ALA
Contact: Kathy Agarwal
Communications Specialist
312-280-4381
kagarwal@ala.org
For Immediate Release
September 11, 2007

AASL to sponsor four Spectrum scholars at National Conference

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will sponsor the attendance of up to four Spectrum scholars at its 13th National Conference & Exhibition. The AASL National Conference, to be held October 25-28, 2007, in Reno, Nev., is the largest professional educational event for the school library media specialists in the country.

AASL will select four Spectrum Scholars who are pursuing a library degree concentrating in school library media or are working as school library media specialists. AASL will provide each of the four selected Spectrum Scholars with a full National Conference registration and a $750 travel stipend. Spectrum Scholars will be paired with a mentor for the duration of the conference and will receive special recognition at key events.

The travel stipends for the Reno conference are underwritten by Stone Arch Books.

“Librarians are the front line in the challenge to reach striving readers,” said Joan Berge, president of Stone Arch Books. “They need all the support and tools we can give them. Attending AASL can be a real mind-opening experience for a new librarian to see the resources that are available, and to network with peers and professionals.”

“This initiative is mutually beneficial: the scholars will get a chance to attend  the best of school library media professional development with the broadest range of programs and experts available in Reno, while AASL and the National Conference will benefit from the contributions made by conferees from diverse backgrounds,” said Sara Kelly Johns, president of AASL. “AASL welcomes this opportunity to supplement the Spectrum Scholarship program.”

Carl A. Harvey II, co-chair of AASL’s National Conference committee, commented: “As we think about the future for our students, it is just as important to develop quality library media specialists who will be leading them into that future! We welcome Spectrum Scholars to Reno and we hope they benefit from this opportunity.”

The AASL National Conference will feature three full-day and five half-day preconference workshops, several school and educational tours, more than 100 educational sessions, author events and more than 200 exhibiting companies.  Registration is now open at http://www.ala.org/aasl/reno .

The Spectrum Scholarship Program's major drive is to recruit applicants and award scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students for graduate programs in library and information studies.  Its mission is improving service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries in the new millennium. Since 1997, ALA has awarded a total of 495 Spectrum Scholarships. For more information on Spectrum and how you can contribute, please contact the Office for Diversity at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5048 or visit http://www.ala.org/spectrum.

Stone Arch Books, sister company to Capstone Press, Compass Point Books, and Picture Window Books, publishes fiction in safe graphic novel format and chapter-style format for struggling and reluctant readers in grades 3-9. 

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.