Scholarship Amount | $1000*

This annual scholarship is available to applicants meeting the following criteria:

The purpose of this scholarship is to support Wisconsin librarians or library support staff who plan to attend a continuing education program. This scholarship is available to librarians who meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a WLA member employed in a library in Wisconsin.
  • Planning to attend a workshop, conference, or other continuing education program within or outside Wisconsin.

The application will be available April 15, 2024, and the application deadline is June 15, 2024. 

Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of:

  • Experience and background in library work
  • Benefits of the scholarship to applicant
  • Need and desire for the scholarship

Affirmative action and equal opportunity principles will be applied.  Racial or ethnic minorities, women and disabled persons are encouraged to apply and may identify themselves as such if they wish.

Applicants must submit a completed application form, along with information on the proposed continuing education program. If any information cannot be submitted via the online application form, please forward to:

Scholarship Committee Chair
WLA Foundation, Inc.
PO BOX 6437
112 OWEN ROAD #6437
Monona, WI 53716-4610


Applicants will be notified by email and US mail.  

*The scholarship’s monetary award varies and is based on funds available from the WLA Foundation, Inc.


George Bauer was the Head of Reference Services at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay from 1969 to his death in 1986.  He was born in Goodman, Wisconsin, in 1929, the son of John and Anne Bauer.  He moved to Green Bay with his family in 1943. where he lived for 10 years.   He graduated from West High School in 1947 and received a B.A. in English from St. Norbert College in DePere.  He served a brief stint of high school teaching and then served in the Army during the Korean War.  Upon returning from the War he attended school at UW-Madison where he received a Masters degree in English and Education.  He then worked for Williams and Wilkins Medical Publishing Firm in Baltimore, MD. for about eight years.  It was there he met and fell in love with Barbara Baer of Neenah.  They married on June 25, 1960 and together had three children:  Amy, David and Peter.  In 1967 George returned to UW-Madison to work on second Master’s degree in Library Science, and received his degree in 1967.  He worked as a reference librarian at the  Steenbock Agricultural Library for two years.  He return to Green Bay in 1969 to join the library staff at the newly formed University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus where he served as Head of Reference until his death in 1986.

George was an avid reader and loved music.  While he did not play an instrument he described himself as a “virtuoso listener.”  He had an encyclopedic knowledge of music, especially Broadway musicals often humming or sining the appropriate lyrics while fetching a reference for a library user.  John Piety says: " I still remember that time a student asked about Mairzy Doats, and got the entire verse from George while he was checking to confirm the original source of the song."    He was a storehouse of miscellaneous facts and often shared them widely.  He sent small items to the New Yorker magazine.  They were often printed as filler as the bottom of a page—just a few lines, or a near forgotten verse, or an aphorism of one sort or another.  John once asked George how often his missives were published.  He said perhaps twice a year since Library School.  He also enjoyed fishing, cooking, hiking, and gardening.  He planted vegetables and often shared his harvest with the library staff.  He was especially fond of his roses taking great care to protect them in the winter and nurture them in the spring to enjoy the beautiful colors and fragrance.

George was well loved by the University faculty and staff and by the community.  He had compassion for students and enjoyed working in a collegial fashion.  The faculty and staff respected him for his knowledge of literature and music as well as his knowledge of reference sources.  His untimely death was a great loss to the University in general and the Library in particular.   He loved books and learning—a true bibliophile.

He was an active member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, president of the St. Bernard’s Board of Education, and Eucharist minister.  He was a long time member of the Wisconsin Library Association and the American Rose Society.

He died on July 6, 1986 of a heart attack while doing one of his favorite activities: running with his dog. Some people said that the dog came home without him.

George's family decided that one way to remember him was to establish a continuing education scholarship fund in the Wisconsin Library Association, so that librarians from around Wisconsin could continue their professional development in their quest to provide quality service to users everywhere.