The Herbert S. and Virginia White Professional Development Award 2023


Former winners

Herbert and Virginia White

Herbert and Virginia White met at the Library of Congress, where he was a Special Recruit Intern, and she was Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Librarian of Congress. Although responsibilities of family, child rearing, and involvement in a variety of volunteer posts (libraries, hospitals, museums, scouting) drew her away from professional participation in the field, Virginia always retained her interest, and served as a colleague and mentor with her husband.

Herbert White’s career took him from the Library of Congress through a variety of government and corporate posts ranging from librarianship to information and corporate administration and an ultimate role in academia. The Whites came to Bloomington in 1975, when he assumed the role of Professor and Director of the Research Center of what was then the Graduate Library School. Herbert White served as dean of the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) from 1980 to 1990. During his tenure, SLIS courses expanded to many campuses, and the program became one of the largest in the country. Upon his return to full time teaching and research, he was named a Distinguished Professor.

Herbert has always been professionally active. His record of distinguished service in the American Library Association is widely acknowledged, and he served as President of the Special Libraries Association from 1968‐69 and President of the American Society for Information Science from 1974‐75. In addition, he has been a prolific writer and columnist for numerous professional journals.

It is the intention of the Whites to support, during their active involvement in SLIS and after retirement, the process of individually motivated continuing education and professional growth, not directly related to a particular job assignment. Many formats are available for this process, and it is not intended that the options chosen be pre‐judged by some criterion of expectation of what might be traditional. The intent is to provide a level of support, where support can be most useful.

Guidelines for Development of a Proposal

The White Award is to be used to support the professional development of employees of the IU Libraries who have earned the MLS or equivalent degree. It is difficult to categorize guidelines for the White Award, because it is anticipated that each proposal will be highly unique and original. To define its scope and breadth too specifically would defeat the purpose. The underlying premise for proposal development is that regardless of the type of project, it must contribute to and emphasize the growth of the individual in the library profession, not necessarily in their job. The activity does not have to be quantified in the form of a product. If a product such as a publication or presentation results, however, that may be perfectly acceptable.

The applicant for the White Award should write an essay clearly stating their intentions and expressing how the project or activity will fit into the individual’s career goals. The essay should describe the activity in detail, stating when and where it will take place, including an itemized list of
 anticipated expenses*, and the expected benefits to the individual’s professional growth. A variety of activities ‐ possibly, though not necessarily, related to research and/or continuing education ‐ may be considered. When judging the relative merit of proposals, quality, not quantity, will be important.

The White Award will not support the purchase of materials for the IU collections, or tuition fees covered by the University in the form of fee courtesy or any activities which the state of Indiana has the responsibility to provide for its University employees and students.

Eligibility: Employees of the Indiana University Libraries eligible to apply for the White Award include those persons in clerical, technical, academic, or Professional/Administrative positions holding ALA‐ accredited MLS degrees, or equivalent work experience, from all campuses, including extra‐systems libraries. Visiting and Part‐time Librarians are not eligible for the award. Librarians who receive the White Award may not apply again during the year following receipt of the Award. Preference will be given to those who have not previously received the Award.

Criteria: Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the following:

•    Growth of the individual in the library profession.
•    Appropriateness of the project to the stated career goals of the applicant.
•    Originality.
•    Timeliness of the project on the applicant’s career path.
•    Cohesiveness of the various components of the proposed project.
•    Clarity and strength of the narrative description.

Type of Award: Annual award of up to $2,500. The award may be given to one person or divided by several. Award monies used to pay for graduate student assistants are taxed.

Final Report: The White Award recipient must write a brief description of the activity upon its completion and send a copy to the Chair of the IU Libraries Scholarship & Award Committee and the Libraries Executive Director of Development. The Chair will share the report with the Scholarship & Award Committee. The Libraries Executive Director of Development will share the report with the Whites as part of the gift stewardship process.

The Proposal:
Submit the Proposal electronically to by March 22, 2023. Please include the following:

1.    On a cover sheet, please include 
•    applicant’s name 
•    position
•    email & contact information
•    campus 
•    name of person writing applicant’s recommendation

2.    On a separate sheet, please describe, in essay form, the project that you wish to pursue. Clearly state how the proposed activity will contribute to your career as library professional either within or outside of your current job responsibilities. Be sure to include a timetable for the project, as well as an itemized list of anticipated expenses.

3.    Attach a current resume.

4.    NOTE: One letter of recommendation from the applicant’s supervisor OR a notable colleague is required. Please give the name and address of your recommender. The applicant’s supporting letter must be submitted by the due date for the application to be considered complete, March 22, 2023.

5.    Questions can be directed to Leanne Nay, Chair of the Awards and Scholarship Committee or Christine Wagner, Ex-officio Member of the Awards and Scholarship Committee.