The Rosemary Allen Little Award

Criteria for the Award

  1. The student must be currently enrolled in the Master of Information program at Rutgers University and have an interest in a career in a specialized library (industry, government, newspaper, museum, health care, law, special collections, etc.) or as information professional in a non-traditional setting.
  2. A statement of approximately 500 words must be submitted on the topic of why the student is interested in a career in a special library or using information skills in a non-traditional setting.
  3. The names of two professors willing to serve as references along with their phone numbers and e-mail addresses must be included on the cover sheet.
  4. The student’s name, telephone number(s), e-mail address, and address must be given on a cover sheet but not on the statement itself.

A committee of chapter members will read and judge the anonymous essays. In cases of a tie, finalists may be invited to an interview on the Rutgers University campus or by phone. The committee reserves the right to withhold the award if the quality of the essays does not warrant an award.


Rosemary Allen Little

 Rosemary Little worked as a librarian at Princeton University Library for forty years. She began her career as a reference librarian on August 1, 1961 and on August 17, 1964, she was promoted to the post of Public Administration Librarian, a position in which she served with distinction. Rosemary Little was a first-rate reference librarian and subject specialist. While her contributions to both the Department of Politics and Princeton University Library are incalculable, two very noteworthy undertakings included her ambitious library outreach and instruction programs and the exceedingly high quality of her work in legal reference. Early in her career, Rosemary recognized the importance of building dynamic outreach initiatives. Indeed, she built a comprehensive and creative instruction model that many of us attempted to emulate. Viewed by those in the Politics Department as their partner in teaching, she was routinely invited to department meetings and planning sessions for juniors and seniors. She offered many specialized bibliographic instruction sessions, lectured, and prepared handouts for dozens and dozens of junior research workshops. She skillfully demonstrated electronic resources and carefully prepared many user guides and bibliographies on a wide array of topics. Her seminars were heavily-attended, conducted during scheduled class time, and were very much appreciated. She prepared unique and engaging presentations that spanned the entire gamut of politics and in the process earned a tremendous outpouring of student feedback, trust, and respect.

The Department’s appreciation for her energetic investment in its majors is summed up by Politics Department Chair, Professor Jeffrey Herbst who observed of her role with students, “I cannot imagine anyone having a more professional and successful approach.”  Faculty members were always impressed with her reliable grasp of the University’s holdings, resources beyond the university, and research methods and strategies. Clearly, Rosemary did an exceptional job of keeping her clientele informed and was always solicitous of her faculty’s views on acquisitions and services.  Not only was the Politics Department well consulted, but also exceptionally well advised over the years.

With the advent of a growing Program in Law and Public Affairs, new and increasing demands were placed on Rosemary in the areas of legal research and its related collection development. Fortunately her facility with legal bibliography was outstanding. Stanley Katz, legal historian and class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor of the History of American Law and Liberty made it clear that since his arrival in 1978, he had “never had a better relationship with a reference and collections librarian” and called her a “marvel, a virtuoso of the legal databases, and an excellent instructor to those of us who do not come by these techniques readily.”

Throughout her long career at Princeton, Rosemary actively contributed to the profession and brought credit to Princeton University through her diligent and highly visible work on various committees and subgroups within the American Library Association and Special Libraries Association. She enjoyed an enormous network of friends and contacts in the field. It seems that any librarian who had ever been closely involved with government documents, politic, or law librarianship was at one time or another influenced or inspired by Rosemary. Her competence and graciousness were widely admired.

It was Rosemary’s warmth and kindness that will always be most fondly recalled by her colleagues and friends. The lucky students she took under her wing, particularly her student assistants, were blessed with a mentor who taught and nurtured and cared very deeply for each and every one of them. Over the years, Rosemary was flooded with cards and visits from students who never forgot her contributions to their scholarship and well-being. Her involvement with young people was a generous stewardship of sorts, supportive and positive, both professional and personal.

Award Winners

Erica Saito

Juliette Appold

Katie Maricic

2018 Rosemary Allen Little Award

2018 Rosemary Allen Little Award
New Jersey Chapter President, Karen Botkin (right) presents the Rosemary Little Scholarship Award to Erica Saito at the 2018 SLA Conference in Baltimore.