Once Upon a Time, a little girl named Dina moved with her parents and siblings across the ocean to grow up in Egypt. She was heartbroken because she had to leave behind her friends, family, pet rock and most importantly…Her books.
Dina’s mother, an avid reader herself, understood her daughter’s anguish and found the only library in the area…A dilapidated little house with two bookshelves, a handful of dusty, donated books and an information desk that ran programs to help newcomers to Cairo adapt and socialize.
That was the moment Dina realized that nothing made her happier than being surrounded by books.
It’s odd looking back now and thinking about how big a role libraries had played in my life. The public libraries of my childhood (you want to talk about funding issues, you come talk to me!) to the academic and archives of my college and graduate school years. The buildings don’t really stand out to me as much as the people inside them do. The librarians who were some of the most vibrant, witty, helpful people and who made me want to become them.
The Spectrum Scholarship program is one that is near and dear to my heart. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to attend library school or have found a network of intelligent, passionate and dedicated professionals whose goal is to get minorities and people of color to, not only enter the library profession, but stay and thrive.
With their support, myself and countless others, have benefited from Spectrum’s support and community, both during our time in library school and during our careers.
Its’ emphasis on community, engagement, support and scholarship is one of the few reasons why I am proud to help fundraise for Spectrum’s 20th anniversary. And especially during these ‘post-truth’ era times, we need librarians and a diverse profession more than ever.
Help ALA keep serving as a powerful voice for our future. Please consider making a contribution to the Spectrum Scholarship Program.