Apply now for the 2023 WAML Diversity and Early Career Librarian Scholarships! 

The Western Association of Map Libraries (WAML) is an independent association of map and geospatial librarians and other people with an interest in maps and geospatial librarianship. WAML is committed to actively encouraging diverse voices and new perspectives in the field of map and geospatial librarianship and within our organization. We are excited to announce two scholarship opportunities in conjunction with the 2023 WAML Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia August 9–12. Each scholarship includes an award of $1000, a one-year membership in WAML, free conference registration and the opportunity to present at the conference. The application deadline is Sunday, May 28, 11:59 PM (PDT). Scholarship applicants will be notified of the results by the second week of June 2023.

See the full program description and application form

Program Description

The overarching goal of the WAML Scholarship program is to advance WAML’s efforts toward being a more inclusive organization and to support the professional development of library-workers from diverse backgrounds. There are two primary objectives:

  1. Provide an opportunity for library-workers from under-represented racial, social, and/or class groups who are interested in map and geospatial librarianship to learn more about the profession, meet colleagues, and add new skills and knowledge.
  1. Introduce new or transitioning library-workers to the world of map librarianship and the emerging career of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) librarianship.

As an organization we believe that it is critical for our profession to reflect on and engage with the cultural and structural biases that are inherent to map and geospatial librarianship, and thus are actively recruiting people who may contribute new perspectives and experiences. The WAML conference provides a great opportunity for students or new/transitioning librarians to learn, network, and develop themselves and the profession of Map and GIS librarianship.


Applicants do not need to be current WAML members or have registered for the 2023 conference in order to apply for a scholarship. We welcome applicants from all types of libraries (academic, public, school, etc.), and it is not necessary to already be working in a map, geospatial, or GIS library field. Preference is given to applicants residing in North America and identify with one or both of the following categories:

  • Librarians and library-workers from underrepresented or marginalized groups within the map and geospatial library field.
  • Early-career librarians, MLIS students (currently enrolled or recently graduated), and library workers new to map and geospatial librarianship.

Application Process

To apply for the scholarship, please complete the application form which requires: (1) a current CV/resume, (2) a brief summary of your interests in Map and/or GIS librarianship, and (3) a response to the following prompt: identify an impactful map, mapping project, or cartographic technique or medium and develop a response to your selection that addresses the questions below. The map or mapping project you choose can be one you created or one created by someone else. 

  • How has your selection affected you personally and/or society as a whole? 
  • How do the cartographic or technical details of your selection influence the story it conveys?
  • What other qualities of your selection make it impactful?

In your response, we encourage you to think about how maps can be critically applied to social justice in our society. 


We invite a variety of formats and strongly encourage creativity in your response! You are free to craft your submission in whatever format you feel best represents your response. This may include (but is not limited to) a video essay, podcast, story map, digital exhibit, written essay, web page, or any other medium that will help you argue the impact of your selection.

Post-award obligations for scholarship recipients:

  • Attend the WAML Annual Meeting during the year they receive the award.
  • Recipients are provided the opportunity briefly present at the meeting (the Scholarship Committee will work with the winners to formulate a topic or assist in adapting their submission to a presentation format).
  • Serve on the WAML scholarship committee for one year following the award.

Find the application links at:

Contact Phil White (Scholarship Committee Chair) at or 303-735-8278 with questions about the program or application process.

Please share this scholarship information widely with anyone you think may be interested!