iSchool Students, Alumni Receive California Library Association Awards and Scholarships


Several students and alumni from the San José State University School of Information have received awards and scholarships from the California Library Association. These individuals were honored this past June during the Gala event at the CLA Annual Conference.

This year’s recipient of the CLA Technical Services New Leader Award went to Natalie Moller. Moller is in her final year of the Master of Library and Information Science degree program and “is passionate about inclusive metadata practices.” As a distinctive collections’ cataloger at University of California, Riverside, Moller catalogs “for special collections, government documents, music resources, manuscripts, science fiction and fantasy, and more.”

Alumna Megan Maloy, ’14 MLIS, has worked a decade in both public and school libraries. The CLA Young Adult Services Award “recognizes the accomplishments of an exceptional library professional working in young adult services in a public or school library during 2022.” As this year’s recipient, Maloy “adores working with young adults and is constantly impressed by their compassion and motivation to strengthen and give back to their communities.”

Three students were chosen for this year’s CLA Scholarship for BIPOC Students in Memory of Edna Yelland. A former CLA director, Yelland “was famous for her devotion to new librarians.” Marissa Arterberry is a first-year MLIS student, who has worked in library services for three years after making the transition from education. Erin Castillo-Swaika “is an active member of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion committees related to programming, recruitment, and overall library strategy.” After graduation, Castillo-Swaika hopes to “create multi-generational family archiving programs in public libraries.” Kristen Flores is “navigating librarianship through the lens of justice, creativity, and liberation.” She currently is working as a school librarian but hopes to make the switch to public libraries in the future.

The Begun Scholarship, named after Betty Begun, “supports continuing library school students who have demonstrated a commitment to becoming children’s or young adult librarians in a California public library.” Kendra Saffie is currently a library technician at the Santa Barbara Public Library. She is the lead of the OG Readers program, where she “coordinates volunteer tutors who work 1-on-1 with struggling readers in 1st – 4th grade.”

Valerie Tohom is one of the recipients of the CLA Robert Karatsu Conference Scholarship.The purpose of this scholarship is to provide funds in order for individuals to attend CLA’s annual conference. Winners of the award will have the opportunity to also “get a meeting with select CLA leaders, past and present, to share your professional goals.” Tohom is currently focusing on youth services while she completes her MLIS degree. Her eventual goal is to become a youth services director.

This year’s CLA Member of the Year is Michelle Perera, who has been recognized for her “outstanding contributions, leadership and achievements in service to California libraries.” Perera, ’96 MLIS, has contributed to the CLA by serving on their Board of Directors and as president. As a CLA member she has assisted planning conferences and fundraising.

The CLA gives out multiple awards, which culminate in a Gala event, typically held during the annual conference. Individuals interested in applying for the awards and scholarships can find out more information on the CLA website.