For DonorsFor Applicants

Barbara Cain Literary Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Sep 21, 2024
Winners Announced
Oct 21, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior or undergraduate student
Loves books

Barbara was a beloved mother who devoted her life to her career as a librarian.

Being in the library surrounded by books was Barbara’s passion and she deeply loved the work she did. Barbara was dedicated to the library, making a difference in the lives of the young readers she encountered.

This scholarship aims to honor Barbara’s life by supporting students who love reading to encourage them to maintain their passion for books.

Any high school senior or undergraduate student who loves books may apply for this scholarship, but students who are looking to become librarians or volunteer in libraries are preferred.

To apply, tell us what you’ve learned from the books you’ve read and how they’ve shaped your goals.

Selection Criteria:
Passion, Drive, Ambition
Published March 11, 2024
Essay Topic

What have you learned from the books you've read, and how have they shaped your goals?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Annabelle Bentley
Locust Grove High SchoolLocust Grove, OK
Growing up, books played a considerable part in my life. My parents both heavily pushed my education, especially literacy, from a young age. The main goal of their parenting was to raise well-educated and well-rounded children through many hours of story time, sports, and other forms of early learning. The ability to read and understand the world around me was a cornerstone of my developmental years. The books I consumed as a child and young adult have deeply altered how I perceive the world as well as how I fit within its framework. Some of the most influential books to me were from the mind of Daniel Handler, pen name "Lemony Snicket". Daniel wrote a thirteen-book series named "The Series of Unfortunate Events" This series follows a trio of orphaned siblings on the run from a man after their inheritance. As a child, this series was my favorite for its thrilling situations and advanced vocabulary. Going into middle school, I had a specialized interest in anything vernacular, so my young mind heavily appreciated the series' in-depth explanations of the events of the story. I would recommend this series to any student who appreciates the English language and daring adventures. No one around me showed any interest in these books and without many friends to relate to, I relied on books like those of Daniel Handler for support. I saw the characters as inspiring; they were constantly escaping their unfortunate perils through wit and determination. It had become an unconscious goal of mine to never stop learning. I have expanded my goals to involve my career plans. I plan to use my education to become a public librarian, whether the world of "The Series of Unfortunate Events" filled with its scholarly characters was a direct inspiration to my life. I do not know. The words of Daniel Handler have strongly influenced my goals. He has been an inspiration to me to spread information as far as I can reach. Currently, it is my goal to be more like the cunning children of the stories with a wide vocabulary and advanced literary knowledge. As I move forward with my life, I try to keep the lessons and morals of these books in mind as I navigate the world. Although I have not read these books in years, their contents have altered my life, and that is why they are some of the most influential books to me.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Sep 21, 2024. Winners will be announced on Oct 21, 2024.