For immediate release | January 31, 2011

International Relations Round Table supports Spectrum Presidential Initiative

CHICAGO - The International Relations Round Table (IRRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) has announced its support of the Spectrum Scholarship Program through a gift to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative.

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. IRRT’s contribution will allow ALA to continue to support master’s-level Spectrum Scholarships.

Patricia Oyler, IRRT chair, said of the gift, "IRRT is pleased to be able to contribute to the Spectrum Endowment to develop and support a library profession that works with the diverse groups that IRRT represents. Globalization of the world and our library users makes it important to develop a diverse library profession."

IRRT was established by the ALA Council in 1949 as the Round Table on Library Service Abroad. Its mission is to promote interest in library issues and librarianship worldwide; to help coordinate international activities within the American Library Association, serving as a liaison between the International Relations Committee and those members of the association interested in international relations; to develop programs and activities which further the international objectives of ALA; and to provide hospitality and information to visitors from abroad.

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession. Spectrum Scholars improve service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries. Spectrum has provided more than 680 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL 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