J. Frank Dobie Awards

J. Frank DOBIE Library Trust Awards are monetary awards given each spring to library applicants selected by the Award Committee. The number and amount of awards depend on net income produced by the Trust. In 2013 four libraries each received an award of $8.000. At Mr. Dobie’s request, announcement of the awards is made at the annual meeting of the Texas Library Association.

Applications for the 2018 awards must be received by DECEMBER 15, 2017. Applications arriving after that date will not be opened or considered.

Application Eligibility
Application is open to public libraries in Texas which:

  1. serve a population of 20,000 or less,
  2. are legally established*, and
  3. are open for service at least 20 hours a week.
See the APPLY tab at the top of this page for details on submitting an application for a Dobie Library Trust Award.
*A legally established public library is one established as a department of a city or county government by charter, resolution, or ordinance: or by contract as provided for in the Interlocal Cooperation Act, Texas Civil Statutes, Article 4413 (32c): or as a nonprofit corporation chartered by the Office of the Secretary of State for the purposes of providing free public library services, and having a current contract with a city, county, or school district to provide free public library services for the city, county, or school district.






Expenditures of Awards

According to the terms of the Trust, funds awarded may be used solely for the purchase of books. Note: books which have been reformatted for ease of use, i.e., books on audio tape or CD-Rom are eligible.

Award Criteria

In establishing the Trust, Mr. Dobie instructed the Award Committee to take into consideration the degree of support that applicants receive from their communities.  Therefore, awards are made not only on the basis of need, but also on the extent to which community governments, library boards, friend’s organizations, and individuals have promoted and supported the library, in comparison with their potential to do so.  Applications should include, but need not be limited to, the following information to help the Committee determine the support of the library by the community, the support of the community by the library, and the library’s need of additional book resources.

  • A brief history of the library and description of its service area.
  • The library’s itemized budget for the current year and itemized expenditures for the two preceding years.
  • The amount of library income for the current year and two preceding years by source. As applicable, itemized income derived from city government, county government, school district, state government, and federal government, and income derived from the private sector (gifts, fund raising events, etc.)
  • The number of full-time and part-time salaried staff by job title and the number of volunteer hours.
  • Weekly hours of service.
  • The growth of the book collection over the past three years, by volumes and titles. Note: please express in terms of net additions per year as opposed to cumulative figures.
  • Circulation statistics for the past three years, in whatever detail they have been kept.
  • Any support other than tax funds (which are reported as income) provided by city, county, or s
  • chool district, such as library quarters.
  • Any engagement in library cooperation, such as cooperation of the public and school libraries. An account of local efforts in support of the library, extending over one or more years.  Statistics provide some evidence of continuing local support of the library, but limited insight to the persistency and intensity of effort that went into their making.  Tell how local government, businesses, and citizen groups have contributed to the betterment of the library.  Tell of efforts the library staff, board, and friends have made toward the promotion and improvement of library service.   
  • The kinds of books the library proposes to buy and the reasons for such purchases. There are no restrictions on the kinds of books that may be bought; however, regardless of type, books purchased should be of good quality and lasting value.
  • The name and qualifications of the library staff member who would be responsible for book selection, or the name and qualifications of a consultant outside the library who would be willing to advise the library in its book purchases.

Submittal of Application
Applications must be mailed (no faxes) in TRIPLICATE to: James B. Stewart, Chairman, J. Frank Dobie Library Trust, 5008 Evergreen, Victoria TX 77904. 

Stewart can be contacted by email.

Please include a cover sheet with the following information:

Contact person


Name of Library


System (which of the ten regional systems was your library in)

Address and telephone number

Email Address for contact person

TIPS from the Committee

  1. The most important thing is to answer all our questions…preferably in the order we ask them
  2. Tell your story.
  3. We do not grade by the pound. Adding lots of extra material does not get you extra points.

2018 J. Frank Dobie Guidelines

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Created on Oct 3, 2010 | Last updated September 22, 2017