I'm Yalonda, a vocalist, poet, and literacy hypewoman in my second to last semester of library school and I need your help. Though I work full-time, I am unable to fund my degree on my own. I've been serving as the children's librarylady at Shively Library for four years. In that time, I've built wonderful relationships with the children and families of Shively and the larger Louisville community through outreach to schools and daycares, community functions, and library programs. I've also picked up a few names: Ms. Yalonda, the librarylady, the jazzy librarian, the singing librarylady.
Every day, I'm working towards fulfilling my dreams of enriching the lives of children and their families through literacy, creative and developmentally appropriate programming, and meaningful community engagement. But to become a certified librarian, I need to complete a master’s degree in library science. And right now, it feels just out of reach.
This is my second attempt at a library degree. I initially began my studies in 2014 at Wayne State University. While I was awarded a small scholarship through the department, I ultimately had to withdraw from the program in my very first semester because I simply couldn’t afford to continue. Loans weren’t an option—they still aren’t—and I just didn’t make enough money to live and pay for school, too. I still don’t. I am working to secure as much funding as is possible so that I don’t have to make the choice between sustenance and education. I believe in librarianship and am unwilling to allow lack of funding to derail my work of becoming a certified librarian, but I need your help.
After the disappointment and frustration of leaving library school, I was determined to go back and finish. Since I began the Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) program at the University of Kentucky in 2016, I've been awarded a Spectrum Scholarship from the American Library Association (ALA), as well as scholarships from Beta Phi Mu, the library science honor society, and the University of Kentucky School of Library Science. Unfortunately, none of these awards were renewable.
I'm now in my final year of study and have no financial support. I'm still applying for scholarships and using tuition reimbursement from my job, but funds are low, and student loans aren't an option for me. I'm asking for help paying the remainder of my tuition and fees for this semester: $2200. Next semester will be about $6000, but let's do one thing at a time, shall we?
I've even been featured on the news:
This Librarian Rocks: Ms. Yalonda on Great Day Live!
Characters of Kentuckiana: The Singing Librarian
I love singing and reading with Louisville's children and their families. And I'm dedicated to further enriching the lives of our community's youth by being their librarylady. I appreciate any help you can offer towards helping me to get there.
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