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Contact: Wendy Prellwitz
Program Officer
For Immediate Release
May 21, 2004

Kathleen de la Peña McCook named inaugural recipient of Achievement in Library Diversity Research award


CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity is pleased to announce that Kathleen de la Peña McCook is the inaugural recipient of the Achievement in Library Diversity Research award. The Office for Diversity created this new award as part of its ongoing support for the dissemination of library-based diversity research.

As a university professor at the University of South Florida, School of Library and Information Science, McCook has published an enormous body of work dedicated to effective library services to communities of color; ethnic and racial minorities and women in librarianship; and library and diversity in information science education.

McCook will receive the honor and make opening remarks during the "Charting Courses: Excellence in Diversity Research" panel program on Saturday, June 26, 2004, 4 - 5:30 p.m., at the JW Marriott, Del Lago room, at the Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla. Recipients of the 2003 Diversity Research Grant will join her and present highlights of their research. Recipients are Jody Gray, Michelle Harrell, La Loria Konata, Tim Zou and Rae-Anne Montague. The Office of Diversity sponsors the Diversity Research Grant to address critical gaps in the knowledge of diversity issues within library and information science. For more information on the Diversity Research Grants and other diversity programs please visit

Recipients of the Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award receive complimentary Annual Conference registration. In lieu of this, McCook has elected to donate the monetary portion of her award to the ALA Public Programs Office's Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment created to support local libraries in establishing community and cultural programs. For more information on the Cultural Communities Fund see

A respected educator, McCook also has taught at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Louisiana State University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1997, she was elected president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). She is the recipient of some of the profession's highest awards, including the ALA Beta Phi Mu award, the REFORMA Latino Librarian of the Year award, the ALISE President's award, the Florida Library Association Transformer award and the ALISE award for 'Research in Library and Information Science Education.'

In addition to her scholarly work, McCook is engaged actively in community building and advocacy in the South County region of Hillsborough County in South Florida.

The ALA Office for Diversity serves as a key resource and link to the professional issues that speak to diversity as a fundamental value and action area of the association.