For immediate release | January 27, 2016

Ten Spectrum Scholars receive PLA Conference Travel Grant

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) has awarded 10 2016 Spectrum Scholar/PLA Conference Travel Grants to the following Spectrum Scholars:

  • Nicola Andrews, University of Washington (Washington)
  • Frankie de Vera, San Jose State University (California)
  • Asa L. Heyward, Florida State University (Florida)
  • Marika Jeffery, San Diego Public Library (California)
  • Anita-Marie Martinez, Los Angeles Public Library (California)
  • Melanie Medina, Catholic University of America (Virginia)
  • Cristina E. Mitra, San Francisco Public Library (California)
  • Aaron Novinger, Oregon City Public Library (Oregon)
  • Jhenelle Robinson, The New York Public Library (New York)
  • Renee Ting, San Jose State University (California)

The grants provide complimentary registration to the PLA 2016 Conference, April 5-9 in Denver, as well as $1,000 for travel and housing arrangements and an invitation to the conference VIP reception. The purpose of these grants is to create leadership and career exploration opportunities for Spectrum Scholars working in public librarianship through the conference’s array of continuing education and networking activities.

Applicants submitted an essay that answered the following questions:

  • What interests you about public librarianship?
  • Why are you the best person to receive this grant?
  • Why do you want to go to PLA 2016?
  • How will this conference help you BE EXTRAORDINARY?

Submissions were reviewed by the Spectrum Selection Committee chaired by Cynthia Sturgis Landrum, CEO-Director, Evansville Vanderburgh (Ind.) Public Library.

Offered biennially, the PLA Conference is the premier event for public libraries, drawing thousands of librarians, library support staff, trustees, friends, and library vendors from across the country and around the world. Find complete details at and join us in Denver!

For more information about other PLA events and programs, contact the PLA office at or (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or visit PLA is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.


Kara O'Keefe

Manager, Membership Marketing