Palatine Library employee wins prestigious scholarship

Palatine Library District is excited to announce that staff member Aliya Estes has been named a recipient of the 2022 American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship.

Estes is one of 60 student award winners who are pursuing graduate degrees in library and information science.

According to the ALA, the Spectrum scholarship advances racial equity by connecting new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians to a network of support to advance leadership and make social justice part of their everyday work.

Spectrum provides scholarships to Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) who are looking to pursue graduate degrees and leadership positions within libraries and the ALA.

"I am extremely honored and humbled to call myself a Spectrum Scholar. I feel like so many doors have opened for me already, and I am only just beginning," Estes said.

Next year, Estes plans to attend the Spectrum Leadership Institute held at the ALA's annual conference, where there will be opportunities for professional development and networking with other librarians of color.

"This scholarship is an opportunity to build a new community with fellow BIPOC library workers across the country. This will enhance my own experience as a Black woman in librarianship," Estes said.

Estes currently works as a collection associate in Palatine Library's collection services department and has recently started her journey into librarianship. She is pursuing her master's degree in library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she can take all her classes online and will finish the program in two and a half years.

While she enjoys her current role, her goal is to become a librarian in youth and teen services. For as long as she can remember, Palatine Library has been a source of comfort for Estes because it provided her with a space that supported her intellectual growth and creative spirit.

After she gets her degree, she wants to create spaces and programs that inspire social change in her library work.

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