Virginia Mathews Memorial Scholarship 

The American Indian Library Association (AILA) will provide a library school scholarship to a qualified American Indian individual in the amount of $4000 for the 2023-2024 academic school year.

Deadline: July 1, 2023


The purpose of the Virginia Mathews Memorial Scholarship shall be to provide tuition to an American Indian individual who lives and works in the American Indian community, and who is enrolled, or has been accepted and will enroll, in a master’s degree program at a university with a library and/or information sciences program accredited by the American Library Association.


To be considered for the scholarship award, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe as evidenced by the CIBC card of the applicant or be a tribal member with official documentation
  2. Be able to demonstrate sustained involvement in the American Indian community and sustained commitment to American Indian concerns and initiatives
  3. Be admitted to a graduate program in library and/or information sciences, accredited by the American Library Association
  4. Be enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours each semester of the year of the scholarship award.

Note: Preference will be given to applicants who are employed in a tribal library or who are currently employed in a library serving American Indian populations.


  1. Completed application form, submitted to the Chair of the AILA Scholarship Committee, must be received by July 1.
  2. Enclosed with the application must be two letters of recommendation; letters should reference applicant’s academic abilities, potential for professional development and contributions as a librarian, and demonstrated commitment to supporting the concerns and initiatives of the American Indian populace.
  3. Enclose evidence of enrollment in a federally recognized tribe or Alaska village or similar official documentation.
  4. Attach personal statement which addresses past and future sustained involvement in American Indian communities (not to exceed 500 words).
  5. Attach resume
  6. Mail or email your completed application package to:
    AILA Scholarship Committee
    P.O. Box 41296
    San Jose, CA 95160
    Email: ailawebsite@gmail.com


  1. The scholarship applicants will be selected by a committee of AILA members, appointed annually by the AILA President with the approval of the Executive Board.
  2. Completed application forms will be distributed to the Scholarship committee by July 1 of each year; the committee will convene prior to the AILA Annual Business Meeting to select the scholarship recipient. The scholarship recipient will be announced at the Annual Business Meeting.
  3. The scholarship check will be distributed to the recipient by August 31; proof of enrollment for fall semester in accredited library science program must be provided to the Scholarship Committee before check will be distributed to recipient.


  1. The scholarship shall be administered under the Bylaws of AILA.
  2. AILA will offer at least one $4000 in library school scholarships annually.
  3. In the event that no applicants can satisfy the above requirements in a given year, no scholarship will be awarded, with the option to grant two scholarships the following year.
  4. Scholarship recipients are eligible to reapply for the scholarship in a subsequent year, but may not receive a scholarship award for more than 2 consecutive years.
  5. AILA may ask recipient to report on library school experience for the AILA newsletter.
  6. Recipient will receive complimentary one-year student membership to AILA.
  7. Total scholarship awards of $600 or more from AILA in one calendar year are subject to federal income tax.