Supporting Diversity Through the Spectrum Scholarship

In her opening remarks at ALA Annual 2020, Tracie D. Hall (ALA Executive Director) stated that, “If our institutions and profession is to be sustainable, all of us must devote ourselves to the diversification of the next generation workforce.” (Hall, 2020)

The Spectrum Scholarship Program was developed to do just that. The program 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.

Each year, YALSA sponsors two Spectrum Scholars who have an interest in serving youth aged 12-18 in a library setting. See the list of past scholars. Those interested in applying for the program should visit http://www.ala.org/advocacy/spectrum/apply. The application process runs from October to March each year.

To be eligible for a Spectrum Scholarship, you should:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Canada
  • Identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern/North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
  • Attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized School Library Media Program
  • Be enrolled in an accredited program and begin no later than September 1st or Fall semester
  • Have full or part-time status
  • Plan to maintain a minimum course load of two classes per semester while receiving your scholarship funds

If you are interested in donating to the program, please visit YALSA’s Give to YALSA page. Donating to YALSA’s Leadership Endowment directly sponsors our Spectrum Scholars. Your donation will help YALSA and ALA reach the goal of building a more diverse workforce, ensuring that kids and teens of color see themselves represented at the library.

Hall, Tracie D., (2020, June 24-26). Let Our Legacy Be Justice [Conference Opening Session]. ALA Annual Conference 2020.

–Celeste Swanson
Financial Advancement Committee

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