New ALSC Spectrum Scholarship created

Contact: Miguel A. Figueroa
Office for Diversity & Spectrum
312-280-5295
mfigueroa@ala.org

For Immediate Release
March 23, 2010

Chicago—The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has expanded its commitment to the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Beginning with the announcement of the 2010 class of Spectrum Scholars, ALSC will sponsor one Spectrum Scholar each year through funding from the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment.  The ALSC Spectrum Scholar will be awarded to a Spectrum applicant who expresses an interest in library service to children.

At the 2009 ALA Annual Conference, ALA President Dr. Camila Alire, Immediate Past President Jim Rettig, President-Elect Roberta Stevens and ALA Past President Dr. Betty J. Turock, chair of the initiative, announced the Spectrum Presidential Initiative, a special one-year campaign to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program.  Through this initiative, ALA aims to meet the critical needs of supporting master’s-level scholarships, providing two $25,000 doctoral scholarships, increasing the Spectrum Endowment to ensure the program’s future and developing special programs for recruitment and career development.   ALSC’s contribution will allow ALA to continue to support master’s-level Spectrum Scholarships.

Thom Barthelmess, ALSC president, said of the gift, “Investing in the Spectrum Scholarship Program will go a long way towards building a workforce strengthened by its plurality of perspective and will ultimately benefit children across the country, who will see libraries and reading as gifts that belongs to everyone.”

ALA President Camila Alire said of the announcement, “ALSC recognizes the effect our nation’s changing demographics will have on library services to children.  This ongoing gift from ALSC means so much—it recognizes the long-term commitment that our profession must make to diversity and it ensures that future children’s librarians will represent and reflect the communities they serve.” 

ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children.  With a network of more than 4,300 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries.  To learn more about ALSC, visit www.ala.org/alsc

The Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of underrepresentation 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. Since its founding, Spectrum has provided more than 600 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an ALA-recognized NCATE School Library Media program. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, visit www.ala.org/spectrum.

For more information about the Spectrum Presidential Initiative or to make an online donation, visit http://spectrum.ala.org. To learn more, get involved, or to make a pledge to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative, contact Miguel A. Figueroa, Director, Office for Diversity & Spectrum at mfigueroa@ala.org, or Kim Olsen-Clark, Director, Development Office at kolsen-clark@ala.org.