Picture of Ruth Mahaffy

Ruth Mahaffy Awarded 2019 LITA/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship

Ruth Mahaffy has been selected to receive the 2019 LITA/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship ($3,000) sponsored by the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) and Baker & Taylor. Mahaffy will graduate from Emporia State University’s School of Library and Information Management in 2020.

This Scholarship is for master’s level study, with an emphasis on library technology and/or automation, at a library school program accredited by the American Library Association. Criteria for the Scholarship includes previous academic excellence, evidence of leadership potential, and a commitment to a career in library automation and information technology.

Mahaffy is the Bilingual Services Director at the Sioux Center (IA) Public Library, where she started the Library’s first outreach to Spanish speaking immigrants in 2010, which now has over 1,000 attendees at programs for Spanish speakers and English language learners each year (in a town of 7,000). She also drafted a new internet use policy that addresses the rights of minors to access information and implemented ongoing eResource training for all staff, including an eCertification program.

The LITA/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship Committee unanimously chose Mahaffy as the scholarship recipient due to her academic excellence, her relevant experience and interest in Information Technology, and her demonstrated leadership. Mahaffy has a strong track record in professional service, having presented multiple times at regional and national conferences and earned various grants for her library. She has worked to address the digital divide in her community, training other library workers and community members alike on critical technologies for our world.

When notified she had won, Mahaffy said, “I am honored and delighted to have been selected as the recipient of the 2019 LITA/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship. I wish to express my gratitude to the LITA, ALA, and Baker & Taylor for this honor and support. In my work in rural public libraries, I have seen how technology education empowers community members to help their children succeed in school, further their own education, obtain employment, and pursue their dreams. I look forward to continuing to work with other librarians and vendors to not only offer quality digital products, but to ensure that community members have equitable access to that information.”

Members of the 2019 LITA/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship Committee are: Christopher Lawton (Chair), Dale Poulter (Vice-Chair), Kelly Sattler (Past Chair), Zebulin Evelhoch, Michael Rodriguez, and Harriet Wintermute.

Thank you to Baker & Taylor for sponsoring this scholarship.

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