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GSLIS welcomes two ALA Spectrum Scholars

Spectrum Scholars
Garcia, left, and Lidaka both bring a strong sense of global service to Dominican's Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) has welcomed two American Library Association Spectrum Scholars to its master’s in library and information science program.

The program is designed to increase study and employment of underrepresented populations in the library field. It provides up to 50 students from racial and ethnic underrepresented groups with a $5,000 tuition scholarship and $1,500 in professional development funds as they pursue a master's degree in library and information science.

“We think there is incredible value to the different perspectives and backgrounds that Spectrum Scholars bring to our program,” said GSLIS Dean Susan Roman. “In particular, these two students bring valuable urban and international life experiences that will help them succeed in library and information science.”

Margarita Lidaka, of Oak Park, IL, and Marissa Garcia, of Chicago, were awarded Spectrum Scholarships in the summer of 2011.

Lidaka, who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago, currently works at Oak Park Public Library.

Having spent her elementary school years living with her mother in Denmark, Lidaka hopes to bring her multicultural experience to her aspiring career as an adult reference and reader’s advisory librarian.

“Probably due to living in a foreign country, I love traveling,” Lidaka said. “I can also contribute to multiracial works, using my personal experiences related to being biracial.”

“We educate leaders in the library and information science professions who make a positive difference in their communities,” Roman said. “Margita has demonstrated a strong commitment to those values, and we’re excited to help her succeed in her goals.”

Garcia says she decided to come to Dominican in part because of its strong programs in children’s literature and youth services.

A self-described “bookworm,” she attended Columbia College in Chicago to pursue her passion for fiction writing. After assisting in her local public library, she decided that a future in youth services librarianship would be the right fit for her.

“I want to reach children in the public library arena, which I feel has a wonderful freedom to exercise creativity, and Dominican has an excellent reputation among all other librarians I’ve encountered,” Garcia said.

The GSLIS offers a certificate in library service to young people for both MLIS and post-MLIS students. With Dominican’s School of Education it also co-houses the Butler Children’s Literature Center, one of the nation's premier centers for the study of children's and young adult literature.

Dominican is particularly attractive to Spectrum Scholars, as it matches the ALA tuition scholarship 100 percent.

“As part of a university that strives to position its students for success on a global scale, it’s important to attract students of this caliber and experience,” Roman said. “Libraries continue to serve many purposes to people in different areas, and we want to incorporate all of those new and different ideas into our teaching and learning.”