Lopez Receives ALA Spectrum Scholarship

Amanda Lopez, a library and information science graduate student in the University of Kentucky’s School of Information Science, a part of the College of Communication and Information, was awarded the 2018-2019 Spectrum Scholarship by the American Library Association.

According to a press releaseby the American Library Association (ALA), its Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services awarded 2018-2019 Spectrum Scholarships to 62 students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies. In the 2018 application cycle, the Spectrum Scholarship received three times as many applications as there were available scholarships, and the majority of this year’s applicants were deemed highly fundable. 

“Being named a Spectrum Scholar means a great deal to me. I strongly believe that representation matters, not only in stories, but in real life. I want young patrons from all backgrounds to find stories in which they see their own experiences reflected,” Lopez said.

The Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North Africa, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership position within the profession and ALA. 

A prestigious committee of ten jurors selected this year’s Spectrum Scholars based on their commitment to equity and inclusion, demonstrated community outreach, commitment to the library profession, academic achievements and leadership potential. 

To add, Lopez was one of three Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) specific recipients. The association established the ALSC Spectrum Scholarship through funding from the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment in 2010. 

“As a Latinx, it’s important to me to be in a position where my input has value and can make a difference in the types of services offered while increasing awareness of community needs,” she said.

Lopez currently works as a Youth Services Programming Specialist at Northbrook Public Library in Northbrook, Illinois. 

“My passion for literature and the desire to share that joy with others is what led me to the world of libraries. As I gained experience and learned more about what libraries value and advocate for, that dedication grew, and I knew it was the field I was meant to be in,” Lopez said. “I feel especially strong about diversity in libraries and making lifelong learning a goal.” 

As a youth services specialist, her goal is for children from all backgrounds to see the library as a place that will help them grow and increase their curiosity by supporting a collection that reflects their interests and learning needs. 

“I’m excited to meet other Spectrum Scholars who have been leaders in their own communities by fostering diversity and inclusiveness, and I hope to one day do the same,” Lopez said.  

For the full release and to see a list of all the scholars click here