Awards/Grants Committee

The Awards/Grants Committee provides information on the awards sponsored by WLA, determines which awards should be presented during a given year, encourages and solicits award applications, selects recipients for the awards, and arranges for the formal presentation of awards at the annual conference. The committee encourages and solicits applications for and awards the Nora Van Burgh Development Grants and the Debbie Iverson MPLA Scholarship, and solicits nominations for ALA and MPLA awards.

The committee consists of a chair and at least four members who are representative of the various types of libraries and geographic areas within the state. Members serve for two years, with at least two new members being appointed each year.


Chair Anna Street (2020-2022)
Campbell County Public Library
(307) 687-9201

Kim Larson (2019-2021)
White Mountain Library
(307) 362-2665 ext. 3200

Angela Wolff (2020-2022)
Laramie County Library System

(307) 634-3561

Nicholle Gerharter (2021-2023)
Park County Library
(307) 527-1880

2020 Award Winners

Outstanding Hero/Heroine: Olympus Games and Comics, Laramie County Library

Outstanding Librarian: Conraddo Saldivar, Natrona County Library

Outstanding Library: Ten Sleep Library, Washakie County Libraries
Watch a video of the library's accomplishments.


20192018 ▪ 2017 ▪ 201620152014

Nora Van Burgh Development Grants

Nora Van Burgh began her career in Wyoming libraries as a student assistant in the Natrona County High School Library. She received her Master's of Library Science degree from the University of Oregon in 1978 and was employed at Casper College for many years. A strong believer in lifelong learning, she served on the Wyoming Library Association's Continuing Education Committee. WLA created the Professional Development Grants in 1985 and changed the award name in 1991 to honor her memory.

The WLA Executive Board has established a program to provide funding assistance to those who wish to enhance their effectiveness as library employees through additional educational experience. Non-degreed library employees, a majority of the WLA membership, are particularly encouraged to apply, though any current member of WLA may apply.

Application Criteria
The applicant must have been a member of the Wyoming Library Association for at least two years, be a resident of Wyoming, and be employed in a Wyoming library.

Apply here:  https://forms.gle/FjWEavyNJHMcwBDq8

Grant Conditions

  • The monies available for grants will be determined during each budget session of the WLA Executive Board. Typically, no more than $1,000 in grants are awarded in one year.
  • Individuals may apply for grants for continuing education activities, workshops, seminars, exchanges, and conferences, as well as for appropriate college and university courses which can be shown to relate directly to one's effectiveness in a library position.
  • Deadline for applications is June 15. Applications may be to support a projected activity or for reimbursement of an activity occurring since July 1 of the previous year.
  • All money will be awarded at the discretion of the Awards/Grants Committee.
  • An individual who receives a grant may not apply again for three years.
  • In order to share the information and experience with the general membership, a written report is required of all grantees, with the understanding that the committee may request an appropriate oral or visual presentation at the WLA annual conference or other place deemed by the committee to be appropriate. The report must be submitted or made available for use by the Awards/Grants Committee within six months of the completion of the event.
  • Should the conditions of the grant not be met, no further consideration will be given to that individual for any grant or association recommendation.
Selection Criteria
  • The grant request meets stated guidelines.
  • The applicant's goal(s) are clearly stated, including anticipated benefits for personal growth and for the library. (25 points)
  • The amount requested is appropriate, reasonable, adequate, and justifiable to support the stated goals. (25 points)
  • The applicant states measures to determine success and effectiveness of the project. (25 points)
  • The effort includes a plan to publicize the grant. (10 points) 

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Debbie Iverson MPLA Scholarship

The Debbie Iverson MPLA Scholarship was established in 2008 through the work and contribution of Debbie Iverson with the support of WLA upon her retirement from Sheridan College, located in Sheridan, Wyoming.

The purpose of the scholarship fund is to further the leadership skills of Wyoming library employees who wish to attend the MPLA Leadership Institute, held every two years.

Potential recipients may apply to the MPLA Leadership Institute and, upon acceptance, show verification to the WLA Awards/Grants Committee. Full to partial funding with the scholarship is contingent upon the number of applicants who approach the committee.

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Outstanding Hero/Heroine

The Outstanding Hero/Heroine award provides an opportunity for WLA to recognize an outstanding person or group whose hard work has made a difference to a Wyoming library within the last two years.

Nomination Criteria

  • A specific individual, company, or group from the community who provided general support of a library or library project.
  • A community supporter, volunteer, employee of the library, elected official, financial benefactor, or other individual.
  • An individual or group that has performed outstanding volunteer service for a library.

Nomination Questions

  • Who is this person or group?
  • In what way are they exceptional?
  • What specifically did this person or group do?
  • How did the library benefit?
  • What are the results for the community? 

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Outstanding Librarian

The Outstanding Librarian award recognizes the significant and outstanding accomplishments of a library employee in the past year, including service to the public and/or library community. It is also meant to reflect the goals of WLA and the library profession as a whole.

Nomination Questions

  • Contributions to WLA and the library profession in the past year.
  • Contributions to the employee's library and the local surrounding community in the past year.
  • Original and innovative planning, thinking, and using resources in the past year for special projects and/or programs.
  • Advocating the library's role and position of importance in the community in the past year.
  • Additional comments and supporting documentation (optional; maximum of three pages).

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Outstanding Library

The Outstanding Library award recognizes a significant special project completed within the last two years. The staff, library board, community, or people served must all have been involved in the work for which recognition is sought.

Nomination Criteria

  • User services.
  • Development of innovative partnerships through networks, systems, cooperative planning, and programming.
  • Sound collection development policies.
  • Opportunities offered for professional growth and job satisfaction for all employees.
  • Improvement of physical facilities resulting in better services.

Nomination Questions

  • Describe the need for the project.
  • What service population benefited from the project?
  • How was the project unique or creative?
  • Who carried out the project?
  • How long did the project take and when was it completed?
  • How much did the project cost?
  • Additional comments and supporting documentation (optional; maximum of three pages).

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