By: Hailey Temple

Alyssa Newton, a graduate student in the Master's program in Library and Information Science at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) is one of seven students to receive the NYLA-Dewey Scholarship Award as a representative of Syracuse University.

Recipients were selected based on their leadership skills, commitment to the field of librarianship, and academic excellence. The scholarship, sponsored by the Lake Placid Education Foundation and the New York Library Association, provides financial assistance to students pursuing a master’s degree in library sciences in New York. Recipients also have the opportunity to attend the NYLA Annual Conference.

As a member of NYLA and past conference attendee, Newton is excited to receive the scholarship and be a part of such a supportive organization. “NYLA is a fantastic professional organization that allows students to connect and network with other students and professionals across the state. I am also excited to attend the conference again and to exchange ideas with other librarians and students,” said Newton.

While Newton attended the iSchool as an undergraduate, she knew she wanted to continue her studies in library sciences with a focus on public libraries. “The iSchool’s library sciences program has an amazing alumni system and a fantastic program. I came to SU and realized that libraries are amazing places that empower and improve their communities,” said Newton.

As Newton gets closer to earning her master’s degree, she actively participates in the library community. Recently hired by the Northern Onondaga Public Library system, Newton is conducting adult programs and public relations for the North Syracuse, Cicero, and Brewerton public libraries. Newton likes that these libraries are adopting the maker movement and read/write culture that empowers the community to create rather than consume content. “It’s great to be a part of these programs that make national news for encouraging librarians to have a more active role in the community. These library systems are getting people to come together and make their voices heard by providing the resources they need to make it possible,” said Newton.

During her career at the iSchool, Newton has also found these ideas reflected in her courses and by iSchool faculty members. She looks forward to working with her fellow classmates in the library community in the future: “It’s amazing to be surrounded by students all on the same wavelength with the same aspirations for the role of libraries in communities. The iSchool offers and incredible vision for the future of librarianism and it’s exciting that I will be able to work with these students and help our communities feel empowered.”