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The Begun Scholarship
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Scholarship information | Current award recipient | Past award recipients

The Begun Scholarship

The Begun Scholarship, named in memory of former librarian Betty Begun, supports continuing library school students who have demonstrated a commitment to becoming children's or young adult librarians in a California public library.

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

The Begun Scholarship is funded by CLA's Begun Scholarship Fund. Contributions to the fund are tax-deductible and will enable CLA to continue supporting a new generation of youth services librarians for California.

If you would like to contribute to the CLA Begun Scholarship, please send your check or money order to the CLA office or use our online donation form. CLA is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization and is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. For more information on making a contribution, please contact the CLA Executive Director.

Application information for the CLA Begun Scholarship.


2018 Scholarship Recipient

Jennifer Weisberg, San Jose State University

Jennifer Weisberg grew up in Salinas, California. After graduating UC Santa Cruz in 2006, she has worked in Bay Area public libraries. Jennifer was hired as an after school tutor for Oakland Public Library where she segued into more public library work at the end of that school year. She now works at both Berkeley Public Library and San Francisco Public Library. With a strong interest in children’s services, she completed the Books for Wider Horizons story time program through Oakland Public Library in 2013. Jennifer is a current fellow for the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California, where she is gaining experience writing reviews for children’s books. She is half-Mexican and loves working in diverse public library settings. She is the current Secretary of Bibliotecas Para La Gente, the Northern California chapter of REFORMA. Upon graduation, she hopes to work as an inclusive children's librarian in California.


Scholarship Information

Application period
The 2019 scholarship application period closed on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 5:00PM PST.

At the time of application, applicants must:

  • be US citizens (or permanent US residents) and permanent California residents;
  • be a continuing student enrolled in an ALA-accredited master's of library and information science or information studies program (applications from students at institutions actively seeking accreditation are also welcome);
  • complete all core coursework by the end of the current academic year;
  • have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  • show evidence of a commitment to becoming a children's or young adult librarian in a California public library (students planning to become school librarians are not eligible).

How to apply
Applicants should submit the following to CLA:

  • an official record of master's-level courses completed to date (does not have to be an official transcript);
  • a brief description of coursework taken that relates to youth services (maximum 500 words);
  • two letters of recommendation, both of which must be specific to the scholarship (at least one of the two letters should be from a library school professor; letters that are not specific to the scholarship will not be considered);
  • a résumé (maximum two pages);
  • a brief biographical statement (maximum 125 words); and
  • a statement of intent: an essay describing your interest in and commitment to youth services librarianship (maximum 1,000 words).

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

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


Further information

  • The Begun Scholarship is coordinated by CLA's Begun Scholarship Committee.
  • The committee reserves the right not to award a scholarship if a qualified candidate is not found.
  • In the case of a tie, interviews are conducted with the top candidates, either in person or via conference call.
  • The committee does not provide feedback on application submitted.
  • 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 any questions, please contact Begun Scholarship Committee Chair Raina Tuakoi.

Application period is now closed


2019 Begun Scholarship Committee

  • Nichole Brown
  • Sara Coney
  • Celia Jackson
  • Raina Tuakoi (Chair)