For immediate release | July 26, 2011

Spectrum and Knowledge River Scholars host Tucson fundraiser for Spectrum Presidential Initiative

CHICAGO—The University of Arizona’s Knowledge River Scholars, Spectrum Scholars, REFORMA Tucson Chapter Members, SIRLS faculty and librarians and library supporters in Tucson (Ariz.) raised over $1,500 for the Spectrum Presidential Initiative through a recent fundraiser. Organized by Spectrum and Knowledge River Scholar Mariaelena de la Rosa and Spectrum Scholar and Knowledge River Program Manager Sandy Littletree, the event brought together over 25 supporters of the Spectrum Scholarship Program. The dessert and coffee fundraiser featured the art of a local Tucson artist, Mel Dominguez, as well as a number of items donated for a very successful silent auction.

ALA President Molly Raphael, Immediate Past President Roberta Stevens, ALA President-Elect Maureen Sullivan 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.

Littletree said of the event, "It was wonderful to see so many people in the Tucson area come out to support the Spectrum Scholarship Program, and to see Knowledge River Scholars take leadership roles in planning this successful event. We hope we raised awareness of the need to continue supporting this important national initiative. We were also thrilled to provide an opportunity to support the work of a local artist through our fundraiser."

“As a Spectrum Scholar,” added de la Rosa, “organizing a fundraiser—with the enthusiastic support of a tireless team including Diana Olivares, Kristen Cure, Janice Nez, Berlin Loa, Adriana McClure, Niamh Wallace, Ana Elisa Arredondo, Diana Almader-Douglas, Sara Tankersley and Sandy Littletree—was a great opportunity to give back after the support we received and continue to receive from Spectrum, Knowledge River and REFORMA-Tucson.”

Knowledge River is a Tucson-based educational experience within the University of Arizona’s School of Information Resources and Library Science (SIRLS) that focuses on educating information professionals who have experience with and sensitivity to Latino and Native American populations. Knowledge River also fosters understanding of library and information issues from the perspectives of Latino and Native Americans and advocates for culturally sensitive library and information services to these communities. For more information about Knowledge River, please visit

Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population with regard to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos. Nationally, there are 26 REFORMA chapters. For more information on REFORMA, please visit For more information on the REFORMA Tucson chapter, 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 Media 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