Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director, will present a workshop at the two-day international symposium, Diversity by Design: Reframing Diversity Discourse in Canada, which will be held on September 13-14 in Toronto. The event will bring together institutions of higher education, information and cultural institutions, community partners, and governmental organizations.
The concept of "diversity by design" was introduced in the publication, "Diversity by Design," by Keren Dali, assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta, and Nadia Caidi, associate professor in the iSchool at the University of Toronto. The symposium will examine the question of why, “despite our best efforts, the state of diversity is not getting better significantly or quickly enough” in both educational and professional environments.
In her workshop, "Considering Cultural Competence: Reframing our LIS Practice and Research," Cooke will lead participants through the cultural competence workshop she uses in her classroom at the iSchool and elsewhere as a guest speaker.
Participants will explore topics and definitions related to diversity and social justice, view corresponding media examples, and complete exercises designed to elicit critical self-reflection. This will be followed by a larger group discussion about the importance of incorporating diversity and social justice into the formal and informal educational agendas for information professionals, and into their professional practices. This session will focus on the local presentation (a United States perspective) of global issues, and stress the importance of the continuous improvement and diversification of the LIS curricula in an attempt to prepare the most compassionate and effective information professionals possible.
Cooke is the author of the book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016). She is the 2017 recipient of the ALA Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award and the 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award and the Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity. 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. She holds an MEd in adult education from Penn State and an MLS and PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University.