ULA Awards & Definitions


To submit a nomination click here


Distinguished Service Award:

The Committee will select an individual with the most significant record of contribution throughout her/his career.


The nominee must have been a member of ULA for at least 10 years, although not necessarily consecutive.  Membership in another state, regional, or national professional library association can be substituted for up to 5 of the required years.


Nominees will have been recognized by their colleagues as giving exceptional service to library patrons and the profession.  Typically such recognition will have been demonstrated by positions held in professional associations; a record of publication or professional presentations; special recognition given by a community,  college/university/school; or other user group; or other forms of acknowledgment such as awards, citations, and letters of praise.        


Librarian of the Year Award:

The Committee will select an individual with the most outstanding contribution to librarianship in the State of Utah for the previous calendar year.   


The nominee for this award must have been a member of ULA for at least the past year and should not have received this award in the past.  


Nominees will have accomplished a significant contribution to librarians and/or librarianship. Examples of such accomplishement may include:

  • Leading or contributing significantly to an effort to improve service or operations in a single library or library system,
  • Delivering an unusual level or quality of service to a patron community.
  • Designing or developing a new library facility, service, or operation.
  • Publishing a highly respected professional book or article.
  • Promoting the role of libraries in society and the value of librarianship as a profession
  • Securing new funding for a library or library system.


Special Service to Libraries Award:

The Committee will select an individual or group who has demonstrated remarkable support for libraries and librarians through a single effort or sustained contribution.  


Nominees will have been directly involved in promoting library services in a public service, volunteer, or other non-paid capacity for at least one year.


The nominee need not be a member of ULA but should be employed or a volunteer at a Utah library. Nominees will have furthered library services through assistance with building construction, funding, volunteer service, or other means of promoting libraries and literacy.   Community spirit and investment of personal time will characterize the nominee(s) selected for this award.


Special Recognition Award:

This special award strives to recognize librarians who have served in or assisted with the management of ULA in leadership or organizational positions.  This individual may be nominated by the ULA board or by someone familiar with the work done to further the work of ULA.  This award need not be given every year.


Must have been a member of ULA during the time of recognition.


The nominee must be a member of ULA and have shown true dedication to the cause of ULA during the time of leadership.  The contribution recognized may have happened continuously or over more than one time period. This can take the form of continuous leadership/contribution, a unique contribution to the association, or outstanding recognition.


Legislative Award for Excellence in Political Affairs and Library Advocacy:

The committee will select an individual or group who has demonstrated consistent dedication to being an advocate for libraries on the national, state or local political stage.


The nominee need not work in a library or be a member of ULA but needs to have been politically active. Nomination for this award does not prohibit the awardee from being nominated for any other Utah Library Association award or merit.


The nominee must have a proven history of leadership or legislative activism in politically supporting library advocacy and/or issues. He/she is one who, it is presumed, will continue such activism and/or advocacy on behalf of libraries and librarianship.


Outreach Award:

The Outreach Award honors an individual or group who has made notable outreach efforts to expand library services or access to information to underrepresented populations.


Nominees must be current ULA members or include at least one current ULA member if a group is nominated.


Nominees for the outreach award must have demonstrated significant outreach efforts to encourage the use of library services or to improve access to information for underrepresented populations. This award defines underrepresented populations broadly to include any user group that was previously underserved prior to the nominee’s outreach efforts. The significant outreach efforts may be the initiation of a major outreach project, the completion of a major outreach project, or represent sustained outreach efforts over time.

Click here for previous award winners