For immediate release | August 9, 2011

ALSC names Robina Button 2011 Spectrum Scholar

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) chose Robina Button as its 2011-2012 Spectrum Scholar. In September, Button will begin her first semester at the University of Illinois-Champaign.

As a high school biology teacher and a part-time youth service librarian, Button understands the role of the library for young people. “As a child, my brother used to take me to the library,” said Button. The spark of librarianship may have come for her while looking for a Babar the Elephant book. “I couldn’t find it, but asked the librarian and she helped me. The librarian was really helpful. I remembered that when I went back to look for a job [at the library].”

She also sees the need to create a welcoming and diverse atmosphere for kids of all ages in the library. “At the library, we recently hosted a program that brought in representatives of different languages,” she explained. “We featured one book from each language, had the representative translate the book and then offered a treat from that culture.”

“We’re very excited to support Robina with the 2011-2012 ALSC Spectrum Scholar,” said ALSC President Mary Fellows. “Her background in education and youth services proves that she is committed to furthering ALSC’s goals of education and advocacy. She also clearly possesses the qualities of leadership and innovation for which Spectrum is known. ALSC is proud to continue our sponsorship of the Spectrum Scholarship initiative.”

In 2010, ALSC expanded its commitment to the Spectrum Scholarship Program. ALSC sponsors one Spectrum Scholar each year through the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment. The ALSC Spectrum Scholar is awarded to a Spectrum applicant who expresses an interest in library service to children.

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

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC visit


Dan Rude