Assistant Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Faculty Affiliate, Center for Digital Inclusion

Dr. Nicole A. Cooke


Dr. Nicole A. 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.

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, was presented to Cooke at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Awards Won

Title Year
ODLOS logo Achievement in Library Diversity Research

Each year the Diversity Research Grant Advisory Committee seeks to recognize an individual for advancing research that informs diversity, equity and outreach efforts in Library and Information Science by honoring them with an Achievement in Library Diversity Research designation. Achievement is defined as a body of published work or a groundbreaking piece whose dissemination advances our understanding of or sparks new research in the areas of diversity, equity and outreach. Entries are not limited to peer reviewed, scholarly publication. We welcome open access and other forms of published dissemination. Nominations are accepted year-round and an honoree will be selected from the pool of nominees received by April 30.

2017 - Winner(s)