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Rittenhouse Award

The Rittenhouse Medical Bookstore in Philadelphia, PA, originally established the award in 1967. Now, Rittenhouse Book Distributors continues the tradition. The Rittenhouse Award, is presented annually by the Medical Library Association (MLA) for the best unpublished paper or web-based project on health sciences librarianship or medical informatics, submitted by a student in an American Library Association (ALA)–accredited program of library and information studies or by a trainee in an internship in health sciences librarianship or medical informatics. 


  • Author must be a current member of MLA. Membership dates may be confidentially confirmed by MLA Member Services.
  • Author must be a student currently enrolled in an American Library Association (ALA)–accredited program of library and information studies OR
    • Have recently graduated from an ALA-accredited program of library and information studies during the last eighteen months OR
    • Be enrolled as a trainee in an internship program in health sciences librarianship or medical informatics.


  • Papers must have been written or web-based project completed during the 18 months preceding the deadline and during the student’s course work toward a graduate degree in library and information studies or medical informatics.
  • Papers or web-based projects must treat some aspect of health sciences librarianship or medical informatics and may be bibliographical, address a health sciences issue or topic, or report the results of research.
  • Papers which have been published publicly in any print or electronic format or are under consideration for publication are not eligible.
  • Authors of web-based projects should submit a needs assessment, information on development of the website, evaluation of the website, and a summary outlining the project plan and evaluation results.
  • Papers or projects must be received by October 15.

The Rittenhouse Jury will assess submissions based on the following: 

  • Importance of topic that would warrant a bibliographic treatment or web-based project, or the quality of the experimental design or arguments developed to support a particular hypothesis or question;
  • Originality of the argument, positions taken, methodological rigor, or website solution;
  • Impact on the field of health sciences librarianship or medical informatics; and
  • Style (clarity, appearance, conciseness, organization, structure).


  • The award recipient will be notified in March and will receive a cash award of $500 in June, after the annual conference.
  • Winning entries may be submitted to the Journal of the Medical Library Association for consideration.
  • The recipient will be asked to share a photo and video for the virtual awards ceremony held in April and will  receive complimentary student registration to MLA’s annual conference.
  • If there are no appropriate candidates, the association may elect not to present the award in a given year.

Ready to Submit an Application?

  • The award application process is now closed.
  • Applicants and award recipients will be notified in March 2024 with the results.
  • The virtual awards ceremony will be held in April 2024.
  • Nominations for the 2025 award will open in August 2024.

Award Recipients

  • 2024: none awarded
  • 2023: none awarded
  • 2022: none awarded
  • 2021: Robert Browder: "Blockchain Technologies in Health Information Management"
  • 2020: Sarah Clarke, AHIP: "Data Sharing Barriers during Infectious Disease Outbreaks"
  • 2019: Kearin Reid, AHIP: "Learning Objects in the Flipped Classroom: A Review of the Literature with Implications for Practice"
  • 2018: Kelsa Bartley: "A Look at the Use of Mobile Apps in the Self-Management of Diseases"
  • 2017: none awarded
  • 2016: none awarded
  • 2015: Nicole Dalmer: "Social Media: Evolving Assessment of Online Health Information Reliability"
  • 2014: Laura L. Pavlech: "Evidence–Based Veterinary Medicine: Current Opinions and Barriers to Practice.”
  • 2013: Yee May Chua: "Complex System Records Model and Medical Informatics: Recordkeeping for Wicked Problems"
  • 2012: Eva Jurczyk: "Developing a Custom Health Search Tool to Meet Diverse Health Literacy Needs”
  • 2011: Marie Lebow: "Looking for Answers: On Screen and Off"
  • 2010: Melody Ramsey: "NIH Public Access Policy: Implications for Collections Management"
  • 2009: none awarded
  • 2008: Bob Gerth: "Varicose Veins Pathfinder"
  • 2007: Susan Miller: "The Necessity of the Hospital Library to the Institution and Community it Serves"
  • 2006: Dolores Skowronek: "An Ultrasound Digital Library for Anesthesiologists"
  • 2005: Ann Bett-Madhavan: "The Information Needs of Medical Journalists: A Role for Information Specialists"
  • 2004: Derek Hansen: "Adolescent Health Information Seeking on the Web: A Multi-Disciplinary Review"
  • 2003: Tracy Dana: "The Past, Present and Future of Clinical Librarianship"
  • 2002: none awarded
  • 2001: Marlo Maldonado Young: "Consumer Health Informatics: A Preliminary Exploration of Latino Culture as a Provider of Health Information"
  • 2000: none awarded
  • 1999: none awarded
  • 1998: Charles G. Warrick: " The Physical and Developmental Environment of the High-Risk Infant: A Bibliometric Analysis of a Papyrus Database"
  • 1997: none awarded
  • 1996: Jennifer K. Lloyd: "The History of Medical Illustration: From Galen to Netter and Beyond"
  • 1995: Georgia Makowski: "A Comparison of CD-ROM MEDLINE and CD-ROM Biological Abstracts for Retrival of Therapeutic Drug Information"
  • 1994: Mary Moore: "The Economics of Healthcare Information"
  • 1993: Marsha Greer: "An Overview of Library Services to Nurses and Nursing Students"
  • 1989: P. F. Anderson: "Providing Information for the Clinical Decision Maker: Role of the Health Sciences Information Center"
  • 1988: Catherine Burroughs: "Clinicians' Satisfaction with GRATEFUL MED: An Exploratory Study"
  • 1987: Kathlyn L. Reed: "Occupational Therapy Articles in Serial Publications: An Analysis of Sources"
  • 1985: Lynne M. Martin: "The Use and Evaluation of Book Reviews Published in Five Medical Journals as Acquisition Selection Aids by Academic Medical Acquisition Librarians"
  • 1984: Linda Boettcher: "Information-Seeking Patterns of Rural Physicians in Minnesota"
  • 1983: Dorothy Manderscheid: "A Survey of Substantial Overall Compliance with JCAH Standards in Hospital Libraries in Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties in Michigan"
  • 1982: Jane Elissa Loftin: "Library Orientation and Library Instruction for Medical Students"
  • 1981: Kathleen M. Savoy: "Incorporating Audiovisuals in Health Sciences Libraries"
  • 1980: Anne R. Sawyer: "The Role of the Medical Librarian in Patient-Health Education"
  • 1979: Lonnie J. Spotts: "Independent Study-Guidelines for Conversion of Subject Headings for FDA Medical Library-Methodology Using Drug Class Terms as a Model"
  • 1978: Ronald Rader: "Bibliographic Analysis of the Literature of Government-Regulated Chemical Carcinogens"
  • 1977: Theresa Strasser: "The Information Needs of Registered Nurses in Northeastern New York State"
  • 1976: Bonnie J. Fridley: "The Patient's Need for Medical Information-An Emergent Responsibility"
  • 1975: Faye Zucker: "English Abstracts and the Language Barrier in Biomedical Research"
  • 1973: Linda Smith: "The Medical Librarian and Computer-Assisted Instruction"
  • 1972: Vicki Glasgow: "Contributions of Eileen R. Cunningham to Medical Librarianship"
  • 1971: James R. Reed: "The Case for Public Health Librarianship"
  • 1969: Mary Jordan Coe: "Mechanization of Library Procedures in the Medium Sized Library"

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