Our Framework

Through the Spectrum Scholarship Program, the American Library Association affirms its commitment to diversity and inclusion by seeking the broadest participation of new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians to position ALA to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services.

The Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA.

What does this mean?

  • We acknowledge the multifaceted identities of our Scholars, and the ways that race and ethnicity uniquely intersect with gender, sexuality, class, religion, immigration and citizenship status, (dis)ability, and more. 
  • We acknowledge that there are many communities we serve through Spectrum, and that our Scholars experience the colonization and white supremacy culture of library and information science in different ways. For example, the racism faced by Black Scholars is unique from racism experienced by Pacific Islander Scholars and each is different from the marginalization faced by White or White-passing Hispanic/Latino/a/x Scholars.
  • We use a social justice framework to build an inclusive community. This means we decenter power and privilege, make space for people’s multiple identities, and seek out ways to bring as many people as possible into the Spectrum network.

How do we do this? 

  • We pair financial assistance with leadership development resources and community-building to address both short-term and long-term barriers facing the recruitment and retention of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the library and information science world.
  • We work with Scholars and the Spectrum Advisory Committee to leverage Spectrum’s name, network of 1100+ alumni, supporters, and partners to creatively build spaces for all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in library and information science.
  • We create educational curricula around the ways Scholars’ race and ethnicity intersect with other social identities, how folks may experience privilege and oppression, and the ways folks can lead through community organizing.
  • We connect the work of Spectrum to the broader work of the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, and the work of the association at large.