MLA from the mountains to the prairies


  • Sheila Cates Scholarship Fund. On October 30, 1993, the MLA Board of Directors voted to establish the Sheila Cates Scholarship Fund to provide financial support for those seeking graduate education in library and/or information science.* The Board established the scholarship fund to honor the memory of Sheila Cates and to take an affirmative step toward meeting the Association’s goal of supporting professional development for those who work in Montana’s libraries. Considering Sheila’s leadership in and support of professional development, it is the intention of the Board of Directors that persons selected to receive an award from this fund should show potential for emulating Sheila’s contribution to Montana libraries. The Board of Directors has established a separate bank account for monies collected for the Sheila Cates Scholarship Fund. A status report on the account should be included as part of regular financial reports to the Board. [* In 2013, scholarship criteria was expanded to include school library media certification).
  • Committee Membership. Each appointed member of the committee will serve a three- year term on a staggered basis, with one new member being appointed each year. The Chair of the committee will be appointed by the President.
  • Scholarship Selection Procedure. The committee is responsible for formulating selection procedures for those seeking awards for the Cates Scholarship Fund. Awards should be given once a year, as soon after July 1 as possible. The Cates Scholarship Committee members will evaluate applications and select recipients of awards. The selection procedure should include a statement directing that deliberations of the Committee and its evaluation of applications are confidential..
  • Criteria for Selection. The committee is responsible for identifying and defining criteria to be used in selecting recipients of scholarship awards and for devising an evaluation scheme for rating candidates on each criteria. The committee should consider the following criteria:
  • membership in the Montana Library Association;2. potential for academic excellence;
  • successful employment experience;
  • leadership potential;
  • excellent communication skills;
  • service attitude;
  • commitment to work in librarianship in Montana after completion of education.
  • The criteria, their definitions, and rating scheme should be included as part of the
    application procedures.
  • Procedures. The application and selection procedures, including criteria for selection,
    should be regularly reviewed by the committee.
  • Fundraising. The committee is responsible for the following fundraising activities:
  • publicizing the fund and seeking donations from members and others to honor and acknowledge colleagues;
  • seeking donations from charitable organizations that contribute to educational concerns;
  • coordinating an annual fundraising event within the Association
  • continually reviewing, evaluating, and implementing other appropriate fundraising mechanisms.
  • establishing fundraising goals and publicizing them to the membership.
  • Scholarship Awards. The committee is responsible for soliciting applications and making awards from the Cates Scholarship fund based on funds available. Once the fundraising goal is reached, interest from the fund will be used to fund scholarships. Until the goal is reached, only money collected through fund raising should be used to fund scholarship awards. All money donated to the fund from other avenues such as memorials, donations, and grants should be invested to increase the principal.
  • Investment of Funds. The committee is responsible for investigating appropriate investment alternatives as the principal in the Cates Scholarship Fund increases. The committee chair should make recommendations on a regular basis to the Board regarding investment of the funds. All decisions regarding investment of the funds will be made by the Board of Directors.
  • In June 2017, the MLA Board adopted a Cates Scholarship operational agreement with MLA. See attached Revised Nov. 2017

Montana Library Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 823, Arlee, MT 59821

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