UMD College of Information Studies Announces Scholarship to Honor B. Parker Hamilton and Foster Library Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion

UMD College of Information Studies Announces Scholarship to Honor B. Parker Hamilton and Foster Library Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion

September 13, 2017

The University of Maryland College of Information Studies (Maryland’s iSchool) is pleased to announce the creation of the B. Parker Hamilton Libraries of the Future Scholarship. The scholarship will provide support for select Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) students who show a passion for diversity and inclusion in their academic focus.

The scholarship is a tribute to the legacy of B. Parker Hamilton, who served as Director of the Montgomery County Library system for 12 years and worked in the Montgomery County Public Library system for over 37 years.

During her career, Parker worked tirelessly to make library services accessible to the increasingly diverse population of Montgomery County, seeing libraries as a shared space for everyone to use. Simultaneously, she worked to evolve libraries, making them centers of innovation that would meet the needs of the 21st Century. This scholarship honors her dedication, leadership, and passion for libraries and helps to ensure that future librarians will continue this important work.

Libraries serve many different populations with a wide range of abilities and needs. The College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland is committed to preparing students in the MLIS program to be library leaders who champion inclusion, accessibility, and diversity, with the Hamilton Scholarship proudly supporting this mission. "Championing diversity and inclusion has been core to the College's mission since its inception in the 1960s," said Dr. Keith Marzullo, Dean of the College of Information Studies. The scholarship will be awarded to students with a focus on diversity and inclusion issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, ability or disability, geography, socioeconomic status, and literacy, as well as an emphasis on how public libraries should adapt to the future.

"Parker Hamilton's innovative leadership in the Montgomery County Public Library system transformed that system to serve an ever growing and diverse population and be a model of inclusion. Parker knows firsthand the life changing importance of education and how libraries can be an ever-present source of information to give all people the ability to succeed. We are grateful for the generous support that will allow Maryland's iSchool to offer this scholarship, further our shared mission, and carry on her legacy,” Dr. Marzullo said.

“Under Parker’s leadership, our Montgomery County libraries were able to survive some tough times during the Great Recession when budgets had to be cut to the bone, without sacrificing quality, hours, or customer service. With Parker at the helm, County libraries received 19 National Association of Counties awards, and innovation awards from the Urban Libraries Council, including the 2016 Top Innovation Award. Parker made a difference for all County residents – and richly deserves the honor of this scholarship program,” said Isiah Leggett, County Executive, Montgomery County Maryland.

Click here to contribute to the B. Parker Hamilton Libraries of the Future Scholarship.