Rachael Kowalski has been selected to receive the 2021 Core Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship ($3,000) sponsored by Baker & Taylor.
This scholarship is for master’s level study, with an emphasis on library technology and/or automation, at a library school program accredited by the American Library Association. Criteria for the Scholarship includes previous academic excellence, evidence of leadership potential, and a commitment to a career in library automation and information technology.
The Larew Scholarship Subcommittee remarked on Kowalski’s interest in art and technology, especially how she blended the two together in her library experience and vocation. Kowalski, in her current position, implements STEAM and makerspace programming, collaborating with community partners and developing system-wide program guides. She integrates her experience with 3D design, animation and motion capture, film and audio production, digital illustration, coding, and video game development to engage and diversify programs for all ages. In her statement, Kowalaski stated her intent to concentrate in makerspace services to create adaptable programs, resources, outreach initiatives, and circulating non-traditional materials that support practical digital literacy skills and her aspirations to be at the forefront of emerging library technologies as a catalyst for lifelong learning, facilitating media literacy skills, positive digital citizenship, and online safety and privacy.
Kowalski graduated from Shawnee State University in 2019 with a BFA degree in Game and Simulation Arts. She has volunteered or worked in libraries, illustration, tutoring, and game testing and development. Through these experiences, Kowalski has earned recognition for her art, game development, and library technical services work. She begins her MLIS at San José State University this fall.
When notified she had been selected, Kowalski said, “I am immensely grateful to be chosen as the 2021 recipient for the Core Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship. It is an honor to be awarded this recognition and support from ALA, Core, and Baker & Taylor. My previous experiences in libraries have demonstrated that they are community centers for opportunity and personal empowerment, particularly when working to overcome the digital divide. By providing accessible technology that fulfills the needs of its users, libraries support digital literacy development so that individuals can interact with the modern world and achieve their life goals with confidence. I am dedicated to providing empathetic and innovative services that strive towards these types of positive outcomes in my own community and beyond.”
Members of the 2021 Core/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship Subcommittee are: Harriet Wintermute (Chair), Regina Beach-Bertin, Joye Cauthen, Jennifer R. Culley, Linda Golian-Lui, Angela R. Maranville, David Ratledge, and Tim Ream. We thank them for their work to select a recipient.
Thank you to our sponsor Baker & Taylor for supporting this important scholarship.