WLA Scholarship Home

Sharon Bates Professional Growth Scholarship

$500 or $1000 to a current school library employee and WLA member toward participation at a local or national library-related conference, workshop or educational event. Sponsored by the WLA School Library Division.

Sharon Bates was an educator for 27 years, 25 of them in Medical Lake School District, and taught library classes at EWU. She provided leadership in WLMA Region 7 and at the state level. Family and friends established a memorial scholarship when she died tragically in an accident in 1992.

Scholarship Forms

Applications for the 2023-2024 WLA Scholarship cycle are now available! Scholarship winners will be notified by Aug. 31 and announced to WLA membership the week following.

How to Apply

Complete the online WLA Scholarship Application and attach to it and/or send separately to [email protected]:

  1. Your current resume
  2. Two letters of recommendation, with at least one from someone who knows your work, such as a supervisor, advisor, teacher or professor. Please refer to the Scholarship Recommendation Form for further instructions.

The application and ALL materials must be sent by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be eligible for consideration.

Scholarship Requirements

  • Applicants must be individual Washington Library Association members.
  • Denny Bond Library Paraprofessional Scholarship and Sharon Bates Professional Growth Scholarship ONLY - applicants must be educators or library paraprofessionals working in Washington school libraries, or prospective librarians who intend to work in Washington school libraries 
  • School Library Division scholarships may be awarded for one of the following:
    • Classes toward Library Media Endorsement
    • Advanced study in a library-related field
    • Attendance at a library-related conference
  • Scholarship recipients are required to share the outcome of or information about the results of their scholarship by choosing one of these responses: 
    • prepare a piece for WLA publication 
    • present at a WLA conference, event, or workshop, either a session or a poster for Spotlight on Success

Selection Criteria

These criteria will be used by the WLA Professional Development Committee to evaluate applications:

  • Current membership in the Washington Library Association.
  • Demonstration of potential for leadership in the profession and commitment to libraries and library service.
  • Benefits of the scholarship
  • Need and desire for the scholarship
  • Current or previous involvement with WLA, or plan to be active in WLA during the academic year in which the scholarship is awarded; examples: serve as intern to Alki editorial committee, contributor to Alki, student liaison to WLA Board, active in WLA Division or Section or committee, involvement with WLA, WLA conference, or WLA-sponsored workshop.