For immediate release | September 19, 2014

ALA Awards 2014 Diversity Research Grants

CHICAGO — The American Library Association’s Office for Diversity has announced the recipients of the Diversity Research Grants for 2014.

The grants consist of a one-time $2,500 award for original research. Recipients will conduct their research over the course of the year, are expected to compile the results of their research into a paper, and will be asked to present and publish the final product in conjunction with the American Library Association.

The first grant is awarded to Dr. Shannon M. Oltmann, assistant professor in the School of Library & Information Science, within the College of Communication & Information at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Oltmann’s project, “In-depth investigation of LGBT collections in school media centers," will take a qualitative approach to examining how the inclusion of LGBT-themed materials in school library media center collections may be related to anti-bullying campaigns. This project will also provide an in-depth understanding of media specialists’ actions and perspectives, enabling library professionals to better serve diverse populations such as LGBT students.

The next grant recipients are Dr. Amy VanScoy, assistant professor, School of Information & Library Studies, University at Buffalo and Kawanna Bright, doctoral student at the University of Denver and former head of information and research Services, Florida International University Libraries. Their project, “Including the Voice of Librarians of Color in Reference and Information Service Research,” will examine the behavioral aspects of reference and information service (RIS) among professionals representing diverse racial/ethnic groups. Their study will allow the voice of professionals that have not yet contributed to an understanding of RIS to be heard, in order to develop an inclusive understanding of RIS for practitioners.

The third Diversity Research Grant is awarded to Dr. Michelle Abate, associate professor of literature for children and young adults, The Ohio State University and Sarah Lightner, doctoral candidate in reading and literacy in early and middle childhood at The Ohio State University. Their research work on the project “Development of Texts that Mediate and Facilitate Diversity in Adolescent Classrooms” will form the basis for creating “refereeing texts” for use in the adolescent classroom to help serve as a reference point in classroom conversations around difficult such as race, gender and sexuality.

ALA’s Office for Diversity offers thanks to the Diversity Research Grants Advisory Committee for their work in selecting the 2014 Diversity Research Grant recipients: Nicole A. Branch, Agnes K. Bradshaw LaVerne Gray and Adriana McCleer.

For more information on the Diversity Research Grants, please visit the Office for Diversity’s website:


Michelle Harrell Washington


Office for Diversity