YALSA names 2009-2010 Spectrum scholar

Contact: Stephanie Kuenn

Communications Specialist



For Immediate Release

Aug. 18, 2008

CHICAGO — As part of its commitment to furthering young adult librarianship, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will sponsor Cristina Mitra, a student at the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science. Donations to the Friends of YALSA helped fund the 2010 Spectrum Scholar.

“YALSA wants to make sure that those wanting to work with teens have opportunities to gain strong educational experiences. The division also recognizes the importance in encouraging diversity so teens have access to librarians that reflect their own lives and experiences,” said Linda Braun, YALSA president. “Through scholarships, grants and professional development, YALSA helps to guarantee that new and studying librarians are able to keep up in the dynamic field of teen librarianship.”

Mitra chose to pursue a career in teen librarianship after working at a youth-focused nonprofit and as a library assistant at a public high school in San Francisco.

“Librarianship is a perfect marriage between my work experience in database management and outreach, my desire to positively impact communities and my lifelong love of books and information. As I discovered YALSA and REFORMA, which spoke to my personal passions of working with teens and Spanish-speakers, I realized that this was the right career for me,” Mitra said. “Receiving the news that I had received a Spectrum Scholarship was like winning Publisher’s Clearing House! I now have a family of new and experienced library and information science professionals to depend upon and learn from so I can enter my new career in librarianship with confidence.”

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,