Are you wondering how to assess the impact of the public library? Do you want to build your skills in evaluating library programs and services? Embedding Evaluation in Libraries: Developing Internal Evaluators, an initiative funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is excited to announce that up to $16,000 in scholarships is available to receive training on evaluating public-facing programs and services and more at the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) 2023 event in Madison, Wisconsin, July 23-26, 2023.  This scholarship opportunity is open to a) staff working in small and rural public libraries in the United States, and b) public library staff and LIS students in US programs who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Middle Eastern or North African, and/or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.  These scholarships are funded by IMLS as part of the Embedding Evaluation grant.

RIPL is a singular event for public library staff and others interested in public library data and evaluation. In this immersive, bootcamp-style event, participants learn practical, strategic methods of gathering, analyzing, and using data for planning, management, and communicating impact. The Embedding Evaluation in Libraries grant will support several evaluation-focused sessions at RIPL 2023.

To be eligible for a scholarship to attend RIPL, you must meet one of the following criteria:


  • You work in a US public library OR are an LIS student in a US program who identifies as American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Middle Eastern or North African, and/or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

The scholarships cover the registration fee ($550), which includes dinner on July 23 and breakfast and lunch on July 24-26. Applicants may also request funds to offset meals not included in the registration fee, lodging, and travel costs (airfare, ground transportation, mileage, etc.). The amount of funds awarded will be based on the scholarship recipient’s proximity to Madison, Wisconsin and will be specified when applicants are notified of their acceptance status in January. Some of these expenses will be paid for upfront and others will be reimbursed upon submission of receipts after the institute occurs.

If selected, scholarship recipients must attend RIPL in its entirety (beginning with an evening event on July 23, 2023 and ending mid-afternoon on July 26, 2023).

Application Process:

You can preview the scholarship application and see what criteria will be used to review applications here. To be considered for a RIPL scholarship, you must submit an application via this online form.

The scholarship application contains the following essay question:

Think about one public-facing program or service in your library that you would like to evaluate (for example, digital skills program for seniors, job and career services for recent immigrants, STEM storytimes, etc.). If you are a LIS student not currently working in a public library, consider a program or service you might want to evaluate in the future. In your response, please briefly describe the program or service, explain why it is important to assess it, and discuss what you hope to learn at RIPL to help you evaluate it.

The recommended length of response for the essay question is 200-300 words.

Please be aware that within the online form linked above, you cannot save your responses and return to them at a later time to continue working. Therefore, we strongly recommend preparing your answer to the essay question and calculating the amount of funds you are requesting for transportation (if any – please see the application for more details) in a separate document and then copying and pasting this information into the scholarship application.

Scholarship applications are due by 8 PM Eastern/5 PM Pacific on Friday, November 19, 2022. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by January 6, 2023.

Questions? Please contact