Cowen Gallery closed from 4pm Wednesday 7 Dec Find out more

Home > About Us > Scholarships & awards > Barrett Reid Scholarship > Barrett Reid Scholarship: Guidelines

Barrett Reid Scholarship: Guidelines

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.

The Barrett Reid scholarship is a sustained core program of funding and is focussed on supporting emerging leaders.

Emerging leaders in the context of the Barrett Reid scholarship are identified as those people who can innovate and strive for excellence, thereby demonstrating the potential to transform the sector through leadership in 21st century library service delivery.

Successful applicants will be individuals who show potential to best achieve the scholarship objectives by articulating how they will meet the challenge of innovation and excellence in their proposed program of work, and how the scholarship provides an opportunity to develop and further their career.


The Barrett Reid Scholarship is valued at up to $20,000. Applicants can apply for any amount up to a maximum of $20,000.


Applicants must:

  • be employed within a Victorian public library service and remain employed within a Victorian public library service for the duration of the scholarship
  • demonstrate their commitment to innovation and excellence within a public library context.

Applicants do not have to be qualified librarians or library technicians. Applications are welcome from managers and staff at all band levels, including emerging senior managers.

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

Applicants who have previously applied and been unsuccessful are welcome to apply again or resubmit previous applications.

Past recipients of a Ramsay or Reid scholarship may reapply after a period of five years (from the date of the award of their 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 (see Frequently asked questions for more details)
  • attendance at a conference or forum in Australia or overseas.

Applicants are welcome to propose other activities that support their leadership development.

The scholarships offer a career-defining experience, an opportunity for leadership development and advancement of the sector. As such, your application must show how your proposed scholarship program will support your own professional development as you strive for excellence, and how the program of work in its innovation will positively impact the sector. 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 cannot 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.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Scholarship Administrator to discuss the viability and feasibility of proposals by emailing [email protected]. All enquiries will be treated confidentially.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted using the Barrett Reid Scholarship application form (see More to explore, below).

The intake period for Barrett Reid Scholarship applications is from the second Monday of August until 5pm on the first Monday of October.

Award yearApplications openApplications close
20219 August 20214 October 2021
202314 August 20232 October 2023
202511 August 20256 October 2025

In your application, you must provide all the information requested to be considered for the award. Please include:

  • a detailed description of the scope of the application
  • clear objectives, rationale and performance indicators
  • key outcomes and benefits for the applicant, their 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, not exceeding 18 months from commencement and starting no earlier than the February proceeding the intake date of applications for the respective round of funding
  • a strategy for communicating the outcomes of the scholarship
  • a detailed budget, including other funding contributions where applicable
  • demonstration of the applicant's ability to implement the proposed program
  • a two-page summary curriculum vitae that indicates highlights and achievements to date
  • a letter of support from the applicant’s employer
  • two letters of reference.

Employer letter of support

A letter of support is required to be submitted by the library service manager or CEO of the applicant's council/regional library corporation.

The letter of support needs to provide an overview of the employer’s support strategy for the applicant.

A formalised support strategy outlining, expectations and agreement between the applicant and their manager needs to be decided before the applicant submits their application.

Consideration needs to be given, but not limited to: 

  • the time required to ensure the applicant’s substantive work will be managed, while ensuring all expected scholarship requirements are met.
  • potential constraints or disruption to working arrangements, such as in the case of a COVID-19 environment.
  • projects may require alternative arrangements, such as travel, out of work hours activities, or working from home for defined periods.
  • estimated time required for work to be undertaken, this could be weekly or in blocks of time.

The agreements will be specific to each individual and their workplace requirements, please take time to acknowledge them in your strategy.


Two letters of reference, using the supplied forms (see More to explore, below), are required from referees of your choice. These references will be confidential and are to be emailed directly to the Scholarship Administrator at [email protected] by the referees before the closing date for applications. The administrator may contact the referees on behalf of the selection panel for further information.


Applications will be assessed by a panel of representatives from the Library Board of Victoria, State Library Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria Network.

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:

  • Applications close: October (intake year)
  • Selection process and approval: December (intake year)
  • Recipient/s notified: December (intake year)
  • Scholarship/s awarded at a presentation event: February/March (year proceeding intake year)

Applicants may be asked to provide more information in written form about their proposals.

Interviews may be arranged for shortlisted applicants.

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

Agreement and reporting requirements

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

Within one month of the scholarship being awarded, the recipient must submit program and communication plans detailing the planned activities, timelines and communication activities for their scholarship program. Preparing the program plan allows the recipient time to make travel arrangements, confirm visits to host organisations etc. 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 you should plan to present at a general meeting of Public Libraries Victoria.

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

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).

State Library Victoria is committed to providing accessible digital content and it is expected that the final report complies with web content accessibility guidelines. More information about these requirements will be available to the scholarship winner, and State Library Victoria is available to provide guidance.

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

Templates for the scholarship agreement, program and communication plans, progress reports and acquittal of funds will be provided. There is no template for the final report.

Sending your application

Applications for the Scholarship marked ‘Confidential’ should be sent by COB last Monday in October (intake year) to [email protected]. Remember to include:

  • Your completed application form
  • A brief (two page) curriculum vitae – work focused, no personal address or phone number required.
  • A letter of support, outlining an agreed support strategy from your library service manager/CEO.

Referees should mail their letters of references (using the supplied form) directly to to [email protected].

Please direct any questions to the Scholarship Administrator [email protected].

All enquiries will be treated confidentially.