For immediate release | August 5, 2010

ALSC funds 2010 Spectrum Scholar Sylvia Franco

CHICAGO – As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in librarianship, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is supporting Sylvia Franco as its 2010-2011 Spectrum Scholar. Franco is attending the University of Texas at Austin School of Information.

“Teaching kids how to read, the books, the handling of information; these things have ever been the most enjoyable part of my work,” said Franco about her decision, after a decade as a teacher, to pursue librarianship.“My parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1969. They were poor, spoke little English and were largely illiterate. However upon entering the first grade, I was treated to a library card. I credit a small town public library for altering the course of my life,” said Franco. “Thanks to the ALSC Spectrum Scholarship, I can open those same doors for the children I will serve as a librarian.”

ALSC contributed $2,500 to the initial Spectrum Fundraising Initiative in 1999; and now in 2010, ALSC has expanded its commitment to the Spectrum Scholarship Program with the establishment of the ALSC Spectrum Scholarship. ALSC is sponsoring one Spectrum Scholar interested in library service to children each year through funding from the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment. In addition, ALSC provides complimentary student membership and active opportunities for involvement and leadership to all Spectrum Scholars interested in children’s services.

"We are excited to expand the commitment of ALSC to providing excellent library service for all children through the establishment of the ALSC Spectrum Scholarship," said Julie Corsaro, ALSC president.

ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,300 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit

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 ALA-recognized NCATE school librarian program. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, visit

For more information about the Spectrum Presidential Initiative or to make an online donation, visit To learn more, get involved, or make a pledge to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative, contact Miguel A. Figueroa, Director, Office for Diversity & Spectrum at, or Kim Olsen-Clark, Director, Development Office at


Laura Schulte-Cooper