For immediate release | January 12, 2016

Alabi recipient of 2016 David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award

Alabi recipient of 2016 David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award

BOSTON - Jaena Alabi, Reference Librarian at Auburn University, is the recipient of the 2016 American Library Association (ALA) Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award for her article entitled "Racial Microaggressions in the Academic Library Environment: Results of a Survey of Minority and Non-minority Librarians."

The David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award recognizes recent articles that include significant new research related to the understanding and promotion of multiculturalism in libraries in North America. Works published within the last two years preceding the award application deadline shall be eligible to receive the award.

Alabi's article provides important context for understanding racial microaggressions in the workplace and lays the groundwork for transformative conversations about diversity and multiculturalism in the library profession.

Grounded in quantitative analysis, Alabi’s research is informed by the work of Josey, Nadal, Pittman, and others in fields including library administration, Black Studies, media studies, and critical race theory. Her survey of the literature allows her to probe microaggressions, which are subversive in their sometimes innocuous appearance. Microaggressions may be words or non-verbal gestures that attempt to mark the minority librarian as (a subordinate) Other.

Importantly, Alabi’s work also provides objective evidence that some non-minority librarians do not perceive this nuanced form of aggression. In this way, this work provides an exciting opportunity to revision ways of sensitizing librarians to the multiple and varied impacts of race in the workplace.

The Award, consisting of $500 and a commemorative plaque, will be presented to Alabi during the EMIERT Membership Meeting at ALA’s 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando.

For more information, please visit

Founded in 1982, the Ethnic and Multicultural Information and Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) serves as a source of information for recommended ethnic and multilingual collections, services and programs.


John L. Amundsen

Program Officer, Outreach and Communications

ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services

(312) 280-2140