Dr. McCook to be Honored for Achievement in Library Diversity Research


Susan Dillinger writes "The ALA Office for Diversity to Honor Dr. Kathleen de la Peña McCook for
Achievement in Library Diversity Research At Orlando Annual Conference.

As part of its ongoing support of the propagation of library-based diversity
research, the ALA Office for Diversity is pleased to announce the inaugural
recipient of the "Achievement in Library Diversity Research", Dr. Kathleen
de la Peña McCook.

Distinguished University Professor at the University of South Florida,
School of Library and Information Science, Dr. McCook, has published an
enormous body of work dedicated to effective library services to communities
of color; ethnic and racial minorities and women in librarianship; and
diversity in library and information science education, among other topics.
A respected educator, Dr. McCook taught at the University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign, Louisiana State University and the University of
Wisconsin, Madison before coming to the University of South Florida and was
elected ALISE president in 1997. She is the recipient of some of the
profession's highest awards among them, the Beta Phi Mu award for
'Distinguished Service to Education for Librarianship', the REFORMA Latino
Librarian of the Year award, the ALISE President's award, the Florida
Library Association Transformer award and the ALISE award for 'Research in
Library and Information Science Education'.

In addition to her scholarly work, Dr. McCook is actively engaged in
community building and advocacy in the South County region of Hillsborough
County in South Florida.

Recipients of the Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award receive
complimentary Annual Conference registration. In lieu of this, Dr. McCook
has elected to donate the monetary portion of her award to the ALA Public
Programs Office's Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment created to support
local libraries in establishing community and cultural programs. For more
information on the Cultural Communities Fund see
http://www.ala.org/ala/ppo/culturalcommunities.htm .

Dr. McCook will receive the honor and make opening remarks during the
"Charting Courses: Excellence in Diversity Research" panel program on
Saturday, June 26, 2004, 4:00p.m.-5:30p.m. at the JW Marriott, Del Lago room
at Annual Conference in Orlando. She will be joined by recipients of the
2003 Diversity Research Grant, Jody Gray and Michelle Harrell; La Loria
Konata and Tim Zou; and Rae-Anne Montague who will present highlights of
their research."


...is color blind.


In an occupation involving direct access to tens of thousands of books and loan access to millions, access to databases accessing tens of thousands of articles and the general internet with millions of sites, any attempt to differentiate the patron or the librarian by the color of their skin seems small.

Sorry! Thought you'd been afflicted with some medical condition!

Indeed effective library service is colorblind.
However getting patrons in the door need not be. My work has shown that Mexican library patrons don't use the library in the same way that non-Mexican patrons use the library in Florida.

The information seeking behavior of Mexicans (I studied Mexican people in Hidalgo and Hidalguense people in Pinellas County Florida) begins with family and friends, and goes down the list of trusted friends - priests, other Mexicans unknown to them, doctor's staff- long before it reaches librarians or the library.

Getting Mexican residents to use the library facilities in Pinellas county is a big task. So while provision of library services should be color blind, it would be pretty boring if all we did was take names for the reserve of The DaVinci Code. I like to see patrons of all 31 flavors, it gives me the chance to show the library's value to all sorts of people!