University of Missouri supports ALA’s diversity efforts in the library profession

Contact: Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Acting Director, ALA Office for Diversity

(312) 280-5048


For Immediate Release

September 30, 2008

CHICAGO - The University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies (SISLT) will provide $5,000 in matching scholarship funds to Nicole Head, a 2008 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship winner pursuing a master’s degree in library science and library media certification at the University of Missouri. The University of Missouri has offered matching scholarships to Spectrum recipients in their graduate program in library and information science since 1999.

Nicole Head graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and has been a life-long resident of the St. Louis area. She currently works for the St. Louis County Library as the Children Services Coordinator in the Youth Services Department.

University of Missouri SISLT’s matching funds provide Spectrum Scholars with adequate financial assistance to pursue and finish their studies. Their effort to attract Spectrum Scholars demonstrates the importance of diversity as a value to the university.

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program has become one of the most important drivers of diversity in the library profession. The program recruits and awards scholarships for graduate programs in library and information studies to students from five professionally under-represented groups: American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. To date Spectrum has provided a one-year $5,000 scholarship and more than $1,500 in professional development opportunities to 564 graduate students. Former Spectrum scholars now serve on ALA Council and numerous professional committees; head branches and departments of public and academic libraries; work in and manage law, medical and special libraries; lead efforts to explore and integrate new technologies; and find numerous ways to give back to the profession and promote librarianship at large.

The University of Missouri SISLT’s support of its Spectrum recipients greatly bolsters the Spectrum Scholarship Program’s ability to attract and retain talented students under-represented in the library and information science profession. To learn more about the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, please visit To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, please visit: or contact Gwendolyn Prellwitz at (312)-280-5048,