Peggy May Scholarship

For more information, please contact Justin Easterday by email: Justin.easterday@usm.edu or phone 228-214-3461

Peggy May Scholarship Application

Peggy May Scholarship Recommendation Form

How You Can Help Increase the Scholarship Fund

Make a Donation Online
Donation Form - PDF (print, complete, and mail form and check to MLA office)

Peggy May Scholarship Brochure – PDF – may be freely copied and distributed

About the Peggy May Scholarship/ MLA Scholarship Award

Sponsored by The Mississippi Library Association

The Peggy May/MLA Scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance for the education of individuals planning to be professional librarians, information specialists, or media specialists in academic, public, school or special libraries. The scholarship award of $1000 will be made each spring to a qualified graduate student currently enrolled or officially admitted in the School of Library and Information Science at The University of Southern Mississippi. Both full-time and part-time students are eligible. Criteria for the scholarship include academic excellence, leadership capabilities, and an evidence of commitment to a career in the field of library and information science in the state of Mississippi. Previous experience or activity in the library field is a bonus but not necessary to be considered for the award.

Peggy May devoted her time and energy to the advancement of libraries in the state of Mississippi. Until her tragic and untimely death in 1974, she traveled the State extensively to support the efforts of library colleagues in small and large libraries to develop library services for Mississippi citizens. Peggy May loved all aspects of librarianship; she particularly enjoyed encouraging new librarians in their academic and career pursuits. The Peggy May Scholarship endowment was established after her death to honor her dedication to librarianship and support her commitment to recruit talented individuals to the profession.

Eligibility Requirements


To be eligible for the Peggy May Scholarship:

- Applicant must be a resident of Mississippi

- A graduate student enrolled or officially admitted in the School of Library and Information Science at USM

- An applicant may have full or part-time status

The Association continually seeks to increase the endowment so the scholarship award may better address the growing costs of a graduate education in library science. Contributions to the scholarship fund by MLA members, as well as other interested individuals and corporations, are tax deductible. You can help continue the Peggy May legacy in three different ways:

1. Make a personal donation. To insure that your tax-deductible contribution is properly recorded, please use the donation form.

2. Recognize someone special with a designated donation. Does someone special to you or your library need to be recognized? Use the Recognition/donation form to insure that acknowledgements are sent to the appropriate people.

3. Secure items for the Silent Auction. The annual silent auction held during the MLA annual conference has been, by far, our most popular fundraiser. The success of the auction is due to the interesting and desirable items that folks can’t resist bidding on. We are indebted to those of you who have contributed items for the bidding. We need you to continue to bring items that you create, purchase, or secure through donations from local sources. Some vendors request a receipt for their donated item so we’ve created one that you can photocopy.

A downloadable brochure about the Peggy May Scholarship has been created. It may be freely copied and distributed. Peggy May Scholarship Brochure – PDF



Erica Will


Lara Taylor


Anita Winger has worked at the Mississippi State University Libraries for 27 years beginning in the cataloging department and eventually became the ILS administrator serving the Mississippi State University Library and the Mississippi Library Partnership (MLP).  Having worked in libraries since grade school, she enjoys working with all areas of the library and supporting them behind the scenes.  Being able to support “her libraries” in this manner is a privilege, allowing them to focus on their programming and patron needs.  After completing her MLIS degree, Anita hopes to better serve her libraries in the MLP and across the state.


Amanda Osborne is the librarian at Oxford High School in Oxford, MS.  She has served over 20 years in Mississippi public schools as a school librarian and English teacher.  Her love for reading and learning has shaped her life and career.  She believes that knowing a little bit about a lot of things and having the curiosity to learn more makes her a good fit for the library. Currently, she is working toward an MLIS degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. 


Rachel Long is the 2019 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship.


Katherine Dutro is the 2018 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship.


Alex Brower is the 2017 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship.


Lakesha Smith is the 2016 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship.


