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Spectrum Advisory Committee Report of Activities - June 2017




  • Sharon Tani (Chair, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017)
  • Ms. Veronica Inez Arellano-Douglas (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017)
  • Ms. Kristen L. Bowen (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017)
  • Rachel Garza Carreon (Member, January 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018)
  • Ana Elisa De Campos Salles (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017)
  • Jacob L. Harris (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017)
  • Ms. Denisse Solis (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)
  • Alice Son (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017)
  • Camille Thomas (Member, March 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017)
  • Twanna K. Hodge (Ex-Officio Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017)
  • Alanna Aiko Moore (Ex-Officio Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017)
  • Gwendolyn Prellwitz (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2017)


To oversee, coordinate, and support activities of the Spectrum Scholarship Program and related diversity pre-professional development activities; to appoint potential award jurors for the Spectrum selection process; to plan and execute the Spectrum Institute; to advocate for and advise on all Spectrum fundraising and marketing initiatives; and to ensure community building amongst Spectrum recipients through activities designed  to (1)  increase the participation of Spectrum Scholars in ALA Committees and leadership; and (2) promote the interests and concerns of the Spectrum Scholars throughout the Association. 


20th Anniversary

Spectrum launched the year-long celebration of its 20th Anniversary: A Celebration of Community during National Library Week.  Key accomplishments:

  • Spectrum Anniversary Fundraising Plan presented and approved by the ALA Executive Board at the Spring Board Meeting. Board will assist with fundraising activities throughout the year and receive quarterly progress reports.  Goal is to raise $120,000 by the conclusion of the celebration.
  • Anniversary website developed at http://spectrum.ala.org/
  • Anniversary promoted to membership in a video and social media blast from ALA President Julie Todaro in conjunction with National Library Workers Day on April 11, 2017. 
  • Over 20 alumni community organizers (1 from each Spectrum cohort and geographically spread across the country) were recruited, Cohort Champions will to support one another in community building, awareness and fundraising activities through the 2018 Annual Conference.  Goal is to develop materials that support a culture of giving back to Spectrum amongst all program participants: http://spectrum.ala.org/category/champions/.
  • Over 250 tickets have been sold for the 20th Anniversary Kick-off Cocktail Reception on Sunday, June 25, 2017 with a keynote presentation by 14th Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead our national library.

2017-2018 Spectrum Scholars Selected & Announced

The 2017 Spectrum Jury reviewed 160 applications and selected 60 Spectrum Scholars.  The 2017-2018 Scholars were notified by phone by staff, Chair Twanna Hodge, and SAC member Denisse Solis and announced on June 14th: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/06/ala-awards-60-spectrum-scholarships-2017-2018. Thanks to the Spectrum Jury: Chair Twanna Hodge, Vernica Downey, Brenda Linares, Harvey Long, Rebecca Martin, Kate Rojas, Yasmeen Shorish, Melanie Toledo, and Patricia Valdovinos.

Spectrum Communications Updated

  • In addition to launching Anniversary site, the Spectrum website (www.ala.org/spectrum) was redesigned in March to prepare for the Anniversary traffic.   New site features include: Spectrum blog featuring Scholar News and a feed of opportunities (jobs, calls for proposals, scholarships and grants) from the Scholar Community in ALA Connect.  
  • Cohort Liaison Denisse Solis created and maintained a Spectrum community in Slack used by the 2016-2017 cohort for community building, channels built for affiliate groups, career paths, and navigating ALA.
  • The communications team led two high engagement social media campaigns.  For NLW, photos highlighting scholars at work were posted every 20 minutes on April 13th, with amplification through ALA’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.  From May-June, the Spectrum page (https://www.facebook.com/alaspectrum/) featured graduation updates from Scholars.

Spectrum Resolution and Staffing

At the 2016 Fall meetings for BARC, ALA staff provided a review of the Spectrum program’s current recruitment and marketing activities, and how these activities might be strengthened in the short and long term. This review was initiated after a Council Resolution was proposed in support of the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program at the 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando and referred to BARC. They also reviewed the association-wide environment within which any action would occur (BARC #22.1 (rev)). 

At the Spring Board Meeting, the Board and BARC reviewed and approved the FY2018 ODLOS Budget which includes 1 additional FTE to support activities in conjunction with the national diversity recruitment plan, Spectrum’s community of 1,000+ members, ODLOS leadership development activities across its committees, round tables, assemblies and member initiative groups.  The position will also lend support to affiliate groups which are vital partners in ODLOS’s mission and ALA recruitment and retention efforts. Moving forward, a $50,000 organizational contribution from Spectrum unrestricted funds will offset salary and benefits for a portion of the Assistant Director’s time (Spectrum fundraising and management) and the new Membership and Marketing Specialist (Spectrum cohort support and administration) in the ODLOS Operating Budget. There will be minimal impact on the Spectrum Family of Funds as $25,000 for staff support has been approved from Spectrum unrestricted funds since FY2016.  Additionally, the FY2018 budget includes $25,000 in donations revenue that has not previously been budgeted. Based on recent giving levels ($36,314 FY2017 to date) this is a conservative estimate of revenue. 


