Travel scholarships to attend the 2011 Spectrum Leadership Institute now available

For Immediate Release
Fri, 03/04/2011

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CHICAGO - The American Library Association’s Office for Diversity offers a unique opportunity for library school students and recent graduates to attend the upcoming Spectrum Leadership Institute, June 23-26 in New Orleans.  A minimum of 20 travel scholarships for the institute will be awarded through the REACH 21: Preparing the Next Generation of Librarians for Leadership project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

REACH 21 Institute Scholarship recipients will receive full support (including travel within the U.S. and Canada, lodging and meals up to $1,500) to attend the 2011 Spectrum Leadership Institute and the ALA 2011 Annual Conference.  The institute brings together LIS students and graduates from across the country to network, learn models of cross-cultural leadership, reaffirm professional values grounded in service to diverse communities, develop career skills and connect with a wide range of leaders and potential mentors. It is designed to empower participants to attain and retain positions of leadership, thereby ensuring the quality and validity of library and information science for our increasingly diverse population of users.  

Applicants must be current students in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an ALA-recognized NCATE School Library Media program or individuals with less than three years post-MLIS experience. Current or recent participants in LIS diversity recruitment initiatives are strongly encouraged to apply.

This opportunity is not restricted to recruitment programs supporting racial and ethnic diversity. Individuals who have participated in any recruitment initiative that supports a more diverse workforce should apply. In addition, individuals who have not participated in a diversity recruitment initiative but who belong to one of the following racially and ethnically under-represented groups—American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander—may apply.  For complete eligibility requirements and an application please contact spectrum@ala.org or dial 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5048.   Applications will be accepted until all REACH 21 Leadership Institute Scholarships have been awarded, with preference given to those applications received by April 1, 2011.

The IMLS-funded project REACH 21: Preparing the Next Generation of Librarians for Leadership builds on the Spectrum Scholarship Program’s past accomplishments and extends the community and support benefits of the program to even greater numbers of future librarians.  REACH 21 will foster the recruitment, matriculation and early career development of 150 racially and ethnically diverse students in master’s-level library and information studies programs; provide mentoring and coaching of 60 additional students from underrepresented backgrounds; establish a formal, year-long mentoring program that will leverage community and support networks and aid educational and early career retention; and create an outreach services component.

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession.  Spectrum Scholars improve service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries.  Spectrum has provided more than 680 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL approved school library education program. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, visit www.ala.org/spectrum.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.