Spectrum Scholarship to Increase Diversity in Libraries


Libraries are amazing places to work!  Despite the stereotype of being uptight and rigid, librarians are often on the forefront of social issues.  Unfortunately, however, the profession is far from where it should be in terms of diverse representation of all ethnic groups.  Census statistics indicate that in 2009 89% of librarians were white (Oxford University Press Blog, Librarians in the U.S. from 1880-2009).

One effort to increase diversity within the profession is the Spectrum Scholarship.  Established in 1997, this scholarship is designed to recruit individuals from ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in libraries into the profession.  Scholarship recipients receive a $5000 non-renewable scholarship that is paid in two installments directly to the individual to use for graduate school expenses.   In addition, the Spectrum Scholars are provided free attendance to a 3 day leadership institute , free attendance to the American Library Association (ALA) conference during year of scholarship, free ALA membership for one year, and the opportunity for formal and informal mentoring.

Applications for ALA Scholarships are accepted annually from mid-October to March 1. To learn more go to: http://www.ala.org/offices/diversity/spectrum

Agnes Scott College is proud that so many of our graduates were selected as scholars.  Sophia Becerra-Licha ’04 told us about this amazing opportunity and provided us with the following list of Agnes Scott College Spectrum Scholars:

  • Amber Prentiss ’03
  • Erin Prentiss ’03
  • Sofia Becerra-Licha ’04
  • April Hathcock ’04

If we have left anyone off please let us know! We know there are more to add!

To see photos of Spectrum Scholars learning, collaborating and having fun, click on the photo below.  Who knows maybe you will appear in this collection soon!

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