Contact: Satia Orange
For Immediate Release
July 9, 2004

Gandhi named winner of 2004 Sheila Suen Lai Research Grant

CHICAGO-The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) Awards committee announced that Smiti Gandhi is the recipient of the 2004 Sheila Suen Lai Research Grant. Gandhi is a senior research librarian in the Resource and Information Center of Harcourt Education in Orlando, Fla.

The APALA Sheila Suen Lai Research Grant is an annual, juried grant of up to $1,000 awarded to an APALA member to engage in a research activity which contributes to the field of library and information science in general and Asian/Pacific (APA) librarianship in particular. The grant award may be used for conducting research projects, attending research related conferences and workshops or conducting research workshops and programs.

Gandhi received the award for her research proposal, "Assessing the Diversity Climate in Graduate Schools of Library and Information Science." This research will focus on collecting data about the role of library schools in recruiting Asian/Pacific American and other minority students to master's degree programs in library science.  This study will contribute previously uncollected and unidentified data and information.  The findings of the study will assist library schools in developing targeted recruitment approaches to attract more diverse students to librarianship.

"Smiti Gandhi is a librarian who has many years' experience in doing research," said Dr. Ling Hwey Jeng, APALA Executive Director.  "Her research proposal was well prepared and satisfied all of the awards committee's criteria.  We think that her study will contribute to the field of library and information science and APA librarianship.  We believe that her findings will not only assist library schools in developing targeted recruitment approaches, but also will be of much benefit to diverse students."

The Awards Committee includes Awards Committee Co-Chairs Dora Ho and Cathy Anne Lu and Awards Committee Members Sherise Kimura, Bie-Hwa Ma and Liza Posas.

APALA provides a forum for discussing problems of Asian/Pacific American librarians and for the exchange of ideas between APA librarians and other librarians; supports and encourages library services to APA communities; recruits and mentors APA librarians in the library/information science professions; seeks funding for scholarships in library/information science master's programs; and provides a vehicle enabling APA librarians to cooperate with other associations and organizations with similar or allied interests.