Cates Scholarship

Scholarship Information

Sheila Cates served as Library Development Coordinator at the Montana State Library from 1985 until her death from cancer in 1993. Sheila, whose energy, kindness, and ingenuity made an impact on so many Montana librarians, was named Montana Library Association’s Librarian of the Year in 1993. In 1984, the Montana Library Association established the Sheila Cates Scholarship to provide financial support to association members seeking education in the library science field.

Cates Scholarship Application

Cates Scholarship Winners

Learn more about our current scholars

  • Ben Chiewphasa (2018)
  • Sarah Creech (2018)
  • Crystal Kobayashi (2018)
  • Kendra Mullison (2017)
  • Taylor Schultz (2017)
  • Hannah Mundt (2016)
  • Kourtni McHugh (2016)
  • Carole Harris-Carlstrom (2016)
  • Jacqueline Frank (2016)
  • Aaron LaFromboise (2015)
  • Marilyn Bennett (2015)
  • Rachel Rawn (2014)
  • Rachel Schillreff (2014)
  • Bobbi deMontigny (2013)
  • Susan Matter (2013)
  • Meagan Steiner (2013)
  • Melody Condron (2012)
  • Katherine Holloway (2012)
  • Mary Guthmiller (2010)
  • Lynde Roberts (2010)
  • Desiree Dramstad (2009)
  • Michelle Fenger (2009)
  • Brett Fisher (2009)
  • Stephanie Johnson (2009)
  • Catherine McMullen (2009)
  • Lee Miller (2009)
  • Megan Stark (2009)
  • Sheree West (2009)
  • Kathy Robins (2007)
  • Darlene Hert (2006)
  • Kathy Mora (2005)
  • Honore Bray (2004)
  • Roberta Gebhardt (2004)
  • Jennie Stapp (2002)
  • Anita Scheetz (1998)
  • Gene Marie Robson (1996)
  • Gail Wilkerson (1995)
  • Nancy Hatfield
  • Kathryn Holt
  • Judy McKenna
  • Fred Noel
  • Sami Pierson

Scholarship Fundraising

There was once an inspirational Montana librarian named Sheila Cates. Sheila worked at a number of Montana libraries, most notably as Library Development Coordinator at the Montana State Library in Helena beginning in 1985. Sheila touched many lives of librarians in Montana during her years of work in the state and her death from cancer in 1993 spurred the Montana Library Association to institute a scholarship in her name in 1994. The Sheila Cates Scholarship provides financial support to Montana Library Association members seeking a graduate degree in library and/or information science or a graduate school library media program. Individuals selected to receive an award from the scholarship fund must show potential for emulating Sheila’s contributions to Montana libraries.

Each year, the MLA Sheila Cates Scholarship Committee holds several fundraising events at the MLA Conference to raise funds for the scholarship account. The Sheila Cates Traveling Quilt was created in 1994 by Montana Librarian Eva English as an item to be used for one of those events, the annual Sheila Cates Scholarship Silent Auction. The first winner of the silent auction quilt decided to give it back to the Cates Scholarship Committee and now the quilt has become a traveling quilt. At conference each spring, librarian’s names are drawn for a three-month display of the quilt at the librarian’s home library. Each visited library puts a library patch on the quilt so one can see where it’s traveled in honor of Sheila Cates, one of the great Montana librarians whose work carries on in the form of financial support for Montana’s new librarians.

Traveling Quilt – Winners

  • May – July 2015 – Debbi Wellman, Choteau County Library
  • August – October 2015 – Cathy Brandvold, Valier Public Library
  • November – January 2016 – Desiree Funston, Missoula Public Library
  • February – April 2016 – Norma Glock, Columbus Middle School Library
  • April -Oct. 2017 – Norma Glock, Columbus Middle School Library
  • Nov. 2017-April 2018 – Aaron LaFromboise, Medicine Spring Library

Past Cates Fundraising Events

Cates Silent Auction Contributors and Winners

2018 / 2019 Cates Scholarship Committee Members

  • Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, Chair
  • Jo Flick
  • Jim Kammerer
  • Mary Guthmiller
  • Anita Scheetz
  • Della Dubbe
  • Lyn McKinney
  • Mary Anne Hansen
  • Cherie Heser