Rebecca Houston is the 2015 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship.


Dee Hare
is the 2014 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship. Dee has her B.A. in English from Delta State University and is currently enrolled in the University of Southern Mississippi’s MLIS program. She is the Assistant Director at the Northeast Regional Library System and is in charge of Technology and Branch Operations.


Phillip Carter is the 2013 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship. Phillip has a BSIS from Delta State University (Cleveland, MS) and is currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Bolivar County Library System where he will become the Director in May of 2014. He will finish his MLIS and certificate in archives and special collections at the University of Southern Mississippi in December of 2014. He serves on the MLA Web Page Committee, Legislative Committee, and Long Range Planning Committee.


Jaclyn Lewis is the 2012 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship. Jaclyn has her BFA from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (Vancouver B.C.) and currently works as the Youth Services Director for the Madison County Library System. Additionally, she serves on the MLA Special Libraries Section and is enrolled in the University of Southern Mississippi’s MLIS program. She hopes to complete the program with her Master’s degree and Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections by 2014.


Antoinette Giamalva, the Access Services librarian for the Roberts-LaForge Library at Delta State University (Cleveland, MS), was awarded the 2010 Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. Ms. Giamalva worked as a Children’s Supervisor’s assistant and a reference librarian for the Flowood Public Library of Central Mississippi Regional Library System while she worked to attain her MLIS from the University of Southern Mississippi. Ms. Giamalva graduated USM in December of 2012 and hopes to keep growing professionally and scholarly.


Sybyl Robinson is the recipient of the 2007 Peggy May Scholarship. She works full-time as a Technical Assistant at the Nursing/Allied Health Branch Library for Hinds Community College and takes graduate library science courses part-time. Ms. Robinson writes of her career choice, “The thrill of this job is actually taking the student by the hand and showing them all of the amazing tools that are available through MAGNOLIA and explaining how these and other tools are used to maximize their efforts. . . . I am in love with the world of librarianship and am so proud to say that I work in a library.” Robinson is cited by supporters as being competent, well organized, wonderful with students, reliable, and a good communicator. A coworker describes her as having a warm, caring personality and being a joy to work with. She’s recognized as having strong leadership capabilities, being very committed to a career in librarianship in Mississippi, and demonstrating academic excellence. She is noted for being cheerful under stress, a quality certain to be an advantage for this busy mom of two pre-school children. Dr. Juanita Flanders, District Dean of Learning Resources for Hinds Community College, remarks, “Sybyl is helpful and knowledgeable – exactly the type of person we need in our profession.”


Natalie Brooke Roberts is the recipient of the 2006 Peggy May Scholarship. She is pursuing a Dual Master’s program in the School of Library and Information Science and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern Mississippi. Roberts writes, “I chose to pursue a degree in Library and Information Sciences because, coupled with my background in Cultural Anthropology, I felt I could contribute meaningfully to diverse populations and communities in search of access to information.” Her current work as a graduate assistant in digitization at the McCain Library and Archives has stimulated her interest in preservation and access to special collections. Brooke writes, “I feel I may be of service to efforts being made in the State of Mississippi to develop and promote digital statewide initiatives.” She is cited by supporters as possessing maturity and poise, organizational and writing skills, accuracy and perseverance, intelligence and good judgment, creativity, a cooperative spirit, and a good sense of humor. Faculty members describe her as an excellent student of demonstrated leadership qualities and strong ties to the State of Mississippi. She’s fully described in just three words used by one of her nominees, “Brooke is GREAT!”


