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iSchool Students Awarded ALA Spectrum Scholarships

Every year, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Diversity awards 60 Spectrum Scholarships to graduate students excelling in the field of library and information studies. This year’s recipients include three students from the UT School of Information: Maria Barker, Alia Gant, and Maria Fernandez. 

“I am excited about the opportunity to meet other library students from across the country and to learn from professionals in the field about leadership in the librarian profession,” says Maria Barker. Barker has been able to pursue her interests in academic libraries and special collections as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Center for Transportation Research library. In addition to the scholarship award, Spectrum Scholars are offered valuable networking opportunities through free attendance to the ALA Annual conference and the Spectrum Leadership Institute.


“This is a tremendous opportunity to establish a relationship with the American Library Association as well as the Texas Library Association and learn more about these vital organizations within the library community,” says Alia Gant, who was selected as the Texas Library Association Scholar. “I value the opportunity to network with future colleagues, current library professionals, learn more about policy, issues, and initiatives relating to libraries, while making connections that will ultimately better libraries and librarianship in the future. I am absolutely thrilled and cannot wait to embark on this opportunity!” Gant is the Co-Director of the ALA/TLA UT student chapter as well as a GRA at UT’s Perry-Castñaeda Library. 

The ALA has awarded over 900 Spectrum Scholarships since 1997. Visit the ALA Spectrum website to learn more about the scholarship program.