For immediate release | September 24, 2013

ACRL funds 2013 Spectrum Scholar Jessica Bastian

CHICAGO – As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in librarianship, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is supporting Jessica Bastian as its 2013-14 Spectrum Scholar. Bastian attends the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Prior to entering library school, Bastian worked as access services coordinator at the Bradley University Cullom-Davis Library and currently serves as a faculty recruiter for diversity, international and adult education at Illinois Central College. She additionally earned a Master’s degree in Politics and Government from Illinois State University in 2010 with a concentrated interest in Global Politics and Culture. Bastian’s interest in the library profession began in the summer of 2005, while doing an internship at the National Archives as a part of the Western Illinois University Learning to Lead Internship Program. She plans pursue a career in academic librarianship with a focus on engaging communities of diverse users and improving civic and information literacy instruction within the traditional university system.

“I am passionate about the capacity of information to change lives,” Bastian said. “In academic libraries, I see the potential of reaching first generation students and providing research and information literacy instruction to improve their educational journey. I often reflect on my own undergraduate experience and wished that I would have understood more about the higher education process and the potential of all the resources available to me.”

Bastian’s academic and professional interests include technology, community informatics, open access, digital and information literacy instruction, service learning, collection development geared toward diverse communities and the potential of academic and community library partnerships.

“I see the library as an organization uniquely situated to meet the information needs of diverse users and also as a means to encourage intellectual curiosity and inspire our next generation of learners and leaders,” she added.

Since 1999, ACRL has provided more than $80,000 to the Spectrum Scholar Program. In addition, ACRL assists scholars through mentoring and conference assistance. The ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Mentor Committee supports Spectrum Scholars with an interest in academic libraries by pairing them with a trained mentor from an academic library. The committee has paired more than 80 Spectrum Scholars with mentors since 2003 and is working to pair interested current scholars and scholars from the incoming Spectrum class. ACRL also provides five scholarship awards that support travel for the attendance of Spectrum Scholars at ACRL Conferences.

“ACRL has been committed to ensuring diversity in the profession for many years,” ACRL President Trevor A. Dawes of Washington University in St. Louis noted. “Participating in the Spectrum Scholarship program enables us to extend opportunities to academically deserving students such as Jessica Bastian so that she may continue her studies in library and information science. ACRL continues to be a proud sponsor and supporter of this very important initiative.”

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 800 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized School Library program. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, visit the program website.

To get involved or to make a donation to the Spectrum Scholarship Program, contact ALA Office for Diversity and Spectrum Assistant Director Gwendolyn Prellwitz at


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


Kathryn Deiss

Content Strategist