  • In June, ProQuest signed another three-year agreement to sponsor 8 Spectrum Scholarships ($53,000 annual contribution) a year through the 2019-2020 cohort. 
  • Library Systems & Services and OCLC agreed to increase their scholarship sponsorship to fund 1 Spectrum Scholarship each for 2017-2018 in lieu of a LITA minority scholarship.  These sponsorships allow LITA to support two 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholars.  OCLC has supported a LITA scholarship since 1991 and LS&S has supported a LITA scholarship since 1994.
  • As part of YALSA’s Organizational Plan goal to lead the transformation of teen services and its commitment to supporting ALA’s EDI efforts, YALSA increased its 2017-2018 support to fund two Spectrum Scholars.


Program milestones from the last six months:

2017 Spectrum Leadership Institute

The Spectrum Institute began with an Opening Reception on June 22 featuring welcomes from ALA President Julie Todaro, ALA President-Elect James G. (Jim) Neal, ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, and representatives from ten ALA Associations, Affiliate Groups and Round Tables.  The Institute concluded with a Closing Brunch featuring Scholar reflections and remarks from SAC Chair Sharon Tani on Sunday, June 25.

Key Spectrum Leadership Institute session titles include:

  • Creating Community as a Form of Resistance
  • Urging Leaders: Moving Diverse Librarians’ Careers Forward
  • Intersections and the Experience of LGBTQ Library Folks
  • Spectrum Anniversary Poster Session at the 2017 Diversity and Outreach Fair

Leadership Development News

Review the Scholar News section of www.ala.org/spectrum for more Scholar accomplishments.

  • In February, the Latino SIG of the Medical Library Association (MLA) provided a free webinar for Spectrum Scholars on the Unique Aspects of Health Sciences Librarianship: http://connect.ala.org/node/263269.
  • In honor of the world day of #SocialJustice on February 20, Emerald Group Publishing Limited offered a free week of access to “The Social Justice Collaboratorium: Illuminating Research Pathways between Social Justice and Library and Information Studies” authored by Spectrum Fellows RaShauna Brannon, LaVerne Gray, Miraida Morales, Myrna E. Morales, Mario H. Ramírez, and Elnora Kelly Tayag in Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 41)  edited by Ursula Gorham , Natalie Greene Taylor , Paul T. Jaeger.
  • 2016 Scholars Ayoola M. White and Zoë McLaughlin were named Hack Library School writers/"hackers" in February.
  • ACRL published “Choosing to Lead: The Motivational Factors of Underrepresented Minority Librarians in Higher Education,” edited by 2002 Scholar Antonia P. Olivas, Ed.D.  2002 Scholar Michelle Baildon, 1999 Scholar Hector Escobar, and 2001 Scholar Shannon D. Jones authored chapters and 2003 Scholar Mark A. Puente contributed the foreword.
  • Litwin Books/Library Juice Press published the first book in a series on critical race studies and multiculturalism in library and information science Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice edited by Spectrum Fellow Dr. Nicole A. Cooke and Dr. Miriam E. Sweeney.
  • 2016 Scholar Ayoola White and 2017 Scholar Lorisia MacLeod presented at the 2017 DERAIL: Diversity, Equity, Race, Accessibility, and Identity in LIS Forum held March 4-5, 2017, at Simmons College in Boston.
  • Since March, 21 Spectrum Scholars have been matched with mentors through ACRL’s Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program.
  • 2003 Scholar Christiane Warburton attended the 2017 PLA Leadership Academy in March and received a Spectrum Scholar Travel Grant sponsored by PLA, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • 2003 Scholar Alanna Aiko Moore was announced as the 2017 recipient of the University Libraries Sections (ULS) Outstanding Professional Development Award by section chair and 2001 Scholar Alexandra Rivera.
  • Eleven Scholars received travel grants to attend ACRL’s National Conference in Baltimore March 22-25:  Early Career awards: Andrew Cano (2008), Mariaelena de la Rosa (2010), Nik Dragovic (2013), Twanna Hodge (2013), Camille Thomas (2014); and Spectrum awards: Yolanda Bergstrom-Lynch (2016), Stephanie Everett (2015), Alia Gant (2015), Hannah Rainey (2014), Melanie Medina (2015), Denisse Solis (2016). Numerous scholars presented at the conference.
  • In the ALA Election, 2013 Scholar Lisa Longmire stood for election and 2006 Scholar Lettycia Terrones was elected to ALA Council; 2007 Scholar Susan Hoang was elected Secretary of ACRL’s Women and Gender Studies Section; and 2011 Scholar Ana Elisa de Campos Salles was elected Chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table.
  • 2015 Scholar Tommy Bui received a DPLAfest Travel Award, and 2008 Scholar Jeannie Chen, 2013 Scholar Jennifer Himmelreich, 2012 Scholar Marcia McIntosh, and 2012 Scholar Tamara Rhodes presented at the Chicago DPLAfest 2017 (April 20-21).
  • On April 24, 1999 Scholar Maria Taesil Hudson McCauley successfully defended her dissertation "Community Leadership: The Role of Public Library Directors."
  • On May 10, Spectrum Fellow Dr. Tammy Mays successfully defended her dissertation, "A Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding the Role of Athletic and Racial Identities on the Health Information-Seeking Behaviors of African American Male Athletes."
  • 2014 Scholar Jhani Miller organized and presented a Skillshare on “The Art of Poletry” at the Brooklyn Public Library on May 13.
  • 2005 Scholar Veronica Arellano-Douglas and 2013 Scholar Jennifer Brown presented at the first ever Identity, Agency, and Culture in Academic Libraries conference May 22- 23 in Los Angeles, California at the University of Southern California.
  • Co-editors Max Macias and 2007 Scholar Yago Cura announced “Librarians with Spines” -an anthology of 9 essays written by 11 librarians including 2012 Scholar Anthony Bishop published by HINCHAS Press in May and funded by a successful GoFundMe campaign. 
  • Spectrum Fellow LaVerne Gray received a Black Metropolis Research Consortium 2017 Fellowship for her research “Uncovering Community-Based Information Environments of African American Activists-Mothers in Chicago Public Housing, 1955-1970.”
  • 2002 Scholar Sarah Kostelecky, David Hurley, and Lori Townsend presented a free webinar hosted by ODLOS on Cultural Humility on May 25.
  • 36 Scholars participated in the ALCTS virtual preconference “Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable Metadata” on June 6 & 7 through complimentary registration for Scholars.   
  • Spectrum Fellow Dr. Nicole A. Cooke was presented with the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award during the 2017 Diversity & Outreach Fair on June 24.

