Cooke receives funding from ALA for diversity research

Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director, has received two grants from the American Library Association (ALA) for her diversity research. The grants, worth $7,500, include the Carnegie Whitney Award and the ALA Diversity Research Grant. 

She received the Carnegie Whitney Award for her project, "The Interracial Books for Children Bulletin: A Bibliography of Diverse Books." The purpose of the project is to compile a bibliography of the books and media reviewed by the Interracial Books for Children Bulletin. 

"With the goal of addressing LIS practitioners and scholars, children's literature scholars, authors, illustrators, publishers, and multicultural literature aficionados, this resource will be used as a teaching and research tool in classrooms and will aid collection development librarians in diversifying their collections," said Cooke.

Cooke and Miriam E. Sweeney (PhD '13), assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama, were awarded the ALA Diversity Research Grant for their project, "Minority Student Experiences with Racial Microaggressions in the Academic Library." This study uses surveys and focus groups to garner further insight into the specific experiences surrounding microaggressions directed at racial and ethnic minority students in the context of accessing library spaces and services on campus.

"I am excited to receive these grants, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work on two projects that will improve the long-term understanding and implementation of diversity in the LIS profession," she said.

Cooke is the author of the new 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 a Master of Library Science and PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University. 

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