Champion Spotlight: Rachel Keiko Stark

Rachel%20StarkThe Spectrum Scholarship Program has been a game changer for me. The scholarship not only reduced my debt burden, it also helped me develop the skills to be the best librarian I can be. The Spectrum Institute was a wonderful experience and meeting other Spectrum Scholars is always an exciting moment at any professional function. Being a part of the Spectrum Institute gave me an amazing opportunity to learn more about the profession and build connections with those in the field. I learned about what to expect from different areas of librarianship, the importance of cover letters and how to make a really sound application package, and most importantly, that there was a welcoming group of experienced librarians willing to assist me in my professional goals. Working with the other scholars during the institute, I gained important insight into the areas where I would feel most comfortable and gained confidence in my public speaking skills.

I am proud to be a Spectrum Scholar; it represents not only a positive movement within the American Library Association, but also stands as an example for other professional organizations. No other leadership institute has provided me with as many leadership skills and been as an enjoyable experience as my time in the Spectrum Program. The Spectrum Institute not only provides support to enter in the profession, its invaluable network of librarians will continue to support mentees like me for generations. The Spectrum Scholarship is more than money, it is more than a delightful and informative institute at ALA, it is the foundation for building engaged, informed, and passionate librarians.

Rachel Keiko Stark is the Health Sciences Librarian at California State University, Sacramento. Rachel earned her BA from Willamette University and her MS from Drexel University. Rachel was a 2010-2011 Spectrum Scholar and is a 2017-2018 MLA Rising Star. She has worked as a youth services librarian, a clinical medical librarian, and as a hospital library manager. Rachel enjoys utilizing the skills she gained at the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship, and loves working on collaborative research projects. She is excited to explore gamification and loves being able to combine work and play with in her work with students and faculty.

Rachel is a Spectrum Champion! She has graciously volunteered to serve as a Cohort Champion working on outreach to the 2010-2011 Class of Spectrum Scholars. If you are a Scholar from this year please consider emailing Rachel to learn more about how you can help support Spectrum’s 20th Anniversary: A Celebration of Community. Cohort Champions have also committed to organizing a networking event in their region, activism, and fundraising efforts.