William Ryan Roy has been awarded the 2005 Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. During his undergraduate career at Millsaps College, Mr. Roy accepted a job as a student library assistant, an experience that he says changed his life. Now a Cum laude graduate of Millsaps College, Mr. Roy works fulltime as the Circulation Supervisor at the Millsaps College Library and takes graduate library science courses part-time. Mr. Roy writes of his career choice, “I truly enjoy helping people with their information needs and am committed to reinforcing the image of the librarian as the friendly, willing, and able guide to all information resources.” One coworker stated her belief that Roy’s exceptional work at the Circulation Desk was the reason the Library won the 2004 Harrylyn G. Sallis Quality Service Award. Another colleague says that Roy is very public service oriented, has excellent attention to detail, and does a wonderful job managing the fifteen students he supervises. Millsaps College Librarian Tom Henderson comments, “I am certain that MLA and the state of Mississippi will benefit from an investment in Ryan’s education as he is the kind of person who will become involved professionally and serve MLA in the future.” “I was absolutely thrilled to receive the news that I had been chosen for the 2005 Peggy May Scholarship,” says Roy. “I am extremely honored to be the recipient of this scholarship.”


Jennifer Wann, a reference librarian for the Brandon Public Library of Central Mississippi Regional Library System, has been awarded the 2004 Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. A winner of the Academic Excellence Award while an undergraduate at USM, Ms. Wann worked as a library assistant for the Des Plaines Public Library in Illinois before returning to Mississippi to pursue her MLIS. Ms. Wann writes of her career choice, “Although I had worked at USM’s Cook Library, it took being in a public library for me to discover my calling and to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.” Her reference manager at Brandon Public, Jonelle Anderson, comments, “I firmly believe that she is a most deserving applicant for this scholarship because she is going to be a leader in the field of library and information science in this state.” Kaileen Thieling, system director for CMRLS, notes that, “She truly believes that offering the highest level of service to patrons is the byword of a successful public library. Ms. Wann is an example of the best and brightest that Mississippi has to offer.” “I’m delighted to be this year’s scholarship winner,” says Wann. “It’s a thrill and an honor.”


Andrea Kyzar is the recipient of the 2003 Peggy May Scholarship, awarded annually on a competitive basis by the MLA Scholarship Committee. Ms. Kyzar is currently a school librarian for St. Martin North Elementary School in Biloxi. A former English teacher, Ms. Kyzar worked as a reference assistant and a branch manager in the Hancock County Library System before moving to St. Martin North. She has published in Mississippi Libraries and assisted with the publication of the book Untaught and Unlearned Knowledge by Dr. Fred Womack. Susan Prendergast, her reference supervisor at Hancock County, comments, “Andrea exhibits genuine intellectual curiosity, imagination and talent. The library will always be an exciting place to visit…if Andrea is there.” Her principal at St. Martin North, Linda Budinich, reports that, “Ms. Kyzar is an innovative teacher who instills the love of reading in our young students. She has transformed our library into a kid-friendly place where children love to go and spend time.” “I’m excited and pleased to be this year’s scholarship winner,” says Kyzar. “It’s a wonderful honor.”


Jacqueline Y. Quinn, of Terry, Mississippi, is the recipient of the 2002 Peggy May Scholarship awarded annually by the Mississippi Library Association. Quinn is pursuing a graduate degree in Library Science at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) where she maintains a 3.75 GPA. Quinn received an AAS degree from Hinds Community College and a BA degree from USM before beginning her graduate program in the School of Library and Information Science. She is presently employed at the Hinds Community College, Jackson Campus, where she has served as a Library Technical Assistant for thirteen and one-half years. She is a member of the American Library Association, the Mississippi Library Association, and the USM Library Information Science Student Association. In 2000, Quinn received the Virgia Brocks-Shedd Heritage Award given by the MLA Black Caucus to the African-American Library Science student who has shown dedication to the field. Cited by supporters as being an outstanding, extremely dedicated and technologically adept employee and a high motivated and capable student, Quinn is sure to be a credit to the profession of librarianship and to the memory of Peggy May, for whom the scholarship is named. Quinn indicates that she is “looking forward to the future as a professional librarian, using the years of experience, a wealth of technology, and a formal education to assist Mississippians with access to information.”


