MLIS student receives Montana Library Association Scholarship

Information Science student Crystal Kobayashi, is one of three recipients of the Montana Library Association’s Sheila Cates scholarship. The Montana Library Association instituted the Sheila Cates Scholarship in 1994 to provide financial support to Montana Library Association members seeking a graduate degree in library and/or information science, a graduate school library media program, or seeking a school library endorsement. Crystal is currently pursuing her Master’s in Library Science.  

“I am excited to be chosen as a recipient of a Sheila Cates scholarship this year! I am a native Montanan and having the support of the Montana Library Association by being given this scholarship means a lot to me,” says Crystal.

Crystal has worked for the Missoula Public Library for seven years as a library assistant, and five years as a library technician for the Big Sky Branch of MPL.  She has served on the PR and Programming committees of her library and enjoy finding new and innovative ways to reach out to the community. She is the mother of a seven-year old daughter who they bestowed with the middle name of Danger, and have lived to regret it ever since. She enjoys reading, cooking, spending time in the beautiful Montana outdoors, and attending fan conventions.

Crystal is also team leader for an annual charity scavenger hunt called GISH. In this endeavor, she leads a team of 15 people through a week of madness that involves acts of kindness, charity, art, and goofy fun.

Crystal has been a member of MLA for six years and has impressed her bosses with her enthusiasm for working at the library, and her creativity with programming, both at the main branch and at Big Sky, where she has reinvigorated services to the underserved community in the Missoula area.

“I will serve the Montana library community well, and I want to be a great representative for the library profession,” says Crystal.  


The Sheila Cates scholarship fund was established in memory of Sheila Cates, who served as Library Development Coordinator at the Montana State Library from 1985 until her death from cancer in 1993. Sheila was named Montana Library Association’s Librarian of the Year in 1993. Individuals selected to receive an award from the scholarship fund must show potential for emulating Sheila Cates’ contribution to Montana libraries.