The American Library Association honors Nicole A. Cooke with Equality Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/22/2016


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer



CHICAGO — Nicole A. Cooke is the 2016 recipient of the American Library Association Equality Award. The annual award, $1,000 and a framed citation of achievement donated by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, is given to an individual or group for outstanding contributions toward promoting equality in the library profession.

Cooke is an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a faculty affiliate at the Center for Digital Inclusion. She holds an M.Ed in Adult Education from Penn State, an MLS from Rutgers, and a Ph.D. in Communication, Information and Library Studies from Rutgers. She was one of the first 12 ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellows and was named a "Mover & Shaker" by Library Journal in 2007.

The jury noted that throughout her career, Cooke has been a passionate advocate for equity and has spearheaded diversity initiatives within ALISE and at her home institution.  In particular, the members were impressed with Cooke’s extensive record of publications and dedicated social-justice oriented approach to her teaching, both of which indicate the far-reaching impact that her personal commitment to equality has on the rest of the profession, as well as future colleagues.  

As nominator Trevar Riley-Reid states, "Dr. Cooke has been a staunch champion for inclusion and has led the charge in changing the education of librarians to make them better able to serve those, who to date, have been unserved or underserved - the rapidly emerging majority of Americans who are people of color."

Cooke’s award will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando on June 26, 2016. 

Members of the 2016 Equality Award Jury are:  Chair Laurel Bliss, Fine Arts Librarian, San Diego State University; Josh Barnes, Assistant Director, Portneuf District Library; Eli Gandour-Rood, Science Liaison Librarian, University of Puget Sound; Suzanne Li, Assistant Professor and Education Librarian, Queens College of the City University of New York; and Larry Williams, Upper School Librarian, Brooklyn Friends School.

More information about the Equality Award, including how to submit a nomination is available on the ALA website.