October 29, 1999

Spectrum Scholarships Offered for People of Color

One of the most dynamic professions of the new millennium aims to recruit more people of color. The American Library Association's Spectrum Initiative provides 50 scholarships of $5,000 each to pursue a master's degree in library and information science. The deadline for applying is April 1, 2000.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and represent one of four population groups African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Latinos/Hispanics and Native Americans/American Indians from the U.S., and Canada.

"Our goal is to have librarians throughout the United States that reflect the spectrum of the people they serve and will potentially serve," says the association's Diversity Officer Sandra Balder-rama.

She notes that today's libraries are centers for lifelong learning located in the heart of universities, community colleges, high schools, grade schools, neighborhoods, downtown areas and rural towns. The range of career opportunities include library administration (non-profit administration), management of information technology, specializations in working with children's programming and children's literature, and reference work with adults and teenagers. Librarians can also be found in hospitals, the media, law firms, museums, prison, corporations and online.

A list of library schools, a scholarship application and requirement can be obtained online at http://www.ala.org/spectrum/. Many Masters in Library and Information Studies programs offer support for students of color. For more information, call Balderrama at 800-545-2433 ext. 5020, or send e-mail to sbalderr@ala.org.

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