Awards & Scholarships

ALA Spectrum Scholarship

As stated on the American Library Association’s Spectrum Scholarship Overview page, “Librarianship is one of the most diverse professions you can find. Today’s librarians are information specialists, Internet guides, educators, public administrators, children’s services specialists, reader’s advisors–the choices and career directions are boundless. However, it is a reality that library staff do not always reflect the communities they serve. Spectrum specifically addresses the underrepresentation of librarians of color within the current workforce.”

ALSC contributed $2,500 to the initial Spectrum Fundraising Initiative in 1999; and now in 2010, ALSC has expanded its commitment to the Spectrum Scholarship Program with the establishment of the ALSC Spectrum Scholarship. ALSC is sponsoring one Spectrum Scholar interested in library service to children each year through funding from the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment. In addition, ALSC provides complimentary student membership and active opportunities for involvement and leadership to all Spectrum Scholars interested in children’s services. Sylvia Franco has been selected as the 2010-2011 ALSC Spectrum Scholar.

Spectrum provides a one-time, non-renewable $5,000 scholarship award paid in two $2,500 installments directly to the recipient. Recipients are announced at the ALA Annual Conference. The installments are awarded in September and January.

To be eligible for a Spectrum Scholarship:

  • Applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Canada.
  • Applicant must be American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander.
  • Applicant must attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an ALA-recognized NCATE School Library Media program.
  • Applicant shall have completed no more than a third of the credit requirements toward her/his MLIS or school library media degree at the time of award, June 1st.
  • Applicant must be enrolled in an accredited program and begin school no later than September 1st or the Fall Semester immediately following the award.
  • Applicants may have full or part time status.

Applications for ALA Scholarships are accepted annually from mid-October to March. For more information about the ALA Scholarship Program, visit

For more information about the Spectrum Presidential Initiative or to make an online donation, visit

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