Seven iSchool Students Awarded 2023 ALA Spectrum Scholarships


Natali CarmonaSeven students from the San José State University School of Information have been selected for the 2023 Spectrum Scholarship Program by the American Library Association. The scholarship recipients were chosen based on their “commitment to community building, leadership potential, and planned contributions to making social justice part of everybody’s everyday work in LIS.”

The goal of the Spectrum Scholarship Program is for the ALA to advance “racial equity by connecting new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians with a network committed to mutual support.” The 2023 Spectrum Scholars from the SJSU School of Information are Natali Carmona, David Ajustine Castro, Leah Choi, Kristen Flores, Brianna Morales, Christine Thuy Minh Nguyen, and Louise Yu.

Being named a Spectrum Scholar is an “honor” for Carmona, who is pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science degree. As a “first-generation Latina” student she believes there needs to be more BIPOC representation in the library field. “The scholarship means being able to advocate for diversity and inclusion within libraries,” she states. “I aim to teach Latinx communities that libraries are more than just books but a place of resources and learning.”

Leah ChoiChoi is also enrolled in the MLIS program and is excited to “engage with the community” and work on “initiatives to diversify the LIS field” during the year-long scholarship program. Choi also plans to use this time to collaborate with other Spectrum Scholars and “learn with and from colleagues and leaders in the community to refine my approach to diversity-minded leadership.” She says she looks forward “to applying the knowledge, experience, and strategies I gain to my career in LIS and the communities I serve.”

Carmona, Choi and the other five iSchool students are among a total of 70 students studying library and information science who received the 2023 Spectrum Scholarships from the ALA.

The Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students.” Students interested in applying for the 2024 scholarship program can find the requirements and deadlines on the ALA website.

Congratulations to all of the Spectrum Scholars!