Guidelines & application form: Ramsay & Reid scholarships

The Margery C Ramsay and Barrett Reid Scholarships are awarded in alternate years by the Library Board of Victoria to Victorian public library staff to support their leadership development.

The Board’s responsibilities in relation to public libraries are defined in the Libraries Act 1998. They include a responsibility ‘to oversee cooperation in programs with libraries and information organisations to promote access to library and information resources’ and a responsibility ‘to exercise leadership and promote high standards in the provision of library and information services’. Awarding the Margery C Ramsay and Barrett Reid Scholarships is one way that the Board promotes high standards in the public library sector.

Applications for the 2014 Margery C Ramsay Scholarship open on 23 June 2014 and close at 4pm on Friday 15 August 2014.


The Margery C Ramsay Scholarship and Barrett Reid Scholarship are each valued at up to $30,000. Applicants can apply for any amount up to a maximum of $30,000.


To apply, you must:

  • be employed within a Victorian public library service
  • have a proven record of motivation, as well as interest in and commitment to the values of librarianship and public libraries

You do not have to be a qualified librarian or library technician. Applications are welcome from managers and staff at all band levels.

Applications can be made jointly by more than one applicant. Joint applications can be submitted by employees at the same or different library services.

If you've previously applied and been unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply again or resubmit previous applications.

If you've previously received a Ramsay or Reid scholarship, you may reapply after a period of five years (from the date of the award of your previous scholarship).


The scholarships can be used to fund a broad range of activities, including:

  • secondments or internships at a library service or other relevant organisation in Australia or overseas
  • participation in work exchange programs or study tours organised by library associations or other bodies
  • research into issues relevant and important to the future of Victorian public library services, in your own library service or other library service/s within Australia or overseas
  • further education, such as university, TAFE or short courses in librarianship, leadership, management or specialist areas of study
  • attendance at a conference or forum in Australia or overseas

You are welcome to propose other activities that support your leadership development.

The scholarships aim to develop future leaders in the Victorian public library sector. As such, your application must show how your proposed scholarship program will support your own professional development. Your application must also demonstrate how you will share your new knowledge and skills to benefit your own library service and the Victorian public library sector as a whole.

Scholarship funds can be used to cover:

  • study/course fees
  • conference or event fees
  • travel costs (for example transport, accommodation, meals and travel insurance)
  • publication costs (for example professional editing and printing)
  • research support costs (for example consultancy fees, survey data analysis, administrative support)
  • staff replacement costs paid directly to your employer to provide backfill staffing during your scholarship program, which should not constitute more than one third of the total funds requested
  • other costs by prior agreement

Scholarship funds may not be used to purchase computer equipment or mobile devices, nor to supplement your personal income (for example to pay your salary, fee for services, or personal living costs). Your employer is expected to continue to cover your salary during this professional development program.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted using the application form available for download at the bottom of this page. In your application form, please include:

  • a detailed description of the scope of your application
  • clear objectives, rationale and performance indicators
  • key outcomes and benefits for you, your employer and the Victorian library sector
  • commitment from or contact with the organisations to be visited or worked with
  • a timeframe for completion of the proposed program, starting no earlier than January 2015
  • a strategy for communicating the outcomes of the scholarship
  • a detailed budget, including other funding contributions where applicable
  • demonstration of your ability to implement the proposed program

In addition to your application form, you are also required to submit:

  • a two-page summary curriculum vitae that indicates highlights and achievements to date
  • a letter of support from the library service manager or CEO of your council or regional library corporation, stating your employer's support for your project and time away from normal duties

Finally, you must also submit two letters of recommendation from referees, using the referee forms available for download at the bottom of this page.

These references will be confidential and should be mailed directly by the referees to the scholarship administrator. The administrator, on behalf of the selection panel, may contact the referees for further information.

Applications and letters of reference should be marked 'Confidential' and received by 4pm on Friday 15 August 2014. Send to:

Robyn Ellard
Ramsay and Reid scholarship administrator
Public Libraries and Community Engagement division
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
03 8664 7425


A panel of representatives from the Library Board of Victoria, the State Library of Victoria, Public Libraries Victoria Network and the Municipal Association of Victoria will assess all applications. Applicants may be asked to provide more information in written form about their proposal. Interviews may be arranged for shortlisted applicants.

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • quality and clarity of proposal
  • benefits to the individual
  • benefits to the employing library service
  • benefits to the Victorian public library sector
  • effective planning (timelines, budget, communication strategy)
  • ability to deliver the proposal
  • innovation
  • references

The timeline for the selection process is as follows:

  • 15 August 2014: applications close
  • August–October 2014: selection process and approval by the Library Board of Victoria
  • October 2014: recipient/s notified
  • November 2014: scholarship/s awarded at a presentation event

The Library Board of Victoria reserves the right not to award a scholarship.

Agreement & reporting requirements

Scholarship agreement

Before the scholarship is awarded, successful applicants will be required to sign a scholarship agreement (terms & conditions). This agreement covers reporting timelines, use of copyright materials, plagiarism, acknowledgements, use of social media and research protocols.

Program & communication plan

Within one month of the scholarship being awarded, the recipient must submit a program and communication plan detailing the planned activities, timelines and communication activities for their scholarship program.

Preparing the program plan allows the recipient time to make travel arrangements and confirm visits to host organisations.

The communication plan details how the recipient intends to share their enhanced skills with others in the library sector to maximise the collective benefits of the scholarship. At a minimum, recipients should plan to present at a general meeting of Public Libraries Victoria Network.

Quarterly reports

During the scholarship program, the recipient will be required to submit brief quarterly progress reports to the scholarship administrator.

Final report

Within six months of completion of the program identified in their scholarship proposal, the recipient must forward a final report to the administrator, which will be submitted to the Advisory Committee on Public Libraries (a committee of the Library Board of Victoria). The final report should cover:

  • the background to the recipient’s scholarship program, including rationale and objectives
  • the full schedule of activities, including libraries, organisations and individuals contacted and/or visited
  • a substantial piece of reflective writing, outlining the personal learning, immediate implications for work practice at the recipient’s library service, and recommendations for the wider library sector
  • a reference list or bibliography (if applicable)

Acquittal of funds

The recipient will also be required to submit an acquittal of scholarship funds.

You can find templates for the scholarship agreement, program and communication plan, progress reports, and acquittal of funds on the Victorian Library Infonet. There is no template for the final report.

More information

You may find the answers to your questions on our Frequently asked questions page.

You're also encouraged to contact the scholarship administrator for any inquiries about the program, or to discuss the viability of your proposal. Contact Robyn Ellard at or on 03 8664 7425. All inquires will be treated confidentially.