ALA awards 2009 Diversity Research grants

Contact: Miguel A. Figueroa
Director, ALA Office for Diversity
(312) 280-5295
mfigueroa@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release
July 15, 2009


CHICAGO - The American Library Association’s Office for Diversity has announced the recipients of the Diversity Research Grants for 2009.

The grants consist of a one-time $2,000 annual award for original research and a $500 travel grant to attend and present at the ALA Annual Conference. Each year the Office for Diversity and the Diversity Research Grant Jury identify three areas of scholarship where research is needed. Typically, one proposal is chosen from within each topic for a total of three awards. This year three grants were awarded under only two topics. Grant recipients are expected to compile the results of their research into a paper and are asked to present and publish the final product in conjunction with the American Library Association Annual Conference.

The first grant will be awarded to Clayton Copeland, a doctoral candidate and teaching fellow at the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science, for a study entitled "Library and Information Center Accessibility: The Differently-able Patron’s Perspective."  This study aims to understand library services and accessibility in public and academic libraries from the differently-able patron’s perspective. By giving voice to differently-able patrons, the study is expected to suggest how library accessibility and services may be improved.  The project was submitted under this year’s Librarianship in Multicultural/Multigenerational Community Building category. 

The second grant will be awarded to Diana Tedone, a recent graduate of UCLA’s Department of Information Studies, and Zoe Jarocki, a masters candidate at UCLA’s Department of Information Studies.  Their research project, "Bringing the Library to the People: Addressing the Job Related Information Needs of Day Laborers," will study the information needs of day laborers, a critically underserved community in Los Angeles.  By creating a library to address the specific information needs of this community, the research will uncover new ways for libraries to serve this growing population.  The project was submitted under this year’s Librarianship in Multicultural/Multigenerational Community Building.

The third grant will be awarded to Stephanie Maatta Smith, assistant professor at the University of South Florida’s School of Library and Information Science, Laurie J. Bonnici, assistant professor at the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies and Muriel K. Wells, librarian at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  Their project, "ICT Readiness Index: Measuring the Preparedness of Libraries to Serve Patrons With Disabilities in the Context of Economic Challenge," seeks to build a model to measure the ability and potential of libraries to serve special-needs populations. The growth in the number of patrons eligible for services provided through programs for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH), combined with a lack of funding, makes this study particularly timely.   The project was submitted under this year’s Meeting Diversity Goals in the Context of Economic Challenges category.

ALA’s Office for Diversity offers thanks to the Diversity Research Grants Jury, including Miguel Juarez (chair), Robert M. Ballard, Jana R. Bradley, Peggy Johnson, Christie M. Koontz and Susan K. Shoemaker for their review of the submitted proposals, and the Diversity Research Grants Advisory Committee, including Miguel Juarez (chair), Laura Cheng, Edwin M. Cortez, Bharat Mehra, Rae-Anne Montague and Scott Nicholson, for their development of the 2009 research categories.  

The 2009 recipients will present their research at a program during the ALA 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. For more information on the Diversity Research Grants, please visit the Office for Diversity’s website: http://www.ala.org/diversity.