if awarded the fellowship, to then take at least three classes specifically dealing with reference or information service.

How to apply
Applicants should submit the following to CLA:

  • Final official undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate transcripts. The names and locations of institutions attended and highest degree completed should be included.
  • Documentation confirming your acceptance into an ALA-accredited library/information program.
  • A short biographical statement describing your background and how you became interested in librarianship. If selected, this statement may be used in publicity (maximum 125 words).
  • Two letters of recommendation that are specific to the fellowship and support your interest in and attest to your potential for a career in reference/information service.
  • An essay discussing your future career plans in reference/information service and the preparation you have made and will make to realize these plans. Please ensure that your essay is complete, grammatically correct, and spell-checked (maximum 1,000 words).

Please note: when submitting supplementary files by email, please label your files as follows: RSP_your last name_document (e.g.: RSP_smith_bio; RSP_smith_letter of rec1).

Applications should be submitted using the online application form below. Supplementary files may be emailed to Natalie Cole.

Further information

  • The Reference Service Press Fellowship is coordinated by CLA's Reference Service Press Fellowship Committee.
  • Funds are distributed in 3 equal payments to the recipient by Reference Service Press, as the recipient completes each of 3 pre-approved ALA-accredited reference/information classes required by the Fellowship with a grade of "B" or better (official transcript documentation is required).
  • The Fellowship is designed to support future coursework rather than courses already completed.
  • The award recipient has four years from the date of the award to complete the Fellowship requirements (no extensions are permitted).
  • Award recipients will be asked to submit a photograph to be used in award publicity.
  • Applications and all supplementary materials must be received by 5:00pm on the submission deadline.
  • If you have questions, please contact (information coming soon).

Reference Service Press Fellowship Committee

Information coming soon.