Cooke recipient of 2017 Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award

For Immediate Release
Sun, 01/22/2017


Jody Gray


Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor in the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the recipient of the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Honor.  As part of its ongoing support of the propagation of library-based diversity research, the Diversity Research Grants Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the ALA Council Committee on Diversity, and the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services are pleased to recognize her for her contributions to the profession and her promotion of diversity within it. Achievement is defined as a body of work or a groundbreaking piece whose dissemination advances our understanding of or sparks new research in the areas of diversity.  The Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services began designating this honor in 2004.

Cooke’s work moves beyond documenting disparities in the numbers of racial and ethnic minority faculty in LIS. She goes on to suggest recruitment, inclusion and retention strategies that address systemic weaknesses. Likewise, her identification of diverse populations is but a preamble to her instruction in developing cultural competence and services to diverse populations.

Nicole A. Cooke's new book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals, addresses the political, social, economic, and technological divides among library patrons, covers transformative library services, and discusses outreach and services to diverse populations as well as how to evaluate such services, among many other topics. She has published articles in journals including JASIST, The Library Quarterly, InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information, Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Journal, Library and Information Science Research, Information Research, and New Review of Academic Librarianship. Cooke also coauthored Instructional Strategies and Techniques for Information Professionals (Chandos Press, 2012).

Cooke has received multiple honors and awards over the years. Most recently, she was recipient of the 2016 American Library Association Equality Award and the 2016 Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity. She is the 2013 Recipient of the Norman Horrocks  Leadership Award from the Association of Library and Information Science Educators and was named one of Library Journal’s 2007 Movers & Shakers.

Dr. Cooke graduated from Rutgers University with a Ph.D. in communication, information, and library studies in 2012. She was an ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellow. She holds an MLS degree from Rutgers University, and an M.Ed. in adult education from Penn State. Cooke is an assistant professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a faculty affiliate at the Center for Digital Inclusion.  Previously, she was an instruction librarian and tenured assistant professor at Montclair State University’s (NJ) Sprague Library.

The Award, consisting of a commemorative plaque, will be presented to Cooke at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Members of the 2016 Diversity Research Grant Advisory Committee are:  Chair Dr. Leslie Campbell Hime, Interim Manager, Richland Public Library; Thura Mack Professor & Coordinator- Community Learning Services & Diversity Programs, The University of Tennessee Knoxville; Alanna Aiko Moore, Sociology, Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies Librarian UC San Diego Library; Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama; Cynthia Mari Orozco, Librarian, East Los Angeles College; and Jody Gray, Director, Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services.

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