For immediate release | September 9, 2011

TLA establishes annual named Spectrum Scholarship in support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative

CHICAGO - The Texas Library Association (TLA) continues its commitment to diversity in the library profession by announcing its support of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship Program and this year’s special Spectrum Presidential Initiative. Beginning in 2012, TLA will annually fund one Spectrum Scholarship for an individual attending an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized school library program in Texas. The Spectrum Scholarship consists of $5,000 for tuition reimbursement and $1,500 towards the scholar’s participation in the Spectrum Leadership Institute at the ALA Annual Conference.

ALA President Molly Raphael, Immediate Past President Roberta Stevens, ALA President-Elect Maureen Sullivan and ALA Past President Dr. Betty J. Turock, chair of the initiative, continue the Spectrum Presidential Initiative as a special campaign to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Through this initiative, ALA aims to meet the critical needs of supporting master’s-level scholarships, providing two $25,000 doctoral scholarships, increasing the Spectrum Endowment to ensure the program’s future and developing special programs for recruitment and career development.

Pat Smith, TLA executive director, said about the gift, “From the beginning, TLA has supported the Spectrum Scholarship Program and those scholars who were selected from Texas. Our support has been rewarded by the contributions Spectrum Scholars make to Texas libraries and library users. We are thrilled to increase that level of support through the establishment of this TLA Spectrum Scholarship.”

TLA has provided more than $56,000 in support to the Spectrum Scholarship Program by providing $2,000 matching scholarships to 28 Texas Spectrum Scholars since the establishment of the Spectrum Scholarship Program. In honor of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative, TLA voted to raise its support and has established an annual named TLA Spectrum Scholarship. In addition, TLA encourages all Texas Spectrum Scholars to participate in their formal mentoring program.

The Texas Library Association was established in 1902 to promote, support and improve library services in Texas. TLA is the largest state library association in the U.S. Its 7,000+ members are employed in all types of libraries (academic, public, school, and special). TLA offers members a wide range of services, including an annual conference that attracts more than 7,000 librarians and exhibitors, a leadership development program, legislative advocacy and publications. For more information visit

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 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