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MLS Scholarship Assistance

The Scholarship Assistance Program at the Arkansas State Library (ASL) benefits employees of Arkansas Public Libraries who are pursuing a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science (MLS) at an ALA-accredited program.

The Rules Governing Scholarship Assistance should be read in full before submitting an application.

Recipients of the scholarship receive reimbursement for tuition at the current rate of $450 per credit hour.

Scholarship Eligibility

To qualify for scholarship assistance, the candidate must:

  • Be currently employed at a public library in the state of Arkansas,
  • Be currently enrolled at an ALA-accredited library science program,
  • Have completed 12 hours toward the degree, and
  • Agree to remain employed at an Arkansas Public Library for a period of at least one year after completion of the Master’s degree.

Applicants employed in the position of Director at a library system or library administrative entity can apply in writing to the Arkansas State Library Board for a waiver of the twelve-hour coursework requirement.

Scholarship Requirements

Once accepted as a scholarship recipient, the recipient must:

  • Receive a grade of “B” or better in all courses for which reimbursement is sought;
  • Submit information about grades to the office of the State Librarian immediately upon receipt; and
  • All degree coursework must be completed within three years of acceptance to the scholarship program, unless waived by the Arkansas State Library Board.
  • Hours in excess of the required number for the degree are not eligible for reimbursement.

To Apply

Applicants for ASL’s assistance must submit the following documents at least three weeks prior to the ASL Board Meeting at which they would like their scholarship application considered:

  • Completed scholarship application, signed by the chairperson of your library’s board,
  • Official transcript confirming your completion of twelve hours,
  • Application letter/statement of intent about your desire to obtain the degree (1-3 paragraphs in length), and
  • One letter of reference.

Any additional credits taken during the semester in which the 12 hour requirement is satisfied are eligible for consideration. The scholarship application may be submitted prior to that semester’s completion.

The ASL Board meets on the second Friday of February, May, August, and November. All ASL Board meetings are posted in advance on the calender of events.

To Receive Reimbursement

Before beginning coursework each semester, notify the office of the State Librarian how many hours you are taking so that Board approval can be sought prior to the end of the semester.

Timely notification ensures that reimbursement checks are issued as soon as possible.

  • After each semester, scan or take a screenshot of your final grades and send them to the office of the State Librarian.
  • Reimbursement checks are sent to the employing library of the scholarship recipient, and that library in turn issues a reimbursement check to the individual.
  • Reimbursement checks for each semester are not sent until grades are received for all applicants, and ASL does not guarantee the date on which checks are sent.

After completing the degree, scholarship recipients must again submit an official transcript to verify completion of the degree.

For more information about scholarship assistance, contact: