Master's student Ritse Adefolalu has received the Marilyn Kay Maynard Scholarship awarded by the Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA). The scholarship is designed to encourage students who wish to gain licensure to work in Illinois as a school librarian, with three scholarships awarded each year.
Adefolalu received his bachelor's degree in English and a minor in music at Harvard University. He came to the iSchool after his interest in community service led him to consider a career in K-12 librarianship.
"I see the holistic enrichment of children and adolescents as one of the most important and effective ways of improving a community, and I believe the unique position libraries occupy at the intersection of the education system and the wider community gives them significant potential to spearhead positive change," said Adefolalu. "As a professional saxophonist, I also believe that music plays a vital role in community building, and hope to incorporate music resources into library services for children who may not have access to such materials elsewhere."
Karla Lucht, graduate studies advisor and coordinator of continuing education, instructed Adefolalu in LIS 506A (Youth Services Librarianship) in Fall 2015. In her letter of support for his scholarship, she wrote, "Ritse explored and brought forth many interesting ideas regarding innovative learning, collaboration, and creation in library spaces, especially those in underserved areas. From continued conversations with him, it’s apparent that these ideas are not just ideas, but real goals that he has thoroughly considered in order to someday implement when he’s out in the field."