California Public Library Staff Education Program

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About the Program

The Public Library Staff Education Program is a tuition reimbursement program developed by the California State Library to improve library services to California’s diverse communities. To support the professional development of California public libraries, the California State Library provides California public library staff with tuition reimbursement for courses required for a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.

2021–2022 Student Application

Application Information


To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet all requirements below:

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited library school and have completed some courses toward their MLS degree. (If they haven't completed courses, but have been accepted into an MLIS program, they can still submit an application for potential waitlist considerations.)
  • Applicants must be currently employed in a California public library, county law library, cooperative library system OR were recently employed in one of those libraries but are affected by COVID-19 pandemic staff changes.

Applications are due July 28, 2021, 5:00 pm.

To apply, please read the Application Instructions and complete the 2021–22 Student Application Form (link below) with required attachments, such as Course list and Certification form.

For any application questions, please contact Lena Pham at or (916) 603-7154.

How the Program Works

Employees of public libraries and county law libraries are eligible to apply for tuition reimbursement for their graduate coursework toward a master’s in library science at an ALA-accredited library school. Reimbursement is available for Summer 2021 – Spring 2022 classes. This program is competitive; not every applicant will be selected to receive funding. The program includes a waiting list, and applicants who are not selected might learn later in the year that funds are available for them.

All applicants will be notified in September–October 2021 if they are selected to receive reimbursement funding. Those not selected will also receive appropriate notification.

This is a tuition reimbursement opportunity. If selected to receive reimbursement funding, students must first pay for courses, then complete courses with a grade of B- or above (or Pass for no letter grade courses). Once courses have been completed, students must provide proof of tuition fees paid and a copy of grades received to the cooperative library system. When final reimbursement is requested, students must complete final narrative report. The System will then issue the final reimbursement directly to the student.

What PLSEP Funds Cover

Individuals can receive reimbursement for library school course fees, not to exceed $7,500 per grant year. No individual shall receive reimbursement for more than five grant years under this program.

Students who are receiving course reimbursement from an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant can only receive PLSEP reimbursement for those courses not previously reimbursed from the Laura Bush grant.

What PLSEP Funds Do Not Cover

Books, student union and association fees, lab fees, health fees, transcript fees, and parking are not reimbursed under this program.

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