The Allie Beth Martin Award provides recognition and a $300 honorarium to a librarian who, in a public setting, has demonstrated (1) extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books or other library material and (2) distinguished ability to share that knowledge. The award was established by the Public Library Association Board of Directors in 1978. After its 1993 fall meeting, the PLA Executive Committee notified PLA Award Chairs that the word "librarian" is defined as a professional possessing a Master of Library Science degree. Therefore, persons, not having earned an MLS are ineligible to receive the Allie Beth Martin Award.
The Mary Jo Lynch Award encourages library school students to do statistical research and publish a paper using public library data collected at the state and national level. Any student working toward a master's degree from a program of library and information science accredited by the American Library Association is eligible to apply. The winner will receive funding to attend the ALA national conference or the PLA national conference, to include actual and necessary expenses of conference attendance, including registration, travel, food, and lodging. The winner will also receive an engraved plaque and may be asked to present a summary of the research paper findings.
MLA's mission is to provide professional leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.