LITA / OCLC Spectrum Scholarship in Library and Information Technology

The LITA / OCLC Spectrum Scholarship in Library and Information Technology, begun in 1998, is awarded jointly on an annual basis currently in the amount of $5,000. The scholarship is paid in two installments and $1500 for professional development support by the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, and OCLC. The scholarship is designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future. This scholarship is for study in an ALA Accredited Master of Library Science (MLS) program. 

To be eligible for a Spectrum Scholarship, you should:

  • be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Canada
  • identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern/North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
  • attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized School Library Media Program
  • be enrolled in an accredited program and begin no later than September 1st or Fall Semester
  • have full or part-time status
  • plan to maintain a minimum course load of two classes per semester while receiving your scholarship funds

To submit an application for a Spectrum Scholarship, the following items are required:

  • Completed online application (which includes a personal statement).
  • Three professional references (only references on the official online form will be accepted). You will be prompted to indicate your professional references within the online application.
  • Official academic transcripts from the institution where you received your bachelor’s degree. If you are currently enrolled in an MLIS program or an AASL-recognized School Library Media Program, you will need to send a transcript from your current institution, as well. Only official (sealed) copies will be accepted. ​

The ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse (50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611) must receive the completed online application, personal statement, three references, and transcripts by March 7th to be considered. Recipients will be contacted by phone after June 1st. All other applicants will be notified by email after July 1st. 

The winner is announced and introduced, if present, at the LITA President's Program during the Annual Conference of the American Library Association.

The ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse reviews the applications and selects the scholarship winner.

Application forms and instructions are available at ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program. All applications, references, and transcripts and other documents must be received no later than March 1st, for that year's scholarship.

The following have received the Spectrum Scholarships to date:

  • Hebah Emara, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, 2019
  • Riko Fluchel, University of Washington Information School, Seattle, WA, 2018

View past scholarship recipients 

Visit the LITA Awards & Scholarships page for information on additional LITA scholarships.