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Spectrum - New Voices, New Vision!


Improving service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries in the new millennium.


Scholarships, fund-raising, recruitment, mentoring, leadership and professional development.

Spectrum Fundraising News

San Diego County Library Director José Aponte will be running in the Chicago Marathon to raise funds for Spectrum on October 7, 2007. Support his efforts with an online donation to Spectrum!

Tips for the Online Form:
Select "ALA Spectrum" under ALA Major Initiatives.
Include "Aponte Marathon"
in additional information field.

If you are considering a degree in library and information science, or if you know a student, library worker, or college graduate from an underrepresented group who might help shape the future of library services, the time is now to learn more about the American Library Association's Spectrum Scholarships.

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future.

Spectrum Scholarships

Spectrum's major drive is to recruit applicants and award scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students.  Spectrum provides a one-year $5,000 scholarship and over $1,500 in professional development opportunities to eligible students planning to attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an ALA-recognized NCATE School Library Media program. Review the news and information below to learn more about this exciting opportunity.

Spectrum News

2007 Spectrum Scholars Announced!
Review Recipients

We are pleased to announce the 2007-2008 Spectrum Scholars! The 80 Spectrum Scholarships awarded this year mark the largest cohort of Spectrum Scholars to date. The record number of available scholarships is due both to the generosity of individuals and organizations and to a substantial grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

A minimum of 50 scholarships will be awarded in 2008, so don't miss the next excellent opportunity to join the Spectrum next year. Applications for Spectrum Scholarships are processed in conjunction with the ALA Scholarship Program  which allows applicants to submit a single application and supporting documents to apply for multiple ALA scholarships in one easy step. Applications are submitted through an online form, with supporting documents mailed to the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse. Information on other ALA Scholarships can be found on the ALA Scholarship Program website.The deadline to apply for the MLIS level Spectrum Scholarships will be March 1, 2008 and the application will be available in October 2007.

Spectrum Doctoral Fellows Announced
Review Recipients

We are pleased to announce the six inaugural Spectrum Doctoral Fellows.  More information on these distinguished Fellows and the program can be found on the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship website.

Interested in a dynamic career in library and information science (LIS) education, research, or executive level administration? In 2006, the University of Pittsburgh and the American Library Association are pleased to announce the creation of the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and designed to increase racial and ethnic diversity among our profession’s next generation of LIS leaders. The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship program will have a small number of Fellowships, which provide full tuition support and annual stipends totaling $20,000, available for full-time library and information science (LIS) doctoral students beginning in the fall of 2008. Application information and deadlines will be announced later this fall.

Report on the Status of Spectrum Scholarship Program Published
Read the Report

ALA is proud to announce the publication of Bridging Boundaries to Create a New Workforce: A Survey of Spectrum Scholarship Recipients, 1998-2003. The Bridging Boundaries report represents the first published survey on the progress of ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession. 

New Faces, New Era

For information on the distinguished Spectrum Scholars past and present, please view the Scholar Information portion of this website. Read up on their accomplishments, hear what they have to say about librarianship, and review their resumes to see how the new voices and new faces of the profession are ushering in a whole new era of librarianship!

Add to the Vision

Spectrum aims to reach an audience much larger than the recipients of the scholarships. By establishing a diversity program of this scope and size, the American Library Association wants to show the library profession, the public, and potential recruits from underrepresented groups that this Association values the diversity of its members and future librarians everywhere.  Spectrum is but one model of the ways in which professional associations, universities, organizations, communities and individuals can work together to strengthen the diversity of a particular field. Read below for more information on how Spectrum can strengthen your own recruitment efforts:

  • Recruit new Spectrum scholarship applicants.
    Are the library leaders of tomorrow working in your library?  The future starts with you. If you know a beginning library school student, library worker, or college graduate from an underrepresented group who might help shape the future of library services, tell them about Spectrum today. Direct applicants to this website, have them email, or call 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5048.
  • Support the current class of Spectrum Scholars.
    As a library or library organization, develop internships, residencies, conference scholarships, travel grants, and general membership opportunities for Spectrum Scholars--it's a wonderful way to mentor this group of library leaders while strengthening your own organization's diversity. Contact the ALA Office for Diversity by sending email to Review the Mentoring and Networks portion of this website for existing support models.
  • Recruit past Spectrum Scholars to work in your library.
    Spectrum provides a unique opportunity to connect with an ever-growing pool of exceptionally trained and professionally networked individuals from a wide range of diverse backgrounds and library interests. To reach the Scholars, please submit a text copy of your announcement, invitation or request to the ALA Office for Diversity by sending email to
  • Use Spectrum as a model for your own diversity recruitment efforts.
    For more information on developing your own local or national recruitment for diversity initiatives, please contact the Office for Diversity by emailing

Spectrum Milestones

Show Your Support

Your contributions will help build the Spectrum endowment to a level where it can sustain scholarships into perpetuity.  A donation to Spectrum sends the powerful message that librarians and libraries care about diversity, education and equal access to information for all. For more information on supporting Spectrum through donations or advocacy, visit the Support Spectrum portion of this website.   2001 Scholar Joanne Suzara



Direct questions and inquiries to Gwendolyn Prellwitz, Program Officer, ALA Office for Diversity and Spectrum, by calling 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5048, or emailing

For questions about information appearing on this web page or for more information on any of the Office for Diversity programs, please direct comments to!

Visit the Office for Diversity home page.