Education Fellowship Program

General

The Mathews Memorial Library Fellowship Program is designed for individuals who express a desire to pursue a career in library/information science. It is a program that promotes training of professional library personnel. The goal of the Fellowship Program is to ensure professional excellence and to encourage qualified personnel to serve in positions in the Mathews Memorial Library.

Fellowship funds will be approved by the Mathews Memorial Library Board of Trustees for qualified applicants recommended by a committee appointed by the Board to review and recommend applicants. Membership on the committee will include the director of the Mathews Memorial Library. Amounts to be awarded will be set annually by the Board.

The major factors considered in approving a fellowship are:

  • Evidence of commitment to a career in librarianship.
  • Financial need
  • Potential for outstanding achievement in the library profession
  • Academic excellence
  • Eligibility

The eligibility requirements for the Fellowship Program are:

  • Resident of Mathews County, Virginia
  • Graduate of a public or private secondary school
  • Acceptance by an American Library Association accredited graduate school of library of information science or accredited paraprofessional program leading to certification or a degree in information science or related field

Funds will be approved under the following conditions:

  • A fellowship may be made to any applicant who shall pledge, as set out in the contractual agreement below, to serve in the Mathews Memorial Library.
  • The fellowship shall be used for the purpose of paying expenses of the applicant to attend an accredited graduate school of library or information science or accredited paraprofessional program leading to certification or a degree in information science or related field.
  • The applicant must, at the time of application for a fellowship, submit a letter from the chosen school or program demonstrating that he/she has been accepted for admittance.
  • Individual fellowships may not exceed forty-eight consecutive months.

Contractual Agreement

Fellowship recipients must agree to work in a staff capacity in the Mathews Memorial Library immediately following the receipt of a graduate library degree or comparable program.  The length period shall be determined by the Board of Trustees of the Mathews Memorial Library in consultation with the Director of the Library.  If no suitable position is available in the Mathews Memorial Library, service must be sought in another public library in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The provisions of this contractual agreement may be canceled by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mathews Memorial Library.
 

In July 2007, the Board of Trustees of the Mathews Memorial Library approved guidelines for providing scholarships to Mathews residents interested in pursuing a career in library and information science. The goal of the program is to ensure professional excellence and to encourage qualified personnel to serve in positions in the Mathews Memorial Library.

Funding for the fellowship program is available as part of the library endowment established with the Mathews County Community Fund, following receipt of an award of $10,000 for being selected as the best rural library in the U.S. in 2005. The endowment has grown to over $40,000 through several grants from the William F. & Catherine K. Owens Foundation Board and donations received from numerous library supporters in the community. Supplemental funding is also being provided by the Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library.

To qualify for a scholarship, an individual must be:

  • A resident of Mathews County, Virginia,
  • A graduate of a public or private secondary school
  • Accepted by an American Library Association accredited graduate school of library or information science or accredited paraprofessional program leading to certification or a degree in information science or related field.

The program is to be administered by a committee appointed by the Board of Trustees who will recommend applicants to the Board for approval to receive a scholarship. Amounts to be awarded will be set annually by the Board.

For more information see the official qualification guidelines approved by the library Board of Trustees.  Additional details about the fellowship program can by obtained by calling the Library at (804)725-5747.