Up to 15 scholarships to the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) 2020 event in the Chicago suburbs, July 12-15, 2020, are available to staff working in rural and small public libraries in the United States. These scholarships are funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

RIPL is a national event, hosted by the Colorado State Library and the Colorado Library Consortium, and offers three days of hands-on, intensive workshops about:

  • Evaluation design and implementation
  • Data collection and use for strategic planning, management, and communication
  • Measures for reporting library impact

To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be employed by a U.S. public library that is located in a rural area OR serves a population of less than 25,000. These criteria are determined based on data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Public Libraries Survey. To determine whether your library meets these criteria, please click here. In addition, you must be a first-time participant of RIPLif you have already attended a national or regional RIPL event, you are not eligible for a scholarship. Attendees of the ARSL preconferences at the the 2016 or 2019 conferences are eligible to apply.

Note: The scholarships are contingent upon meeting these employment conditions at the time of the institute. If  – between the time when you submit this application and the institute – you take a position in a public library that doesn’t meet the small and rural criteria OR a job outside of public libraries, you will forfeit the scholarship.

The scholarships cover the full cost of the institute ($1,300 value), including:

  • Registration
  • Curriculum and materials
  • Three nights lodging
  • All institute meals

The scholarship also includes up to $500 for travel costs (airfare, ground transportation, etc.), which will be reimbursed upon submission of receipts after the institute occurs.

If selected, scholarship recipients must:

  • attend RIPL in its entirety (beginning with an evening event on July 12, 2020 and ending mid-afternoon on July 15, 2020) and complete pre- and post-institute work,
  • attend the two Introduction to Library Data and Evaluation breakout sessions that will occur during the morning and afternoon of the first full day of the Institute (Monday, July 13),
  • stay onsite at the Eaglewood Resort,
  • complete the institute evaluation, and
  • share what they have learned with the rural and small library community through at least one of the following:
    • write a blog post to be posted on the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) website or published in ARSL’s newsletter, and/or
    • give a presentation via a webinar or conference

Application Process:

To be considered for a RIPL scholarship, you must submit the following:

  1. Scholarship application.
  2. Statement of support from supervisor. Public library directors applying for RIPL scholarships should have their reporting authority (e.g., board president, city manager, etc.) complete this statement.

Both of these components must be submitted via the following online forms:

  1. Scholarship application.
  2. Statement of support from supervisor. It is the responsibility of scholarship applicants to provide this link to their supervisor/reporting authority and make them aware of the information contained on this page.

The scholarship application and statement of support contain essay questions. Please be aware that within the online forms linked above, you cannot save your answers and return to them at a later time to continue working. Therefore, we strongly recommend writing your answers to the essay questions in a separate document and then copying and pasting them into the scholarship application/supervisor statement of support.

The scholarship application contains the following essay questions:

  1. Why are you interested in attending RIPL?
  2. Think about one question you would like to answer about your library, community, or users. In your response, please a) list this question, b) explain why the answer is important to you, and c) describe what skills you hope to learn at RIPL that will help to answer this question.

The supervisor statement of support contains the following essay question:

  1. Please provide a statement outlining why you support the applicant attending RIPL 2020.

The recommended length of response for all essay questions is 150-250 words.

You can view the rubric that will be used to evaluate the scholarship applications here.

Scholarship applications and supervisor statements of support are due by 8 PM Eastern/5 PM Pacific on Friday, November 22, 2019. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by the end of December.