Annual Awards

Do you want to recognize that special library colleague? Maryland Library Association is accepting nominations for its awards through November 10, 2023.

Brief information on the awards can be found below. Links to detailed information are on the left-hand menu. Awards will be presented at the MLA Conference in Cambridge May 8 - 10, 2024.

When submitting an application, please provide enough information and examples to make a strong case for your nominee.

Questions? Please contact Cathy Hollerbach at

The Maryland Library Association presents these awards:

Distinguished Service Award - recognizes a Maryland resident who has demonstrated effective library advocacy over an extended period of time and whose contribution to libraries transcends the boundaries of one county or political jurisdiction in Maryland.

The Margaret Carty Emerging Leader Award - recognizes a member of MLA working in a library who demonstrates strong leadership potential and encourages the recipient to assume an increasingly responsible role in librarianship. This award is named after former MLA Executive Director Margaret Carty who was an outstanding mentor and colleague to new librarians and MLA members at various stages of their career.

Honorary Membership - recognizes a lifetime of significant contributions to libraries and librarianship.

Libraries Change Communities Award - Honoring a collaborative effort to promote innovative library-based initiatives involving the community.

MLA President's Customer Service Award - recognizes outstanding achievement in offering customer service and providing community leadership.

Outstanding Member Award - recognizes a member of MLA who has effectively provided sustained service to MLA and significantly enhanced its mission and goals.

Outstanding Support Staff Award - recognizes a library paraprofessional or support staff member who made a significant contribution to libraries in Maryland. The winner of this award receives a one-year membership to MLA.

Outstanding Volunteer Award – honors a library volunteer in Maryland who exemplifies the positive impact that volunteers can make in libraries through their outstanding service.

Project of the Year - Honoring a project exemplifying the highest level of achievement and professional standards

MLA also distributes the following awards through separate committees

Marketing Committee - Excellence in Marketing Award which recognizes the talent of communications and marketing personnel within Maryland libraries,​while sharing ideas, learning from peers, and validating the importance of library marketing. Submission form.

Maryland Author Award Committee - Maryland Author Award

Blue Crab Award Committee (a division of CSD) - Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award

Updated 21 September 2023