OCLC Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives sponsors Spectrum Leadership Institute’s Professional Options Fair

Contact: Miguel A. Figueroa
Director, ALA Office for Diversity
(312) 280-5295
mfigueroa@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release
April 29, 2010

CHICAGO - The American Library Association’s Office for Diversity and Spectrum Scholarship Program are pleased to announce the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives as a sponsor for the Professional Options Fair at the 2010 Spectrum Leadership Institute held June 23-25. 

The Spectrum Leadership Institute provides three days of leadership programming for the current class of Spectrum Scholars prior to the ALA Annual Conference, held June 24-29 in Washington D.C.  This year’s Institute will be attended by an additional 20 students and new professionals, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Reach21 Grant, selected from various library recruitment initiatives around the country.

The Professional Options Fair presented by the OCLC Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives will offer Spectrum Leadership Institute attendees an opportunity to discuss careers in various areas of librarianship.  More than 60 professionals representing various library specialties, associations, ALA divisions and recruitment initiatives have volunteered their time to network with and advise the Spectrum Scholars. 

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program has become one of the most important drivers of diversity in the library profession. The program awards scholarships for graduate programs in library and information studies to students from five professionally under-represented groups: American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander.

To date, Spectrum has provided a one-year $5,000 scholarship and more than $1,500 in professional development opportunities to 600 graduate students. Former Spectrum Scholars now serve on ALA Council and numerous professional committees; head branches and departments of public and academic libraries; work in and manage law, medical and special libraries; lead efforts to explore and integrate new technologies and find numerous ways to give back to the profession and promote librarianship at large.

ALA President Camila Alire, Past President Jim Rettig and President-Elect Roberta Stevens have announced a special year-long Spectrum Presidential Initiative (SPI) to raise $1 million dollars for the Spectrum Scholarship Program.  Through this initiative, ALA aims to meet 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.

OCLC established the Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives to broaden the diversity of talent in the organization and to ensure that OCLC's culture seeks to include a wide spectrum of perspectives.  OCLC remains committed to creating an inclusive work environment where diversity and inclusion are embraced and valued.  To learn more about the OCLC Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, please visit ( http://www.oclc.org/us/en/careers/people/default.htm) or contact Jerome Offord, Jr., Diversity Officer & Corporate Inclusion Manager, OCLC Corporate Inclusion, at offordj@oclc.org.