Wednesday, December 22, 2004

ALA Office for Diversity Expands scholarship and RecruitmentEfforts

As a result of a successful matching grant proposal to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) "Librarians for the 21st Century" Grant program, the ALA Office for Diversity will award over sixty Spectrum Scholarships each year for the next three years beginning in 2005. This number exceeds the amount of Spectrum Scholarship ALA has ever dispensed in a single year. Later this month we will begin accepting applications for the $6,500 scholarship package, which includes a $5,000 one-time cash award and attendance at the Spectrum Leadership Institute following the first year of LIS study. The complete Spectrum Scholarship application can be found on the ALA website at under "Spectrum Initiative".

In order to ensure that we bring news of this expanded opportunity to every continuing or prospective Library and Information Science student in or applying to your program, we ask your assistance in disseminating Spectrum program information. Please contact our office by email should you need Spectrum brochures and supplementary materials for dissemination to your LIS program's applicants and continuing students. Information about the Spectrum Initiative may also prove useful to support staff working in your department, your institution's library, and campus wide. Additional materials may be made available upon request.

Established in 1997, by ALA members, the Spectrum Initiative program has become one of the most important drivers of diversity in the library profession. The program strives to recruit and award scholarships to students from four professionally under-represented groups: American Indian/Alaska Native; Asian/Pacific Islander; Black/African American;and Hispanic/Latino for graduate programs in library and information studies. To date over 276 Spectrum Scholarships have been awarded. Former Spectrum scholars now serve on ALA Council and numerous professional committees; head branches and departments of public and academic libraries; work in and manage law, medical, and special libraries; and lead efforts to explore and integrate new technologies and find numerous ways to give back to the profession and promote librarianship at large.

Over the three years of the grant-funded expansion of the Spectrum Initiative program we ask for your partnership in the endeavor to attract more diverse, and diversely talented students to the library and information science profession than ever before. To that end we will be creating an extensive outreach component designed to support the outreach and recruitment efforts of LIS programs seeking to attract demographically reflective student bodies.

Any questions or information you may wish to share should be directed to:

Tracie D. Hall
Director, ALA Office for Diversity and the Spectrum Initiative
Telephone 312-280-5020
800-545-2433 ext. 5020
Fax 312-280-3256