Cates Scholarship Quilt Information

The Story of the Cates Traveling Quilt

There was once an inspirational Montana librarian named Sheila Cates. Sheila worked at a number of Montana libraries, most notably as Library Development Coordinator at the Montana State Library in Helena beginning in 1985. Sheila touched many lives of librarians in Montana during her years of work in the state and her death from cancer in 1993 spurred the Montana Library Association to institute a scholarship in her name in 1994. The Sheila Cates Scholarship provides financial support to Montana Library Association members seeking a graduate degree in library and/or information science or a graduate school library media program.  Individuals selected to receive an award from the scholarship fund must show potential for emulating Sheila’s contributions to Montana libraries.

Each year, the MLA Sheila Cates Scholarship Committee holds several fundraising events at the MLA Conference to raise funds for the scholarship account. The Sheila Cates Traveling Quilt was created in 1994 by Montana Librarian Eva English as an item to be used for one of those events, the annual Sheila Cates Scholarship Silent Auction. The first winner of the silent auction quilt decided to give it back to the Cates Scholarship Committee and now the quilt has become a traveling quilt. At conference each spring, librarian’s names are drawn for a three-month display of the quilt at the librarian’s home library. Each visited library puts a library patch on the quilt so one can see where it’s traveled in honor of Sheila Cates, one of the great Montana librarians whose work carries on in the form of financial support for Montana’s new librarians.

2015 Winners of Sheila Cates Traveling Quilt for 3 Months

May - July 2015

Debbi Wellman, Choteau County Library

August  - October 2015

Cathy Brandvold, Valier Public Library

November - January 2016

Desiree Funston, Missoula Public Library

February - April 2016

Norma Glock, Columbus Middle School Library