South Carolina Library Association supports Spectrum Presidential Initiative

For Immediate Release
Fri, 11/12/2010

Contact:

Gwendolyn Prellwitz

CHICAGO - The South Carolina Library Association (SCLA) has announced its support of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship Program and the Spectrum Presidential Initiative.  

In 2010, the Spectrum Scholarship Committee of the South Carolina Library Association was established and that group sponsored a wine and cheese fundraiser and awareness event at the SCLA 2010 Annual Conference on Thursday, Oct. 21.  More than $600 in contributions was raised.  Those in attendance, both conference participants and vendors, enjoyed food and fellowship as they learned about the importance of the Spectrum Scholarship in encouraging increased diversity in the library profession.

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.  SCLA’s contributions will allow ALA to continue to support master’s-level Spectrum Scholarships.

“The ALA Spectrum Scholarship and the SCLA Scholarship for Diversity in Librarianship are the most important recruiting tools we have.  Libraries are valued community assets, and it is essential that our profession reflects the diversity of the people we serve.  These scholarships are the building blocks for the future; they create a path that brings people to librarianship who may otherwise not have considered this rewarding career.  Spectrum students always excel and we are proud to sponsor them,” said Samantha Hastings, director of the School of Library and Information Science, College of Mass Communication and Information Studies, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., who spoke at the SCLA fundraiser.

The South Carolina Library Association’s objective is to promote libraries and library services in South Carolina and to provide for the needs and welfare of the members of the association. SCLA has a membership of more than 400 library professionals from across the State of South Carolina. As a Chapter member of ALA and as a promoter of the growth of the library profession in South Carolina, SCLA thought it important to support the ALA Spectrum Scholarship by raising funds for the Spectrum Presidential Initiative.

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