Reference Service Press
History & Values

It seems like just yesterday that Reference Service Press issued its first funding title, Directory of Financial Aids for Women. But, what a difference 35+ years can make. Back in 1977, when we were preparing the initial women's directory, we laboriously photocopied program information, cut and pasted the draft book, and produced the final "camera-ready" version on an IBM Selectric typewriter. In fact, if you look carefully in a copy of the first edition, you'll actually see where we used White-Out and correction tape!

Specialists in Financial Aid

Today, we have grown into the only publishing company in the United States specializing solely in the development of print and electronic sources of information on financial aid for specific groups, including women, minorities, the disabled, individuals interested in going abroad, and veterans, military personnel, and their dependents. To read more about why Reference Service Press was established and how it has evolved, read this interview with our late founder, Gail Schlachter (1943-2015).

Today, we offer more than two dozen award-winning annual and biennial financial aid directories, a series of ebooks, several online databases, and individual licenses for academic institutions, libraries, nonprofit agencies, and commerical operations. For information on each of these award-winning products, see our list of RSP products.

RSP Gives Back

Now discontinued, each year through 2015 the company awarded a $3,000 fellowship (through the California Library Association) to a graduate student interested in preparing for a career in reference librarianship. The company also presented a $2,500 award each year (through the American Library Association) for the most outstanding article published in Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), the official journal of the American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association.

Founded as a Woman-Owned Company

RSP was founded as a unique, woman-owned company. Directing the company was Gail A. Schlachter (1943-2015) who worked for more than three decades as a library administrator, library educator, and director of library-related publishing companies. She served as the editor-in-chief of Reference and User Services Quarterly, was the reference book review editor of RQ for 10 years, was a past president of what is now American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association, and served on the executive councils of both the American Library Association and the California Library Association. In recognition of her outstanding contributions to reference service, Gail was awarded both the prestigious Isadore Gilbert Mudge Citation and the coveted Oryx Press-Louis Shores Award. Gail Ann Schlachter was posthumously inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2015. For more information about Gail and the other key players behind the RSP products, see Meet the Staff.


Our Plans

Exciting new titles are in preparation at RSP. Soon, your fundseeking--particularly on the undergraduate and graduate school levels--will become even easier.

Our crack team of sophisticated information sleuths are continuously modifying and adding to the 45,000+ unique funding records that make up our electronic database (a far cry from the 400 entries contained in the first edition of the women's directory!). Now, when we produce a book, the carefully selected entries from our award-winning financial aid database are reviewed electronically by editors in geographically-dispersed locations, are formatted using a layout and font chosen specifically for maximum utility, and are issued simultaneously in both book and eBook versions.

RSP's Commitment

But, there's one thing that hasn't changed during the past 35 years, and that's our passionate commitment to collecting, organizing, and disseminating--both in print and electronic form--the most current and accurate information available on scholarships, fellowships, loans, grants, awards, and other funding opportunities.

Little did we realize when we published the very first Directory of Financial Aids for Women, that we had taken the initial steps toward what would become a life-long fascination with the field of financial aid. Although our coverage has broadened beyond women and our output has expanded beyond books, we have never lost sight of the fact that financial aid is not just one of our publishing interests. It is, and always will be, our only business.

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Last updated February 3, 2016. Copyright © 2004-2016

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