New ALA endowment honoring Satia Marshall Orange to benefit Spectrum Scholarship Program
For Immediate Release
Tracie D. Hall
American Library Association
CHICAGO – From 1997 to 2009, Satia Marshall Orange guided what is now the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS), working on behalf of underserved populations and promoting diversity within the field of librarianship.
Now, on the occasion of her 80th birthday, her work is being honored with the establishment of the Satia Marshall Orange Spectrum Scholarship Endowment Fund.
The endowment was created through a planned gift from Dr. William Michael Havener, former dean of the University of Rhode Island School of Library and Information Studies.
Dollars raised through the fund will benefit ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship, which actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA.
Gifts will go toward a goal of $67,000 to establish an endowment and two scholarships to be given this year. Donations can be made at ec.ala.org/donate/projects by selecting the “Satia Marshall Orange Fund.”
ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall, who was part of the first cohort of Spectrum Scholars more than two decades ago, stated, “I commend Dr. Havener’s generosity, and can think of nothing more fitting than the creation of this endowment to honor Satia’s tireless efforts on behalf of equity, diversity, and inclusion in librarianship. Much of what ALA champions today is the result of her dedication and pioneering work. The scholars supported by this fund will stand as a monument to her legacy.”
Orange, who retired from ALA in 2009, grew up the child of librarians. Her father, A.P. Marshall, was an ALA councilor and director of libraries at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri and Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. She told American Libraries magazine in 2018, that her father would come home for dinner and then return to the library at 9 or 10 p.m. “doing budgets.”
She said, “I was pulled into the profession kicking and screaming.”
She began her career in education, teaching in Milwaukee in the mid-1960s. She was recruited into the library profession by Virginia Lacy Jones, dean of Atlanta University’s School of library Sciences and one of the only library schools at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Jones offered her a fellowship, promising Orange she would work with young children.
After attending ALA conferences, she realized that, as her father had told her, “This was a profession that has a national and international impact.”
As director of the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), OLOS broadened the association's support and celebration of traditionally underserved library staff and library communities, developed new ALA member units and increased participation in events and activities, including the initiation of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration. Orange was the driving force behind the inception of the Sunrise Celebration, as well as its continued observance as a revered tradition at Midwinter.
In addition to directing OLOS, Orange also served as the ALA staff liaison to the Social Responsibilities (SRRT), the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBTRT), and the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange (EMIERT) round tables for over a decade.
Prior to her tenure at ALA, she was also the director of the Arthur Ashe J. Foreign Policy Library, TransAfrica Forum, coordinating lectures, special events, and receptions highlighting Africa and the diaspora and head of Children's Services at Forsyth County (North Carolina) Public Library.
Orange’s impact on the library profession was recognized in 2017, when she received the American Library Association Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) Distinguished Librarian Award. The Distinguished Librarian Award recognizes significant accomplishments in library services that are national or international in scope and include improving, spreading, and promoting multicultural librarianship.
American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.