ARSL Awards for Libraries and Library Workers

Submit a Nomination

Awards will be based on nominees' accomplishments during the preceding year (January-December 2022), with the exception of the Distinguished Service Award that can take into account nominees' career-long community engagement. Nominators will be asked to describe their nominees' commitment to ARSL's Organizational Values, as well as the strength of their professional practice in the focus area of the award for which they are being nominated.

Individuals or organizations can be nominated for multiple awards, but will only be able to win one award per year. Self-nominations and nominations of eligible libraries/library workers by non-library individuals or organizations are acceptable.

All recipients will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony at the 2023 ARSL Conference. In addition to receiving their award, all recipients will receive one (1) complimentary conference registration ($300 value) each so they may be honored in person and celebrated by their ARSL community.

Download sample applications for the Innovative Service, Solo Librarian of the Year, Equity Champion, and Distinguished Service awards here.


Solo Librarian of the Year

The Solo Librarian of the Year Award will go to one of our members who wears the most hats of all - librarians who run the show all on their own! The winner of this award will be the nominated solo or nearly-solo library worker who best demonstrates their commitment to their community and to ARSL's Organizational Values through their work.

Qualifications for Nomination

  • Nominee is a member of ARSL
  • Nominee demonstrates a commitment to ARSL's Organizational Values through their professional practice
  • Nominee works in a library with no more than 3 paid staff, including the nominee
  • Nominee has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to their community through their professional practice during the last year (January-December 2022)
  • Nominees do not have to hold an MLIS or equivalent degree to be considered for this award

Equity Champion Award

The Equity Champion Award will go to a library or individual library worker who has demonstrated a commitment to sustained, intentional EDI practice through their work. They have identified one or more systemic barriers to access or service within their organization and have taken action to remove them.

Qualifications for Nomination

  • Nominee is a member of ARSL
  • Nominee demonstrates a commitment to ARSL's Organizational Values through their professional practice
  • Nominee completed or made significant progress toward completing a project, initiative, or campaign to address one or more equity-related challenges within their organization during the last year (January-December 2022)
  • Individual nominees do not have to hold an MLIS or equivalent degree to be considered for this award

Innovative Service Award

The Innovative Service Award will go to a library or individual library worker who has used innovative, creative thinking to find new ways to serve their community. This could be through the establishment of a new program or service or through the enhancement of an existing program or service.

Qualifications for Nomination

  • Nominee is a member of ARSL
  • Nominee demonstrates a commitment to ARSL's Organizational Values through their professional practice
  • Nominee implemented a new project, initiative, or service (or substantially enhanced an existing project, initiative, or service) to increase their organization's community impact during the last year (January-December 2022)
  • Individual nominees do not have to hold an MLIS or equivalent degree to be considered for this award

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award will go to a library or individual library worker who has demonstrated significant, sustained community engagement and impact in alignment with ARSL's Organizational Values. Service may be directly related to library programs, events, or services, or may be tangentially related to library work through contributions to local civic or volunteer organizations as a representative of their library.

Qualifications for Nomination

  • Nominee is a member of ARSL
  • Nominee demonstrates a commitment to ARSL's Organizational Values through their professional practice
  • Individual nominees do not have to hold an MLIS or equivalent degree to be considered for this award