Sarah Creech
Crystal Kobayashi
Crystal Kobayashi
Ben Chiewphasa
Ben Chiewphasa

Hello everyone,

On behalf of the MLA Sheila Cates Scholarship Committee,* it is my pleasure to report that we have awarded THREE Cates Scholarships for this fall! These scholarships will be put towards education for a Montana librarian working to receive a graduate degree in library science, a graduate library media program, or a school library endorsement.

The 2018 Cates Scholars are:

  • Ben Chiewphasa
  • Sarah Creech
  • Crystal Kobayashi

Ben, a cataloging specialist for government documents and maps at the Mansfield Library at the University of Montana, is working to get his Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. One of Ben’s highlights is that he recently designed and implemented a Montana University System consortium-wide workflow for government documents metadata bulk loading and maintenance (wow, say that ten times fast!) resulting in streamlined government document processing for five depository libraries throughout the state of Montana.

Sarah, who spends her days as a circulation and reference specialist at Belgrade Community Library, is currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies working towards a Masters in Library and Information Science with a public library concentration. You may recognize Sarah’s name as one of the co-editors of MLA’s FOCUS! In one of Sarah’s support letters, library director Gale Bacon wrote “between her work experience at the Belgrade Library and her education plan to achieve an MLS, I foresee Sarah someday having a leadership role as a member of the Montana library community.” Seems like she is already on her way in that endeavor!

Crystal works at Missoula Public Library, dividing her time between serving as a library assistant at the main branch and a branch technician at the MPL branch at Big Sky High School. Crystal is pursuing her Masters in Library Science at the University of North Texas. Crystal has been a member of MLA for six years and has impressed her bosses with her enthusiasm for working at the library and her creativity with programming both at the main branch and at Big Sky, where she has reinvigorated services to that underserved community in the Missoula area.

Please join me in congratulating these wonderful Montana librarians–our 2018 Cates Scholarship winners! And thank you to all of YOU who give so generously to the Cates Scholarship fund so we can award scholarships to amazing individuals like this!


Learn more about MLA Scholarship opportunities