For immediate release | November 9, 2010

NLM, MLA support Spectrum Presidential Initiative through continued funding of Spectrum Scholarships

CHICAGO - The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Medical Library Association (MLA) are pleased to announce their continued support for the American Library Association’s (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship Program. In partnership with MLA, NLM has announced its support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative and has committed to funding two Spectrum Scholars with an interest in the field of medical or health sciences librarianship annually for ten years, 2011 – 2020.

ALA President Roberta Stevens, Immediate Past President Dr. Camila Alire, ALA President-Elect Molly Raphael and ALA Past President Dr. Betty J. Turock, chair of the initiative, continue the Spectrum Presidential Initiative as a special campaign to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Through this initiative, ALA aims to meet the critical needs of supporting master’s-level scholarships, providing two $25,000 doctoral scholarships, increasing the Spectrum Endowment to ensure the program’s future and developing special programs for recruitment and career development. NLM/MLA’s contributions will allow ALA to continue to support additional master’s-level Spectrum Scholarships.

NLM/MLA’s support of the Spectrum Scholarship began in 2001, supporting a single student, and expanded in 2006 to support two students annually. In summer 2010, NLM hosted its two 2010-2011 Spectrum Scholars, Holly Beeman and Mariaelena de la Rosa, for a one-day visit at the National Library of Medicine. The purpose of the visit was to learn more about NLM in meeting with staff and hearing about its products and services. Both Spectrum scholars receive a free MLA membership throughout the scholarship year and obtain career advice from MLA member mentors. MLA member Nadine Dexter, AHIP, library director at the Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library, University of Central Florida Health Sciences Campus-Orlando will serve as mentor to Holly Beeman. Kelly Gonzalez, AHIP, deputy director, Medical Center Library, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center-Dallas, will serve as mentor to Mariaelena de la Rosa.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), in Bethesda, Maryland, is a part of the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Since its founding in 1836, NLM has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice. It is the world's largest biomedical library and the developer of electronic information services that deliver trillions of bytes of data to millions of users every day. Scientists, health professionals, and the public in the US and around the globe search the Library's online information resources more than one billion times each year. NLM is committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse workforce for the needs of 21st century health and medical libraries. For more information, visit

MLA is a nonprofit, educational organization with more than 4,000 health sciences information professional and institutional members worldwide. Founded in 1898, MLA provides lifelong educational opportunities, supports a knowledgebase of health information research, and works with a global network of partners to promote the importance of quality information for improved health to the health care community and the public. To learn more, 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 NCATE-AASL reviewed and approved school library education 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 to 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


Gwendolyn Prellwitz