CALA supports Spectrum Presidential Initiative

CHICAGO-The Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) has announced its support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative with a contribution of $6,500. In recognition of this gift, the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program has named Christopher Kyauk as the 2010 CALA Spectrum Scholar. Kyauk is attending San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science.

ALA President Roberta Stevens, Immediate Past President Dr. Camila Alire, ALA Past President Jim Rettig and ALA Past President Dr. Betty J. Turock, chair of the initiative, announced the Spectrum Presidential Initiative in 2009 as a special campaign to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Through this initiative, ALA aims to meet the critical needs of supporting master's-level scholarships, providing two $25,000 doctoral scholarships, increasing the Spectrum Endowment to ensure the program's future and developing special programs for recruitment and career development. CALA's contribution allows ALA to support an additional master's-level Spectrum Scholarship.

"When my father came to the United States from Burma, he needed the informational assistance a library could have provided him. However he came, like many other immigrants, from a country without publicly available libraries: he had no idea what a library even was," said Kyauk who is currently the head of Access Services at the Cushing Library of Holy Names University. "Thanks to the CALA Spectrum Scholarship, I will, as a librarian, be able to connect people like my father to the help that a library can offer."

"CALA is very proud to be a part of this special effort of American libraries," said Zhijia Shen, CALA president (2010-2011). "Through supporting this Spectrum Scholar, each CALA member can find reflections of his or her childhood dreams."

The Chinese American Librarian Association (CALA) was founded in 1973. Currently, there are more than 1000 registered members throughout the United States, Canada, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries and regions. CALA is an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA). For more information visit http://www.cala-web.org.

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA's national effort to increase diversity in the profession by recruiting and providing scholarships that allow students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds to become librarians. Spectrum Scholars improve service at the local level because they reflect the communities served by libraries in today's changing world. Spectrum has provided more than 680 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an ALA-recognized NCATE School Library Media program. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, visit http://www.ala.org/spectrum.

For more information about the Spectrum Presidential Initiative or to make an online donation, visit http://spectrum.ala.org. To learn more, get involved, or to make a pledge to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative, contact Miguel A. Figueroa, Director, Office for Diversity & Spectrum at mfigueroa@ala.org, or Kim Olsen-Clark, Director, Development Office at kolsen-clark@ala.org.