For immediate release | August 16, 2011

Hannah Gomez named YALSA’s 2011 Spectrum Scholar

CHICAGO — As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in the profession, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) chose Hannah Gomez as its 2011-2012 Spectrum Scholar. She will attend Simmons College in Boston in the fall, pursuing an M.A. in children's literature and M.S. in library science.

Gomez cited her time working at a social service agency facilitating workshops for youths who had been arrested as her inspiration to go into librarianship, as well as "This Book Is Overdue!" by Marilyn Johnson.

“Now I tell anyone who asks me about my career choice to read that book, and then they'll understand,” Gomez said. “Librarianship seems like the perfect way to combine my love of literature, social justice and education.”

Gomez cited her experience at the library as a teen as influential as well.

“I had so many wonderful experiences as a young teen with authors and librarians that I wanted to be able to offer similar insights, support and inspiration to other middle and high schoolers,” she said. “Having dedicated support for youth is really essential if we want today's teens to be engaged in reading, critical thinking and education.

She looks forward to getting to know other Spectrum Scholars and appreciates the networking opportunities that the program affords.

“I'm most excited to meet other Spectrum Scholars and establish friendships and professional relationships,” she said. “Being a part of the Spectrum program will equip me with even more marketable skills and experience than the average library school graduate.”

Gomez is YALSA’s fourth sponsored Spectrum Scholar, a program funded by the Friends of YALSA. YALSA has made encouraging diversity in the profession a priority.

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 audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or email,