Simmons College supports ALA’s diversity efforts in the library profession

Contact: Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Acting Director, ALA Office for Diversity

(312) 280-5048


For Immediate Release

November 4, 2008

CHICAGO - The Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) will provide $5,000 in matching scholarship funds to Steven De’Juan Booth, a 2008 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship winner.

Booth is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at Simmons, which has offered matching scholarships to Spectrum recipients in its graduate program in library and information science since 1999.

Booth, who grew up in Chicago, graduated from Morehouse College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Music (Vocal Performance). He plans to use his library science degree in outreach and marketing efforts aimed at retaining and recruiting students and communities of color to the library profession.

Simmons College’s GSLIS matching funds provide Spectrum Scholars with adequate financial assistance to pursue and finish their studies. Its 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 Simmons College GSLIS 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 Graduate School of Library and Information science, please visit learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, please visit: or contact Gwendolyn Prellwitz at (312)-280-5048,