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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.

Scroll down for information and application for the CLA Edna Yelland Scholarship.

2019 Scholarship Recipients

Monica Latona, San Jose State University                                   

Monica Vega Latona is a femme genderqueer artist, activist, writer, survivor and future librarian. As an artist, they believe representation through visual art and literature has the ability to empower, educate, and inspire those who experience it. They have always been a passionate advocate for social justice and radical change in systems that fail communities seen as Other.  Their volunteer work includes Latino Outdoors, the Lavender Library Archives and Cultural Exchange in Sacramento and currently serves on the Equity Diversity Inclusion Team with Sacramento Public Library.

Monica completed their undergraduate work at Sacramento State University with a Bachelors in Art. Currently they are working towards their Masters in Library Science at San Jose State University in Youth Services to continuously connect youth and families to resources, programs, and literacy. 

Monica loves art, books, comics, and creating meaningful experiences for themselves and the people around her. A multi-faceted Xicana, Monica’s interests include hiking, exploring record stores, and attending punk shows.

(Photo credit: Brian Green)


Brandi Veal, Los Angeles County of Education - University of San Diego                                                    

Brandi Veal is a first generation graduate student pursuing her Master's in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Having just completed her teacher librarian credential in May 2019, she is excited to begin looking for positions in public school settings. 

Brandi was lucky to have recently been honored as a 2018-2019 ALA Spectrum Scholar, a leadership experience whose lessons she hopes to channel into creating more equitable and accessible spaces for patrons from diverse backgrounds such as herself.

A long time lover of libraries and a huge proponent of education as one of life's few equalizing agents, when Brandi received her first job in a school library, she realized she had stumbled upon a job that seemed more like a calling. As she finishes her last few units of her degree, she is excited to be interning at a Sacramento Public Library, in order to expand her ability to contribute to different community groups effectively.


Mayra Fuentes, San Jose State University   

Mayra Fuentes is a first-generation graduate student at San Jose State University. Before embarking into librarianship, Mayra completed her undergraduate studies at UC San Diego, where she completed her BA in Linguistics and post baccalaureate in Speech-Language Pathology from CSU San Marcos.  

Her enthusiasm for language and linguistic inclusivity inspired her to pursue projects such as La Clase Mágica, where she worked to create bilingual reading materials in Spanish and Kumeeyay for preschool children in San Diego. Mayra understands the importance of creating welcoming spaces for children and their families within the context of academic and government institutions.

In 2018, Mayra was awarded the REFORMA Elizabeth Martinez Scholarship and the National Military Family Association Scholarship to help support her goal in obtaining her MLIS to better serve the community of Los Angeles. It is her passion to serve underrepresented communities through her volunteer work as a patient advocate at Kaiser Permanente, community garden organizer, and as an after school tutor. 


Scholarship Information

Application period
The 2020 award nomination period is now closed. The award nomination period for 2021 will open October 1, 2020.

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.

Please note: when submitting supplementary files by email, please label your files as follows: Yelland_your last name_document (e.g. Yelland_smith_educational institutions; Yelland_smith_essay).

Applications should be submitted using the online application form below. Supplementary files may be emailed to Holly Macriss.

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 committee does not provide feedback on applications submitted.
  • 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.

2020 Edna Yelland Scholarship Committee

Ricardo Ramirez, Sacramento Public Library (Chair)
Mahasin Abuwi Aleem, Oakland Public Library
Clarisa Bernabe, Fresno County Library
Yago Cura, Los Angeles Public Library


Application period is now close