Ten ALA Spectrum Scholars awarded grants to attend PLA 2018 Conference

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/27/2018


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)


CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) has awarded travel grants for ten Spectrum Scholars to attend the PLA 2018 Conference, taking place Mar. 20-24 in Philadelphia. Penn. The American Library Association's Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA.

The purpose of the travel grants is to create leadership and career exploration opportunities through the conference’s array of continuing education and networking activities for Spectrum Scholars working in public librarianship. The grants will cover the scholars' conference registration fees as well as $1,000 for travel and housing expenses. 

Grant recipients include:

  • Aldo Vasquez, Chicago (Ill.) Public Library
  • Amanda Davis, Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library
  • Andrea Castillo, University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
  • Chloe Van Stralendorff, Anaheim (Calif.) Public Library
  • Hilda Loh-Guan, County of Los Angeles (Calif.) Public Library
  • Keirstin Patrice Flythe, Virginia Beach (Va.) Public Libraries
  • Mahasin Jullanar Abuwi Aleem, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library
  • Maria Provini, Clarence Dillon Public Library (Bedminster, N.J.)
  • Nathalie DeFelice, Springdale (Ark.) Public Library
  • Rachel Masilamani, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Penn.)

Submissions were reviewed by a selection jury that included Aaron Novinger from the Oregon City (Ore.) Public Library, Asa L. Heyward from Suffolk (Va.) Public Library, and Candelaria Mendoza from San Antonio (Texas) Public Library.

Offered biennially, the PLA Conference is the premier event for public libraries, drawing thousands of librarians, library support staff, trustees, friends, and library vendors from across the country and around the world. Find complete details at placonference.org

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About PLA
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or pla@ala.org.