New ALA endowment honoring Satia Marshall Orange to benefit Spectrum Scholarship Program

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) announces the establishment of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Satia Marshall Orange Spectrum Scholarship Endowment Fund. Ms. Orange is a longstanding member and supporter of BCALA and former executive board member.

The endowment was created through a planned gift from Dr. William Michael Havener, former dean of the University of Rhode Island. Dollars raised through the fund will benefit the ALA Spectrum Scholarship, which actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA.

Satia Marshall Orange followed in the footsteps of her parents, who were both librarians. Her father, A.P. Marshall, was an ALA councilor and served as Director of Libraries at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri and Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. Her mother, Ruthe Langley Marshall, a 66-year member of Delta Sigma Theta, was known as an example of professionalism for younger generations of Black women. She served as Director of the Washtenaw County Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which was the first in the state of Michigan to offer what were then known as talking books. Both Mr. and Mrs. Marshall were active volunteers in many community and church organizations.

Satia Marshall Orange started her career in education as a teacher in Milwaukee. When offered a fellowship, promising she would work with young children, Ms. Orange embarked upon began what would become decades of outstanding service as a librarian. Her many accomplishments and positions held include Director of the Arthur Ashe J. Foreign Policy Library, TransAfrica Forum and Head of Children’s Services at Forsyth County (North Carolina) Public Library.

Orange went on to enjoy a long and distinguished career with the ALA. For over 25 years, she led what is now the ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS), promoting diversity within the field of librarianship and working on behalf of underserved communities. Orange also served as Director of the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), Staff Liaison to the Social Responsibilities (SRRT), the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBTRT), and the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange (EMIERT) round tables.

In 2017, Orange was awarded the American Library Association Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) Distinguished Librarian Award, in recognition of her longstanding contributions and impact on the library profession. The Distinguished Librarian Award recognizes significant accomplishments in library services that are national or international in scope and include improving, spreading, and promoting multicultural librarianship. When honoring her with this prestigious award, Dr. Lori Mestre noted, “through all of Orange’s challenging work, dedication, and efforts, she remains humble, poised and positive, a true inspiration for us all.” 

BCALA believes that Satia Marshall Orange’s example of a lifetime of service and dedication to the library profession provides the perfect motivation to the next generation of librarians. The Satia Marshall Orange Scholarship will provide encouragement, assistance, and recognition, as recipients take the next steps forward in their education, librarian careers and service to their communities.

To learn more about the ALA Spectrum Scholarship, please visit:

About the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) 

BCALA serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.

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