PLA supports Spectrum Presidential Initiative

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/28/2010

Contact:

Gwendolyn E Prellwitz
Interm Director
Diversity Office (DIVERSITY)
312-280-5048
gprellwitz@ala.org

CHICAGO—The Public Library Association (PLA) has reaffirmed its commitment to diversity in the library profession through a gift of $4,000 to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship Program.

ALA President Roberta Stevens, Immediate Past President Dr. Camila Alire, ALA President-Elect Molly Raphael, and ALA Past President Dr. Betty J. Turock, chair of the initiative, continue the Spectrum Presidential Initiative as a special 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.

Audra Caplan, PLA president, said, “With this gift, PLA has donated over $185,000 in direct support to the Spectrum Scholarship Program and over $60,000 in support of Spectrum Scholars’ participation at PLA National Conferences, a clear demonstration of the association’s continued commitment to this important initiative.”

The Public Library Association (PLA), with more than 11,000 members is one of the fastest growing divisions of the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve.

Founded in 1944, PLA is a member-driven organization that exists to provide a diverse program of communication, publication, advocacy, continuing education and programming for its members and others interested in the advancement of public library service. To learn more, please visit http://www.pla.org.

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA’s national effort to increase diversity in the profession by recruiting and providing scholarships that allow students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds to become librarians. Spectrum Scholars improve service at the local level because they reflect the communities served by libraries in today’s changing world. Spectrum has provided more than 680 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an NCATE-AASL reviewed and approved school library education 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