Sheila A. Cork is the recipient of the 2001 Peggy May Scholarship awarded annually on a competitive basis by the MLA Scholarship Committee. Presently employed at the Hancock County Library System, Cork is pursuing a graduate degree in Library Science at the University of Southern Mississippi where she maintains a 4.0 GPA. Cork received the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in librarianship from Leeds Polytechnic, now called Leeds Metropolitan University, in Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Upon graduating from high school, Cork began a special internship in the Northamptonshire Libraries. While there, she realized she had found not only a job, but also a vocation. Her first job in an American library was at the West Lafayette Public Library in West Lafayette, Indiana. After doing volunteer work at the library for four years, she was hired as a reference librarian. She was also charged with the responsibility of initiating library services to individuals permanently or temporarily disabled and to resident of nursing homes in the library’s service area. She had to raise funds for all her materials, equipment and programs. She began working at the Hancock County Library as a reference librarian in 1995 and was promoted to Assistant Coordinator for Information Services in 1997. Her director indicates that she has made contributions above and beyond her official job description in that capacity. Cork is also cited as being hard-working, organized, committed, loyal, diligent, a team player, and always willing to work extra hours to do everything necessary to complete projects, programs and assignments. She is already an active member of the Mississippi Library Association, presenting a very well-received poster session last year and organizing poster sessions at the 2001 conference for the students of USM’s School of Library and Information Science. This activity evinces her desire to strengthen the connection between the SLIS students and MLA and to encourage her classmates to appreciate the professional responsibilities inherent in a graduate library degree. Cork indicates that upon completion of her degree she would like to follow Peggy May’s example to make significant contributions to librarianship and to the people of Mississippi.


Rose Johnson Lockett, of Lyon, Mississippi, is the recipient of the 2000 Peggy May Scholarship awarded annually by the Mississippi Library Association. Presently employed at the Coahoma Community College and Agricultural High School in Clarksdale, Lockett is pursuing a graduate degree in Library Science at The University of Southern Mississippi. Lockett attended Coahoma Community College, Mississippi Valley State University, and Delta State University before beginning her graduate program in the Library of Information Science at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1999. She has been an educator since 1980 and was named Teacher of the Year for the Lakeview, Arkansas, District in 1987. She was also nominated to Who’s Who and was inducted into the Alpha Chi and Sigma Tau Delta Honor societies. She is a member of the Mississippi Education Association, the National Education association, the National Council of Teachers of English and the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She has also served as the local chapter chair for the Girl Power Program, a nationally recognized program for deterring teenage pregnancy and drug use by girls. Cited by supporters as being highly motivated, mature, intelligent, dependable, dedicated and articulate, Lockett is sure to be a credit to the profession of librarianship and to the memory of Peggy May, for whom the scholarship is named.


Andrew Kevin Sharp is the recipient of the 1999 Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. Presently employed as a Periodicals Clerk at the Terrell Tisdale Library of Jones County Junior College, Andrew is pursuing a graduate degree in library science at The University of Southern Mississippi. The JCJC librarians are to be applauded for recruiting to the profession an individual with Andrew’s commitment to librarianship, outstanding graduate academic record and commendable leadership abilities. Their efforts began when Andrew was a student worker in the Tisdale Library. Library Director Sandra Broadhead reports, ” He was probably the best student worker to work for us. Andy has been an asset to the Library at Jones, he will be an asset to the Library Science profession. He is a joy to work with.” Barbara Jordan comments, “I feel he has the potential of becoming an outstanding librarian.” Kathleen Holifield says, “Andrew sees the potential for libraries in emerging technologies, yet he recognizes that there is no substitute for high standards in service. His decision to seek a Master’s degree in Library Science delighted all of us.” Andrew received a Bachelor of Science Degree in history and currently resides in Laurel.