Networking & Social Events

  • Feb 9: meetup for "Information, Access and Activism" panel hosted by the UCLA Department of Information Studies' Diversity Council.
  • Feb 26: REFORMA SoCal Chapters Meetup at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, hosted by the REFORMA Los Angeles Chapter.
  • March 24: Spectrum Community Breakfast at ACRL National Conference in Baltimore.
  • April 7: Archivists and Archives of Color Social at Midwest Archives Conference Annual Meeting in Omaha.
  • April 27-29: 2017 meetup at the Society of California Archivists Annual General Meeting.
  • May 5: APALA visit to the Japan Society in NYC hosted by APALA Northeast.
  • June 4: APALA SoCal Social at Clifton's Cafeteria in Los Angeles.

Recruitment Activities

  • Feb 11: Considering Librarianship program at UMass Amherst campus hosted by the Five Colleges Consortium.
  • Feb 22: 2017 Spring Week Career Fair Diversity at the University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee.
  • May 19:  MLIS Day at the University of Central Florida, included presentation by 2009 Scholar Shalu Gillum.


  • July: Finalize role assignments for Spectrum Advisory Committee members and appoint 2017-2018 Spectrum Jury.
  • July: implement 2017 Spectrum Jury feedback on evaluation tool and submit recommendations for ALA Online Application to the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse.
  • July: SAC Advisory Fundraising Working Group will work with Alumni Volunteers to coordinate new donor acknowledgement materials to support Anniversary.
  • July: Cohort Champions begin outreach to all 1,000 program participants.
  • July-September: Introductions and orientation for 2017-2018 Scholars.
  • August: submit Spectrum 20th Anniversary event program proposals for 2018 ALA Annual Conference.
  • December: highlight Winter 2017 Graduations.
  • Ongoing: Continue to improve SAC vehicles for tracking of scholar accomplishments, specifically leadership activities, networking events and recruiting opportunities.
  • Ongoing: Support regional 20th Anniversary and Recruitment events.
  • Ongoing: Build new Channels in Slack for Cohorts and Regional Groups, increase alumni participation in Slack.
  • Ongoing: Develop Scholar News and Anniversary website feature articles, and increase Scholar contributions to ODLOS Intersections blog and webinars.


Community Building

Connecting Spectrum community members across so many different professional interest areas and platforms (ALA Connect, ALA email lists, Social Media, Slack group) is a challenge.  SAC must continue to experiment and explore ways to bring people together across mediums and interests.

Jury Process

  • Jurors are finding it increasingly difficult to review all applications in one month, for 2018 the jury will try having jurors evaluate 40 applicants with three jurors scoring each application.
  • Jury will present recommendations for July SAC conference call to vote on changes to evaluation criteria to address juror concerns about academic achievement criteria.
  • Jurors would like to see the evaluation tool integrated with the application review system.  The current ALA Scholarship Application maintained by the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse does not support evaluation; however, the ala.org/apply system used by the Public Programs Office and other ALA application systems does. SAC recommends the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse explore use of this integrated system for scholarships. 

Report Respectfully Submitted to the ODLOS Advisory Committee by Sharon Tani on June 16, 2017.