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A Section of the Rhode Island Library Association

SLRI Awards -Maurice Tougas Award

The SLRI Maurice Tougas Award recognizes excellence among the graduating class of GSLIS’ School Library Media Program by rewarding the hard work of an emerging professional to develop future leaders in the state in honor of Maurice Tougas' legacy.

2023 Applications are now open!

  • Who may submit an application for this award? Any current GSLIS student in good standing with a December 2022 graduation date OR expected graduation date in 2023 who meets the selection criteria outlined below 
  • When will the award be announced? At the RILA Annual Conference
  • What form does the award take? $250 and one year free SLRI membership / conference attendance
  • Selection Criteria: Nominees must
    • achieve high academic performance
    • demonstrate leadership qualities
    • exhibit potential for noteworthy contributions to the field
    • be a matriculated GSLIS student in good standing who will graduate in 2023
    • complete a student teaching practicum at a Rhode Island school with the intention to become part of the Rhode Island professional community

Submission Guidelines: 

  • Nominees must submit a current resume and a 300-500-word essay on a topic of SLRI's choosing (see below for topic)
  • Applications are due by midnight on April 17, 2023
  • Concise, well-written, engaging entries enjoy a clear advantage over other submissions
  • Incomplete or late entries will be disqualified
  • At least 3 readers will review submissions using the attached rubric
  • The nominees and/or the award recipient may be invited to serve a future role in SLRI
  • The purpose of this award is to recognize excellence as defined by the criteria and rubric posted above; SLRI reserves the right to withhold the award if submissions do not meet these requirements
  • Please note that award eligibility, application, selection, and submission criteria may be changed at the discretion of the SLRI Awards Chair and/or the SLRI Executive Board.
Email any questions about this award or about the application process to with “Maurice Tougas Award” in the subject line. 

Essay Topic:

The school librarian's role encompasses a broad range of roles and responsibilities. You deliver lessons, manage collections, support curriculum, and navigate relationships with students and faculty, all the while keeping up on the latest trends in education and technology and reading new literature for your age group. 

As you prepare to enter the field, what is one concrete action step you plan to take in your first year as a school librarian? Your essay may describe a lesson plan, a grant idea, advocacy efforts, technology integration, community-building activities, collection development, or anything else that drives you.

We look forward to reading about your future contribution to the profession!

Previous Recipients:

  • 2022- Wendy Gustavel
  • 2021-Heather Coughlin
  • 2020-Dawn Warnock
  • 2019-Kelli McPartlin
  • 2017-Alyssa Taft
  • 2016-Kristin Polseno
  • 2015-Kevin St. Jean
  • 2013-Sarah Ornstein
  • 2012-Laura Gladding
  • 2011- Suzanne Jordan
  • 2010- Leah Chapdelaine
  • 2008- Mary Beauchemin
  • 2007- Stephanie Mills
  • 2006- Zachary Berger
  • 2005-Darshell Silva
  • 2004-Jill Jackson-Fernandes
  • 2003- Debra Cohen
  • 2002- Michelle Steever
  • 2001-Donna Hayes
  • 2000-Rosanne Trissler and Maureen Ingegneri
  • 1999-Suzanne Lynch
  • 1996- Heidi Blais

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