MLA, NLM increase support of ALA Spectrum Initiative

Contact: Tracie Hall
Director, Diversity Office
For Immediate Release
January 5, 2005

MLA, NLM increase support of ALA Spectrum Initiative

(CHICAGO) The American Library Association (ALA) Diversity Office is pleased to announce that the Medical Library Association (MLA) and National Library of Medicine (NLM) have doubled their support of the ALA Spectrum Initiative scholarship program.

Beginning in 2006, the two organizations will fund a total of two Spectrum Scholars who indicate interest in the field of health science librarianship. Increased support will result in annual donations of $6,500 for each Spectrum scholar, which includes a direct cash award and financial support for attendance at the Spectrum Leadership Institute.
This represents a substantial increase over the $5,000 awarded in previous years.

"MLA and NLM have a longstanding commitment to diversity in the health sciences librarianship profession and to Spectrum as a whole. As we embark on a more aggressive campaign to recruit and develop a diverse library workforce, we are thrilled with this new funding and support," said Office for Diversity Director Tracie Hall.

In 2000, MLA and NLM pledged a 10-year commitment to the Spectrum Initiative to support minority students in their goals of becoming health sciences information professionals and to help address the critical need for minority representation in health sciences libraries.

All African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander prospective library school applicants or individuals attending ALA-accredited library schools with less than 12 credit hours are welcome to apply for the scholarship.

Spectrum scholarship applications must be received by ALA by March 1. Recipients are announced at the ALA annual meeting in June. For more information, visit, contact the ALA Spectrum Program at 800.545.2433 x4276, or email

"MLA is proud to contribute to increasing diversity in the health sciences librarianship profession and looks forward to continuing its work with NLM and ALA in furthering this goal," said MLA Executive Director Carla J. Funk.

MLA, a nonprofit, educational organization, is comprised of health sciences information professionals with more than 4,700 members worldwide.