Diversity Scholarship Awards
The ALAO Diversity Committee is pleased to award two Diversity Scholarships for 2013-2014! The Diversity Scholarship winners are Conrad Pegues and Robert Millspaugh. The Committee was very impressed by their demonstrated commitment to diversity, academic achievement, strong leadership abilities, and excellent customer service skills. The Diversity Scholarship includes $1,500.00 for tuition, free registration to the ALAO Annual Conference, and a year of mentoring by an ALAO member.
Conrad Pegues is a student in the Master of Library and Information Science program at Kent State University. He earned a Master of Arts in English Literature and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Memphis. Conrad currently works as an Overnight Circulation Supervisor at Miami University’s King Library. In his scholarship application, Conrad addressed the lack of diversity in librarianship, specifically the low number of African American male librarians. Conrad has noticed that his presence at the circulation desk has attracted more African American students. “It’s not just about checking out books or laptops or cameras. It’s about presence and understanding their plight. I’ve become acutely aware of the necessity for presence in a field traditionally seen as one for white females." Conrad would focus his efforts on recruitment and outreach to make prospective students aware of the possibilities of a career in librarianship. He believes that “ideas and topics have to be made culturally relevant to grasp the minds and imagination of the field’s potential.” Librarians must be culturally relevant, not just technologically savvy, to serve the world’s diversity.
Robert Millspaugh is a student in the Master of Library and Information Science program at Kent State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from The Ohio State University. Robert currently works as a Library Circulation Specialist at the Columbus State Community College Library. In his scholarship application, Robert stated that diversity in the workforce is a major issue. As a male of mixed racial composition, Robert has been sensitive to the issue from the moment he began working in a library. “This only encourages and motivates me to be the best library professional I can be.” Robert offered ways to increase diversity in the profession. He believes that being an inspiration to diverse students on a daily basis will make a difference. “I feel that efforts for increased diversity in the library workforce can begin by recruiting undergraduate students. In urban community colleges such as CSCC the diversity is so multifaceted with the student body being varied by age, race, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, nationality and sexual orientation. By engaging these students, both as patrons and workers, I believe interest in librarianship as a career can be raised.”
Congratulations to Conrad and Robert! The Committee is confident that they will be strong leaders and advocates for diversity and inclusion in libraries.
Updated: October 29, 2013