Up to 20 scholarships to the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) 2018 event in Atlanta 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 AND 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.

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, including:

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

The scholarship also includes $600 for travel costs (airfare, ground transportation, etc.), which will be reimbursed after the institute occurs.

If selected, scholarship recipients must:

  • attend RIPL in its entirety (beginning with an evening event on July 29, 2018 and ending mid-afternoon on August 1, 2018) and complete pre- and post-institute work,
  • stay onsite at the Emory Conference Center Hotel,
  • 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. What change(s) might you make in your library based on the knowledge and skills you gain at RIPL?
  3. How do you plan to share what you have learned at RIPL with the rural and small library community?

The supervisor statement of support contains the following essay question:

  1. Please provide a statement outlining why you support the applicant attending RIPL 2018.

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, October 27, 2017. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by December 1.