University of Oklahoma supports ALA’s diversity efforts

Contact: Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Acting Director, ALA Office for Diversity

(312) 280-5048

For Immediate Release

November 18, 2008

CHICAGO - The University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies will provide $5,000 in matching scholarship funds to George Gottschalk, a 2008 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship winner.

Gottschalk is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at Oklahoma, which first offered matching scholarships to Spectrum recipients in its graduate program in library and information studies in 1998.

Gottschalk, of Oologah, Okla., graduated from The University of Oklahoma in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Art History. He is interested in working in a fine arts library.

He is especially interested in tribal libraries and indigenous methods of managing, preserving and presenting information, in contrast to mainstream libraries.

Oklahoma’s School of Library and Information Studies 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 University of Oklahoma’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 Graduate School of Library and Information science, please visit To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, please visit: or contact Gwendolyn Prellwitz at (312) 280-5048,