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CLA Scholarship for Minority Students in Memory of Edna Yelland
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Scholarship information | Current award recipients | Past award recipients

CLA Scholarship For Minority Students in Memory of Edna Yelland

The CLA Scholarship for Minority Students in Memory of Edna Yelland encourages and supports ethnic minority students in the attainment of a graduate degree in library or information studies and encourages commitment to the improvement of library services to ethnic minority communities.

Edna Yelland graduated from the California State Library School in Sacramento, obtained a County Librarians Certificate and served as the librarian for Tuolumne County and then San Mateo County. She later headed the Cutting Branch of Richmond Public Library and, from this position, became executive secretary of the California Library Association from 1947 to 1963. It is in memory of this gracious woman who worked so hard to promote the goals of the association and of the profession that the Edna Yelland scholarships are awarded. A profile of Edna Yelland is available here.

A maximum of three scholarships are awarded each year. Recipients are each awarded $2,500, a one-year student membership to CLA, and honored at the CLA annual conference.  Recipients are encouraged to enroll into CLA's Mentoring Program.

The CLA Scholarship for Minority Students in Memory of Edna Yelland is funded by CLA's Edna Yelland Scholarship Fund. Contributions to the fund are tax-deductible and will enable CLA to continue supporting ethnic minority students and encouraging commitment to the improvement of library services to ethnic minority communities in California.

If you would like to contribute to CLA's Edna Yelland Scholarship Fund, please send your check or money order to the CLA office or use our online donation form. For more information on making a contribution, please contact the CLA Executive Director.

Application information for the CLA Edna Yelland Scholarship.

2015 Scholarship Recipients

Adekemi Lolade Gbadebo, Rutgers University                

Lolade has lived in a number of states, but California has become home. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College with a major in Cinema Studies and minors in Studio Art and Africana Studies. Lolade is in her second year at Rutgers University’s distance program. While working as a Reference Assistant in Oberlin’s main college library, she decided a career in librarianship perfectly matches her love of equality, learning, and sleuthing. Since graduating, Lolade has worked at the Oakland Public Library. Working in an urban setting informs her desire to aid lifelong learning and shrink disparities in access and education. Lolade plans to work in youth services, particularly serving low-income youth and families, throughout her career. Currently, she supports regular class visits with neighboring schools, hosts children’s and tween programming, and serves other public needs. Lolade also volunteers with middle-schoolers as a Writer Coach, promoting creativity and cultivating young voices with one-on-one mentoring. In her spare time, Lolade enjoys reading with a mug of tea, writing with a mug of coffee, and hiking with her silly dog.


Karla Morones, San Jose State University                                           

Karla is currently in her second year at San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science.  She has been married for 18 years and has four children, her oldest daughter is 15 years old, her two sons are 13 and 10, and her youngest daughter is 5 years old.  Her family keeps her grounded and encourages her to fulfill her dream of becoming a librarian. Karla works part-time for the Anaheim Public Library as a Library Technician, specifically the Ponderosa Joint-Use Branch Library.  She conducts a weekly bi-lingual storytime, a book club for 4th -6th graders, and the yearly summer reading program.  She hosts community events such as Game Nights and holds workshops such as financial workshops and computer classes.  Karla’s vision for the library is for it to be a safe place for the community where people can gather with their families and neighbors.





Ricardo Ramirez, San Jose State University                                                                

Ricardo Ramírez Madera is currently a Senior Library Assistant at the Butte County Library in Chico, California, where he specializes in Youth and Spanish Services. He is in his final semester of graduate studies at the San Jose State University School of Information, where he has focused on Library and Early Childhood Literacy Outreach to rural and underrepresented communities. He has a BFA from the San Jose State University School of Art and Design and has spent time working with young people across the United States teaching art, digital media, and creative self-expression. Ricardo has served on the REFORMA Children in Crisis Task Force since its inception and is an advocate for increasing services to communities where access to traditional library resources are limited or non-existent. After he has completed his degree he hopes to work as a Youth and/or Family Services Librarian and eventually expand into library management, while continuing his transcultural community building and early childhood literacy objectives.



Scholarship Information

Application period
The 2016 scholarship application period is open until Monday, March 28, 2016 at 5:00PM PST.

Applicants must:

  • be US citizens (or permanent US residents) and permanent California residents;
  • be enrolled in an ALA-accredited master's of library and information science or information studies program and have completed one or more courses (applications from students at institutions actively seeking accreditation are also welcome);
  • intend to work in a California library upon graduation;
  • be a member of one of the following ethnic minority groups: African American or Black; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Latino/Hispanic; Pacific Islander;
  • provide a description of your financial need; and
  • be available for interview by the Edna Yelland Scholarship Committee. Individuals will be chosen for oral interview based upon the merits of the written application.

How to apply
Applicants should submit the following to CLA:

  • An explanation of your current financial situation (including salary, number of dependents, etc.).
  • A list of all scholarships and financial aid for which you intend to apply and/or have been awarded for graduate education.
  • The names and addresses of the educational institutions you have attended and, for each institution, your highest degree attained (if any), your years of attendance, and your subject or field of study.
  • A list of your employers, dates of employment, and a brief description of your responsibilities for any library experience.
  • Information you would like to tell us about any volunteer experiences.
  • Names and contact information for two professional references.
  • An essay discussing your interest in librarianship, your academic or professional goals, and how this scholarship would help achieve those goals. The essay should include all of these topics, be grammatically correct, and be 1,000 words or less.

Further information

  • The CLA Scholarship for Minority Students in Memory of Edna Yelland is coordinated by CLA's Edna Yelland Scholarship Committee.
  • The committee reserves the right not to award scholarships if qualified candidates are not found.
  • The amount of each scholarship may change depending on available funds and the financial need of applicants.
  • Award recipients will be asked to submit a photograph to be used in award publicity.
  • Applications and all supplementary materials must be received by 5:00pm on the submission deadline.

Apply Now! 

Edna Yelland Scholarship Committee

  • Linda Engelke, Rancho Cucamonga Public Library
  • Yelena Giannuzzi, San Jose Public Library
  • Christina Nhek, Long Beach Public Library
  • Gina Quensenberry, County of Los Angeles Public Library
  • Shanna Shiah, Los Angeles Public Library, Beverly Hills Public Library, and Santa Monica Public Library
  • Chris Warburton, County of Los Angeles Public Library (Chair)
  • Christina Young, Los Angeles Public Library