TLA Awards

Submissions will be accepted from Sep. 15 through midnight Jan. 15.

Please use the ONLINE FORM (opens for submissions on September 15). When a nomination is submitted, you will receive a password that allows you to add to or edit your nomination materials. You will receive a separate password for use by persons submitting letters of reference. If you need assistance with the form or submitting supporting documentation, contact Kelly at the TLA Office.

According to the TLA Bylaws: Members of the Awards Committee and their employers / organizations cannot be considered for any awards being given during their tenure on the committee.

TLA depends on members to identify those individuals, organizations, and projects most worthy of recognition for having advanced the cause of Texas libraries. Every worthy librarian or project has the potential to win. It is important that your entry is complete with all the elements outlined in the award criteria found in TLA Standing Rule 9, Sec. E: Awards. Review the criteria below to determine whether you know a worthy nominee.

The forms for the individual awards are linked here as docs to help you organize your nomination materials. You will find it helpful to insert your nominee details and narratives in these files to paste into the online form.

Librarian of the Year Award (Preview the form)

  • Given to a librarian who is a TLA member
  • Consider extraordinary leadership or service within the library community within the past 12-18 months.
  • Consider nominees from all levels of librarianship, all types of libraries, and all population levels

Distinguished Service Award (Preview the form)

  • Given to a librarian who is a TLA member
  • Consider a substantial demonstration of leadership to the profession
  • Consider outstanding and continuing service in one or more areas of the library profession

Lifetime Achievement Award (Preview the form)

  • Given to a librarian who has been a long standing TLA member
  • Recognizes an exemplary career in librarianship
  • Consider an extended  record of service
  • Consider active participation in professional organizations
  • Consider a demonstration of creative leadership and service to the library profession

Outstanding Services to Libraries Award (Preview the form)

  • Given to an individual or to an organization in recognition of outstanding lay advocacy
  • Consider such activities as:
    • the advancement of library services
    • the development and promotion of sound library policies and standards
    • the successful advocacy of the library to the community
    • a significant contribution to the promotion of library legislation
    • active participation in TLA

Wayne Williams Library Project of the Year Award (Preview the form)
(A cash award in memory of long-time bookseller, Wayne Williams, will be presented to the recipient.)

  • Recognizes a project that exemplifies the highest levels of achievement, professional standards, and inspiration to other libraries
  • Must have been in operation during the previous calendar year
  • Project may involve more than one library and is open to any type of library
  • Consider the breadth of the project
  • Consider the extent to which a library has improved its service by means of the project

Libraries Change Communities Award (Preview the form)

  • Given to a collaborative community effort that recognizes positive achievements and promotes outstanding library based initiatives in Texas
  • Recognizes good practice in any innovative library related effort that involves communities, demonstrates imagination and innovation, and has the potential to be developed and adapted elsewhere
  • Consider that a community can be defined in the broad or narrow sense depending on the collaborative effort e.g. schools or school districts, state or county agencies
  • Consider efforts that affect people’s lives for the better, contribute to equality of access, and impact the end users

Benefactor(s) Award (Preview the form)

  • Recognizes substantial donations such as land, buildings, stocks, cash, and  collections by individuals, institutions, and foundations
  • Consider the significance of the donation to the libraries and their programs


Be selective. The biggest entries do not necessarily win. Your nominating packet (online nomination form plus supporting documents) should showcase your nominee by including quality documentation that is relevant and representative rather than exhaustive.

A.   Reference letters

Up to five (5) letters will be accepted from those closely associated with the individual or project (i.e. from supervisors, administrators, colleagues, library patrons, mayor, council members, board members, etc.). An online form is available to receive these letters. Instructions and a password for accessing that form will be given when a nomination form is submitted.

B.  Press Release information

Include local media information, such as media contact name, phone number, fax number, and email, so press releases can be sent to the appropriate outlets.

C.  Miscellaneous documentation

Choose materials that best represent the nominated individual or project, such as resumes, photos/video/news clippings of projects, events, or honors, and copies of the nominee’s publications, promotional materials created, or projects undertaken.

Sending your miscellaneous documentation: The preferred file formats for electronic documents are JPG and PDF, although other formats will be accepted. Compiling all of the documentation into a single PDF is ideal. Send these materials as email attachments to or on a CD (if file size precludes emailing) to the TLA Office.

Retention of Nomination Forms

Nominations Packets for Distinguished Service Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Outstanding Services to Libraries Award, and Libraries Change Communities Award will be retained and may be considered for two additional years.

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Created on Jun 7, 2010 | Last updated August 31, 2018