For immediate release | July 21, 2011

IMLS awards grant to continue ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program

CHICAGO—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant to the American Library Association’s Office for Diversity for their project, “Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program: Building Change.” The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program seeks to recruit and prepare ethnically diverse doctoral candidates for careers in library and information science education.

Diversifying library and information science education is critical to the preparation of future librarians, the advancement of research within the field and the sustained relevance of the profession and its practice to an increasingly diverse nation. In 2006, with funding from IMLS and in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, the American Library Association launched the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program and oversaw the recruitment of twelve doctoral candidates. Under the new project, ALA will continue its efforts and recruit doctoral candidates from ethnically diverse backgrounds and work with over twenty participating academic programs to support Fellows’ education and the conferral of their degrees.

“The American Library Association is committed to increasing the diversity of our profession," said ALA President Molly Raphael. "Providing a diverse community of LIS educators is yet another way that we can ensure that the profession stays current with the changes in our nation. We are so grateful for the support and encouragement this grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services provides to the Spectrum Scholarship Program and the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program.”

The Office for Diversity will utilize the first year of the program to promote LIS doctoral study as a viable option for individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and build the potential applicant pool for the program. Applications for Spectrum Doctoral Fellowships are expected to be made available in the Fall of 2012 for students planning to begin doctoral study in Fall of 2013.

For more information on the Spectrum Scholarship Program, including the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program, please visit

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit