ALA Past President Betty J. Turock Donates $100,000 to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative

Contact: Miguel A. Figueroa

Office for Diversity



For Immediate Release,

January 16, 2010

BOSTON – ALA Past President Betty J. Turock has provided a gift of $100,000 to the Spectrum Scholarship Program on behalf of the Turock Family as part of the 2010 Spectrum Presidential Initiative. Turock’s gift will be used to provide scholarships to Master of Library Science candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups.

At the 2009 ALA Annual Conference, ALA President Camila Alire, Immediate Past President Jim Rettig and President Elect Roberta Stevens announced a special year-long initiative to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program. The $1 million will allow ALA to double the number of Spectrum Scholarships awarded over the next few years, provide two Spectrum Doctoral Fellowships and build the Spectrum Endowment to ensure this important program’s future. Turock serves as chair of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative.

Turock has been an active ALA member for many years. She served as ALA president (1995-96), a councilor, a member of the ALA Board and numerous other committees. Throughout her years of service to ALA and its various units, Turock has been committed to broadening the association's diversity efforts. She served on the ALA Minority Concerns and Cultural Diversity Committee and chaired ALA President-elect Sarah Long's Special Advisory Committee on the Spectrum Campaign, which began raising funds for the Spectrum Scholarship. Since its founding, Turock and her family have provided several gifts to the Spectrum Scholarship program, including the creation of the Betty J. Turock Scholarship in 2001.

When asked about this Initiative, Dr. Turock said, “The demographic ballasts of our country continue to shift rapidly even as our professional moorings remain comparatively stable. We know that increasing diversity captures unique talents and yields benefits in innovations and creativity that arise from cultural competencies and differing life experiences. But it’s hard to believe that emerging majorities will support libraries if libraries are irrelevant to their information and educational needs. At this crossroad the success of Spectrum is both a moral and professional necessity for the growth and progress of our nation’s libraries. During this 2010 Midwinter conference, please join me in building on the prior success of the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Please make a donation or a pledge today. More important than the amount you give is helping ALA achieve 100 percent participation in the campaign to continue the life of Spectrum.”

“ALA is honored that Betty Turock and her family have chosen to support the Spectrum Presidential Initiative,” said Dr. Camila Alire, ALA President. “Their gift is significant as we prepare to provide more scholarships and increase the endowment for the Spectrum Scholarship Program. The need is more urgent than ever. They have stepped forward to help not only the Spectrum Scholars, but the entire library community.”

The Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of underrepresentation 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. Since its founding, Spectrum has provided more than 600 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an ALA-recognized NCATE School Library Media program. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, visit

For more information about the Spectrum Presidential Initiative or to make an online donation, visit To learn more, get involved, or to make a pledge to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative, contact Miguel A. Figueroa, Director, Office for Diversity & Spectrum at, or Kim Olsen-Clark, Director, Development Office at