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CLA Member of the Year Award
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Award information | Current award recipient | Past award recipients

CLA Member of the Year Award

The CLA Member of the Year Award recognizes an individual member of the California Library Association for her or his outstanding contributions, leadership and achievements in service to California libraries. The California library community is invited and encouraged to submit nominations for this prestigious award.

CLA's Member of the Year is presented with a plaque and honored at the CLA Awards Ceremony during the annual conference.

Nomination information for the CLA 's Member of the Year.

2014 Award Recipient

Carla Lehn

Carla Lehn started her career as a VISTA volunteer. After receiving her Masters in Community Development from UC Davis, she worked for United Way in Sacramento, and later operated her own consulting practice based in Hawaii.  Her non-profit and government clients included the California State Library, working with individual libraries to address volunteerism and board needs, facilitating a statewide planning process to identify critical services for rural libraries, creating the library board training project with CALTAC (now CPLA), and writing the book “Volunteer Involvement in California Libraries.”  
Carla joined the state library staff in 2001 to work on the Literacy program, and now also leads the statewide library volunteerism initiative: Get Involved: Powered by Your Library.  Its dual purpose is to recruit high impact volunteers to share their skills, and through those relationships, to engage them as strong library supporters.
She helped establish CLA’s Literacy Section, now Interest Group, and is gratified to see literacy staff serving in Association leadership roles.

Award Information 

Nomination period
The 2015 award nomination period is closed.


  • Nominees must be current members of the association who have held membership for at least three years.
  • Nominees must be, or must have been, working in a recognized library position or teaching in library education.
  • Elected officials of the Association (president, vice-president, immediate past-president, treasurer, ALA chapter councilor, and Board members) are excluded from consideration during their term of office.
  • Nominators are not required to be CLA members. However, if a nomination is made by a non-member, the nomination must be endorsed by a CLA member. If you need assistance in finding a CLA member to endorse your nomination, please contact the CLA office no later than two weeks prior to the deadline.

How to nominate
Nominators should submit:

  • Evidence of the nominee's significant contribution to the advancement of libraries and librarianship through professional activities. Consideration for selection as Member of the Year includes: distinguished service to the profession; active and innovative leadership in the development of libraries and the improvement of library service; and outstanding contributions in promoting libraries and bringing community, regional, or statewide recognition to libraries. The statement should be specific, should include dates where appropriate, and should not exceed 500 words.
  • At least two, and no more than four, letters of support for the nomination.

Please note: when submitting supplementary files by email, please label your files as follows: MOTY_nominee's last name_document (e.g.: MOTY_smith_letter of rec1).

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

Nominate Now! 

Further information

  • The CLA Member of the Year Award is coordinated by CLA's Member of the Year Committee.
  • The committee reserves the right not to give an award if a qualified candidate is not found.
  • Nominees are evaluated on the basis of evidence and support presented in the nomination as to the nature and scope of the accomplishments and on the committee's own knowledge of the nominee's qualifications. The committee is not expected to undertake research into the qualification of nominees.
  • 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. Postmarks will not be accepted.
  • If you have questions, please contact Patty Wong.

CLA Member of the Year Award Committee

Jennifer Addington, Pasadena Public Library
Amie Toepfer, Placer County Library 
Patty Wong, Yolo County Library (Chair)