New survey on diversity and recruitment in library schools

Contact: Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Acting Director, ALA Office for Diversity

(312) 280-5048


For Immediate Release

November 4, 2008

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) is conducting a new online survey to examine strategies used by library schools to recruit students of color.

Participation in the study is encouraged from those involved in ALA-accredited master’s programs and American Association of School Librarians (AASL) reviewed and approved master’s programs with specialty in school library media accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

This survey has been designed to assess strategies employed to recruit students of color, and efforts to foster an educational environment where respect, appreciation, equity and inclusion are core values. Feedback will be used to better understand the effective practices utilized by library schools to attract and retain a diverse student body and to inform ALA’s existing and future diversity recruitment initiatives.

The survey will be electronically distributed to all ALA accredited and AASL approved/NCATE accredited master's programs by Nov. 7, and replies are requested by Nov. 24. The survey can be accessed online at For alternative formats or questions on the survey, please contact Evan Leach, PhD, at (215) 681-3911 or e-mail

This survey is being conducted as part of the conclusion of
New Voices, New Visions: Educating and Preparing Librarians
for the 21st Century project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The
New Voices project was designed to provide: increased numbers of racially and ethnically diverse students enrolled in nationally accredited MLIS programs through doubling the number of Spectrum scholarships; the national coordination of similar diversity recruitment and education initiatives and corresponding data; the promotion of dialogue and awareness among library and information science educators and practitioners; and the establishment of an outreach component providing support services to schools of library and information science.

The IMLS is an independent federal agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities. To learn more about the Institute, please visit:

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, over 560 scholarship have been awarded. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, please visit: or contact Gwendolyn Prellwitz at (312) 280-5048,