CHICAGO - To many, running 26.2 miles may seem a daunting goal. To others, the goal of obtaining a Masters of Library Science can be overwhelming, especially without financial assistance. For Gregory Calloway, the American Library Association's (ALA) Associate Executive Director of Finance, running started out as a way to unwind and stay fit. Fortunately, now he has combined his passion for running with his desire to raise money for the ALA Spectrum Initiative's Spectrum Scholarships, designed to address under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarian professionals.
"To meet the challenge of illiteracy, particularly among ethnic minorities, library professionals must be as diverse as the communities they serve," said Calloway.
In his efforts to raise funds for the Spectrum Scholars, last year Calloway founded the Spectrum Marathon Scholarship in conjunction with the Spectrum Family of Funds. On Sunday, October 10, Calloway will be running in LaSalle Bank's annual Chicago Marathon to raise funds for the Marathon Scholarship. This will be his third LaSalle Bank Marathon. His first two marathons raised over $8,400 for Spectrum Scholars. This year's goal is to double that amount. He invites every library advocate to support the Spectrum Scholars by making a generous donation.
ALA established The Spectrum Initiative in 1997 as part of its national diversity annual recruitment effort. The Spectrum mission improves service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries. The backbone of its method is providing scholarships like the one Calloway is seeking to raise funds for - one arduous step at a time.
The Spectrum Initiative has grown into one of the most important diversity initiatives in the library profession. Without the Spectrum Initiative providing a number of $6,500 scholarships each year to African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American and Native Alaskan graduate students, many members of under-represented groups might not have the opportunity to complete library and information studies.
Calloway's 16-week training program includes running over 500 miles; supporting the Spectrum Marathon Scholarship makes the aches and pain he will endure to cross the finish line worth it. He calculates it will take about five intense hours to complete this year's marathon. How long will it take you to write a check?
To make a secure, online credit card donation to Spectrum, visit www.ala.org/donate. Checks (payable to ALA) can be mailed to the ALA Development Office, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, or taken in the Development Office, at ALA, Chicago. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.