Special honor to OCL: ALA President-elect to discuss future of libraries

The New Jersey Spectrum Scholarship Committee and the Ocean County Library will team up to present a fund-raising event at the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library, 101 Washington St., Sunday April 3 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The fundraiser will benefit the American Library Association’s Spectrum Scholarship Program and provide people an opportunity to speak with national figures about policies that will shape the future of libraries.

The event will feature Molly Raphael, the ALA’s President-elect, who will speak about the issues facing American libraries.  People attending the event will have the opportunity to ask her questions during a reception prior to her formal presentation.

Ocean County Library is one of only six East Coast stops she will make in 2011.

Raphael’s platform as President of ALA is “Libraries: Essential for Learning, Essential for Life” and focuses on advocacy in support of libraries, and diversity and inclusiveness in the library profession. At the ALA, her resources include the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) and the ALA Spectrum Scholarship program.  

Raphael served as Director of Libraries in Multnomah County, Portland, Oregon (2003-2009), It is Oregon’s largest public library system serving 700,000 residents with a budget of $60 million and 500 employees.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world. It is headquartered in Chicago.

The Spectrum Scholarship Program, established in 1997, is the ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession.  It also develops a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries. 

Spectrum has provided more than 680 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-approved school library education program.

Past ALA President Betty Turock, and directors Miguel A. Figueroa and Gwendolyn E. Prellwitz will also be on hand to answer questions.

There is a suggested donation of $30 payable at the door by check or credit card to the American Library Association-Spectrum Presidential Initiative. Refreshments will be provided.

Reservations are not required but can be made with Harry Applegate at (732) 349-6200, ext. 5407.

Ocean County students and residents who are interested in learning more about a career as a librarian or in pursuing the master degree in library and information science are encouraged to attend.

Past ALA President Dr. Betty J. Turock (1995-1996) is founder and chair of ALA’s Spectrum initiative and Professor Emerita of the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. She has also served as a senior advisor in the U.S. Department of Education.

Miguel A. Figueroa is Director of the ALA’s Office for Diversity & Spectrum.

Gwendolyn E. Prellwitz is the Assistant Director of the Office of Diversity and Administrator of the Spectrum Scholarship Program.

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