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SCLS Continuing Education Scholarship Program


The South Central Library System (SCLS) will offer scholarships to attend a variety of in-person conferences. This program includes conferences like Wisconsin Library Association’s fall and spring conferences, UW iSchool’s Back in Circulation Again and Power-Up Conferences, and national conferences like the American Library Association Annual Conference, Public Library Association Conference, and the Association of Rural and Small Library Conference.

Note: Library staff may use SCLS CE Grant funds to attend one-day conferences like the Support Staff & Circulation Services or Government Information Day or iSchool’s Lead the Way conference. Scholarship applicants who don’t receive a scholarship are encouraged to utilize the CE Grant funds to help offset the cost of attending a conference.

Logo of the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe SCLS CE Scholarship program is funded in part with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which administers the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

The Scholarship

The value of the scholarship will vary depending on the conference the recipient attends with the following maximums and limits:

  • $1,000 for the Fall WLA Conference (up to 7 scholarships available)
  • $700 for the spring WAPL Conference (up to 7 scholarships available)
  • $1,000 for iSchool multi-day conferences (up to 2 scholarships available)
  • $2,000 for ALA, PLA, or ARSL conference (up to 4 scholarships available)

Note: The number of scholarships may change based on demand and funding availability. 

The scholarship covers:

  • Conference registration at the member and early bird rates
  • Transportation to/from the conference
  • Conference lodging during the conference dates
    • If possible, please use the library's tax-exempt certificate when making a payment
  • Meals
    • Breakfast: $10; Lunch: $15; Dinner: $25 
    • Total per day per diem $50
    • Exception: covers set cost of a meal when it is part of a meeting/program (like an author lunch or dinner at a conference)
    • If a conference meal is included in the registration fee, that meal will not be reimbursed (for example, ARSL registration includes both breakfast and lunch)

Also included in the scholarship is:

  • A one-year membership in the sponsoring organization (maximum of $100) 
    • WLA - minimum $50, or $3 per $1000 salary
    • ALA - $74 for a first-year member, $112 for the second year, or $148 for regular membership
    • PLA - ALA plus $77
    • ALSC - ALA plus $50
    • YALSA - ALA plus $62
    • ARSL - $15 - $50 
  • Note: memberships are not paid with LSTA funds

The scholarship will not cover:

  • Pre-conference sessions (except for the WLA Leadership Development Institute)
  • Fundraising events
  • Rental car
  • Transportation for sightseeing
  • Sightseeing costs
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Conference swag/t-shirts
  • Items from conference exhibitors
  • Airport/airline wifi charges

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Applicants must submit a completed application form before the scholarship deadline 
    • Deadlines will vary by conference and the date will be noted on the application
    • Scholarship recipients and their library directors (if necessary) will be notified by email 
  • Applicants must have a minimum of one year of experience working at an SCLS member public library 
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are first-time conference attendees
  • Scholarship winners must share their conference experience and knowledge gained with library colleagues via a written report submitted to SCLS within 30 days of the conference (a form will be provided)
  • Receipts will be required for all expenses, except mileage to and from the airport or conference location
  • SCLS can reimburse the library in two payments: one payment before the conference (registration, membership, airfare), and another payment after the event (mileage, meals, lodging, etc.)
    • See below for sample reimbursement forms
  • Scholarship recipients:
    • Cannot receive multiple scholarships in the same year
    • Cannot use both Scholarship and CE Grant funds for the same event
    • Are not eligible for another scholarship for 3 years
  • One scholarship recipient per library or branch
  • Maximum of two scholarship recipients per library each grant cycle (July 1 - June 30)


For more information, contact: