Dominican University Supports ALA’s Diversity Efforts

CHICAGO—The Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science will provide $5,000 in matching scholarship funds to Elizabeth Hernandez, a 2008 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship winner.

Hernandez is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at Dominican, which first offered matching scholarships to Spectrum recipients in its graduate program in library and information studies in 1999.

Hernandez, of Homer Glen, Ill., graduated from Governors State University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in English.

She plans to dedicate her career to underserved populations and increasing universal access, hoping to “help underrepresented people enhance their personal abilities by helping them to collect and synthesize information, think critically and aid them in developing a relationship with words.”

Dominican’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science matching funds provide Spectrum Scholars with adequate financial assistance to pursue and finish their studies. Its effort to attract Spectrum Scholars demonstrates the importance of diversity as a value to the university.

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program has become one of the most important drivers of diversity in the library profession. The program recruits and awards scholarships for graduate programs in library and information studies to students from five professionally under-represented groups: American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. To date Spectrum has provided a one-year $5,000 scholarship and more than $1,500 in professional development opportunities to 564 graduate students. Former Spectrum scholars now serve on ALA Council and numerous professional committees; head branches and departments of public and academic libraries; work in and manage law, medical and special libraries; lead efforts to explore and integrate new technologies; and find numerous ways to give back to the profession and promote librarianship at large.

Dominican University’s support of its Spectrum recipients greatly bolsters the Spectrum Scholarship Program’s ability to attract and retain talented students under-represented in the library and information science profession. To learn more about the Graduate School of Library and Information science, please visit http://www.dom.edu/academics/gslis/ to learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, please visit: www.ala.org/spectrum or contact Gwendolyn Prellwitz at (312) 280-5048, gprellwitz@ala.org.