Assistant Professor Nicole A. Cooke is the recipient of the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award. This award recognizes her contributions to the profession and her promotion of diversity within it, defining achievement as a "body of work or a groundbreaking piece whose dissemination advances our understanding of or sparks new research in the areas of diversity."
Established in 2004, the award is given annually by 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. This year's recipient is honored for the scope of her efforts:
Cooke's work moves beyond documenting disparities in the numbers of racial and ethnic minority faculty at 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.
"This is a particularly special award for me, as this is the ALA office that funded my doctoral work and spurred my interest in teaching and conducting research in the areas of diversity and social justice," said Cooke. "It's wonderful and gratifying to know that my work is being recognized and beginning to have some impact on the profession!"
Cooke is the author of the recently published book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals. Her research and teaching interests include human information behavior, particularly in the online context; critical cultural information studies; and diversity and social justice in librarianship with an emphasis on infusing them into LIS education and pedagogy.
Cooke was named a "Mover & Shaker" by Library Journal in 2007 and was the 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award as well as the Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity. She holds an MEd in adult education from Penn State, and a Master of Library Science and PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University, where she was an ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellow.
The Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award, consisting of a commemorative plaque, will be presented to Cooke at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.