Mantra Henderson is the 1998 recipient of the Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. Describing herself, Mantra writes that she grew up poor in a poor community. Reading became her means of escape. Two years after graduating from Jackson State University, she was hired in 1995 to run the Inverness Public Library, a position she describes as “one of the greatest opportunities of my life. I was allowed to share my love of books and computers with a diverse community.” Anice Powell who hired Mantra for the Inverness position declared, “the library was most fortunate to have someone of her caliber… Her background in computer and information science was a real plus, since most of us had only minimum computer skills or none at all. From the day she was hired Mantra was in charge of technology–guide, troubleshooter, and problem solver. Although the library is severely underfunded, Mantra has not let that lack stand in the way of ideas for improvements and of plans for the future. In addition to those skills and talents, she possesses many others, including the ability to engender enthusiasm for reading and learning.” The library’s business manager told about the effect on her fourth grade daughter when Mantra spoke to the class. “All she could talk about when she got home was Ms. Henderson and the library.” In April 1997, Mantra was put in charge of the daily operations and maintenance of computer systems for the six-branch Sunflower County Library System. Her course work in library science has deepened her research skills, grant writing abilities, and Internet training capabilities. Since she began working on her master’s degree she has developed a web page, as well as an Internet manual to help train library staff. She also helped write a technology plan and Internet user guidelines for the library. Mantra indicates these skills will help her “better serve her community that is among the most economically disadvantaged in the United States.” Her supporters write: “With the difficulty this region traditionally has faced in recruiting MLS professionals, Ms. Henderson’s commitment to her home county and the Delta is both refreshing and important.” undefined Jeff Weddle, Director, Sunflower County Library “I would highly recommend Mantra Henderson for the Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. She has the education, intelligence, and commitment to be a leader in the field of library and information science in the state of Mississippi.” undefined Mike Jones, Assistant Director, Sunflower County Library “Awarding a scholarship to her will be an excellent investment, which will not only aid Mantra, but will benefit library service in the county and beyond.” undefined Anice Powell, Director-Emeritus, Sunflower County Library


Mary H. Hamilton is the 1997 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship. Ms. Hamilton received a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Southern Mississippi, graduating with highest honors. She also received the Anna M. Roberts Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Other honors include a Beta Phi Mu Scholarship, Delta Kappa Gamma Scholarship, and an American Legion Scholarship. She was recognized as an Outstanding Academic Achiever at the U.S. Air Force Technical School in 1990. Ms. Hamilton began her work in libraries in 1984 as a clerk/bookbinder at the East Point Public Library in East Point, Georgia. She also worked as a library assistant at the Chambers County Public Library and Cobb Memorial Archives in Valley, Alabama, and at the North Shelby County Public Library in Birmingham. She served as the de Grummond Specialist at The University of Southern Mississippi prior to enrolling in the Graduate School of Library Science. Her professionalism and leadership ability have been demonstrated by her membership in the American Library Association and in the Piney Woods Regional Library Association where she served on the Constitution Committee. She also served on search committees for a Catalog Librarian and a Manuscript Processor for a grant project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. She served on the Web Committee and the Activities Committee for the USM Libraries from 1996 to the present. She currently serves as the President of the USM Library and Information Science Student Association and is on the USM Student Government Association President’s Council. The Committee hopes Ms. Hamilton will have a long tenure in Mississippi, for her tremendous potential and demonstrated abilities evince a career of outstanding service to library patrons in our State.


