Ten ALA Spectrum Scholars awarded grants to attend PLA 2020 Conference

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/04/2020


Scott Allen

Deputy Director

Public Library Association

American Library Association


CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) has awarded travel grants for ten Spectrum Scholars to attend the PLA 2020 Conference, taking place Feb. 25-29 in Nashville, Tenn. The American Library Association's Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA.

The purpose of the travel grants is to create leadership and career exploration opportunities through the conference’s array of continuing education and networking activities for Spectrum Scholars working in public librarianship. The grants will cover the scholars' conference registration fees as well as $1,000 for travel and housing expenses. 

Grant recipients include:

  • Brandi Veal, San Jose State University (Calif.)
  • Cearra Harris, Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library
  • Danielle Castro, University of North Texas (Texas)
  • Hebah Emara, University of Missouri (Mo.)
  • Iliana Burgos, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (N.C.)
  • Jennifer Gibson, St. Louis County Library (Mo.)
  • Pa Ja Yang, University of Wisconsin (Wis.)
  • Raivynn Smith, University of Texas at Austin (Texas)
  • Tania Maria Rios, University of Washington (Wash.)
  • Taylor Healey-Brooks, University of Washington (Wash.)

Submissions were reviewed by a selection jury that included representatives from PLA, the Spectrum Scholar program, and ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS).

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 placonference.org.

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About the Public Library Association

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or pla@ala.org.