For immediate release | March 26, 2012

Spectrum Scholarship Program promotes LIS doctoral studies with new webinar series

CHICAGO —As part of the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program: Building Change, a diversity recruitment program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Spectrum Scholarship Program will present a series of four webinars exploring opportunities for doctoral studies in library and information science. The webinars are free and open to all individuals interested in learning more about LIS doctoral education.

Webinars will feature current LIS doctoral students and LIS educators discussing topics to be considered when pursuing a doctorate, including defining a research topic, selecting an academic program, building a supportive network, and applying to and funding programs of study.

The following free webinars will be presented:

  • Tuesday, April 17 at noon Central: Is a PhD in LIS Right for You?
  • Thursday, May 3 at noon Central: Selecting an LIS PhD Program
  • Wednesday, May 16 at noon Central: Building Your Personal and Professional Support Network
  • Wednesday, June 6 at noon Central: Funding Opportunities and Applying to Doctoral Programs

Interested individuals should e-mail the Office for Diversity’s Spectrum Scholarship Program ( to receive information about accessing the webinars. Webinars will be recorded and posted to the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program web page.

The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program: Building Change seeks to reinforce and expand efforts to recruit racially and ethnically diverse individuals to the LIS professorate. According to the Association for Library and Information Science Education’s (ALISE) “Library and Information Science Statistical Report 2009,” ethnic minorities (American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander) account for just over 10% (5 of 46) of LIS Deans and Directors and 24% (153 of 645) of full-time Professors, Associate Professors, or Assistant Professors.

With funding from IMLS, selected Spectrum Doctoral Fellows receive full tuition support and stipends for two years beginning in the Fall of 2013; support for participation in professional conferences where they can share their research; and participation in two Spectrum Doctoral Fellows Institutes to prepare for their doctoral studies and dissertation work. Participating academic programs provide tuition and stipends for Spectrum Doctoral Fellows’ required remaining years of study after the first two years. Applications for the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program will be available beginning in June 2012 for those interested in beginning their studies in Fall 2013. For more information on 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

The Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of underrepresentation 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. Since its founding, Spectrum has provided more than 700 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized school library program. The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program was established in 2006 with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and oversaw the recruitment of twelve doctoral candidates. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, visit