Patricia (Patty) Scally Furr is the 1996 winner of the Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. Josephine Megehee wrote that hiring Patty in 1994 was one of her smartest decisions as director of the Pearl River County Library System. Although Patty had no prior library work experience, her computer skills were a major asset since the library was in the process of automating. She was a fast learner and within two months was ready to install the equipment when it came. Mrs. Megehee went on to describe Patty as easy to work with, patient, and willing to tackle anything. When the technical services department administrator left the library, Patty also took on this role. At the same time, she became active in the Mississippi Library Association. After working at the library for ten months, Patty decided she loved the library so much she wanted to pursue a Master’s degree in Library Science. The career decision required a considerable commitment since she had to miss two days a week of income to attend school at a time when she also had a child in college. Patty left PRCC to work for the Picayune School District as a school librarian, and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as Tech Services Director before moving on to the Hancock County Library System. Patty recently left the Hancock County Library System to accept the position of Director of Libraries at William Carey College in Hattiesburg. Max Johnson, the Assistant Director of the Hancock Library System, wrote that Patty had demonstrated the very important trait of leadership. “She always has found time to help another librarian and share with them anything that would be of value. She will gladly share the results of her efforts at problem solving with anyone that may need it. She can be counted on to make the profession easier for all those in it. I can think of no one more deserving of the Peggy May Scholarship.”


Ramona S. Hanks is the 1994 recipient of the Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. When asked why she wanted to become a librarian, Ramona wrote, “Becoming a librarian would challenge me to explore the possibilities of knowledge and learning available to those who seek information. I have a great deal of admiration and respect for librarians and their professional demeanor and their interest in serving people.” Ramona’s own interest in library patrons was frequently demonstrated in her tenure as a Library Assistant at the University of Mississippi Austin A. Doge Pharmacy Library. The Pharmacy Librarian, Nancy Fuller, explained that at the time Ramona was completing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she volunteered to take a reference course in the undergraduate library science curriculum as an elective in order to learn and contribute as much as possible to her new position as a Library Assistant. Ramona was immediately attracted to information science and set high standards for her own performance in circulation and acquisitions, supervision of students, backup for the interlibrary loan clerk and the Pharmacy Librarian, journal processing, and binding. Ms. Fuller went on to describe Ramona as being a highly self-motivated and a natural leader who takes on responsibility readily. Other supporters described Ramona in the following ways: “As Chairman of the Pharmacy Library Committee, I have had many occasions to work with Mrs. Hanks. She is always most courteous and capable and in every instance approaches the solution of a problem or need with either faculty or student in a most professional manner.” undefined Dr. Wade Waters. “She has fulfilled every expectation of a staff employee and gone beyond her normal duties to provide assistance to faculty and staff. She has shown tremendous effort in seeking professional development by taking classes during her employment while continuing to maintain her staff duties in an exemplary manner.” – Dr. James D. McChesney, Director, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Science.


Linda Lewis is the 1993 recipient of the Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. Her career in librarianship began as a student assistant at the H.T. Sampson Library at Jackson State University where she was pursuing a B.S. degree in psychology. Her supervisor, Etherlene Gentry, quickly noticed her potential and interest in library services. Linda wrote that she wanted to be a part of such a dynamic field. After graduating, she accepted a position as a secretary/Library Associate I in the Acquisitions Department and the Sampon Library. She became knowledgeable of the order/receiving processes for books and serials and familiar with collection development and the selection of vendors for acquisition services. During this time, she earned an M.S. Ed. in Educational Technology with a concentration in library science from Jackson State. She also took 20 hours of courses in computer science. After a short stint as the library/media specialist at Edwards Attendance Center, Linda returned to the Sampson Library as the stack supervisor and was quickly promoted to Computer Resource Specialist. Her advancement can be attributed to the diligence and hard work she demonstrated while working fill time, pursuing an advanced degree, and maintaining a single parent household. Ms. Gentry wrote that Linda “possesses the natural talent and abilities that can only strengthen all of our images as librarians.”


Yolanda Simpson is the 1992 recipient of the Peggy May/MLA Scholarship. She graduated Cum Laude from Alcorn State University where she was introduced to library work as a student assistant. She was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Big Brothers/Big Sisters for Public Education, Ruth Chapter #34 O.E.S. Yolanda wanted to become a librarian because she had always loved books, reading, and working with people. She believed in the value of the services provided by libraries. She worked at the Canton Public Library and was encouraged to pursue a career in librarianship by Paul C. Cartwright who was employed by the Madison County-Canton Public Library.



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