For immediate release | August 2, 2011

AASL names Tonya Grant 2011 Spectrum Scholar

CHICAGO - As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in the school library profession, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) chose Tonya Grant as its 2011-2012 Spectrum Scholar. Grant is currently a student at the University of Georgia.

As an educator for the past 13 years, Grant has fostered inclusiveness in the classroom and dedicated herself to increasing the level of learning for all her students. She looks forward to using her studies to identify ways she can build an engaging school library program and incorporate her love of technology and reading into challenging and fun lessons.

“Deciding to go back to school and become a K-12 school librarian has been my goal for a while, but I didn’t want a huge financial burden placed on my family. This scholarship will allow me to finally fulfill my goal,” said Grant. “I am very thankful and grateful to have been selected to receive the AASL Spectrum Scholarship.”

Since 2001, AASL has provided more than $55,000 to the Spectrum Scholarship Program to fund scholarships. In addition, AASL supports Spectrum Scholars through conference assistance and mentoring. Working with sponsors, AASL has been able to offer Spectrum Scholars travel and registration grants to support their attendance at the AASL 2008 Fall Forum, the AASL 13th & 14th National Conference and Exhibitions and the AASL 2010 Fall Forum. Experienced AASL members serve as conference mentors to assist the Spectrum Scholars in navigating the conference and getting more involved in AASL. In addition, AASL annually provides all interested Spectrum Scholars with a one-year complimentary student membership.

“As we think about the future for our students, it is just as important to develop quality school librarians who will be leading them into that future,” said AASL President Carl Harvey. “As an educator, Tonya has already demonstrated a commitment to building life-long learners and upholding many of the values defined in our learning standards. AASL is proud to award Tonya this scholarship and looks forward to her contributions to the profession.”

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA’s national effort to increase diversity in the profession by recruiting and providing scholarships that allow students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds to become librarians. Spectrum Scholars improve service at the local level because they reflect the communities served by libraries in today’s changing world. Spectrum has provided more than 700 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized School Library 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

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.


Jennifer Habley