Member POV: Spectrum Initiative
Day 3, and I am already feeling the conference burn. My schedule is a mess of conflicting-but-equally-intriguing sessions and after-parties. I have started to use a dice-rolling app in my phone to figure out which session to attend. I’ve also lost count of the times the new ALA scheduler app has saved me when I’m late for a session and I realize that I have yet again forgotten the location.
The highlight of my Sunday was the chance to spend some time with the Spectrum Scholars at a Spectrum Donor Appreciation Luncheon in honor of Spectrum reaching its fundraising goal of $1 million. For those of you unfamiliar with the Spectrum program, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is an initiative to recruit and train more emerging minorities into the profession. In addition to financial assistance, the program brings the Spectrum Scholar cohort to Annual for leadership training, which makes their first experience of Annual much less overwhelming.
As a past Spectrum Scholar (2010), I find it difficult to really express how wonderful it is to see a new group of excited Spectrum Scholars: To me, they are a group that I can help as well as a group that represents the future of our profession. They are a group who are quite aware of the challenges that librarianship faces but who decided to join us and make their mark regardless. If you see a Spectrum Scholar at an ALA event, say hello: Each has an interesting life story to share.
CHRIS KYAUK is a librarian at the San Leandro (Calif.) Public Library.