The Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and offers scholarships to Native American / Alaska Native, Asian, Black / African American, Hispanic / Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and / or Native students Hawaiians / other Pacific Islanders to assist them in obtaining diplomas and leadership positions within the profession and ALA. The Core / OCLC Spectrum Fellowship in Library and Information Technology is designed to address the specific issue of the under-representation of librarians of various racial and ethnic backgrounds within library technology.
This scholarship is for study in an ALA-accredited Master of Library Science (MLS) program. Each scholarship recipient receives $ 5,000 from ALA to combat the rising cost of higher education, as well as $ 1,500 to attend the Spectrum Leadership Institute hosted at ALA’s annual conference.
Spectrum Fellows receive a number of benefits in addition to their scholarship funds, including:
- One-year free student membership to ALA (includes one-year membership to American Libraries);
- Free admission of students to the ALA annual conference during the scholarship year;
- Free attendance at the Spectrum Leadership Institute: a three-day institute that highlights intercultural leadership models and features a national library and community leaders;
- Free memberships to ALA divisions and participating roundtables and affiliates during the scholarship year;
- Opportunities for formal and informal mentoring;
- Opportunities to match scholarships from participating library schools with other regional library associations;
- Access to colleagues via an electronic discussion list, and various private and open online communities;
- Publication of information on employment / internship / residency opportunities throughout the country and in different types of libraries;
- Networking with other spectrum specialists and library managers;
- Participation in a national initiative on library diversity and the recognition it deserves;
- Invitations to present at forums, conferences and institutes;
- Opportunities to apply for travel grants to regional institutes and conferences.
To be eligible for a Spectrum scholarship, you must:
- be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada;
- self-identify as American Indian / Alaska Native, Asian, Black / African American, Hispanic / Latino, Middle East / North Africa and / or Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander;
- attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information science or an AASL-recognized school library media program;
- be enrolled in an accredited program and start no later than September 1 or the fall semester;
- have full-time or part-time status;
- plan to maintain a minimum course load of two courses per semester while receiving your scholarship funds.
How to register
To submit a Spectrum scholarship application, the following are required:
- Completed online application (which includes a personal statement);
- Three professional references (only references on the official online form will be accepted). You will be asked to indicate your professional references in the online application;
- Official transcripts from the institution where you obtained your baccalaureate. If you are currently enrolled in an MLIS or AASL-recognized school library multimedia program, you will also need to submit a transcript from your current institution. Only official (sealed) copies will be accepted.
The ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse reviews applications and selects the scholarship winner.
The link to the application form and instructions for completing it are available on the ALA Spectrum scholarship program website. All applications, references, transcripts and other documents must be received by March 1 for this year’s scholarship.
Sponsored by OCLC
David Satten-López, 2021-2022