The Rita Torres / Bibliotecas Para La Gente Scholarship
Scholarship Application will open again in 2023.
Bibliotecas Para La Gente (BPLG) provides up to $3,000 for scholarships for a new or a continuing Masters of Library and Information Graduate Student who has demonstrated an interest in furthering the goals of BPLG in providing library service to the Spanish-speaking and Latino communities.
The candidate must provide evidence of cultural competency in the Latino community. Candidates can document cultural awareness through education, job and/or community experience in the essay or through reference letters.
The candidate must provide evidence of Spanish language proficiency. Candidates can document language proficiency through job and/or community experience in the essay or through reference letters.
A 2-3 page personal statement describing work or volunteer experience with a Latino and/or Spanish speaking community. Describe the information needs of these communities in Northern California, and how the candidate can contribute to their information needs. Candidates should demonstrate their technological awareness by suggesting how technology may be used to provide services to the Latino community. Include a description of any leadership role in work/volunteer experience.
Answer the following question: How do you plan to further the goals of BPLG in providing library service to Spanish-speaking and Latino communities.
Recommendation letter: 1 letter from a person who is aware of your work and/or community service and your desire to work in the library. This person need not be a library employee. The applicant may submit up to three letters of recommendation if desired.
A recent resume that includes all library and related community service work.
*New students* must document application to the MLIS program through an acceptance letter and include their most recent college transcript.
In addition to the online scholarship application, please email a PDF version of the personal statement to firstname.lastname@example.org. It should be labeled with the applicant's last name.
The MLIS scholarship is limited to those residing/and or working in northern California to include the following counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Amador, Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey.
Applicants will present a copy of identification with residence address, a letter from an employer, or a copy of a recently postmarked piece of mail containing their name and address.
The scholarship recipient will attend a BPLG meeting for formal recognition.
Scholarship Distribution Details : First disbursement of $1,500 will be given upon receipt of Spring/ Summer Grades ( mid August) and final disbursement of $1,500 will be given upon receipt of Fall grades (late December). Or a full distribution of $3,000 if completing the program in Spring or Summer of the same year.
About Rita Torres
Rita Torres was employed in 1976 as the first bilingual/bicultural librarian to head the Biblioteca Latinoamericana, a federally funded project that provided a full spectrum of Spanish language library service to the greater San Jose community. Spanish language library services were Rita’s passion and she worked with her staff and colleagues to provide Reference services, reader’s advisory, and children’s services for Spanish speaking library customers. Leaving the Biblioteca Latinoamericana, Rita moved on to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library as head of the newly created Foreign Languages Department and became the lead for the Collection Development team that grew collections to represent 80+languages. Throughout her career Rita has been a friend and mentor to the members of the community, and to the library assistants and librarians who learned and worked alongside her providing services to the Spanish speaking community. As a young professional Rita Torres joined Bibliotecas Para La Gente and volunteered with BPLG throughout her career. It is in honor of her commitment and work that the BPLG scholarship is named in her honor.