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Committee Charge

Actively pursue traditional and innovative opportunities to recognize excellence in our membership and the broader Iowa library community.  Communicate and partner with other ILA committees and Executive Board.   

Know someone who should be nominated for one of the awards below? Submit a nomination today!


  • Distinguished Leadership Award (Formerly Member of the Year)

This award recognized an ILA member with outstanding accomplishments in leadership.    

  1. Advancing the library profession though contributions to any area of service benefiting Iowa libraries
  2. Leadership through vision and action for the betterment of the local library constituency
  3. Outstanding participation in activities of a professional library association (state or national); notable publications and/or productions; creative work in interpreting the library to constituents.
  4. One letter of reference, highlighting the nominee's impact, and 2 additional reference contacts are required.
  • Distinguished Career Award 

This award recognizes an ILA member with significant accomplishments and more than 15 yrs experience in the library community.

  1. At least 15 yrs experience in library work
  2. Library betterment through innovation, broadened scope and/or quality of service
  3. Contribution to any area of service benefiting library users
  4. Leadership in education and in-service training for library personnel or trustees
  5. Improvement in library techniques or management
  6. Development of innovative or exceptional library facilities
  7. One letter of reference, highlighting the nominee's impact, and 2 additional reference contacts are required.
  • Citation of Merit

This award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to, or advanced the principles of, quality library service. This award may be given to a group or an individual. The work of the recipient(s) will be well known beyond the local community. Either the nominee or the person making the nomination must be a member of the Iowa Library Association.

  • Emerging Leader Award

This award recognizes an ILA member with significant contributions to the local, state, or national library community and less than 5 yrs experience. 

  • Outstanding Library Advocate Award

This award recognizes the contributions of a school, college, or government leader who has strongly advocated for the library community.  Nominee must be an ILA member.

  • Library Philanthropy Award 

This award recognizes an Iowa library for exceptional efforts made, outside the library’s typical mission, to create a better world. Nominee must be an ILA member.

  • Johnson Brigham Plaque Award

This award, honoring Johnson Brigham, long-time State Librarian, is presented every three years, provided som Iowa author has produced work that is worthy of recognition during those three years.  

  • ILA Presidential Award

Candidates for the ILA Presidential Award will be limited to individuals who have completed at least nine months as President of the Iowa Library Association.  This award, created in 1981, is given in recognition of the unique demands, responsibilities and commitment that the Association asks of a member once he/she assumes its Presidency.  This award is to be bestowed upon the qualified candidate at the Annual Conference during his/her term in office by the ILA Immediate Past President.  

  • Lifetime Membership Award

An award of "Lifetime Membership" will be extended to retired persons who have been members of the Iowa Library Association for at least 25 years.  "Lifetime Members" enjoy all the benefits of membership in ILA, including receipt of the Catalyst, without payment of annual dues.  

  • Honorary Member

The title of "honorary Member" may be conferred for life upon a person not a member of ILA, whom the Association desires to recognize for meritorious achievement (in an endeavor(s) related to the advancement of librarianship).  The title of "honorary Member" will entitle the holder to all privileges of membership except those making motions, voting, and holding office.