For immediate release | May 6, 2024

ALA announces 2024 EMIERT David Cohen Award Recipients

CHICAGO - Lisely Laboy, Dr. Rachael Elrod, Dr. Krista Aronson, and Brittany Kester have been named recipients of the 2024 American Library Association (ALA) Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award for their article entitled, "Room for Improvement: Picture Books Featuring BIPOC Characters, 2015-2020.” The article was published in 2023 in Publishing Research Quarterly.

According to Dr. Elrod, " 'Room for Improvement’ discusses the representation of Black, Indigenous Peoples, and People of Color (BIPOC) characters in picture books published in the United States between 2015 and 2020." Using data from the Diverse BookFinder, “the article highlights trends in the representation of different racial and ethnic groups and raises concerns about the potential impact on cultural awareness and understanding. Overall, it advocates for a more thoughtful and inclusive approach to cultural representation in children’s literature and urges the publishing industry to address specific gaps to provide a more diverse range of stories for youth.”

The Award, consisting of $500 and a commemorative plaque, will be presented in person during the EMIERT 2024 Chair’s Program at ALA Annual Conference in San Diego.

EMIERT’s Board: Andrea Jamison, chair; KC Boyd, chair elect; Kim Sigle, secretary; Fatima Perkins, treasurer; Dr. Leslie Himes, roundtable councilor; Emily Bergman, member at large; Emma K McNamara, member at large; and Richard Ashby Jr., member at large; Dr. Janice Newum, CSK liaison.

EMIERT’s Award Committee: Jean Myles, chair; Emma K. McNamara; Dr. Joan Kindig; Melissa Iamonico, and Dr. Dr. Corinthia Price.

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. 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.

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Kevin Strowder


Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services