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Library and information science education funding supports building diverse workforce

CHICAGO, IL and ANN ARBOR, MI, June 25, 2014 – Libraries serve as the foundation for life-long learning in our society but as they transform, the need for a new generation of culturally diverse librarians becomes critical. The American Library Association (ALA) announced Library Champion ProQuest will broaden the scope of its longstanding support for the Spectrum Scholarship Program.

In support of Spectrum’s goal to increase opportunities for students from groups currently underrepresented in the library profession, ProQuest will donate $52,000 per year beginning this year through 2016. The contribution will fund a total of 24 scholarships, including one each year awarded in memory of Ron Clowney, a beloved ProQuest executive and champion of the Spectrum program. ProQuest will invite members of the Spectrum Scholarship Program to ongoing and specific educational and development opportunities. Spectrum Alumni will also serve as mentors to ProQuest scholarship recipients attending ALA’s annual conference and special networking events hosted by the company.

“Engagement throughout the year enables ALA to expand the program with new peer-to-peer learning, webinars and face-to-face networking,” said Barbara Stripling, president, American Library Association. “We highly value ProQuest’s past support and now this expanded engagement creates new leadership development opportunities for students and library professionals.”

“Establishing a more direct relationship with the Office for Diversity fostered positive collaboration and identified new ways to support this talented community of diverse librarians,” said Kurt Sanford, CEO, ProQuest. “Creating a more personal connection with the students and interacting with the Scholars throughout their career will generate mutually lasting value.”

Since 2001, ProQuest has funded 142 Spectrum Scholars through direct contribution and sponsorship of the Scholarship Bash (which ended last year). The Office for Diversity and ProQuest created an alternative funding solution that expands the scope of engagement and interaction with the Spectrum Scholars.

ProQuest also sponsors a number of other prestigious ALA awards to recognize outstanding library professionals and educators, is a Library Champion Member and a supporter of United for Libraries. The company’s outreach and advocacy efforts extend deep into the library community providing resources, expertise and a variety of services. Its Graduate Education Program offers free databases for teachers to use in training future librarians, instructional trainers and professional development seminars.

Conference attendees wishing to support the Spectrum program may donate online at, stop by the ProQuest booth (#703) to make a donation or pick up a postage-paid donation envelope at the booth.

About the Spectrum Scholarship Program

ALA is committed to ensuring that Master’s degrees in library and information science become more accessible and affordable for talented individuals.  Spectrum affirms ALA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by seeking the broadest participation of new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians to position ALA to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services.  In addition to financial support for pursuing a graduate degree in library and information science, recipients benefit from a large alumni network. Critical for long-term impact, the program offers continuing education and professional development opportunities foundational to obtaining leadership positions within the profession. To learn more about ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship Program, please contact the ALA Office for Diversity at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5048 or visit

About the American Library Association (

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About ProQuest (

ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company’s products are a gateway to the world’s knowledge including dissertations, governmental and cultural archives, news, historical collections and ebooks. ProQuest technologies serve users across the critical points in research, helping them discover, access, share, create and manage information.

The company’s cloud-based technologies offer flexible solutions for librarians, students and researchers through the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary®, EBL® and Serials Solutions® businesses – and notable research tools such as the Summon® discovery service, the RefWorks® Flow™ collaboration platform, the Pivot™ research development tool and the Intota™ library services platform. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.

25 June 2014

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