ALA awards 2005 Diversity Research Grants

Contact: Tracie D. Hall

Director, Office for Diversity

For Immediate Release

June 16, 2005

ALA awards 2005 Diversity Research Grants

CHICAGO - The American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity is delighted to announce the recipients of the Diversity Research Grants for 2005. The Diversity Research Grants consist of a one-time $2000 annual award for original research and a $500 travel grant to attend and present at ALA Annual Conference.

Each year the Office for Diversity and the Diversity Research Grant Jury identify three areas of scholarship where research is needed; one proposal is chosen from within each topic for a total of three awards. 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.

The first grant will be awarded to Wooseob Jeong, assistant professor, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Through surveys and experiments with the blind and the visually impaired, this project will work to identify optimal conditions for combining force feedback technology with an online Braille generator. The final product of this research will enable visually impaired people to enjoy all library services and resources as well as the enormous amount of information on the Web more freely. The project was submitted under this year's Research Topic 1 – Accessibility and Universal Design in Library Services and Resources.

The second grant will be awarded to Isabel Espinal, librarian for Afro American Studies, Anthropology, & Native American Indian Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. The major objective of this study, “Collaborating with Reforma Librarians to Study Emerging Latin@ Readership: A Participatory Action Research Approach,” is to gather and document the knowledge that Reforma librarians have about Latinos as readers. The rationale for this study derives from a discourse regarding Latinos and reading in which Latinos are stereotypically seen as not being readers or being interested in reading. The project was submitted under this year's Research Topic 2 – Diversity and Emerging Literacies in the 21st Century.

The third grant will be awarded to Karen J. Underhill, head, Special Collections and Archives, Northern Arizona University. This project, “Native American Protocols for American Libraries, Archives, and Information Services,” proposes to develop a common framework of ethical “best practices” for handling Native American archival collections and information resources that will benefit libraries and tribal communities alike. The researcher will present draft Protocols--to be developed with tribal colleagues--at the annual meetings of various stakeholders to secure the endorsement of a final draft of the Protocols by the American Library Association, the Society of American Archivists, the American Association for State and Local History, and the Council for the Preservation of Anthropological Records with the ultimate objective of implementation by libraries and archives around the United States. The project was submitted under this year's Research Topic 3 – Effects of Diversity Policy Implementation on Institutional Diversity.

The 2005 recipients will be presenting their research at an Annual Conference 2006 program in New Orleans. For more information on the Diversity Research Grants, please visit the Office for Diversity's website: